December 24, 2013

2013: My Coup de Coeur

A 'coup de coeur' is when you instantly fall in love with something, maybe love at first sight if you will. In my case its love at first bite... restaurants I have visited and bites I have tried and enjoyed so much. Somethings just leave a certain place in your life... and this year I have come across a few things and places that I can still taste in my mind until today... and every time I think of the experience, my heart skips a beat calling me to go have some again and again...  NoGarlicNoOnions_Top10_Restaurant_Reviews_Lebanon Halim’s Best Charcoal Grilled Birds

There are treasures in our country that we don’t know off. There are restaurants that have been running for more than half a century with a history, which we often miss. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to get close and personal with one such gem called Halim. Who is Halim? What is »more… Camera 360 Fouad Khalil’s Authentic Lebanese Food: History in the Making
I truly hope I will be able to describe my experience at the one and only Fouad. Giving justice to a place and finding the right words to describe is hard, especially when the overall experience is truly amazing. But I will try… At Fouad the experience is unique on many levels: An extraordinary welcoming, superb »more… Melhem_Khalil_Lebanese_Jouret_Badran_Restaurant10 Mum & I: Refined and Exquisite Homemade Food
The experience I lived today is truly next to none. Mum&I, is a unique restaurant that opened in March 2012 – coinciding with the launching of NoGarlicNoOnions – offering Beirut’s culinary connoisseurs with the finest homemade food.  The owner, Samia Massoud, who learned a handful of recipes from her mum, opened a restaurant by pure »more… Mum&I_Restaurant_Beirut_Mathaf097 Onno: The Best Authentic Homey Lebanese Armenian Food
Typical Armenian cuisine, the kind of food you’d have at the home of an Armenian friend, is not served in the capital’s commercially well-known Armenian restaurants but rather in the minuscule low-key chophouses hidden in the maze-like backstreets of Burj Hammoud. Onno has been feeding its customers authentic Armenian specialties in its charming 24 seats »more… Onno_Armenian_Restaurant_Burj_Hamoud65 Kroum Ehden: A Boutique Resort Hosting a Unique Restaurant, Al Matbokh
How enchanting it is to be able to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy one of Lebanon’s beautiful towns. Driving up to Ehden, a northern gem, you’re welcomed into a unique set up called Kroum Ehden. A vast land of 140,000sqm nestled amidst a forest… This boutique resort is a must see. Kroum »more… Matbokh_Restaurant_Kroum_Ehden_Resort_Hotel52 La Petite Maison Beirut: A Fine Culinary Experience Filled with European Flavors
My story with La Petite Maison has come a long way since the very first time I tried its beautiful location in Dubai a couple of years ago. Accompanied with my father in law, a fine gourmet, a while after, we tried the original one in Nice during a visit to the South of France. »more… La_Petite_Maison_Beirut80
Beit Al Batroun: An Eclectic and Charming Maison D’Hôte
I may always say this and I will say it again, simply because I am positively surprised… There are places in Lebanon that inspire me, as well as people who remind me that Lebanon is a beautiful country we should not give up on. The positivity such places and such people share with others is »more… Beit_Al_Batroun_Hotel_Maison_Hote_NoGarlicNoOnions82 A Unique Breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut
And the quest continues. Finding the best breakfast in a five star hotel in Lebanon. After visiting the Hilton Habtoor, Le Royal Dbayeh, Le Gray and Le Vendome, the Four Seasons Beirut was next on the list. I have heard a lot of good things about the breakfast served in this hotel facing Beirut’s’ sea »more… The_Four_Seasons_Hotel_Beirut_Breakfast68 Let’s Head South… SUD, Mar Mikhael
You’ve been reading my reviews about La Cour Saint Michel, an idea I have found to be extraordinary on so many levels. One of today’s hot spots, houses a bakery, three restaurants and a great ambiance all combined around a middle court in the heart of  soho’esque Mar Mikhael. With a variety of cuisines and choices »more… Sud_Mar_Mikhael_Restaurant_Beirut55 Homemade with Love and Passion: Maguy’s Fresh Daily Catch
In Lebanon, there are a handful of gems found in different parts of the country. I recently stumbled upon one, just 45 minutes away from Beirut heading North. Get into the car, drive towards Batroun  and you’ll discover a beautiful restaurant with a dreamy view of the Mediterranean sea. It’s colorful, humble, comfortable, homey and »more… Maguy_Batroun_Seafood_Restaurant_Lebanon46 Yumm and More: The Finest Bahamas Cake From Pâte à Choux
During my adolescence, I remember dad taking me to a pastry shop all the way up in Broumana. Owned and run by Victor Rbeiz, Pâte à Choux cakes were special, freshly handmade with love and passion, a passion that has run for many generations. Pâte à Choux made the best and finest cakes and sweets way before big commercial factories »more… Pate_A_Choux_Bahamas_Pastry_NoGarlicNoOnions14 A Trip to the Castle of Sweets Tripoli: Abdel Rahman Al Hallab
In 1881, the Lebanese city of Tripoli, renowned for its ancestral history and great heritage, witnessed the rise of a new dawn in the world of traditional oriental sweets. Exquisite, tasty, rich and incomparably delicious, Abdul Rahman Hallab’s wide range of oriental sweets soon became the most famous in the whole region, seducing refined palates »more… AbdelRahman_Hallab_Tripoli_Lebanon30

Hanna Mitri: The World’s Best Ice Cream

I truly doubt that all Lebanese people don’t know or have not heard of Hanna Mitri. The one and only Hanna Mitri known for his uniquely fresh ice cream, perfect Maamoul and arrogantly rude character. Following his steps is his son Mitri Hanna, the sole carrier of this legend’s recipes. I spent two whole hours »more…


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