At long last, people who live outside the Perimeter can enjoy authentic Moroccan couscous in festive surroundings thanks to Imane Sannoun, whose spectacular taste includes both her decor and her food. Handsome rugs, comfortable furniture, earthenware plates and vessels, mint tea service, and traditional cooking pile on the sensations without ever making one feel trapped in a touristy fantasy.

Fluffy golden couscous with plumped raisins and aromatic vegetables can be dressed up with grilled lamb chops, merguez sausages, or lamb shanks braised with the spice blend known as ras el hanout. Remarkable tagines highlight various regional styles: Morocco’s northern-situated capital, Rabat, for example, loves meatballs and sunny-side-up eggs.

And without a prix fixe menu to battle, one can explore the cuisine at leisure—from harira (a classic soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and tomatoes) to b’steeya (a flaky, savory pie made with chicken or seafood) and perfumed Moroccan cookies. Live music on weekends and a lunch buffet during the week bring in different crowds; the place is perfect either for a romantic date or a big bash.

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn