Arriving at Le Petit Gris
, you are welcomed into a casual fifty square meters place with only 45 chairs in a very quiet neighborhood far away from the dancing tunes of the upper part of Gemmayze street. An authentic and real French bistro
like never seen before in Lebanon, serving delicious food a la Francaise without any pretensions.
An architectural simplicity that's somehow beautifully complex. The restaurants flooring is covered with old Lebanese tiles, the white walls are covered with wine bottles, a nice bar, black wooden chairs, logos of famous French wines printed on the tables with that metallic and grey ambiance reminding you of the name.
Was it named after the color or after the snail since that is their specialty? (Le petit-gris est un des noms européens de l'escargot Helix asperse. Helix aspersa, known by the common name garden snail, is a species of land snail, a pulmonategastropod that is one of the best-known of all terrestrial mollusks.)
The menu is very simple divided into six different sections: Entrees, meat, specialties, fish, soups and gormandises accompanied with their "planche de suggestions" that changes on a weekly basis.
One thing I didn't understand: A french bistro, a french menu, french food... Why is the description of the place on the menu in English? "It should have been Le Petit Gris, Bistro Francais and not French Bistro."
We hadn't order yet, and I was filled with excitement.
The choices are so complex yet appetizing: Crabe Fraud Facon Waldorf, Oeuf Cocotte Facon Mamie Mannette, Escargots, Banane rotie, are few of the items that captured my attention.
The major items are organic since they use Biomass organic products
: The company sells, under the Biomass brand name, a variety of organic products ranging from Fruits & Vegetables, Herbs, Eggs, Bread, Dairy Products and Processed Goods.
- Medaillon de Veau Blanc, Tagliatelles aux Cepes.
- Salade LPG; their signature.
On the table, since we were six, I took pictures of all the items ordered and tasted some of them. Everything was delicious: A very juicy thick burger, a tasty and delicious unique cucumber soup served with three salmon pieces, their fresh salads, the great tartar and one of the softest meats I have ever tasted.
The item I loved the most and still remember until now, is their fries. Yes, special French fries, very thin, non oily and crunchy that I've only tasted at the Entrecote De Paris
As for the service, their waiters try their very best to impress. Everything is done gently and calmly with the supervision of one of the owners always there to make sure perfection is reached.
Desserts, the final impression are as delicious as everything else. Ask for the orange or strawberry salad - if the season allows it. The simple mix of fresh fruits comes served in an elegant wide cup. The chocolate fondant is yummy.