B, C at 86th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
79th St. to 99th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
This venue is closed.
With its name meaning "our house" in Arabic, Darna serves authentic Moroccan cooking in a setting that's both welcoming and romantic. Tables with inlaid blue and orange mosaics, antiqued wooden chairs, white stone wall tiles, terracotta floors, and diaphanous draperies conjure up the Casbah. The clientele is local and unassuming. Moreover, given that Darna is certified kosher, it's also popular with young Orthodox couples on dates. The kitchen specializes in slow-cooked stews, or tajines, of chicken, beef, and lamb, and grilled meats like rib-eye steak and veal chops. The spicing favors cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and zaatar, a blend of savory, thyme, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds. Dried fruits add sweet undertones and flavor. The beef tajine is fork-tender, having been braised for seven hours with dried peaches, apricots, raisins, cranberries, lemon juice, honey, and pinches of cinnamon and cumin. A small, golden-roasted chicken, moist and meaty, is stuffed with dates, almonds, and mushrooms. Cous-cous accompanies the tajines, but the cilantro-perfumed, vegetable version here is a worthy entrée. The impossibly fluffy, granular pasta is topped with a medley of zucchini, celery, sweet potatoes, onions, turnips, green and red peppers. This is certainly one house to call home.Extra
Weekend brunch is limited to Sundays, as the restaurant is closed during the day on Saturdays in observance of the Jewish Sabbath.Recommended Dishes
Vegetable cous-cous, $14.95; beef tajine, $19.95; stuffed chicken, $22.95