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But attitude is everything, and Marilyn soon had the servers (two worked the room on this night) fussing over her as if she were the Queen of Sheba. To my amazement, she thought her dinner was worthy of royalty, from the exquisite cream of artichoke soup that she finally had to push in my direction ("It's so rich that if I take one more sip, I won't be able to eat anything else") to the cold and crispy house salad. "It's served on a chilled plate," she noted approvingly.
I goaded her into ordering lobster tail, served thermidor-style. The Café Casbah version of thermidor has little to do with the traditional preparation: chopping the lobster tail meat, combining it with béchamel sauce, wine and shallots and sprinkling it with Parmesan. Movahed serves his sumptuously meaty lobster chopped and flavored with a white-wine cream sauce and his signature garlic butter and fresh herbs. "It's very tender and succulent," Marilyn said. "I like it better without the cheese."
There's no pâté de foie gras in Café Casbah's interpretation of beef Wellington, but it's a tasty number anyway: two well-done filets stacked on top of each other and baked in a puffy pastry shell, slathered with garlic-butter sauce. It wasn't exactly what I expected, but it was a very sexy dish.
And I didn't feel cheap the next morn- ing. Just a couple of pounds heavier.