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.
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.
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.