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Soigné Moroccan is Coming Downtown With Tangia

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Pan roasted arctic char, squid ink white navy bean hummus, confit Meyer lemons, sugar snap peas finished with argan oil and fleur de sel from Oualidia 
Tangia / Alain Dahan

Veteran restaurateur Dan Medalsy (Ariel, Les Caprices de Nicolas) has a new restaurant in the works, set to open in the coming weeks. Tangia is the name, and soigné Moroccan food is going to be the focus.

Moroccan-born but Montreal-raised Medalsy tells Eater that it’s an opportunity to explore his own heritage.

“I want to do something more meaningful and reconnect with my roots, and doing Moroccan food seemed to hit home best for me.“

“When it came to holidays, and special occasions, it was always Moroccan [food]. When someone wanted to make you happy or make you a special dish, it was always a Moroccan dish.”

The food will be pan-Moroccan — Medalsy likens it to Su and Damas’ approaches to Turkish and Syrian food, respectively. There’ll be a few regional specialties, most notably tangia, a Marrakech dish involving slow-cooking in a clay pot over embers. Other dishes to expect include a couscous risotto, and a duck confit pastilla (in loose terms, a Moroccan meat pie).

Expect a load of classic Moroccan flavours: roast peppers, harissa, confit lemons (all produced in-house). Medalsy researched thoroughly as he was developing the restaurant, visiting Morocco and importing both equipment and decor from the country.

“I haven’t been back in more than 35 years and when I went back I did reconnect, it wasn’t just ‘look at how pretty it is’”.

“We tried to pinpoint some of the top chefs in the country and see what they were doing. But the best inspirations and the best ideas came really from the markets, from the old school traditional stuff.”

The bar program will be equally grounded in Medalsy’s home country, with cocktails as a focus.

“Oranges, cinnamon, rosewater, orange blossom water, all that will be part of the bar prep work.”

Expect a Moroccan mint tea in cocktail form (Medalsy likens it to a mojito), a Bloody Mary with harissa, and a take on a cosmopolitan with pomegranate in place of cranberry, and house-made bitters.

But of particular note is that Medalsy is importing mahia — a fig-based eau de vie, relatively uncommon in North America.

“Imagine old Italian men making their own grappa — traditionally mahia would be made in someone’s basement,” Medalsy explains, saying he has tapped a New York-based mahia producer.

“His family have always made mahia, and he’s doing it out of New York — it has a little bit of anise at the end, which is just wonderful.”

Tangia is set to be in a 19th century building on Drummond downtown, with courtyard to boot — take a look at the warm interior.

The exact opening date for Tangia is TBD — but should be in coming weeks.

Tangia

2072 Rue Drummond, Ville-Marie, QC H3G 1W9 (514) 282-9790 Visit Website

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