Restaurants, Italian Mar Mikhael
Marinella, Restaurants, Beirut
© Rana Khoury

Beirut certainly doesn't want for Italian restaurants. On the face of it, there isn't a great deal to distinguish Marinella from its rivals: classily understated decor, smiling waiters, a decent wine list. But it's in the details that Marinella edges the competition, from the artfully displayed posters of Marcello Mastroianni and co on the walls to the variety of out-of-the-ordinary pasta dishes on the menu (rigatoni alla vodka, anyone?). They also manage to make something of that least fashionable of ingredients, gnocchi: the lemon sauce dish in particular is to die for. Hip, reasonably priced and ever so slightly offbeat, Marinella is a quiet winner.

By: James Haines-Young


Venue name: Marinella
Address: Madrid Street
Mar Mikhael

Opening hours: Mon-Sat noon-4pm
Price: Meal for two LL120,000
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