On Wednesday October 9, I had the pleasure to attend an exquisite foodies get-together, organized by Zomato Lebanon and held at the Hangout Beirut. We were first greeted by the owner, Mr Salim Heleiwa who gave us a tour of the restaurant, which was a 19th century house, and explained to us its history, not forgetting a single detail! Mr Heleiwa is passionate about wine and fine cuisine, and this passion was perfectly translated with the dinner later on.
Rue Sursock is one of my favourite areas around Ashrafiye. It is a calm street in the middle of a busy Beirut, hiding a lot of history and a little gem called éCafé! I had the pleasure to attend a gathering organized by the serVme team, the “Sunset Canapé”, and savour many little creations.
Here’s the menu and some of the items we tasted:
Olac is a restaurant located in Zaarour with a view over a big lake. They serve French and Italian fine cuisine. The interior is very cosy, similar to a hunter’s mountain cabana with a fireplace, wooden décor, leather couches and earthy colours everywhere.
Most of us have tried Tonino at least once. They’re known for their great pizzas and crepes. Tonino used to be my favourite place when I was a teenager (It was the ultimate place for date night when you’re 15). Last time I’ve been there was around 3 years ago and I remember how much I loved their pizzas.
Chicken has a special place in my heart. I’m always looking for new, fast and easy recipes for when I have some free time to cook. I came across the recipe for Lemon Chicken Piccata which is an Italian dish; it’s light and delicious and oh so full of flavours! This here is my version of the dish, served with a side of Italian rice.
Ingredients: (For 2 plates)
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- A handful of mushroom (canned or fresh)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Dried oregano
- Cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Season the pieces with salt and pepper to taste and dredge them in flour.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet; pan-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove and put away the chicken.
- In the same skillet, cook and stir the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chicken broth. Stir in the lemon slices and bring the mixture to a boil. Let cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and mushroom; simmer until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.
- Drop the butter into the skillet until melted. Add the chicken pieces and cook together for about 4 minutes, and you’re done!
You can serve this dish with rice, grilled potato slices with herbs, angel hair pasta or just be creative! Sprinkle some dried oregano on the plate before serving, it will add extra flavour. The lemon sauce is so rich without being too acidic, everyone just loved this! Waiting for your feedbacks ♥
I had the honour to meet award winning Chef, Maroun Chedid, at Le Bar de Taillevent during an exclusive event to launch a very special Aperitivo where all the guests savoured an exclusive gourmet buffet, accompanied with good wine and Prosecco.
The evening started around 7:30 PM and lasted till 11 PM. I personally couldn’t stay away from the buffet, especially the desserts! Here are some glances from last night.
My weakness, Salmon cakes (in profiteroles). Such creativity!
Baba au Rhum. Oh Chef! We saw you infusing them with some more Rhum throughout the evening 😉
Mousse au Chocolat is one of the few desserts that I almost never eat, but these were out of this world! (I had 3…)
Spanish dried Pork meat. A MUST try!
Some more pictures
With the Chef himself!
A special thank you for Whyte Mulberry team, Roula Rebeiz and Marie-Noelle Azar for this wonderful evening! (www.whytemulberry.com)
Aperitivos are now served every Thursday as of 7 PM at Le Bar de Taillevent where you can enjoy a glass of wine or Prosecco with a complimentary aperitivo buffet selection.
For more info: facebook.com/TailleventBeirut or call 71 52 52 56
Hey guys! I will share with you my recipe for a very moist Banana Blackberry Loaf! It’s so simple, fast and easy, you will definitely be making a second batch in no time!
- 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 1.5 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs natural yoghurt (full fat or low fat)
- 2 tbs natural organic honey (or to taste)
- 3 small tbs baking powder
- 1 small tbs Vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- A cup of mashed bananas
- Half a cup of blackberries (or other berries of choice)
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (Celsius). Oil and flour a loaf pan so the cake won’t stick while baking. Don’t forget the sides
- In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the flour slowly. The batter will be thick at this point, but don’t panic!
