Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Review of L'Osteria

I am not a food critic, but I do hold strong opinions about the subjects and I intend to express them. How is that for a beginning?

Last night, in the desperate search for an authentic eatery in Lebanon, we got lucky! My husband and I went to an amazing place bursting with positive vibes. Yes, I  sense these things, am I psychic? Perhaps! Seriously I tend to feel positive and negative vibes, and that makes the whole difference in a restaurant setting. We arrived and were seated on a tiny corner table (love corners). The setting is very romantic, authentic and charming. I think the place seats about 30 customers. I asked about the history of the location. Apparently, it used to be a "dekken" where one used to buy fruits and vegetables. It looks like an "qabou" refurbished to feel good, actually great! The food is unpretentious! I look for that because it is important, a rarity these days in our capital. Good quality products cannot go wrong in however way you cook or serve them. Am I right? We started with a glass of wine made by a friend in Zahleh, Jean Paul Khoury. Thanks Jean Paul for persisting in doing this juice of the gods. Our waiter, who seems like an old timer in the restaurant (happy to be), suggested bruschetta toast with cherry tomatoes marinated with garlic, olive oil, and zaatar. I could tell! I liked the fact that the cook used local seasoning! Then we had slices of carpaccio, thinly sliced with garlic and olive oil with Parmesan shavings. Simple but good! We finished with a wonderful torta (tortilla) made with eggs, of course and Swiss chard, mushrooms, pine nuts, flavored with coriander or parsley and garlic. I think the owner is having a love affair with garlic. Good for you! We loved it. It felt good, we left HAPPY!

Quick preview: good food, good vibes, friendly service, adorable setting, fair prices! Also, the owner Thomas is kind you can tell that he is passionate about his job. We did not speak for long, but that was my first impression. Did I mention that his wife is Italian? Love that! I think it's a good combination: Lebanese / Italian, especially when dealing with food.

Grazie mille!

If you are interested to visit:
Aschrafieh - Nahr Street
+ 961 1 566 175

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