food

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So you walk all uptight past that revolving door, get your bag from the security scan, up the escalator you go stepping on that posh weird carpet Phoenicia Intercontinental has and someone points you to a really insignificant glass door, a typical hotel glass door really…. you open it… and everything turns to purple, and it is a completely different piece of cake… That’s Amethyste!

The Atmosphere?

After sunset, you step into candle light and submerge into wonderful purple light… the music is soft and relaxing, but not sleep-inducing, rather entrancing. I guess my love of all things purple and its use in color therapy makes you slightly biased. It is not the place for wild partying, or coming all dress upped to check who is doing whom, wearing what… It is a good place for intimate … “me” and “us” time…

The areas is divided into different seating formats – there is the pool side, the area with the breathtaking sea view, the shisha couches, the bar…

The place is good for talks as the music, though mixed by very famous DJ does not overpower, and allows you to fill it in with your own lyrics… Special smells envelope you in a mixture of the plants growing, the sea breathe and a light caramel residue of the shisha tobacco whiffs (unlike the awful ones commonly encountered)… The staff are very amicable and friendly, so no up-tightness there either.

Amethyste lounge in phoenicia intercontinenetal beirut Amethyste Lounge Bar via @uxsouphttp://thisisbeirut.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/amesthyste-space-28.jpg?w=405&h=302

The Tastes?

I guess I should start by saying that at Amethyste, the food is served as though it were a performance. Final steps of some dishes are performed right in front of your eyes, the kebab comes with a small mangal with coals and is unraveled by a waiter from  underneath a sheath of markouk bread all in an theatrical and yet subtle manner. with  All of this adds to the magical atmosphere.

As you can see the presentation of the dishes is very nontraditional and colorful, with great pops of color. The table set and the cutlery is also extremely intricate with wonderful surprising twists…
When it comes to the taste though, I expected it to pop more and surprise me with flavor boldness. But it did not. Nevertheless, I need to say that I dropped in after a dinner at Chopsticks… Then again I would guess you would go to Amethyste for the atmosphere rather than the food,because no one would go to White after tasting their bland overly priced food. And still my expectations after the great presentation were so high that I could not help feeling a bit disappointed. The meals are quite small, so once again it is an experience rather than a dining place.

The drinks were pretty cool, and the ice cream deserts were quite good too. Have also been told that the shishas  served at Amethyst have very special blends and flavors, so try it if you are into that kind of thing.


The food at Amethyste Lounge - Mozarella and WatermelonSalmon At Amethyste lounge via @uxsoup Shisha Lounge space at Amethyste

When should you go there?

Go to Amethyste in the evening to have the full experience, as I doubt it will be as magical in day light.

If you are in Lebanon for a vacation, this the place to visit on your last evening in Beirut, it will help you amass all of your experiences in one final exotic punch.

If you are at very important stage in your life when you have a very critical decision, drop in to see the world in perspective.

When you are meeting old friends, whom you have not met in a really long while, this is a very intimate place for conversations.

If you are ready to pop the question, to your better half, do it gazing into the sunset diving into the sea, and no matter how commitment phobic your partner is, their guards would most probably be down in Amethyste.

And finally, don’t disregard the place for critical business meetings, especially for business partners from abroad, so far this is one of the best places for this kind of thing it the Beirut nightlife scene, and I am always on the lookout for these.

You Can check all the Amethyste Menu’s Below:

The Pool Menu:

The Cocktail Menu

The Main Menu

Also check reviews by fellow bloggers:

- This Is Beirut: The Opening & Hump Day at Amethyste

- Uxsoup’s Review of Amethyste

- Lilo’s Review of Amethyste

- Star Scene Photo Report from the opening night


I will leave you with the “official” description of the lounge from the Phoenicia Intercontinental Site:
Améthyste pool lounge will soon become the number one night destination in Beirut with an artistic vibe and Oriental international influences fused together in a purple haze. Locals and visitors may feast in the visual vista, quench their thirst and delight their palate in a relaxed and vital atmosphere. Améthyste features the largest selection of unique Tequila and Rum from all over the world.
Location:  In Hotel – Main Lobby Level – Outdoor Pool & Terrace.
PO BOX 11, MINET EL HOSN • BEIRUT, 846 • LEBANON
Telephone: +961-1-369100


And don’t forget to let me know what you think :)

Images used via @uxsoup & @meinlebanon



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cheesy potatoes (cheddar, potato crisps, onions and tomatoes)

There is no gastronomical love in the world greater than my love for cheddar cheese! Put cheddar cheese on anything, and it suddenly becomes magically seductive!

I am very hungry at the time of writing this, and a picture is well worth a thousand words, so I’ll just skip on to give you the best comfort food recipe in the world!*

cheesy potatoes (cheddar, fried potatoes, onions and tomatoes)

Ingredients:

- One Large Potato ( those that you get in Lebanon that are like 300 gms each) – Thinly sliced in circles

- One small onion – Finely chopped into little cubes

- One small Tomato – Finely chopped into little cubes

- A lot of grated cheddar cheese ( at least 100 Gms)

- Salt,  Black pepper & Paprika

-Optional – A small Jalapeno Pepper ( this was in the original recipe, but I dislike Jalapenos)

cheesy potatoes (cheddar, potato crisps, onions and tomatoes)

The Preparation is ridculously simple:

- Deep fry the potatoes after salting them and lay them onto a flat plate in one layer

- Directly after layering the potatoes, sprinkle them heavily with cheddar cheese so that it melts well

- Spread the tomatoes & onions

- Lightly dust the plate with Black Pepper & Paprika

You can also do your potatoes in batches & layer your dish.

 

*I stole the idea fromTGI Friday’s Potato Skins

 

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Tabbouleh & Hommos ( World's largets plates

There has been a lot of criticism towards the reasons behind this Guinness record, but, as frivolous as they may be, I’d rather see Lebanon making the headlines on such lighthearted grounds rather than news of bombings, wars and terrorism. That is why, regardless of the stubborn competitiveness of the Lebanese Industrialists Associations I say: “Make Tabbouleh, humus, kebbeh… or anything you may, but DON’t make war!” And maybe we all should look at it that way.

Our country needs the extra positive promotion, now more than ever, and despite all of our political differences, food always brings the Lebanese together.

The Tabbouleh

Yesterday, I passed by the Largest Tabbouleh, very shortly. I do not think Chef Ramzi was very proud of this Tabbouleh. The parsley was anything but finely chopped, and the remaining ingredients were floating inside the lemon, olive mix. Hence, I called it Tabbouleh Soup.

I can say that a lot of good ingredients went to waste, 1600 kg of parsley to start with. You can check out all the ingredients that went into the giant Hommos & Tabbouleh plates, as well as classical tabbouleh & hommos recipes here. What I did not understand how 1600 kgs of parsley plus 1500 kgs of tomatoes plus all the other ingredients, make for only 3000 kgs? Is there so much waste?

Some nice photos of the ‘making of ‘ on Star Scene.

Final Words of wisdom off the record

Waseet: It is great that you are planting trees, but its un-cool to distribute flyers, printed on virgin paper (without ecological certification) to promote it.

People: Littering is un-cool, even if you know there will be someone cleaning after you. Would you act like that in your homes?

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