3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Byblos

Metairie 1: Old Metairie: 1501 Metairie Rd. 504-834-9773. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Byblos raised the standards for Lebanese restaurant cooking and ingredients when it opened its first restaurant sixteen years ago. It encouraged the opening of many more of its kind, most of them far better than the few we had before. The Byblos delis–more spartan than their two main restaurants–are also excellent.

WHAT’S GOOD
Higher prices, better quality. But even the highest prices in the Lebanese category are good deals. The restaurants have wide-ranging menus with first-class cookery and unusually fine raw materials. The beef, lamb, and chicken are all tender and well-trimmed. Even the rice in the free side pilaf is basmati. The desserts are made in house and hard to resist, even after a very large meal.

BACKSTORY
Gabriel Saliba, Tarek Tay, and Hicham Khodr–all natived of Beirut–opened Byblos on Metairie Road in 1994. It did so well there that the restaurant was renovated twice, and a second location opened in 2000. Byblos is the name of an ancient city in Lebanon. It was so famous for its library that its name gave the Greeks their word for “book” and, in turn, to the Bible.

DINING ROOM
The original Metairie restaurant took over a former fast-food place, although you’d never know that now. Tall ceilings and large windows make it a very pleasant place to dine. The newer Magazine Street location is inside an 1800s Greek revival structure, but with a cool, modern interior. The Uptown Byblos has belly dancing one or two nights a week.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Hummos
»Baba ghanuj
Falafel
»Stuffed kibbeh
Mujadarah lentil stew
»Mousaka eggplant stew
Labneh (cream cheese, olive oil, dried mint)
Fried eggplant
Cheese fingers
Lahem-bi-ajeen (ground beef, lamb, onions, tomato sauce)
»Stuffed cabbage rolls
»Stuffed grape leaves (with meat or meatless)
»Lamb taratour
»Spanakopita
Eggplant and crab cake
Spinach and artichoke dip
»Drunken halloumi cheese
Smoked salmon
Yogurt salad
»Mussels a la provencal
»Spinach and lentil soup
Chicken and vegetable soup
Byblos Caesar salad
»Tabbouleh (parsley, cracked wheat, tomatoes, onions, mint)
Fattoush peasant salad
Field greens salad
»Greek salad
Pinenut salad
Salade Nicoise (greens, beans, boiled eggs, anchovies, olives, seared tuna)
Byblos pasta with lamb, beef, tomatoes
Vegetarian platter
»Rotisserie chicken
»Chicken shawarma
»Beef shawarma
»Chicken kabob
»Beef kabob
»Lamb kabob
»Kafta kabob (ground beef, lamb, parsley grilled on skewers)
Shrimp skewer
Combination kabob
Veal Mediterranean (wine and mushroom sauce)
Grilled salmon
Seared yellowfin tuna
»Lamb chops
»Rack of lamb
»Grilled lamb platter
Baby back pork ribs
Mediterranean pasta (shrimp, vegetables, garlic and olive oil)
Baklava
»Ashta (light custard wrapped in phyllo)

FOR BEST RESULTS
Assemble a party of six to eight, and order all the appetizers, plus a few entrees. The location on Magazine Street is a more interesting environment and has a slightly more varied menu.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
I wish they’d return kibbe nayyih (raw kibbe) to the menu.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Live music some nights
  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open most holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

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