Tag Archives: Locanda

Step away from the Hummus!

The New York Times is soooo loving Beirut right about now..in a recent article titled Top Chefs and Restaurateurs Are Drawn to Beirut, they write,

AFTER more than 30 years of civil war, invasion and occupation, Lebanon is prospering again, and the downtown area of Beirut, the capital, has risen from the rubble. Among more than 400 projects are a new waterfront area, parks, world-class hotels, high-end shops and restored monuments, churches, and mosques.

And to help the city reclaim its title as the Paris of the Middle East are more than 100 restaurants, some involving notable chefs and restaurateurs.

The article continued to say..

But while some Lebanese might dare to try Joel Robuchon’s eel with foie gras, when it comes to their own cuisine, tradition rules. You’ll find croissants seasoned with the spice blend zataar in bakeries, but that’s about as far as most chefs dare to innovate. A few restaurants are adding Asian or Mexican dishes to Lebanese menus, but generally it’s hands off when it comes to classics like hummus.

“The Lebanese like routine — it’s comforting after what they have gone through,” said Philippe Massoud, the chef and owner of Ilili in New York, who is from Beirut but who left during the civil war.

You see..I’m not sure if I entirely agree with that statement…what do you think?  Are the Lebanese conservative when it comes to their cuisine?  I think experimentation with traditional dishes is quite common here..for example I’m pretty sure I’ve had Spicy Hummus at Al Balad in Downtown, and a complete Lebanese fusion meal at Locanda in Jbeil…

Whatever the case, it’s nice to see some positive press about Beirut in the news!

Below are some photos that I found of Lebanese fusion cuisine at Locanda in Jbeil..you can see more photos from this photo stream here.

Locanda Lebanese Fusion Jbeil

Locanda Lebanese Fusion Restaurant

Locanda Lebanese Fusion Restaurant Jbeil

Locanda Lebanese Fusion Restaurant in Jbeil

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Filed under eating in Lebanon, life in Lebanon

Byblos Part 3

So, we made our way back up to The Old City in search of the Manchester United vs. Chelsea game..yes..its true..football fans never take a vacation, and I happened to be in Byblos with some..To their delight, we managed to find a pub where the game was playing..

It wasn’t long before we realized that there were two Americans in the pub who had done the same..They were quite easily distinguishable from the crowd with their loud running commentary of the entire match..I had forgotten how obnoxious the American accent sounds!  Did I sound like THAT? My friends didn’t mind so much, and were quite impressed to find Americans who knew their ish.

Two Americans (well 3 with me included), in Byblos, watching a football match between two English teams..go figure.

Anyway, we were sitting behind them, when I got the idea to snap this photo..

The Americans watching the Man U v Chelsea match..

After the match, we headed back to Hotel Canari de Byblos to watch the sunset from our balcony..but not before spotting this rather odd sight..

"Oh no! My six inch silver heel is stuck in the cobble stone street!"

Where was this woman going with her bleach blond hair, silver pants, and high-heeled boots, at 5:00pm in the afternoon in BYBLOS!?  Did she not get the memo that she was walking around in the oldest inhabited city in the world, during Easter weekend?  Blasphemy I tell you!

Well, I didn’t know where she was going, but I soon figured out from whence she came!

Kookla - Place..Super Night Club

Who could think to put a SUPER NIGHT CLUB in Byblos!   To which someone would say, “well.. it is the oldest profession in the world..”

To which I would reply, “But still!”

Anyhow..after watching the sun disappear under the Mediterranean sea, we headed to Locanda, a Lebanese fusion restaurant located in the heart of The Old Souk..

Lychee martinis.  Minimal tech house.  Fusion Lebanese food.

I was blown away..(the service wasn’t all that good, but I attributed it to the garish costumes that the owner made the staff wear)..and immediately my friends and I started planning the logistics of throwing monthly events at this restaurant that reminded me so much of Miami..

When suddenly my friend turned to me and said, “Can you believe we are talking about minimal tech house, djs, and throwing parties when, in the distance, there are ancient ruins from 2,000 years ago?  Insane.”

The Old Souk at night..Laconda restaurant in the background..

The Old Souk at night..

To my weekend lover, Byblos..you were amazing!

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Vacationing in Lebanon