Four Seasons Beirut Dishes Up A Breakfast of Champions
For many of us, the Four Seasons has come to represent the pinnacle of hospitality. Everything is faultless, from the minute the doorman pulls open the door for you, to the express welcome by lobby staff, to setting foot inside the dim and alluring elevator, to alighting onto the second floor where the Grill & Lounge await you with tranquil stateliness.
We’d gone through these motions on numerous occasions before—an unforgettable Valentine’s dinner, a cocktail at the lounge, lunch inside the vast dining room on a chilly weekend afternoon. But on that particular Saturday morning, we were initiates of the new breakfast formula, served daily between 6 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The receptionist Faten received us cordially and led us to one of the venue's signature square tables next to the window. She pointed toward the extensive buffet line-up behind us as she explained the breakfast concept at Four Seasons Beirut. Within seconds a menu featuring Lebanese and Western hot meals descended upon our table.
Settling in to our freshly-squeezed grapefruit and orange, we quickly succumbed to curiosity and marched over to the culinary parade. Starting from the far left, a variety of house-baked bread; viennoiserie, including flaky croissants; moist blueberry muffins replete with pockets of baked berries; cinnamon rolls; and loaf cakes.
|Cheese croissant and blueberry muffin|
Next up, the healthy stuff, an array of nature’s candy, from cubed mango and pineapple chunks to lingonberries, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, pomegranate, and apples. Fig, quince, marmalade and other jams can be had along with an assortment of hazelnut, pecan (the glazed are to die for!), and almond slivers.
|A tantalizing matrix of fresh fruit|
|Dried fruit and nuts|
If you’re a yogurt fanatic, which I am, you will be dazzled by the cupped arrangements ready for the taking. They actually resemble panna cotta, with toppings such as mango, forest berries, and honey. There are two muesli mixes positioned conveniently next to carafes of milk, and finally, at the far right, the savory fix, spanning a salad bar, olives, pickles and chunks of cheese in oil baths.
|A healthy shot of muesli|
|Olives, fresh greens, pickles and cheese in oil baths|
We could have easily been sated with this roster, but upon returning to the table, an Oriental flair greeted us. Thick homemade labneh with olive oil; robust muhammara; braided string cheese; and miniature pita pockets in which to scoop them up. Butter-soft pastries comprised keshek, zaatar, lahem baajin and cheese blends.
|Miniature pita pockets|
|Lebanese savory pastries|
|Breakfast at Four Seasons Grill & Lounge|
We sat mesmerized with the lavish spread of goodness, nibbling from here and there in between gulps of juice and sips of black coffee. Realizing we could quickly run low on stomach space if we continued thus, we ordered some marvels from the hot menu, which were split between Levantine favorites like shakshouka, foul mudammas, and knefeh, as well as Western preparations such as eggs, pancakes, and waffles.
|Foul mudammas (cooked fava beans)|
The steak and eggs were not as our minds had conjured up. In fact, a filet mignon pounded down to a centimeter’s thickness was grilled to the specified cuisson and came masked beneath two sunny-side up eggs. Beside it, roasted cherry tomatoes and a bed of jazzed-up hash browns. This is unquestionably the hungryman’s platter.
|Steak and eggs, Four Seasons style|
I selected the pancakes, which were delicious and soft albeit slightly cakey. I’m not sure the accompanying syrup was 100% maple, but you could also opt for hot chocolate sauce, whipped cream, peanut butter, or chocolate hazelnut spread.
|Sugar-dusted pancakes with syrup|
After we’d finished our meal, Faten invited us out onto the terrace to enjoy a fresh pot of coffee in the open air. It was a spectacular ending to a spectacular experience, one which I could easily imagine reliving on days when self-love is in order.
|How regal is that silver pitcher of coffee?|
For 58,500 LL (USD 39), you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-value breakfast affair at a five-star property in Beirut. From premium cuisine to unsurpassed excellence in service and attentiveness, the Four Seasons continues to set the standard for hospitality venues near and far.
Four Seasons: The Grill & Lounge