February 25, 2015

2014: Best Bistros in Lebanon

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Chez Jean-Claude Bistro Français, Beirut

One of the best around. Few French bistros compare to Chez Jean-Claude, it suits all types of get-togethers and offers some of the most delicious French food in the city. I never understood why Chez Jean-Claude is not as known as many other places in Beirut. The prices are better, the food is tastier, and the recipes are more interesting and contain plenty of different ingredients that will make your taste buds work. Chez Jean-Claude is a small place in Achrafieh that only has 20 chairs.  It is a cozy, calm, warm and pleasant French bistro that is good for a business meeting, romantic or friendly dinner.

Bergerac French Bistro: Indulge Yourself in Fine South-West Specialities

This little square room, facing Supermarket Achrafieh, cooks fine French preparations like never seen before in the country. It's not about serving a piece of meat or a grilled salmon on a well decorated plate, but a fine culinary creation of savory casseroles filled with love: "Taste France in a plate". Before visiting Bergerac, you should understand the concept to fall in love with it: It is not a fine dining restaurant... It is not a place where etiquette is their first priority... It is not a place where you will leave fulfilled and heavy... This restaurant is a street eatery or what is know in France as "Un Restaurant de Quartier". The place serves fine preparations our grand-mothers way.

Le Petit Gris: A Rich Selection of Fine Dining Creations

Le Petit Gris welcomes guests into a casual fifty square meters place with only 45 chairs. Located in a very quiet neighborhood far away from the dancing tunes of the upper part of Gemmayze Street, this place is truly an authentic French bistro that serves delicious food ‘a la Francaise’ without any pretension.

The Spoonteller: Cozy, Relaxing, Tasty and Enjoyable

Opened three months ago on the Kaslik road next to Olio and Soto, this new restaurant offers some interesting things. A terrace on the sidewalk, a white wooden facade, two trees outside: The first impression is good. The Spoonteller is owned and managed by Samya and her son Tarek. Meet Samia, the passionate cook making sure every detail is mastered to perfection. Talk with Tarek, who has a smile on his face constantly... The restaurant put a smile on my face too. 

Goutons Voir: Been Here, Done That But Still Loving It

I've been here many times already and the experience has always been consistent. A pleasant welcoming, good food, generous plates, a nice ambiance in a restaurant serving tasty French cuisine and one of Lebanon's best pizzas, the thin crunchy one. I always take a round table on the main wall – the corner tables surrounded by a leather sofa on a side and wooden chairs on the other. It’s calm there and I get to enjoy the feel of this relaxing restaurant and am able to look at the details of the architecture. I love the wooden floor, the small bar, the plants filling the walls, the colorful placemats and the blackboards displaying the day's specials.

SUD: Good Food and Great Ambiance is Guaranteed Every Time

The tent has been removed, the nylon covers have been wrapped up... Welcome the summer vibes of La Cour Saint Michel. Located right at the beginning of the hippest collection of bars in Beirut and through a small stairway La Cour Saint Michel is wonderful. Set around a courtyard, and inspired by old Lebanese architecture, this hot spot is a perfect hideaway which hosts a number of restaurants and unique concepts that you definitely should look out for.

LUX: A Tasty Fresh Organic Gourmet

I've been hearing a lot about Lux since it first opened but never had the chance to visit before. Meeting for a business lunch, it was the best of opportunities to discover this place inside out and enjoy its many details with the calmness of the day. Nestled in the heart of Beirut, facing the Beirut seaport, Lux welcomes you for lunch and dinner all week in its fine and relaxing ambiance where luxury is mixed with modernism and design.

Prune: Always a Pleasure

Here I am, back at Prune, back for the third time to enjoy some of my favorite dishes including their fine foie gras, as well as their famous poulet au prunes as well as their pain perdu, the dessert that makes up one of my favorite five French toasts in Lebanon… I found myself there and wanting to try something new. We went for specialties like the Serrano or the salmon salad, we wanted to revisit the classics. It was all-great, like always, a fine lunch I appreciated on all fronts. Prune is one of those French bistros which transport you to Paris. A simple, yet authentic, setup, large pictures covering the walls, the wine cellar and the sort of bar that’s famous for decorating every restaurant in Paris.

Couqley: Like Always, Simply Great

It's been some time since I last came to Couqley, the place for good food, great ambiance and professionalism. I decided to visit again to indulge in some more pain perdu and their famous steak-frites until that was, I laid my eyes on the special of the day board. Couqley has been a favorite in Beirut, providing a real French bistro experience in a setup that will transport you to the streets of Paris, to those buildings built more then a century ago, where the wooden interior makes for an authentic, cozy experience. I sat in one of the corners and enjoyed the vibes this restaurant has to offer.

Have You Met Michel Yet?

Au Bistrot de Michel, a coup de coeur if I my say, has been one of my favorite French bistros in Beirut since it first opened. I've been there three times already, three times where Michel himself welcomed me, where the food was great, where the ambiance was pleasant and where the improvements never seem to end.

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