Another restaurant by renowned chef Paco Perez ( of the Michelin 3star Miramar) is the lovey L’egg; a relaxed scene at the top of Passeig de Gràcia – just a few blocks from Casa Mila.
The menu as it’s name suggests, the offering is mostly of egg based dishes. Though the restaurant is famous amongst locals for its cocktails. As we did not try them, we can’t weigh in on that part 🙂
The food was quite good, with the Torrija the dish that had us coming back 2-3 times over the course of the week. It was e(gg)cellent!
The tomato and piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country) salad, was quite good.
The Merluza (hake) tacos with miso mayonnaise were particularly good although there were not tacos in the Mexican way, but battered and fried fish chunks.
The fried eggplant wedges with honey,were interesting, but a bit too oily for our tastes.
Hands down L’eggs provided the best croquettes during our entire Barcelona culianry trip. The were truly candy: fluffy inside with a tantalizingly crispy shell.
The Torrija de Santa Teresa, with vanilla coffee ice cream was the best ever, so good it sets the standard for any chef attempting to recreate this classic. In our opinion, worth a Michelin star on its own!
croquetas de yema
cocas cristal con tomate
Torrija de Santa Teresa, with vanilla coffee ice cream
Below the impressive Bosphorus bridge, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, lays the lovely neighborhood of Ortaköy. One can easily see why in the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged Turks to move here. Ortaköy is a sun-drenched stretch of sidewalk made for a day of meandering.
A Sunday brunch is a must at the waterside House Cafe. Enjoy a lovely meal with a perfect view of the blue on blue water of the bosphorus and the eponymously named Ortaköy, or Mecidiye Mosque. A beautiful ornate building in the neo-baroque style, the mosque was designed and built in 1854 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan. This duo was also responsable for the design of the Dolmabahçe palace. The Ortaköy is one of the most popular landmarks in all of sprawling Istanbul.
Arrive by ferry, the stop is just in front of the mosque. Then after bunch and a bit of people watching, take a stroll through the weekend flea market in the waterfront plaza and enjoy a hard candy made on the spot. If you happen to stay, at night, besides the medley of cafes and restaurants, Ortaköy hosts the flashiest super clubs along the embankment.
Striking would be the word for this wild game meets urban dandy brunch Den. The hunting theme decor sets the tone to another trendy spot by Toronto’s night life mogul Charles Khabouth.
Quite obviously, the menu is heavy on the meat side – but there are good options all around. The decor pulled us in for brunch regardless. The limited menu was countered by good service from holster-wearing weight staff.
Our plate of scrambled eggs on puff pastry, filled with ricotta and asparagus was quite scrumptious. While the Benny Trout with its well poached eggs on English muffin sided with hollandaise sauce was a tasty take on the standard.
All-in-all Weslodge’s culinary edge cuts through the heavy handed – yet inspiring – design to hold interest and make it a good-go.
The above photo illustrates the combination of traditional and modern culinary thought by celebrated chef Enrique Olvera. Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America Snr. Olvera set himself back in the culinary mecca of DF. Rather then imitating the New York food scene, Enrique opened Pujol with a daring approach – combing modern culinary techniques with the traditional ancient jewels of Mexican cuisine.
You can taste his success, but if you are looking for rankings, in 2012 Pujol ranked number 36th best restaurant in the world. In 2014 we see a big jump up to number 20. Kudos to well deserved accolades.
Pujol offers two tasting menus: ocean and earth. We ordered both, only adjusting Earth to be vegetarian. Thankfully – and contrary to many cities – this request was not an issue; quite contrary, the chef was pleased to adapt and create special courses for us.
As an overture to our evening we were presented with perfectly round pumpkin emitting a aromatic smoke. Inside, to our delight, were smoked elotes skewers (baby corns) with a dipping coffee mayonnaise and ant dust.
An then the parade of mezcals and memorable delights began, starting with an extensive list of mezcals and the best sangritas we had in all of Mexico!
Service was to the top, no pretension and just lovely service. Again, like Biko and Dulce Patria, the sommeliers and waiters, were educated patient and knowledgeable; giving detailed descriptions and answers to our endless list of questions.
From left to right:
Salsa Roja: roasted garlic, onion, manzano and habanero chiles
Salsa Yucateca: pumpkin seeds, chamomile, lime and cilantro
Salsa Verde: habanero chiles, cilantro with its roots y and tomatillo
Chicharron de Queso is a cheese tuile topped with three different avocado puree; one with chapulines (grasshoppers); the second one with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) and the third avocado pure topped with tomatillo, cilntro and a bit of green chile.
Inflaita de huevo is an inflated fried tortilla filled with potato mousse, a little bit of black bean puree, red chile sauce with chapulines (grasshoppers) and wild cilantro topped with a perfectly cooked egg. Yes it is a sous vide cooked egg – perfect texture all around.
Heirloom tomato salad with breaded Oaxaca cheese balls resting over avocado puree, fried tomato skin, bean leafs, sesame and chili vinaigrette. On this dish the fried tomato skin was a revelation on color, texture and flavor
One grilled octopus tentacle tempura’d on one end and topped with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) on the other. Adorned with olive sauce and basil reduction.
This dish has a striking presentation and is cooked point to perfection. This is one of the menu items were you can clearly appreciate the quality and freshness of the ingredients and see where the top ranking is deserved.
Fish (robalo) ceviche taco; the tortilla was made with chayote and hoja santa topped with black bean puree, serrano chile, totomoxtle (the dried husk of an ear of corn) powder and dry chiles with lime juice.
Pan seared Guachinango (red snapper) with ginger orange mojo (garlic sauce) and tatemado (tatemar is a special charring technique in Mexican culinary that utilizes a cast iron pan) male plantain and onion puree
Thinly blown sugar sphere filled with piloncillo (unrefined sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cooking), ice cream and guava puree. It is topped with tiny lime meringues, peanut powder, amaranth crumble and mandarin gelatin.
We don’t know what was more impressive, the texture or the flavours – not to mention the super skilled pastry kitchen, blowing sugar so thin and perfect requires years of practice and patience.
At the very end of our meal we had the Chipilín Sorbet. Chipilin in an herb similar to the verdolaga and it grows in southern Mexico places like Chiapas and Oaxaca. It was flambe’d in mescal in a colorful last performance.
(above photo The very skilled team that makes it happen)
On the Caribbean coast of Colombia, 10 km north of the world famous Parque Tayrona, is Playa Koralia ~ a very pretty and secluded hotel.
Playa Koralia offers the wide empty beaches that one dreams about over the long days looking out the window at an asphalted cityscape. One can literaly walk to the water and look left and right up and down the beach and not see another sign of habitation. Combine this with elegant bungalows, outdoor dining and beach-side bar and one has found the ultimate getaway.
I would recommend a longer stay – it is after 2-3 days when the peace of Koralia really begins to take hold. You suddenly find what life is/was without deadlines, appointments, schedules and people telling you what to do. You want to wake at 5, grab a lunch and go bird-watching? Koralia is there for you. You want to dance till the wee-hours, sleep late and wake up to a lush breakfast? Koralia provides. Lay on the beach reading, scour the mountains trekking, climb to high lagoons or surf – You can truly, finally do what you want to do without asking permission – be free and visit Playa Koralia – Colombia’s sundrenched gem!