Métropole Brasserie located in Downtown Beirut (right by Porsche) is supposed to be somewhat of an upscale restaurant and so naturally you would expect grade A service especially when the head waiter insists on playing the role of a Parisian chef de rang. And so yes, when you’re greeted with that sort of ambiance/attitude naturally your expectations are somewhat high.
We were a table of 11 celebrating a friend’s birthday, and things seemed to be going smoothly as we started out with a classic selection of appetizers you would usually find in a French Bistro and they were delicious.
The juicy sautéed calamari with parsley and garlic was cooked just right, not a hint of seafood almost like I was having tender chicken.
For salmon lovers I recommend this fresh Salmon Tartar garnished with sliced radish and purslane.
The Lentil Salad was my least favorite as it was dry (barely any dressing) and slightly boring, I would have much rather they added at least one other ingredient like Arugula or some raisins.
I particularly enjoyed chèvre salad, as I don’t usually enjoy goat cheese but this one was not pungent and the cheese was perfectly toasted on the bread centered with crisp red lettuce leafs.
The Mozzarella and tomato salad was refreshing garnished with fresh basil, and sprinkled with olive oil and a side of ripe sliced avocado, though I feel they could be slightly more generous with the cheese.
And finally the Lobster Quinoa salad was a real treat and though I never had cold lobster I actually enjoyed this one very much as it was cooked to perfection and the quinoa added just the right amount of crunch to the combination.
As for the main dishes three of us had the Filet Mignon which you can’t usually go wrong with it came with a side of buttered green beans. Now here is when things began to go wrong, this filet was supposed to come with a side of fries that didn’t arrive with the dish, we had to remind the waiters twice who also ended up forgetting to present us with the sauce until we were halfway through our meal.
My man had the burger which although was presented so nicely, truly disappointed. It felt like one of those you could easily make at home as the patty was way too thin, tasted too processed like it was pre-prepared and frozen, none of that soft and tender minced meat texture you would would expect from a top-notch French joint with a measly slice of cheese and a thick uneven slice of tomato. I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything about this burger.
My friend had the Beef Stroganoff with a sauce that both resembled paprika-colored watery sauce and tasted like nothing really. None of that thick creamy goodness you would expect from a Stroganoff and hardly any mushrooms.
The service was mediocre to say the least. Staff seemed disheveled with their tasks and it took waiters an exceptionally long time to get something as simple as a soft drink or even extra cutlery. By the end of the meal we began to feel frustrated with the service and complained. The head waiter/ manager paid us a visit and told him about our experience.
He didn’t apologize but rather explained to us that “this usually doesn’t happen” and that he “will look into it” but he didn’t seem very sympathetic either. We were clearly dissatisfied with his response and began discussing our dismay in an obvious manner at this point. But it was only after we ordered the bill that he finally greeted us at the door and apologized. To be frank, it was a little too late he had already lost us.
You can have the best food in town, but with poor service and even some attitude it’s pretty hard for customers to focus on anything else, and in a depreciating economy like ours, you would like to think that businesses would strive harder to retain customers. Apparently not at Métropole.
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