French expats constitute a vocal sector of Beirut's population, and their gastronomic demands can't go unheeded. That's where snazzy joints like Chez Jean-Claude come in. Small but not claustrophobic, refined without being intimidatingly chic, the restaurant oozes the sort of effortless gastronomic class that the French specialise in. Come here if you want a sense of occasion: the food is several notches above the average (try the filet de boeuf), the prices are accordingly elevated, and the intimate setting (only 20 chairs on our count) only adds to the sense of exclusivity. The decor flourishes – wood pannelling, bookshelves crammed with Proust and Zola – complete the picture: you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled into a mealtime scene from a comedy of manners by Jean Renoir.