After Hours: Get Moroccan flare in Naples at the Kasbah Club
June 22, 2006
NAPLES, Italy — You won’t go hungry in Naples. There are tons of restaurants throughout the city. Let’s see, there’s Italian, Neapolitan, Italian, seafood, countless pizzerias, and, oh yes, Italian.
But, if you look hard enough, every now and then something “ethnic” pops up. Like the Kasbah Club, a Moroccan lounge restaurant/disco bar that serves up a fare of Arabic-inspired cuisine peppered with a little Greek, Tunisian, Spanish and even a little Japanese.
Kasbah Club, on Vicoletto Constantinopoli in Piazza Bellini, offers patrons a taste of the exotic in the heart of the centro storico, or oldest section of the city.
“‘Kasbah’ means ‘old city,’ and everything in here is antique and representative of the Middle East, which I find very fascinating,” owner Mario Giordano said.
The restaurant’s chefs whip up tasty treats for varying tastes: kebabs, falafels, vegetable couscous and samosas, to name a few. They even peddle sushi platters.
“The nice thing is that everything is made at the moment, each dish is made fresh,” he said.
But delicious food is not its only specialty, as the locale offers live entertainment, usually just on weekends, from musical groups to belly dancers (who, at times, lure customers into trying out the shaky, shaky of the hips themselves).
Patrons also can partake of the after-dinner Arabic tradition of smoking a hookah, or narghile water pipe, with tobacco flavors ranging from apple and watermelon to cherry, grape and cantaloupe.
The downtown Naples restaurant is tucked into an alley off of Piazza Bellini, and down a set of narrow, steep steps, which, at the bottom, transports you from the hustle of an Italian city to the whims of an Arabic locale. Giordano also runs a Kasbah Club in Pozzuoli on Via Matteotti.
Diners sit on cushions or small stools at tables that are low to the ground. Some bench seating is available along the walls. Arabic-influenced brass chandeliers dangle from the ceiling and diffuse intricate light designs on the walls.
“Everything in here is about passion,” Giordano said. “The art, the entertainment, the colors, the belly dancing. The Middle Eastern culture is very stimulating.”
Drinks: 6 euro
Food: Kebabs, falafels, couscous, samosas, sushi, paella, ham and cheese appetizers starting in price from 3.50 euros
Clientele: All are welcome
Entertainment: Music and belly dancers
Location: Vicoletto Costantinopoli off of Piazza Bellini. Nearest metro station is the Piazza Dante stop off the yellow line, or Linea 1. In Pozzuoli, the restaurant is on Via Matteotti.
Phone: +39-081-1956-7623 or cell +39-347-486-3715
Hours: Lunch from 1 to 4 p.m.; dinner and after-hours entertainment from 7 p.m. to about 4 or 5 a.m.