July 09, 2012 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

L'Oca Matta, My second Visit to the Italian of Mar Mikhael (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 1 442444

Address: Armenia Street, Mar Mikhael, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 40-70 $


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 21/30

Architecture / Interior: 5/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 3/10

Value for money: 5/10

This is my second visit to L'Oca Matta. It was more challenging for me this time, as I walked in eager to see if any changes were made since my last visit, six months ago. Since then, we have new Italian restaurants that have opened around the city, therefore, the minimum any restaurant should do is work harder to beat the competition, build trusted customers and serve the best Italian food, in this case, in a nice and professional atmosphere.

The decoration and general ambiance of  L'oca Matta didn't change, but then again, I have to point out that this part of the place is surely not my favorite in this restaurant. The place is too red and too complicated for my taste. This made me a bit uncomfortable. (For more info about the place, story and decoration check out my first review) That night we had a special menu.  Seven different plates were served allowing us the chance to truly taste what L'oca Matta has to offer. We started with the Mozzarella Tomato Pesto and an Eggplant mix - served in small plastic spoons. Plastic! Why?

The menu served:

  • Cold Red Capsicum and Eggplant served in a colorful sandwich of thin slices with carrots. It is very nice to see and well presented, but it was obviously a frozen meal that was defrosted, heated and served. We felt the ice cracking under our teeth. Nevertheless. the overall taste was very good especially with the balsamic vinegar giving it that perfect final mixture. But one question I have, since it was just defrosted and heated, why did this dish take so much time to be served.
  • Pulpo (Octopus), potato cubes, tomato, parsley and lemon juice. This is a very tasty dish but unfortunately it was badly served in two plates - one over the other - not giving it the prestige it should have been given.
  • Truffles Risotto is tasty and perfectly cooked, but desperately needed Parmesan cheese to add more taste.
  • appardelle with Duck Ragu, this dish would have been very tasty, perfectly cooked and amazingly mixed if they just added a dash of salt and some Parmesan cheese. As presented the combination missed some taste.
  • Grilled Salmon with Capers and lemon: It was too oily. Unfortunately I couldn't finish my plate.
  • The grilled Prime Beef Tenderloin is good.

What I didn't like:

  • Their wine glasses seem of bad quality and are very heavy to carry
  • The wine service is unprofessional. Wine glasses should be refilled only after the glass has been emptied. This way each person will know how many glasses they have had. It's important since we all know our drinking limits. The way they were doing it seemed like they were emptying wine bottles for the sake of ordering more. It might not be the case, but this is how it seemed, unfortunately. The waiters know nothing about the art of wine
  • Funny story of the night: A waiter from another table needed the Parmesan cheese jar, so he picked up ours and gave it to them. A few minutes later, our waiter informed the other waiter that we needed the cheese jar because we ordered pasta. They brought back the same jar to our table. Don't they have more than one Parmesan cheese jar?
  • None of the waiters explained anything about the dishes served. We ate and discovered every plate by ourselves.
  • Serving women before men is not part of their basic etiquette knowledge

The improvement since last time: - Service is quicker - Food temperature is much better

After reading this review you are probably wondering why I want to add salt everywhere. I don't like neither salt nor lemon juice, nor do I like to add Parmesan to all the Italian dishes. But I was craving for taste. This is my second visit to  L'Oca Matta and I believe that it simply needs taste and flavor.

It's a pity to let all this variety and potential go to waste when with just a bit of improvement, the place can be considered one of the best in town.
My favorite thing that night was the Tiramisu. A simple WOW! Bravo.





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