Tag Archives: Fine Dining

Dining in Style at the Fashionable Cavalli Caffé

Cavalli Caffé opened almost a year ago in Downtown Beirut, but I actually didn’t have time to check it out until one rainy night this past September.

While the weather was going completely crazy on a Tuesday night, we decided to drop by for an impromptu dinner. Well all you need to know is that the place screams “Cavalli” – from the furniture to the chandeliers and not forgetting the portraits on the wall, the place completely embodies the Italian designer.

 

Ambience

 

I loved that the restaurant was kind of empty; it made the experience more private and the atmosphere less noisy. We took our seats on a Zebra themed couch that was comfortable and cozy and started sifting through the menu. The dishes are mostly international; you can find a variety of starters, salads, sandwiches, mains, and desserts.

 

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We ordered two glasses of what turned out to be a delicious Italian white wine and we chose the tomato bruschetta as a starter which was really tasty, but if you’re on a date, you may want to skip it since it contains a lot of onion.

 

ambience with bottles

 

For our main course, Ralph chose the Cavalli Entrecote complete with impeccably stacked French fries and fresh steamed vegetables. I must say that the portion was a pretty good one and the steak turned out to be pretty tasty! As for me, well I was delighted to find out that the Chef can cook almost any kind of Risotto of my choice, so I went for my favorite; safron Risotto with grilled shrimps.

 

steak

 

 

shrimp risotto

 

We enjoyed our dinner as we talked and looked around the place taking in everything Cavalli. Every detail was considered in making this place what it is; the spotless utensils, the plates with the Zebra motif on them, even the chocolate squares were individually monogrammed with the venue’s logo.

As for the dessert, well I can honestly say that I found the best profiteroles in the country! The soft profiteroles were filled with yummy chocolate and vanilla ice cream and drizzled with the tastiest chocolate fudge that made every bite even better than the one before!

 

chocolate

 

To sum it up, if you’re looking for a place to spend a quiet evening with a special someone, then Cavalli Caffé is the place to go to. The generosity, tasty dishes, friendly service, and overall atmosphere will make you want to come back and score major points with your date ;)

Dining in Style | Birthday Lunch at Fiona’s!

To celebrate my birthday on the weekend, my family took me out to lunch to a very charming Italian Restaurant in Saifi Village, called Fiona’s.

 

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I discovered Fiona’s around 4 years ago, when my family took my mom to dinner there to celebrate her birthday. Then a few years ago, I took my boyfriend there to celebrate our first anniversary by taking a  cooking class with the restaurant’s very talented chef! (If you’re into this kind of stuff, this activity is one that will create memories to last a lifetime- check out the pics below to get a glimpse of all the fun!)

 

Ralph hard at work cooking Risotto while Chef Ali shows me how to master Spaghetti Pomodoro!
Ralph hard at work cooking Risotto while Chef Ali shows me how to master Spaghetti Pomodoro!

 

Something you must know about Fiona’s before visiting on the weekend is that the restaurant is usually buzzing with people on Sunday and you are very likely to bump into one (2, or even a few) of Lebanon’s high profile politicians acting very normal as they dine with their families. So while the waiters attend to their pressing needs, expect delays in getting your order on time. (Sorry!)

 

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As we waited for our appetizers to be served, we each enjoyed a glass of Toscano, which turned out to be a very fine white wine imported from Italy. As a start, Fiona’s serves homemade bread crackers sprinkled with fresh thyme that are best enjoyed with an oil, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan mix.  Moments later, our Bruschette Pomodoro arrived along with a deliciously looking salad made of a variety of fresh greens.

 

brushetta

 

For the main course, I ordered Spaghetti Pomodoro (you can never go wrong with this dish in an Italian restaurant), while my mum ordered the filet that was served with wedge potatoes and steamed fresh veggies. My dad and my boyfriend went for the rosemary and garlic marinated grilled chicken that was also served with wedge cut potatoes.

 

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As for the desert, well I can honestly tell you that if you’re a Tiramisu fan, then you absolutely MUST taste it at Fiona’s! We were so looking forward to eating it that I forgot to take a picture of it once it was served!

 

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If you’re looking for a nice place to lunch with your family on a Sunday, then head over to Fiona’s. While the food may not be stellar, the value for money is a pretty good one. The servers are young and friendly and the atmosphere is very Italian and familial.

