How do you feel about kitschy restaurants? You know, like the Christmas ornament overload at Rolf’s or the hot pepper twinkle light craziness at Panna II? Yes, it’s completely over the top bordering on ridiculous, but I’m on the team that it’s completely fun, too.
It’s no surprise I was a huge fan of Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant skirting the neighborhoods of Times Square/The Garment District–two places locals usually try to avoid like the plague. But there really are some gems in the area–don’t let the tourists have all the fun. What I liked best about Tagine was that it felt like so much more than a typical dinner–it was an experience. If I tuned out the drunk Irish men at the bar (just examples of tourists having all that fun!), it was like being transported to Morocco for the night. Twenty blocks away from my apartment but a world away.
The service was so on point (my water glass never got less than half full), the food was delicious (get a tagine, obviously, as well as the Casablanca cous cous for your main, olive tapenade with their oven roasted bread to start, and baklava for dessert), the atmosphere was lively–thanks to the classic Moroccan music, comfy pillows you sit on, belly dancers, and post-dinner hookah and mint tea. Obviously, don’t go here expecting an intimate dining experience, but if you’re up for a bit of fun and something to break up your eating out routine, I’d say make yourself a reservation!
221 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018