Mekki is a fabulous new restaurant in New York City that will transport you back to Morocco. This Greenwich Village hot spot has a wonderful Moroccan fusion menu. With interesting twists and turns to traditional Moroccan cuisine, diners will have a delicious understanding of what Moroccan food is all about.
Immediately upon entering, you are drawn into the casual Marrakesh style interior with shades of blue and purple. The bar area is perfect for drinks or dinner; or walk up a few steps and enter the intimate dining room. The main dining room is decorated with Moroccan lamps, fixtures and furnishings that add to the allure. The same ultramarine blue that adorns the walls of Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh line the walls of Mekki NYC. Lamps hanging high over the dining room, are replicas of those found at the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech. A hotel commissioned by King Mohammed VI and is the gold standard of luxury hotels, in Marrakech.
Whether you are having drinks at the bar or going to Mekki’s for dinner, be sure to indulge in their cocktails. They take their preparations real seriously. The cocktails are refreshing and creative. Our three favorites were the Mirage, Oasis and Flying carpet. The Mirage is a refreshing summer cocktail that is a blend of Hendrick’s Gin, Lemon and Rose. For a light cocktail try the Oasis, prepared with gin, St. Germain, cucumber, mint and lime. The Flying Carpet is a true Moroccan inspired cocktail with Arak, Grand Marnier and Creme de Violette. Paired with some delicious eats, the cocktails enhance the whole dining experience.
The wine list is carefully curated with 22 wines. What especially drew me to Mekki were the 11 Moroccan wines on its list. Some may even question me, Moroccan wine? I say yes, and Mekki is the place to try them. Prominent on the wine list is Domaine Ouled Thaleb, the oldest winery in Morocco. Ouled Thaleb has been making wine since 1923. Start with the Ouled Thaleb Un-Oaked Chardonnay to pair with the salads. It is fresh with nice acidity, and has wonderful notes of citrus and spice.
The dishes are generous and meant to be shared family style. We started our gastronomic Moroccan experience with a range of salads. We had them all, all six of them, and it is so hard to say which was our favorite, as we loved them all. The salads were deliciously light and carefully prepared. If we had to pick a couple, we were enamored with the Khizzou, which was a salad of heirloom carrots with royal honey and curcum. We also loved the Barba, a rainbow of roasted beets with Meyer lemon and parsley.
Onto the second course of small plates, the Kefta Rabat was our favorite. Kefta Rabat are small meatballs spiced with Moroccan herbs. They was soft, tender and delectable. Next we had Briwate, a Moroccan puff pastry. Our favorite was the cheese and kale wrapped in a light crispy pastry dough.
The main course of Tagines included lamb and chicken. Both incredible, but the lamb stole the show. The Lamb a la Mounia was slow cooked with halawi dates, cipollii and camun. The lamb meat just fell off the bone and melted in our mouths. Probably the most incredible lamb we have had in New York City. The chicken had a rich flavor and was prepared with olives, citron confits, curcum and lemon verbena. Be sure to order the Alain Graillot Syrah du Morocco Syrocco wine to pair with the lamb. The wine is complex and aromatic with notes of black fruit, herbs and spice. The tannins of the Syrah complement the richness of the lamb just beautifully.
Lastly the dessert was the grand finale to a wonderful evening. We had the Baateya which you must order when at Mekki. Baateya is layers of thin, light, airy puff filo with a semi sweet creme Anglaise topped with roasted pistachio. It was light, airy and delicious It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
The service at Mekki is friendly and gracious. At Mekki you feel like you are visiting family, the Moroccan hospitality immediately draws you in. Whether it is a casual evening out or a special occasion, be sure to book a table at Mekki. Perfect for big groups or parties of any size, for lunch, dinner or happy hour. Mekki will be a memorable evening from the moment you enter.