I spent a good portion of my childhood weekends in Jbeil (Byblos) and the city is very dear to my heart. In the past few years, Jbeil’s food and entertainment industry in summer has boomed and joined the ranks of other summertime party hubs across Lebanon.
Locanda is one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It lands itself fair and square in my top places to go on a date. It’s location is perfect, right across the street from the world’s oldest city’s ruins: the Byblos Citadel. On the other side, it has an uninterrupted view of the Mediterranean Sea and the few orchards that still exist in the port city.
The food is a mix of local Lebanese cuisine with a certain twist as well as a selection of salads, pastas, pizzas and steaks. What I love about this place is there menu. It’s one item per page, with the photo of the item included. This is awesome when you’re not sure what your order would look like, in terms of size, presentation, etc. So the menu really helps. I wish more places do the same!
Lori and I had the mtabbal, shrimp salad and chicken on a skewer. The shrimp salad was massive and easily fed us both. I’m not really a fan of mtabbal, but Lori loved it. As for the chicken, they were perfectly marinated and still moist enough on the inside, something tough to achieve with grilled chicken breasts.
The waiters were very nice and courteous, the view was spectacular during the sunset, the other guests were also mostly couples, making it as I said before, one of my favorite date spots. You could probably go and enjoy your day with the family there on Sunday, but I’d advise you to reserve.
Verdict: Love it. If you have a date, don’t mind the 20-minute drive, this place is perfect all year round
Price: 70-100 USD should be enough for you and your date (appetizer, main course and drinks)
Location: Right across the street from the Byblos citadel, overlooking the sea
Atmosphere: Cozy, romantic setting inside and on the terrace of a traditional Lebanese mansion
Staff: Very nice and courteous