L’atelier du miel is one of those brands and concept stores that you just love to love in Lebanon. It sells natural honey produced with its own beehives, with a vision to make honey an essential ingredient in every Lebanese household. And with that very same vision, they opened their latest boutique and restaurant in Mar Mikhael, where they actually make honey part of every dish you eat there, so that people understand what it means to use honey with food, just like they would use olive oil or any other condiment.
Up until the day I visited the boutique, my knowledge of honey was very limited. I didn’t know honey came in so many tastes, depending on what the bees are feeding of. Neither did I know that each type of honey had its own specifications and benefits. What I also didn’t know was how delicious honey tasted, in every flavor I tried. All I knew was that good honey is 100% natural, unsweetened and seasonal. I had never really tasted honey before and I only used it in few recipes, mostly to tone down sharp flavors like the acidity of pomegranate molasses, or the saltiness of soy sauce. And what I mostly didn’t know is how my taste buds will forever be impregnated with a new and unparalleled taste experience.
When I first walked in there that morning, an exquisite smell of freshly baked croissants had filled the air and all I could think of was how good these croissants were going to taste. I made a first stop at the boutique, where Gina made me taste incredible honeys and explained where each one came from. After that stop, it was time for my brunch experience. Knowing me, I had to order the items that stood out on the menu 🙂 like goat labneh balls, and the lollo verde and bulgur salad. I also had scrambled eggs, and those croissants I could not take off my mind.
The goat labneh balls come served with watermelon and honeycomb. You need to take in all three at once to enjoy what an incredible mix this is. The acidity of the labneh is balanced with the sweetness of the watermelon, and the honeycomb adds hints of sweet earthiness that take the whole dish to a new level of flavors.
The lollo verde with bulgur salad is just incredible! Every mouthful is a taste explosion in itself. Each ingredient matches perfectly well the other and the roasted hazelnuts are the cherry on top. The dressing, made with spring blossom honey, lemon and apple cider vinegar brings all of the ingredients together in a harmonious mix.
The croissants were just as exquisite as their smell. Fresh, light and fluffy, they come served with strawberry jam (sweetened with honey of course) and thistles and summer flowers honey. Try one bite with jam and another with honey. Each one will taste differently but both are just perfect.
The scrambled eggs were the great finale. I’ve never, ever had scrambled eggs as good as those and believe me, I’ve had scrambled eggs in a lot of cities around the world. What makes these scrambled eggs so special is that they are cooked with orange blossom and spring flowers honey. They’re so good that you don’t need to eat anything else with them! I will not talk further about this item, just order it when you visit and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
This visit has completely changed my perception of honey and how it will be used in my kitchen from now on. It has equally enriched my taste buds in so many ways, that I will definitely come back to taste more, discover more, learn more and refine my taste with new culinary experiences.