Every once in a while I try a new restaurant that absolutely wows me, and my most recent addition to my list of fantastic eateries is Tartare. Open since July of this year on the Monot strip, Tartare serves delicious French cuisine with a Mediterranean background, with some occasional daily Italian platters all prepared by owner and chef Michel Jabbour, who holds a diploma from Paul Bocuse in France, and has the cooking skills to prove it. After studying to be a chef then working as one in France for 2 years, Jabbour switched to management when he moved to the United States.
After working in several popular restaurants in Lebanon, Jabbour gathered enough expertise to open up his own place; and along with his passion and great skill for cooking, the rest is magic.
The restaurant has two entrances, one from each side of the venue. The place itself is very cozy, simple and fresh. White is the leading color of the venue; white chairs and fixed tables made of dark wood seat either 6 or 2 people. The non-smoking dining area with 8 tables, seating 32 people, is separated from the smoking bar area by a narrow passageway. An elegant display of fine liquor bottles provides you with an adequate selection of beverages to choose from while sitting at the bar. The open kitchen is quite a treat for any foodie, who can happily watch the chef and his team prepare the delicious meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients with the epitome of hygiene.
The menu is brief and simple, yet features a variety of salads and entrées, a rich tartare selection, main dishes and desserts. Believe me when I say that every item on the menu is mouthwatering and prepared in a very simple way, focusing on taste, flavor, presentation and freshness. We started with the Salade de Crabe Frais, which was very rich and appetizing. We also had the Burrata, a must-have platter that was mouthwateringly fresh as we savored each bite that melted on our paletes. The Tartare de Boeuf, one of the chef’s favorites, was certainly one of the best I’ve had in the country. The crunchy homemade chips on the side were also delicious. We continued by trying the Tartare de Thon and Tartare de Saumon which deserved a two thumbs up; whether it was the light dressing, the combination of ingredients, the presentation, or the freshness, every element simple added to making these dishes so wonderful. My personal favorite, the Tartare de Mérou, was heavenly. It was unarguably the best I’ve had anywhere before. Bursting with flavor and freshness, it’s one of the reasons I’ll be returning to this restaurant again and again. For our entrées, we had the St Jacques Poêlées, cooked to perfection with butter and truffle oil. Even the vegetables on the side were scrumptious. Continuing with the Terrine de Foie Gras, it was matched perfectly with the fig chutney and onion compote as we felt a celebration of contrasting flavors on our taste buds. Moving on to the main dishes, we had the Poulet Farci on a bed of hash browns with a side of deliciously prepared vegetables, harmoniously accompanied with a delectable mustard sauce. The best part of our entire meal was the Confit de Canard, which was by far the best duck I’ve ever had. Cooked to perfection, succulent and bursting with flavor, this is another item that is a must-have on the menu. After all the delicious dishes we tried, we still made room for desserts and had the Soufflé au Chocolat and the Tarte Fine aux Pommes. Although both were rich and absolutely delightful, I was partial to the apple tart which was the perfect conclusion to our hearty meal.
The portions are fair for French cuisine and the staff is professional and timely.
This restaurant is a great meeting point for a mature group of friends who appreciate gourmet food. It’s also a nice place for an intimate date or a Sunday lunch with the family.
I’ll definitely be making a return visit as Tartare is on my personal top 5 list of favorite restaurants around the country, and I have no doubt it will be on yours too.
Dress Code is smart casual
Price per Person including drinks is approximately 55 USD
For Reservation: +961 1 322 477
If you have been to Tartare, please leave a comment on the page, letting us know how your experience was and how you think the venue can improve.