On Friday, the boy decided to whisk me away for a last minute trip to Brighton, he thought it would be nice to get out of the city for a night and spend some quality time together. However, more importantly he wanted to take me to Marrocco’s, an authentic Italian seafood restaurant on the Brighton/Hove seafront that he’d visited a couple of years back. When the boy told me about this restaurant a few months ago, I scoffed at the name Marrocco’s saying ‘What sort of Italian restaurant is called Morocco?’ as I thought it was spelt the same as the country!
I lived in Brighton in the early noughties when I was at university and to be honest I hadn’t heard of Marrocco’s back then, but as a student I was only into eating fry ups, burgers and a pot of Hagaan Daaz for my dinner. How times change!
Before Marrocco’s established itself as an Italian seafood restaurant in the late nineties, Renato Morocco (who moved to England in the 1960s) originally opened it as a cafe that eventually became known for its award winning Italian gelato over the years. Over the decades, under the family’s watchful eye, it has evolved from a cafe to an Italian restaurant to which now specialises in seafood.
I didn’t know what to expect before I arrived but let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. The boy and I enjoyed a lovely evening with delicious honest Italian food, an attentive service and a cosy atmosphere.
As soon as we pulled up in our white and green Brighton cab, I realised why I had not come across Marrocco’s before. Situated on a quiet road facing the seafront with nothing much else surrounding it, I felt like I had a arrived to a secret location – which I loved!
Restaurant entrance with an open kitchen on your left. Very cosy establishment.
A traditional old school Italian restaurant always has a wall of a thousand photos always telling a story. I loved the photo wall at Marroccos.
We ordered seafood starters consisting of ‘Cozze Marinara’ – a large bowl mussels cooked in a garlic wine sauce served with bread and ‘Calamari Fritti’ – fried calamari in a lovely light batter
For our mains, we ordered a ‘special’ of Black (squid ink) spaghetti with fresh scallops, prawns, cherry tomatoes and rocket. The boy had the spaghetti marinara – a spaghetti pasta dish with lots of different seafood.
The guys at Marroccos accommodated us by pouring for us ‘Pugliese Sunrise’ which is a glass of ‘arranciata’ or fizzy orange with a little red wine. It’s perfect if you don’t want to drink much alcohol but want a taste of Southern Italy to accompany your lovely meal!
I felt like I had spent the evening somewhere special and discovered well hidden secret. All in all, I can’t wait to come back here soon on a trip to Brighton. I totally recommend this place if you want authentic Italian seafood dishes with no frills. You don’t need anything special here as the service and the food speaks for itself.
Grazie Marroccos for having us!
Paola / The Tiny Italian
Address: 8, Kings Esplanade, Hove. BN3 2WA