When Liza Asseily envisioned her future restaurant in the business district of Paris’s 2nd arrondissement she thought of home. Born in raised in Lebanon’s capital city, she wanted her restaurant to reflect her beloved Beirut and mirror its cosmopolitan, high-style, yet relaxed, vibe.
Ms. Asseily vision was realized with success when her eponymous Restaurant Liza opened near the Paris Stock Exchange in March of 2003 to serve “Lebanese Contemporary Cuisine.”
I had the pleasure of having dinner at Liza a year ago, in April of 2010. My fiancé and I have looked forward to returning ever since. The restaurant’s interior, combined with the delicious cuisine, courteous service (complete with Ms. Asseily making a point to stop by to chat for a bit at every table), and overall attention to detail makes Restaurant Liza an experience I highly recommend.
The restaurant’s interior is masterfully decorated by Hubert Fattal (a Lebanese interior designer from Beirut), to showcase an abundance of natural light, natural materials, all-white surfaces, lacey lighting fixtures, and accents of turquoise. It is as sleek and modern as it is romantic and inviting.
Liza’s signature details – from tableware, plates, and glasses to the bistro tables and brass trays – were curated and designed by the Lebanese firm Karen Chekerdjian Studio, in collaboration with Lebanese craftsmen. Mother of pearl inlaid screens, lace globe pendants, and hand-hammered tin-plated copper tabletops all add to the flair.
Liza’s food and wine menus are as thoughtfully composed as the interiors. The chef is Karim Haidar, formerly of Fakhreldine, in London. Appetizers include traditional mezze like houmous and fattoush, and the daily-changing main courses include dishes like black mullet with fresh coriander and spicy peppers, lamb confit, and sweet-and-salty grilled meatballs. The wine list is amazing, with a variety of hard-to-find and well-worth-searching-for Lebanese labels.
A marvelous restaurant all around.
14 rue de la Banque
19€-30€ ($24.40-$38.50) a la carte menu for dinner
40€ ($51.30) prix-fixe menu for dinner
17€-21€ ($21.80-$27) prix-fixe menu for lunch