Morocco was the setting for the famous film Casablanca, a romance notable for depicting the largest bowl of hummus ever eaten by Peter Lorre. Dine on Mediterranean fare in full color with today's Groupon to Zitoune in Mamaroneck. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get $45 worth of Moroccan fare on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Zitoune is closed on Monday.
- For $20, you get $40 worth of Moroccan fare on Friday or Saturday.
After successfully dishing nouveau-Moroccan dishes to diners in NYC, Marrakesh-raised chef Alain Bennouna shifted north with Zitoune, which has since won multiple Best of Westchester awards from Westchester Magazine and a positive review from the New York Times. Rich with descriptions of spiced vegetables and smoked meats, Zitoune's menu ranges from traditional entrees, such as the seven-vegetable Berber couscous ($15.50), to contemporary dishes, including the seasoned Moroccan burger ($10) and the chipotle-marinated leg of lamb ($25). Skewers of grilled shrimp and merguez lamb sausage bask in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, thyme, and paprika before lying on a bed of saffron rice ($23). Moules à la Marocaine ignite appetites with zesty cumin-spiked mussels ($11), and the briwat m'rakchia delivers a meal's final touch with sweet filo pockets of almonds and honey ($6). Pair desserts with a traditional Moroccan coffee ($4.50) or tea ($4), or toast to purchasing the world's largest Zamboni with a glass of wine ($7+).
Decorated with authentic Moroccan tapestries and tiles tracing geometric patterns on the walls, the dining room transports visitors to a world where belly dancers sway hips on Thursdays and sofas accommodate cushy diners.
Owner and chef Alain Bennouna uses traditional Moroccan spices and cooking techniques to create a menu of bold cuisine, which Westchester Magazine described as "incredible, hauntingly spiced food" when placing Zitoune on its The Year's 10 Best Restaurants list in 2008. Entrees of braised lamb and grilled chicken flood the senses with comforting aromas of saffron, honey, and ginger—ingredients that Alain regularly savored while growing up in Marrakesh.
Although Alain draws inspiration from French and American recipes, Moroccan influences definitely take the lead. In addition to serving slow-cooked meat and lentil stews in clay tagine pots, Chef Bennouna embraces the family-style aspect of his childhood cuisine by cooking entire 18- to 20-pound lambs for larger parties if given five days advance notice. The New York Times praised the chef's commitment to these homestyle touches in 2007, claiming, "Mr. Bennouna is in love with his native cuisine, and he wants you to love it too."
The food's vibrant eclecticism echoes the dining room's highly sensory decor. Copper-topped tables, arabesque tiles, and handcrafted textiles from Marrakesh marketplaces fill the sunset-orange space. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the restaurant invites belly dancers to perform, allowing them to sweep throughout the dining room and enthrall diners with their ability to recite the Gettysburg Address backwards.
1127 W Boston Post Rd.
Mamaroneck, New York 10543