Bourdain Back In Beirut
Ahh, isn’t alliteration so fun? Remember that most famous of “No Reservations” — the one where Tony and crew get caught in the crosshairs of a little squabble between Lebanon and Israel back in the summer of 2006, in what turned out to be the beginning of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, and what also turned out to be one of the series’ most infamous episodes (and the one, in my humble opinion, with some of the best writing we’ve seen on the show, including this great send-off we discussed a little way back).
Four years have past, bygones have become bygones (as they tend to do, every notice that?), and “No Reservations” has returned to Beirut for this latest season. Tony recently sat down with CNN and discussed his feelings on returning to the city, where he went, and, most importanly, what he ate.
First order of business, we went back to Le Chef. We made a point of going back with the exact same camera crew and producer, who were stuck with me in 2006. And we met with largely the same people, even went to the places we didn’t get the opportunity to visit last time, and we met with people from the previous episode.
Met with Kamal [Mouzawak], the guy who runs Souk el Tayeb [Beirut’s first farmer’s market], went to the restaurant that showcases regional produce and specialties [Tawlet]. We had a meal at his [Kamal’s] house. Ate seafood along the coast, falafel at a famous place run by two brothers who don’t talk to one another [Falafel Sahyoun].
Had sfiha [meat pies] near Baalbeck, went to a vineyard where they make traditional arak [a clear, aniseed flavored alcoholic beverage] and wine. Try to eat around high and low. Had traditional Armenian food at a restaurant in the Armenian district.