My dear friend Hiba missed my posts, so this one is for her, about delicious food at Bar Tartine, a nice bakery & café in a wonderful terrace area in Mar Mkhael. I love Mar Mkhael, not for its pubs and clubs, not for its beautiful old apartments, not for the elder people you meet on the street, I love it for its European touch, its modest and charming nonchalence. Please go and have a look at La Cour Saint-Michel (here, what a name, right?), an oasis, “habbit loulou” in the midst of Mar Mkhael, the midst of Ashrafieh, the midst of Beirut, the midst of Lebanon! If you find a place, aslan. It’s so overcrowded there in the evenings, don’t ask me how we managed to find a place at SUD, when Hiba suggested it for dinner spontaneously. Zaytounay Bay seems to be forgotten. It’s now La Cour Saint-Michel!
I might be writing too much about Zaytounay Bay. It’s just “3al mouda” at the moment in Beirut, I mean “en vogue”. Whenever you want to go out, people suggest Zaytounay Bay. Or is it always me? Hm, ok, now I remember. I just like the elegant and relaxed atmosphere of the place.. And I loved this super cute and very French restaurant named Amarres (here). I liked the lilac flowers on the table, the dark wooden furniture, the curved bar and this authentic wall full of wine bottles (although I was afraid they would fall over my head with each of my movements). We spent a lovely evening, enjoying the delicious meals (i loved the butter!) and the cute Patchi chocolote boxes they offered us for dessert. Yummiii!
I know the word zabad from Egyptian movies. There, it means “butter”. So I was surprised to know its true meaning in this beautiful and elegant restaurant (here): It’s just sea foam. Most of the restaurants at Zaytounay Bay are somehow related to the sea. Have a look at some of them here. They all stand out with their interior designs, but Zabad is my favorite! Every item is a piece of art, from the wooden walls to the flying glass platelets… Don’t they remind you of migrating sea birds? It’s such a pitty we didn’t sit inside, but what shall I do.. It’s always the same with those guests from abroad.. They can’t get enough of Beirut’s nice weather – and I sure don’t blame them!
If there was a “Kiez Kultur” or “district culture” here like in Berlin, the café Casa del Gelato in Ashrafieh would definitely be my Kiez Café where I go every other day to grab a drink after work! Although I don’t live next to it, I go there regularly, even at 7:45 in the morning, like on that sunny day. Although the place was empty, I did not feel alone at all since I was sharing the table with my friend the olive tree. And she (in Arabic, the tree is feminine!) is of course what I like most in this café! She watches over the guests and makes sure everybody is fine and happy. Oh yes, I was, thanks to her and to the fresh and warm croissants, hmm….