The Titanic Piano Bar with its maritime feel and antiquated charm is commonly recognized as one of Beirut's finest dining establishments and is probably nipping at the heels of some of the best restaurants in Lebanon. It is quaint, exclusive and remarkably aristocratic
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: May 22, 2018
LF Says: ★★★★
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway but dislike being isolated, Beirut is the city for you. From buzzing shopping districts and mouth-watering falafels to artistic productions and notorious roof-top parties, there is nothing one can’t learn to love in this warm and welcoming city.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, The Le Royal Hotel cuts a colossal figure at the heart of the city. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the property is enormous to say the least and true to it’s name. The Titanic Piano Bar, housed within this magnificent roof, is spacious and grand, with unique nautical interiors like porthole windows, a ligneous sailors wheel and several maritime antiques. Its raw charm will captivate you as soon as you enter the premises.
It is easy to see why the restaurant has garnered such an enviable reputation. Its location, close to the magnificent Jeita Grotto (nominated as one of the new seven wonders of nature), and upscale shopping districts (a.k.a Souks) is unbeatable; and the carte du jour is an inventive combination of French, Asian and Continental cuisine. Moreover, the restaurant is priced reasonably by world standards, so if The Le Royal Hotel is on your itinerary – and in fairness you’d need a very good reason for it not to be – then allow yourself the luxury of a meal at The Titanic Piano Bar to complete your authentic Lebanese experience.
The menu is simple: Salads and appetizers, fish and seafood, poultry and meat and another menu for sushi. I was served a fairly short three course meal of Fried Cheese with a special tartar sauce, Artichoke carpaccio and Risotto aux cèpes prepared by Chef Fadi Melki, the executive chef – all of which was absolutely delicious. The risotto was sinfully creamy with a mild flavour of wild mushrooms and wild herbs including garlic. I loved the crunchy texture of the Artichoke Carpaccio with parmesan, prosciutto and the peppery flavour of the rocket, complemented by extra virgin olive oil. I savoured it all while humming to the live jazz music played by the in-house saxophonist and sipping a succulent champagne cocktail – Kir Royale. With an assortment of fine wines and Cuban cigars, everything about the Piano Bar was intimate, cosy yet posh.
If you fancy a cheeky aperitif there is plenty of room in the sleek sociable bar to pull up a high stool and start your evening with their great selection of cocktails, calvados and eux de vies. If you are feeling a little more sophisticated there is a small selection of imported wines by the glass to choose from and champagne cocktail if you have something to celebrate or are simply in a decadent mood.
The Titanic Sea Star which is a salmon and tuna salad, and the Goat cheese in beetroot aumoniere are must-try entrée options on the menu along with some exemplary poultry and meat dishes for the main course. The names of the dishes and their ingredient combinations might seem confusing, but you won't be disappointed – and a sommelier is on hand to make sure you make the right wine selection.
Overall the Titanic Piano Bar ticks all the right boxes and tastefully tickles your palate, it has some great culinary selections and a suave, sophisticated ambience. An exemplary experience that will stay with you well beyond your days in Beirut.
LF Says: ★★★★
Coordinates: Leisure Hills Complex, Dbayeh, Beirut, Lebanon