Tucked away on a side street just across from the artsy quarter of Saifi Village, Centrale is distinct for its design, food and – for this location – longevity. It’s a little hard to find – look out for the tree-lined alleyway with a double line of red lights leading to one of the longest serving of Beirut restaurants.
The brainwave of Beiruti architect Bernard Khoury, the man who built the legendary BO18
nightclub (see Party
), Centrale is a super-modern open-plan space with high ceilings, but inside a traditional house. In the summer you can eat outside in the delightful covered courtyard that feels like the garden of an Italian villa. The food is a French fusion mix served by accommodating staff to a soundtrack of hip lounge music.
A trip to Centrale is a worthwhile (if expensive) experience, particularly for the atmosphere and lashings of exquisite taste, and look out for the Lebanese wines on offer. Arrive a little early or stay a little late and ride the elevator up to the stunning rooftop bar for a pre- or post- prandial cocktail.