Dar Yacout, Marrakesh
Tel: 212 24 38 29 29
Concierge.com's insider take:
One of the first (and still one of the most spectacular) fantasy palaces in Marrakesh, Yacout is not merely a restaurant. It's a legend. In the 1990s, visionary American architect Bill Willis turned a cluster of mansions into a labyrinth of secret salons and patios, most sporting carved cedar ceilings, mosaic floors and fountains, exotic columns, and countless lanterns. Even the bathrooms have sculpted tadlakt fireplaces. The drama begins with the journey through a narrow Medina street to a nondescript door off an alley. Once inside, aperitifs on the rooftop terrace (or in a fireplace-warmed lounge when the weather's chilly) and a sensual serenade of Andalusian music precede a massive banquet in a grand chandelier-lit room. No less than three waiters serve each table pickled and spiced vegetable salads, lemon and almond chicken tajine, tender shoulder of lamb, vegetable couscous, and ultimately, gooey pastries, tiered trays of cookies, and mint tea. Despite being a major tourist destination and costing $85 a head, Yacout is an unforgettable experience and few go away disappointed. Reservations, as far in advance as possible, are a must.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 8 pm to midnight.