Four Seasons' The Roof: An Escape from Beirut in the Heart of Beirut

You know how rooftops are all the rave in Lebanon. They tend to be the haunts of the see-and-be-seen crowd, the favorite hangouts of the ostentatious who derive pleasure from throwing their greenbacks at rainbow-colored cocktails and avant garde nibbles. I wasn't too keen about such a playground, but two weeks ago found us at the rooftop terrace of the boutique Hotel Albergo. A quiet, understated space with wicker chairs, white pillows, and stunning views of Achrafieh and the vicinity made me reconsider my harsh stance on the rooftop breed. Then I met Four Seasons' The Roof just a few days ago. And I became a staunch believer.

The perfect fusion of luxury and comfort are on display at The Roof. You ascend to the 26th floor and amble outside to find yourself surrounded by different seating scenes: bar stools, pillow-festooned sofas, curtain-drawn love pads, lounge chairs for those wanting to take a dip in the pool's placid waters. Glass panels wrap around the roof, but in no way do they obstruct or compromise the breathtaking view of the city. You're thrust 190 meters above sea level, and trust me, it's evident. The landscape below looks like a frame out of a Super Nintendo 2D Mario storyboard with tiny boxes for cars and pegs for pedestrians. Only the Mediterranean retains its grandeur from this altitude.

Now that you've got the scene in mind, let's discover the food. The menu is decidedly inspired by Asian cuisine: the longest, thickest cuts of tuna and salmon sashimi that I've ever beheld; immense dumplings--easily requiring two bites--stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth shrimp; generous beef and chicken satay nicely seasoned and accompanied by a spot-on peanut sauce; and iconic white Chinese take-out boxes filled to the brim with a fresh slaw of grated carrot, papaya, lemon juice and either teriyaki chicken or chilled boiled shrimp.

We had the privilege of meeting Four Seasons Beirut's executive chef Sotiris Ananiadis, a young and charming Greek who overwhelms you with his effusive passion for food and cooking. In fact, a few of the kitchen's staff alighted to the roof where they exhibited their creative and intricate desserts--all fashioned around social media icons to complement the evening's theme of InstaTweet Meetup. It is clear how passionately these chefs pour their hearts into their work, as everything is both aesthetically and gastronomically delightful.

A DJ perched on a loft above the bar spins lounge beats and is later accompanied by a live singer. The girl performing on the evening of our visit was incredibly talented.

The night was absolutely dreamy, with every detail finely executed and our satisfaction exceeded. The Four Seasons rooftop can easily double as your escape from Beirut in the heart of Beirut. I can't wait to go back.




  

Apologies for the poor resolution of these photos--dim lighting and very hazy weather are to blame.

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