You can also visit Fiona’s in the morning for a delicious breakfast spread. Their outdoor seating area in the Saifi neighborhood is a must-see once the weather gets warmer!

 

location

 

 

For your reservations at Fiona’s call 01 985 825 or 03 034 200.

Dining in Style | Sunday Cheese & Wine at Faqra’s Le 1700.

On a cold yet beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon, my friends and I decided to go up to Faraya to enjoy the sunset in the snow. After a freezing walk around the ski slopes, we were in the mood to have a glass of wine overlooking the amazing view of the snowy white mountains.

 

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We ended up going to Le 1700, a restaurant I discovered last Summer in Faqra that serves impeccable fresh cuisine in a cozy setting. It was around 6 PM so the place was almost empty and it was a relief to walk in to find the chimney on as it was close to 0 degrees outside.

 

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Located at an altitude of 1700m, the restaurant is made of a big house like wooden structure and the tables and chairs also made from wood are covered in simple, yet elegant white cloths. The walls are adorned with reindeer chandeliers, and the restaurant’s wine cellar boasts an impressive variety of wines from all around the world.

 

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After looking through the wine list, we decided to go for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc by Sierra Grande from Chile; the exquisite taste was a fine blend between sweet sour grapes. We also selected the cheese plate that contains a variety of fancy cheeses including Brie, Parmesan, Roquefort, Camembert, and Chevre among others. Soon after, our Bruschetta Pomodoro arrived complete with toasted bread, chunks of red cherry tomatoes, and some fresh basil. We sipped our wine and enjoyed the colorful ingredients of our food while taking in the view of the snowy hills from behind the big glass windows.

 

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Following our meal, our dessert- a delightfully smelling milk chocolate fondue- was served along with fresh apples, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, and bananas. It was the perfect sweet end to the perfect afternoon.

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I highly recommend visiting Le 1700 before the end of the Winter snow season; the charming setting, friendly staff, smoke-free environment, delectable food, and overall ambiance will surely make your visit one to remember!

 

 

Le 1700 is located on Faqra Club Road, Kfardebian. (Right under Rickyz)

For your reservations, call 03 441 700.

Dining in Style | Sunny Saturday Lunch at the Villagio!

The Villagio Piccolo opened its doors in Kantari, Downtown Beirut 2 weeks ago, and has been the talk of the town since then! From its cozy wooden structure to its charming atmosphere, and not to forget its delicious food, Villagio is THE latest hip and happenening craze of restaurants in Lebanon.

 

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So, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I took my boyfriend there to have an early Valentine celebration- the Italian way. Along with its charming outdoor seating, we were greeted by a rather large circular fountain with baby lemon trees all around. The gracious and young staff pointed us to a table for 2 inside, where we could see the cars passing by on the street from behind the glass walls.

 

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The first thing I noticed were the name tags worn by the waiters and waitresses; they all had names like “Speranza”, “Sergio”, “Odeo”, and “Diego”. It turns out that in order to have a complete authentic Italian experience, the management chose these names for the team and I must say it did create a friendly  converation with our waiters “Odeo” and “Speranza”.

 

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While talking about the restaurant’s décor, our warm bread rolls were brought in along with a delicious tomato bruschetta mixture and 2 glasses of Ksara Chardonnay. Soon after, our mixed green salad with fried marinated shrimps arrived; the light mayo sauce was just right and the shrimps tasted fresh and crunchy.

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We enjoyed our main course in colorful green and yellow plates; my boyfriend had the mushroom ravioli (and I must say that very few restaurants in Lebanon have this dish on their menu) while I opted for the Tagliatelle with Alfredo sauce.

 

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Our final course of the meal was the homemade fondant au chocolat with vanilla ice cream. The fondant had sprinkles of granulated sugar around its edges which added to its sweet and delicious taste.

 

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We had a great time at the Villagio Piccolo; the staff is attentive to details, the food is served at just the right temperature, and the décor is coloful made classy.

You can even visit the Villagio’s neighboring Limoncello for breakfast as well as afternoon snacks; they serve sandwiches, salads, and desserts throughout the day.

 

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The Villagio Piccolo is located on Fakhreddine Street, Kantari, Beirut.

For your reservations, call 71 09 09 68.