Right in the heart of the main shopping district, near the Tourist Information Office at St Andrew's Church, this basement restaurant does not have an eye-catching exterior (perhaps the way the regulars like it - a hidden oasis) but is easy to find, and it's Dublin's longest established Lebanese restaurant.
This Dublin restaurants cosy and atmospheric, it's a popular spot and many of the regular customers are well known to the management, giving the restaurant a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
The menu is extensive and should appeal to anyone with a taste for aromatic, mildly spiced minced lamb, beef and chicken dishes, and vegetable dishes with plenty of gentle spicy flavour.
A huge choice of starters (about 25, all at about €6) ranges from grilled quail to pitta breads with simple dips or hummus, and there's a similar choice of main courses at about €18, including several vegetarian options and some combination/mixed offerings for the indecisive or curious (eg Mixed Meshwe, a combination of minced lamb, and lamb & chicken brochettes).
Generous portions offer very good value and there's no real need for side dishes - it's a pity there's a charge for bread, though, as it's the kind of food which calls for plenty of accompanying bread.
Helpful staff have a good knowledge of the menu and there is a fair selection of Lebanese wines, in the €20 to €100 range, as well as a good choice of Old and New World wines. The house Lebanese wines at €20 are basic but very drinkable to complete the authentic experience.
On Friday and Saturday nights there is oriental dancing in the restaurant, which may not be to everyone's taste but is in keeping with the style of the establishment. The main restaurant is in the basement and decorated in thoroughly ethnic style.
Above on street level is Byblos restaurant which is open for lunch as well as dinner and serves similar fare but in smaller portions and with a tapas style approach to the menu and ordering.