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La Parilla, although I had a different opinion before, this is one of the finest Argentinian Steakhouses in town, located between the Downtown area of Beirut and the city of Achrafieh, and few meters away from Centrale.
Like I said, in a previous review, I was a bit harsh on La Parilla. I was very determined then not to give it any credit - whether food or price. But now, a year exactly later, I went back again. This time I have a completely changed image of the place and a completely different review to share...
This time, I really appreciated the interior design of La Parilla. For the first time, I got to see it from a different angle because we were seated on the left side of the restaurant, in an old English, Argentinian castle basement taverna style room, with stone walls painted in an old white brushed color and romantically lit by old candle-like yellow chandeliers. My wife and I were seated on old wooden yet comfortable chairs. The ambiance reminded me of the castles I've visited in Scotland.
From 9 to 11pm our dinner was accompanied by a Piano player; some songs were good but others were a bit too loud and somehow annoying. I would have preferred it to be smoother and lower. It gets very noisy at some points.
The unique thing about La Parilla is its cutlery. have yet to see a restaurant in town that serves with this big size silver cutlery with decorated and colorful China plates exactly like the ones you would find in old Argentinian or the old English traditions.
That night my wife and I ordered:
- Fondue cheese served in a hot pan, a mix of Raclette and Roquefort with fresh tortillas on the size. Wrap the cheese with the tortilla in a sandwich and enjoy.
- Foie Gras. Four pieces molded in a heart shape, with a strawberry gelee in the middle.
- Sushi Style Salad: crab, cucumber and avocado in a sushi cake form.
- Coeur de Filet de Boeuf, with a soft and very tasty medium cooked piece of Argentinian meat.
- Filet de Boeuf with Roquefort cheese sauce.
The things that will make you come back:
- The ceremony of cutting the Cote de Boeuf live in front of you.
- The nice and professional service.
- The room temperature.
- The great desserts.
- The signature special Roquefort Fondue dish.
- The up to par standard Argentinean meat quality.
The best part was when the knives were changed when the meat was served. A few restaurants in the world uses the famous Lagiole French knives, the best meat cutters.
Accompanying the main course a number of tasty side orders are placed around the table including French fries, potato wedges, potato purée, green beans and others.
The Lebanese wine we tasted during this sumptuous dinner was: Marquis des Beys, Domaine des Tourelles 2007.
The overall dinner was very good, very positive and much better than what I encountered before. I really enjoyed the meat quality that night, the freshness of the appetizers the quality of the desserts and the great service.
I can honestly say that La Parilla is one of the best not to say the best Argentinian steakhouse in town.
Mind you though, there are still a lot of rumors in town saying that the quality of meat is never steady at La Parilla. We had this discussion many times between friends and found out that a lot of people do not like La Parilla. You can eat very good food one day and very bad food tomorrow, without understanding why, so who never what my next review would be. I wouldn't know... but hopefully it will be same if not better.