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Washington DC Silver Spring

Marrakesh de Paris in northern Silver Spring (long)

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Restaurants & Bars 2

Marrakesh de Paris in northern Silver Spring (long)

Mthoran | Aug 4, 2003 08:02 PM

I had dinner Saturday night at Marrakesh de Paris. Eve Zibart gave it a nearly-rave review in the Post last March and I finally got around to trying it. It's located in a dismal strip mall attached to the Plaza del Mercado at the intersection of Layhill and Bel Pre Roads. Inside, the decor is pleasant, but the atmosphere is compromised by minimal screening of the glaring flourescent lighting coming from above the sidewalk directly outside. Happily, the food more than compensated for this distraction. The chef is, I believe, Morrocan, and the menu has a long list of couscous dishes, tagines, and other dishes from North Africa. We started with duck liver pate served alongside a simple salad of mixed greens, and escargots, served with chunks of mushrooms in a savory brown sauce. No shells. Both appetizers were very good. Our party of four had two couscous dishes, a tagine made with beef short ribs, and another dish with short ribs. All were delicious, particularly the two couscous dishes. One was made with veal shanks, and the other with lamb shanks, and both had a wonderful melange of vegetables and seasonings, all on top of couscous. The meats were meltingly tender. The portions were very large and I ended up taking enough home to make another meal the next day. The menu is very long and my impression is that the chef/owner is trying to appeal to as many palates as possible. There are a number of more traditional French dishes along with several pastas. I'd recommend sticking to the Morrocan cuisine. Now for the bad news: the place was virtually empty. There were maybe four other parties there altogether during the 2-1/2 hours we were there. This is a real tragedy because this is just the type of restaurant this part of the county really needs. Other than Mannequin Pis in Olney there's really nothing else like this place in this neck of the woods. If it were in Adams-Morgan and just stuck to Morrocan food, it would be packed. The chef came to our table to chat, and passed out cards to give to friends. I told him he needs more local advertising featuring the Post review. And he needs to put curtains over the front windows. This place is worth a trip. I fear that unless it gets "discovered" it won't be long for this world.

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