Il Siciliano

| 48 Comments

Opened back in 2006, this magical place called Il Siciliano, was designed and executed down to each and every detail, to allow its visitors to be transformed in time and place, into the good old days of the charming Italian island of Sicily.

Image via my iPhone

From the moment we entered this three-storied restaurant, we took the notion of its inviting ambiance, which is a mixture of traditional Sicilian casa architecture, Sicilian decoration and appealing aromas. Add to these, just the right touch of chic modernity in some details.

We were greeted with great hospitality that accompanied us throughout the evening. Our waiter was not only nice and friendly, but also very knowledgeable about each and every dish! It was our first time at Il Siciliano, and he was good enough to make us completely rely on him to choose the variety of dishes we ate through out our dinner… & everything we had was simply marvelous!

I never really dare to order seafood pasta or pizza anywhere, because I rarely end up liking it. It either is too salty, too dry, too raw (with non-fresh ingredients, so you could imagine the taste), or just too much of the other ingredients with only one tiny baby shrimp and a small piece of canned calamari to justify the name! However, Il Siciliano proved to be top of the line when it comes to Italian seafood dishes.

Each and every plate had been a feast by itself. Made with the freshest of herbs, vegetables lamb and seafood, with authentic olive oil, home-made pasta, and of course those several kinds luscious cheese and freshly made bread (that you won’t get enough of its smell!).

Here, take a look at some of what was on our table ;) (but please, excuse my poor iPhone camera, and the dim – but nice - lighting of the place)

Image via my iPhone

Image via my iPhone

Image via my iPhone

Image via my iPhone

Image via my iPhone

I personally mark Il Siciliano as one of the best ‘culinary spots’ in Beirut. It definitely is a must try for all of you who love traditional Italian food that is made to perfection at the Casa Della Sicilia, or even if you’re just looking for a nice quite outing, to enjoy a drink and a Cigar indoors at their Chicago Bar, or at their marvelous garden Giardino di Palermo, under an olive tree, enjoying lemon and rosemary scents.

One small remark: I’d have loved to listen to some traditional Italian folklore or opera music playing in the background, instead of the excessively long pauses that were interrupted with short pieces of the classics. It was only our first time there, I’m sure there must have been an explanation, like us showing up early for dinner, since usually in Lebanon, the ‘real’ outing starts at around 10.30pm & onwards ;)

– Images that are not taken via my iPhone, are a courtesy of Il Siciliano.

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48 Comments

  1. It looks gorgeous- my kind of place. Next year in Beirut…. (I wish!)
    I was out yesterday evening eating with extended family in a far less glamorous setting, but the company was good.
    Happy Easter!

    • Would love to have you around here!! Please do let me know beforehand :)
      The glamour of the setting is defined by those around the table.. Love such outings myself :)

      Happy Easter to you & all your loved ones as well!

  2. Happy Easter! I love those rustic oil and vinegar holders! There’s something so welcoming about Italian food, (apologies) I’m not too familiar with regional Sicilian food but I do love food in general! I have two wonderful friends who moved here from Milan and my friends partner is quite fair (blonde hair, blue eyes etc) very Sicilian looks.

    The risotto looks very creamy by the way, what type did you have :)

    • Thank you so much for the nice comment, & I apologize for taking long to reply.. Well yes the place is very home-like and traditional, even in its small details..
      We had Risotto with mushrooms and mules, but I forgot to snap a pic before we started munching on the plate! :D We also had a couple of amazing appetizers that I forgot to take a photo of before we extinguished them from the face of Earth in 5 minutes! :D

  3. Thank you for visiting and liking my blog at http://www.midihideaways.worpress.com – I’m still very new and totally surprised (and very very pleased) when I get a like from someone I don’t know!! I loved your most recent article and the photographs – wonderful stuff!!

    • Thank you for the revisit, & for the nice comment :)
      I’ve been around a little over three months, so I’m quite new too, & now I’m so happy & grateful for the friends I made through blogging :)
      Welcome to the blogosphere!

      Best,
      Hiba

  4. Man that looks so pretty I wish I could be there. I want to travel so much :) Hopefully in the next couple years :)

  5. I am 100% Sicilian and live in Boston – wish this place was close to me!

  6. So beautiful and looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Oh I would love to go there for dinner, and the food look deliziosa ! Buona Pasqua !!!

