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After local and national accolades their first year of service, tiny Moroccan restaurant Saffron de Twah was on a roll when the coronavirus hit Metro Detroit this winter. 

Owner and chef Omar Anani decided to close his Gratiot Avenue restaurant completely instead of offering carryout, and he  focused on making and delivering food to front line workers.

Now, about two weeks after restaurant dining rooms were allowed to reopen in the lower part of the state, Saffron De Twah is inching back to normal with carryout-only service. Anani and his team have revamped the kitchen and made the small dining room more suitable for picking up carryout orders, which are packed in eco-friendly containers. 

"We have missed you during our temporary closing," the restaurant posted online this week, adding that there will be a new summer menu launching Saturday and new hours. For now, Saffron De Twah is open at 4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Starting next week, they'll serve Thurs.-Sun. at 4 p.m. Masks are required for entry into the restaurant for pickup. 

"Right now, for the safety our our team and for our guests, the dining room will be closed and masks will be required to enter the restaurant."

Saffron De Twah was a semifinalist this year for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, one of 30 businesses in the country to be listed and the only one from Michigan. Anani's specialties are harissa potatoes, a massive fried chicken sandwiches, tagine and Moroccan meatballs. 

Saffron De Twah is at 7636 Gratoit in Detroit. Call (586) 359-6138 or visit saffrondetwah.com.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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