Great Moroccan Food in Winthrop
Kasbah Restaurant, 59 Putnam St., Winthrop, Mass. 02152
The Moroccan cab driver who told us this place had the best Moroccan food in Boston didn’t steer us wrong. “Bastilla” is a 4" circular flaky pastry stuffed with chicken, raisins and spices, served hot (sprinkled with cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar) as a first course. In some Moroccan restaurants you have to order bastilla in advance but not here; it was ready in minutes and delicious. Our other appetizer, gambas e oglio, was a good size portion of tiny shrimp swimming in hot garlicky oil: Yum! The “couscous sultani” main course (braised lamb shank with couscous, chick peas, raisins, and caramelized onions) was outstanding. The “Tagine djaj” (chicken with preserved lemons and olives) was also excellent. For dessert, we strongly recommend the “Moroccan crepe,” big enough for two with chocolate syrup, honey, walnuts, whipped cream, and apricots.
We were waited on by the nice young chef (and owner?). One girl sitting at the bar plus us were the only customers at 6 pm Wednesday night. Why so empty? The restaurant is on an obscure side street in Winthrop. Mapquest’s directions worked perfectly, but even once you get there the place is barely detectible from the outside. There’s an orange awning that says “Enjoy Moroccan Cuisine!” in small tangled script; that’s it. No restaurant name or even street number. The great food inside is like finding a hidden treasure.
The only false notes: Whole wheat pita bread (good) was served refrigerator-cold (bad). The background music was the owner’s favorite combination of Moroccan music (good) and rock (bad). The French fries were hot and crispy (good) but seemed mismatched with the delicate chicken tagine.
More details: The vibrant decor features red walls, curtained booths, and abundant Moroccan tchotchkes. Website claims they have belly dancing Thursday–Saturday nights. All food is served in authentic Moroccan pottery forms. Everything spotlessly clean. Full bar and wine list. No parking lot; we found a parking space on the street easily, but felt we were lucky. For the environmentally correct and the fiscally challenged, the Orient Heights bus line passes on Pauline Street within a block of the restaurant.
Bottom line: This place is a find. Definitely worth the hassle of getting there if you like (or would like to try) delicious authentic Moroccan food.
The buses in Winthrop are run by Paul Revere Transportation (http://www.paulreverebuses.com/bussch...). The 713 is the line that goes near the restaurant. Glad to see a good recent review as its been a while since I have been, but recently suggested it to Gini on another thread. I am trying to get to Alia in Winthrop by the Sea which is more Italian, but does have some Moroccan specialties. Alia is BYOB, Kasbah full bar.