Argana Restaurant: escape to the flavors of Morocco

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A truly unique dining experience awaits in at Argana Restaurant in Port Chester.  This Moroccan restaurant transports you from the usual local dining experience in our area to the an evening of exotic culinary delights in sunny Morocco.   Not only is the evening filled with interesting and flavorful foods, we even had witnessed a belly dancer whirl around the dining room to the pleasure of the guests.  The chef  described the menu as modern Moroccan.

Located on Main Street in Port Chester which is already a lively hub of entertainment and dining,  Argana Restaurant welcomed us on a chilly January evening into a warm, friendly yet very unique restaurant.  The interior is soft colors, and the Moroccan lights cast a warm glow which sets the mood.  Everywhere from the tile on the bar to the small decorative touches lets you know you might be in Marrakesh and not Port Chester.

Cocktails were first on our order list as we enjoyed the tasty Marrakesh Mojito, a twist on this Cuban favorite.  Also enjoyed was the Argana politan, a sweet pomegranate infused variation of the popular Cosmopolitan.

At Argana you can order a la carte or Moroccan family style (two guests or more).  Our table was four adults and  we enjoyed several  dishes from the appetizer menu that were excellent in both presentation and flavor.  We enjoyed the Fromage Cigar which is phyllo triangle with goat cheese and  argana herb. A light way to start.  We also sampled the excellent  and spicy Harissa Shrimp which shrimp marinated in tomato sauce & harissa (a spice made from chili peppers).  The dish was aromatic and full  of flavor with just the right amount of spice and not too spicy hot.

A great bonus was the entertainment that evening just after 7pm.  An authentic belly dancer made her way through the dining room dancing, whirling and clapping her castanets.  Between the authentic music, dancing and flavorful aromas of this wonderful food filling the room, I felt briefly transported to North Africa.

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Our next starter was the wonderful Zaalouk, a great dish for the vegetarian in your party.  This dish was a flavorful traditional moroccan style eggplant with a dash of cumin. Our last appetizer was the Tatouka  an interesting dish of smoked tomatoes, peppers and Moroccan olive oil.  This was surprisingly mellow and not as spicy as I anticipated.  The spices used by the chef seem to enhance each dish and bring out a medley of flavors.

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For our main dish we all sampled three Tajines.  A Tajine is an earthenware pot with dome where the dish is cooked and served.

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We enjoyed the amazing Short Rib (slow cooked for hours) and prepared with prunes, almonds and sesame seeds.  The short rib needed no knife, and the sweetness of the cooked prunes with the nutty flavors of the almonds and sesame was a favorite of the evening.  We also shared the  Red Snapper Tajine a mild fish served with spinach, red pepper and argan oil couli.  The last tajine was the Vegetarian Tajine which was a healthy blend of garden vegetables cooked in a saffron, ginger, pepper sauce that was very flavorful.

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Short Rib Tajine

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Red Snapper Tajine

The last of the main course was  the very interesting Chicken B’Stilla. A dish I have never had before also known as Moroccan Pie which combines sweet and savory layer of chicken, almond and egg wrapped in golden paper-thin pastry leaves. The dish is also accented with brown sugar and cinnamon.  This sweet and savory dish is a delight to the taste buds as you experience the savory chicken and soft flaky dough with a hint of sweetness.  A real interesting and delightful experience.

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Sweet and Savory B’Stilla

Dessert was to follow with a wonderful tea made with mint that needed no sweetener. We sampled the cheesecake and the napolean which coupled with the tea concluded a true culinary adventure.

Our area is full of many dining options, and Argana Restaurant is a very special place that I know I will return to again to experience the warm atmosphere and flavorful foods of Morocco.

Argana Restaurant

325 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573

tel.  914.612.4440


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