I love discovering small, cozy restaurants that are not on everyone’s radar and that pleasantly surprise you on all levels, especially on the culinary level.
A week ago I was invited by my friends to a small bistro in the heart of Achrafieh called Au Bistrot de Michel. Prior to that night, I had never heard of it and I was naturally looking forward to see what it had to offer.
We started with two salads; Fromage de Chèvre Chaud and Entre Terre et Mer. The former is very delicious, with sweet notes from the figs in syrup and acidic hints from the Granny Smith. But the salad Entre Terre et Mer is a must-try! It is made with fresh crab, greens, mango and asparagus. What I absolutely love about it is that it is actually acidic! While most of the fresh crab salads I had anywhere have barely any hints of acidity in them, this one will stimulate your palate with an exceptional combination of tastes.
The salads were followed by an exquisite Shrimps Risotto that you must by all means try, as it is cooked to perfection. We also had the Thon Mi-cuit that literally melts in your mouth and is served with shredded cucumbers and carrots, as well as sesame and a soy-based sauce, and the Steak Frites that is by far, one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon. The meat is tender and juicy and the fries are crispy and with just the right amount of spices.
Of course, a meal isn’t complete without dessert, right? So for those with a sweet tooth, I highly, highly recommend Le Vacherin de Bistrot as it is just perfect, as well as their Moelleux Chocolat de Cedrik. I’ve never had a moelleux as good as this one; it has the perfect amount of sweetness and is covered with cocoa powder that balances the soft side of the cake with its dryness. We ordered it with strawberry and lemon sorbets, and simply indulged into a very pleasant chocolate experience altogether. We equally had an apple tart that I didn’t get the chance to taste, because with the last bite of chocolate moelleux I could barely keep breathing :).
Au Bistrot de Michel has easily made it on my list of favorite restaurants in Beirut. It will be my go-to place for a lot of occasions and I am sure that I will be experiencing more pleasant and unique meals there!