Get into the groove of la dolce vita at Ristorante La Traviata, one of the more atmospheric of Beirut's numerous faux-rustic trattoria. The tiny restaurant does a good job of simulating a dinner scene from the old country, what with the pile of outsized veg in the corner and the lilting Godfatheresque music issuing from the sound system. Refreshingly for an Italian eaterie in Beirut, pizza doesn't dominate the menu, and the kitchen does an impressive line in tagliatelle and grilled meats. Understated Italian elegance comes out in the details, from the excellent service to the first-rate presentation on the plate. Outside seating is available – although you might be put off by the passing traffic on Pasteur Street, Gemmayzeh’s very own cardo maximus.