Stepping Back in Time at Rick’s Cafe, Casablanca

Written April 10, 2013

Yes Rick’s Café of Casablanca fame really does exist. Or rather it was created by an American woman, Kathy Kiger, who had been living in Morocco since 1998 and wanted to “do something that demonstrated true American values.”  Certainly the level of professionalism, attention to detail, and the general quality of food and service is something to be admired.

Casablanca - Rick's Cafe

Entering Rick’s you leave the present day gritty streets of Casablanca and enter a 1940s world of elegance and refinement. The clean white walls of the two story enclosed courtyard are accented with dark wood and black furnishings. The judicious splashes of color and placement of plants give the elegant space a convivial atmosphere.

salmon with grapefruit and avocado

salmon with grapefruit and avocado

The menu, a mix of European and Moroccan dishes, may not be the most creative, but the quality of the preparations is on par with the posh surroundings. We started with the salmon with avocado and grapefruit and the classic salmon with capers and lemon. For mains we tasted the Moroccan lamb and turbot with mushrooms. Beautifully cooked, the fish was the highlight of the meal. Our wine choice, Lumière from the Moroccan winery owned by Gerard Depardieu, tasted a bit off a few sips into the bottle. Upon our mere suggestion that there might be something wrong, the bottle was immediately changed. The second bottle was perfect.

Entering the dining room at 8pm the establishment was rather quiet, but by 9pm when Issam starts playing the piano the two-level dining room was nearly full.

piano player, Issam, in the background

piano player, Issam, in the background

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5 Responses to Stepping Back in Time at Rick’s Cafe, Casablanca

  1. Great post~ You’ve inspired me to pop in the revised DVD I just bought of Casablanca and check it out. As I’m laid up recovering from knee surgery (hope to backpack Greece this summer- keep your fingers crossed.) Ha- Gerard Depardieu has a winery? Does it manage to keep him out of trouble these days? Wasn’t he the one who tried to give up his French passport b/c of a political point? this post was lovely and as usual, I can’t ever wait to visit your destinations! -Renee

    • baidanbi says:

      Hi Renee. So sorry to hear about your knee. Hope you have a smooth recovery. Greece seemed to have calmed down a bit but then there were more strikes and protests over the May 1st holiday. Saw that unemployment was up to 27%. Yikes! With several European countries in recession and folks not traveling as much, it may be a good time to visit, especially if you have a flexible itinerary. Yes Depardieu has a winery, nice wine too, but I don’t think anything will keep him out of trouble. He and some others were protesting the the high tax rates in France. I don’t know if he actually did move to Belgium. Putin supposedly also offered him a Russian passport.

      • Thanks so much for the insights. We figured it was the economic situation that inspired the flights to really open up on freq flier miles. I do worry about my husband traveling in his German/EU passport. But should be fine. I thought it was Putin who had offered him a Russian passport. Putin at times appears to have a sense of humor, but I think at heart… or somehow he is still dangerous. Thank you for the kind well wishes! I do so enjoy keeping up wiht your travels since I’m grounded more in mid life than I expected to be… Best, Renee

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