Three stories up, on a roof in Gemmayze, comes Ma’alem Arteen. Armenian by nature, Lebanese by heart, this particular restaurant welcomes you, to enjoy fresh vibes inspired by the old Lebanese culture. Colors, wood, neon lights, paper table covers, greenery, and lights... drink Arak and enjoy the vibes! Enjoying old Lebanese tunes, I sat for an early dinner. Hummus, moutabbal, itch, yalanji, sujuk, suberek and many other specialties from two worlds.
The place reminded me of the old “Ahwet el ‘ezez” simply built from concrete and tables. Red, green and blue chairs with white paper table covers. I started eating... food looks great and tastes awesome!!!!
Exceptional food! Complicated things that look great; itch Armenia tabbouleh, best enjoyed with grapevine leaves. Rice cooked in a red capsicum. Raw meat... Burgundy colored moutabbal beetroot, and the list goes on and on. I was enjoying my meal so much that I even forgot to ask about the plates' names.
My favorite plates are the rice based vegetables: exactly like Koussa, Arteen has cooked the rice in eggplant and in capsicum among other vegetables; they are called “Yalanji”. Labneh, hummus and batenjen, the waiter asked for a plate of grapevines me leaves which I ended up eating with everything. I would call it; “A yummy experience”.
Hot plates followed: eggs, laban and Kafta cooked together in a metal plate. A juicy and cheesy soubereg. Awesome Armenian awarma... oh my God the food! Pulled lamb meat cooked with cubes of potato... I recommend you wrap them in grapevine and enjoy. A glass of arak after the other, one passed like a shooting star.
Meet Faysal, the happiest and most professional waiter at Ma’alem Arteen: he recommends, helps, supports and makes your experience a memorable one.
Ma3jou2a followed: Kebbeh and crunchy pistachio. Eggplant with Kababji. Kafta balls with pines and again, another bite of soubereg.
Desserts deserve a paragraph of their own: Ashta and vanilla ice cream everywhere, the desserts are a balance and a mixture of colors, flavors, and textures. Baklava with three scoops of ice cream, ghazel el banet, and pistachio. I also had the knefeh naboulsieh, heated and heart melting with the adequate amount of sugar syrup.
I loved it here and will recommend it to all my friends. Good job guys for an exceptional dinner with heartwarming service and attention. Merci!