CLAREMONT — Nafissatou Diallo may be known internationally as the woman who accused former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape, but folks in the South Bronx only know her cooking.
The former hotel maid opened Chez Amina on 1460A Boston Rd last May, offering a mixture of American, African and Spanish cuisine, according to its Facebook page.
Muhammad Barry, 18, of The Bronx, who comes to the restaurant about three times a week, said he had never heard of her.
He described the food as “very great” and appreciated that the restaurant served it in large portions.
“I like the atmosphere, the service, the food, everything,” he said.
Diallo is listed as the owner of the restaurant, according to the New York City Health Department, but she likes to keep a low profile. She was working behind the counter on Friday evening but declined to speak with the press.
"I'm very sorry, but I can't talk to you right now," she said.
Alexia Scott-El, a teacher who lives in The Bronx, said she only stopped by the restaurant because she liked the food. She had a vague recollection of who Strauss-Kahn was but did not recognize Diallo's name and said she did not care about the restaurant's connection to them.
"I'm glad that she's still able to work and continue on with her life," she said. "Is the food good? Is the service good? That's it."
Chez Amina received an A from the Health Department after its inspection on June 16. The only critical sanitary violation found was a hot food item that was not held at or above 140 degrees.
"This is a very clean place, very friendly," Scott-El said. "The bathroom is clean."
The restaurant, which is open every day from 5 a.m. until 3 a.m., serves many common American dishes, such as cheeseburgers, pancakes and potato salad, along with more exotic fare like Dibi—a dish comprised of grilled meat, onions and mustard sauce.
Diallo's credibility took a hit after after inconsistencies in her story prompted a Manhattan Supreme Court judge to drop rape charges against Strauss-Kahn.
A civil case filed by Diallo against Strauss-Kahn was settled for a confidential sum in her favor in late 2012.
Naseem Deen, a Bronx paralegal, said the link between the Chez Amina, Diallo and Strauss-Kahn did not bother him. He just liked the restaurant's food.
"I get anything," he said. "I'm an anything man. If it's good, I'll eat it."