If you want to find the finest Lebanese restaurant in town, look no further than the Beirut Mezze tucked away in a vaulted cellar in Small Street. Definitely a hidden gem, the subterranean premises give the restaurant a rather exotic and secret feel; arriving at the bottom of the steep steps suddenly you are thrust into the warmth and mellowly lit room with curved brick walls and cosy tables. Friendly staff are immediately on hand to guide you to a table and if you wish talk you through and explain the menu.
The restaurant is open all day on Sundays and I can think of no better thing on a cold Sunday afternoon, than a long leisurely late Sunday lunch with great food and good wine. We were in the right place for this and ordered a bottle of feisty Shiraz to accompany the finely spiced food and looked through the menu. Lebanese wine, especially the reds is up there amongst the best, and if you have a special celebration I noted Beirut Mezze carry Chateau Musar which is a beautiful wine and in my view beats a lot of French reds.
You can take a set lunch; a veritable mezze banquet but we decided to order individually and for starters took, chicken samosas, deep fried filo pastry with with spicy minced chicken and onion and falafel, deep fried croquettes of chickpeas, beans, garlic and onion, served with tarator sauce and coriander. To follow, I chose a mixed grill with spicy skewers of grilled chicken cubes and skewers of minced lamb with parsley and onion, and my lunch companion took the spicy minced lamb skewers (kafta khashkhash) : charcoal grilled minced lamb skewers with parsley, onion, peppers, served with roast tomato.
We really enjoyed our starters; they were presented with a delightfully fresh salad combined in a piquant dressing with dips, one spicy and one mild. The falafel was delicious, as was were the chicken samosas, crisp filo pastry without and tender spicy chicken within.
The restaurant has a great atmosphere and we felt like one big happy family amongst the tables for eights and fours all chattering away. Our main courses were delivered with a flourish, with fresh serviettes and spicy dips, and we set about tucking in. The chicken was excellent, succulent and moist and the minced lamb skewers were delightfully aromatic and spicy.
To finish our Sunday lunch fit for a king, regrettably we had to decline baklava on account of having eaten absolutely everything of the starter and main course, but finished with strong Lebanese coffee and the best mint tea I’ve ever had, brimming with fresh mint and digestive properties.
13A small street top of corn street Bristol city centre , Bristol ,BS1 1DE