The Best of Beirut
on Dec 31, 2014 By Danielle Issa
Around this time of year, most of us are busy sorting out our New Year’s Eve plans. Many will be torn between staying in for a quaint and romantic evening, or going out to party, binge, and revel in style. Still others will be nervously scouring shop after shop for that perfect black cocktail dress, or a flattering pair of heels to complete the look, while others will prepare to don their baggiest attire to hide those kilos packed on at Christmas.
Whatever you’re conspiring, who said that the celebrations have to end with the iconic New Year’s Eve bash? I say extend the festivities one more day, to the traditionally quiet January 1, and start the year with a bang (and bite!). Here’s where you want to go to make sure 2015 gets off on the right foot!
Photo via Phoencia Beirut on Instagram
If you’ve still got a few bucks after all the gift-giving and drink-sloshing, you’d be amiss to pass up Indigo on the Roof’s special New Year’s lunch at Le Gray. For $95 per person (incl. VAT + service), gorge on a lavish spread of starters buffet, including international cheeses, charcuterie, salads, Lebanese specialties, and homemade bread. You have a choice between six glorious mains, counting among them grass-fed prime beef fillet and the signature Indigo burger. Save room for the dessert display—the Mont Blanc is imperative—while being lulled into a euphoric trance with harpist Catherine Thompson’s soothing tunes.
Le Gray Hotel
Cambell Gray Hotel
For a not-so-shabby $45, dine at the Venezia Ristorante Italiano tucked inside the swanky five-star Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Hilton). Indulge in a buffet lunch including an exquisite salmon platter, a medley of hot dishes featuring their fresh pastas, veal tenderloin, and a slew more of heavenly goodness. Dessert comprises the authentic Italian panettone, a sweet bread loaf hailing from Milan and usually served during the holiday season. Live entertainment promises to set the mood!
A considerable number of us will probably be rehabilitating from one too many alcohol-laced drinks, and nothing beats a hangover like eggs, omelets, and benedicts. Check out the newly opened Acoté, a casual café and grub hub that offers a spellbinding menu of eggs—white omelette, truffle omelette, Florentine, catalane egg, and smoked salmon—as well as a very unique selection of gourmet sandwiches. Don’t miss the Lobster Roll from Maine and the King Crab slathered with avocado mash. End with the famous pain retrouvé from neighboring sister bistro, Prune.
If you didn’t get your fill of pick-me-ups, or better yet, if you believe the only path to recovery from a hangover is to keep the drinks coming, Uruguay Street’s Nu Pop Culture Bar is your paradise. During their Happiness Extended Happy Hour, discounted drinks are available all night long, so you can imbibe merrily without upsetting your wallet. Sample their seasonal cocktail, the “Ginger Bells,” as you snack on savory wings and steamed edamame.
Photo via Facebook
If you missed the extravagant Chocolate Buffet reigning over the Phoenicia Hotel’s Cascade Lounge, then January 1st is your chance to make amends during its penultimate performance. For a mere $20 (incl. VAT), or $33 per couple, settle in by the luxurious fountain and treat yourself to chocolaty nibbles andmignardiseswhile sipping on a hot beverage of your whim. Tis the season for chocolate after all, and if anyone dares utter otherwise, then bah, humbug!
Phoenicia Hotel Beirut
Photo via Instagram
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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