Al Forno – Beirut

Like most parents seeking a restaurant in an area where the children can play in, we headed to Zaitunay Bay. The sun was out and we were armed with a tricycle, but first it was time for lunch. Pasta never fails with a toddler it seems, so we decided to go for Italian, hence Al Forno. It was a pleasant surprise. First and foremost, I would like to commend our waiter who couldn’t have done a better job because the service was excellent. We ordered a variety of dishes to get a gist of everything. The fried shrimps were very crispy, and although the zucchini was not cut into thin slices, the breading was so crunchy that it didn’t matter. With my pregnancy, it seems that I am fixated on certain food at certain times. Nowadays, it is the risotto. So, I ordered the shrimp risotto and chicken escalope to share, and they were both tasty. The risotto sauce was a bit dilute but still had flavor, and the breading on the chicken escalope made a pleasant crunching sound beneath our teeth. Al Forno surely did know how to make their breading, and the escalope was not oily at all. For my sweet tooth cravings, I had the pain perdu and the cenci. The extra touch of cinnamon added to the pain perdu was pleasing. As for the cenci, I enjoyed trying something new but the dough was a bit heavy for my taste. All in all, however, we left with a satisfying experience ensuring our definite return.

Tagide Wine and Tapas Bar – Lisboa

The more I see my photographs of food I ate in Lisbon, the more I realize how much I enjoyed eating at their restaurants. Tagide Wine and Tapas Bar, the casual counterpart of the more formal Tagide restaurant, has a great comfortable atmosphere. The waiters were friendly, much like all of the Portuguese people, and the food was delicious. I loved the goblet-like cup and the hammered metal bowl. As a dessert option on the menu, they had their special take on a famous traditional Portuguese pastry. Their pastel de nata was served warm and instead of cinnamon just being a topping with powdered sugar, they added a scoop of cinnamon ice cream on the side to further reinforce the taste of the cinnamon. An additional interesting element they had was the wine dispenser. You are provided with a card on which your wine selections and quantity are recorded. If I ever visit Lisboa again, based on my experience with the wine and tapas bar, I would like to try the Tagide restaurant this time.