Writer: Joumana Samandal
Steak’ and ‘glamour’ are not two words you’d normally expect to see in the same sentence - especially when the steaks in question are dinosaur-sized - but Cro Magnon Steakhouse & Bar may well be the ultimate expression of carnivore chic.
The latest venture by the indefatigable Joey Ghazal, 32 year-old ceo and founder of L.E.T (Les Enfants Terribles) Entertainment and the man who together with chef Hussein Hadid made Beirut love the BRGR, this upscale steak house – which includes a shellfish bar and an Al Capone-esque cigar lounge - is located smack in the heart of central Beirut’s latest seafront development, the rather whimsically-named Zaitunay Bay.
The décor by Nabil Dada is a palette of rich colours and industrial touches; graceful brass vaulting, exposed brick, mahogany panelling, leather banquettes and brass railings, the whole artfully combined to suggest the salon of a late 19th century gentleman’s club.
The carefully aged meat, flown in from assorted corners of the world, is prepared in-house by Cro Magnon’s very own butcher. This not only enables the restaurant to offer cuts like filet mignon on the bone and a French-cut rib steak, not easily found elsewhere in Beirut, or indeed the region, but also means that it can offer of a take-away service, for those preferring to grill at home.
The difficulty will be deciding what to go for first and as succulent, sizzling aromatic platters pass your table, you may well be tempted to stay for seconds. Portions, alas, are so generous, so while that might be desirable, it may not prove physically possible, meaning a repeat visit is definitely in order. After all, how much meat can a (cave)man eat?