Fancy an al-fresco lunch in the middle of a vineyard, surrounded by lavender fields with positive vibes and unlimited wine? Head to Massaya without delay.
Massaya is an award-winning Lebanese wine produced in the heart of the Bekaa Valley. The region is home to some of the oldest and most original motifs of ancient wines and winemaking. The name, which is Arabic for the delicate beauty of the Bekaa’s twilight, is as telling as the charming restaurant within the vineyard. Le Relais Massaya is the perfect getaway from citylife. Set amidst lavender trees, vineyards, and weeping willows, you would be hard pressed to find any other venue with as much charm and serenity- minus playful children- as this gem of a restaurant. While they operate year-round, with a winter Italian-inspired menu cooked by a fireplace, the summer Sunday buffet is what draws crowds to this place again and again. During the sunny season, it will be brim with families, couples, business people eager to spend a day communing with nature while enjoying simply-prepared traditional Lebanese dishes topped off with one,two, maybe three glasses of Massaya wine (who’s judging?). Their “Buffet Campagnard” served on a large rustic table in the garden serves a variety of home-made dishes cooked by local villagers and includes forgotten recipes and flavors. Say hello to the Saj lady baking fresh mana’2eesh (traditional Lebanese pies) by the buffet and grab a few –or more- to start off your meal. Don’t worry about arriving too early for lunch as they serve a buffet breakfast as well. The nearby tasting room and boutique offer the opportunity to take a tour of the winery and purchase bottles you have enjoyed. Its location is strategic in terms of planning visits to different parts of Bekaa, including Baalbeck, Anjar, Taanayel farms and convent, which Massaya is happy to help you with.