Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Majestic Lunch Buffet at the Iconic Le Bristol Hotel in Verdun

It's never too late to revisit the golden age of Beirut where elegance, luxury and glamour were combined in a vibrant city that was called Paris of the Middle East. Le Bristol one of the most prestigious hotels in Lebanon opened its doors again last year after an impressive renovation to add a modern touch to its classical unique charm. Last Sunday we got to try their lavish 5 star banquet where many celebrities, world leaders and famous guests have previously dined in. Their royal lunch offers an endless choice of oriental, international, french and Japanese dishes in addition to live cooking stations while listening to the live piano tunes in a comfortable atmosphere.
The Oriental section included many Lebanese star items that were beautifully presented such as the tabbouleh, grape leaves, kebbet samak, moutabbal, hommos, rakakat, fatayer and many more. 
The salads section included artichoke salad, quinoa salad, fish salad and many more. There was also a salad bar if you want to prepare your own salad. 
The French section included a variety of cheeses, foie gras, quiches and salmon in pastry dough. 
There was also a table dedicated to sashimis, makis and shrimps.
Not to forget the Oriental hot main platters such as the siyadiyeh, rez 3a djej, roast beef filet, grilled whole chicken... and of course the live pasta station.
We started with the pumpkin soup; it was phenomenal! They add to it a special sour cream and cheese which makes it dreamy!
From the items that we really loved:
•The makis and sashimis; they were excellent since the ingredients used were premium quality and very fresh! We loved the fact that the makis didn't have a big amount of rice. 
•The salmon in pasty dough with cream cheese; it was simply orgasmic!
•The spring rolls; they were flavorful and very tasty.
•The shrimps in all the platters; whether it was a salad or a main platter the shrimps were cooked to perfection that they made every single dish highly enjoyable. 
•The Siyadieh; it was bery impressive as it had the al dente cooked rice with the right amount of spices and juicy fish filet. 
•The penne in four cheese sauce; it was divinely creamy with a consistent cheesiness.
All the other platters were meticulously prepared whether it was with their taste, quality and most importantly their beautiful presentation.
The dessert section at Le Bristol was as generous as the salty dishes where numerous cakes were presented including our favorites such as le fraisier, the huge eclair, their yummy macarons and particularly the petits gâteaux & mignardises that Le Bristol is famous for. 
French ice cream and fresh fruits were also available so that they make sure they fulfill everybody's taste. And they made sure to make us drool!
We loved the excellent service at Le Bristol and we felt pampered thanks to many factors; whether from the waiters that are glad to bring your orders in a blink of a second to the most lovable chef Franck Page that explains to you the story of every dish and of course the delicious treats that were served. 
The lunch at Le Bristol was truly a memorable experience.
Location: Verdun, Mme Curie Street, Beirut, Lebanon.
Price: 70$ all inclusive including drinks and cocktails.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pier 78 a Spectacular Meal with a Breathtaking View at Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort

It's always a challenge to have a relaxing yet charming lunch on a Sunday with all the over booked restaurants and the hectic ride to reach your destination. That wasn't the case in our last family lunch at Pier 78 in the newly opened Kempinski Summerland Hotel Resort in Jnah. The restaurant is breathtaking with its beautiful yet simple decor where you can enjoy the alluring blue shores whether you are sitting inside or on the terrace. 
The menu is compact yet it offers a variety of appetizers, seafood specialties, salads and main platters.
We started with the unmissable Lebanese star item: the Tabbouleh. It was fresh and tasty.
From the cold appetizers section we had the Hummus, Al Raheb Salad and Raw Fish. 
•The Hummus presentation was just perfect and its texture was great. 
•The Raw Fish was exceptional! It was very tender and perfectly marinated. It was served with a tasty lemon say sauce.
From the hot appetizers section we tried the Fried Calamari, Shrimp Provençal and Mix Hot Mezza.
•The Fried Calamari were phenomenal; extremely crispy and not oily. They made us drool!
•we loved the Shrimp Provençal as they were cooked to perfection in a yummy provençal sauce. 
•The Mix Hot Mezza basket contained kebbe, sambousik, rakakat and fatayer.
For main platters we had the Fried Fish, the Lebanese Mix Grill and the Grilled Whole Chicken. 

•The fried Dorado was simply amazing as it was not oily at all although it was fried. It was beautifully served with tarator, fried bread and lemon slices on the side. It was crispy from the outside and tender moist from the inside. 
•The Mix Grill platter consisted brochettes, taouk, kabab and côtelettes served with grilled vegetables. The meat was succulent, the taouk were well marinated and the kabab were full of flavors. It's a great choice for non seafood fans. 
•The Grilled Whole Chicken was divine. The chicken was outstandingly tender and juicy with a caramelized skin. It was served on a one of a kind buttery potato purée. Simply perfect!
Complimentary desserts and café blanc are served on the house. The selection includes fresh fruits, oriental sweets and Turkish delights.

At Pier 78 the theory of "the eyes eat before the mouth" is perfectly respected because each platter was a piece of art. They also excelled in preparing all the dishes. The dazzling location made us feel that we are on a vacation even though it was for a few hours of time.
Location: Al Akhtal Al Saghir Jnah
Price Range: 50$
Phone: 961 1 858 000