Good thing we got in on Sunday. There was live jazz at Rick’s. Not quite Sam on the piano, but close enough.
The film Casablanca, was entirely done on set. Rick’s remained alive in our minds after watching it until an American woman brought it to real life five years ago. Its on the edge of the old Medina, a fantastic restoration of 2 riads (old fashioned houses in Morocco).
Downstairs is a bar and restaurant. Upstairs is a lounge where Casablanca-the film is on repeat and you can play cards or chess. If it had rained again, we were going to spend the afternoon there, but that never happened.
The wine list was pretty good for Moroccan wine. We had a sampling of several half bottles.
The Médaillon Cabernet which, in a balanced fruity style, was a successful New World Cabernet. Nicely wooded. The Medaillon white which had too much CO2 and tasted like bad Italian Soave. Volubia Rosé which seemed like a slightly sweeter version of Southern Cotes du Rhone rosé. Vintages were pretty tough to find on these bottles (and wine list) especially in jazz light.
The food menu seemed true to what would have been in the real days of Rick and Ilsa. I started with the Louis salad. A glorified crab salad with a Russian dressing styled sauce so peppery that it almost drowned out the taste of the crab. But it sure had a punch.
The duck confit was good. It’s pretty tough to go wrong with confit. Unfortunately the potatoes were cold.
Had I had any appetite left, I would have gone for Rick’s cheesecake for desert.
But we hadn’t come for the food. We were there more for the ambience: the beautiful dining room and the cool jazz. Upstairs was a group of German tourists who ate early. Downstairs were mostly locals and what appeared to be expats. One of the most remarkable things about the restaurant was that everyone was drinking wine. And lots of it.
I fell asleep that night with the delicious sensation of walking out of one dream and into another. As time goes by…