It’s called Stove, an old house in the heart of Achrafieh on Monot street. A restaurant and terrace welcome you for a casual dinner in a warm atmosphere. I’m in love with Lebanese old houses and dining in one makes me feel good. Walk in, choose your table, choose to sit in one of the house’s several rooms starting by the dining room, the living space, and bar.
Start your journey by looking into the details of this beautiful house: the white marble floor, high ceiling, majestic chandeliers, and stylish arcades. One day I’m going to live in a house like this one...
Two thumbs up for the bread: soft and moist sourdough pain de Campagne made of a fluffy heart and a thick crunchy envelope. Good quality French style bread rarely found in Lebanon. “Prunelle” impresses me sometimes. Bread is served with salted butter.
- Details I liked: the wine list showing the regions of Lebanon. The decor and wine map decorating the ceiling. Their menu made of metal — the simplicity of decor.
- I didn’t like the waiter's uniforms. The lack of finesse and style. The low lights. The heavy vibes. The wind coming from the door.
On the menu, you can find a selection of cold starters (salads, carpaccio, tartare and lobster). Hot starters (asparagus, red tuna, snails, frogs). Eleven choices of meat. Four choices of chicken.
Goat cheese salad with pines and fresh greens. Salmon tartare for my wife, warm asparagus and a plate of sautéed mushrooms for my mother in law. Food is good enough; I can’t say other than that. Even though I would have preferred it with more lemon, I enjoyed my salad especially the chewy bacon chunks and roast pines. My friends also enjoyed their dishes.
Tender beef, mustard and truffle purée, sautéed green beans and two kinds of watery sauces. I loved my meat, its texture, and tenderness with crunchy french fries and buttery mashed potato purée.
King of the night was not the food but the wine, Chateau Musar, Gaston Hochar 2008. The Chateau Musar ‘grand vin’ of this vintage is the traditional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan – approximately one-third of each. The blending took place three years later in 2011 and the wines spent a year in French Nevers oak barrels. The Cinsault of 2008 seemed to benefit most from the heat and exceptional weather and showed abundant red fruit aromas, Carignan displayed blackcurrant, and black cherry notes and the Cabernet Sauvignon gave us structure with herbs, coffee, and dark berry fruits. The grapes this year were intensely juicy.
Released seven years later in the spring of 2015, the wine has a beautiful rich scarlet color with an alluring nose of black and red fruits, cherries, coffee, leather, and cloves. Good natural intensity with well-integrated tannins and good acidity – this is a rich, warm, concentrated vintage of Chateau Musar showing an abundance of fruit, energy and considerable finesse. Mature and balanced with a long finish.
Desserts: I find the pain perdu to be too sweet and the forêt noir to be hard-textured and complicated. Ice cream is also too sugary. Desserts are not as good as the restaurant website description states. The pain perdu gave me heartburn afterward.
Average food any Bistro serves yet missing that extra mile. I expected perfection; I got good French Bistro food. A restaurant for couples and romantic get-togethers, Stove needs a kick.