If you’re visiting Beirut for the first time, it’s highly likely that your first proper meal will be “one-of-a-kind”. A traditional Lebanese meal is an experience in itself. Even non-foodies should definitely make this a priority! I’d recommend Enab Restaurant which was one of my favourite restaurants our local friends brought us to.
In fact, you can’t say you’ve been to Lebanon, without experiencing a table full of the most delicious hummus, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh salad. Those were always my top three cold mezze dishes.
Bringing out the best of simple ingredients at Baron
The traditional Lebanese meal aside, our dining experience at Baron was one-of-a-kind in a totally different way. Some menu items sounded simple, like “carrots”. But the chef brings out the best of each ingredient. There’s a strong focus on excellent quality produce, carefully interesting combinations and great execution.
A section dedicated to fresh produce – Vegetables
Vegetables are usually lower down the priority rank when I’m ordering at a restaurant. But at Baron, it was the first category presented in the menu. With 14 almost equally appealing choices, we found it hard to move on. A friend urged us that we had to order the cauliflower – it’s apparently a whole one roasted, with spiced butter and tahini-tartare.
Charcoal Roasted Carrot
It was really hard to resist the cauliflower recommendation, but we ultimately decided to go with the carrot. It was charcoal roasted and served with jalapeno yoghurt, quinoa, dukkah and soft herbs. Executed to perfection.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Housemade Bacon *must order*
The sweet potato gnocchi was our second choice, also from the Vegetables section – it sounded like the crowd pleaser we were craving. Although perhaps more Westernised than the other choices, it was so perfectly cooked. It’s definitely a must-order item.
Roasted Halloumi *must order*
Then came the Diary section, which was much more concise. It’s hard not to be a fan of cheese, and so we went with the roasted halloumi. It had the perfect crispy edges. It was served in a unique and interesting citrusy grapefruit and pistachio chili sauce. It’s another dish I’d highly recommend.
Brisket in Steamed Bun
The menu had so much variety. There was also a section on focusing on Seafood, Fowl, Pork, Lamb and Beef. At this point, our only wish was that we weren’t enjoying this as a couple, just so we could try more dishes by sharing them with a larger group.
We ultimately chose the Beef Brisket. This was served in a bao-like steamed bun. The bun was spiced up with a range of toppings, but I was personally less impressed with this dish compared with the earlier vegetable ones.
Baklava with Mastic Ice Cream
At this point, we were both 120% full. But given how impressive the food had been up to this point, we had to give their desserts a shot.
The Baklava sounded most interesting to us. It was served with walnut nougatine, rose petals and mastic nigella seed ice cream. I loved the addition of rose petals, which added that extra twist to lighten and spice up the otherwise relatively traditional taste of Baklava.
Highly recommended dinner spot in Beirut
You probably wouldn’t want to have more than two very traditional Lebanese meals in Beirut, no matter how delicious the typical hummus, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh are. So I’d highly recommend reserving a night for an excellently refined dinner at Baron – it’s an unmissable dining experience.
Baron sports a dimly lit, quiet yet laid back ambience. The service was attentive. Most importantly, the taste and attention to detail in the dishes are impressive.
Baron is also suitable for vegetarians, given the extensive Vegetables and Diary section.
Pharoan Str. Mar Mkhaiel
For reservations, phone: 01 56 51 99; email: email@example.com