Les Cedres, Austellungsstr. 51, 1020 Vienna, Austria
The German speaking part of the world is not known for its vegetarian food, so it’s good to find on one of its edges a representative of one of the world’s most veggie-friendly cuisines, that which tends to be identified in the West with the nation famous for its Cedres. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The Fattousch (I’ll stick with the German spelling) works well, although there is more carrot and less mint than I would have expected; when you dip your bread into the Hommus a lot of green olive oil emerges. The spuds in the Batata Harra are nicely fried and spiced in a way that leaves them light yellow, and the beans in the Foul Medammes are not merely soft but coagulated, just right for scooping with bread. Indeed, given the generous quantities of the dishes and bread there was probably no need to have ordered Lubiah Reis, as we did. It turned out to have less tomato than it does when I attempt to cook it, but it sat well on the table, as did a bottle of light red wine from Clos St Alphonse in the Bekaa Valley. The ‘Baklawa’ turned out to be three pieces of different sweets, of a kind that cries out to be accompanied by strong coffee, such as the Lebanese brew we were offered. All in all it was a very satisfying meal, from which we emerged into a cool Middle European evening in the best of spirits.