Byblos Sur Mer is the located on the harbor of the long-standing Intercontinental hotel. It is a well-known Lebanese restaurant with a huge space that is perfect for weddings and large groups. And they do manage to fill it on a consistent basis. You should see the place on a Friday night with the belly dancers, singers, shisha out on the deck... it is a genuinely elegant Arabic party. It is actually one of my favorite Lebanese restaurants because of that (And of course due to the great food. Atmosphere is nothing without great food.). Having now been for dinner a few times, I can't wait to try the extravagant Friday brunch. However, this time I was here in celebration of Ramadan, at the Iftar.
It is immediately obvious that the service is on top of things. They manage to have your creamy lentil soup served to you perfectly hot so that your first spoonful is exactly immediately just after the prayer. Meanwhile all of the mezze are arriving. The rich moutabal with a topping of fried eggplant and pomegranate, the sauteed chicory with fried onions, the chili roasted potatoes...and about 15 others. Undoubtedly my favorite part of Lebanese dining...the mezze. There are mains served next, like the roasted chicken on fluffy rice and the mixed grill with lamb chops and kebabs.
The food just keeps coming (along with the hot pita bread) and when you finish one plate they will ask if you want more. There are sides of dried fruit and nuts and small trunks filled with dates.
When your savory taste has been fulfilled, you approach the dessert buffet at your leisure. Taking center stage in the room is a long table of Arabic desserts, both modern and traditional. Buttery baklava galore. One of the highlights was a rotisserie of five different types of nougat with toasted nuts, created to look like a shawarma skewer, complete with chef to carve you off a fresh piece of each or every type.
The feeling is friendly and the Lebanese food is bountiful. Also be sure to save time after your meal to relax in the Suhoor tent. The specially built tent is pure luxury with low lighting, lounge seating, and in one corner there is even a television for watching sports (for all of you sports fans out there). A pretty nice place to relax into the wee hours of the morning with friends and family.
Intercontinental, Abu Dhabi
+971 2 666 6888
Opens at 12:30 until late during normal operations.
The Iftar begins at sunset, and is 225AED per person.