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Bergerac: Table du Sud-Ouest, Achrafieh
Bergerac French Bistro: Indulge Yourself in Fine South-West Specialities
Invited for a charity dinner prepared by chef Micheal Lee Rafidi who came all the way from Washington, Bergerac has been transformed tonight into a group gathering where everyone was happy and satisfied. Nestled in the heart of Achrafieh, Bergerac has been open for the last seven years or so serving a Cuisine from France. With a guest chef taking over the kitchens, accompanied by his second in command, and helped by Riad Abou Lteif from Ferdinand, I was excited to try the food.
Unconventional gourmet food prepared casually; tomato and melons, a warm sourdough from Roger le Boulanger, steak tartare, smoked bone marrow, grilled Loup de Mer, honey lawyered quail and crème fraîche pound cake.
Dinner started with a plate of fresh things; whipped Fromage blanc, fermenter Aleppo chili, cherry tomatoes, and sweet melons. A great way to start your dinner in style, activating your taste buds and preparing them for what is yet to come.
Tartare, raw meat mixed with egg custard, brandied onions and crunchy Comté. It’s when I discovered the greatness of the chef. Understanding his ingredients and cooking with passion, the tartare is one of the best I’ve had. Tender meat, embraced with olive oil, seasoned with love and created to impress.
Best of the best, the jewel of the night, a meal for the connoisseurs and passionate gourmets; the bone marrow! OMG kind of feeling! Extremely tender, amazingly cooked, intensely flavorful bone marrow I fell in love with. I’m a fan of bone marrow trying it every time I have the chance to and this one reminded me of my visits to London. So Yummy that I ate two giant pieces on my own. Fatty, oily, juicy and gooey; it’s so finger licking good.
Grilled sea-bass toasted to crunch like chips while maintaining its heart juicy. It is served with a bed of green peas floating in a chermoula bouillon. The taste of simplicity if I may call it; no complication yet enjoyably flavorful. Balanced textures your palate will love.
Dessert followed: Creme Fraiche poundcake and Meghle Tart.
A dinner I enjoyed; I was happy to meet the chef hoping to visit him one day in Washington. I was delighted to get introduced to Al Majal NGO by Josyane Boulos and to dine with my new friend Robert Haddad who invited me to this memorable gathering.
Al Majal NGO: AL MAJAL is a specialized center dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people with special needs by giving them opportunities to develop their abilities through interactive educational activities.
The center targets adults ( from 17 years) with learning disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, and other mental and physical handicaps.
Chef MichaelRafidi: Albi presents chef/owner Michael Lee Rafidi's contemporary vision of Middle Eastern cooking as seen through the lens of Modern American techniques and Mid-Atlantic ingredients.For his first solo restaurant, chef Rafidi draws inspiration from his roots in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as influence from the Levant and North Africa, bringing to the table an experience that melds ancient culinary tradition with the refined hand and artful plating that has earned him widespread acclaim.