Nomad in the East Village, not to be confused with the restaurant at the NoMad Hotel in Flatiron, is perfect for girls night out, or for when you are strolling around the East Village looking for a convenient restaurant that won’t set your wallet back too much. It is small, but you should have little to no wait time, and reservations on Open Table and Savored are easy to come by…
Unfamiliar with African and Moroccan cuisine, I was nervous about whether or not I would be able to eat anything at the restaurant. To my surprise, plenty of Nomad’s menu is nobread approved! Meats and fish are prepared in fresh olive oils, lemon juices, and other all natural seasonings. To start, I recommend the grilled calamari salad, a trio of dips nopita, and the shrimp on chickpea cakes. The chickpea cakes are made from chickpea flour and are 100% gluten free. For entrees, the majority of dishes are gluten free, except for obvious orders like the burger which contains bread. Caution: several dishes are served with couscous… this grain is NOT gluten free and should be avoided. The seafood couscous (fish, mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops, calamari, and more, served on top of seafood broth) is also served on top of couscous (as implied by the entree’s name); this dish sounds delicious but unfortunately must be avoided as well. Don’t worry, the grilled atlantic salmon and fish of the day and the perfect substitutes to satisfy your seafood craving, and I recommend both.
Portion sizes at Nomad are large, and you absolutely get a bang for your buck. If you are like me and can only drink certain hard alcohols… pack your flask! Only beer and wine is served at the restaurant, but hey, maybe that’s a blessing in disguise.