La Vie Lebanese Restaurant Wins Best Lebanese USA Award 2017
I arrived on July 1st 2017 at about 11pm. Went in the nighttime because I knew that they had a belly dance show going on and have heard that they have great food served in amazing ambiance. I'm no stranger to Lebanese cuisine as three out of six of my former girlfriends were of Lebanese background including one Lebanese-Syrian from Boston whose father was President of the U.S. Arab American Assn in the early 1980's, another who was Venezuelan-Lebanese and the final who was Colombian-Lebanese. La Vie is about as authentic as it gets with respect to Lebanese cuisine in the U.S. I'd venture to say that Toronto, Canada has a couple places which are slightly more authentic yet this is a U.S. Award!!!
The waitress Amanda was perhaps the only other non-Lebanese or non-Middle Easterner in the whole restaurant she knew how to properly make Arak with the perfectly squared ice-cube being added last. The almaza Lebanese beer was cold and I was offered an icy glass yet chose to drink it out of the bottle. (shhhhh) The patrons were enjoy hookahs and when not eating were dancing with one other. The ambiance of the venue is simply amazing. Arched ceilings, bamboo accents, some rustic decor including wine barrels and covered wagons and even Moroccan lamps. The design philosophy is touted as covering influences from the Levant and westward through the cultural tentacles of the Mediterranean influences. The hummus was smooth as can be, the falafel was not overcooked and flavorful, the kefta (kafteh) kabob which was packed with cinnamon flavor-burst and perhaps even a touch of cardamom. The only complaint I had is that the rice was served formed as if it were turned upside down in a formal dish. I prefer it served in a more natural presentation but that's a small price to pay with respect to the many offerings and quality fine points that La Vie seems to be known for. For more information on La Vie you can visit their website at: http://lavieflorida.com/