We recently lucked into a very nice restaurant in Tenafly, NJ. Hamsa bills itself as a Moroccan restaurant, but the menu is generally skewed to the total Sephardic rather than the more narrow category of Moroccan.
The decor is subdued and the lighting soft. The walls are covered with hamsas of every color and type imaginable. Tables are close, but conversation is possible. We were there on a Motzei Shabbat and there was a band playing soft tunes from the 30′s, 40′s 50′s and 60′s. It was the kind of music that makes you really want to get up on the dance floor and hold your partner close. Yes, some of us remember the time when even religious people did mixed dancing.
Alas, there is no dance floor, and, of course, today the custom is to pretend that you don’t do mixed dancing. (Apologies to those of you who really don’t.)
The food was quite tasty and the prices were moderate.
We had a four salad appetizer, served with warm pita bread. For dinner, one of us had the schnitzel and the other had the siniya. Interestingly, the waiter asked if we wanted chicken livers in the siniya or not. Of course, we voted yes. The siniya was served on a bed of very fresh hummus. The chicken came with fries and salad. Both were really tasty. The chicken was served as two small pieces, but with the salads we had and the side dishes, it was quite enough.
Tea with mint leaves finished the meal. The tea is served in a pot and very small, thin glass cups are provided. It sort of reminded us of the famous “glazeleh tea,” except this was the Sephardic version.
Dinner came to $55 for two. Plus, there was a five dollar per person cover charge for the music (well worth it), collected separately during dinner.
Hamsa is under OK supervision and is Glatt. They are located at:7 W Railroad Ave, Tenafly, NJ 07670
www.hamsausa.com Go there for directions as well as a look at their menu.
Will we go back? You betcha!