Chez Sophie: French and Classy

You know how restaurants in Lebanon just spring up on a daily basis. Every time a new place opens, it’s considered to be the ‘it’ place to be. Chez Sophie, a French bistro on Mar Mekhael street is the talk of the town now. Finding places is somehow impossible, but as always my friend, let’s call her ‘Social Bee’, was able to find us a table for three on a Sunday night.

I felt a positive energy as I walked in. The place is well lit; the tables are big meaning that you can place things on the table without feeling that its cramped… the overall set up is spacious, divided into two rooms. Once you sit you feel like the whole staff is for you and only you… The place is crisp white, the walls made of old style stones which gives an authentic feel to the area as well as traditional architecture with modern cuisine.

Not all of us enjoyed the bright ambiance. “I think there’s too much light, its attracts people who are over the age of 50. As I like to call them, the phase 4 and phase 5 age group,” said Social Bee, wishing the place was more dim.

Another nice thing about Chez Sophie is that it is a family business. Sophie is the chef, her brother and fiancée manage and run the place, as well as take orders from customers and make sure that everyone is served properly and the food is up to par.

Social Bee ordered us a nice French bottle of rose, Province St Marguerite and lost in a menu of choices, we ordered three entrees to share. The choices included Terrine Fois Gras, Salmon Tartar and Sea Bass Carpaccio. Honestly, very good.

A basket of fresh bread to choose from is passed around, from brown to fluffy white freshly baked bread, we dipped them in a small bowl of olive oil with olives and sundry tomatoes… (if am not mistaken) and drank a toast to our girls night out.

After that, my friend ordered the salmon with fresh carbonara sauce and capres, Social Bee ordered the glazed beef with mashed potatoes, as for me and my love for ‘everything’ carbohydrates, I ordered the Ravioli with four cheeses.

I know fattening. But I couldn’t resist. The minute the plate landed on the table, the rich smell made me devour every thing in a second. Maybe not such a classy thing to do in a place like Chez Sophie.

Social Bee, on a diet, complained that her meat was a bit greasy, “but I guess people like it this way…”

All in all, it’s a pleasant experience… especially after we ordered three desserts to try – the Tiramisu, Milles Fuielles and Chocolate Surprise, which was recommended by one of the managers.

A surprise it was! A chocolate ball on a plate… then hot chocolate sauce poured on top of it as it melts its way into vanilla ice cream mixed with fruits.

So after sumptuous the dinner, we finished the bottle of wine and puffed away a couple of cigarettes… admiring the set up of the place… looking around, I see men smoking cigars, women their cigarettes or cigarillos… I guess we all enjoyed the meal!

Now I know what the fuss is all about! We paid the bill. Quiet pricey as the rumors has it, but honestly I realized that it is justified…  If you haven’t tried it, please book ahead of time and if you have let us know what you think and what you tried.

My next on the list is Burgundy… another talk of the town…