Ate at Zitoune, the new meat-packing district Moroccan the other night. It's gotten some excellent write-ups and with good Moroccan being thin on the ground in Manhattan (this isn't Paris), I was excited to try it. Unfortunately, the place is a bit rocky. I'm hoping this is mostly start-up problems. The food was good to very good and the atmosphere is pleasant. The short-ribs tagine is excellent - the beef is beautifully infused with an intersting spice mix. Unfortunately it arrived only medium warm - which is quite a trick for something that comes in a clay pot. This was probably the result of the amateur-hour service which was lousy from start to finish. There didn't seem to be any attitude problems, in fact the host was wonderful. But service was very disorganized: it felt like it was everyone's first day at work. That was particularly annoying with a 20% service charge for a group of 6.
I don't want to put anyone off from trying Zitoune. The food *is* good, and it doesn't have much competition. But I'm hoping they'll get their act together.