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Canelé

Bordeaux’s signature pastry was borne of necessity, as wineries had an abundance of egg yolks and no use for them. The wineries were not making egg-white omelets, but rather going about their usual wine-making business. An important step in the wine-making process uses egg whites. Toward the end of the wine’s barrel aging process, vintners […]

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Les Deux Garçons, Aix-en-Provence

I had to have a drink at this 18th-century brasserie where Aix’s two most famous sons, Cézanne and Zola, hung out. Other famous visitors included Picasso, Edith Piaf, Churchill, Sartre and Cocteau. This 17th-century building was originally a chess club and a gathering spot for Royalists during the French Revolution. In 1840, it was purchased […]

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Joël Durand, St-Rémy de Provence, France

Locavore meets ganache here, where one of France’s best chocolatiers uses pristine local foods like Baux Valley black olives and almonds and Provençal herbs and plants like lavender, thyme, rosemary and violet in easy-to-identify treats. The tiny shop is filled with local honey, preserves, biscuits and other goodies. This makes a great mid-day break while […]

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Five Oceanos, Porto

We asked the concierge for a good seafood restaurant recommendation and he pointed us toward the beach. We weren’t so keen on taking a 20-minute cab ride, but he assured us that Five Oceanos was his neighborhood spot and we couldn’t go wrong. The restaurant did not disappoint. There’s a huge bin of fresh fish […]

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Café Majestic, Porto

We spotted this café while strolling down busy Santa Catarina and thought it looked like a promising lunch spot. The fanciful marble façade with columns and statues set it off from the rest of the buildings and drew us in. Stepping inside was like visiting the Belle Époque. The interior was full of beveled Flemish […]

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Book, Porto

Of course, I could not resist dining at a restaurant called Book, which specializes in Portuguese and Mediterranean dishes. Some reviews called the cuisine nouveau and others labeled it comfort food. I was not that discerning; to me, it seemed like regional cuisine, mostly seafood. The cozy restaurant occupies a former bookshop. It honors its […]

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Trappistenlokaal ‘t Klooster, Delft

This pub is a great pit-stop on a snowy – or any – afternoon. It’s small and offers an excellent range of local and Belgian beers. It has an attached café, but since we were just looking to have a couple of drinks, we did not try the food. We consulted the bartender for good […]

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Restaurant Van Der Dussen, Delft

I’m always a sucker for intimate restaurants in old houses with open kitchens serving regional cuisine made with local ingredients. So, Van Der Dussen was right up my alley! The 13th-century house is tucked away on a quiet street in the old town. Through its history, the house has been a residence for Beguines, a […]

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Kleijweg’s Stadskoffyhuis, Delft

This cozy, sprawling café is a great stop for lunch. The café is huge and occupies an old terrace house and patio-barge. There are communal tables in the front where locals sprawl out with newspapers and a more intimate dining area upstairs. The local specialty here is the pancakes, which are basically open-face crepes. I […]

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Au Vieux de la Vieille

French friends in Luxembourg recommended this casual, popular regional restaurant to us. It is a specific type of eatery, an esaminet, which is a traditional Flemish restaurant with wooden tables and rafters and antiques galore. We were advised to have the well-known specialty, the Welch, which is a heavy potato, cheese, ham, beer and cream […]

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