Bites from the Road

/Bites from the Road

Our favorite bites from the Road

Bareli’s By the Sea, Spring Lake (NJ) in the Grand Victorian

Bareli's By the Sea is a fairly new restaurant with good food and service with ocean views from inside the Grand Victorian on Ocean Avenue in Spring Lake. Don't let the hostess's scowl put you off, the rest of the staff are warm and welcoming. I started with their Sinfully Spicy Margie. I was a bit worried about the muddled strawberries over-powering the drink. They didn't.  The drink had a nice spicy kick. I'd order again ($14)! We ordered from the "specials" menu that is so much more interesting than their regular one.  Enjoyed the refreshing chunks of watermelon and tomatoes sprinkled with goat cheese crumbles and fresh mint ($14).  [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:21:46-04:00August 15th, 2019|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Ocean at Main, Laguna Beach, California

While in Laguna Beach (CA), I sampled Chef Craig Strong’s approachable eclectic Coastal California cuisine at Ocean at Main. The restaurant is located in the early 1940’s building that once housed the city's Federal Savings and Loan. We sat outside on the covered patio, which was perfect for us as when we sat down for drinks, both grandkids had fallen asleep — one in a stroller, the other carried in and laid down on the bench. Always trying the spiciest cocktail on the list, I went for their tasty Lover's Beach Retreat made with jalapeno-infused tequila. Quite nice with a slight heat kick All our apps are worth trying, including [...]

By |2019-07-09T10:58:52-04:00July 14th, 2019|USA, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse Dallas Churrasco Experience

By Bite of the Best regional correspondent, Stephanie Amsel We had no idea what to expect when we went to Fogo de Chão, Brazilian Steakhouse, to experience the Southern Brazilian Churrasco that included steak, lamb, pork and chicken. First, there was a lovely salad bar and immediately across from the salads was a plate piled with glistening, crispy bacon. The salads looked fresh and inviting, but the bacon looked amazing! Since this was our first visit, we needed to learn the house rules. Rule #1: Pace yourself You get a little card that is red on one side and green on the other. Keep the green card showing if you [...]

A Wishbone at Le Soufflé, Paris

After peeking in Le Soufflé's window, seeing this quintessential Parisian place and checking out their incredible lunch deal, we mad a res and returned. We were headed elsewhere. Monday through Friday from noon until 2 pm, Le Soufflé offers a prixe-fixe €29 menu with a choice of starter, main course, dessert and a beverage that include wine. Although they offer meat and fish entrees, the main event here is the eponymous dish resulting from the addition of stiffly beaten egg whites to flavored egg-yolks. Le soufflé. We each had a savory one for the main dish and then a sweet one for dessert plus a green salad. To serve each, [...]

By |2019-06-22T15:40:43-04:00June 16th, 2019|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Paris and West Village Visits to Jody Williams’ Buvette

So enjoying Jody Williams Buvette when I had eaten there that I decided to head to her Paris establishment when I was there recently. That visit in the City of Love made me hunger for another trip to the West Village one. In the 9th arrondissement in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris, we shared a croque forestier, Jody Williams vegetarian alternative to the croque-monsieur sandwich with layers of Gruyere with roasted mushrooms and hearty French bread (12 €), some roasted fresh beets  (9 €) topped with Roquefort crème fraîche and a lightly dressed salad with celery olives and tender chicken (15 €). We also indulged in her heavenly mousse au [...]

In Paris, Don’t Miss Ellsworth

My friend who owns La Cuisine Paris, the fabulous cooking school in the heart of the city, invited us to join her at Ellsworth on rue de Richelieu. She's a fellow Dame, President of the newly formed Paris chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier. This restaurant is the concept of Braden Perkins (and is named for his grandfather) and of Laura Adrian, Americans who also own/run the more upscale Verjus around the corner. The seasonal menu offers prix-fixe at lunch, with a trio of choices at each course (€24 for two courses; €30 with dessert). It's a veggie-heavy menu that also features fried chicken. Odd you may think for a Parisian [...]

By |2019-05-18T08:53:59-04:00May 22nd, 2019|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar, San Clemente, California

We decided to meet at the Fisherman's at the wharf in San Clemente as it was about half-way between where I was staying and my friend's home. We met on a train from Antwerp to the then ferry in  — gulp — 1965; we've been connected ever since. The sun hadn't yet risen high enough to shine on the deck, so we sat near a heater to keep us warm until it rose enough to do the job. We each had a bowl of their creamy clam chowder, chock full of the bivalve mollusks and potato chunks. A soup rich enough to be a meal in itself — especially along [...]

