Beautiful! I was struck with a great first impression as I walked through the door at Seza. Opened for five years now, Seza, offers authentic Armenian cuisine appreciated by many.
It's a single room, a square space painted in white and covered with authentic Lebanese tiles of a burgundy and camel color. Facing the entrance is the grey wall decorated with paintings in honor of Gerard Avedissian, each sold at $2,500.
Aznavour and classic jazz, soothing music plays in the background while you are invited to be seated. Four chandeliers light up the space under the high ceiling; crystal chandeliers from the last century. Filling the space are wooden tables painted in grey set with paper placemats and decorated with artificial flower pots.
It's an open kitchen, smells and aromas embrace the air, a nice setup, a gentle waiter, a rugged menu... I was happy.
- Cold starters
- Hot starters
- Main plates
Before ordering, the gentle and professional waiter suggested that we take the formula. A formula which fills the table with plates for only LBP50,000 per person. The arak is Brun and Ksara, the country's best brands, so we enjoyed a night drinking Brun.
Plates started landing on the table. Tonight, I was prepared to eat garlic; I wanted to enjoy the experience to the max.
- Tchi Keofteh is where the story began. A famous Armenian specialty which is a mix of raw meat, lentil, borghol, onions and spices. It’s a good one.
- Mortadella and mouhammara: Beef with pistachio served with mouhammara on the side. Very juicy meat served cold with crunchy pistachio... The mouhammara has something very special to it with a hint of spiciness, a pinch of sweetness. I enjoyed its texture as well.
- The itch is yummy. Served warm, this Armenian tabbouleh is a mix of borghol, spices, tomatoes and olives. It's really tasty and one of the best I've had. It’s good in texture, it’s juicy and tasty. I loved it.
- The cheese rolls with soujok are not to be missed. Served extremely hot, oil-free and stuffed with melted cheese and soujok chunks.
- The basterma is good as well, eaten as is.
- Hummus: Tender and moist hummus, clean in taste and correct in its balance.
- Don't miss the moutabbal. The grilled flavor of burnt eggplant is amazing.
- Soubereg: That's awesome! A super, melting, extremely tasty butter and cheese piece of heaven. Layers of puff pastry dough laid one over the other with a load of super melting cheese. What flavors, what richness. Something that's not light, but enjoyable at least once a month, but leave the guilt feeling aside. I'm a fan, a big fan of Soubereg and this one rocks!
- Fishne Kabab: Good meat, good cherry but the bread spoils the mix. Lots of bread turning into watery chunks spoiling the experience. I'd fix that issue.
- Mante: Super crispy pieces of grilled bread stuffed with meat, soaked in Laban, sumac and tomato juice. Don't miss that.
- Freekeh and kawarma: Lightly salty and enjoyable, crunchy Freekeh cooked al dente topped with over cooked meat melting under the teeth like butter. Even though it's not the best quality out there -they should buy the Freekeh from the village of Hariss- this plate put a smile on my face. Hard Freekeh, oily and fatty but enjoyable and the meat is exceptional. I loved the saltiness that leaves a long lasting after note.
- Garlic is used but very lightly, feeling it just a little bit without feeling the usual sickness Lebanese restaurants give me.
- Vicken is a rare kind of waiter. Professional, funny and acts like he's the owner. Bravo dear, please don't change.
- The restaurant is generous. We had all of the above for only $33/person.
Delicious dinner. I was so happy to enjoy real Armenian flavors tonight. I wish I could say the same about desserts.
Riz bi Halib, Meghli and saribourma. These bizarre things needed more flavor, the Meghli is too watery and lacks body, the Riz bi Halib is a bit too sweet, the saribourma is a bit too chewy and sticky with a not too pleasant texture. Thank you for the generosity, but those have to be improved to make customers leave with a great impression, exactly like the one we had when we arrived.
I'm happy to have discovered Seza, I enjoyed dinner and the vibes. If you feel like enjoying a good meal, a pleasant dinner in a "non a-la-mode" restaurant, Seza it is.