If you have arrived in Beirut and are reading this, then it may already be too late to book, such is the popularity of Em Sharif. We managed to find a slot on Christmas Eve which meant there was a very mixed clientele; everyone from the well to do Beirutis dressed to the hilt and a big table of Syrian woman who were singling and clapping along to the musicians and having a ball. The whole scene was something like a cross between Casablanca and Indiana Jones with the waiters (black tie jackets with traditional baggy black trousers) hefting aloft trays of Lebanese delights in the mock Ottoman decor. The menu is set and the waiters bring bowl after mouthwatering bowl of delicious food. I loved the perfect the Kibbeh, the aromatic mini sausages the tender chicken livers. just one warning: pace yourself, there are a lot of dishes to sample! It was a special night and a magical combination of food and atmosphere.
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