Dear Lebanon, Take Note from F&B: Reinvent and Keep it Fresh!

It’s easy to get comfy with the old. As the sayings go, “old is gold,” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But by the same token, “if you don’t change, you don’t grow, and if you don’t grow, you cease to exist.” Looks like the folks at Bar Tartine are disciples of this philosophy, as last week they put theory to practice and amped up their food offerings.

The original menu at the three-branch stronghold has withstood the test of time, and, in the space of just two years, Bar Tartine asserts itself as one of the country’s favorite French bakeries. The meal experience commences with a basket of signature fresh bread and sea-salt-kissed olive oil, a testament to the fact that in simplicity, there is beauty.

'Tis the theme weaving through nearly every item on the menu: fresh, flavorful ingredients combine to form bold, delicious dishes. The menu encompasses breakfast, soups, salads, sandwiches (and namesake tartines), artisanal pizzas, mains and desserts, so there’s something for everyone.

The majority of the founding dishes remain, with some receiving minor facelifts. But there are around a dozen newbies straddling the entire menu. 

Here are the seven that got my heart (and stomach) aflutter.

Kale Avocado Rolls

I never imagined I could like summer rolls so much. Ordinarily, I find them to be bland filler material seriously lacking in the taste department, and I let my dining companions have at them. But the kale-avocado rolls are refreshing bursts of summer, binding leafy greens, ripe avocado, grated carrot, cucumber, bell pepper and rice noodles together in a verdant rice paper. Honestly, they don’t even require the accompanying soy sauce. (14,000 LL)

Kale & Quinoa Celebration

I could have predicted kale would make a debut to the Bar Tartine menu, thanks to its newfound spotlight and highly touted benefits. It works marvelously in this quinoa-inclusive salad tossed in vinegar and bedecked with grilled marinated chicken, roasted almond slivers, and dried cranberries. The flavors are evocative of mloukhieh, or Jew’s mallow, and it’s a winner in my book. (18,500 LL)

Couscous Freshness

Those tiny spheres of semolina that have come to be known as couscous always inspire a warm and fuzzy feeling inside of me, and this dish is no exception. Jazzed up with julienned carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, and asparagus, a mountain of couscous is drizzled with lemon oil dressing and topped with a grilled chicken breast. I’d venture to place this palate pleaser under the Mains. (16,500 LL)


At first glance, this salad doesn’t hit high notes for its aesthetic appeal. In fact, you can’t precisely make out its ingredients until you plant a forkful into your boca—who knew sweet potatoes came in white! The marriage of creamy avocado, crumbly goat cheese, sweet beet and yam inside a temple of peppery rocket leaves is unrivalled. (19,000 LL)

Veggie Symphony

Meat-eaters and protein-lovers will probably dismiss this sandwich as inadequate, but vegans will rejoice. Inside wasabi-slathered rye bread, lamelles of cucumber, beetroot, avocado, grilled eggplant, and tomato are layered alongside rocket and basil. The result is a healthy, wholesome, feel-good sandwich that could double as a shared appetizer. (13,000 LL)

Tarte Tropezienne

Picture a fusion of choux à la crème and baba au rhum. That’s what this classic Tropez treat is all about, with a luscious combo cream sandwiched between two halves of a sugar-coated brioche roll. It is light and ethereal without inspiring guilt, and I can see it being glammed up with fresh berries. A tremendous replica of the French original. (6,000 LL)

Caprice aux poires

Here’s another treat whose majesty lies in its subtlety. A frangipane tart wafting with traces of rum serves as a bed for thinly-sliced, syrup-doused pear. Reminiscent of Bar Tartine’s seasonal galette des rois, which makes a short-lived appearance during the January Epiphany holiday, this pastry deserves a permanent place on the dessert rack. (6,000 LL)

It’s nice to see successful establishments like Bar Tartine hustling to elevate the customer experience. How easy to tread upon the waters of status quo, but innovation and rejuvenation—well, that’s the difference between sinking and swimming.  

Bar Tartine
Dbayeh 71-918 999
Mar Mikhael 71-466 788
ABC Achrafieh 01-203 544


  1. Looks amazingly healthy and delicious! I can’t wait to try out the Kale Avocado Rolls and the Couscous! Mmmm!!


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