When I first heard La Crêperie closed to be majorly renovated, I have to admit I was a little sad and worried, though I have to also admit it needed it badly. I had so many fond memories at this historic spot that dates all the way back to the 19th century and a long-standing iconic restaurant which had first opened its doors in 1968. Describing this landmark as perched would be an understatement, it literally hangs off a cliff, and boasts one THE best views in the country, overlooking the entire bay of Jounieh and the Mediterranean Sea.
Every inch of the place has been completely restored and managed by Sky Management (the same folks that brought us SKYBAR and O1NE House of Entertainment) and after much anticipation it opened its doors earlier this Spring.
The venue is a design marvel, with each corner looking like it had taken a page out of Architectural Digest, a savvy combination of French Provence decor with traditional Lebanese Ottoman-style heritage boasting magnificently high ceilings and stellar marble columns. But it’s the interior decor which left the biggest impression on me, since I’m absolutely obsessed with the combination of country-chic furniture, soothing pastels and crystal chandeliers.
Most people prefer to dine on the picturesque outdoor terrace or in Les Jardins ( La Crêperie botanical backyard), but my personal favorite place is a cozy table inside. I got to try out many items on the assorted international/Mediterranean menu on a recent lunch with friends. And here are some of my recommendations worth trying.
As the name suggests, La Crêperie; you can choose from 13 savory crêpes and a total of 18 sweet ones. We opted for the Jambon, Fromage et Beurre crêpe, a generously stuffed one with ham, cheese and butter which I loved, but I have to say, it’s enough to stuff you, so don’t get greedy.
For starters, we also had the flavorful Quinoa Salad, with avocados, mangos, cucumbers, raisons and corn in a refreshing lemon and oil dressing topped with cilantro. I’ve never had this combination of ingredients with Quinoa before and I have to say it was a lovely new perspective.
The Scottish Salmon dish was made of four unfussy wrapped roles of smoked salmon, simple and straight to the point.
The Bresaola au Parmesan had a crisp topping of mesclun green leaves tossed in an oil and lemon that gave each mouthful a fresh vibe. The lentil salad had a very Mediterranean feel to it with cherry tomatoes, chives and parsley in a vinaigrette sauce.
And finally, another favorite of mine, the Ravioli aux cèpes, a delectable mixture of fresh mushrooms encased in a ravioli, cooked to perfection with a hearty creamy/buttery sauce. I would without a doubt have this on my own next time as a main dish, sharing it with not easy.
For mains, we shared three entrees, the Loup de Mer, a significantly-sized grilled white fish, with a side of steamed greens, it was a little simple for my liking as I would prefer my fish usually more marinated with flavors, however it was grilled just right, not overdone and still moist.
The house burger, was the kind you would get at an authentic French Bistro, nothing too complicated and my personal favorite the colossal Escalope de Veau Panée, breaded white veal with a side of penne pasta in a tomato sauce.
And finally my favorite part of any meal, dessert, with the king of all cheesecakes, the berry cheesecake no exaggeration,may be one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon so far, wholesome and utterly delightful with each bite. For the chocolate aficionados I also recommend the Tarte au Chocolate, made with a firm dark chocolate interior in a perfect little tart shell. And some of the house sorbet to beat the heat.
Verdict: Rarely is the new able to encompass the original spirit of institutions like this one, but the new La Crêperie takes it a step further, it’s not only managed to restore this Lebanese landmark back its original glory, it has thrust it into a new era of golden years ahead.
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