Beirut is back. A thrilling restaurant, hotel, and nightlife scene has made Beirut a favorite playground for today's fashionable jetsetters. Back in May 2010, The New York Times predicted Beirut’s renaissance: that the city would “recapture its title as the Paris of the Middle East” after more than “30 years of civil war, invasion, and occupation.” The proof is in the pudding: the recent opening of Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno’s S.T.A.Y. restaurant, along with Sweet Tea (a French salon de thé), in the Solidere Souks in Lebanon’s capital. After snagging three Michelin stars for his gastronomic cuisine at Le Meurice in Paris, Alléno was tapped to helm the kitchen at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech (owned by none other than the King of Morocco himself).
Alléno devised a new dining concept called S.T.A.Y.- an acronym for “Simple Table Alléno Yannick.” The premise? "To get rid of the gastronomic and service complexity to create a contemporary restaurant in a trendy and cozy environment.” Other outposts are located at One&Only The Palm in Dubai, and at the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing. Solidere, the Lebanese company responsible for rehabilitating the old souks of Beirut, has also recruited other world-renowned chefs to open up shop- including Antoine Westermann, Joël Robuchon, and Eric Kayser.