Holly’s Birthday Party

On Saturday night, we went out to celebrate our friend Holly’s birthday.  We met at Bar Mingo for drinks beforehand with Dan, Amy, Matt, and Holly.  After a few glasses of wine, a couple of cocktails and martinis, we walked a few blocks down the road to Marrakesh for an authentic Moroccan dinner, where we were joined by Sean, Grace, Brian, and Ellen.  Marrakesh was a great experience, a setup a little different from most restaurants.  We sat around a large circular table on floor pillows (although a few of our party sat on a couch) to dine.  The atmosphere and experience felt authentic (although I’ll confess I have no true Moroccan cultural experience to compare) from the belly dancer who entertained our dinner, to the waiter who poured tea from several feet above our table.

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We ordered their royal feast, the option that allowed us all to share the full selection of dishes they had to offer.  Each course was delivered on enormous plates to our table, from which we simply reached in and took what we wanted.  No cutlery, place setting, or even individual plates, rather a towel with which to clean soon to be sticky fingers.  The food was very rich, opening with a bastilla that we had no trouble putting away (as shown in picture below).

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The entree consisted of several meat courses and a large plate of cous cous and salad.  The meats had very appropriate accompanying sauces, some spicy, but all quite full of flavor.  The only difficulty some of the uninitiated amongst us found initially was how to tackle a lamb curry with fingers only.  I found a skewer that I clung to and adopted a spear and scoop technique.  Brian demonstrated a more accomplished technique, making it look easy to eat cous cous with only his bare hands.

Holly received lessons from the belly dancer on appropriate chest thrusting and hip shimmying and even managed to receive a few dollars in tips for her performance.  Conversation, food, and wine flowed in a delectable manner and a really fun night was had by all.  It was great to see everyone and lovely to get the chance to celebrate the birth of our good friend Holly!

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For more pictures, check out our online web album at: http://picasaweb.google.com/stuart.d.thompson/HollysBirthday#.

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