September 08, 2013 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Back to BlackRock... Where the Meat Speaks for Itself

Phone Number: +961 1 567 444

Address: Mar Mikhael main street, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 65-95 $

I've already been to BlackRock twice and have not stopped talking about its premium meat since. What used to be a pub on the lower level and a restaurant on the upper one, is now more of a grill villa. Two floors welcome you for lunch and dinner serving one of Lebanon's most tender meat. Served on a hot lava rock, a large selection of meat, fish and duck are proposed to be grilled on the spot with two side orders and a sauce. As usual, I like visiting places I have already been to - just to  check on the improvements.
All the little details of architecture:
  • Black interior, hence the name
  • Blue, light blue, burgundy and red table cloths that unfortunately look cheap
  • Metallic chair covers – I don’t see how they all blend!
  • Reflective black ceramic flooring, reflective black plexiglass on the ceiling and more reflections on the walls – too much happening
  • Black vinyl, perforated into small dots, makes you imagine mini led lights lit from every corner and side
  • 6 LCD screens expressing action and colors
  • Green glass covering the walls makes you imagine a garden behind. An interesting detail...
  • In the middle of the space, an elevator, with a rectangular part of the ceiling lit in white over it
The menu sections:
Soups, starters, salads, rocks, side dishes, sauces, desserts, coffee, water, sodas & juices, beer, wine by the glass, white wines, rose wines, red wines, champagne, vodka, whiskey, bourbon, tequila, gin, rum, spirits, brandy & cognac.
We enjoyed our dinner:
  • Duck selection (Foie gras, smoked duck magret, quince jelly and figs bread)
This is a plate I enjoy even more one time after the other. Richly filled sweet figs bread accompanying a generous piece of foie gras and four magret duck slices. This is a yummy plate
  • Tricolore Cake (Cooked eggplants, halloumi, sundried tomatoes and pesto sauce)
In the middle of a square plate is a round cylinder, standing straight in pride. A dozen slices of cooked eggplant, filled with halloumi cheese and covered with a basil leave and sundried tomato. Seasoned with balsamic vinegar, this starter is good to try. I would recommend it to be shared since its size and filling are more of a complete meal.
  • Apple Blue Cheese salad (endives, green apples and iceberg topped with blue cheese and walnuts with blue cheese dressing)
A beautiful presentation, rich filings, a perfect combination of ingredients and tasty sauce. That's a very good salad.
  • Rock: Australian Black Angus Tenderloin: Four persons on the table ordered the Australian meat and fell in love with it. Looking at all of their faces while eating, they were humming like love birds
  • Rock: Argentinian Black Angus tenderloin: As good as the Australian one
  • Rock: Duck Aiguillettes: Simply wow! That was my personal order that I enjoyed a lot. Five slices of duck which I enjoyed so much that I couldn't but give everyone a bite to taste. This fine dining treat only needs a few seconds to cook. I recommend you try them the next time you visit.
  • Rock: Fish Papillote: A yummy and nice smelling dish served on lemon slices
  • Pain Perdu: Still as good as I left it the last time. Chunks of bread cooked in a square bowl and covered with caramel sauce. Adequately cooked and soaked with milk and sugar, the mix is enjoyable and tasty. Every person at the table can pick a piece without having to touch another. It's a perfect plate to share.
Details I like:
  • Ashtrays without a cigarette support
  • The choice between local and European water: Sohat and Aqua Panna
  • Four pieces of warm crunchy bread presented in a stainless tray with pesto cream Boursin dip to start dinner
  • The cranberry sauce is awesome and a must try
  • Mastiha and Limoncino drinks were offered after dinner
  • The waiters are professional and discreet
Even more details have improved:
  • Tablecloth napkins have been added to the tables
  • The space is better lit which soothes the site of the overall blackness
The things I still don't like:
  • The smell
  • The tables: Square and having four legs! why? Wouldn't one be enough? Your feet don't stop banging into them all the time
  • The thick and heavy wine glasses
  • The puree needs more flavoring and more character
As mentioned before I can't but express my dissatisfaction about the place's decoration. It might be a personal opinion, which you can ignore. I don't know who the architect is but I'm sure that he's not much of a restaurant expert. I didn't want to bring this subject up again, but sweating all night while sitting on nylon synthetic chairs is not acceptable. I accept the different colors that don't match together, the table cloth that looks cheap, the over use of black and the scathing smell that haunts you until the next morning...and I accept feeling like I am in a nightclub, inside a claustrophobic space... But sweating and sticking to the chairs is not fun at all. The chair: a tight sofa, formed like a box with 90 degrees angles, covered in warm black fabrics and "decorated" with grey synthetic nylon that sticks to women wearing skirts and blocks the circulation of air around men's pants. Please do something about it!
Next time you visit BlackRock... My recommendations:
  1. Expect to smell of grilled meat, fish and duck. Don't plan a party afterwards
  2. I would choose to sit on the upper floor, it soothes me better
  3. The meat is great but also consider the duck and fish, they are as succulent
  4. Cranberry sauce is my recommendation
  5. Don't leave without tasting their Pain Perdu
  6. The average check with wine is 65$/person which is reasonable
I enjoyed the food but not the place. In few weeks time, BlackRock is opening a new branch in Dbayeh's Blueberry square. Hopefully, we will be able to enjoy the same food BlackRock offers in a bigger and better looking place, without the smell of grilled meat. 1st visit: BlackRock: A New Concept that Needs Fine Tuning





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