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The Magnificent Ladurée Beirut: Willy Wonka & the Macaron Factory
Ladurée Opens in Beirut: The First Pictures
Ladurée is a beautiful and luxurious cafe down in Beirut. Reflecting French finesse and stylish decor, an old house has been transformed into a masterpiece. A now favorite and popular spot for breakfasts, lunches, gatherings and business meetings, Ladurée is a must try.
Ladurée, the creator of the famous macaron, the landmark on Paris' Champs Elysees is taking the French know how all around the world with branches spread across the continents. This morning, I'm having breakfast in Beirut, in the heart of our beautiful capital, in one of the most beautiful old houses the city is still preserving. Breakfast at Ladurée, a ritual every time I visit Paris. Beirut here I come.
An old Lebanese house with a high ceiling and an open space is divided into four areas. The colorful boutique decorated from top to buttom, the main dining space and two areas filled with tables occupying the right and left sides of the restaurant. Under a ceiling decorated in gold and a floor covered with relaxing carpets, the restaurant replicates the French Renaissance with long chesterfield sofas, black tables and individual wooden chairs. A luxurious space over viewing Beirut's skyscrapers.
Light green, sky blue and pink are the colors, paper sheets protect the tables as well as some white cloth on the side ones. You are welcomed by a metallic arcade and a door painted in gold, a terrace under the trees before the space opens up to the pleasure of your eyes.
A breakfast menu for the morning hours is changed into a lunch menu later on. Eggs, coffee and croissants, pain perdu and Danish pastry as well as a set breakfast with a choice of everything they have on the menu. Ladurée's set breakfast, the Champs Elysees and the brunch.
While light music played in the background, I ordered almost everything on the menu.
- Mini croissant, buttery and flaky croissants filled with chocolate pistachio paste or sugar. Very good quality croissants served on a metallic tower on which jam, butter and bread are paired.
- The eggs Benedict, more of a show, is about two poached eggs cooked in their shell preserving their shape. Lightly cooked with a molten yolk heart served on two brioche. A crunchy brioche -too thick and too dry- and two eggs, sauce Hollandaise is served a la minute. An intense sauce Hollandaise made of lemon and it clearly shows. The difference between these eggs Benedict and the conventional ones is the hard biscuity bed and how the eggs are preserved not cooked in water and vinegar. I personally prefer the conventional eggs Benedict leaving be egg softer -real poached eggs- and the muffin - English muffin- more tender. Spinach or salmon would add taste and flavor and they're needed here.
- Two mini clubs, salmon and eggs and another of spinach and vegetables. An enjoyable quality of bread, lightly toasted, the spinach with a light sweetness and freshness, the salmon and eggs is straight, mayonnaise adds a soft juiciness.
- Fruit salad in a bowl, juicy and fresh, fruits cut in cubes, an enjoyable item to order.
- Now for dessert, the pain perdu. Two big chunks of bread cooked in milk and butter. Tender, soft and fluffy bread topped with raspberry couli. The bread is well cooked but the milk taste is not an enjoyable thing to feel. The couli on another hand is too thick and too concentrated; should be more watery to be spread around and absorbed by the bread. The other pain perdu with maple syrup is too bready, chewy and the syrup adds an unbearable sweetness. I'm not sure if Ladurée's strong point is the pain perdu.
An enjoyable breakfast I'll surely repeat. The professional staff makes sure your experience is remembered for a long time, a manager whose qualities are rare to find in this country, a certain class and finesse put in every single detail, good food, premium ingredients... I'll be back for lunch.