- Add the remaining ingredients, leave the mashed bananas till the end. After adding the bananas (make sure they are mashed well, no big bumps) the batter will become more or less liquid.
- Pour the batter in the greased loaf pan and add the berries on top. You can push them inside the batter if you want as well.
- Bake at 160 degrees (C) for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool down a little before you remove it. Best served cold.
NB: Use extra ripe bananas (still edible though!) for a sweet taste. You can even omit the honey. Add ground nutmeg and cinnamon for an extra flavour!
The Beirut Cellar has captured my heart when I first went there for dinner. You can find the review in this post.
I decided to go back for a quick lunch meeting.
Grilled Chicken: with lemon. The chicken is perfectly grilled, tender and does not dry out even at the end as it gets colder. The lemon dressing goes great with it. The portion is more than big.
Fettuccine Salmon: This is Beirut Cellar’s home-made pasta. A very generous portion with an amazing taste. Perfect amount of sauce Blanche, leaves you satiated and is kind on the stomach. Bravo!
This place has definitely become on the top of my list!
Starbucks had always been one of my favourite coffee shops for their high quality beverages and delicious desserts. The company has recently introduced a new collection of desserts here in Lebanon and they’re just amazing! Starbucks needed that kind of change.
The Snickers cake: I would say it’s more of a Snickers “inspired” but the taste is close enough to the bar and just as good!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stack: Although I’m a big fan of chocolate/PB combination, this one did not leave the impression I thought it would. It’s good but not great.
Chocolate Cake: This is the traditional chocolate cake. It’s delicious and satisfying. Carrot Cake is also available but I didn’t get the chance to taste is yet.
The Molten Cake: This one here is my favourite! Ask the staff to heat it up for you so the chocolate would melt (careful not to let them over heat it cause it will taste like burned cake as it happened once)
Blueberry Cheesecake: As long as it’s still very fresh, this dessert is nothing but delicious! There is also a Chocolate Cheesecake version that I still haven’t tasted.
I have wanted to try this place for a long time, and I finally had a chance! We went to Ajaltoun branch for dinner. The place is very cosy, all wood, red lights, candles on the table, fireplace, a singer on Saturdays… The staff are very friendly and helpful.
The menu is simple and clear. One little detail caught my attention: the prices are VAT EXCLUDED. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to any place where the VAT isn’t included in the final price. I wish they would fix this.
We were served a basket of hot bread with its condiments (free of charge). The bread was a little chewy.
Dinner was accompanied with a bottle of Blanc De Blanc.
What we ordered:
Grilled chicken wings (appetizer): Wow! Very rich in taste, they’re amazing! However I don’t recommend ordering any appetizer because the main dishes alone and a drink will keep you feeling more than full!
Rib Eye Steak: Medium cooked. I loved it! It was a little chewy though in some places. I didn’t order any sauce with it I just squeezed some barbecue sauce on the side. The grilled potato was amazing with some sour cream in it.
The New York Steak: (400g) This is for the big eaters! My date ordered mushroom sauce with it. It tasted the same as my steak (Well, Duh!) I’m sorry I don’t have a picture because something went wrong with my phone and I can’t find it anymore!
For all of you who haven’t been to Buffalo, know that the sauce IS NOT FREE. It doesn’t come with the steak even though the waiter asks you immediately what kind of sauce you want. The menu doesn’t say as well that the sauce is an extra. I find it really weird and bad because you’re already paying 52 000 L.L for a steak. In most restaurants, every steak plate comes with your choice of sauce included. They better fix this too! And we were charged 7200 L.L for 2 sauces even though we ordered only 1 sauce.
We didn’t have any place left for desserts, unfortunately!
Overall, it was a pleasant experience, but I wouldn’t go back soon because we felt ripped off a little.