November 06, 2012 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Coquelicot: The Latest French Bistro to Open in Gemmayze (Restaurant Closed)
Non-smokers friendly


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

Coquelicot is a new name added to the series of French Bistros opening in town, more so, on Gemmayze Street. A street once known for it’s busy nightlife has now turned into a calmer hub for a series of restaurants that have recently replaced the street's pubs and clubs. After recently trying Le Petit Gris and Paname, Coquelicot was the next French Bistro to experience.

Before jumping into the menu and food, I have to mention the originality of the place. The details that surround me set off my emotions and senses. You enter a cozy restaurant that is divided into two rooms. Each room hosts a series of tables and chairs. Walls, made of big old stones are pieces of art on its own, but that was not enough to give the place it’s signature character. As you enter a huge wall is covered with chalkboard: A great idea! Huge green facades covered by customers thank you notes and other motivational statements like A++ Food, Your Desserts are to die for and so on. There’s no way you can get bored. You will be busy reading what people have written. Of course, all customers are given chalks to leave their comments during or after our meals. I won’t tell you what I wrote, will leave that for you to go and discover.

Other walls are covered with unique French style lampshades. Imagine several of them all hung, one after the other, creating a romantic and warm impact to the room.  While other walls are covered with a few blank paintings, with spotlights on. You can image the painting or picture you want on that blank canvas. I like it. Again your imagination flows…

All this prepares you for the meal ahead. Coquelicot's first impact creates interaction between it’s customers and the place itself. I like that!

A further interaction is created as you sit down; you start noticing the fine detailed touches that give the place a special feel. The chairs are covered with unique materials that look like love letters and messages written in different colors. This also attracts you. The material-made place mats with the name of the bistro sewn on each… the messages on the menu and the variety of food… all play a nice role. But what caught my attention the most is the glass water bottle. After reading most of my reviews you will notice that one of the main complaints I always have is the fact that many restaurants, especially nice and high-end ones, serve water in the plastic bottle. Why? Bravo Coquelicot. A great first impression.

"Buvez du vin et vivez joyeux"

The menu sections and choices: Les Amuses Bouche à Partager, Les Soupes, Les Crus, Les Salades, Les Viandes Rouges (USA), Les Plats Principaux, Les Desserts.

Mood setting Jazz lounge music plays in the background as we ordered: 

  • Guacamole
  • Quesadilla mixte
  • Salade endive roquefort
  • Steak-frites (entrecôte  300g)
  • Triple by-pass Burger (200g)

" Le vin nourrit, le vin guérit, le vin réjouit, le vin se hume, le vin se goûte et se discute"

 I loved about the food:

  • The tapenade without garlic and the salted butter presented to start
  • The hot and tasty crunchy french baguette offered with the tapenade.
  • The endive-roquefort salad is prepared with mango cubes
  • The nachos are one of the thinest and crunchiest a restaurant can offer
  • Three thin crunchy quesadillas, three dips (labneh, guacamole, tomato): A perfect dish even better than the ones prepared in Mexican restaurant.
  • The delicious triple bypass burger comes with crunchy bacon and sunny side up eggs all creating many layers of colorful and mouthwatering combination that is finger licking good especially that the meat is from fine American origins. Even the soft bun adds a plus to a tasty platter.
  • The entrecôte is rich in flavor, color and taste. It is clear that its quality is better than other average places that offer a normal piece of grilled meat.
  • Fries are crispy and very tasty. Even better than a specialised diner.

"La bonne cuisine est honnête, sincère et simple" I honestly wasn't expecting today's experience. I was surprised and amazed by what Coquelicot has to offer.

The only minus: We ordered the burger and entrecote medium rare and received it medium well. Even though it was better the way prepared but the chef needs to pay attention at providing the client exact need. ...

12 different desserts that I'm eagerly waiting to taste next time.

See you there.





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