Nad's Guide To Dining Restaurant Review

Nad’s Guide To Dining In Beirut 2014

4c809-dining2bbeirut2b2014-01Another year, another batch of binges to reflect on. Which restaurants are still on top and which thrones have been overtaken? Be sure to take a glance at 2013’s winners before checking out this year’s victors. And as always, happy binging!

Favorite New Discovery
Captain Davis
This delicious new diner is a thing of beauty. With a selection of juicy burgers and a variety of downright awesome appetizers (the mini pepperoni pizzas are amazing), Captain Davis is undoubtedly going to be a favorite of mine for many, many years to come. So the next time you’re craving something Roadster-like, give this place a shot. You won’t regret it.
Full Review
Sin El Fil
01 482 662
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My Go-To Place
Couqley
For the second year in a row, Couqley is still my go-to place whenever I’m at a loss for choices. And it’s not just the steak frites that’s perfection on a plate, the entire menu at Couqley is exceptional across-the-board. Go for the duck confit if you’re looking for something heavy and decadent, or sample any number of their healthy and flavorful salads if you’re in the mood for something light. Simply put, no other place comes close.
The Alleyway in Gemayze, Beirut
70 323 272
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The Restaurant of Tomorrow
Prune
I recently heard some negative feedback about Prune, but I have to say that all three of my visits to the bistro were positive ones. While not every plate is magnificent (the poulet aux prunes could use some work, and the merguez portion is too small), Prune has the potential to be one of Beirut’s greatest dining staples down the line. The St Jacques scallops is a great appetizer, the foie gras risotto is rich and creamy, and the pain perdu is outstanding.
Full Review
Mar Mikhael
01 569 939
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Favorite Fancy Place
Albergo
When you’re looking to indulge, and Cocteau and Balthus have worn out their welcome, do remember that Albergo is still better than ever. I’m not sure why I sometimes forget it exists, because it’s a gorgeous place filled with stunning details and a superb menu. For special occasions (especially with family) it’s an elegant and refined choice.
Rue Abdel Wahab El Inglizi
01 339 797
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The Ultimate Date Place
L’Avenue Du Parc
Although it’s been a fixture of Beirut’s dining scene for a while now, I recently discovered L’Avenue and fell in love. Go for dinner on the terrace, and you’d be hard-pressed not to fall in love yourself. Share the fresh crab salad, the best fried calamari around, and the burrata topped with lemon zest. And for dessert? The raspberry mille-feuille is top-notch. Plus if the conversation ever gets awkward, you and your date can engage in our national sport (people-watching) as the place is generally packed with Lebanon’s plastic elite. Hey when the food is this good, it’s a worthy sacrifice.
Ahmad Chawki Street, Downtown
01 999 557

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Beirut’s Most Undiscovered Gem
Dottore
Tucked away in a little street in Hamra, Dottore serves first-rate Italian food that almost rivals that of Tavolina, Margherita, and Olio. The place is quite small, but that’s what makes it worthy of its gem status. The pastas and pizzas are expertly prepared and appropriately yummy, so do drop by the next time you’re craving carbs. A word of advice, Dottore can be a bit hard to find, but the food is a fitting reward for your efforts.
Antoine Gemayel Street, Hamra
03 556 833
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My Italian Pick
Tavolina
Another second-year winner. Tavolina is still my number one pick. No one does Italian cuisine better, and no, don’t get me started on Pizza Co and that horrible excuse of a pizza they serve (I’ve already put myself through that torture twice). Share the Diavola pizza, the gnocchi pesto, and don’t forget the Risotto aux Fruits de Mer which is an absolutely luscious creation. Another bonus point? No reservations, so if you go early enough, you’ll always find a table.
Full Review
Mar Mikhael, Beirut
01 442 244
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My Arabic Pick
Liza
Plain and simple, Liza is an astonishing feast for the eyes. While Einab and the like serve great food, the arageel atmosphere rubs me the wrong way. At Liza, not only is the food masterful, but the architecture is some of the most beautiful in town. I do have one complaint though, the desserts are terribly bland and most certainly require improvement. Nevertheless, I urge you to try Liza if you have yet to do so. Their Sunday lunch is spectacular and perfect for families.
Doumani Street, Achrafieh
01 208 108
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My Sushi Pick
Osaka
There’s a lot of great sushi in town (Sushi Bar, Kampai and Shogun are at the top of my list), but for the second year in a row, Osaka is still my pick for the best around. I’ve had bad experiences in all of the above, but never at Osaka. And when you’re dealing with fish… consistency and reliability is key. Well done Osaka. Well done.
Kantari Street, Beirut
01 360630
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My Indian Pick
Al Hindi
It’s really hard to find good Indian food in this country. Yasmina closed down, and Moti Mahal is needlessly expensive. Al Hindi however is affordable, and tremendously tasty. Plus it’s super cozy and casual. And that butter chicken? There are no words.
Palm Beach Hotel, Ain El Mreisseh
01 372000
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Beirut’s Best Burger
Frosty Palace
A lot of restaurants have started vying for the throne of the best burger in town, but as far as I’m concerned, Frosty Palace is still the greatest you can have. The Happy Prince, Smoking Bun, etc… they’re all good in different ways, but Frosty is pure perfection. You can go for the regular Frosty‘s burger which is always available, or whatever unique creation is being offered (that choice changes every two weeks). These special burgers often include jawdropping ingredients that range from foie gras, to chorizo and raspberries. Each of the ones I sampled blew my mind. No contest, Frosty Palace still reigns supreme.
Full Review
Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon
01 449 595
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My Dessert of Choice
Couqley’s Pain Perdu
Hands down, the single best dessert in the country. I really haven’t been able to find a dessert that rivals the breathtaking deliciousness that is this creation. Drenched in caramel and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this pain perdu is perfect in every single way. If you have yet to sample this slice of euphoria, I genuinely envy your first encounter.
The Alleyway in Gemayze, Beirut
70 323 272
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My Fast Food of Choice
Classic Burger Joint
I didn’t used to like Classic Burger Joint. In fact, I used to hate their fries. Then something happened and I suddenly found myself craving their burger AND fries on a regular basis. It’s the ultimate comfort food with quality you know you can rely on. In addition, they have the most phenomenal mozzarella sticks around. Hello fried heaven.
01 444 050
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6 comments

  1. Happy to report this year I have 7 out of 12 crossed off the list vs. last year's less than half!!

    Great post as always Nads… πŸ™‚

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