>> [CLOSED] Walima | Eat the World NYC

13 November 2008

[CLOSED] Walima

MOROCCO

[UPDATE: CLOSED]

Not dissuaded by a completely empty dining room and lack of any host or servers, we took our seats at the best window and waited. After only a few minutes, the owner/waiter/errand boy came back with some ingredients to deliver to the kitchen, then presented the menus. As always with Moroccan, we were anxious to try the tajines, but also curious about an item new to our palates despite eating extensively at other restaurants and in the country.



The tajines (not pictured) here do not compare with Bay Ridge's La Maison de Couscous, but the real reason to go here is the amazingly unique bastilla, which in its chicken incarnation is both delectably sweet and savory simultaneously. A truly beautiful food:




It was described as a festive dish, made with love and presented to friends and family on traditional or ceremonial occasions. It also comes with a warning: you will not be seeing/eating the dish for at least 30 minutes. With our olives, pita, and tajine brought when ready, we were prepared for the wait, and were rewarded with quite possibly the most interesting dish we have put into our mouths in the past year. The bastilla arrives looking like a pastry, with a powdered sugar and cinnamon design on top. We immediately started cutting it up along its pie-inspired sections of 8, and upon first bite were even more curious and amazed by its savory on the inside, sweet on the outside deliciousness.
The owner returned later, perhaps watching us tear this dish apart with smiles and pleasure. We wanted to know the entire story, and he was happy to spill all the secrets of the bastilla's place during celebrations and the like. Two more groups of two sat down and ordered the dish, inspired by glances to our table (also available in seafood, but unfortunately that version does not come coated in sweetness).