Best New Restaurant, Inexpensive - 2006
Tajine - CLOSED
No bigger than a minute (it seats perhaps 10 or 12, at cramped tables), this Tenderloin Moroccan spot turns out large portions of authentic and delicious food from its open kitchen. Almost everything is under $10 (the highest-ticket dish is the brochette royale, at $11.95, which includes lamb, chicken, and kufta kebabs, and is served with soup and salad). The disk-shaped chicken bastilla a phyllo-dough pastry stuffed with shredded chicken, chopped almonds, and eggs and dusted with powdered sugar can feed two for $7.50. Stewed lamb and vegetables on a heap of fluffy couscous is $9.50, as is the dajaj mequalli, a chicken dish made with slivered preserved lemons and whole olives, both served with excellent crusty Moroccan bread. Sip mint tea under the Moroccan tin lanterns, hung against orange-painted walls; baklava or shpakia (a honeyed sesame-seed pastry) provide a sweet finish to your repast (two pieces of either for $2.75). At these prices, Tajine's cash-only policy is manageable.