CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Toto: A Typical Italian Trattoria in Beirut (Restaurant Closed)
TOTO: A Special Italian Spot in Beirut (Restaurant Closed)
Toto: Premium Italian! (Restaurant Closed)
Toto: The Last Dinner in Mar Mikhael (Restaurant Closed)
After opening a new location in Dbayeh, Toto, Lebanon's famous Italian restaurant renews its décor. The new decor somehow reminds me of the beautiful architecture in Milano, the city of art and culinary creations. The welcoming area has changed. The space is wider with a higher ceiling, there’s a cozy terrace, new artworks here and there, but the same feel of a typical Lebanese home. The pizza oven has been removed from the welcoming area, and more chairs and round and square tables have been added.
The 'piece de resistance' of this new décor is a big cloud. You’ll enjoy relaxing chairs imprinted with black lines and autumn leaves, a complete set of cutlery and white table napkins on tables decorated with Zejd olive oil bottles. Calm music plays in the background while we waited to be served.
On the two-page menu you’ll find a selection of Italian specialties hand picked from around Italy. There’s a selection of 11 pizzas, 4 bruschetta, 6 fried plates, 4 choices of cheese and 3 Carpaccio and on the other page you can find 6 starters, 5 salads, 6 pasta choices and 3 risotto with 4 meat choices and one choice of fish. Make sure to leave some space for one of their 7 desserts.
- Dinner started with a plate of Parmesan cheese served on a wooden board with three slices of pain de campagne with balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. A basket of oregano focaccia is here to nibble on before the more serious dishes start.
- The Diavola pizza is excellent. It’s thin and crispy dough covered with tomato sauce and pepperoni offers an enjoyable spiciness. I loved the dough, loved the crust, the crunchy border and the fluffy feel inside. The ingredients are rich… It is surely one of the country's best Italian pizzas.
- Oh wow! Lemon risotto with bottarga... That’s awesome! Risotto cooked al dente mixed in their sauce and covered with thin slices of yellow bottarga that add the needed flavor and an after note of subtle bitterness. I love how the rice crunches lightly, the creaminess and the bottarga quality.
Now for the wine: This is an exceptional wine, rich on the nose, fruity and fresh with notes of wood and red fruits on the palate. That's a wine you have to put in your to-do list. Château Pérenne 2011, Bordeaux, Bernard Magrez.
- Les pattes... comme c'est bon! Cooked al dente, filled with flavored, not too watery and not too dry, amazingly textured and well balanced. I tried two of them and loved them both equally. I recommend the seafood tagliatelle and black ink spaghetti. Two big gambas and zucchini chola on top with a sweet tomato sauce.
Great food indeed! An amazing dinner I really enjoyed and the package that comes with it. Service is professional as even the smallest details are attended to…Plates are changed several times, words are chosen very carefully, "Thank you" and "Sir" comes in every sentence... You fe pampered!
Dessert time... à fine dining pain perdu! Not like any other pain perdu you can have around town, a thick piece of square bread lightly buttered and milked… It is filled with dark chocolate and topped with a scoop of ice cream. I loved its softness and its lightness. The quality of the chocolate is good and the ice cream is mouthwatering. Unfortunately the corners are a bit too thick for the softness of its heart.
A small note: almost all plates are broken and need to be changed. The wine carafe branded Musar is not too professional; I prefer Riedel to be up to this restaurant' standard.
I loved it! Loved the experience, the food, the service, and professionalism... everything that makes Toto and unique restaurant.