La Piazza, one of the first Italian restaurants to have opened in Beirut, has become a place a very few people visit. We have to admit that Lebanese always like to try new places forgetting about the real places with authentically unique concepts. Last week, I felt like going back there as I wanted to experience the taste I miss and have enjoyed for more than a decade.
You walk into a little Italian village where windows, balconies, clothes lines with washed clothes on them, painted walls and more make you feel like you have escaped into one of Napoli's hidden wonders. I would call this place, Italy in Beirut. Wooden chairs fill the lower floor where you can sit and enjoy a spacious ambiance that's perfectly airy with a high decorated ceiling. While more relaxing upholstery chairs decorate the upper level with a large wooden table that can host big groups of 12 or more next to the wine cave. The restaurants hosts five different serving areas from the the pizzeria, the salad bar corner, coffees and teas, the wine bar and the boutique.
The Menu is very interesting and colorful with a lot of mouthwatering notes and pictures:
- Viva l'Italia
- Salad Bar for LL19,000
- Desserts, homemade suggested by the chef
- Chef's suggestions
- Antipasti, salad bar, pizza (caldo e croccante), Fresche Pasta e Risotto, Carni e Pollami, Pesci e Crotacei, Dolce.
The details are very nice:
- Bread with oil and vinegar served to start.
- The plates are Signed and personalized.
- Live pizza cooking from the two ovens in the middle of the restaurant.
- The brick flooring - gives a feel like you're walking on a pebbled small street.
- A long pizza bar made from empty wine bottles.
- A huge wall of glass jars welcomes you separating the entrance from the main restaurant lobby.
- Scaloppine Al Limone: Veal Escalope cut in small pieces with lemon sauce, crisps and Basil leaves served in a nice yellow dish.
- Spaghetti Alla Bolognese: Pasta, minced meat and tomato sauce served in a deep personalized Piazza plate.
The food was delicious especially the presentation while fresh Parmesan is instantly prepared and added to the al dente pasta. I was impressed. Bravo!
Haitham is one of the most professional waiters you can meet in Lebanon: Happy, gentle and welcoming. Ask for him next time you visit.
For dessert, I asked for the Pain Perdu which was very heavy. Prepared with caramelized sugar on top and cooked apple cubes, I would have preferred it to be a bit lighter and simpler.
There are no major negative points during lunch except that the pictures on the menu have nothing to do with the orders themselves.