Summertime and The Seafood is Easy

In a little over week, the sweltering summer season will be making its happy descent. For all of us Mediterranean mongers, that can only mean three things. Sea. Seafood. And plenty more seafood.

Halat borders Jbeil from the south

In Lebanon, seafood restaurants fit one archetype, and that’s the classic Lebanese mezza with a bit of seafood intervention. The tired hummus. The typical fattouch. The beetroot salad. It’s all there, with a dash of plus and minus, from fish kibbeh teardrops to shrimp Provençale and, quite necessarily, fried and grilled fish in the penultimate act.

But what if you didn’t care for all that stomach-sabotaging fluff? What if you all you wanted was pure, unadulterated seafood untethered from the burghul, chickpea and tahini? Pescetarians, rejoice, for your prayers have been answered in the form of La Paillotte du Chef.

The facade of La Paillotte du Chef in Halat Sur Mer

Brought to us by Chef Jad el Hage, the guru at the helm of l'Humeur du Chef, La Cabane du Chef, and (arguably) Junkyard's best burger kiosk, La Paillotte is the latest in the culinary line-up, but this time it's seafront. With a pleasant perch above Halat bay, the restaurant radiates casual, easy-living vibes, almost fooling you into believing it is merely a café. The reality, however, is far from that, as Jad brings his gastronomic flair to the proverbial table.

How about that sunset view?

The bar

The sampler platter features chicken marinated in honey mustard, cubes of tender beef in balsamic, and plump scallops in a tangy sauce all cooked beautifully to retain their juices. The battered shrimp and salt-and-pepper crusted calamari will appeal to even the healthiest among us, because who can resist that enviable envelope of crunch?

If you want to try something supremely original, go for the gravlax salmon interlayered with slivers of mango and cached beneath a bouquet of beetroot leaves. Fresh and anything but fishy, this entrée is one scrumptious structure.

Gravlax salmon with mango and beetroot leaves

Raw food lovers will dive into the sushi, sashimi, and seafood carpaccio, all robustly fresh as if they've just been reeled in from Halat's waters.

Also on offer are grilled shrimp lining a bed of vodka tagliatelle and fried beetroot lamelles, as well as marinated mushrooms to temper a mildly charred Common Pandora white fish ("ajaj" in Arabic).

Grilled shrimp adorn vodka tagliatelle and fried beetroot lamelles

Grilled Pandora ("ajaj") with marinated mushrooms

Embrace La Paillotte du Chef as a destination for pescetarians weary of the clichéd Lebanese seafood joint. Revel in its tranquil atmosphere and the Mediterranean just a stone’s throw away. But take care to slather on bug repellent cream. It is seaside after all!

La Paillotte du Chef
Halat Sur Mer
+961 70 397 398


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