June 05, 2018 Antelias Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Il Vigneto: A Mouthwatering Lemon Sorbet in a jar
Non-smokers friendly
Casual Dining

3.8 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:76/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 18/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 6/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: 9/10

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On Antelias highway, facing Aishti, next to Diwan Beirut, Il Vigneto is a casual Italian restaurant welcoming you in a relaxed ambiance. Known to have eight choices of pasta, at Il Vigneto you can enjoy everything Italian from pasta to pizzas and meat plates while enjoying soothing Italian tunes.

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The restaurant feels like a traditional home in Italy. Loaded with colors, enjoy a view on the grape valleys of Tuscany while dining under the chandelier, on wooden tables decorated with fabric runners. I felt good from the minute I walked in. 

On the menu, start with the appetizers, choose a salad, choices of pasta, pizza, risotto, and desserts. I made sure nothing contains garlic.

A subtle service, smiling waiters, and a  manager who made sure to bring four bottles of wine, so we choose one of them, while taking the order by heart. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I was ready to indulge in a rich Italian dinner. 

The experience starts with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and parmesan cheese served on a plate with a basket of hot bread. I liked the olive tapenade, the softness of the bread and the idea of having parmesan mixed with balsamic vinegar.

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Dinner is served; portions are huge:

  • An immense salad of fresh lettuce, goat cheese on toast, and cherry tomatoes. A bulky salad which I would have made smaller toasted the bread way more with a light spread of butter and used a thicker more flavorful goat cheese.
  • Melon and Prosciutto: ripe melon and thinly sliced ham. A traditional plate with no complication.
  • The huge parmigiana is really good! With rich aromas and a red robe, the plate is baked as is with all its rich content. Eggplant, tomatoes and a load of cheese. I loved it how the ingredients are married together creating an experience for your taste buds. I’ll recommend this plate to my friends.

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  • Penne or spaghetti, the pasta is cooked al dente but lacks a handful of flavors. Looking good, the plates look like “Italian for non-Italians.” A bit of salt, a bit of life, a bit of passion, the food needs more Italian know-how. Spaghetti quality is too thick, needs more salt and more saffron. The penne is too creamy.
  • Mushroom risotto: a loaded portion like all other plates, a rice cooked al dente with a creamy sauce and tender mushrooms, the porcini risotto is a tasty plate I enjoyed. A portion for two persons or more, I believe orders at Il Vigneto are more for sharing.
  • The pizza: a crispy crust more like a Manouche covered with red sauce, yellow cheese, molten burrata and orange colored salmon slices. A flatbread, not an Italian Pizza, a commercial yellow cheese, bread you feel like a biscuit.

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I’ll improve small details that can make a big difference:

  • Since smoking is not allowed, having ashtrays spoils the table's decor.
  • Having a detailed Italian wine list is a must.
  • Table napkins would elevate the experience, especially in such a setup.
  • Do not serve plates with their spoons; 2018 is the Instagram era!

Forget about everything; keep some space for dessert because the lemon sorbet in a jar is not to be missed. An excellent sorbet, not icy and not creamy but something in between. Add a shot at of limoncello to it and enjoy a sublime blend of enjoyment taking you on a journey to Italy and back. I loved the idea and what’s inside the jar; a lemon sorbet I’ll be remembering for long. I loved its smoothness, the after-notes of bitterness, the strength of lemon and the limoncello you have to add to it.

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The panna cotta dessert is as good, balanced and mouthwatering.

A casual Italian experience on the Antelias highway far from Dbayeh’s hustle and bustle.

Suitable For: Casual Dining



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