April 02, 2015 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Fred: A Casual and Chic French Bistro

Phone Number: +961 1 20 30 36

Address: 360 Sursock Street, Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon

Website: http://www.fredbistro.com

Price Range: 40-70 $

Fred Fred
4.2 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:84/100

Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 28/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: 8/10

CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
La Table D'Alfred Restaurant, Lebanon

La Table D'Alfred, one of Lebanon's last remaining fine dining restaurants is now a more casual eatery and has been for sometime now. Fred, is the baby of Alfred, who makes sure to keep a close eye on his restaurant. I admit it, it took me some time to come but I’m here and I'm happy I came.

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Take Sursock Street until you reach its very end where Fred appears to the left. An old house, well lit and decorated with hundreds of plates, keeps its traditional cachet with a touch of modernism. Inside are three sections; the middle area, where the bar takes center stage, and two dining spaces under stone arcades on the right and left sides.

The details of the architecture:

  • A white ceiling tops the middle part of the restaurant while stone arcades decorate the sides.
  • Plates take over the space. Hundreds of decorated white plates give the place a unique touch.
  • Wooden tables fill in the open area, surrounded by red leather chairs.
  • Dimmed lighting takes over the space with enough pleasant light for you to see the contents of your plate and for me to take photos.
  • Facing the entrance is a bar. The signature bar of French bistros.
  • All the tables are decorated with paper placemats, cutlery, water glasses and table napkins.
  • Decorating the interior are huge golden metallic chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
  • Candles decorate the tables.
  • The placemats are decorated with drawings of vegetables with informative explanations alongside.

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A breadbasket landed on our table with individual portions of Bridel butter. A good bread, fresh but cold. It would have been way better if the bread was heated, giving it a pleasant crunch. With that I ordered a bottle of Badoit sparkling water.

Dinner started with a complementary aperitif. A drink called Casa del Habana: A blend of martini, champagne and orange juice served in a champagne glass. Fresh and fruity, with a subtle fizz. 

Fred's menu is simple, is printed on a single double-sided paper and includes a selection of starters, fish, omelets, the boucherie, chicken and desserts.

The menu:

  • Les entrées
  • Sur le pouce
  • Les omelettes
  • Les poissons
  • La formule déjeuner
  • La boucherie
  • Les garnitures
  • Les sauces
  • Les boissons
  • Les vins
  • Les desserts
  • Cafés et thés 

Food:

  • Fresh artichoke salad cut in thin slices like a carpaccio and infused in truffle oil. A round plate covered with circles of artichokes, fresh crunchy artichokes with smooth hearts, topped with a mountain of fresh greens. A lemony sauce with its truffle oil vinegar dressing offers a well balanced taste. A mix of a dozen textures, a plate that's tasty, a salad that gave a good first impression.

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  • A round plate where a cylinder of lentils, well cooked and well seasoned lentils with a soft and tender feel seasoned with lemon and olive oil. On top is a mountain of fresh greens. This dish is unique as it’s served warm. Warm lentils, cold lettuce and the tasty sauce. I loved this dish.

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  • Tomato penne with basil and Parmesan. Well-cooked al dente pasta mixed with a firm tomato sauce that's a bit acidic and offers a peppery after note. Basil leaves add the aromatic effect to make this plate a unique one. I loved the long lasting flavor the tomato leaves and how the Parmesan slices suggested a touch of Italy.

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  • Poulet Fermier:I was expecting chicken, a roast chicken, but was surely not expecting something that juicy with a crunchy skin, a chicken that's super juicy and really good. The chicken is served with tasty sautéed potato cubes on the side. Don't forget the sauce, it adds some real flavor. I asked for potato purée which is very good, but could be superb if some butter was added to it. The sautéed spinach made me smile.

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Four plates, four tasty plates and a dinner I enjoyed. I loved the food at Fred and would recommend it to my friends.

After that was dessert time. We tried the Giant chocolate éclair, a dessert that’s become a trend lately around the world’s restaurants. Fred’s éclair is indeed very good. A tender dough filled with a smooth chocolate that’s not too milky and not too sweet. A good quality chocolate with flavorful chocolate frosting. The éclair offers a long lasting cocoa taste. I loved it!

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The pluses:

  • The place has beautiful décor, making your evening a memorable one.
  • All the plates were tasty, simple and unpretentious.
  • The staff is well trained and professional.

Minuses:

  • The plastic water bottles are unacceptable in a French bistro. Many local companies already have glass bottles that can be used.
  • The choice of wine by the glass is rudimentary and uses low quality wines. Anyway, when a customer asks for a glass, it should be filled in front of him at the table. Consider that.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy my experience that much. Fred is surely one of those French Bistros I’ll be coming back to with my friends to confirm its entry in the 2015 TOP10 list of NogarlicNoOnions.




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