First time I head to Iris on a Tuesday night and I wonder why that is.. as I step into the place a beautiful summer vibe fills the air in sparkling shades of yellow, with an amazingly powerful warm voice coming out of a live band, an exotic bar, and a bustling crowd chillaxing to the groove!
I am also not sure why I never thought of the place for dining rather than just lounging, thinking of all the times my friends and I wondered where we should book a table for dinner.. I expected nibbles and ‘ok’ food in this kind of space, but I had a glance at the menu and realized how well thought and developed it was, with dishes such as the Australian beef tenderloin with oyster mushrooms, asparagus, and bordelaise sauce, or grilled jumbo prawns with noodles and Thai sauce.
The dishes were attractively presented with a well-structured and colorful twist, especially the lightly smoked salmon tartar with a lemon and fennel dressing, diced into small cubes and topped with herbs. I absolutely loved the simplest of plates, the green asparagus with chicory with lemon oil dressing, as well as the noodle salad with carrot, avocado, baby spinach, and citrus Asian sauce. Someone sitting behind me at the bar pointed at the chunky asparagus with a thumb up saying ‘it’s the best!’ What I loved most about the dishes was their dressing, well-adapted to each product with a citrusy flavor and an Asian spin that makes your saliva drool as it hits your taste buds, and makes you stick your fork right back in there for more!
The choice of noodles was on the gummy side to my taste, and the Porcini mushrooms with wild berries risotto could be a bit more al dente, but all in all the dishes were exquisite. I also tasted the lentil salad astonishingly mixed with green and red grapes making for an ingenuous mix of fruit and grain, and the warm goat cheese on sourdough with mesclun salad, balsamic vinaigrette, again seasoned to perfection.
Good food with surprising pungent and exotic tastes, fresh products, an informal ambiance to dine in the midst of the party seated between the bar and lounge areas- just the kind of atmosphere I was looking for to unwind at the end of the summer as I delight in maintaining the vacation vibe in our beloved Beirut.
Address: An Nahar Building, Down Town-Beirut, Lebanon
Phone: +961 3 090 936