Best coffee in Rome (secondo me)

I think there is something special about that water in Rome that makes coffee different there. And there must something very special about the coffee at St Eustachio. Is it the way it is roasted on premise (rare) or the turn of the hand of the barista?  I admit the competition is steep, as there…

Exotic risotto with Meursault Clos de La Barre 1996

  At the end of the cooking of the risotto, I added coconut milk and crushed coriander seeds. Then I mixed in some Alaskan King Crab and sautéed mushrooms (cèps, trompettes de la mort). On top I ground some more coriander seeds. The Citronella and coriander gave exotic and unique citric aromas without the acidity….

Last rays of summer sun at Sonia and Carlos

  I like this place for its simple, homey food and atmosphere.  Although Giles Chiraiaux (owner and chef) has a printed menu, the black board has the daily suggestions and is the way to go. Starters are very traditional, with home made head cheese, rillettes, cruditées etc… I got the MCB which is Mache, celerie…

Dutournier’s Carré des Feuillants luncheon menu: a 2-star steal

    His pistachio and trout roe amuse bouches were superb. The bitter-sweet aspects of both ingredients married perfectly. The prawn, melon and curry combo was interesting. The prawn was just slightly over cooked, but the sweet melon and the bitter curry fantastically enhanced the prawn. The oyster with sea-weed was very zen and true…

Bissoh in Beaune

Baby Zucchini and zucchini flowers @ Bissoh  OK. I realize that eating Japanese in Burgundy is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, getting good Japanese food in France that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is pretty tough. (And those few establishments require reservations long in advance.) And, besides, I like…

Random find: L’Entêtée, a pleasant surprise

I fell upon this restaurant on a side street off of the pedestrian rue Daguerre, an area of Paris that I know very little while running an errand in that part of the 14th. What caught my eye was the Chablis they had by the glass: the 2006 Moreau Naudet (…I know, I have selective…

Margaux Marquis de Terme 2004 Les Gondats (4eme Grand Cru Classée)

Even though the 2004 vintage in Bordeaux was not well reviewed, I have always enjoyed it. A ‘normal vintage’ in between two drought vintages (2003 and 2005-although no one talks about it) most of the 2004s I have tasted have shown a lot of freshness, precision and harmony with very decent concentration. And because it…

Snap shot from the Loire

  Last weekend, I helped throw a party for some friends in the Loire valley. We had a lot of fun loading up the old 2CV with lots of veggies and other food and getting ready for the party!  

Douro Valley tasting: Senhora Do Convento

About a 30-minute ride from the town of Pinhao on very windy roads, this exquisite 45-hectare estate was recently purchased by Patrick Landanger (owner of Domaine de La Pousse d’Or in Burgundy.) He has built a spectacular state of the art new winery that he will use for the first time with the 2008 harvest….

Recipes for Port: Salad on a spoon: Sardines, melon and cherries

    Sounds wild, I know. But it works like a charm. The sardines are a tribute to Portuguese tradition. (And they do grow a lot of cherries in Portugal, I don’t know about melons…) Fresh sardine fillets cut into 1inch/1 inch squares pan fried with ample amounts of salt and pepper. They should be…

Spoon Recipes to accompany Port: Why

What inspired us to create these recipes? 1.     We found that even the Portuguese do not actually ‘drink’ a lot of Port. They sometimes have it as an aperitif, but even that is rare. 2.     Port is rich, both in alcohol and tannins, making it hard go through a full meal with only Port.  That…

Douro Valley Tastings: Quinta do Infantado

  Upper valley After a bumpy ride down to this discretely located Quinta, we were received by Oenologist Fatima Riba and owner/winemaker Joao Roseira at Quinta do Infantado. The cellar was built in 1816, and is stillin-tact. Despite the relatively large size (46ha), this Quinta is still family run. Getting that human dimension was comforting…