ASTORIA, QUEENS — A new restaurant Astoria has earned an honor not often given to restaurants on Steinway Street: a positive review from the New York Times food critic.
“The large prawns arrive in a bright red tomato sauce that’s very lightly seasoned, except for the fresh cilantro. For the beef liver cubes, the kitchen makes an entirely different tomato sauce, a thick, dark sauce with the funk offal” Wells writes about some of Dar Yemma’s stews.
“The spices it contains are so tightly integrated that you can only guess their identities. Cinnamon? Paprika?”
The Times reviewer appears to gravitate to the strip of North African restaurants, grocery stores and hookah bars along this stretch of Steinway Street – known collectively as Little Egypt, or, for businesses like Dar Yemma , Little Morocco. Last fall, Wells wrote enthusiastically about Egyptian Foda Sandwichesa food cart on Steinway and 28th Street.
Wells reserved most of his praise for tajines, briouate pastries and Dar Yemma’s zaalouk eggplant salad, saying some other dishes — like his harira soup or “hard” skewers — “should be left alone.”
Still, the restaurant won a “Critics’ Choice” for its food, hot mint tea, and “cosmopolitan atmosphere.”
Read the full New York Times review here.
Dar Yemma is open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 25-21 Steinway St.