Though Moroccan cuisine is among the world's most subtle and appealing, New York suffers from a dearth of it. Manhattan Moroccan restaurants have typically been expensive and not very good, more intent on dispensing cocktails and attracting supermodels than on whipping up tasty food. But working-class cafés with cheaper and better Moroccan fare began springing up in Astoria and Bay Ridge a couple of years ago. Foremost among them was La Maison du Couscous, a highfalutin name for a tiny closet of a place just off Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue, an area known for its Egyptian and Syrian groceries and cafés. Flaunting Morocco's French heritage, La Maison served a warm baguette with its pungent and saucy tajines. Redolent of saffron, cumin, ginger, green olives, and pickled lemons, these braises of lamb or chicken were both cooked and delivered in a tajine, a conical clay vessel. Composed salads were also noteworthy, including a garlicky mash of eggplant called zaalouk, and bakoula, a marvelous heap of... More >>>