Meet Mario, the owner of a small Italian restaurant in Sarba called Tartina Di Mare. Mario is a passionate man who has left everything behind to personally build and open an Italian seafood eatery. With a smile on his face he welcomes his customers in to try his food. Even the music he plays in the background is handpicked... Order and be seated.
Tartina Di Mare is a small one door shop in Sarba facing Sandwiched. Red is the color and wood is the feel. This small rectangular space with a counter at the end includes three screens that display the menu over a "Pepsi" fridge. They also have couple tables on the sidewalk. I'm happy that smoking is not allowed inside.
The temporary menu is an A3 black paper laminated with nylon. The menu includes their signature soup, three kinds of salads, three pasta dishes, two pizzas, 10 sandwiches and four desserts.
We ordered one item of each. The soup, a salad, one pasta, one pizza and one sandwich.
- Let's start with the soup, a signature indeed, a tomato juice where a load of items float. Black beans, tuna, mini octopus, tomato cubes, calamari and mini shrimp. A clear and full bodied taste of pure ingredients, real seafood if I may describe it this way. I recommend it... I enjoyed even during summer days.
- Salad followed: crab, iceberg, tomato, basil with mayo black pepper sauce. A round salad bowl filled with a mix of condensed lettuce, pieces cut in small sizes to be easily picked with the fork, red juicy and lightly sweet tomatoes and premium quality crab. It's this kind of salad that's rich and generous, multiple layers of lettuce and lots of crab with a flavorful mayo sauce. A bit less sauce will make this salad even better.
- Salmon penne, this huge portion for only LBP15,500 is good for two. I'll cook them a bit less to enjoy a light firmness but the taste is good. Creamy, rich, lots of salmon cubes, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and this cream. Enjoyed the pepper, the salmon quality... I would suggest the taste to be less creamy! It's a plate with potential.
- The pizza; a rectangular pizza is made in Italy and baked in Lebanon, cheese is what you feel. It needs more tomato sauce and the shrimp should be marinated better.
- Beef sandwich includes red cabbage, beef fillet slices, avocado sauce and mozzarella cheese. The meat should be more tender.
- Calamari sandwich includes tomatoes, iceberg, pickles, mayo and Parmesan cheese. They are way too crispy?
- Pistachio rustico: an excellent dessert, a beautiful cake, a moist round cake decorated with red bits, shining inside out, it melts, slides under the palate exploding with flavor. A success!
- Caramel cake with cheese. A crumbling dough embraces a load of white cheese then topped with caramel sauce. A sweet caramel sauce on a layer of firm cheese. Their desserts are good indeed.
A new restaurant has opened its door on Jounieh's internal road, come and meet Mario who's so passionate about Italian cuisine that he'll make you fall in love with it.