LYR is a Lebanese restaurant located in Milan’s design district, offering a modern interpretation of traditional dishes to the fashionable Milanese crowd. Designed by Jo Ghareeb and managed by Rabih El Monla, LYR's refined interior and varied menu are a true pleasure to the senses.
HOME spoke to Ghareeb, to delve into the cultural subtleties and numerous successes of this Lebanese gem in the heart of Milan.
Introducing Lebanese Cuisine to the Italian Public
LYR is recognized as one of the best ethnic restaurants in Milan, revisiting Lebanon’s culinary heritage in a distinctive fashion. “The restaurant is located behind Scala di Milano, near Brera University and close to all designer boutiques in the area including Armani, Gucci and Ferragamo. Our clientele is mostly made up of artsy, fashionable people who are looking for something more than pizza and pasta,” Ghareeb explained.
The owners there are physically present at the restaurant and have special affinity with diners and walk them through the basics of Lebanese cuisine introducing them to the traditional way of eating certain foods like the use of bread to eat hummus for instance,. “As the owner and manager, Rabih is always present at the restaurant to oversee business and operations while I take care of the overall design elements and kitchen team in terms of training and practical guidelines,” he noted.
“What distinguishes us from other restaurants in the area is the direct contact with our customers as we constantly try to engage with them and provide them with all the needed info about the Lebanese dishes at hand” Ghareeb added.
The restaurant has been repeatedly praised for its generosity and high quality by the Italian media. “We have many popular dishes like shanklish, kafta, lentil soup and kebbe and the Italian public particularly appreciates the use of pomegranate syrup in our recipes,” he told HOME. “We were invited lately to cook in front of a studio audience of culinary consultants on live TV: I chose to make Fattoush and Kebbe.”
An Inside Look
Food is always presented in ingenious ways at LYR. “From sushi-like Wara’a Enab to round-shaped gourmet hummus, our dishes carry a striking modern twist that is highly appealing to the surrounding artsy Milanese crowd. We also constantly train our multicultural staff,” Ghareeb explained.
Rabih has a vast experience in the field since he previously had a restaurant in a residential area and has spent over 20 years in Milan. On the other hand Ghareeb is an elegant architect, with a passion for cooking and culinary innovation. “We both work together alongside the LYR team to maintain the exceptional quality of the food and keep our customers satiated; it’s a collective effort above all.”
“Our Italian partner happens to be a passionate art collector and we’ve been constantly exhibiting refined artworks from famous American, European and Lebanese artists on the restaurant’s walls” Ghareeb noted.
But it doesn’t stop here. Apart from the lounge bar and the newly inaugurated rooftop, the owners have plans to introduce fully-fledged catering services and take-away, we hope to kick off a series of Lebanese nights where we will add some oriental magic to Milanese nights.” he concluded.
Jo Ghareeb's Recipe
Lebanese Kafta mix + spices (fried in oil )
Add dried mint to cover the Kafta balls
Debs l Remmen ( Melograno )