La Petite Maison Beirut has unveiled its long-awaited new and fabulous central location and I’m happy to be one of the first guests to experience the new venue and get an exclusive sneak peek before it officially opens its doors on February 22. Previously located at Le Vendôme Beirut, La Petite Maison has now relocated to Omar Daouk Street in Downtown Beirut facing KAMPAI.
Even before I got to meet the lovely hard working team behind the world famous La Petite Maison Beirut, I was a huge fan of this high-end French Mediterranean restaurant, having previously reviewed both their Dubai and Beirut locations. For those not familiar, this top-notch spot started off at Old Nice with a widely successful and very popular branch in London. The place embodies the gastronomic influences from the French Riviera. But what I love most about La Petite Maison is how it tailors its Provencal dishes to the best fresh local produce and seasonal ingredients of its resident countries, especially in Lebanon, where you’ll find premium olive oil from the Shouf and a Caesar Salad made with milk and Panna Cotta prepared with Labneh.
Similar to most of its branches, the new location has all the elements of the signature La Petite Maison look with an interior that is refreshingly simple yet French Riviera chic. It boasts gorgeous high ceilings and a huge open-space which comfortably seats 90 diners, yet manages to still feel warm and cozy with its white tables and caramel leather upholstered armchairs. The ceiling-to-floor windows bring in chunky rays of natural light, that make this place an ideal spot for lunch. The brass bar at the entrance welcomes you with stunning wall-mounted wine cellar. The marble kitchen bar is colorful and inviting with a mélange of fresh fruit and busy chefs. The art on the walls is handpicked and curated; bright, colorful and almost-childlike. And it gets better, this new venue also includes an outdoor terrace, something a lot of us love to do with Beirut’s gorgeous weather.
I missed the Tomatini. But I’m glad to have it back now, it was worth the wait, it’s the perfect aperitif, a light almost airy blend vodka, cherry tomatoes and white balsamic vinegar in a martini glass. Nobody can make it quite the LPM does.
The Hors D’Oeuvres are also back with a vengeance. I have many favorites and with such a rich selection, it’s always been difficult to choose. But if you absolutely must, here are some items I adore, starting with the signature Warm Prawns with Olive Oil. This one has been imitated for years, but never duplicated, there’s something in the way they’re marinated that sets them apart, in terms of tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
The Burrata is entrancing, with fresh tomato and basil, so is the salmon marinated with fresh herbs and pink peppercorns.
The signature Grilled Aubergine with Mozzarella, prawns and pesto, is heavenly, I’ve always been a huge fan. The Caesar salad is in its own league, strips of romaine with marinated baby artichokes, crispy oyster mushrooms and quail eggs. I also loved Ratatouille,tomato-marinated vegetables with some creamy feta cubes. And of course my all time favorite, the must-have fried Calamari, I don’t know what’s in the batter but these babies are crispy and wholesome, like flavored crisps in spices.
La Petite Maison, is all about sharing, so don’t stick to one main and instead go for a few especially if you’re dining with good company. I recommend the hearty Gnocchis dish, cooked in a garlic cherry tomatoes sauce and Parmesan cheese as well as the delicious homemade pasta with squid and prawns.
But you can’t miss the sumptuous Filet de Boeuf, cooked to perfection with a wonderful Bordelaise sauce, I chose to have this with a side of their signature fries, steamed green beans and never without their delicious potato gratin. I tried the Grilled Veal Chops, which were tender and sported a pretty pink centre and worked well with some of the sides I ordered. And finally the whole sea bream baked in a pouch with lemon, herbs and olive oil. This one is for two, and is quite an experience to watch as the waiter cuts it open and slices it in two. It’s a crowd pleaser and another signature dish.
And finally my favorite part. Dessert is sacred at La Petite Maison. And I’m not going to lie, it’s always tough to stick to just one. It brings out the glutton in me, always has, and I’m not even going to act like I just had one bite of each, I did more than that but I’m actually grateful I had to share, otherwise they would have had to pick me up of the floor from a sugar overdose. This course is not to be missed. It was my first experience with the warm baked chocolate mousse and malt ice cream. It was out of this world. The contrast between the warm chocolate and cool ice cream was on point. Next the chilled Raspberry Pana Cotta, I’ve raved on and on about this one, made with Labneh instead of cream, and it’s just one of those refreshing desserts that you can have anytime. And can we please discuss the Creme Brûlée? Or that delectable plain vanilla Cheesecake? Let’s just conclude with the Pain Perdu shall we?
I’m sorry to throw this all on you as you’re prolly busting your bum at the gym as summer nears but I couldn’t resist. See you at LPM!
*All photos are taken by me and are property of Ivy Says