Abu Naim prides itself on being a traditional Lebanese restaurant, serving classic Lebanese mezze with a typically warm Lebanese attitude. When we say traditional, we mean it: the menu (literally) throws few bones to the uninitiated, what with its kibbeh nayyeh (minced raw beef) and marinated lamb brains. But the squeamish will still find plenty to choose from among the range of hot and cold mezze and grilled meats, all of which are made from fresh ingredients apparently hand-picked by owner Abu Naim himself. Decor-wise things are kept simple, but the plain venue is embellished by the colourful staff who run this snug family restaurant.
Lebanon’s sprawling diaspora may have introduced the delights of fattoush and kibbe to the four corners of the world, but it’s no surprise that the motherland remains the best place to sample this most varied of Levantine cuisines. Lebanese restaurants in Beirut run the gamut of expense and fashion, from the elegant mezze platters at the voguish Enab to Frida’s curious hybrid of local and Mexican cuisines. Whether you want to degust local delicacies in high style or chow down on some glorified street food, the Beirut restaurant scene has you covered. Just go easy on the arak.