In the mood for something different this past weekend, my friends and I decided to head to Mar Mikhael in search of a new food experience. What we ended up finding truly surpassed our expectations..
Walking through Armenia Street, we discovered a tiny staircase right after Tartine Bakery (note to self: must visit soon!) that really ended up being the stairway to heaven. At the foot of the last step, we were delighted to find a charming courtyard; this courtyard- known as La Cour Saint Michel- houses 3 establishments: Bar Tartine to the right, Sud, to the left, and a Lebanese restaurant called Studio 43 that is yet to open.
After going back and forth between the restaurants, we decided to have lunch at Sud. The place has an amazing outdoor area, but since it was pretty hot, we opted for a table indoors. The indoor seating area is also pretty nice, having simple yet impressive decorative items here and there and we could still see the view of the courtyard through the glass windows.
Our waiter emerged with menus for food and drink. The menu is a mix of items inspired by the south of France, Italy, and a few Spanish cities. We were starving so we directly ordered the first appetizer on the menu called Goujounettes (I’m still dreaming of its taste until this moment!). Goujounettes are basically strips of chicken that are battered in cornflakes and fried to perfection. What I loved about the strips was that they did not have any excess oil so you could really taste the chicken and the seasoning. Accompanying this dish was a delicious dip made with tomatoes, herbs, and pine nuts.
Following this appetizer, we dug into the nicoise salad- unlike any other I’ve tasted in Lebanon. First, the portion is pretty big and can easily be split between 2-3 people (my friend actually had this salad as a main dish and was full!). The tuna is raw but tastes fresh and the vegetables are leafy and colorful and mixed with just the right amount of dressing.
As for the main dish, I chose the penne Alfredo with cream and rosemary. I loved that such a simple dish can take on a new taste just through the addition of a simple ingredient like rosemary. My boyfriend went for the grilled chicken breast that was served with French portobello mushrooms and fries.
Overall the food was more than delicious. We loved how generous the portions were while still being budget friendly. I loved the colored water cups- a fun change from the usually boring plain glass ones found at most restaurants. The service was friendly, although the waiters do seem to be anxious at times with the clients, but this is maybe due to lack of experience.
The setting is just amazing; you would never think that you’re in the middle of a busy city in a crowded street. The furniture, the colors, and the atmosphere allowed us to spend most of the afternoon at Sud without noticing that all this much time flew by.
Sud also has a rooftop terrace that promises one a kind cocktails in a cool outdoor setting, and that’s exactly where we’re going next time
Sud is located up a stairway just after Tartine Bakery. Walk-in or reserve on 01 560 900.