Marinella has got to be the yummiest trattoria in all of Beirut. And I chose my worlds carefully as I say so. The first time I went there I was mostly intrigued by the fact that the restaurant only opened for lunch Monday trough Saturday. You have to be ballsy to open a restaurant in Beirut that plays by its own rules and sticks to them.
The setup of the place is pretty basic. A nice, open, hyper clean kitchen. A simple setup, with not fuss, and beautiful fresh flowers on the table. A menu written on a blackboard, with no more than 15 items, and a daily special.
The food itself is flawless. Beautiful fresh ingredients, perfect pasta, great taste combinations. I think by now I’ve had every item on the menu and I cannot fault a single dish.
The owner, a lovely woman, has an appetite that almost rivals with mine. She will always take her time to advise you on something you absolutely have to try or tell you about the origins of a specific dish. Do not ask her about the deserts, she will always talk you into having one, when you are already stuffed on the yummy pasta and delicious entrees.
SOME VISUAL AID:
What you should order:
Starters: My absolute favorites are the simple fennel salade and the Vitello Tonnato. You will want to bathe in the tuna sauce and the freshness of the fennel salad will wake up your senses.
Main dish: The Langoustine Linguini is always a hit but you shouldn’t hesitate to go for the daily special.
Desert: My personal favorite is the Panna cotta, but the Rose Loukoum ice cream from OSLO is also worth the extra calories.
Wine: Order a Valpolicelli, beautiful simple italian wine that will not empty your wallet.
Bill: Approx $60 per person
For reservation: 01442342
Location: Madrid Str – Mar Mikhael – Achrafieh
Opening hours: Monday through Saturday, 12:30 through 15:45