December 08, 2012 Dbayeh Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Goutons Voir Dbayeh: A Perfect Mix of French Flair (Restaurant Closed)


Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 3/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 5/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 6/10

Value for money: Soon

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The last time I visited Goutons Voir was earlier this year at its Achrafieh branch, just when the trend of French bistros was starting to see the light in Beirut. Ten months later, I went back to Gouton Voir, but this time in it's new location in Dbayeh's Junction Five.

As an overview, everything in the new location is the same as the one in Beirut. It has all the details that people have long enjoyed in their Beirut branch. The same paper menu presented on a carton board and divided into first, second, third, sides, extras and sauces; the decoration with the same spirit and most importantly their professional staff which is up to the required standard.
The first impression:
  • High glass facades showing a white relaxing space with a calm ambiance, simply built in a square shape with tables randomly placed.
  • White walls simply decorated with shelves and black boards featuring the restaurant's formula, Today's Special and wines by the glass.
  • Windows decorated with white drawings and writings listing the signature desserts.
  • A welcoming smiley waiter showing you to your table where a pleasant night awaits you.
The architectural simplicity:
  • A simple yet innovative mix of materials: Wood, metal, glass and concrete all blend together to create a relaxing ambiance you'll enjoy
  • A real wood floor of long puzzled pieces
  • White walls and a high ceiling relaxing your eyes
  • The main bar filling the corner with its 7 individual lights pending down from the ceiling adds a funky touch to the place
  • A wooden box hosting some fine wines cover the barman's back
  • Thick wooden tables and other stone ones on the sides can host up to fifty guests
  • I liked the idea of covering the ceiling with this special noise reductive material cancelling all the echoes
The diverse bistro menu:
  • A menu divided into three distinctive main section, Goutons Voir call "First, Second and Third"
  • The First proposes three salads, Tomato Carpaccio, Cheese Tart, Cream Mushroom and Foie Gras
  • The Second proposes Risotto, spaghetti, black Angus and Wagyu meat, three chicken dishes, two choices of fish and a duck confit.
  • The Third proposes six different desserts Gouton Voir has been known to prepare in-house, which include Fruit salad, chocolate cake with strawberries, Strawberry macaroon, French toast and ice-cream.
The details I appreciated:
  • They offer our local Lebanese tea, Awan in a basket of sealed bags placed at the bar
  • The six candles chandeliers next to the kitchen door add a fine refined touch to the simple architecture
  • The balsamic and oil offered to start with the bread are heavily mixed. They do not have an appetizing look but the idea is very intelligent making the mix more absorbent by the hot bread, creating a new taste the oil or vinegar separately do not reveal
  • Their wine glasses are big, thin and light… Very pleasant to drink in
  • The waiters are very gentle
  • The manager is all ears and so attentive
  • The hot bread basket presented to start was immediately refilled with crunchy and freshly baked baguette and toasted slice bread, every time the basket empties.
We ordered tonight:
  • Salad Nice-Beyrouth: pink tuna slices, fresh lettuce, oeufs de cailles, tomato, red bell pepper and green beans, potato cubes and black olives. Salty and deep vinegar taste I appreciated.
  • Lentil smoked salmon with prominent green onion and a parsley taste giving its signature flavor.
  • Mushroom Carpaccio Salad: tomatoes and pesto sauce with green lettuce. A new invention I liked.
  • The meat tartar has a strong ketchup taste served with green lettuce salad. Fresh but it surely can be prepared with less ketchup.
  • Purée Teriyaki and purée mustard are succulent offered with the Filet de Boeuf black Angus presented on a wooden square plate
  • Zucchini Pasta with Red Sauce: zucchini slices, black olives, with its light sweet and mild taste all together on the aldente pasta. My tonight's favorite. Two thumbs up!
The Pluses:
  • French and Arabic speaking waiter Wissam is smiley and very professional.
  • A light pleasant cooking smell accompanies you during your entire experience.
  • A non smoking restaurant respecting the law and inviting the smokers to sit in their closed terrace.
  • Awan tea are presented at the bar in their individual metallic bags
The desserts:
It's been already 10 month since my last visit and the menu didn't change. Even the desserts are the same. If you look at my previous review, the pictures are exactly the same. I would surely suggest a change for the accustomed visitors who already tried every single item in the menu. An new element of surprise is always appreciated.
  • Moelleux in a soup plate with strawberry cubes. Too thin but tasty
  • A giant pink macaroon with mascarpone. Too hard and breaks in pieces like a biscuit, served with strawberry jam in a little shot with a straw.
"Desserts were not my favorite tonight"
Thank you for the shots offered at the end that were the cherry in top of this enjoyable dinner.


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