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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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Taboon:  Middle Eastern. 773 10th Av @ 52nd; 26/20/$48; 713-0271; Flat out awesome place; To die for Fresh bread; Festive atmosphere; Oasis; Relaxed setting. Stone oven prepared foods; Tsatsiki & hummus are unreal. Sauteed Calamari; The breads are delish; Osso Bucco, short ribs, halibut; Sea Scallop appetizers; Menu is extremely eclectic and worth a try. You will love it.

Queen of Sheba: Ethiopian. 650 10th Av @ 45-6th; 23/16/$28;  397-0610; Great portions of flavorful dishes to share of the classic Ethiopian injera bread; Iffy service made up for by top quality cuisine; Trendy scene; I suggest getting the combo plates for main courses: Taste of Sheba for meat dishes and Sheba Vegetarian as all the food is great!  

Nomad: African. 78 2nd Av @ 4th St; 21/20/$33; 253-5410;Cool, almost spiritual décor inside; North African, French cuisine; Great spices; Tasty – unique food to try. Bargain- try couscous royale entrée. Most dishes served in Tapas style – small plates; Features a pretty back garden and recent menu improvements add Spanish entrees as well. Grilled Calamari salad; Lots of expensive meat entrees under $20.
ZerzaMoroccan. 304 E 6th @ 1-2nd Av; 22/19/$37; 529-8250; Authentic food, attentive service; Meticulous care put into the cuisine & served beautifully. Lamb & chicken tanginess.  Belly Dancers on Saturday; Small plates of Moroccan food. Long, narrow bi-level space on Indian alley; Fairly exotic décor; Happy Hour and Hooka available; Great bang for the buck. 

AwashEthiopian. 338 E 6th @ 1st-2nd Av; 22/12/$24; 982-9589; Tasty platters of flavorful food combined with the traditional Bread; Eat with your hands; Extremely cheap and a great experience. Easily the best genre of African food and they nail it here. Great to share. Food richly spiced. Injera bread is light and flavorful.


Kafana: Serbian. 116 Ave C @ 7th-8th; 23/18/$29; 353-8000; Wildly popular and probably the best Balkan restaurant in the city; Tasty regional pork dishes stand out; One of only a few Serbian places in area; Try 2-person mixed grill; Balkan cuisine has arrived at last; Small, cozy living room setting; Get the Sopska salad; Cheese and Spinach pies; Cash only; Meat-centric menu – dirt cheap.


Cafe Mogador: Moroccan. 101 St. Mark’s @ Av A-1st; 22/17/$30; 677-2226; Neighborhood mainstay; Young, hip scene; Garlic-laded entrees; Mussels with shallots & olive oil; Dirt cheap as well; Cous-cous and lamb tagine (long simmered stew) stand out; Simply put: incredibly well prepared & authentic Moroccan cuisine at Rabat level prices; Been around nearly 30 years.


Ponty Bistro: Senegalese. 218 3rd Av @ 18th-19th; 23/17/$39; 777-1616; French inspired northern African cuisine; Value prices and extremely unique cuisine; Two for 1 house Martinis including Lychee martinis; Breakfast & Brunch also served;$25 prix fixe menu; Very friendly service and certainly worth a try to have a cuisine rarely found in NYC.


Ilili: Lebanese. 236 5th Ave @ 27th; 25/23/$47; 683-2322; One of the better restaurants of its genre offering small and large plates best designed for sharing; Date-friendly, sexy décor; Lounge feel; Huge menu of truly authentic preparations; Prix-fixe available for lunch or dinner; Lamb Makloubeh and Duck Shawarma are a must as are Brussels Sprouts. Trendy, date friendly décor.


Barbes: Moroccan. 21 E 36th @ 5th Av-Madison; 21/18/$43; 684-0215; French-inspired Moroccan fair (both cuisines on menu); Complicated dishes that show care and effort- and great flavor; Coolio date scene- sexy décor; Lots of Tangines, Brouchettes and Couscous dishes on menu; Lunch and Brunch also available; NYC’s melting pot witnessed again.


Naya: Lebanese. 1057 2nd Av @ 55th-56th; 23/21/$41; 319-7777; Fresh, modern design and good service; All white interior – mini booths; Wine $9-$12; About 30 appetizers, mostly a variety of “Mezze” and there is such a mouthwatering assortment to choose from; See website; Lamb, beef, chicken and fish entrees including Striped Bass and incredible mixed grills.