The metropolitan Detroit area is the home for the largest Middle Eastern population outside of the Middle East. Suffice it to say that there are plenty of Arabic style restaurants in the area. There is one in the area that is delightfully different and that is Le George in Northville. After the Great War, the Ottoman Empire was carved up and France oversaw some of the countries that had been under the thumb of the old regime. Le George has cuisine that evokes the memory of the Paris of the Middle East, which was Beirut, until the time of the civil war hostilities that are still festering. So, there was a charming bistro atmosphere to this restaurant and it was not just the typical dishes that one finds in most of Arabic eateries.
After we were seated and started to study the menu, a basket of fresh baked pita bread arrived with a side of the garlic mousse that was appreciated. My Bride started off with an order of the Gazpacho Libanaise, which instead of a tomato base, was a yogurt base and she certainly enjoyed it, while I had the house salad with the house dressing. Something else I noticed was that there were no salt and pepper shakers on the table, as I think that it addresses the fact that the chef feels that his dishes are properly seasoned, that classic Gallic temperament. My Bride then had a mix of two different skewers of Kebab, one was lamb, and the other was filet and it came out with a side of hummus and a side of bulgur cracked wheat. I decided to try something that I would normally not have in such a restaurant and I had the Tournedos Rossini with a Cabernet and Mushroom sauce on the side, along with the bulgur cracked wheat. I was expecting a couple of medallions of filet and instead I was served a filet mignon perfectly cooked to my request.
My Bride originally didn’t feel like have any wine, but then she spied a little tabletop sign about a Rosé wine and she went with that. She had the Caves de Cerca Famega 2016 from the Minho region of Portugal, which is the northern most agricultural area and farmed for grapes and for food. The wine was a blend of the noted wines of Portugal, namely Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Tinta Nacional. It had a nice soft color and a soft nose and was an easy drinking wine on this particularly hot Spring day. Since not too many Arabic restaurants have wine, and the owner was Christian, I used the old concept of when in Rome and ordered a Lebanese wine and he had several very interesting other wines by the glass. I had the Massaya Le Colombier 2014 listed on the wine carte as a Vin Rouge. Massaya was a winery in Lebanon prior to the civil war there, and the vineyards and the facility had to be restored, and the first beverage they began making was their famed Arak. The winery is located in the Beqaa (Bekkaa) Valley where about ninety percent of all wine is produced in Lebanon. The wine was a blend of Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Tempranillo. Fresh from the bottle the wine was a bit gamey, but it seemed to open up almost immediately and my fears were allayed. All the grapes melded into a most pleasant wine that would work as well with lamb, beef or even chicken with the assorted spices that the restaurant used. We hadn’t even gotten out of the door and my Bride said that she wants to go back there again.