Il Mare - probably better for fish than pizza.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Slug on October 9, 2012

Flushed with success at the rooftop bar of Cafe Taros and with my beloved feeling the worse for wear with a stomach bug, we decided to stop at another rooftop bar Il Mare overlooking the ramparts in the Medina area of Essaouira.

The outside didn't look too inspiring in the narrow streets of the souk, but an elderly woman gestured to us that the place was open late afternoon, so we decided to see what it was like, and if the worst came to the worst sneak out after an Orange Tango after my beloved had caught her breath. Our climb up the narrow stairs felt like we were visiting someone's impoverished aged aunt in her apartment but the steps opened up into the restaurant area and the open air terrace beyond.

Upstairs, the restaurant area looked clean and reasonably upscale so we decided to try pot luck on the roof terrace. This area looked like someone had tried a little too hard to make the place look plush on a budget, and we didn't like the overall effect anywhere as much as the simpler Bar Taros. However, the place was reasonable nevertheless, the view was stunning and we decided to stop and as my beloved was unlikely to be dining that evening, I thought I'd grab a quick pizza. Prices were fairly keen with a beer being around 35 Dirham and the Pizza perhaps 80 Dirham, or around £10 ($13) for both.

After we arrived a couple of flashy Russian gentlemen with their much younger girlfriends sat at the next table, and I noticed they seemed to receive much slower service than us. While our order and drinks arrived fairly promptly, we had quite a wait for our pizza, and by which time the Russians had only just been able to order. The place was very quiet, so I don't think there was any excuse, beyond the staff perhaps preparing for a busier evening spell.

My pizza was OK, but nothing stunning; my spicy mince turned out to be a bolognaise style pizza and while it was tasty seemed a little lacking in herbs. I must confess that from my experience Moroccans don't seem to make the best pizza in the world so perhaps I just ordered the wrong thing. Unfortunately the seafood I wanted to order was off the list as my beloved would have probably been sick on sight given her stomach was so queasy.

We had to go downstairs to get the bill as by that point it seemed our server had given up on us completely. However, it wasn't a problem and our bill was correctly presented. On my experience, Il Mare seemed to me to be a reasonable place for a drink and to sit and watch the sunset, but the food was about as average as the service.
Restaurant Il Mare
43, Rue Scala
Essaouira, Morocco
212 (0)24 476 4

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