Saturday, March 29, 2014
Review: Marrakesh, Philly
Marrakesh, a Moroccan restaurant just off 4th and South, has been a Philly institution for 35 years. Naomi and I had been hearing about this place for awhile now (including that the Rolling Stones once ate there) and decided it was time to give it a go.
From a block away, the deep, luscious scent of Arabian spice draws you to the restaurant's unmistakable facade. Inside, beautiful Moroccan music wafts through dinning rooms hemmed by tapestries and Arabic script.
Your host leads you to a decadently engraved and gilded table. He motions you to sit on plush, low-seated couches, and presents large towels to drape over your lap in place of napkins. Next he ferries a polished basin to your table and pours cleansing water over your hands--important as they will be your utensils for the evening. Before any food hits the table, you're charmed. Marrakesh has begun weaving its spell.
Throughout the evening seven kingly courses are paraded before you. As you indulge in the food and drink your wine (it's a byo so go nuts), completely at ease, reclining on your couch, a belly dancer lilts through the room, chiming finger bells and gyrating from table to table. Soon Marrakesh's magic has taken hold. Utterly. You're in a different world. An exotic, decadent world of sensory delight, and you're the sultan--the center of it all. In the blink of an eye, two hours have past and you're completely stuffed, contentedly drunk and happy you came.