By |2019-04-20T20:53:36-04:00April 6th, 2019|USA Restaurants, USA Travel|0 Comments

Breakfast in America (BIA) Diner in Paris, France

Breakfast in America (BIA) is not your typical place to stop for a meal in Paris. It's famous for the classic American diner breakfast where the server comes by and continues to fill up your mug with drip coffee.  Occasionally x-pats do yearn for a good ole' American diner breakfast like this. I stopped by the original location with my son and granddaughter one day for eggs  (7.95 €) over easy, crispy bacon (+ 1 €), pancakes with real maple syrup (7.95 €) and constantly refilled coffee.  We so enjoyed those eggs that came served with home-fries or tomatoes and toast. While there you can purchase founder Craig Carlson's book [...]

By |2019-04-15T12:27:50-04:00April 2nd, 2019|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

On the Beach in Newport (CA) at the Beachcomber Cafe

What a treat to meet my friend at the Beachcomber Cafe on the beach in Newport for lunch one sunny-California winter day. I sipped a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, $13) while trying to look at the menu. I say trying as I found it hard to take my eyes off the surf. On my friend's recommendation, we both ordered the fish tacos that she claimed were the best thing on the menu. The tender chunks of mahi mahi tacos sat atop shredded lettuce on flour tortillas, topped (2 for $17.95) with pico de gallo, cilantro cream, a dab of guacamole and pickled onions. They came with [...]

The Hereford Arms, South Kensington, London, England

After wandering the shops of London on a rainy day, we went for a late lunch at the Hereford Arms a block from our Hotel, making it convenient to grab our carry bags before heading to Saint Pancras station to board the Eurostar back to Paris. I had no idea which brew to select from the lists. Our server  — who interestingly was from the States on work-study to England — assisted by bringing me four samples to taste: a lager, two IPAs and an ale. I chose the Fullers Bengal Lancer IPA (£ 4.80). My dining partner started us on hot, crisp lightly coated fried onion rings (£4) served with cumin-spiced [...]

By |2018-12-08T16:47:30-04:00January 14th, 2019|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Middle Eastern Meal at The Palomar, Chinatown, London + Company

I had been hearing about the new London production of Company — the Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy about life, love and marriage — from my NYC theatre friends who are producers of the show. Company opened at London's Gielgud Theatre in November to rave reviews. And so, while across the pond during the holidays visiting family, I took the Eurostar to London to see it. What a delight! Marianne Elliott’s new production stars Rosalie Craig in the central role of Bobbie, Patti LuPone, Mel Giedroyc and Jonathan Bailey. Before the show, we stopped in at the Palomar for some small plates, each meant to be shared. Once ordered, the food arrived quite quickly [...]

By |2019-01-07T10:37:13-04:00January 6th, 2019|Theatre, World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Cafe Gourmand at Le Sancerre, De Marais, Paris

After lunch, we walked around going in and out of the shops then headed to Rue des Archives to sit outside under the heat lamp to keep warm while sipping an espresso. Not just for the coffee, but for a special cafe gourmand that's served with treats. The one at Le Sancerre is served with four mini desserts and a chocolate along with the beverage. Ours had a mini muffin, an apple pie, chocolate mousse, a chocolate-covered almond and — my favorite — the crème brûlée (€9). A lovely way to people watch in Paris. Le Sancerre 3rd arrondissement 87 Rue des Archives 75003 Paris, France +33 1 42 72 [...]

By |2018-12-31T07:02:31-04:00December 31st, 2018|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Lunch at Jaja, Le Marais, Paris

While my granddaughter was at Creche, we stopped for lunch at Jaja a restaurant in Le Marais described as "a piece of countryside in the heart of Paris." It's a small bistro offering creative house-made dishes using regional produce and serving ten grand crus by the glass. My favorite of the three dishes we shared were the tender scallops, grilled and served with slices of Granny Smith apple and blood sausage topped with crunchy fried Tuscan black cabbage (€15) chips. Also delicious was the thick slice of roasted cauliflower tandoori style, first marinated in yogurt and spices, topped with sliced pear and served with tahini (€19). Along with those, we [...]

