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Table Fine Jounieh: Mediterranean with Style
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Fine dining in the heart of Jounieh, but sad staff, one waiter that doesn’t feel like working, very dim lights but the pleasant sounds of an active sea preparing for winter. The same menu for as long as I remember, fish, refreshing salads, cold starters, hot starters, Italian specialties, fish, meat, and desserts. Tonight, I'm having dinner at La Table Fine.
La Table Fine should be one of Lebanon’s most envied restaurants for its decor and location... it was bizarre to be dining alone tonight. If I had the chance to change things around here, I would add more lighting, change the waiters clothes to something more upmarket and classy, close on a Sunday and Monday night for the staff to recharge, keep someone behind the bar at all times, train everyone to smile and welcome as is renowned of the Mediterranean.
I love the decor, the stone columns, the white tablecloth and fine cutlery, the light weight wine glasses, the Bose sound system, the bamboo ceiling and superb view with wide open facades on the beautiful bay of Jounieh.
Dinner starts with an amuse bouche: fresh crab with guacamole sauce served on a spoon. Fresh crab with no marination or flavor, cold guacamole coming straight from the fridge but no flavor. It’s one bite that’s not balanced and not up to the standard of a fine dining restaurant.
Tartare de saumon au citron vert et croustillant de betrave. Loved the salmon quality on top of a crunchy layer of beetroot. A nice texture but no lemon taste. When a plate is called green lemon salmon, it needs to have a strong kick.
The fresh crab with avocado is smooth and creamy, a great crab quality and ripe avocados but again a lot of lemon needed and a lot of pepper.
Grilled calamari with a faded grilling flavor, good quality, simple and clean taste. You feel the olive oil, I enjoyed the purslane and tomato decoration but lime quarters were missing to give that needed strong kick.
My wife’s filet de boeuf was excellent, the meat quality and taste and especially the side potato with croustillant on top. My tagliatelle were cooked al dente and beautifully mixed with truffle oil. Enjoyable and lightly creamy, non sticky tagliatelle loaded with flavors.
At Table Fine, a dinner is not complete without one of two desserts - the famous chocolate ball or the crepe Suzette prepared in front of you.
I’ve been here half a dozen times already, and every time the experience is different. Sometimes I enjoy it but always feel that something is missing; is it the staff or the lost passion the food needs... I hope this restaurant will be more looked into, so that it sticks around...