Bites from the Road

/Bites from the Road

Our favorite bites from the Road

Other Stops in Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Thought in addition to telling you about the amazing chef-driven meals that I experiences that I'd share about quick meals in Miraflores. That includes breakfast at La Paz Cafe and a sandwich at La Lucha. Our flight from NYC arrived at 6 am,  so we dropped our bags at our hotel and went off to discover Lima. When asked, a hotel staff member suggested breakfast at La Paz Cafe, a small cafe only minutes from the hotel where we could dine outside — a must for East Coasters getting away from the winter chill. I tried the local mashed Andean corn stuffed with pork served with some fresh greens and shredded [...]

Central, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Standing outside Santa Isabel 376 in Miraflores, we met a young man in his 20s who had just flown in from Taiwan to also experience the food of Virgilio Martinez Véliz. I had read and heard about Central as it is on many best restaurant lists. He had too. Few meals I've had rival this one. Backing up. When we made our reservation four months in advance, we had to select our menu — regular or vegetarian? full 17-course tasting menu or abbreviated 11-course one?  Since our dinner was the day we arrived in Lima, we opted for the abbreviated version of the "Mater Ecosystems" (~$115), the inspiration for the menu [...]

LIMO Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar, Cusco, Peru

One free evening in Cusco, a group of us headed up to the main square where Limo, also part of the Cusco restaurant group, is located. While perusing the menu, our server placed a sampling of three sauces for dipping the french fries they offered as a starter gratis. One sauce was chili peppers with tomato sauce, another pepper with ricotta and mint, the third garlic mayo. All so yummy, I was addicted! My first taste of alpaca (~$20) was Limo's tenderloin, served medium rare with an elderberry sauce, accompanied by cheesy quinoa "risotto." The meat is tender, a bit chewy but not gamey at all. I'd order it again, if [...]

A stop at Chicha in Cusco, Peru while on OAT Trip

I'm just back from my second trip to Peru, with visits to Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and more... My first trip in the 70s was not on a tour; this time I joined one as a friend really wanted to go. I realized Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) trips are not for me; the food served on the two trips I've taken has been mediocre when best. I experienced the only inedible Italian food on my first OAT trip Sicily; the Peruvian food was even worse. What I like the most about the OAT trips are the people who take them — interesting, friendly and fun travelers. With food paramount, the [...]

Inka Grill, Cusco, Peru

While in Cusco, we visited Inka Grill, part of the Cusco restaurant group, for a light bite. The meal wasn't the best place I ate in Cusco but was mighty good compared to what we'd been served at Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) chosen restaurants — the tour I was on. Inka Grill, which is ideally located center of town at the Plaza de Arma, offered free Wifi and had an international menu. The friend I was traveling with was in a burger mood, so we ordered that along with some fries (~$10.75). We shared that and the perfectly cooked langostinos in a white and black quinoa wrapper accompanied by a spicy passion [...]

La Mar, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Before heading to Peru this winter, I — like a typical food professional — researched restaurants where I wanted to dine. Word had it that the country has some of the best in the world. The Latin American's 50 Best Restaurants for 2016 lists Andrés Rodríguez's La Mar as the 12th best, featuring ceviche along with fresh, sustainable Peruvian fare. I went there to lunch one day, going a bit late to try to avoid the crowds since it's a "no res" place. Wrong. There were lines out the door, yet the friendly hostess explained for two, we'd only have a 30 minute wait. With drinks offered while we anticipated [...]

Olamaie, Downtown, Austin, TX

When heading to Austin recently, I emailed my friend Cathy Cochran-Lewis asking for suggestions of where to eat. One of her suggestions was Olamaie, near the UT campus. "Really amazing food with Southern flair. This is where we hosted an Emeril dinner last fall and he loved the restaurant. The two chefs have been named Top 10 Best New Chefs and the restaurant also has made the James Beard list. People kill for their biscuits." How could I resist? I knew we were in for a treat as I looked over the menu and discussed it with our server. While trying to decide what to order, we sipped on a [...]

By |2017-09-01T17:13:23-04:00February 17th, 2017|USA Restaurants|1 Comment

Kisco River Eatery, Mount Kisco, NY

I'm a mom first. So when my friend asked me to come try her son's latest restaurant, I headed north to Mount Kisco to dine at Bobby Epstein’s newest restaurant, Kisco River Eatery. I was so glad I did. (Bobby is also the owner of Muscoot Tavern in Katonah.) I began with an icy cosmo ($10), served up in a martini glass along with their fabulous appetizers. I'm a big fan of apps, often preferring to have only those and skip the entree as the starters are so much more creative. Kisco River's didn't disappoint. They included a white truffle flatbread topped with spinach, provolone and ricotta ($9); a stack [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:18:59-04:00February 2nd, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Burgers & Bourbon, Park City, UT

