What part of…

June 13, 2010

…’summer has begun’ do the rooftop places in Leboland not get?

Z and I wanted to have a sunset drink, so Bubbles (rooftop in Palm Beach Hotel) was one suggestion. Closed. What? Yeah, we dont open till next week… ?!?!@? are you kidding me?

Oh, wait, how about we go to Riviera? I like that corner bar right at the end cuz you dont see anyone and the sun sets right infront of you… It’s actually called the Sunset Bar. Sooooo, Z and I trot over… la la la…

Now, imagine this: I’m rich, I want to open up a restaurant/bar/beach club… you know, that sort of thing. I rent/buy the place, get architects to design it, pay shitloads of money to get it set up and furnished, I do my PR and marketing, I make a big deal about launching it, then… then… when everyone’s there I remember, “Ooops!!! I forgot to train my staff!!!”

KHALAS! I’m sick of unprofessional badly trained (if even trained at all in the first place) servers. For Bob’s sake we’re in the freakin’ service industry in this country. Why the hell cant anyone get it right? I have to give a few places credit – but it shouldn’t be a few… ALL is the right word.

If you don’t know how to run a freakin’ place DON’T open one!!

Z and I get to the bar and¬†the manager is chatting with his staff – I mean, its sunset time… at Sunset Bar… right? Did I miss something here?

The bar is totally filled with crap, glasses, wine bottles waiting to be stored, etc… yaani a mess. “Pardon, feek t’zeeh el ghrad hatta shouf el sunset?”

“Merci, kteer!” ūüôā

Finally the server comes. I said, first please a small bottle of water and a Pelegrino… disappears, comes back with menus….¬†bas ma fi Pelegrino…. tayyeb ‘indak Perrier?? dawwit el lamba! Yes! OK bring me Perrier, law samaht.

Z had a Vodka with fresh Watermelon (refreshing bas no garnish… garnish is nice, no?). I got my Campari (Soda on the side, akeed)… wait, that’s… Tonic? “please baddi Soda”… and why in Bob’s name is my Campari in a short glass? Lemon slice? (did I mention¬†garnish?)¬†Barman, its a simple Campari Soda… So, who did you say trained you again?

Too bad. The place could have potential. I MAY give it one more chance but I’ll have to be in a real good mood to tolerate their lack of professionalism.

All I’m asking for is good service to go along with the nice ambiance.

Life’s too short. You only remember living it once. So live it! I say, bring it on!

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Jibn√© w jambon, tu’burn√©?

June 10, 2010

What a pleasant place L’Osteria is¬†without the bar Nazi!¬† (a Seinfeld joke)

A cozy place in Mar Mikhael, about 300m from √Čl√©ctricit√© du Liban, L’Osteria (which means ‘Tavern’ bi¬†T-tili√©n√©) is owned by Tommy and his wife who cooks daily platters M-F. A variety of Lasagna’s, Melanzane’s, a pizza’ish thing, and fritattas (veggie omelette, ‘ijjeh sort of thing). At lunch you get the daily specials and an assortment of sandwiches.

In the evening, you can have whatever’s left over from the specials, as well as an assortment of 3¬†cheeses or 3 kinds charcuterie platters accompanied by three bowls of either cornichon, cherry tomatoes, olives, nuts, jam, depending on what you ordered.¬†I would do something to improve the bread quality and I have to say that the cheese and charcuterie platters have fluctuated in quality since the place¬†opened up… “typisch” – as the German’s would say.

They serve Lebo and Italian wines. Last night I tried the Italian Pinot¬†Grigio which –¬†as a friend¬†accurately suggested – tastes like bubble gum (you know the round¬†hard ones). So we tried the Chateau Khoury Pinot Gris (which you can only find in bars or restaurants, apparently) and it was a¬†relief after the candy ūüėČ Light and easy to drink – when well chilled (2nd bottle wasn’t!?!),¬†the nose: pear; the palate: yellow plums. Jean Paul, you go boy!

A nice simple place when your life’s getting too complicated.

For reservations: 01-566175 (no cooking on Saturday – so you only get the cheese and cold cuts platters, and closed Sundays)


tfaddalou ‘al Tawlet…

June 5, 2010

So what’s the best kind of food you can get in Leboland? (careful, that’s a trick question…) well? …¬†Lebanese food!!¬† Bravo!¬†

Considering we’re such a small country, Lebanon has a lot of diversity in terms of food from region to region, and even village to village. So maybe the reason we can hardly get along is¬†not just a religious issue. “My kibb√©’s better… No, my Kibb√©’s better…” and next thing you know, it’s another civil war! Ya¬†‘aini, you all make great kibb√©, so let’s just eat and enjoy it.

What Kamal Mouzawak came up with in Tawlet is g√©nial!¬†What a luxury to be able to taste the different varieties of delicious food we have in this country in just¬†one spot! The place itself has a nice cozy feel –¬†t√©ta style – with a touch of kitch. You never get the same food two days in a row, yaani, the menu changes daily. Subscribe to their mailing list and get their weekly menu by email. And when you thought you’ve tried it all, there’s always a new surprise waiting for you.

They serve lemonade, jellab, and water with ‘mazaher’¬†(orange blossom), or if you’re in the mood they have a variety of Lebanese wines you can try. I personally like to go for Arak with that food… sometimes white wine (actually had the white¬†Chateau Marsyas once, if I remember correctly it was the Chardonnay… just make sure it’s really chilled. Rounded and full, dry and fruity.)

Tawlet is open M-F for lunch only and Saturdays for Brunch, but guess what? you can rent out the place for private dinners!

Seriously, forget everything else. Our food is what we’re really good at. Kamal, you’re a genius!

L & M, thanks for that lovely dinner party and Happy Anniversary.

For reservations: 01-448129


Ma ‘am bifham…

June 1, 2010

… why restaurants that consider themselves “fine dining” in Leboland still serve cough medicine like Kefraya Bret√®ches or Ksara Prieur√©… And you know what’s worse, I’ve actually seen a table of snobby business men with huge phallic cigars in their mouth and… wait… double take… put my glasses on… shit, they’re having a bottle of Bret√®ches?!@? I mean, gentlemen, at least respect your food!
That’s when I decided, khalas, yaani take this crap off your menus restaurants!!! I mean, to give the vineyards credit where its due, Kefraya actually has a few nice bottles (Comte de M (try the 2004 or 2005),¬† and a ‘secret’ white wine that you can only buy at their premises – Vissi d‚ÄôArte 2006) www.chateaukefraya.com/