Open Hours: 13:30 – 15:30 Lunch – Tuesday to Sunday 20:30 – 22:30 Diner – Tuesday to Saturday
In the Costa Brava municipality of Llançà, a about an hour away from Barcelona and very close to the french frontier, on the promenade across from the marina, is Paco Perez’s two Michelin star restaurant -Miramar.
Instant happiness, when the brought out the amuse bouche: A collection of fragile, crunchy delights. Followed by breads so flaky and decadent, it was difficult not to over indulge.
Elegance emanates from the dining room overlooking the sea. In contrast to the stark whites and the long ocean; the plating is strongly influenced by the Catalan surrealistic artist artists from Joan Miró to Luis Buñuel and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.
At the time of out visit, the restaurant was celebrating its 75th anniversary with an extension to the menu. The were bringing back a selection of old favorites like the Millenial egg, black trumpet parmentier (mashed baked potatoe) angulas (glass eels). Our favorite was from rebirth from the turn of the millennium, the oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam. The other stand out was tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus. One must note to stand out at Miramar, is quite an achievement!
The dining experience is everything one would expect from a 2 star seaside institution; the service was kind, attentive and patient – the only thing we would have asked was for a bag of bread to go (it was sooooo good!)
anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals
tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus
oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam
Pulpitos (baby octopus) a la Gallega with Calçots and tender fava beans
Crème Brûlée with spherificated fruits and flowers
sugar covered ice creams
a deconstructed version of apple “tarte Tatin” with ice cream
(90) 212 258-6290 Başka Şubemiz Yoktur Istanbul, Turkey
OPEN HOURS: 12:00pm 7:00 pm – daily
After visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, we walked around the corner to a very touristic arcade bereft of the food options we’d come to expect as our due in Istanbul! The market was a small passage full of shops selling higher quality handcrafts (for the most part), at very high prices with only a few places worth. We were going to write off the whole market when ….
Towards the end of the passage we came upon a group of men eating some exceptionally yummy looking food, and us being quite hungry at the time, started staring and wondering where did they get their delectable dishes! Not a minute passed when the men, with true Turkish hospitality, asked if we wanted to try it! Of course we did 🙂 After a single scrumptious sample, we got the convoluted directions and after a short walk (and couple of wrong turns) we ended in a closed alley with a few local cafeterias, of which our destination – Karadeniz – was one. Oh how lucky we can sometimes be 🙂
We ordered the kiremitte kebap, a lovely stew of tomatoes, herbs an eggplant; – that dish what we had sampled from the men in the arcade. The Çoban Chopped Salad and a Pide Turkish pizza.
If you are in the area, and wish to eat like locals, then a side bar at Karadeniz is a must.
Located in Hotel Casa Sana Agustin, a beautiful colonial house turned hotel, on one of the prettiest street corners in the old city; Alma’s speaks to the true colonial past of this wonderful city.
The menu shares many favorite Peruvian classics, with a mild influence of Colombian & Asian cuisines. Peruvian cuisine is quite in vogue throughout Colombia, thankfully.
The restaurant is open pretty much all the time, features courtyard dining and a lovely bar that opens during the evenings. Add in excellent service, cool AirCon and good wifi speed, and Alma quickly becomes the place to hide during the heat of the day. A great place to have a good coffee, bite of lunch and get some work done while visiting Cartagena.
Aji Miso marinated Chilean sea bass, grilled sweet chili shrimp, seaweed, and coconut miso sauce
Salmon tiradito with pink peppercorns, scallions, sea salt and Spanish olive oil
Asian tuna tar-tar tossed with ginger, onions and soy sauce served with avocado mash, papaya mole and yucca chips
Located in Kadiköy, on the Asian side of the Bospherous, Çiya is not an obvious place, but is quite renowned. We had the luck of chatting with Yonca Erol manager of the Sekerci (Confectioner) Cafer Erol and after exchanging passionate stories of food, she literally held our hand and walked us up the hill, via narrow streets, all the way to Ciya. There, she introduced as vegetarians to Zeynep Çaliskan (part owner and wife of Musa Dağdeviren) and ordered for us. The exquisiteness and the flavours and freshness of every ingredient were astounding throughout our entire meal.
Opening in 1987, the excllelence quickly expanded. There are now 3 of thier restaurants on the same road – Ciya Sofrasi,Ciya Kebap & Ciya Kebab II (where you can get about 40 different kabob flavours!)
Chef/ proprietor Musa Dağdeviren has amazing knowledge in the various traditions of Anatolian, Ottoman, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Turkish, Seldjukian, Armenian, Ottoman, Syrian, and Jewish foods. He has lectured at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California and written articles in about by every major food publication – worldwide.
Fortunately for many of us chef Musa and his lovely wife Zeynep Çaliskan have decided to share with the world the results of his extensive research in the culinary traditions of this vast region. This is distilled into a seasonal publication called Yemek ve Kültür (Food and Culture) The Magazine is beautifully designed with traditional folkloric illustrations
Highlights for us included:
Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
Cheese and spiced apricot phyllo ‘cigars’
Stuffed dried eggplant
Carrot and pistachio fritters with chili yoghurt sauce
Oregano Thyme tea – as a digestif;
“lahmacuns” – a kind of thin-crust pizza baked with mince, onions and tomatoes
Buda (wheat meze), Sikma Kofte (bulgur onion and yogurt dip)
Sikma Kofte (bulgur onion and yogurt dip), Seaweed, Mahammara (red peppers and walnuts dip), Moa Mara (curry pasta), Risvat otu yogurt bulgur soup
OPEN HOURS: 7:00am -7:00pm Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am -5:00pm Sunday
As of 2013, Maison Grazia is the best pastry shop in all Colombia. French pastry chef Raphael Haasz, formerly of Daniel in NYC ,and his lovely Colombian wife Claudia Oyuelo (head chef – trained at the French Culinary Institute also in NY and also worked at Daniel) bring to Colombia a taste of elegant food. In a City where most restaurants are just a mediocre discolored copy of European and American favorites, this is sorely needed!
Beyond the beautiful fact that they bring excellent quality, attention to detail, top ingredients, they bring knowledge and education to the local palates via their short classes. For example, Grazia is probably the only place in Colombia that you can find real ice-cream. Prepared in the classic way, with actual diary, eggs, cream, flavor and NO corn syrup! absolute joy for every foodie and expat in the country 🙂
There are also madeleines served out of the oven (the traditional french way). Serving Breakfast, Brunch, lunch, coffee, tea time and early drinks – anytime is the perfect time to go.
The viennoiseries and breads, always better just out of the Oven, were a part of our daily schedule during our last months in Bogota. We used to buy them a day ahead and know the baking schedule, arriving just as they were ready to pull apart in a crusty joy. Maison Grazia is right on the courner of carrera quinta and calle 69. A lovely space that combines inside and outside with a slick black facade. A five meter tall vertical garden that serves as a backdrop to the glass island pastry counter tricks out the design and furniture concept by Oda Asociados Ltda.
Thank you Chefs – you have finally brought true culinary artistry to Colombia!