Mon-Thu, 9am-9pm; Fri-Sun, closed
1 at 116th St.-Columbia University
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
96th St. to 125th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
Since 2006, Café Nana has served up engaging Israeli and Mediterranean-inspired fare from its second-floor perch in Columbia/Barnard’s Hillel center. This casual kosher eatery transfors a utilitarian gray lounge area into a quasi-Moroccan fantasy, complete with four tented mini-harems bedecked with silk pillows, sofas, hanging lamps, and ornamental hookah pipes. There’s also an enormous photomural of a rocky outcropping where the Israelites first viewed the Holy Land. The menu offers a decent selection of sandwiches, entrée salads, and pastas, all of which are meatless. These are capably constructed, but of greater interest is the shakshuka, a Sephardic dish with North African roots that’s popular in Israel. To make it, tomatoes, onions and peppers are slowly cooked down into a flavorful stew that’s seasoned with paprika and bay leaves. Three eggs are added at the end and get thoroughly poached. The concoction might not be much to look at, but together with some spongy extra-thick pitas, it makes for a satisfying light meal.Recommended Dishes