2147 P St NW, Washington, DC | Directions 2003738.909766 -77.048202
Daily 11:30 am-10:30 pm
Neighborhoods: Northwest, Dupont Circle, Northwest Washington
Quality Moroccan in Dupont Circle – I'm a huge fan of Moroccan food, so I'm happy there's at least one decent place in the District to get a good lamb tagine. The food at Marrakesh is expensive, but most Moroccan restaurants as far as I know are, so I wasn't too surprised that I've had to pay upwards of $17 for one entree here. I've tried several dishes like the lamb tagine, their couscous, and the baklava, all of which were excellent: very flavorful and rich tasting with a great mix of meats and fruits. They do have mint tea here, which is an excellent end to any meal, and doesn't taste overly minty - it's refreshing and just a bit sweet. The restaurant is good for both small groups and big groups (I've been here for a birthday party before), and on some nights they have belly dancing.
Good food, Great atmosphere – The decor might come across as corny to some, but I thought it set the tone for the whole meal. Nothing is worse than a boring restaurant, and from the tiles to the plush seat cushions, Marrakesh Palace is far from that. Our service was fantastic. Food was hit or miss: some dishes were fabulous and some were lackluster.
Could be fun, but poor service and stale food ruined it – I love trying new food, so I was very excited to try Moroccan food. I went with a group of about 12 for a birthday party. We did the $30 family style menu which seemed like a good way to go at first, but as it turned out, it wasn’t. The first course was a soup that tasted and looked like it came from a can, I’m nearly positive it did. Next, our salads weren't bad, just a simple garden salad. For our entrees we had a chicken dish and lamb. The chicken tasted good, but was cold. I usually love lamb, but this was horribly dry, overcooked, cold (again) and bland. To top off the evening was a dessert tray of the stalest cookies that could be found from a box at the dollar store, worse than cheap fortune cookies. Overall, the food was a huge letdown. As I mention latter, even though we had lots of time between courses, I found myself asking why I’m still picking at the food since it just wasn’t good. Mostly since it was the only thing to eat and I was still hungry I guess.
The other problem with Marrakesh was that the service was very slow and poor at communicating. While the staff was probably Moroccan, making the experience more authentic, nobody exhibited much personality, they seemed afraid to talk to the table, water glasses weren’t refilled, and we were constantly wondering when we’d see our waiter with our food or to check in with us.
Our group did have a nice evening, but that was mostly because we were all having fun around each other. The atmosphere could be good for parties, but I would never recommend Marrakesh in Washington DC to anyone. Save yourself a bad experience, I wish we had.
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