I would never have imagined a restaurant built solely around gluten-free food... now open in Dbayeh, "Bitter Brown" is a restaurant and nutritionist clinic combined. Up on the first floor is Mrs. Nada Assaf Slaibi's clinic, on the ground floor is the restaurant. It's a small eatery inspired by the French campagne and decorated with colored pillows, wooden tables and black seats, and three sofas for a more relaxed meal.
Bitter Brown is all gluten free. All the food is gluten free, a wide selection rarely found in Lebanon and most importantly guaranteed! Yes, guaranteed gluten free because the nutritionist is here to supervise the process.
The space feels good to be in... positive vibes, a view on Dbayeh's waterfront, a small terrace covered with fake green grass and some mirrors to make the space look bigger. However I expected service to be more attentive, quicker and more welcoming. Let's eat and see...
On the menu:
- Sharing plates
- Cooked plates
- Mini tarts
- Gluten free pasta
I ordered one item from every section:
- Wedged potatoes
- Mini burgers
- Vegetarian pizza
- Ricotta spinach tartelette
- Homemade tomato sauce spaghetti
- Chicken crepe
Lunch starts with a plate to nibble, cherry tomatoes, olive tapenade, fresh thyme and gluten free bread. Gluten free bread is as good as a gluten free bread should be, and the tapenade mix is as acidic as I like it, fresh and tasty. Plus a mise en bouche before the main plates arrive.
- Loved the crepe! I really loved the crepe, thin and crispy, super juicy sauce, tender chicken and great flavors leaving pleasant notes around the mouth. It's a true poulet à la crème, one tasty crepe I fell in love with and will come back for. I'm not sure if my expectations were low but this plate left me amazed.
- Grilled potatoes, as simple as they look or feel, long wedged potatoes with sauce, grilled to perfection, an orange color, marinated in herbs and served with a lightly sweet sauce. Carbohydrates for sure but they look and feel light. Yummy!
- Wow! The tartelettes are out of this world! Super duper flaky, they crumble like compacted sand, the tarts will draw a smile on your face. It crumbles like magic putting up front the heart of juicy spinach and molten ricotta. A winner for me!
- The burger is made with premium ingredients, a red sauce, a juicy patty, a thick tomato but the bread is way too thick and heavy. I would have used one side of the burger probably naming it "open faced" or would have used a different kind of bun and the tomato should have been cut more carefully. It's a recipe I'd reconsider.
- The pizza; a crispy dough, more of a biscuit, topped with tomato sauce and covered with sliced vegetables. Zucchini, eggplant and artichokes with a heart of greens. Not as good as I expected it to be... Probably a gluten-free pizza should taste this way.
- And then came the pasta. I'm a fan of spaghetti, and I've been enjoying gluten free pasta at home for the last year or so, so let's see what Bitter Brown has to offer. Extremely overcooked and cut in small pieces like kids food, the badly cooked pasta has at least a tasty and homemade tomato sauce. Cook the pasta at least 3 minutes less, never and I repeat never cut into such small pieces! Then I believe the pasta would be close to what I had expected.
Good food is served here, tasty for something that does not contain gluten. I was excited to try their desserts! The molten chocolate cake is a masterpiece, a molten piece of madness, a real dark chocolate without any sickly-sweetness. It was this lunch's cherry on top, a mouth watering dessert I loved!
Oh My Goodness! This crepe is outstandingly mouthwatering, the lightness, the intensity of the chocolate, the crunchy hazelnuts and the presentation. Two thumbs up for this unique dessert.
Loved it here... I'll be back soon! It's a restaurant you have try.