Buffalo Steak House

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.

IMG-20150411-WA0152

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!

1427569517170

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.

1427569974170

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.

The Beirut Cellar

I was looking on-line for a fine dining restaurant in Beirut and I came across the Beirut Cellar. I went there on a very special occasion with a very special someone, and the place made the experience even more special!

The restaurant is located in the Tabaris area, they have Valet service (which in this case is perfect since it is almost impossible to find a parking place in Ashrafiye) and reservation is recommended.  The restaurant is very cosy and suitable for romantic dates. The lights are dim, the ceiling is decorated with red bricks, the walls are covered with wooden antiques and the seating is comfortable. The service is very good, the waiters are friendly and they will happily assist you and answer any question you might have about the dishes they serve.

Upon seating, we were served a basket of hot bread and some condiments (free of charge). The waiter asked us first before opening a bottle of water.

What we ordered:

Grilled Calamari (appetizer) : This was just delicious! We were served 4 calamari pieces. They were fresh and buttery and cooked perfectly. This is definitely A MUST!

20150317_213649

Grilled Salmon with butter sauce : The salmon was nicely grilled; it just melts in your mouth! The last couple of bites became cold and it was still very tender and delicious. It was served with spinach and steamed vegetables. The vegetables lacked some taste, but it was nothing some salt and pepper couldn’t fix!

20150317_215219

Premium Steak : With mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes. The steak was delicious but a little chewy (we should have ordered it medium cooked instead of well done!) You could choose any sauce you like and any side as well.

20150317_215300

Pain Perdu : A little too much caramel for me, but my date surely loved it! (I’m not a Pain Perdu fan)

20150317_225345

Chocolate Fondant : As a fondant lover and addict, allow me to say that this is one of the best fondants in town!

20150317_225414

Dinner was accompanied with a bottle of white wine (Pouilly). They have a wide selection of wines for fair prices.

20150317_212553

I would definitely recommend this place for any occasion you have!

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.

IMG_20141212_211047

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!

IMG_20141212_212708

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

IMG_20141212_212935

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)

Bistro_Michel_Achrafieh61

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.

IMG_20150307_180704

-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.

20150307_163915

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.

20150228_211919

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!)

.IMG-20150301-WA0015
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.

20150228_224314

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.

IMG-20150301-WA0016

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