CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Burgundy Restaurant & Wine Bar, Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon: "The Finest Restaurant"... Deserves a Michelin Star
Burgundy: The Art of Gastronomy
Burgundy: The Best Restaurant in Beirut, Lebanon Deserves an International Award
On the first visit I discovered perfection, on the second it was more of a dream, then there was today, when reality turned into a trip to the land of wonders, a meal I'll remember for a long time. Lunch at Burgundy is one of the finest meals I've had to date, a two star Michelin experience at least.
Nestled in the heart of Beirut, Burgundy is a restaurant one should visit at least once in a lifetime. Handled by a master called Youssef Akiki, every plate is crafted to perfection with the utmost passion and a know how few chefs around the Middle East have. If you're a connoisseur and a seeker of strong sensations, Burgundy will satisfy your desires.
Visiting today for the new menu, I was greeted as if I was coming home. Every detail is just perfect in this establishment that resembles no other in town. "Good morning, Mr. Rahayel" is something I've never heard, helping you with the seat is rare, making sure the glass of water is always full or changing the napkin when it falls on the ground aren't local habits; Burgundy masters finesse and savoir-vivre.
Some say it's expensive, others can't understand the hype around Burgundy, or try to say it doesn't have a Michelin star... With all due respect, if the Michelin institution starts in the Middle East, this will be the first to be awarded a star.
- Chablis Premier Cru, Fourchaume, white: Extremely aromatic, a punch of fruits and floral notes. A smooth tone flows along your palate like raindrops on tropical trees.
I took a deep breath, preparing for the experience: Today's lunch was outstanding!
- Langoustines marinees aux spices et fruitless de shizo: The experience starts as the plate lands in front of you. A round plate with two drops of dip. A sour dip and a sweet one on a plate decorated with a design of maki and chopsticks. Four pieces of lobster wrapped in green shizo leaves. Ufff! That was the first reaction. Rough leaves wrapped around a juicy chunk of lobster marinated in a sweet sauce. The leaf just crunches like nothing I've ever had before, the intense flavors of this lemony juice and the lobster cooked to perfection. There is food and there is perfection, there is something you understand, and there is something that leaves you stunned.
- Toro hakamo au bouillon du soleil levant: A round plate, an individual portion like a soup with a beautiful creation of wondrous items. Thinly sliced blue fin tuna, thin slices of fish smoother and lighter than butter, richly fatty, bathing in their lemony juice of passion. A light, subtle sweetness, a hint of spiciness and a punch of saltiness. On top is thinly sliced radish, tiny carrots, minuscule lettuce and drops of greenery. That's not a chef's creation, but more of a piece of art. The blend of flavors is close to indescribable... The look of the plate is breathtaking. The quality of the fish is like nothing I've had before.
- Saumon mi-fumé parfumé à l'aneth, moutarde, raifort et citron confit: Now the masterpiece, unless something even better is coming. A smoked bulb arrived on the table. It was lifted away to reveal a square chunk of salmon, smoky like in a land of dreams. A strong smokiness escaped over the restaurant, showing a beautiful chunk of orangey salmon, richly striped with fat. The salmon is lying in a bed of green sauce with an elastic feel. The light sweetness, the wasabi, the dill, the lemon, the explosion of savory ingredients, the perfection of this deserves an award. I took a long time to enjoy one bite at a time. Should I end up every description by thanking and praising the chef? You should know by now that he's the best this country has to offer.
- Salade de legume Bio avec lamelles de Kobe juste saisie servie tiède: Extravagant... Oufffff... Wowww... Awesome... No, no, no, this is not something you have ever tried, a meat, no I mean a dream. Marbled, fatty at over 90%, the finest meat this world has created, a fully fledged awesomeness that makes you close your eyes and dream. Richly marbled fatty meat where the fat is built inside the meat. Served on a stone left at 45 degrees, the meat is served at 38 degrees. Salt, pepper and close your eyes. The meat doesn't need chewing while it melts, flows on your tongue to activate all your senses and tickle all your buds. Today, I have fulfilled a dream, I have witnessed one of the best dining experiences and wow, it is here in Lebanon. I almost forget to tell you about the salad, it's a innovation of its own. Lightly sour, a mountain of equilibrated matching greens.
The bread, cereal or olive, is amazing. I know it's from Paul, but they do manage to heat it and toast it differently to make it rock and without chewiness.
I feel like praising the waiter. Christian and the others, each is super well trained and professional to the utmost level. I was greeted by my name and during lunch, Christian didn't stop impressing me. So please stop saying we don't have waiters in Lebanon.
- Cuisse de cailles parfumées à la Japonaise: Served in half a bottle of wine, four quail thighs are served with their sauce. Juicy meat eaten with your hands. Lovely spices, flavorful juices.
- Risotto aux girolles: Risotto, the fine dining way.
- Tonight I had the most tender and finest meat the world has ever had: The fine Kobe beef.
- Pluma iberica, cellériers rave en fricassés et purée de topinambours et girolles. Thinly sliced meat, tender meat lightly red on the inside, cooked gently on the outside lying on a bed of girolles mushrooms. Lovely juice, but I'd recommend you add a bit of salt and pepper for a stronger flavor. Back to this unique meat, a rare meat you can get from the iberico variety; It has a unique texture and an enjoyable slide under the teeth. The juice, Youssef's finest. This intense mix of peppers and sourness with an end note of sweetness. I'm not sure I can judge such a plate after enjoying the Kobe beef, but I'm sure you'll love it. Don't forget the potato purée, a fine dining version of this conventional preparation; the butter and body is what makes it special.
Awesome, simply awesome... Chef Youssef Akiki rocks!
- Fraises des bois, strawberries specially harvested by Akiki himself. A handful of mini, tiny fresh strawberries laid of a mountain of cream and floating in champagne
- "Architexture" chocolat praline, sorbet fruit rouge: I'm not sure what to say or how to say it but this dessert is a dream on a plate. Chocolate on the bottom embracing a mix of nuts supporting a chocolate mousse, a chocolate praline strip, dark chocolate notes, beautiful decorations and the question you will always be asking yourself: how is this done, or that, or how beautiful the crunch is. Youssef's food is fun. The sorbet is homemade, not sweet, and is supported with crushed hazelnuts.
What else can be said? Redefined perfection? Maybe even more than that. We even left with the menu personalized in our names and signed by the chef. This is where I find happiness at least once a month.