Bold but balanced. Opposite but equal. This is how two different traditions – Italian and Lebanese – come together to form a happy marriage. This is how two separate novels get merged into a tale full of gastronomic discoveries
A new dining spot bears a distinctive name – Italian from Beirut. It lurks in a small lane in Podil near Hub 4.0 famous for its conference facilities. The restaurant ideally suits those working nearby. However, it offers much more than just convenience.
Collaboration of Cultures
The concept spins around the chef Dali, who has Italian roots but spent many years in Lebanon. With two cuisines close to his heart, he could not bear to say farewell to either of them. Instead, he has them collaborate with each other.
This is apparent in the design. A light warm pallet showcases brown hues with beige and ivory being dominant colours. Plenty of natural wood enhances a feeling of comfort and ease.
Bright accents highlight a mix of two cultures. A long narrow space, large motley woven pictures, forged metal elements, and oriental motifs symbolise Beirut. The walls are adorned with a poem, written in Middle Eastern-inspired lettering though initially created by an Italian poet. He describes an ancient town resembling Podil.
Simple but stylish furniture, chairs with green-and-red floral prints, and potted plants invoke memries of sunny Italy. Our attention swerves to a large oblong table in the middle of the central zone. It can easily accommodate a large group of guests or several couples. Ceiling lights shaped as smart glass jars are the finishing touch, but we are here to whet our appetite.
Make sure you try
Frittata with Kofta Kebab 99 UAH Beirut Chicken with fried potatoes,
a bagel and garlic sauce
When in Rome and Beirut
We order a meze set, and shortly a server brings us a platter comprising eight appetisers garnished with grissini and dry crackers. The assortment includes pickled cucumbers and olives to start.
Then we help ourselves to salads. As well as Caprese – something you can’t imagine Italy without – we enjoy Lebanese Tabbouleh. A healthy low fat starter combining fresh red tomatoes, fine grain bulgur, and lots of parsley.
We move on to take part in a parade of dips. The first one is Hummus, popular in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North African areas. The rich nourishing smooth-textured spread comes in two varities, classic chickpea and a green-tinted avocado alternative. Both options are great. Baba Ganoush is a piquant vegetable puree made out of eggplant, sweet red pepper, and onion and intensified with spices. Labneh shines as a pearl in this collection. This thick, tangy homemade cheese tastes somewhere between sour cream and yogurt.
Meze Set (eight snacks)
Pizzetta with Kebab
Mount Hermon Yarden (150 ml)
There is no substitute for a good piece of meat. In the spotlight, Kebab is a guest star in many recipes here. We choose two. Pizzetta with tomatoes, mozzarella, and mini-kebabs blends flavours of two countries into seamless deliciously zesty harmony. To enhance the effect, we indulge in the Signature Kebab featuring nicely chopped beef and lamb cooked on an in-house grill. The texture is a pleasant bite – not mushy, yet juicy and succulent – with a vivid charred note.
The What’s On Checklist
English Menu To be launched English-speaking staff + Wifi + Price
The cocktail menu is eyecatching, and we round off our feast with original and sumptuous concoctions savoured without straws. Saffron is an exquisitely refreshing multi-layered must-drink. Beirut is a strong powerful beverage with a deep velvety aftertaste of Cayenne pepper reminiscent of a rainbow-coloured carpet displayed at a bazar.
The Italy-Lebanon partnership reaches its climax in breakfasts offered here all day long. Is there anything missing? Right, a summer terrace in an inner yard. It will be open when the weather grows milder.
Italian From Beirut
Yaroslavskiy Lane 1/3
¾10:00 – 23:00
+38 067 299 2525