FYI, there’s a UFO in the neighborhood! Running this unidentified foodie object, which is a restaurant, an épicerie and a workshop all at once, chefs Karim Haïdar, a Lebanese serial restaurateur in Paris (Liza), Beirut and London, and Hassan Issa receive guests around the communal table, surrounded by cookbooks and jarred vegetables. The duo prepares a feast of Lebanese curiosities, where the day we went for lunch, we happily dug into all of the following: creamy khiar bi laban (labneh with cucumber and mint) from a selection of mezze served with pita for dipping; a tangy lentil salad tossed in pomegranate molasses; a collection of well-made kebbé, aka ground meat and bulgur wheat balls, prepared here with sautéed chicken and onions; a myriad of soujouks (volcanic beef, garlic, chili and cumin sausages) in a tomato stew; before a traditional dessert of anise and orange blossom beignets, known as “maacarons,” which were beautifully paired with a maamoul – a semolina rose-flavored biscuit with a languorous date-cardamom center. // Pica Bidon
FEELING THIRSTY? Levantine beverages, of course: Merwah from the Vallée de la Bekaa produced by the Château Ksara (€7 a glass), a Syrian red from Bargylus (€70 a bottle), Terroirs du Liban rose syrup (€4), Lebanese coffee infused with orange blossom (€2.50).
PRICE: Mezze and appetizers €5-8, mains €13-23, desserts €1.50 to €5.