Rocking the Casbah

Saturday night was “date night”… our bi-weekly pilgrimage to a night alone with each other and [hopefully] good food. This week, we went to Tangierino in Charlestown, an exotic, fairly authentic, Moroccan restaurant and casbah lounge — and we were not disappointed!

Our reservations were for 6:30 (because I waited until a week before to make them — or else we would have chosen a bit later) and we arrived on time; the valet parking was surprisingly expensive at $18! We began our evening in the main dining room… walking past several “tented” areas for larger parties, which looked quite cozy and interesting. The decor was great, very warm, authentic and romantic — bordering on sexy. We were seated in the back of the bar area, where there were low couches and round tables with cushioned chairs. There was another dining area adjacent to us, but I could not see inside to determine what the setup was.

We wound up at one of the tables, which was good. The chairs at the tables were almost too low, but the couches were even lower, which would have better for nuzzling rather than noshing. Our server came to the table quickly to ask our preference for water and to take our drink orders. We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the good-sized, though a bit expensive, wine menu.

Before our food arrived, the entertainment started… the music got cranked up and a belly dancer started making her way around the room. Dan was lucky enough to be “chosen” as a dance partner and got up and did a little bogeying with the scantily-clad woman. He seemed to have a good time… and it was quite fun to watch!

For appetizers, we shared the Chicken bstilla ($10), a phyllo pie of chicken, toasted almonds and spices, served with a mint yogurt sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. This was VERY good… though compared to other Moroccan restaurants Dan had been to, small in portion size. I never order chicken in a restaurant, but gave in to my husband’s urgings and I’m glad I did. The taste was spicy (not hot) yet sweet and paired very well with our wine.

For dinners, I had the Tangine of Wild Salmon ($26) – pan roasted salmon fillet, root vegetables, fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and Mediterranean olives in a plum tomato sauce. The flavor was superb, exotic and appetizing. I really enjoyed it. Dan got the Lamb Mrouzia ($25) – spiced lamb fillets with almond cous cous, prunes, dates, sesame seeds and caramelized apples in a honey-nutmeg sauce. He really liked that as well. I did not taste his lamb, but I could not get enough of his cous cous. It was delicious… the sweet almond flavor was unique and delectable.

For dessert, Dan had the Homemade Sorbet (watermelon, apricot and one other flavor) and I had the Pistachio Mousse Cake, both quite good.

We finished the bottle of wine and then headed next door to the Casbah Lounge — where you can rent Hookahs (see picture above) and enjoy authentic flavored tobaccos (ask your server to reserve a table for you, as they fill up fast). Now mind you, neither Dan nor I smoke –we actually loathe being in the company of smokers… but this was too unique an experience to pass up. We opted for the Jasmine-flavored Hookah and it was quite the experience. The flavor and the scent were both sweet, the smoke was smooth and I’m not sure if I was imagining it, but I believe I got a slight buzz off the stuff! It was $30 for the pipe rental and it lasted about 30 to 45 minutes. Definitely something fun to do with a small group.

All-in-all we had a great time. It was one of the best date nights yet because it was unique, the food was good and we enjoyed the overall experience — which definitely had an aphrodisiac effect! Definitely not a place to bring the kiddies… and if you indulge in the hookah, be sure to take a few Advil before you go to sleep. I woke at 2:30am with a migraine that last about 24 hours! Not sure if it was the smoke or something else, but be forewarned!

Tangierino in Charlestown

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