Bites from the Road

/Bites from the Road

Our favorite bites from the Road

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+00:00June 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+00:00May 1st, 2018|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Fairfax Coffee Shop, Berkeley Springs, WV

While in Berkeley Springs (WV) to judge an international water competition, I stopped into the local Fairfax Coffee Shop for breakfast. I was glad I did. I sampled the Joey Special for breakfast, a housemade biscuit topped with a farm-fresh egg, melted sharp Cheddar cheese and tomato 🍅 (my special request) in lieu of their pickle chips. My breakfast buddy indulged in one of the good morning muffins ($3). Both were fabulous to the last crumb. We happened to meet and chat with proprietress Trey Johanson, who re-opened this coffee shop as a town hospitable gathering place, while she and her husband hold down other jobs. Fairfax Coffee Shop is worth the side trip. [...]

Chez Denise, The Marais, Paris, France

Chez Denise in the Marais area of Paris gives new meaning to the stereotypical French attitude. Don't even think about going there unless you want a big serving of attitude. This restaurant was recommended by a friend who frequents Paris and it was nearby where we were. I had thought it would have been a good recommendation. Not. First we were lambasted about our coats, then about asking to share. No matter what we asked, the waiter scuffed. We thought it was the waiter who was being rude, but then the owner came by and his attitude was even worse. Let me back up. Five of us wanted to be together [...]

By |2018-03-29T12:21:32+00:00April 17th, 2018|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

When I decide to accept the invitation to judge the Berkeley Springs (WV) International Water Tasting, the friend who invited me mentioned that we'd be dining together that weekend at Lot 12 Public House. It's chef Damian Heath had been selected as a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards for the southeast region many times. I looked forward to experiencing his cooking. Lot 12 Public House is in a beautifully restored 1913 house, where dining on the Victorian porch is an option, weather permitting. We dined inside in the homey atmosphere one rainy evening and noticed the artwork of Damian's folks lining the walls. Our group of eleven was too [...]

Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Newburgh, Hudson Valley

When visiting a friend near the Hudson Valley, we chose BBQ for lunch and headed to Billy Joe's Ribworks in Newburgh. We started with their hearty portion of nachos. The enthusiastic manager shared that the cheese they use drizzled over the nachos is a blend of many types. That dish ($13.99) had a pile of tortillas topped with smoky beans, shredded lettuce, onions, jalapeño peppers, pulled pork, sour cream and the cheese blend. Silly us, not realizing how huge the starter was we ordered Backyard BBQ ($16.99) better known as The Legend -- a burger topped with smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked andouille, Cheddar cheese, coleslaw and crisp onion rings [...]

By |2018-01-14T11:39:11+00:00February 3rd, 2018|USA, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Les Chouettes, Paris, France

Earlier this year when I was in Paris, I stopped at Les Chouettes in the Marais area as it was recommended by a friend.  The restaurant is quite bright as the main dining area is under a high glass ceiling. The friendly wait staff is quite helpful and did speak more English than I spoke French. I ordered the reasonably priced menu (24 €) and a glass of rosè (7 €). The waiter places a basket of irresistible fresh bread — the kind with the chewy crust with a slightly sour chewy inside. Although I did my best to resist, I had a couple slices. My waiter placed a bowl [...]

By |2018-01-20T10:21:26+00:00December 2nd, 2017|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

Marius a la Plage, at the beach of Gigaro, La Croix Valmer, France

In a small corner of paradise at the beach of Gigaro in La Croix Valmer, we stopped in at Marius a la Plage for lunch earlier this fall. I hadn't yet had the classic fish soup with a side of garlic rouille on this trip to France, and so I ordered that (14 €) plus an octopus salad (15€) that came with fingerling potatoes. The thin fish soup was too fishy for me, while the octopus salad was perfectly cooked resulting in tender chunks of my favorite cephalopod served with arugula, shredded carrots atop potato slices. My friend's Thai Filet de loup (fillet of seabass) came over long shreds of [...]

By |2017-11-10T10:37:59+00:00December 1st, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Powder, Waldorf Astoria, Park City Utah: A Children’s Tasting Menu

We stopped into Powder, the restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City (UT), for dinner on my last night visiting. Our meal started with an amuse bouche of a tartlet filled with goat cheese and herbed brie for the adults, and ants on a log (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with Craisins) for my 2-year-old grandson who was dining with us. Two of us ordered the tasting menu. Me ($40/person) and my grandson, as Powder has an amazing children's tasting menu ($21) with a choice for the main course choice of fried chicken or Tasmanian salmon.   For the table, we shared the wood-grilled cauliflower accompanied by [...]

By |2017-11-23T13:36:39+00:00November 27th, 2017|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Grizzli Cafe, Paris, France

My kids moved into The Marais area in Paris a couple days before I arrived, so they were not yet familiar with the restaurants nearby.  We chose one with spacious outdoor seating so that we had room for my granddaughters stroller. As always, we selected a few dishes to share and told our waiter to bring them in no particular order whenever ready. The free-form ravioli had some prawns between two large square pasta pieces with a bland tomato sauce (9€). The three chicken spring rolls were a bit better with a sweet-spicy Thai dipping sauce (8€). Although the gnocchi looked good, they were chewy and tough even with the [...]

