Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Barbara in Bejdarfel with Chadia Lahoud "Helwe El Hayet"

My neighbor Sarri called me the other day saying that I should meet Chadia from his adopted village Bejdarfel, near Batroun. That is exactly what I did!  She is such an adorable woman with a lot of knowledge on edible wild herbs and plants from her village. I was delighted to share this adventure with my friend Tangor from Turkey who is a food connoisseur, having studied in Italy at the university of Gastronomy in Polenza. He is now working for one of the most famous restaurants in Turkey in research and development. Gioconda is from Andalusia in Spain and was raised in a hotel / restaurant. She is passionate about food and was really touched by this country promenade. A special bond was created that day with my two friends. I want to thank my new "habib albi" Mike Massy for giving us permission to use his beautiful song "Ya Zaman"! I absolutely love it.... Thanks, thanks! It made this episode even more special.

Last but not least, I dedicate this episode to my dear Roula, the show's segment director who has left us to pursue a job outside Lebanon. She is so special to me... She understood exactly what is inside my head and most important what is inside my heart. Love you... more to come, I promise!

Opening of a Mouneh Shop - Dekenet al Falamanki

Someone went out and finally done it!!! Wish it had been me....

Good for them. Falamanki on Damascus road, the new trendy Lebanese restaurant is opening a mouneh shop. When I entered the premises, it was like O my goodness! This looks like the Mouneh book. I was so happy to see my book everywhere too. I feel very close to this idea and concept. I wish them all the success. The most important point is that they are working on bringing small scale producers closer to end users (consumers). May they always be true to this philosophy. The place is very cozy, you must come and visit. I will be signing copies of Man'oushe and Mouneh, if anyone is interested.

For those who want to read the details in English:

You're cordially invited you to the opening of Dekkanet Al Falamanki on Friday, April 20 between 4pm and 8pm in Al Falamanki's garden.

The opening is animated/MC'd by: Al Zeytoun, Al Jams, Al Makdouss, Al Cheese, etc (this is a traditional lebanese expression to say who's the entertainment of the night).
The event is open to public.

Dekkanet AL Falamanki is a boutique where all sorts of provisions offered from many villages of Lebanon can be found. Seasonally oriented and farm fresh, Dekkanet al Falamanki is specialized in providing you with blossoming foods of the months; Whether you are looking for arak, jams, pickles, dairy products or even oils our boutique is dedicated to bringing traditional flavors into your home.

Tel: 01-333246; address: Al Falamanki gardens, Sodeco, Damascus road, Beirut. 
Open from 7am till midnight.

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