In the middle of the 20th century Morocco was home to stylish expats galore, with fashion maven Pierre Balmain chief among them. Today, his gracious riad (albeit one with a surprisingly nondescript exterior) has been transformed into one of Morocco’s premiere dining addresses, an elegant restaurant frequented by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Robert De Niro.
But the congenial chef of Dar Moha, Moha Fedal, is no less a celebrity himself in these parts: his TV show has made him a household name and culinary icon. When you make time for a languid meal at his restaurant, it’s easy to see why: he’ll blow you away with his inventive twists on local staples, like a classic pigeon pastilla served side-by-side with vegetarian and seafood versions; couscous topped with a glistening slab of foie gras; and a sea bass tagine with beans, lemon, and mashed potatoes. No matter how much time you’ve spent in Marrakech, you’ve never tasted Moroccan food done quite like this before.
See if you can be seated next to the tiled pool shaded with orange and strawberry trees, but make sure you show yourself around the beautifully appointed house as well — just be careful not to step on the resident tortoise who’s frequently underfoot. He’s been a riad inhabitant since before Balmain’s day.