Good Effort, Lukewarm Results
The restaurant was very cozy and pleasant, service unobtrusive and helpful. The food, with a low-to-average price tag had much higher aspirations. Unfortunately, it only succeeded in a handful of dishes, which was strange since the ideas and flavors seemed to be there. One of the best dishes was the peasant, hearty lamb merquez appetizer with egg and vegetables. The lamb was a bit crunchy, sauce a bit spicy and the eggs pleasantly silky. Shrimp with saffron and cilantro cakes, a more sophisticated dish, was also very good, if not the best of what I've tried. Unfortunately it arrived at the table much too cold. But it still tasted great. The octopus appetizer wouldn't be bad if there were more then 4 small pieces of (tender and smoky) octopus and less of everything else (oranges/fennel/sauce were a mess). Red Pepper soup of the day badly needed some nutmeg or any other infusion of flavor. Eggplant salad was just plain bland, the cherry tomatoes served were more savory then the salad itself. Lamb couscous wasn't bad, the lamb shank was juicy and nicely cooked, but again, not enough salt. Berber sauce was also very underseasoned and too soupy. But the biggest disappointment was the much recommended Seafood Bastilla..I've had enough of those, from New York to Granada, but never had one that was this tiny (appetizer sizes are usually bigger). and unappetizing. The dough was overfried, the seafood inside -dry and lacking spices. And that was kind of upsetting because if not for that dish I'd consider giving Nomad a second try.