I never thought that the Margherita of Sin el Fil would be so crowded; loaded with customers, I arrived at Margherita for lunch. The concept has lately been bought by a new group from Giovanni Di Casa. A casual Italian eatery sells salads, pizzas, pasta, and desserts... almost everything contains garlic! Yes, sauces are pre-prepared, the mushroom is pre-cooked... I felt aggressed.
Other than spending half an hour to order one item without garlic, the basket of bread landed with a tomato sauce mixed with garlic! Garlic, garlic, garlic... call the place “The Garlic Place”; and what’s bad about it is that it’s hard to change the recipes.
The spaghetti pomodoro which the chef found a way to do without garlic landed on our table: the spaghetti is too thick, al dente but bizarrely unpleasant. The sauce needs acidity and life: is the garlic masking the lack of taste?
The tagliatelle with ham, mushrooms and white sauce is too creamy and overcooked: a heavy kind of plate you can’t finish on your own.
Things became interesting when the pizza arrived! I enjoyed the pizza! A very thin crust topped with a load of tomato sauce and molten buffalo. It’s loaded, it’s juicy, it’s watery and I loved it. Eat it before it gets soggy and then enjoy the fluffy border. Bravo for the pizza. Isn't better to stick on doing pizzas and leaving the pasta for the professionals?
Lemon crème brûlée and ice cream profiteroles before heading back to work. The crème brûlée has an interesting flavor to it but the profiterole is not as fresh as it should be; hard textured -frozen feeling- buns stuffed with ice cream and topped with a microwaved chocolate sauce. I’ve had better to say the least.
I would say an Italian restaurant a-la-Libanaise lacks the real Italian feel, passion, and know-how. Its food tastes like Lebanese homes cook Italian, up in the village, the Rez 3a Djeij way.