By |2018-12-20T14:46:17-04:00December 25th, 2018|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

A Stop at Jack’s Fish Spot While at Pike Place, Seattle, WA

We took a break between sessions at the Les Dames d'Escoffier International conference to head to Pike Place to grab a quick bite to eat so we could get back in time for the next item on our schedule. After walking through the stalls and being amazed at the fabulous flowers, we crossed the street to stand in line for fried fish and chips. I ordered the cod (3 pieces) and well-done fries ($8.99), one friend ordered similar with super garlicky fries, the other the fish tacos. Mine was done to perfection. The coating just thick enough to not mask the taste of the fresh sweet cod. It was good [...]

By |2018-12-01T07:09:48-04:00November 22nd, 2018|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Brunch in the Rain at the Veranda, The Breakers, Spring Lake, NJ

One rainy day while visiting Spring Lake (NJ) area at the shore, we met a high-school friend for breakfast at The Breakers on the ocean. When sticker shock hit me, I realized that I had gotten used to NYC's ridiculously high prices. I couldn't believe how inexpensive everything was! One friend's tasty scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach, onion & cheese breakfast wrap served with fresh fruit cost a mere $9. Two of us each had 3-egg omelets, having chosen three fillings, with home fries and toast tipped the bank at $10! I enjoyed mine, more scrambled than an omelet but not complaining with chevre, spinach and bacon. That price included $1 [...]

By |2018-09-22T09:16:09-04:00October 9th, 2018|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant, Gardiner, Hudson Valley

I shouldn't have waited so long to write about the delectable meal we had at Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner (NY) when celebrating my birthday in the Hudson Valley with some girlfriends. I'm remiss, as I've forgotten many details. What I do recall is how impressed we were with the quality of what we were served and the friendly service! This family-owned neighborhood restaurant offers authentic German food with some inventive locally inspired vegetable-focused dishes served by waitstaff in traditional garb. I do recall the housemade vegetable flammkuchen (caraway flatbread topped with local baby beets, garlic scapes and goat cheese all drizzled with balsamic, $12) and the smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich with [...]

By |2018-10-10T10:11:40-04:00September 29th, 2018|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT

After wandering around the stores of Litchfield, we started looking for a place to get a bite. With my friend on a very restricted diet, we stopped in a couple of places prior to ending up at West Street Grill owned by James O'Shea, one of the most caring restaurateurs I've met. The allergy restrictions included no dairy, bread, pasta, pickled items, beans, corn, soy sauce, dried fruit and more. James — who has family members with various dietary restrictions — listened attentively before having his chef make an omelet filled with such flavorful ingredients my friend begged for the recipe!  A simple mesclun salad came with her eggs.  The black [...]

Lisbon, Portugal Round-Up of Restaurant Recommendations

Last year when my granddaughter Delilah was born in Lisbon, I spent time eating my way around the city. (You may be one of those following her growth on my daughter-in-law's Instagram @TheBestWorldYet.. if not click here to check it out.) I'm sharing a few recommendations that include all of Jose Avillez restaurants. I wrote up a couple that have links to those post but not all of them, as I was off to Peru before I had the time. If you're a foodie who travels to experience starred Michelin restaurants, do make a res at Jose Avillez's two-star Belcanto. It's listed as one of top 100 restaurants in the [...]

By |2018-06-08T10:36:34-04:00June 13th, 2018|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|2 Comments

Chez Marianne, The Marais, Paris

A foodie friend had suggested a visit to Chez Marianne, located in the Marais district in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, for their Sephardic food. My son and I went one evening and shared the dégustation (tasting for €30) where we got to select 10 elements from their buffet of appetizers, plus warm pita (€ 3) and a half bottle of Château de Pizay Morgan (€ 14.50). The only one of our ten elements neither of us really liked was the pastrami as we're used to NYC style deli. To us, this meat had odd texture and flavor. All the others — falafel, hummus, feta, tahini, eggplant, tzatziki,, kefta, fromage [...]

Café Marly, The Louvre, Paris, France

When in Paris for my granddaughter Delilah's first birthday, I dined at brunch at Café Marly at the Louvre with the other family that was in town. They were heading to the museum after lunch; I headed back to go  ingredient shopping for the cake I planned to bake for the birthday party. Having experienced some of the rudest behavior ever at Chez Denise the night before, we were all thrilled with our amazingly professional, helpful and oh, so friendly server at Café Marly. Four of us had the classic croque-madam, a ham and cheese sandwich topped with a runny fried egg and served with a small mesclun salad (17 [...]

By |2018-04-20T02:31:39-04:00May 1st, 2018|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments