Mr. Mesika doubles as pastry chef. (His grandfather was a baker for the king of Morocco.) A cardamom-laced semolina cake anointed with rosewater syrup arrives in rubble around a mound of vanilla ice cream, with shavings of sesame halvah twisted up into a peak and drizzles of tahini and silan down the slopes ($7). It is an astonishingly calming dessert, the polar opposite of a sundae: there are so many flavors that you want to take your time eating it. Baklava ($6) is almost as light, with spice outflanking sugar, the pistachio-walnut paste seeded with coriander, fennel and ginger, then finished with a syrup of anise, cardamom and cinnamon.
The restaurant, which opened in Williamsburg in September, cultivates an air of unhurry. Enter and the pulse slows. Tables are set a respectful distance from one another. Empty picture frames hang on exposed brick walls, blank as the mind. The only distraction is the soundtrack, which makes jarring shifts: you might start the meal with “Stairway to Heaven” and end it with Jack Johnson. It is a long way to fall.
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