I know I haven't written up a new, hot spot in awhile, but I just cannot seem to resist my old, affordable favorites right now! On cold, winter, recessionary evenings, Moustache is exactly the kind of casual restaurant that has been motivating me to continue to get out and eat. The price and location couldn't be better - and the food continues to just get better and better. I almost always hit up the quaint west village location on Bedford, but there is also one in the east village, and most recently, an upper east side outlet on 102nd and Lexington. No matter the spot, you will find high quality, yet very well priced Middle Eastern fare.
It's ok to admit if you feel a little confused when you open the menu and see a section for "Pitzas." This is not a typo, but rather what truly sets Moustache apart from other Middle Eastern restaurants. Pitzas resemble the Italian pies, but instead of a crust made of dough, they are made with their signature oven baked pitas - a much lighter, healthier option. I definitely recommend sharing at least one for the table. On my most recent visit, I opted for one of my favorites, the chicken pitza - lemon marinated chicken with garlic, red bell pepper, scallion and parsley. Since you will see how delicious, yet light and airy the homemade pitas are, it will also be hard to pass up on their spreads. While the traditional hummus is always a reliable option, I recommend the faoul - fava beans with tomato, parsley and garlic - as an alternative. It is also nearly impossible to pass up on their small salads. The spinach and chickpea combination with onion, tomato sauce and lemon juice is extremely fresh and full of flavor.
There are just as many tough decisions to be made when selecting from the specialties for the main course. On colder nights, I love their version of chicken pot pie, aka the Moustache Ouzi - chicken, carrots, sweet peas, onions, raisins, almonds, basmati rice and special spices enclosed in filo and served with a yogurt sauce. Even though this dish contains almost every ingredient from their tiny kitchen, the fluffy puff pastry actually lightens it up. The sandwiches are another great option - my favorite being the pita stuffed with boneless lamb, grilled onion, tomato and homemade lemon mint mayonnaise. If you have had enough pita at this point, which I find nearly impossible since both the whole wheat and regular breads are so delicious, you should go with the chicken kebab plate served with cilantro, garlic and lentil puree. Although, I guarantee you will still use some of the leftover pita from the appetizers to soak up the chicken and lentils.
Maybe the mention of Moustache has reminded you of this little gem. Maybe you are just hearing about it for the first time. Or maybe you frequent it on a weekly basis. Whatever your connection may be, I just hope that this serves as a reminder of how easy it is to have a casual, affordable, and also delicious night out in New York. Don't worry, I still have the need and will always make room for my more upscale meals. I'll even admit that I have since eaten at that new, hot spot you are secretly dying to hear about. More to come on that later in the week. How's that for whetting your appetite?
90 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014-3764
Phone: (212) 229-2220
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):