Bosco Café, Red Square 3, and its more casual sibling, boast the only terraces on Red Square. They are located in the elegant Gum “High Fashion Center” (the word “mall” just doesn’t work here). The cuisine is mainly Italian with a few traditional Russian specialties, like borsht, thrown in the mix. An arugula salad is dress-it-yourself style, presented with a bottle of a high quality olive oil and one of balsamic vinegar. It hits the spot. Lasagne Bolognese is beautifully layered and tastes just like a grandmother in Emilia Romagna is at the helm in the kitchen. The tomato sauce fairs equally well, but this time
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Save up some Rubles for your Russian visit. My basic thought on the price/ value scale in Russia is (unless you’re a local) you get what you pay for. In other words, a 20% increase in cost may reward you with a meal that is a 100% increase in quality and flavor.
It’s best if you try to forget your love of the grape while in Russia as wines are prohibitively expensive. They also prove to be a mixed bag quality-wise. The wines are imported from other countries, although on several occasions I drank a quite quite nice Russian sparkling wine (it’s a relative bargain too).
Friday, September 25, 2009
The view alone is enough to make Celeste Restaurant a “must-do”. It’s located in the Frank Gehry designed “Dancing House” or “Fred and Ginger” on the river at the intersection of Resslova.
I’m happy to report that the food is another reason to put this resto on the list.
Agnoletti stuffed with rabbit meat and liver are served in a mustard sauce with fava beans and the rabbit kidney. The organ meats are mild, and the the dish overall is extremely well-executed. Good to the last bite! Goat chops (which look like baby lamb chops) are
Berlin is a vast sprawling city, but it’s easy to navigate with a good map and a metro day pass. The day pass is an economical €6, makes for easy hop on/hop off freedom and is available from the concierge at most hotels. Interestingly, many of the restaurants recommended in this blog are located in the former East Berlin, which seems to have risen from its oppressed state and blossomed into a vibrant, prosperous and tony area.
One of my favorite restaurants experiences in Germany is Weinstein Weinschenke, Lychener Strasse 33. It is a small wine-oriented restaurant with a helpful and knowledgeable proprietor. The wine list is a compilation of small producers from the local area. Wines are poured by the taste and by the glass which provides ample opportunity to experience the gamut, even a hearty red as the wine list jokes,
Alte Meister in the Theaterplatz serves up a generous portion of rabbit and gnocchi. Although the flavors of roasted peppers and olives typically co-exist pleasantly, here they seem to compete.
The peppers overwhelm everything, especially the mild rabbit. Luckily, it’s possible to snag some bites that don’t come in contact with the peppers. The rabbit on its own is juicy and enjoyable and the atmosphere attached to the Zwinger Palace overlooking Theaterplatz is pleasant.
Dallmayr (Dienerstraße 14) Just off the plane and I know just where I am headed, to the old town for lunch at the beautiful Gastronomia Dallmayr. The downstairs shop tempts with all kinds of delicacies: both prepared foods and raw (even lobsters living in a bubbling fountain), cheeses, exquisite desserts and an interesting wine selection.
The upstairs café has a pleasant mix of locals camped out drinking coffee and reading newspapers and tourists in for a sight-seeing respite and some gourmet sustenance. I immediately eye the tagliatelle on my neighbor’s plate and decide it’s a must.
The sauce is lobster cream with a hint of roasted tomato and the abundant shrimp are roasted to concentrate their flavor and marry well with a glass of Grüner Veltliner. The sauce is perfectly seasoned and finished with just a kiss of dill- great for dipping the
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
My first stop is Barcelona on the Northeastern coast. It’s a great city filled with interesting architecture by Gaudí. After the nine hour flight a nap does sound pretty good but I wouldn’t want to sleep through a meal, so I’m off to the Boqueria Market, just off Las Ramblas.
The Boqueria is a feast for the senses- lots of fresh fish, tons of foie gras.
Mallorca looks sort of like Capri in this photo and though, Mallorca does have waters every bit as blue, Capri it is not. No designer shops at each turn here, Mallorca is wild, rugged and spread out.
After flying into the main town of Palma, I landed in the interior town of Inca for lunch. Celler Can Amer is, as the name suggests, a former wine cellar. It’s half underground which keeps it nice and cool - a much needed respite from the hot Mallorcian sun.
Located 30 minutes outside of Bilbao in Axpe, ETXEBARRI, was probably the best meal of the trip.
It isn’t exactly the rustic grill place where the guy makes his own charcoal that I had expected, although it IS an asador and he DOES make his own special type of fuel from various wood species, shown below. The dining room is elegant (in a comfortable way) modern and clean. The food is equally pristine. The light touch of chef/owner Bittor Arguinzoniz’s grilling only cajoles more natural flavors from his quality ingredients.
San Sebastián is truly a foodie’s paradise. There are more Michelin starred restaurants here than any other city in Europe (except Paris). The quality of food reaches far beyond the doors of the Michelin Stars though. At every price point quality abounds. You can head to the tapas bars for both quality products and star-worth creativity.
ARZAK is arguably one of the most famous restaurants in San Sebastián. Juan Mari Arzak is really one of the fathers of modern Spanish cuisine and even served as an early mentor for Ferran Adriá. Arzak can still be seen in the kitchen and making the rounds of the dining room even though his daughter, Elena, is now taking the lead role in the kitchen.
La Rioja is no more than 2 hours from San Sebastian by car. It is a nice change of pace and I am ready to learn more about what Spain has to offer wine-wise. Like in most wine-centric European countries, the Spanish waiters, bartenders and even the average joe is passionate about and knows a great deal about his country’s wine. It is a great way to discover a smaller producer who doesn’t have enough inventory to ship to the USA.
The first stop is just outside of Laguardia in a town called Paganos to eat at HECTOR ORIBE. Apparently, wine-makers frequent the restaurant.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Spain’s capital, Madrid, is majestic and beautiful. At every turn there is a grand via or beautiful fountain. Don’t miss the Prado Museum and since this is a food-oriented blog, I am happy to report if you find yourself there during lunch that the cafeteria provides a much missed favorite, baby arugula salad (topped with some of their famous canned tuna, of course).
Dinner is another matter, I am headed for Cava Baja, a few blocks south of the Plaza Mayor, the area known for its tapas bars.