December 02, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Alesia Restaurant: French Fine Dining in Beirut (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 1 996663

Address: Saifi Village, Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 100-120 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: Soon

Many casual French bistros have mushroomed around town, but finding a high-end French dining spot is rare. You sometimes want to enjoy a high-end ambiance with a loved one in a cozy spot. Taking over what used to be the Lutecia in Saifi village, Alesia is now open for French food aficionados. Owned by the same group of Lutecia or the previous Le Marais in Rue du Liban, Mr. Georges Batal welcomes you every night into an interesting French setup where good French food is served in a fine dining set up.

We arrived at 9pm and were welcomed by a professional valet service. We then walked through the corridor that leads you to the restaurant entrance. The place occupies the corner of a building. The setup is typically French in style. Covered with green painted wood, the large glass facade shows the warm ambiance inside. The place described:

  • Black wooden facade and at the end a red door showing the entrance
  • An "L" shaped restaurant with a more private space at the end
  • The bar on the right with six pending lights
  • Round tables with red chairs fill in the space
  • White table covers with a nice setup
  • Arthur Krupp cutlery and fine crystal wine glasses fill in the tables
  • Flowers decorate all the tables
  • Dimmed lighting create a nice warm ambiance
  • Old authentic Lebanese tiles cover the floor
  • White ceiling absorbent for the echoes is one of the most intelligent things created
  • A more cozy area at the end of the restaurant hosts some rectangular tables under the arcade. This part of the restaurant enjoys wood flooring
  • A red wood cover, follows all the walls in a decorative way around the restaurant
  • Pending lights decorate some of the walls while nice French paintings decorate the others

Dinner started with warm bread and Echire butter. Carrots and nuts were also served. The bread buns are good, warm and slightly crunchy. As for the French baguettes-like bread sticks they were too chewy. The menu:

  • Les Entrees
  • Les Tartares
  • Les Viandes
  • Les Poissons
  • Les Pates et Riz
  • Les Desserts

The culinary experience:

  • Crabe Frais (E.S): Crab with three half sucrine lettuce covered with lemon dressing. Interesting flavors and textures in a simple plate
  • Salad Maison: Home salad with a fresh sucrine lettuce cut in slices with tomato, avocado, endives, iceberg with mustard, lemon, oil dressing
  • Saumon fume D'ecosse: Thick salmon that's unfortunately way too salty served with an enjoyably lemony juice and served with four soft and tender semi toasted brown bread
  • Cote de Beau Blanc Grille: This is a very good piece of meat. It's juicy, perfectly cooked and served with potato cubes and sautéed mushrooms
  • Escalope de Beau Blanc: Soft and tender. Simply WOW. I like how the french fries are cut in cubes
  • Risotto aux Cepes: Mushroom risotto: Aldente and enjoyable
  • Filet Mighnon de beau Blanc Grille: Delicious
  • Boeuf Strogonoff: This is a plate you have never tasted before. It's the stroganoff preparation we all know, yet created in a fine dining way
  • Tagliatelle a la Creme: Excellent and aldente
  • Mille Feuille Chaud (pour deux persons): Doesn't the picture speak for itself? Rich and tasty. Two thumbs up
  • Sorbets masons: I enjoyed these homemade sorbet ice cream a lot
  • Baba au Rum: Exactly like it should be. Filled with rum it's juicy and fresh. Served with homemade whipped cream
  • Pain Perdu, sauce caramel: Yummy! A fine dining version of the pain perdu covered with caramel and almonds
Summarizing the experience, the food at Alesia is as good as it was at Le Marais. A fine dining restaurant, serving premium culinary creations, prepared with finesse and delicacy. We do miss such places in Lebanon. The ambiance accompanies the food well as it relaxes your senses in this highend place. But unfortunately, the main and only thing to improve is the staff's attitude. Yes, the waiters are not up to the standards of this place. They lack finesse and know how. They look and act like the ones in Lebanese restaurants... I think that says it all. I liked:
  • Frette table napkins
  • The ambiance of this place and its calmness
  • The finesse of the food
I didn't appreciate:
  • I would have wished to see the waiter’s smiles. A more welcoming attitude would have been appreciated. This can make all the difference
  • The ashtrays with their cigarette supports do not fit this fine setup
Alesia is one of Lebanon's finest dining places, which I recommend you visit especially for its good food, pleasant ambiance and reasonable prices. A little improvement on the service can push this restaurant to become a reference.





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