The Belly Dancer at Marrakesh, Our Drink of the Week!
Marrakesh is one of the more transportive restaurants in our county. You eat as you lounge around like sheiks under the shelter of a Bedouin tent. Never mind that the belly dancer shimmying over to your table with dollar bills tucked near her nether regions is often the tall, statuesque blond who's also their hostess. The most important thing is that her toned abs move so rhythmically to the music, it has the power to convince even the most unwilling participants to dance with her.
The food is great. The bread called khobz is served in wedges and perfumed of anise. You sip the lentil soup straight from the bowl after squeezing some lemon. The fluffy couscous tastes so feather light, it feels as though it were infused with helium. There's a lamb leg dripping with honey and chicken roasted with olives, preserved lemon and thinly sliced fried potatoes. Both are served in a tagine, a platter capped with those funnel-shaped vessels that look like ceramic bullhorns. For dessert: a baklava so sweet it makes your teeth hurt thinking about it. And when it's all done, there's the complimentary mint tea poured from an ornate, long-necked vessel. My point is that you really don't need to order anything at the bar--there's enough to keep you busy. But if you have to, let it be the drink named after The Belly Dancer, herself.
It's a mix of vodka, an unnamed melon liquor that's most likely Midori, orange and pineapple juice. It's also the very definition of a girly drink--there's not just an orange wedge for garnish, but also a cherry. The glass is also appropriately curvy. If it drinks like something you'd order poolside at some Mexican beach resort and not particularly evocative of anything Moroccan, it still makes your friends giggle when you ask the waiter, "I'll take The Belly Dancer." "Not without a bigger tip you don't!" they'll quip.
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