Yacout – Marrakech, Morocco
Romancing the Palate
The great chef Paul Bocuse once announced, “There are only three cuisines in the world: French, Chinese, and Moroccan.” And not necessarily in that order, one is inclined to believe, after dinner at Yacout.
Deep in the heart of the medina, through the massive, unmarked door of a sumptuous 200-year-old house, visitors cross carpets strewn with rose petals to enter rooms that are almost too romantic, with hundreds of flickering candles, tiles and mosaics, and fireplaces. In the air, there’s a scent of jasmine and the delicate music of a zither.
Yacout, which means “sapphire” in Arabic, has created a visual mise-en-scene that enchants all the senses. Rapt guests succumb to the arrival of a feast (sans menu) redolent of ancient caravans and the foreign nations that shaped Moroccan history and food.
The elaborate variety showcases the breadth of traditional Moroccan food, but even a simple couscous dazzles. Repair to the gloriously tiled, beautifully lit courtyard for apres-dinner mint tea and desserts sweeter than honey served next to a splashing fountain and a narrow pool.