May 06, 2014 Mount Lebanon Lebanon

The Wine Teller: Dine and Wine with a Passionate Sommelier

Non-smokers friendly

RATING:87/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 10/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 29/30

Architecture / Interior: 10/10

Food presentation: 10/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: Soon

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This is my second visit to the Wine Teller and I can honestly tell you that my experience was even better than the first time round. This wine bar for wine connoisseurs is handled and managed by Najib Moutran and his lovely wife. The couple work together and attend to the littlest detail every night.  Clients come in to enjoy a unique experience... and trust me this is what you'll be getting...
 
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The Wine Teller incorporated a larger variety of food choices to this new concept. Traditionally associated with cheese and desserts, the Wine Teller is looking to combine wine with appetizer-sized gourmet selections to enhance the palate. The concept brings the tastes of fancy restaurants to a dressed-down setting. Najib, the well renowned Lebanese Wine master, who has been lecturing and training about his passion for the last couple of years created a wine bar based around a knife, a slicer and a wine glass. He believes that everything sliced in thin layers is more enjoyable to eat than thicker chunks. Behind the bar is a design slicer that cuts everything: Cheese, ham, vegetables, bread, fruits and more.
 
With no sophistication, just pick up the phone and book your table. Najib will be more than happy to welcome you around a bottle of wine of your choice as you enjoy some of the house's latest yummy creations, helped by his second half. You can choose your favorite wine, among more than 200 different Lebanese wines on display as well as a choice of 250 International names to accompany your meal.
 
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The architecture of the place: 
  • A glass door slides open to welcome you
  • Two tables, one seating 7 and the other seating 4 guests fill in the space while the bar fits groups up to  6
  • The wood floor looks like wine crates placed one next to the other imprinted with thick letters usually seems on wood containers
  • All the walls are covered with wood for isolation, sound and humidity control purposes
  • The bar is the main attraction here, covered with stone and a thick wooden surface facing the slicer and fridge
  • An ambiance of burgundy, crushed petals and light wood takes over. A relaxing feel and a soothing spirit
  • Two fridges, one for cold cuts and the other for cheese are lit and awaited to be opened
  • At the bottom of the rectangular space is the wine cellar, Najib's protected place where fine supreme wines are stored, maintained at 15degreesC and a humidity of 78%
  • Go up the second floor on the metallic stairs where Najib’s office welcomes you as well as a high table, where group tastings are organized and food is prepared
Things have improved since the last time I visited which drove me to appreciate the place even more. A place like no other, different from the restaurants experiences you can get around town where good music and a spiritual ambiance will just make you appreciate good stuff. With love and passion, wearing a black robe, plates are served on black boards with style and finesse. Wine_Teller_Najib_Moutran18

I decided to take the corner table, under the speaker, on the relaxing bench, next to the cellar and facing the preparation area, throwing an eye on the slicer in action. I stood up from time to time for a slice of Tete De Moine cheese sliced in seconds at the bar.

To start, bread was distributed in stainless baskets while the other items were distributed between wine bottles transformed into plates or black stone board.
 
Chorizo, Cherry tomato, Stuffed green olives, a Crumbs Carpaccio with a lemon slice and citrus juice...
Crunchiness with a simple majestic feel. It's impressive how taste changes when food is sliced...
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The food was excellent and perfectly matched the ambiance and wine:
  • Provolone with jam from Quana far (kbouch, wild black current), Mimolette affilée de trios ans, Comté doux, Gambosola cheese with raisin, Manchego... I felt like enjoying some cheese where fresh batches have just arrived from the four corners of Europe
  • Sardine on a toast with (zube3) thyme, butter and lemon cubes: A crunchy feel, subtle sardine taste, strong and interesting lemon zest and a smooth butter finish. I loved this one.
  • Chorizo, sundried tomatoes, red grilled pepper, pickled onions on toast: Subtitle smooth chorizo, sweet taste, interesting crunchiness
  • Mortadella cake: That's a favorite! An innovative creation to say the least. One layer on top of the other, Italian ham seasoned with balsamic vinegar and mixed with cheese, sundried tomato, red onion spinach with chives. Simplicity redefined into a tart-like beautifully presented creation that will make me come back for
  • Finokiona: italian salami with anis, Smoked turkey, Labneh darfiyé from Ehden, Homemade chutney apricot, pickles, mustard grains
  • Mille feuille d'aubergine and four cheese: Imagine a mille feuille like you never tasted before. Thin sliced eggplants filled with cheese in the middle, melting all together for the pleasure of your senses
  • Halloum cheese marinated in white wine, parsley and mushrooms: cubes and slices with new interesting flavors, rich feel and surely beautiful to see
  • Beetroot carpaccio with chives and parsley with vinaigre de rins
  • Salad in a glass bowl: A signature item, Najib serves at the end of the tasting. Inside a round cognac glass are some lettuce, pine nuts, apples, cranberries, orange zest, rocket and sesame seeds. Freshness in a cup, beautiful to see and enjoyable to eat
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Wine to accompany dinner. Chateau St. Thomas 2008:
 
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Aged in new French oak barrels for few months, the aromas of the oak blended with aromas of the wine create a final bouquet. The color is bold, deep red with purple sparkles. The warm and complex nose evokes touches of soaked fruits tending towards the violet. The palate is delighted to taste the harmony and generosity of this rich wine whose tannins are round and whose bouquet is endowed with a remarkable length. This wine has a good and prominent acidity and a nose that's open, flowery and fresh. This bottle is best opened more than two hours in advance then moved into a decanter.
 
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The details I loved:
  • Sohat glass bottles are used. I love this detail. Even the water tastes different from a glass bottle
  • The music choice is exactly what I was expecting to enjoy
  • The serving plates are classy and different, they fit the place perfectly well
  • Everything is freshly cut in front of the customers
  • The salad cognac-like glass is a must see. A beautiful way to end your dinner - Great idea Najib
We enjoyed a great evening, tasting a variety of original bites prepared by Najib and his lovely wife. The food is amazing and the concept is so refreshing and new... I really respect Najib for all the effort he puts into this project - you will feeel that he is driven by passion for what he does and not looking to make extra profit... 
 



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