CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Cafe Mondo at the Phoenicia InterContinental, Beirut (Restaurant Closed)
Cafe Mondo: Maintaining the Same Quality for Years (Restaurant Closed)
Cafe Mondo: Memories that Live On and Good Food (Restaurant Closed)
Chef Pasqualino Barbasso's Pizza Acrobatic Show at Caffe Mondo
After decades of success, “Cafe Mondo” leaves its legacy to “Rossini Osteria and Caffe.” Upscale and renovated to cope with the century’s new decor trends, you will dine in a fresh and colorful ambiance inspired by the colors of Andy Warhol, the traditions of old Lebanon, the Italian style and French savoir-faire. Rossini is your new Italian destination, and it was time for me to try it.
I was always a fan of Cafe Mondo; the renowned and famous salad bar, the tasty pizzas, fresh pasta and exciting international dishes we all enjoyed for years. It’s where I met the world champion pizzaiolo Pasqualino Barbasso in 2013 among many other events that happened at the restaurant. Unfortunately, things have changed...
Details I liked: I loved the white tablecloth with red lines. Robert Welch cutlery. Adon & Myrrh premium olive oil. Italian music playing in the background. Vast glass facades with a view on the waterfront. A team of young waiters wearing happy outfits.
On the menu: Antipasti, panini, prosciutteria, pizza, pasta and risotto, secondi piatti, desserts.
- I enjoyed the fried calamari with tartar sauce. Interestingly crunchy envelop and moist heart. A bit salty though but I liked it.
- The speck panini looks like old bread sandwich; not appetizing to start. Crunchy but dry, the filing needs to be warmer and juicier. I added olive oil to it that improved its taste and texture.
- Seafood linguini cooked Aldente; the plate is good enough, despite it swimming in water. The overall taste needs a kick, a bit of salt, a bit of oomph.
- The pizza is made with good ingredients. I liked the tomato sauce, the generously of the cheese, the acidity of the tomatoes, the crunchiness of the border but unfortunately, the crust is too chewy.
Things I disliked:
- Where are the vibes? Where is the positivity? They turn a place for everyone into a “hotel cafe”?
- No desserts???? Come on!!!! Only cakes from the display? Why not have a Nutella pizza? A pain perdu? A creation?
- Desserts are not what I expected to eat after my meal; they are too complicated.
- Halawa éclair looks great! Desserts of a grand decorated. A tender dough, a crunchy top but a gooey strongly flavored Halawa heart. I prefer it to be lighter and smoother. Intense chocolate, intense crunch, and intense Halawa are too much altogether.
- Dates tart: interesting but still too complicated. I loved the crunchy fresh crust then comes something too complicated for a cafe and to be enjoyed as a dessert after a meal.
Good enough for a cafe, food at Cafe Rossini need a kick, tightening and rounding of borders... some “Nafass”; today was a discovery visit, I will be back for more.