The Best of Beirut
on Jul 23, 2014 By Danielle Issa
Ah, the steak. A carnivore’s foremost delight. The ultimate protein fix of an Atkins dieter. The stuff fantasy final meals are made of. The dish itself couldn’t be any simpler, with a bit of requisite seasoning and a perfect grill finish. But few get it right, and it can be rather tricky to execute well at home, which means it remains a rare treat (pun intended) for many of us.
So where does one go when the caveman appetite sets in? In Beirut, your options for an impeccable steak are admittedly numbered. But on the flip side, it should be easy to commit these institutions to memory. Ready your carving knives!
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La Parrilla has been attracting Lebanon’s seasoned carnivores and gourmands since 2007, and for good reason. Their Argentinian-style steaks are easily the most succulent cuts of beef you will ever sink your canines into. Order the lomo (filet) medium-rare to medium and admire how the meat gives at every gentle swipe of the knife. The plate emerges from the kitchen piping hot, as the beef continues to cook while it sizzles delightfully near a mountain of diced, pan-fried mushrooms. Pair it with the essentials: sautéed green beans, mashed potatoes and La Parrilla’s herby house sauce.
Saint Maron Street
No place spells luxury, premium service, and damn good prime steaks like Four Season’s The Grill Room. The menu is decidedly simple, exactly as it should be, with a few salads, a few appetizers, and then the main attractions: USDA prime tenderloin and ribeye, Australian Wagyu and Black Angus cuts, French Charolais and a few other meat and fish offerings. For the non-purists, there’s an array of sides and veggies to round out the meal. Tuck into the filet mignon, tender to the touch and packing a depth of flavor in its juices. For a bit of oomph, accompany each bite with fresh roasted garlic that comes as garnish on your plate. Warning: the starter bread loaf, served hot out of the oven still in its tray, is deliriously good, but don’t let it stuff you!
Four Seasons Hotel Beirut
No Garlic No Onions
Ever found yourself sending the steak back into the kitchen because the chef had either undercooked it or charred it beyond recognition? Well, Blackrock Steak Lounge’s do-it-yourself concept will eliminate those fiascos forevermore. You pick the meat—everything from Argentinian Black Angus tenderloin (200g for 49,000 LL) to Australian Wagyu (200g for 118,000 LL) and Holland veal fillet (200g for 64,000 LL)—followed by a pair of sides and a choice of sauce. Then fasten on your bib as you get to grilling on a slab of rock brought tableside. You may end up smelling like “essence of grill,” but you won’t regret it for a second.
No Garlic No Onions
For something a bit quartier bistro with a cozy, casual feel and the classic French steak-frites as specialty, Couqley is your sure bet. In fact, Alexis de Couquelet, the master chef behind Couqley, became renowned in Beirut for his tender steak smothered in an inimitable signature sauce and accompanied by a generous heaping of thin French fries. The soft, house-baked French loaves—there’s white and there’s wheat with olives—are indescribably good slathered with Couqley’s creamy, salty, tastes-like-milk butter.
Shop Talk Beirut Blog
A roundup of cult steakhouses wouldn’t be complete without the iconic, world-renowned Relais de l’Entrecote. Paris’ most-cherished steak spot doesn’t draw lines out the door for no reason: the sizzling entrecote with its celebrated sauce is delicious. The formule (45,000 LL) first commands an iceberg wedge tossed in lemon mustard and garnished with crushed walnuts followed by thin, tender slices of entrecote with pommes allumettes. But one dose won’t do, so nod your head vigorously when seconds are offered. If you have room for dessert, the Dame Blanche will send you into the throes of ecstasy.
Abdel Wahab Inglizi
DDMC Fly Blog
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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