Monday, June 21, 2010

Paris Day 2: Magnificent Moroccan at Le 404

Le 404 is located in the hip Marais neighborhood of Paris. This neighborhood is known for its artsy vibe, and is loaded with great restaurants, and nightlife. The restaurant is small but beautiful and located off an unassuming side street. When you walk inside however you are transported to Morocco. The candlelight flickers and the smells waft out the door. We were greeted by the staff and treated to a cocktail while they set up our table. Long communal tables and low chairs added to the ambiance.

The menu was full of traditional dishes as well as some  creative additions. As an appetizer we started with the Salad Zaalouk which was a mix of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, olives and olive oil. For the entrees, we each decided to order a tangine. We had roasted lamb with prunes and raisins, and the roasted chicken with potatoes and preserved lemon. The flavors were rich and elegant. The prunes and lamb were the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The lemon and chicken were lighter and refreshing. 
Thanks to the suggestion of a couple at the adjacent table, we tried the Pastilla au lait, which is a light crepe with milk, honey and almonds. It has a similar flavor to baklava. Served with hot mint tea, it was a perfect way to end our meal. Le 404 is an excellent find in Paris a city known for great ethnic food. The staff was friendly and helped us easily translate the French menu describing Moroccan dishes in English or French words we could understand. This is truly a hidden gem in the Marais.

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