Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seventh Heaven - Taste testing Restaurant 7 in Fez

Resto 7 - a symphony in black and white    Photo: Kirsty Cockburn
A vision in black and white, Resto 7, a new restaurant and bar which has just opened in Fez - is beautifully designed and decorated. Does the food measure up?  Suzanna Clarke checks it out.

On the right - Suzanna Clarke and TV presenter George Negus discuss the menu
Photo: Sandy McCutcheon

Last Saturday night every table was taken by 8pm at Resto 7. And reports are that reservations are a must on other nights as well. While curiosity about a new establishment is understandable, customers soon melt away if the food is not up to scratch. Given that this new restaurant has now been open for a few weeks, the signs of success are promising.

Resto 7 is the result of the combined talents of owners of the Riad 9, Stephen di Renza and Bruno Ussel. Situated just off Tala'a Sghira, it's easy to find with a large "7" in a circle pointing the way.

Behind the black, traditional front door is a contemporary take on a Moroccan theme. Black and white zelij (mosaic tiles) and marble abounds. On one wall are some massive slabs of black and white marble, with water running down them into a pool. Black and white photographs adorn the walls, with just a hint of colour in one of a tall African wearing a deep pink cloak.

After the striking decor, the first thing I noticed was the dessert table, featuring an impressive looking lemon meringue tart, an apple and orange crumble, a chocolate fondant and an orange fondant - a reminder to save some space for later.

The restaurant decor creates a great ambiance  Photo: Suzanna Clarke

The French inspired menu changes daily, according to what is available in the souks. Last Saturday's menu offered a choice of four entreés and four main courses, as well as the desserts. These included a calamari salad (60 dh), which three of our party ordered. It was beautifully presented, and the calamari was deliciously tender. Visiting Australian TV journalist and foodie, George Negus, opted for the green been and mushroom salad with "good cheese". He declared it "admirable".

Next I had the sole with herbs and lemon (130 dh), although I was also tempted by the roasted lamb with au gratin potatoes (140 dh).

The size of the sole was generous, taking up one side of the plate, while the carrot, zucchini, artichoke and daikon radish that accompanied it were cut into ribbons and artistically arranged. All the elements of the plate combined perfectly - the fish was clearly very fresh and both it and the vegetables were just cooked - as they should be, without destroying the flavours. Hints of flaky salt enhanced the dish.

Superb sole - Photo: Suzanna Clarke

To finish the meal, we shared a piece of tarte au citron, or lemon meringue and a chocolate fondant. While the chocolate fondant was gooey and rich, the lemon meringue could have had more of the tangy lemon butter at the base to balance the sweet froth of the meringue topping.

The service was efficient, although naturally slower as the restaurant filled up.

For everyone - their just desserts   Photo credit  Sandy McCutcheon
In the race between photography and tasting - tasting won - Photo Suzanna Clarke

Overall, Resto 7 offers excellent quality and value, with savoury dishes ranging between 30 dirhams and 140 dh. The desserts are all 30 dh. There is a small but well chosen wine list and a selection of imported teas and freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Where: Resto 7, 7 Zkak Rouah
When: Open daily, except Wednesdays, from noon to 10pm.
Contact: +212 (0) 679 442 522 or


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