This affable restaurant is one of the best places for Italian cuisine in the city. The venue has a cosy, slightly ramshackle quality – fulfilling the promise of the "trattoria" in the name. All the hallmarks of the traditional Italian eaterie are present and correct, from red and white chequered tablecloths to the paintings of the Tuscan countryside that adorn the walls. The menu is packed with genuine Italian "soul food", prepared freshly and authentically. Alongside the usual suspects (pizzas, linguini), the menu throws up some less classic dishes – leave space for the quirky pizza di mele, a sort of cross between a pizza and a tarte tatin. We're fans.
The ruins at Baalbek are all well and good, but if you want more immediate – not to mention digestible – evidence of Italy’s cultural legacy in Lebanon, you need only drop into one of the numerous delightful Italian restaurants in Beirut. Unsurprisingly, pizza predominates, though that’s no gripe when we’re talking about the fine wood-fired offerings at PZZA.CO or Margherita. But for the adventurous (and gluten-averse) among you, the Beirut restaurant scene throws up myriad cosy trattoria that serve mama’s home-cooked dishes alongside the usual range of pizza and pasta. What more could you ask for?