By |2017-11-06T09:22:51+00:00November 25th, 2017|World, World Restaurants|0 Comments

L’Eden Plage, at the beach at Ramatuelle, France

On our first drive to the beaches in the St. Tropez (France) area we ended up L'Eden Plage, at the beach at Ramatuelle. My friend ordered the scallops Saint Jacques (36 €); the flavor was fine but the scallops were neither seared well or cooked through, resulting in a lackluster dish. My selections were much better, including a fresh green salad (6 €) lightly dressed garnished with cheese pieces and a creamy risotto (31€) with lots of truffles in and around the rim. We washing that down with a glass of vin au verre rosè (8 €).     L'Eden Plage Boulevard Des Tamaris 83350 Ramatuelle France 412 047 094 [...]

By |2017-11-19T09:01:22+00:00November 21st, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Best World Yet: MOROCCAN FOODIE GUIDE

A unique mixture of sweet and savory made everything we ate in Morocco delightful. Most dishes are spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cumin, paprika and saffron. The combination was one I had not tried anywhere else, and it made my pallet rejoice! Our Moroccan Foodie Guide shares all of our favorite Moroccan treats!  Andrea Josefina Leblang click here to read the complete guide.

By |2017-11-06T09:04:13+00:00October 14th, 2017|World, World Restaurants, World Travel|1 Comment

Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.

After spending a fun, informative morning at the Newseum, I headed to José Andrés Zaytinya Mediterranean small plates restaurant to meet a friend for lunch. That interactive museum promotes free expression and our five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — given us by our First Amendment. Each morning, the museum posts that day's front pages from our 50 states and from around the world. I stopped by to see that each day I was there. We each ordered the lunch special — a choice from one of three section ($25), which was a bit too much food. To start, we shared the puree of chickpeas and tahini ("hommus') and [...]

By |2017-10-23T15:54:05+00:00August 6th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Taqueria del Barrio, Petworth, Washington, DC

Taqueria del Barrio, a modern Mexican eatery, opened the Petworth area of DC in late March after a successful run as both a DC food truck and stall at Union Market. On a recent trip to the city, I was invited to sample its Latin American fare. The menu offers flavors from Mexico and chef-owner Anna Bran-Leis’s native Guatemala. I wished I had I tripped over Tom Sietsema's lackluster review of all the food other than the empanadas before dining, as oddly neither the publicist who set up my tasting nor our server suggested the filled pastry turnovers he was enthused about. What I'd rave about is Taqueria del Barrio's [...]

By |2017-08-31T13:48:53+00:00August 1st, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Páteo at Bairro do Avillez, Chiado, Lisbon

While visiting in Lisbon, I was delightfully invited as their guest to Jose Avillez more casual patio part (The Páteo) of Bairro do Avillez in Chiado where fish and seafood are said to be king. Their bread service (~$4 per person), not to be missed, of crisp olive bread, corn bread and the chewy-crusted Alentejo region bread comes with marinated Galician olives plus both Azorean and smoked butter. With that, we ordered a selection of three cheese that they picked for us (~$11.25), one cow, one goat and the other sheep. Do not miss the giant coal-grilled tiger prawn with a Bairro's special pepper-spiced butter sauce ($17.50). I also liked [...]

Pinóquito Restaurant, Lisbon, Portugal

On my recent visit to Lisbon, my son Bryan wanted me to try the beef "picapau" at Pinóquito in the heart of Praça dos Restauradores. We stopped in one night at this bustling restaurant where seafood is purportedly king. The beef is better! We were able to get our drinks, some olives and bread service fairly quickly. But other than that be prepared to wait as service is quite slow. The bife de lombo "picapau" ($24.60) was amazing — so flavorful and tender I could almost cut it with a fork. The garlic shrimp (~$17) was fine,  but couldn't rival the garlicky prawns I served atop homemade risotto the night before. [...]

By |2017-09-02T14:34:40+00:00July 25th, 2017|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

Sixth Engine, Mount Vernon Triangle, Washington, DC

The American bistro Sixth Engine occupies the space of the Engine Co. No. 6, which I was told is the oldest firehouse in the District. The owners kept much of the feel of the original firehouse with brick walls, high ceiling and a bank of windows. Before heading to sample their brunch (served weekends from 11 am til 3 pm), I learned from the publicist that Sixth Engine was nominated in the Best Causal Brunch category for the RAMMY Awards Gala. That's a DC group celebrating restaurant excellence in Metropolitan Washington. We began with their bottomless ($15 for up to 2 hours) Bloody Mary's made with Sixth Engine's own spicy [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:18:57+00:00July 13th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Roofers Union, Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

Roofers Union in the heart of DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood offers classic American fare with great friendly service. I stopped into their main dining room (up one level from the street) during a visit to DC, as their guest. Conversation is easy at this spacious, comfortable place with high ceilings and one wall of glass windows. We started by selecting the beers for our flight of four ($12). We each tried four different ones from their extensive menus of beers on tap. My favorites were from the "malty to dark to brooding" section of the ever-changing beer menu — the rich barrel-aged (in bourbon casks) barleywine "st. seditious" first and [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:18:57+00:00July 5th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments