restaurants
Babouche
92 Prince Street
212 219 8155

A bi-level Moroccan restaurant, with its entrance on Mercer Street, we're glad that L'Occitane decided to surrender the art of serving food to Babouche. Well-decorated and owned by the aggressively personable Omar Balouma, this spot kicked off by hosting holiday parties for everyone from Ralph Lauren to Versace. A mix of fashion types and off-the-street tourists fill the bilevel lounge which serves up creative drinks in the downstairs atrium (that acts as a great alternative to the sanitised bars in Soho) and serves up accurately rendered and tasty Moroccan dishes in the upstairs restaurant. Mezze salads are fresh, varied and flavourful and the classic hummus comes topped with a diced tomato salad and is large enough to be shared. Traditional couscous is served tagine style with the chickpea sauce on the side and the chicken is tender and cooked just perfectly. While pricier than some of the other Moroccan places in Manhattan, the menu here is also larger, the portions are ample and the service is solicitous making it the kind of place one can impress a date, a boss or take the family after tourist-y shopping.

$$$$

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