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Chameau first time....

ciaolette | Jan 2, 200608:59 PM

I have been wanting to try Chameau for a long time, finally did this weekend. Having taken a short trip to Morocco a few years ago I was hoping for some of the same wonderful flavors...
The decor is colorful but a bit funky, the room has a musty smell which was off putting. The room was only half full when we arrived, service was friendly but glacially slow in all regards, a long wait for menus, then to order, then for the food ( which I don't mind if it means more care is being given to the cooking!!!) and again for the check.
The food was pretty terrific with just a couple things I did not like. We started with the merguez sausage and duck bstilla. The merguez was great!, and came grilled and served with a tasty puree like humus and garnished with tasty grilled onions , peppers and such. The bstilla disappointed, it was a bit too decontructed for me and the parts did not meld. A single crisp layer of pastry was heaped with chunks of duck that was not all that tender or spiced, scattered ground toasted almonds, this topped with another single sheet of pastry and then a bit of cinnamon and powered sugar...
Bread was served with a tiny tagine of olives and preserved lemon oil to dip in. The bread was a lovely soft herbed foccacia type squares, very delicious.
We also had the Lamb Tagine with Couscous, and this was the best of the night. The couscous is lovely fluffy tasty great stuff, the lamb tender, nice spice flavor and surrounded by an interesting variety of vegies, beets,onions,squash,carrots etc.
Also had the grilled dorade with charmoula, a blend of spices. This was served on a bed of lightly sauted leeks, called a leek fondue on the menu, I was hoping it would be a bit more flavorful or melting or something, but it was just sauted leeks The fish was delicious good quality and perfectly cooked, but the spicing was very very mild.
We split the Chocolate beignets with Rose petal ice cream, this was really dull. First off...I hate it when a menu describes something and it is NOTHING like that...in this case a beignet is a beignet and these were not, they were little individual chocolate cakes. The rose ice cream was overly icy and hard and the rose flavor mild to the point of not being there. I was disappointed after hearing somewhere that Chameau had some great dessert, an almond snake or something, and this was very very boring...oh well.
Nice mint tea made with a big handful of fresh mint....in a shiny silver pot...
So...if you ever go to Chameau DO NOT MISS the merguez or the Tagines with couscous.......
and I hope they are inspired to create some desserts that are better reflection of Moroccan flavors and ingredients

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