Barouk, one of Lebanon's most preserved districts of Chouf area, hosts a number of fancy restaurants where guests are warmly welcomed to enjoy a selection of generous food and choices in an unmatched ambiance. One such restaurant is Baytna, managed by the Mahmoud family. This place is unique for many reasons, one of which is that you are welcomed into the family’s childhood home.
We were shown around the premises before lunch. The owners welcomed us into their home with a big smile on their faces. You’ll find that a restaurant has been build next to an old house dating back to the last century where the family used to live.
Hassib the owner shows me around, pointing out to the place where he used to sleep and other places under the old arcades were he used to welcome his friends when he was younger.
Walk around and find a terrace divided into two sections, a closed one under a wooden ceiling and another on the lower level where a hundred tables are set to host big events.
With musical notes played by the water falls… lunch started.
Lebanese food prepared with care and dedication in a typical homey way. Makanek, chicken liver, fattoush, tabbouleh, soujok with cheese, hummus, goat Labneh and grilled halloumi is served in traditional clay pots as well as a raw selection of meat, kebbeh and teble in stone pots.
I enjoyed the hummus, the lemon and tahini equilibrated flavors with a hint of salt. It’s good, a very good hummus. The makanek are tender with thin envelop, the chicken liver are tasty bathing in their lemon juice, delicious grilled halloumi, fresh crispy tabbouleh, oriental style fattouch and yummy labneh. I'm a big fan of Labneh and this one is one hell of a good Labneh.
The difference between Baytna and other restaurants in the area is their fresh homemade hot bread.
While Oud was playing in the background, we enjoyed a pleasant meal.
Baytna is recommended.