Algerian-born owners Salima and Mehenni Zebentout honor the varied culinary history of North Africa — Berber, and French influences abound — with Nomad, a cozy space in the East Village.
Couscous, phyllo dough, and tajines hold prime positions on the extensive menu, which divides itself into small plates and heavier entrées good for sharing. Standouts include the flavor-packed merguez lamb sausages prepared by hand, and mussels steeped in garlic, cumin, and tomato sauce.
If possible, take up the spacious back room, where Moroccan handicrafts line the shelves and murals of traders decorate the stucco walls — in good weather, head to the enclosed outdoor garden.
For dessert, try the North African cookies, which come in an assortment that includes intricately layered, honey-soaked baklava, and powdery, almond-stuffed cherek, perfect for dipping into sweet tea, served in traditionally small glasses with sprigs of fresh mint. — Laurel Fantauzzo