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Playing With Fire

BY Nevin Martell | February 27, 2018 | Feature Features

Maydan, a playground of exotic tastes and scents off of Florida Avenue, is now one of the hottest culinary games in towns.
The expansive oven takes center stage

A feeling of otherworldly mystery rises even before arriving at Maydan, created by the same team behind the award-winning Compass Rose. Hidden away in a back corner of the 130-year-old Manhattan Laundry Building at the core of the Cardozo neighborhood, it’s only accessible through an arching green door at the end of an alleyway. Stepping inside, diners find themselves in an antechamber decorated with slips of fabric and tiling, a muted swirl of sound emanating from the next room.

Entering the restaurant itself, visitors are overcome with an enthralling wash of Afro fusion, jazz and Middle Eastern melodies, complemented by a rush of heat from the open, oak-powered stone hearth that commands center stage. The conical copper hood is welded to an old ventilation shaft, which extends to the ceiling two stories up. Co-executive chefs Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison and their team tend the grills while fostering the flames with woven fans they keep stuck in the back of their aprons.

A large bar with yellow lights behind the bottles casts another fiery pall on the room, which features balcony-style dining halfway around the space. There’s a vibrant eclecticism to the decor—glass globe fixtures, honeycomb wooden paneling, exposed brick, a living wall—overseen by restaurateur Rose Previte.

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