Mywaterfront, a new alfresco restaurant and champagne bar which opened to the public on July 12, is a brilliant new addition to Beirut’s latest hot spot, Zaitunay Bay.

Strategically positioned overlooking the new Zaitunay Bay marina, an extravagant albeit sober design blends beautifully with an elevated metal and concrete terrace. Employing a black, white and metal color scheme, lounge couches and humungous white umbrellas loom overhead to create a space open for everybody’s business, be it night or day. The result: an elegant, open space, equally suited for a sunny-side up brunch, a sundown drink or a relaxing dinner.

A flattering bar dominates half of the restaurant space. It is slightly raised, and stocked with a fine selection of alcoholic beverages. The drinks menu is extensive, including refreshing choices like mimosas, sangrias and that rare find in Beirut, a pitcher of Pimm’s. Original drinks include fruit-brulee champagne, rose sangria and fresh watermelon martinis. For those with an acquired taste, the royal apple fizz will tantalize your taste buds with a combination of champagne, apple, ginger and vanilla flavors.

The reasonably-priced menu is simple, inspired, well executed and delicious. Packed full of bistro-style favorites, the menu offers starters, sandwiches, salads, grilled meats and seafood. The friendly staff is knowledgeable and eager to explain the menu options.

Starters and salads include fragrant Thai fish cakes, a healthy soba noodle salad, and a feta and watermelon toss, a true star. The tuna tartare was served with a zesty avocado puree and a spicy tomato coulis on the side. The tuna was fresh and chopped with green onions, crispy cucumbers and soy sauce. The stuffed baby peppers consists of three sweet red peppers, grilled and smoked, packed with a lightly herbed goat cheese. The effect is sweet and creamy. The whole dish is drizzled with fresh pesto and accompanied by three buffala mozzarella skewers, a sun-dried tomato and a basil leaf. It’s a brilliant Italian-inspired dish perfect for sharing among friends at the dinner table.

The main offerings are Mediterranean bistro classics with some original fusion twists. Mussels tossed with diced soujouk sausages are a surprising find. The sea bass consists of two fresh sides of fish, grilled simply and served with steamed asparagus and potatoes. The whole plate is then covered with a fragrant herb-butter sauce. Another great choice is the overly-generous grilled whole baby chicken brushed with zesty orange chutney. Served on a slate tablet with saffron basmati rice and grilled endive and fennel, this dish is superb and elegant.

The dessert selections are sparse but there’s something here for everyone’s sweet tooth. The huge Toblerone fondant was warm and melting, served with a Toblerone mousse, vanilla ice-cream and pistachio powder. The cheesecake was exceptionally creamy and packed full of real vanilla. Cheekily served with the crust and topping on the side, the cake – covered in a salty caramel sauce - abandons all the rules in just the right way.

A great brunch menu is a rarity in Beirut, and with such a great location, Mywaterfront solidifies itself as a gem. Spanish frittatas, omelets, hearty Lebanese platters and warm bread baskets on a terrace facing the sea sounds more like therapy than a meal out. From eggs benedict to fruity mimosas and Bellinis, the restaurant has all the makings of a legendary morning get-together, be it enjoying the sun or slowly nursing a hangover.

In the midst of so many glitzy restaurants adorning the recently opened marina, Mywaterfront clearly stands out in terms of architectural splendor, refined service and tasty offerings.

Mywaterfront restaurant review
 

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