Monday, 12 February 2018

Insiders Guide: Places to Dine in the Red City

Marrakech has a very vibrant and happening restaurant scene. There are a lot of new places opening all the time and of course there are the timeless classics that have been around forever. The fusion between the North African, French, Italian and Asian kitchen creates some interesting menus in many of the newer restaurants and it is always and fun and tasty experience to dine in the Red City. Marrakech is becoming quite the foodie destination and a lot of international tourists come here just for the food.

Seven new, trendy and great places to dine are presented in this blog post, bon appetite!

We have previously listed our favourite restaurants including classics like Grand Cafe de la Poste, La Table of Royal Mansour, Dar Zellij and Le Palace. You can check out previous restaurant guides HERE, HERE and HERE.

North African, French, Italian and the Asian kitchen and fusions between them are popular in Marrakech

But there are so many great new restaurants opening and new favourites added to our list of must-eats that it is high time to update our recommendations. Here are our insider’s guide where to dine in Marrakech:

1. Le Petit Cornichon 

Le Petit Cornichon has been open less than a year and is operated by Erwann Lance, who has several 2- and 3-star Michelin restaurants in Paris and New York on his CV. He was previously in charge of the fine dining restaurant at the ultra-luxury hotel Royal Mansour, he managed to bring both the chef and service staff with him when launching his vision of Le Petit Cornichon. High ambitions, perfectionist cooking, stylish, contemporary and colourful. Service is generally very attentive in high-end Moroccan restaurants, and at Le Petit Cornichon it’s a cut above all the rest. Casual concept and laid-back atmosphere, but what you get on the plates and how it arrives is seriously on the same level as international fine-dining. It really shows that the owner loves his restaurant, he floats around elegantly with the guests (who feel more like guests than customers) every evening and loves to share personal advice and anecdotes on food and wine. The wine list displays intriguing local bottles that you normally won’t find, but also a large selection of exceptional international wines rarely seen in Moroccan restaurants. Le Petit Cornichon has already arrived safely in Marrakech, and it is destined to be a culinary destination. We just love this place and keep coming back for more!

Le Petit Cornichon 

2. Le Trou Au Mur 
This new and very stylish restaurant in the heart of Marrakech Medina is the latest edition to the vibrant restaurant scene in the red city. And what an edition! A true foodie destination that is specialising in historic forgotten Moroccan dishes as well as modern International classics. 

Le Trou Au Mur brings a breath of fresh air to Marrakech. This gem is chic, laid back, fun and intimate but, above all, totally serious about food. The restaurant is fully licenced and features a very nice wine-list. Here you can enjoy an early supper with a glass of wine on the beautiful roof terrace or dine in the chic restaurant. The interior d├ęcor is a blend of superb local craftsmanship with the best of modern European style. With its own traditional clay mechoui oven on view, melt-in-the mouth mechoui roasts will be a feature, but no less so than a variety of carefully researched old family recipes rarely seen outside private Moroccan homes. There are both Moroccan dishes with a twist and modern classics on the menu. It's very rare to find a restaurant like this in the ancient Medina and walking through the door of Le Trou Au Mur is like stepping into another world. 

Le Trou Au Mur means "the hole in the wall"

3. La Table du Palais 

This is the restaurant of the iconic Palais Riad Lamrani. Palais Riad Lamrani is the most beautiful palace in the medina and the restaurant is now open also for non-residents during evenings. The tables are set in the lush and magical courtyard garden of this ancient palace and you dine in this candle lit courtyard under the stars. It is a truly unique and beautiful experience. During cold evenings you are invited to the palatial dining room inside. You come here both for the ambience and for the food. It is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner and by far the most beautiful Riad experience in town. A pre- or post-dinner cocktail can be enjoyed in one of the many beautiful salons surrounding the courtyard garden. The restaurant offers a fusion of the Moroccan and French kitchens and the presentations are worthy of any fine dining restaurant in Paris. There is a great wine list and if you see Eric, ask him for some special French wines hidden in the wine cellar and not mentioned in the wine list.
La Table du Palais at Palais Riad Lamrani

4. Le Jardin / Royal Mansour
Le Jardin is the new poolside restaurant of Royal Mansour. This is the chicest outdoor restaurant in town, beautifully located in a lush garden surrounded by palm trees and the new pool of Royal Mansour. The service is flawless, the guests are fabulous, and the food is great. The menu is mainly Asian divided into a "hot" and "cold" section, where the tapas-sized portions come either from the charcoal grill or from the sushi kitchen. This may be the best sushi we ever tasted. Ever. There are also some very innovative takes on the pizza (a small Pizetta with black truffles) and the classical burger. It's the perfect spot for a lazy, long wine lunch with a cool crowd and jet-set ambiance. Excellent DJ:s pump up the vibe as night falls.

Le Jardin at Royal Mansour

5. La Cour des Lions
The world-famous repertoire of Moroccan food can naturally be found in every street, square and corner in Marrakech. But if you fancy eating it with a spectacular view, and quite often you do, then head to the iconic five-star hotel Es Saadi Palace and its restaurant La Cour des Lions. Overlooking the Atlas Mountains as well as the enticing gardens belonging to the hotel, and the interior shows off some delicate Moroccan crafts and arts within the modernist stylish decor. Acclaimed Moroccan star chef Fatema Hall has taken the North African food experience to the next level and offers traditional Moroccan food with a tiny modern twist and beautiful presentations. Do dress up a bit and enjoy the atmosphere, it really is that kind of place. You won’t find this resto much in the touristic guide books, it’s a hidden gem amongst expats and locals, who love stopping by for a drink in the lobby bar both before and after dinner. in. Es Saadi is strong favourite with the Hollywood crowd and international entertainment business, and in a very discreet manner, so you never know who you might stand next to in the elevator.

  • Dining with a view at La Cour des Lions

6. Quattro (At Four Seasons)

Dark and decadent with the ambiance and vibe of a night club, but at heart it’s an Italian Trattoria. Stunning outdoor terrace, framing some great views over the beautiful gardens at Four Seasons. The all-Italian menu is extensive and features traditional Italian dishes like amazing Pizzettas served directly from the Neapolitan pizza oven. Don’t be afraid of a few Moroccan twists here and there. Beautiful presentations and a fun approach to the Italian kitchen we all love. Excellent steaks, amazing pasta and fresh salads. Portions are big so even the starters can double as a main. The wine list contains some seriously interesting local wines, as well as Italian ones. The service is friendly and very attentive, and this is the place to go for a great Italian dinner in a very chic setting.

A night club vibe at Quattro, located at Four Seasons

7. Le Grand Table Francais

Le Grand Table Francais is the French fine dining restaurant of iconic luxury hotel Royal Mansour. This is as posh as it gets in Northern Africa. You dress up to go here and before even entering the restaurant you are struck by the beauty of the architecture and led into a first-class version of 1001 night. The interior in the dining room is sophisticated and sober in beige and gold colours, styled to perfection by the discrete staff all wearing white gloves. The service is immaculate, and the food is world class. There are both tasting menus and a la carte options available and the wine list is extensive including some very interesting French, Italian and Moroccan wines. Star chef Marc Lahoreau creates the most delicious and innovative compositions, many of which get their final touch by the table. The texture, temperature and tastes are perfection. Le Grand Table Francais offers a world class dining experience in a very stylish setting. By far the best (and most expensive) place to dine in Morocco and a memory for life!

The grand entrance to La Grand Table Francais

These are all some amazing new restaurants in Marrakech that we truly appreciate.

We are off to discover more great restaurants around Morocco!

When are you coming to dine in the Red City?