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It's about a Lebanese restaurant in the center of Mar Mikhael, a refurbished old house left as is, where local food is served for lunch and dinner all week. I've been here, done that and now I am with my Italian friends to experience Lebanese food.
Up the wooden stairs is a large, open space, an old house and a terrace like a backyard and you can't but imagine how this house was inhabited by a family before the war.
Colors and life, it is indeed a space full of life, colors and fun. Thick stone blocks, a marble floor, a high ceiling and those crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Rectangular tables fill the space, but today I chose the best room, a cozy space with one single round table which would be great for business meetings.
The main round table is made of black marble and set with placemats, a plate and cutlery. The waiter approached us and you can't but be impressed by his memory. Yes, he memorized the entire order.
Fattoush, tabbouleh, hummus and some funky innovations, Lebanese with a touch of modernism.
- The tabbouleh is excellent! A tabbouleh mix seasoned to perfection with the proper amount of lemon and olive oil. Vegetables, diced to perfection, melt under your teeth. I loved it.
- The hummus was just as it should be. Chickpeas, lemon and tahina. Tasty!
- The local baladiyeh salad is a mix of fresh vegetables with grilled eggplants. Oh yum! I'm not sure what has happened here, but the food is way better than the last time I visited.
- The kebbeh with Labneh and walnuts is memorable. Tender kebbeh with its light spices, melting warm Labneh and a crunch.
- Ras Asfour: Tender meat with pomegranate molasses and grilled pine nuts served in a metallic pot.
- Their mouhammara isn't strongly colored, spicy and crunchy as it should be. Its texture is great, and not mashed like a purée.
- Kebbet Batatat: A special way to cook potatoes and it's good.
- Feta Cheese Bel Foron: Not to be missed. Beautifully presented, chunks of feta cheese mixed with tomatoes.
- I like the moudardara, it had a great color and a firm rice.
- Lovely makanek with pomegranate molasses.
- Stuffed grapevine leaves, tender and lightly lemony. Delicious!
- Their arayess kafta is exceptional. Rich fatty kafta wrapped in Lebanese bread soaked in kafta juices. The arayess are served with yogurt.
- The batenjen is also very good.
After lunch came dessert. They do have the renowned Lebanese dishes as well as some signatures like a chocolate esmalliyeh. All desserts are great, really great. Esmalliyeh has this crunch and freshness, the meghle...
A memorable lunch!
I'm not sure what happened, if the chef has been changed or the recipes fine tuned, all I can say is that food is way better than the last two times I visited. The food is fully loaded with flavor, the plates are beautifully presented and the service is professional. I'm surely visiting the Dbayeh branch when it opens.