Locanda A La Granda
The best of times are those spent with beautiful company, having good food, in a charming setting. Locanda A La Granda, an authentic Lebanese restaurant, was our destination this time.
The place is just beautiful. Traditional Lebanese architecture house, with stone stairs shadowed by a huge jasmine tree, leading to a terrace with classic arches, and an indoor area. The terrace showcases a view of one of the world’s oldest ruins, the fortress of Byblos, the old souk, and the city. Everywhere in sight there are ancient pillars, fallen walls, layered stones and tombs from over 5000 years B.C.
Locanda’s concept is to present Lebanese and fusion cuisine. That is authentic dishes, made with a twist. The fattoush was amazing: fresh vegetables with rich olive oil and pomegranate concentrate sauce, and grilled bread crumbs stuffed with chopped onion and sumac. Their Hummus Mlawah was simply traditional hummus with tomato paste on the side; delicious. The grilled Kibbeh was beautifully presented, and delicious as well.
We were especially looking forwards to try their batata Harra (a plate originally constituted of fried cubes of potato with coriander, garlic and hot spices). We got a platter of potato wedges with sprinkled red pepper, and an oregano dip to replace the traditional coriander and garlic mix. It was a twist -a good one- that didn’t get much success amongst us.
The Kebaibet Bil Adas was amazing. Elegantly presented, we devoured the platter with much passion. Having lentils to accompany grilled minced meat in a traditional Lebanese raw kibbeh cone is brilliant. We loved the spices, onions, and sumac additions. The spicy olive oil on the side was the perfect compliment to enrich the flavor as well.
Finally, we ordered Tiramisu for dessert. We got three scoops of ice-cream, with chocolate syrup and 3 lady fingers on the side. All in a freshly baked crust.
The welcome was pretty hasty and formal, we rarely noticed a smiling staff to be honest. The service was slow, and we initially got two menus for us, a group of four! However, the waiter who took the order was pretty helpful and knowledgeable of the dishes when asked. Even though we’ve had better-tasting experiences, the food was exquisitely presentable and served fast.
All in all, trying out Locanda A La Granda is a must if you want to experience a native Lebanese setting. The food is elegantly presented, delicious, and the view is relaxing. Locanda is perfect for a drinks-and-desserts outing while watching the sunset.