As a special birthday treat, Johnathon took me out to dinner during our weekend in Denver. After asking what I where I’d like to go, I decided that we should try something we’ve never tried before. That led us to Mataam Fez, a little Moroccan restaurant with a large personality. Located on E. Colfax Avenue, you have to be aware of where you’re headed or you’ll miss it.
The aim of this restaurant is to treat every guest as family. You pick your entree and are served a 5-course meal. Filled with low tables and cushions, large tapestries and loud music you truly feel as if you are transported to another place.
The meal service begins with a hand-washing as you are not given any utensils and eat with your hands. Water is poured over your hands and the excess water is collected in a large vase. Then you are given a towel which you drape over your left shoulder, always left. For the first course, we were served a harira soup with bread. The soup tastes like lentils, is quite smooth and while wasn’t overtly hot while still soothing.
Secondly, we were served a salad. Unlike traditional salads, this was prepared differently. It was chopped rather finely and was light and tangy. There were spinach, a tomato and cucumber mix, potatoes, cucumbers and carrots. Along with the salad, was a palate cleanser with carrots, raisins with rose water.
Next came the B’stella pastry. When we asked, this was more of a celebration dish. It is layered phylo dough filled with a blend of chicken, almonds, and various seasonings topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
Our entree selections came next. I selected the Cornish hen with lemon and olives while Johnathon had Lamb Mouchi, [pronounced: meesh’wee] which is a whole lamb leg which is cooked and marinated in a special spice blend. We also were given a plate of couscous with vegetables to share. While I can’t tell you how the lamb tasted, I can tell you that the chicken was succulent and flavorful.
As the meal draws to a close, you wash your hands a second time, before being given rose water which you can put over your face and neck. You are then served a mint tea where a tea person does a trick with the tea and fresh fruit for dessert.
All around, the service was amazing and quite a wonderful experience. It may seem a little pricy, but you’re getting a lot of food for the price you pay and well worth it. Throughout dinner, you were constantly attended to and we even had a belly dancer show up! I didn’t take pictures, because it felt as if it was more about the experience than taking photos. But, it was a dinner highly recommended!