It’s that time of the year again; Beirut’s gluttonous culinary community is endlessly raving about Prune, the latest hotspot to hit the town. As I mentioned before, hype in Lebanon is a very funny thing, and it can often sink a new establishment before it even has time to find its voice. So how does Prune stack up against Beirut’s assortment of deliciously trendy eateries? (Nad’s Guide To Dining In Beirut)
Prune‘s setting makes an immediate impression. The attention to detail in this endearing little French bistro is astounding. The bar is a visual delight, the staircase is slinky, and the walls are adorned with black and white murals of a man who bears a striking resemblance to Sigmund Freud (and no it’s not as creepy as it sounds).
For starters, we order the King Crab Salad, the St Jacques scallops, and the grilled calamari and octopus. Her highness the crab arrives on a bed of green rockets; the portion is impressively generous, and the starter is especially fresh and flavorful. The scallops taste like nothing I’ve ever tried before. Served in their gorgeous shell, they’re not for everyone, but they’re surely worth experiencing. As for the calamari/octopus combo, the seasoning is pleasantly spicy, transforming an otherwise routine starter into a unique creation. All in all, this fishy trio comes highly recommended.
For the mains, we share the poulet aux prunes and the Risotto cepes. The chicken isn’t remarkable; it’s not Prune‘s fault though, but my Teta Ruby has spoiled me with her majestic take on the dish. Her choice to add apricots to the sauce provides a much tastier contrast to the prunes and the poultry. Nevertheless, it’s still an intriguing dish, particularly with the roasted almonds sprinkled on top. The risotto however is a mindblowing marvel. Topped with pan-fried foie gras and truffle oil, this plate is just spectacular. The fact that my fellow binger didn’t even notice the foie gras (an ingredient she’s usually averse to indulging in), is a testament to how rich this risotto is.
For dessert, we opt for the pain perdu which Prune has wisely named “Le Pain Retrouvé.” Shockingly, the sinful treat capably lives up to its name. The heavenly treat consists of two blocks of fluffy bread drenched in luscious caramel, alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s so wonderfully succulent, and it effectively knocks off Couqley and Gilt, cementing itself as the best pain perdu in town. Yes, Beirut’s pain perdu feud is becoming increasingly heated, and we now have a new victor ladies and gentleman. Much deserved.
Price: Around 60$/person including a bottle of wine.
Service: Sadly, our waiter wasn’t the most attentive. Maybe Freud was making him uncomfortable.
Presentation: The poulet aux prunes looks magnificent.
Ambiance: Elegant yet delightfully cozy.
Must try: The crab salad, the risotto, and the pain perdu.
Go with: A friend, a date, or the family – Prune would be a great choice for all.
With top-notch cuisine and a charming ambiance, dining at Prune is an outstanding experience. For once, the hotspot hype is well-deserved.