March 24, 2015 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

éCafe Beirut: A Calm Restaurant up St. Nicolas’ Stairs (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 1 333 240

Address: 198, Sursock, St Nicolas Stairs, Achrafieh, Lebanon


Price Range: 50-80 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 4.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 25/30

Architecture / Interior: 3/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: 8/10

At the intersection of Sursock Street and the St. Nicolas Stairs is a restaurant made famous having revived the souks of Jbeil for the last decade or so. A representation of Byblos in Beirut, in this restaurant you’ll find a soothing ambiance and good food.


The location:

  • L'Escalier de L'Art, also known as the L'Escalier de Saint-Nicolas is a public stairway providing a pedestrian link between Rue Gouraud and Rue Sursock . Its proximity to the Sursock Museum and the Greek Orthodox Archbishopric of Beirut on Rue Sursock, make the 125 steps and 500-meter staircase, believed to be the longest in the region, a very popular destination for tourists visiting Beirut.
  • Rue Sursock is a historic street named after one Beirut's most prominent families, the street is home to many of Beirut's beautiful historic mansions that were built in the 18th and 19th century by aristocratic families such as Sursock and Bustros. A large gate was used to close down Rue Sursock at 10 pm, and this tradition remained until 1945.


The place:

  • The restaurant is a blend of a bar and a restaurant with an architectural spirit that looks like a piano bar with a fresh ambiance.
  • A large É logo decorates the wall.
  • Rectangular tables fill in the space.
  • Old-style Lebanese tiles cover the floor, reminding us of the street's history.
  • Green, blue, white and red, the place is very colorful.
  • Violet chairs and some grey sofas surround the tables.
  • Colorful cups decorate the tables with a complete set of cutlery. Four glass cups, a glass plate, cashews and almonds with Grissini biscuits and tapenade. The nuts are warm, the Grissini fresh and flaky.
  • A live pianist plays in the background all night.
  • Green magnum bottles, lit from the inside, add a touch of color to the corners.
  • A central glass wall makes the place look bigger.

The menu:

  • Starters
  • Salads
  • Pasta and risotto
  • The Tartines
  • Grill
  • Desserts
  • Drinks


The details I loved:

  • The music is soothing as you walk in and the ambiance kicked off at 11 o’clock
  • The warm decor fills the place, making it nice for intimate dinners
  • Designer wine glasses decorate the tables
  • The smoking law is respected
  • They use glass Sohat water glass bottles 
  • A gentle and professional staff takes care of everything

Let's eat:

  • Foie gras: Served in a glass jar, the Foie gras is homemade. A rich Foie gras with crunchy, airy round bread and fig jam on the side. Take a piece of bread, spread some jam, a chunk of Foie gras, and here you are. A recommendation. I personally prefer the conventional presentation, in slices, not in this jar.
  • Tuna tartare: A beautifully decorated plate, a round plate with a cylinder where two ultra thin apples add a touch of finesse. A layer of avocado on a bed of tuna tartare with ginger on the side. A perfect mix and great seasoning, but I would change one thing to make the plate even better and that is to make the tuna cubes bigger. The cubes are too small and a bit unpleasant when sliding under the palate.
  • The salmon: Four slices of salmon, four thick slices that you’d usually see on a barbecue. I can tell you a secret, I can spot this supplier every day of the week. I didn't like the quality of the salmon.


  • The sea bass carpaccio: Excellent! A round plate covered with raw sea bass slices and decorated with a circle of lime. A must try.
  • The Rochefort and endives salad with walnuts: As good as you’d expect. Fresh, crunchy, flavorful. I enjoyed it.
  • Goat cheese salad: Served on a special plate, the salad is made up of a mountain of greenery with four portions of bread, fluffy bread topped with thick slices of warm goat cheese. Simple and clear, with a touch of finesse. With that are raisins cut in half, as well as apple fingers. A crunch, a sweetness, a cocktail of textures and flavors. A flavorful salad.
  • Cappuccino, mushrooms and Foie gras soup: Just imagine those three flavors combined. A hint of cappuccino, the smoothness of creamy mushrooms and blocks of Foie gras melting calmly in the soup. Loved it!
  • Pavé de saumon:A large, generous piece of salmon lying on a bed of sautéed spinach mixed with pine nuts. I ate it as is, with the skin, the crunchy skin. Even though the salmon was a bit fatty and oily, the plate's seasoning is very good. I enjoyed it.
  • The king prawns: I've rarely seen a plate as generous as this one. Five large pieces served with grilled vegetables. Well cooked, full bodied and firm prawns alongside an olive oil sauce. Very generous and tasty, with an enjoyable aftertaste of the grill.



  • The pain Perdu:A generous portion, a large square bun with two scoops of ice cream but unfortunately, I personally found it too sweet, too buttery and too watery. 
  • The chocolate mousse: Beautifully presented, this plate is like no other I've ever had before. A rich, dark and strong chocolate mousse that's just perfect and healthy at the same time. The chocolate mousse is mixed with fresh avocado, cacao, organic honey and vanilla. No milk, no eggs and no sugar. Served with strawberries and mango, this dessert is not to be missed. A subtle crunchy feeling ends every bite in style. I simply loved it!
  • Chocolate truffles:A cup comes fully loaded with chocolate ice cream truffles and meringue sticks on the side. Crunchy bits of chocolate, full-bodied dark chocolate balls and some passion. That's a very good dessert.


The pluses:

  • The food is good, plates are generous.

The minuses:

  • Ambiance is a bit dark for a restaurant, with a red flair that fits a nightclub.
  • The music becomes unbearably loud after 11, unpleasantly loud for a restaurant.
  • Some of the portions are way too big. I’d make them smaller and decrease the price.

That's éCafe, bringing the spirit of the Eddé family empire from Jbeil to Beirut. A restaurant for calm soothing dinners, offering a flavorful experience.





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