March 03, 2013 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Bergerac French Bistro: Indulge Yourself in Fine South-West Specialities

Phone Number: +961 1 330 013

Address: Furn el Hayek, facing Supermarket Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 40-70 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 4.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 6/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 1/10

Value for money: Soon

I wanted to share my culinary experience as soon as I got home today, but thanks to the intelligent and over confident waiter, I spent the whole afternoon in bed after lunch. His arrogance didn't allow him to stoop down a level and ask the chef if one of the dishes (confit de canard) included garlic. He said it did not and I ended up sick.
Now that I'm better, let me tell you about Bergerac, the latest newborn to open its doors in the heart of Beirut, Achrafieh, a region where French gastronomy is well appreciated. I have received many requests about my thoughts on Bergerac and I am finally going to share it... Although the waiter was a complete annoyance, Bergerac is a must try.
This little square room, facing Supermarket Achrafieh, cooks fine French preparations like never seen before in the country. It's not about serving a piece of meat or a grilled salmon on a well decorated plate, but a fine culinary creation of savory casseroles filled with love: "Taste France in a plate".
Before visiting Bergerac, you should understand the concept to fall in love with it: It is not a fine dining restaurant... It is not a place where etiquette is their first priority... It is not a place where you will leave fulfilled and heavy... This restaurant is a street eatery or what is know in France as "Un Restaurant de Quartier". The place serves fine preparations our grand-mothers way.
Lunch started with a tasty bread basket offered with salted butter followed by the water serving.
Finally I witnessed what I have been dreaming off for years... Plastic bottles are emptied inside a glass carafe... The easiest and perfect solution to avoid using the cheap looking plastic bottles.

Bergerac Wine List: Les Notres (Bérets Rouges, Bérets Blancs), Les Uns,eEt Les Autres, Vins Libanais disponibles a la demande. The Sud-Ouest Region and the others region. The concept is based on the South-West region of France.

The Menu Sections: Entrées, Accompagnements, Desserts, Plats, Fromage Et Charcuterie, Boissons Fraîches, Boissons Chaudes.

We ordered:
  • Confit de Canard: Duck leg with with its fat served with mini steamed potatoes and caramelized onions. A perfect preparation... Until my teeth crushed a complete garlic.
  • Foie Gras Poêlé: Four pieces of warm foie gras covered with ground salt and pepper surrounding little cubes of chutney with dried raisins, finished up with a line of olive oil. Two little pieces of Pain D'Epices add an additional flavor to the mix. That preparation is simple yet very tasty. I would personally change the plate's presentation. It is not up to the high-end ingredients it contains.
  • Salade Landaise: Foie gras, magret de canard, lettue frisée, croûtons, haricots verts. Everyone loved it.
  • Souris D'agneau: A lamb leg floating in its sauce. The thing is that lamb is very hard to cook. It has a smell few know how to manage. Bergerac masters this plate. Bravo.
  • Terrine de Foie Gras: As good as all other decent restaurants would serve it. It cannot be more sophisticated.
  • Tagliatelle au Foie Gras: Perfectly cooked and adequately seasoned, served with foie gras and Parmesan slices, this is a unique preparation indeed.
  • Salade Fraîcheur: Carroyés, laitues frisées, coup aux de Parmesan, noix, haricots verts, sauce à l'aile.
  • Saumon en Cocotte: I never tasted anything like this before in Lebanon.
  • Suprême de Poulet: Prepared their way, the casserole contains a cooked chicken with tomato sauce and vegetables. The chicken is juicy and tender. Tasty indeed.


The details I liked:
  • Clean and clear unsophisticated architecture
  • A simple and very well lit restaurant
  • Two black boards show the ice creams, sorbets and an explanation about the duck (Le Canard: 130kcal/100g, vitamins B et Fer, Acides Gras polyinsatures = Bon cholesterol)
  • A large shelve behind the bar displaying dozens of already opened bottles
  • I loved the water carafe in the middle of the table making the cheap local plastic bottle disappear from your eye sight
  • The ashtrays without cigarettes support

"All the food is tasty. Bravo chef Alexis"


The minuses and important things to change:
  • The waiter needs decent training
  • The service is mediocre
  • I hate the cheap and low quality small wine glasses. This is unacceptable in a French restaurant and unpleasant to drink in. A little investment is needed for classier and lighter cups.
  • Stop the music, I beg you. The restaurant is small and packed with guests talking. It is enough echoes and sounds.


The unprofessional waiter:
  •  The waiter is too comfortable as if he's chatting and playing with his friends. He cuts you in the middle of a conversation to go check on someone else. He uses his hands a lot, as if saying a poem out loud, or giving some kind of lecture... He leans on the chair as he's talking, which shows that he's bored and tired... although he had just started serving us. The worst part is his ironic smile that shows no sense of class.
  • We agree that the restaurant is a French bistro, but minimum sense of professionalism is expected. When a waiter is at a table with the customers, he stays until they are done. There should be other waiters available to welcome other guests entering.
  • I clearly asked the waiter to suggest dishes without garlic. The duck confit had garlic in it, although he insisted that there won't be. Please next time, get down your high horses and go ask the chef and get the right answer. This is a serious matter: I AM ALLERGIC!
  • While moving the plates, he was having a phone conversation. Yes, plates in one hand and the phone in the other. Come on! Where the hell does he think he is? Some respect!
  • His arrogance and attitude is unpleasant. He acts like he owns this restaurant and that everything he does is acceptable. Are we at a street falafel kiosk?
  • The wine bottle was placed inside the ashtray. The photo is a proof.
  • You should have seen him serving water. Hilarious!

To tell you the truth, this waiter got on my nerves today. Get someone to train him.

Desserts are finger licking awesome:
  • The caramel salted butter macaroon is simply extraordinary. That is a must try. Superb: Two thumbs up.
  • The lemon meringue tart is mouthwatering
  • The profiteroles with their dark chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream scoops is just perfect
Chef Alexis Claveyroles se fera le plaisir d'écouter vos commentaires et suggestions. N'hésitez pas à lui demander un plat personnalisé, il mettra tout en œuvre pour vous répondre favorablement.
A pleasant and interesting restaurant to discover serving very tasty authentic French specialities. I would surely come back soon.
Bergerac is closed Sunday nights as well as Monday all day.





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