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It has been a year already since my last visit to Le Petit Gris. One of the first restaurants to start the French Bistros trend in Lebanon, Le Petit Gris welcomes guests into a casual fifty square meters place with only 45 chairs. Located in a very quiet neighborhood far away from the dancing tunes of the upper part of Gemmayze Street, this place is truly an authentic French bistro that serves delicious food ‘a la Francaise’ without any pretension. I have enjoyed Le Petit Gris so much every time that going again recently was exciting. Thankfully the experience was not any less perfect. Located along the tiny street of the Sacre-Coeur School, this bistro boasts a simple architectural set up that is somehow beautifully complex.
- A metallic and grey ambiance remind you of the name
- The flooring is covered with old original Lebanese tiles from the "Ahwet Ezez"
- The walls are hand painted and covered with wine bottles on both sides
- A nicely designed grey bar
- Black wooden chairs fill in the space surrounding light wooden tables
- Logos of famous French wines are printed in the middle of the tables
- Facing the entrance, a blackboard displays the day's specials
Was it named after the color or after the snail, which is their specialty? (Le petit-gris est un des noms européens de l’escargot Helix asperse. Helix aspersa, known by the common name garden snail, is a species of land snail, a pulmonategastropod that is one of the best-known of all terrestrial mollusks.) Maybe both…
The menu is very simple divided into six different sections:
- “Planche de suggestions” that changes on a weekly basis
The experience started with fresh light-green and crunchy cucumbers seasoned with lemon juice and salt. These are not any cucumbers but real organic ones that look and taste differently. A good first impression that will prepare you for good things to come.
- Cheeseburger LPG (Oignons caramelizes, bacon grille, roquette, salad verte, frites maison)
- Tartare de Boeuf (coupe minute, salad verte, frites maison)
- Crabe frais facon waldorf (Crabe frais, julienne de celery rave, pomme Granny Smith, avocat, vinaigrette mayo moutarde)
- Oeuf Cocotte Falcon Mamie Manette (oeuf bio, creme de champignons au mascarpone, ciboulette, huile de noisette)
- Coquilles St Jacques
- Raw fish: Carpaccio de Dorade
- Loup de mer: In the same bag was a sea perch that was prepared differently with shallots, dill, lemon zest, green onions, chives and coriander. An indescribable mouthwatering feeling! I wish you all can taste those special preparations depending on availability
- Henri Boillot, Blanc de Blancs, Extra Brut, Cremant de Bourgogne
- Bourgogne, Appelation Bourgogne Controlee, Bourgogne, Christian Faurois 2008
- Chassagne-Montrachet, Henri Boillot, 2007
- Lacoste Borie, Pauillac, 2009
- Mille Feuille: A unique piece of Mille Feuille with its rich puff pastry, filled with pastry cream and thin slices of mango. Mouthwatering and extravagantly tasty.
Pomme Caramelisee: A round apple cooked in butter and sugar in the oven then burnt like creme brûlée and served with a vanilla ice cream ball on top. The impressive thing is that the apple is cleaned from its seeds. Sweet and slightly crunchy, I enjoyed the sugar and cinnamon flavors...