Mandaloun, Lebanese food haven in Rome’s exclusive neighborhood

Hummous vs. hummous, eggplants vs. chickpeas, a feast for the taste buds

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.

Here is a shot of baba ganoush in all its glory, before we tucked into it

Sour yogurt and seasoned olives to eat with pita bread as a starter

Falafel, rice wrapped in vine leaves, fried cheese and veggies in the Vegetarian Mezzeh

Tabouleh, also part of the mezzeh

Grilled pita bread filled with halloumi cheese, delicious, to be eaten warm

This is Piazza Barberini, at the bottom of trendy Via Veneto, the opposite end from the restaurant

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11 Comments
  1. Ça a l’air drôlement délicieux!Et quelle vue!

  2. Sempre più convinto che Roma è unica nelle sue offerte! Certo che il posto dove si trova il ristorante è bene scelto!

  3. An eggplant-based hummus sounds delish! Didn’t know it could be made this way – the photos are making my stomach growl and it’s a disappointing fact that there’s nothing nearly this good in my kitchen. *pout*

  4. I haven’t visited rome, and neither I got a chance to taste the Rome cuisine. I would love to give my tongue and tummy a chance to taste Eggplant Hummous.

  5. A good post. I am so starving after reading it :) Love Rome. A big fan of Chianti wine. A nice night shot of Piazza Barberini.

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