Novita Bistro’s Moroccan Dishes The Real Treat


Craig LaBan takes on Novita Bistro, an Italian BYOB that thankfully comes with a Morrocan twist.

[I]t is [Chef Hassan] Zanzoul’s increasing willingness to cook the flavors of his native Morocco that has finally given this pleasant bistro its first air of distinction. The garlicky house-made merguez lamb sausage is among my favorites here, grilled to a crispy brown for an appetizer over a coarse hummuslike mash of chickpeas ringed by vibrant red charmoula sauce. It’s also served as an entree over couscous alongside a brochette of big marinated grilled shrimp. The ever-cautious Zanzoul makes these skinless links with less chile heat than I’d like (and he’d like, for that matter), but this also allows the spice box of other aromatics to surge forth in a chorus of cumin, anise, paprika, and allspice that finds an echo in the tangy charmoula, a citrusy brew tinged sunburst red and smoky with paprika and cayenne.

Two Bells – Very Good

Novita Bistro [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Novita Bistro [Official Site]