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The Gathering: The Italian Cookery (Restaurant Closed)
The Gathering Butcher Grill: Fine Meat and Tasty Dessert (Restaurant Closed)
On a beautiful Monday morning, in the heart of Beirut, accompanied by my kids and lovely wife, we sat to enjoy the weather and soothing vibes. The Gathering, one of the “Downtown” group of restaurants has been open for years. The group managed to create concepts that last, and The Gathering is one of them. I’ve been here when the piazza was divided into three restaurants, serving three distinct menus but today the food has been unified into one.
Surrounded by the busy highway on the left, and Rue Pasteur on the right, enjoy the music of Beirut’s lively atmosphere under the giant olive tree. The Gathering is your village destination in the heart of Beirut. Sit on the piazza surrounded by three Lebanese houses with their windows painted in light blue. You will be served by stylish waiters while listening to happy music; a glass of cold beer, fresh bread, stories and happy moments.
The menu is inspired by the three original concepts; pasta, meats, salads, pizzas, and chicken — international dishes to satisfy all cravings. Everything I ordered today didn’t contain garlic; thank you, chefs! In my opinion, cooking without garlic puts other ingredients forward and shows the professionalism of the team.
Tasty food: starters first;
- Cheese and truffle Tartine: simple like a homemade crunchy sandwich, filled with molten Brie cheese and spread with truffle cream. The great taste of simplicity, a sandwich I recommend you to try.
- Thin crust pizza topped with extremely molten cheese and watery tomato sauce without turning the pizza into a wet mix. A bit sweet for my taste, I would have expected the tomato sauce to be more acidic.
- Goat cheese salad made of samosa triangles filled with molten goat cheese served next to a mountain of fresh greens. I loved it how the Philo paste bites are crunchy and generously filled with cheese.
- Smoked salmon, beetroot and lentil salad: cooked al dente, the lentils mixed with diced beetroot and topped with premium-quality salmon is a must try.
The main deal:
- Added to my list of Lebanon’s best burgers of 2019, the burger is excellent!!!! Super juicy pure beef served in a buttered tender bun with a slice of grilled tomato and mayo sauce. It’s so yummy! Tender, juicy, premium quality.
- Delicious fries and wedges.
- Spaghetti, cooked al dente, mixed with sundried tomatoes and fresh baby tomatoes with a sprinkle of black olives. Bravo chef! A simple plate embraced with olive oil makes one want to scream!
- Chicken liver in their sauce; please try them! Juicy, lightly sweet, made to impress.
- Risotto, cooked al dente, with a light crunch and sticking together with the white mozzarella cheese while the sage caresses your tastebuds.
I loved it! Great food, good service and a pleasant ambiance in the heart of Beirut. The Gathering is still trendy... I will be back!
- Pain perdu: chunks of bread mixed, cooked and soaked with milk. Served with a side of caramel sauce, the pain perdu is not too watery, not chewy and not hard textured; balanced and equilibrated.
- Caramel fondant; replacing chocolate by caramel, bite into a moist envelope, enjoy the flowing heart of warm caramel with a dose of vanilla ice cream.
- Chocolate truffles served with crunchy meringue fingers. Good quality dark chocolate you will feel like licking your fingers after.