I found the most beautiful Italian gem in the heart of Jbeil the other weekend and I just HAVE to share it with you.
Meet Sapori e Vini.
This charming Italian restaurant opened its doors just a few months ago in the heart of Jbeil in time for the summer vacation in Lebanon. Instead of having a (rather expensive) meal near the Old Souks and Citadel of Jbeil, venture towards this new Italian beauty; I attached a map at the end of this post, but don’t scroll down just yet! Read what I have to say first, jeez…
Venue descriptions aren’t my strong suit but I’ll try to do it justice.
There are over 4 seating “areas”. You have the garden outside, and inside, there are 3 different sections to choose from – each more beautiful than the next. The décor is remarkable and adds a distinct charisma to Sapori e Vini restaurant that you don’t really encounter just anywhere in Jbeil, let alone Lebanon. We chose to sit in the middle indoor seating section (because it’s way too hot to sit outside in this August weather).
However, we did move outside for dessert once the sun set. I would recommend an outdoor garden dinner.
What would you like to drink?
Wine, of course. We’re having a fancy yet casual Italian dinner, which calls for lots of wine.
Red red wiiiiine.
Sapori e Vini served freshly baked homemade bread with a “dip of the day”. We got some sort of eggplant-based dip which was quite good.
We started with the Grilled Calamari Salad (22,500 LBP) that’s made up of a generous portion of perfectly grilled non-chewy sliced calamari and avocado chunks on top of a bed of wild rocket leaves. It’s served with a perfectly tangy lemon oil dressing.
Followed by my favourite Italian antipasti dish, Melanzane (20,000 LBP).
Baked eggplant with mozzarella and Parmesan is my version of Lasagna minus the carbs (and it’s more delicious). And we’re off to a perfect start!
Next up: Primi Piatti i.e. Pasta and Pizza, of course.
We ordered two pasta dishes to try different sauce bases.
Potato and mushroom tortellini (26,500 LBP) – These ultra fluffy pillows of Tuscan ravioli are stuffed with potatoes, pancetta, and pecorino cheese, and served with a creamy porcini mushroom sauce.
Our second pasta dish of choice at Sapori e Vini was the Tagliatelle alla Siciliana (22,500 LBP) made with fresh tagliatelle pasta topped with chunks of eggplant, dry ricotta, tomato sauce, and basil from their garden. Next time, I want to try their Bolognese which is served with tagliatelle, not the spaghetti we’re used to!
The traditional wood-fire Neapolitan pizza at Sapori e Vini is a MUST try.
I ordered the wild porcini mushroom pizza (24,000 LBP). The amount of cheese on that pie is substantial and the crust is the definition of perfection. You don’t feel heavy once you’ve finished either i.e. you don’t need to share this one 😉
The wood-fired Acunto oven that made this beautiful pizza is the first of its kind to be imported to Lebanon and it’s crazy hot i.e. expect your pizza to be cooked in 2 minutes. That’s not the only reason the authentic Neapolitan pizza at Sapori e Vini landed first in my top pizzas in Lebanon. Don’t skip the pizza. You can skip the cutlery.
As for the Secondi:
T and I shared the Cotoletta alla Milanese (41,500 LBP) which is the most delicious (and calorific) thing I’ve had this month. Well, pizza comes first in terms of deliciousness, because #cheese. This Dutch veal chop escalope Milanese is to die for. It comes with salad too so you feel less guilty. I would order this again with my eyes closed.
We also had the Filetto ai Porcini (48,500 LBP) – Australian MB2 Black Angus beef tenderloin served with potatoes, vegetable medley, and a delicious wild porcini mushroom sauce. I have a thing for mushrooms, even though T hates them, which is why the relationship works – more mushrooms for me then thanks!
The steak was oh-so-succulent and melts in your mouth like butter – exceptional.
Skipping dessert is bad for you.
We moved to the garden for dessert, because we’re classy that way – also, because the sun went down and the heat can’t melt us anymore.
Try the authentic Tiramisu (12,000 LBP) at Sapori e Vini – my favourite dessert had the ultimate velvety texture and the perfect sweet coffee balance without any added alcohol. This was the best choice to end our Italian meal.
From the service, the food, the ambiance, and even down to the music, I can’t recommend Sapori e Vini enough. The prices are affordable and the dishes are delectably exquisite.
Sapori e Vini is a MUST TRY Italian restaurant in Jbeil, even if you don’t feel like having Italian food. Because you will want to once you step inside this Italian trattoria.
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Sapori e vini – Byblos
Address: Rue 47, Jbeil, Jbeil District
Contact: +961-9-737437 / +961-81-734333
For opening hours, check out the Sapori e Vini Facebook page or
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