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Couqley Bistro: Now in Dbayeh
Couqley: Like Always, Simply Great
When you feel like having a decent piece of meat on a Wednesday night; just pick up the phone and reserve at Couqley. It's been a while since I last visited the famous Steak-Frites restaurant located at Dbayeh's Blueberry Square.
The same decor has been welcoming guests for the last couple of years: their signature yellow lights, the mosaic floor, French inspired posters, paper placemats, branded plates and colorful table napkins. Set around a main bar, Couqley is your typical French bistro where you're transported to Paris and back for a night.
Little details are beautifully taken care of around here. Glass water bottles, table napkins, well dressed waiters, clean cutlery and a wide choice of things to eat.
We enjoyed a fresh breadbasket served with warm tasty butter on the side while we waited for the main plates...
Beautifully presented plates each decorated meticulously.
- The burrata: mixed with vegetables, this burrata is unexpectedly dry and marinated in garlic, which overpowers the whole taste.
- The lentil salad: al dente lentils, mustard flavors and diced vegetables. It is as good as it should be; but this healthy mix is a bit soggy. I expected it to be firmer to elevate the flavors.
- Tuna of a premium quality, covered in sesame seeds. A salty yet enjoyable mix until you have to endure chewing into the fried leek on the top. It's far from being flaky.
- The fried calamari salad is the best thing I had had at this point of the meal. Non-oily fried calamari served around a mountain of fresh lettuce mixed in a fine vinaigrette. The spices are the added value transforming a normal salad into an enjoyable mix of flavors.
- Endives Roquefort, a classical salad prepared the Couqley way with pears, crushed walnuts, Roquefort cheese chunks and Roquefort cheese sauce. The mini diced tomatoes add some color and the vinaigrette gives it flavor.
- Salmon tartar mixed with fresh herbs, red pepper and a light lemony touch of enjoyment. Good quality salmon used to create a tasty plate.
Now for the main plates:
- The long awaited steak frites: choose between the big or small portion. You receive a super tender piece of meat served next to a generous mountain of fries. A lovely piece of meat, amazing crunchy yellow fries and a red sauce that's different from the one L'entrecôte serves. It's a light bodied sauce, probably wine, fresh cream with smooth notes of sweetness. I enjoyed my plate to the very last bite.
You can't leave without enjoying Couqley's pain perdu: indeed it is one of the best in town. A caramelized layer of sugar, a piece of moist bread loaded with milk and butter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the right sweetness and more importantly not soggy. The chocolate tart on the other hand is way too buttery and extremely sweet. I couldn't taste the chocolate. Crunchy dough, crunchy walnuts and nothing else.
- The food is good but needs a bit more attention. Attention to detail turns a good plate into an excellent one.
- Instagram, twitter, Facebook and trip advisor, and social media logos are everywhere. To be able to publish good-looking photos more light is needed.
- The meat knives are small and look cheap. They should be bigger to give the table a more serious image.
I'm happy to have visited Couqley again. I enjoyed the vibes and my dinner tonight, despite the small imperfections.