What makes it special? It’s a fun, unfussy, locavore neighbourhood joint hidden in the hip streets of artsy Mar Mikhael in Beirut. Baron is sustainability-focused and prides itself on sourcing its ingredients from local markets, farmers and fishermen. The decor is minimal and the vibe is cosy at this intimate spot. The best seats in the house are at the bar, where you can watch the team at work in the open kitchen.
What’s the cuisine like? Baron is a celebration of local Lebanese produce. Eclectic small plates characterise the seasonal sharing-style menu that changes every few days. Heavy on the vegetables, the food is modern and innovative with Mediterranean and Japanese influences.
On the menu: Herbs, spices, sauces and crunchy bits such as puffed rice, crispy shallots and sujok crumbs elevate the dishes. The sharing plates are full of flavour thanks to unexpected combinations, such as dates and sujok, cauliflower bathed in butter and shawarma spices, and whipped bottarga with sumac, to name a few. The extensive wine list includes a great selection of local Lebanese wines in addition to creative cocktails – try the Pink Peppercorn Cup or the Thyme Gimlet.
About the chef: Athanasios Kargatzidis, or “Chef Tommy”, was born in Greece and raised in Canada. His interest in cooking began during his childhood on family trips to Europe and the Middle East. Chef Tommy aims to empower women in the kitchen and believes that they ‘embody the spirit of Baron’. Look out for his newest seaside restaurant in Lisbon.
Trophy cabinet: Ranking at No.16 in this year’s list, Baron retains its crown for the second consecutive year as The Best Restaurant in Lebanon.