Friday, January 21, 2011

Quand Leo Invite

So Leo Burnett reaches out to bloggers, offering them free meal tickets every once in a while. The idea is to try new restaurants and enjoy the full experience while targeting young and hip, yes hip, twenty-sth-year-old semi professionals or not at all, who for a reason or another like to broadcast their opinions and their alter ego selves in the online realm.

so here is where I come in.

The task was to venture into Eau De Vie at the Phoenicia Hotel and investigate.
Not too shabby if you ask me. I'd investigate that place over and over again. A blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do right?

You go in and you find yourself in a loungy bar with dark purple and brocade tones, dim lights, and nicely set 2 chaired tables with candles. This has got to be my favorite part of the place. It is definitely inviting for a relaxing drink and appetizers post your everyday 9 to 5 job. Not that I am promoting alcoholism but what better way to relax than to meet up on the 11th floor of Phoenicia, listening to lounge music, drinking an exotic drink and enjoying the view.
Very reminiscent of the Gansevoort Boutique Hotel and their rooftop lounge in NYC. Minus the pool and the Hudson. But who's reminiscing now...
--The mood
Then you go in and you have a spacious dinner area. And this is where Eau De Vie lost me. No, they didn't lose me at Hello. Their welcome area is actually exceptional. They lost me at let's move to the dinner table now.

I wasn't quite sure what this place was targeting anymore. Is it a lounge? Is it a restaurant? Is it the Lebanese strategy of let's do all-into-one-combo and get more people in, depending on what they're looking for?

Why oh why can't we have an after hours lounge to relax and have a drink? Ok maybe not that dramatic but you get the gist. Know what you want and find your identity Eau! I'd recommend drinks and a tapas menu. Tea or coffee for those who prefer to stay sober. And that's it! No dinner, no steak, no salmon. There are enough restaurants in Lebanon and in Phoenicia as well to cater to these needs.
--The dinner party
I must say however, the staff was noticeably nice and friendly. They gave us a tour, explained their view of the place and listened to everything their guests had to say, intently. It was definitely an enjoyable experience. The food was good as well. And Eau is trying to create something different, like your own customized traveling salad bars on wheels! And the desserts. Yum.

So why fall back into the typical Lebanese modern fusion restaurant theme? Lose the main courses I say. Stick to appetizers, desserts, drinks and good music. Lounge it up. Or down. Lose the big tables. Add a few couches. And you have your own go-to-one-of-a-kind hotel lounge in the heart of Beirut.