Cafe Mogador, Brooklyn, NY


Cafe Mogador IMG_0761

Category: Moroccan
Neighborhoods: East Village, Alphabet City

Address: 101 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

Phone: (212) 677-2226

5/5 stars

My family and I tried this restaurant last night. I was really excited to have Moroccan cuisine since I can’t really get it around my area. We made 7pm reservations but weren’t able to arrive until 7:30pm due to traffic. When we called, they said they couldn’t save the table but would prioritize us in getting a table. However, I guess it wasn’t too too busy and they still had the table opened up. The service was really fast, but not too fast which was nice.
The atmosphere was nice. The section we were in was a breezeway type area, which was neat, but as it became darker outside, the room was increasingly dark, making it too dark and hard to see each other and what we were eating. Additionally, the noise level wasn’t too bad, loud, but so that we didn’t have to really raise our voices too much to hear each other. Our waiter was nice and helpful, but the bus boy tried to take a couple dishes away that we were not finished with, without asking us first.
Now on to the food!
To begin, we ordered an appetizer of hummus and a salad with whole but separated romaine leaves, radish slivers, shaved parmesan cheese, and a mustard lemon vinaigrette. The hummus came with warmed pita flatbread that was spread with a bit of olive oil. The bread had a delicious flavor and airy texture, separating into 2 layers and had the perfect amount of olive oil. The hummus was of excellent quality, light, fresh, and lemony with notes of paprika and cumin. The salad was simple and the vinaigrette, which we had on the side had a strong mustard flavor, complimenting the salad well. My only criticism is that it was a little too small! (Especially since we shared it among the 3 of us and it was $8.
For entrees, we ordered the special tagine, which was halibut in spiced tomato broth with some root vegetables, the casablanca tagine with lamb, and the grilled chicken kebab.
The halibut was tender and flavorful, but the broth was a bit too bland for my taste. Tasted like tomato and hot pepper.
The casablanca tagine was a stew with caramelized onions, chickpeas, and raisins with a lamb shank in it. The lamb was tender and flavorful, falling right off the bone. The stew was very flavorful, lending a fruity type richness, and when combined with the cous cous that was served on a plate on the side, the whole dish came together as a winner! Alone, the cous cous was very flavorful, seasoned well with spices and herbs, and not too salty at all.
The chicken was also superb! Charred on the grill just a bit with a fairly tender texture, it was very flavorful. It was also great when combined with the tzatziki sauce served on the side. The skewer of grilled peppers and cherry tomatoes was also very good. The rice was very well seasoned with herbs and not too salty. This also came with a cucumber, tomato herb salad that was delicious, fresh, crisp, and didn’t leave you with an oily mouth.
Even though there were a few criticisms I had, I’m giving this place 5 stars because the food, which for me is the most important element, outshined any other criticism I had regarding the service or ambiance.

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