I went to this restaurant twice in less than two weeks, and obviously not because of a lack of eateries in Rome. I like Lebanese food, but I also like other types of food, so what brought me here for the second time in a row instead of choosing another place? Apart from the chilled out atmosphere and my half-Lebanese friend Antonella who introduced it to me, I felt the urge to come back for to their incredible baba ganoush.
Do you know hummous? I mean the classic version chickpea-based? Well, this one is an eggplant-based hummous. A delicious one. It has a sour taste given, as Antonella explains, by the fact that eggplants are grilled before being mashed and further seasoned with a sprinkle of sumac, always a good fit.
The menu offers a great selection of Lebanese dishes, but since both my friend and I are following a vegetarian diet, we ordered the Vegetarian Mezzeh and Lebanese pita grilled with Halloumi cheese, all completed with Aysha al Saraya, a milk-based dessert flavored with sugar, rose water, orange blossom water and lemon juice, placed on a softened toast and garnished with grated pistachio, and closed with a pot of hot orange blossom water.
The restaurant is Mandaloun in Via di Porta Pinciana 16/B downtown Rome, just on top of exclusive Via Veneto, must-stop for many celebrities in the past. If you enjoy Lebanese food and happen in Rome, by all means check this out. In the meantime, you can drool over some of the pictures I took last night.