  8. Fascinating blog – so many beautiful places to experience. Thank you for visiting art rat cafe, much appreciated.

  9. Thank you for another “like” from you, this time for my “pasta” post !. I adore home-made pasta and I would love to have a great dinner at Il Siciliano too ! HAPPY EASTER !!!

    • Happy (belated) Easter to you too!! Hope you enjoyed your weekend :)
      Thanks for dropping by! I happen to love your cooking, what shall I do? :D
      Yalla make plans to come to Lebanon & you’ll visit a lot of other marvelous places ;)

  10. What a great blog. When I started blogging recently I had no idea I would discover so many wonderful people and places – Beirut sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing.

  11. The risotto and pizza look incredible. As well as the rest of the restaurant. The whole experience was beautifully written and photographed, thank you for sharing :)

  12. Thank you for the like on my Seriously Tasty Food post :) Enjoyed reading this post, even if it has made me immensely hungry…

  13. What an awesome place! Wow…Looks wonderful.

    • It is :D You should consider visiting if you ever happened to be around ;)

      • I would LOVE to travel to Beirut. I know Lebanon is a wondrous place, filled with history and tradition. Unfortunately, here in America, so many people can’t get past the war in the 80′s. That was over 20 years ago and it still taints the points of view of so many here. That is why it is so important for you to continue to showcase the city. It is truly beautiful.

        • Thank you so very much for this comment. Your view is totally correct!
          I do wish that people -anywhere, not just in the States- would get over the images of either the war, or that Lebanon is some district in Afghanistan!!
          They aren’t to blame after all, at least partially, for some really need to grab a book or browse more over the internet (beyond single-sided news agencies)… It’s just that our media here is not good enough to showcase all the beautiful things found here…

          Best,
          Hiba

  14. nice blog thanks for visiting mine, this place looks great bit far for a night out for me but perhaps one day. It’s on my list of places to visit.

  15. I could almost taste this food. Thanks for a lovely vicarious experience!

  16. Wow.. this place looks very nice. I love how the food looks and the atmosphere is just romantic :)

    • Yes it does look great, these pictures doesn’t do the place justice, you really have to see it to know what I mean… It really feels like you’re entering a true Sicilian home, with different chambers & sections, each has a special feel and appearance, for different purposes (drinks, romantic dinner, garden, cigar lounge, weddings/multi-purpose lounge… etc) all with a touch of modern elegance :)

      Thanks for stopping by & for the nice comment!

  17. looks delicious! will definitely have to check it out when i come to Beirut! M, xx

  18. Pingback: The Liebster Blog Award: To and from Lebanon with love « Toned Down & Vintage

  19. The place looks beautiful, the food looks beautiful . . . even with the iPhone taking the pictures.

    But 10:30? Is that when people eat dinner? How does that work? They finish at midnight? Then when do they go to bed? And when do they get up? I am a night owl, I think this might be more my kind of schedule. :-)

    • Hehe, well Lebanese people are the weirdest fun seekers ever. Yes, some night life starts, and I repeat, starts, at 10.30 or eleven, others at 12 am or 2 past midnight! & even though on friday’s & saturdays places are usually packed up the most, but you can regularly find pubs, clubs and restaurants completely full on a regular week day!
      As for dinner, well it varies, some people have it starting 8 pm, others incorporate it with their night out regime (eating while drinking, with dancing breaks now & then, etc..), but what’s so common between the Lebanese is that meal after your night out! We usually go have a hotdog, manoushe, or some other kinds of pastries, then we go home :p (usually not before 4am)
      Hehe, well that’s a typical Lebanese night out, described in details for you. Of course, this shouldn’t happen more than twice a week, (for me even twice a month nowadays is too much), for it is humanly impossible for me to tolerate such a lifestyle, but some people -somehow- can!

      • Well, I think here in the states the night life/clubbing starts at 10:30 or later too, but I think people have eaten dinner by then. I guess it sounds pretty much the same. Because after dancing for hours the places that serve food late are always packed.

        And that is how I did it in my single days. I had just originally thought that it was the average person that ate dinner at 10:30 where you are, but I get it now. :-)

  20. what great looking restaurant! Love to see pictures of real experiences from far flung places. Thanks for visiting my blog. I will definitely stop by again

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