February 11, 2015

2014: Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Lebanon

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Burgundy: Beirut, Lebanon: "The Restaurant"

Sometimes, words are never enough to express the true intense feeling of how much I enjoyed a culinary experience. This is exactly how I felt after my experience at Burgundy. Welcome to Lebanon's finest. Touring around Lebanon's restaurants, I can safely say that around 190 of them have made it to one of my Top 10 lists of 2014. Each one offers something different which leaves you happy and satisfied... But a very few offer the ultimate perfection of fine dining, that kind of perfection that will leave you amazed on all level – starting with concept, décor and food. 

La Table Fine: Mediterranean Cuisine at its Finest

The very first impression while entering the door of this couple of million dollars restaurant transports you into another dimension of luxury and style. La Table Fine is a complete experience of Mediterranean wonders under one roof. Every detail counts: The long sculpted columns, immense ceramic tiles, bamboo and wood tent shaped ceiling... Fine cutlery, relaxing white table cloths, blue napkins and perfect wine glasses pleasant to drink with; are a few of the relaxing details of the U Bay restaurant. We started with a welcome drink on the sofas under the stone arcade before moving to the large rectangular table specially prepared for our group of 13 guests. We all enjoyed a sumptuous dinner while conversing easily with one another.

Le Talleyrand: One of the Last Fine-Dining Restaurants in Lebanon

I haven’t been here for some time now but I still remember the fine crunch of their mille feuille and the softness of the pain perdu, which followed a sumptuous dinner. I think that I can safely say by now that Le Talleyrand, when it comes to high-end dining, offers the best value for money. I didn't know, but was surprised to discover that Le Talleyrand has undergone some fine renovation, they’ve covered the floor with a light colored wood parquet, the walls have been painted grey and decorated with indirect lighting while the terrace welcomes you into a garden in the heart of our busy capital. The new, large space now looks more like a restaurant than it did before. I always thought this place lacked finesse and warmth, but now with white-covered tables setup with a complete set of cutlery, dimmed lighting, a dark-painted ceiling, the large wine cellar covering the right hand wall and some soothing music playing in the background... the right feeling is there!

Villa Clara's: French Inspiration in the Heart of Beirut

I can't explain the coincidences but Villa Clara took me so much time to be reviewed due to my extensive traveling and it’s taken a while to be published. I visited Villa Clara more than three weeks ago and had to travel afterwards, so I didn’t have the luxury of time to write very much. I didn't want it to be short or quick, because a place like Villa Clara deserves a detailed review. Returning from London, I remembered the night at Villa Clara.

Balthus: A Reference Point, If I May Say

Welcome to the world of luxury, welcome to the world of Balthus, one of the few premium dining restaurants still standing in Lebanon. Serving its accustomed clientele for more than 15 years now, Balthus knows how to retain happy customers, by offering them a good experience they won’t forget. A soothing menu, professional staff and great food in an unforgettably beautiful setup.

Al Dente: A Fine Italian in Beirut

Al Dente, the only Italian fine dining restaurant in Lebanon has never seized to impress guests for the past decade or so. Located in one of the finest hotels in Lebanon and the only Relais et Chateau, the quality is up to the standards of this fine establishment. For The Academia Italiana Della Cucina first dinner in 2014, all guests lived a memorable experience.

La Petite Maison: A Casual Chic French Restaurant

At La Petite Maison, you are guaranteed a great experience. This unique restaurant which has opened in some of the world's most beautiful cities, including Nice, London and Dubai and recently Beirut, offers a culinary adventure like no other. I've tried La Petite Maison over six times all over the world and after every visit I leave happy and satisfied. The amazement felt, made me think about the right title for my review. What should it be? "The Best Experience this Year?" Or maybe "A Cuisine Like No Other?"

Sydney's: The Come Back... A Simple Yet Refined Culinary Experience

Most of us have; at least, one memorable moment spent at Sydney's - the first cigar lounge to open in Lebanon in 1996. Sydney’s, which closed for the last couple of months, has reopened with a new look. The same English style fine and classy decoration refurbished to follow the latest trends, and being able to identify to a younger clientele as well as keep their loyal customers comfortable.

Alesia Restaurant: French Fine Dining in Beirut

Many casual French bistros have mushroomed around town, but finding a high-end French dining spot is rare. You sometimes want to enjoy a high-end ambiance with a loved one in a cozy spot. Taking over what used to be the Lutecia in Saifi village, Alesia is now open for French food aficionados. Owned by the same group of Lutecia or the previous Le Marais in Rue du Liban, Mr. Georges Batal welcomes you every night into an interesting French setup where good French food is served in a fine dining set up.

The Grill Room: A Recommended Restaurant Indeed

On the second floor of one of Beirut's most luxurious hotels is The Grill Room, a restaurant featuring prime steak cuts including real USDA beef, French Charolais, Australian Wagyu and Black Angus, lamb entrecôte, bunless US Prime beef burger, grilled grouper and fin tuna for sea food lovers. The welcoming atmosphere and smart décor of The Grill Room are complemented by stunning view of Beirut's Marina that we enjoyed on the terrace around glasses of Moët & Chandon champagne accompanying different canapés. You can't but pull yourself away from the crowd for a moment to enjoy the great decoration this place has to offer: Simple and clear, very classy and elegant. You’ll enjoy the smooth carpet, comfortable chairs, leather table top, high sealing and happy, welcoming waiters. The wine glasses are large and thin making you enjoy your drink, while soft drinks are served in special jars, which I found interesting and unique. Two thumbs up for this non-smoking restaurant.


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