Au Bistro de Michel

So I was on a quest to find a decent french bistro in Lebanon with affordable prices and high quality meals. And here we are: Au Bistro de Michel!

It is a small hidden place in the alleys of Ashrafiye (Behind Rizk Hospital). The place can serve up to around 30 customers at once. Cozy atmosphere, super friendly waiters, and Michel himself is just AMAZING. He greets every customer personally and chats with them from time to time, he will make sure you are having the best experience you could get at his bistro.

Now back to the food. You don’t have a wide variety of dishes to chose from which is good for some (like me, it didn’t take me 30 minutes to decide) and bad for others. We ordered:

A cheese plate : The cheese presented happened to be my favourite so there’s no complaining at all! The bread was hot and fresh and the waiter would change the basket as soon as it’s empty or if the bread got cold.

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Australian Steak : It was exactly the way I asked for it to be cooked, well done from the outside but still tender on the inside. Simply perfect!

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Poulet Forestière : The flavours mixed well, and the chicken was tender and delicious!

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For dessert: Moelleux Chocolat de Cedrik: Apparently, nobody eats at Michel’s without having this dessert, and now I know why! (My phone died so I couldn’t take a picture, I will just borrow it from my food reference in life, the great No Garlic No Onions)

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So as you see, I am in love with Au Bistro de Michel. I couldn’t find a single negative detail about this place. Recommended to EVERYONE!

Ci-gusta Hamra: Never Again

Where do I start with this place? I found Cigusta through Instagram and I instantly fell in love with their dishes (pictures) and the place in general. So on one beautiful Saturday afternoon; I decided I wanted to enjoy a nice Italian dessert. Arriving at Cigusta, the manager greeted us and sent the waiter to take our order, and that’s where the disasters began.

The waiter was super unfriendly and looked like he was bored to death with his job, and he smelled of cigarettes as well (he actually went out twice for a smoke break just outside the door in less than 40 minutes).

I ordered a Ferrero Ice Cream cup which looked heavenly in the pictures. I was served instead something called Choco Heaven, as I saw later when I got the bill. I felt that something was wrong with the order while I ate it because there wasn’t any Ferrero taste at all, but I didn’t mention anything to the waiter because I kept expecting the Ferrero to show up!). I stopped eating halfway through because it was too sweet and it made me nauseous so I just assumed that the Ferrero was hidden deep down the cup. When the bill came I pointed it out to the waiter and this is how it went:

-Excuse me sir, I ordered a Ferrero cup but I was served instead this Choco Heaven

-Eh I know, the manager made it, I knew it was the wrong order

-Then why did you serve it if you knew it was not what I wanted?

-Shou baddik ya3ne? Bjeblik ghayra halla2? (With a very rude, nonchalant, mocking voice)

-No thank you, I was just pointing it out.

The service was extremely unprofessional, and even IF the dessert was actually tasty, I would never set foot in that place again!

Now back to the food. To be honest, it was very average, and I’m not saying this because I was not pleased with the service. We ate:

-Choco Heaven cup

This should be called Sugar Cup. It was sweet chocolate ice cream covered with sweet melted chocolate, sweet chocolate syrup, sweet chocolate chips and topped with whipped cream. The flavour was lost in all that sweetness and all I got from it was nausea.

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-Choco Banana waffle

I asked specifically for DARK CHOCOLATE on the waffle but I got very sweet chocolate which ruined the experience for me. The waffle didn’t seem fresh either. The dish came with vanilla ice cream which is the only thing that I liked.

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I was very disappointed with this experience. Unprofessional service and average food, the place is indeed overrated. I hope they do something about it.

Rouge Bordeaux Gemmayze

Rouge Bordeaux is THE place for a fine dining experience. The place looks like an old house in Gemmayze, renovated into a classy bistro à vin. The décor and lighting are very cozy, the waiters are super friendly, the prices are very fair and they have a singer (English and French) every Saturday night.

They do not have printed menus. The waiter will present to you their dishes written on a black board and will explain to you what each platter consists of.

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We started with a plateau de fromage et charcuterie. The platter had many types of cheese and cold cuts and the waiter added a generous portion of foie gras (on the house, which was really cool!)

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As for the main platters, we ordered two:

Boeuf Bourguignon (their specialty). It is indeed a generous portion. This plate was just perfect and I had no complaints about it.

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Cuisse de Canard Confite. The waiter was kind enough to point out that duck meat is rich in fat in case we had a problem with that (of course we didn’t :P) The duck was amazing, but I didn’t like the potatoes much, I thought that they were too greasy and needed to be lighters since the Canard is already high in fat.

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Our meal was accompanied by a bottle of white wine (Pouilly) served of course in an ice bucket and the waiter never let our glasses go empty!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any place left for desserts, even though they had some pretty interesting things. I will definitely pass by again to try them!

There is also a little detail that I didn’t like. Upon arriving, the waiter opened a big bottle of water without asking us and we were charged 6500 LL for it (we barely drank one third of it!). I think it is up for the customers to decide if they want it or not.

As you guys see, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Rouge Bordeaux. There is no doubt that I will be coming back again very soon, and I recommend it to all my lovely readers for a romantic date or a cozy get-together