Restaurant Review: La Petite Table

La Petite Table is a recently opened cafe/restaurant in Gardens Naccache serving international cuisine. The decor is beautiful and the color scheme is reminiscent of the French Provincial interiors. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, shall you choose to stay inside it is a cozy and romantic area, but if you’re up to people watching then go ahead and sit on the terrace.

For our first visit we chose items from various menu sections to get to sample a bit of everything. We started with theĀ Four Cheese Pizzette for 12,000 L.L. which is a thin crispy pizza dough with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan and gorgonzola. It is very tasty but quite small and not made to share, so make sure to order it as an appetizer and not a main course. read more

Restaurant Review: Madame Tussaud’s

Nestled in the heart of the Byblos old souk lays Madame Tussaud’s, a luxurious restaurant serving international fusion cuisine which is taking the area by storm. U Management who is behind Ubernation and Barracuda have recently opened Madame Tussaud’s along with Gosh pub.

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The latter two lie adjacent in the souk, and while the signature drinks for both joints are served from Gosh, the dishes are from Mme Tussaud’s. I sat down with one of the partners as he explained to me the concept of the restaurant, its attempt to introduce restaurant goers to this type of cuisine, the meticulous choice of cutlery to complement the presentation, along with the menu developed by their top chef. Mme Tussaud’s is a new type of diner with chic decor that offers original and tasty cuisine with prices that won’t break the bank. read more

Restaurant Review: East Village

I’m quite late to the Badaro game, so for my initiation to the area last Saturday night, I chose East Village. I had been hearing good reviews about the place and I wanted to try it because of the reference to my soft spot, New York City. We took a walk in the area and as we approached it we noticed a humble exterior with a busy interior. Three energetic men who are most likely partners or managers, along with two waitresses, gave off vibes that were a mix of hard work, attention and friendliness. All throughout the night as people walked in, it seemed to me that they were regulars by the way they greeted and were greeted, which of course is a good sign because a return customer is a plus to any establishment. read more

Lebanese Fine Dining At Bou Melhem

If you think that Lebanese restaurants are stuck in a rut, then you definitely haven’t tried Bou Melhem, which gives the industry a run for their money. Never have I witnessed such service, from the speed of the dishes being placed on the table, to the attentiveness of the waiters and the friendliness of the staff. The food ranged from traditional hommos and tabboule to an updated ‘raheb’ salad, their signature ‘mouhammara’, smoked hommos and goat cheese salad with dried figs to name a few. I especially loved the cheese with jam, and the chicken with pesto sauce. The generously portioned grilled meat platter included chicken, kabab, kafta, meat and ribs. The desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth, my favorite is the decadent chocolate crepe with sorbet ice cream. The presentation of the items wasn’t typical, but offered in all white rectangular and circular plates which made all the difference and instantly gave Bou Melhem an upscale feel. Every dish served was exquisite, both visually and in terms of taste. The one man show and parade made sure there was never a dull moment during the evening, and the party went on until way past midnight. read more

Restaurant Review: Coast

I love cities with a waterfront and I’m lucky enough to live in Lebanon that brings the sea to life with endless dining options of various cuisines along the coast. I’m particularly fond of Zaitunay Bay and the stroll on the dock, and although the sun can be unbearable at noon, a late lunch is sometimes the perfect solution, which is what I did when I tried out Coast.

Upon entering the space, whether indoor or outdoor, the American grill theme is authentic and simple. The menu wasn’t very extensive, which can be a good thing sometimes, and the focus is on perfecting signature items. I wanted to try a new dish for my taste palette but I’m a bit fixed in my ways and ended up ordering my regular Grilled Chicken with mushroom sauce and a side of broccoli and wedges. The chicken and sauce were delicious, but I was disappointed in the wedges, they tasted familiarly frozen and mimicking low end restaurants. read more

Summer Destination: Beit Nazha

Nestled in the old souk of Byblos is the traditional Lebanese restaurant, Beit Nazha, where Zomato held a recent brunch. We were introduced to the concept, the food, and the management whose mission is to serve great tasting food up to the customer’s satisfaction. The table setup was lovely with attention to detail, lace place-mats, a jug of water and colorful flowers.

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The refreshing drinks that were served were jellab, lemonade, and my favorite, rose water. Each cup contained an ingredient that complements the chosen drink; pine nuts and raisins for the jellab, lemons for the lemonade, and rose petals for the rose water. read more

SUD Restaurant’s Summer Menu

Sud is a restaurant in Mar Mikhael which I frequent with my husband on certain occasions and with my friends for a girls night out. I love its location tucked away in a calm courtyard amidst the hustle and bustle of Beirut. Last weekend we were treated to a dinner at Sud to try out items from their new summer menu.

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The menu’s design is simple with signature items and classic staples, which makes it easy to decide what to order without being overwhelmed by the choices. The initial setup was a bread basket and local Adon & Myrrh extra virgin olive oil with vinaigrette mixed in a saucer if that is your preference. read more

Summer Destination: Burj Al Hamam

Its not officially summer yet, but with the hot weather creeping up a bit early this year, the mountains seem like a great idea for spending weekends. One of my family’s particular favorite restaurants for this season (along with my other reviews under the ‘Summer Destination’ category) is Burj Al Hamam in Broummana. Its close enough to the coast so it doesn’t make for an ultra long road trip, and far enough so that one can smell the fresh air and the pine trees.

We visited last Sunday and it was as busy as always, the food was impeccable yet the service not so perfect at all times, we had the waiters’ attention on certain occasions then again they drifted into oblivion on others. I’m not sure if the packed place was the reason, although it shouldn’t be an excuse, but the dishes’ taste wasn’t compromised. Take a look at the mouth-watering items we ordered, such as Hommos, Fattoush, Ftayer, Tabboule, Labne Bi Toum, Rkakat, Batata Bi Kezbara, Samak Bezre, Mkanek, Shanklish, Fries, Batata Harra, Kebbe and Mashewe. read more

Restaurant Review: Liza

Liza restaurant has been making quite the hype for some time now, and for one of our date nights, my husband decided we give it a try. The location in Ashrafieh isn’t so easy to find, and the only sign is the one below, as the restaurant is hiding behind concrete walls within a courtyard.

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The entrance lighting is dim and harmonious with the ambiance of the restaurant.

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The interior is a stunning cross between Lebanese heritage architecture and arabesque visual design.

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The experience is very romantic, a quality that lacks in most Lebanese restaurants, the music and conversation is almost a lull. read more

Restaurant Review: The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory opened its doors in Verdun, Lebanon a month ago after a long wait, and many fans of this chain restaurant including myself were super excited. The 2 floor structure with indoor and outdoor seating boasts the classic Cheesecake factory decor with dim lighting and signature cheesecakes on display.

No reservations can be made in advance, so the night I visited with friends, although quite late in the evening, we had to wait a good 45 minutes before being seated, which is expected a couple of days after the official opening. read more