After a stop at Park City's new Escape Room, we were in the mood for a burger and fries, so we headed up the mountain to Montage Deer Valley resort's newest restaurant, Burgers & Bourbon. We were quite hungry after working together to figure out how to get out of the ingenious room where we were locked in! Think Indiana Jones meets the games on Survivor and you'll begin to understand this fun way to spend time with friends in Park City. Once we got to Montage, I couldn't resist a bourbon cocktail. The double barreled cocktail ($17) hit the spot with its blend of High West Double Rye, High [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:18:59-04:00January 29th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Amsterdam Foodie Guide

The Dutch aren’t exactly known for their cuisine. I’ve heard many tourists complain, and have read many articles expressing displeasure in the Amsterdam food scene. Most of these travelers came for a few weeks, stumbled into random cafés, tried a few extreme examples of local foods and left in utter disappointment. When compared to countries like Italy or France, where every café serves phenomenal food ensuring, without a doubt, that you can pick a restaurant at random and avoid disappointment… sure, the Netherlands doesn’t really compare. But there is quality food in Amsterdam! The difference is, you have to know where to go and what to eat. It’s imperative to [...]

Guero’s Taco Bar, Austin, Texas

We had a very early reservation at Emmer & Rye — which I later learned was mentioned in Kate Krader's "The 19 Very Best Dishes of 2016" — but had just arrived at South Congress Street in Austin. Wanting to continue to wander in and out of the funky stores, we decided not to rush off to dinner. We stopped in at Blackmail (1202 S Congress), a shop that warmed this New Yorker's heart as they sold only black. Once the shops closed, we opted for Mexican food at Guero's taco bar. I head heard from locals that it was a down and dirty touristy Tex-Mex place with good margies. [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:00-04:00January 19th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Franklin’s Barbecue, Austin, TX

Our first day in Austin we headed to the famous BBQ joint where the lines are legendary. Word has it that Obama was the only person to ever cut the long lines at Franklin's where the wait is often 3 to 4 hours. We lucked out and only waited 1 1/2 — sort of like waiting for New Haven's Pepe's Pizza — you do it once just for the experience, while getting to know the stories of your fellow line-waiters. As you're waiting, one of the staff warns you of what offerings might be gone by the time you get to the front of the line. That staff person promised [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:00-04:00December 31st, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|1 Comment

Halifax at the W, Hoboken, New Jersey

I had planned to visit Halifax at the W hotel in Hoboken for brunch recently when I learned that the PATH train had suspended service on weekends until sometime in December. Plan B moved into action on a Friday night when I headed there for their riverside views Manhattan's skyline instead. Executive Chef Seadon Shouse handed us a special tasting menu he had created that included his latest fall offerings. This is one passionate chef, who explained how he house-made most all of the ingredients in the dishes he had selected. We started with a glass of Lambrusco Reggiano, Donelli, Emilia-Romagna Italy, NV ($56, per bottle) to accompany chef's signature [...]

By |2017-09-01T16:56:08-04:00October 30th, 2016|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

XIX Nineteen – Hyatt At The Bellevue, Philadelphia

I knew I'd be in Philadelphia attending my friends' wedding at the Atrium of the Curtis Center, so I checked around with the food publicists to see who handled Philly and whether there was a place I could review. Bingo! That's how I ended up on the nineteenth floor of the Hyatt At The Bellevue for lunch the day after the amazing nuptials celebration. The dome-shaped room with magnificent views of the city of brotherly love is pretty much as it was when built in 1904, although it was renovated with warm tones in 2006. We were told to be careful about what we discussed as the dome effect allows [...]

By |2017-08-31T15:05:47-04:00June 29th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Shell & Bones, New Haven, CT

I returned to New Haven for a bridal shower, and wanted to stop in at the new Shell & Bones that opened after I moved away. We had a 7 pm reservation, arrived 15 minutes early - and weren't seated until about quarter to 8 and that's with knowing both the owner and the chef. An auspicious beginning. We started with a couple of things from the bar menu that the Dan the owner, had described to us while we were waiting for our table. I'd recommend the smoked trout spread with chopped fennel, radishes and cucumbers served ($8) with toast points. Instead of the dried fruit and nuts that [...]

By |2017-08-31T15:40:18-04:00May 27th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bidwell, Union Market, Washington DC

When I mentioned to a New York City restaurant publicist that I was heading to DC for the weekend, she said I must try Bidwell, Chef John Mooney’s responsibly sourced restaurant at Union Market. Bidwell's actually offers roof to table cuisine, as much of the produce served at the restaurant comes their own crop of fruit and vegetables grown in planters on the roof. They also butcher own meat. As their guest, we were able to sample many of their offerings, starting with their most unusual sushi-grade tuna nachos. That contained chunks of tuna nestled into guacamole atop tempura battered kale chips with a soupçon of spicy chipotle mayo. Not [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:00-04:00May 18th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Big City Tavern, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

While visiting a friend in the Fl Lauderdale area, I accepted an invite to try the new menu at Big City Tavern. I am so glad I did. With our cocktails, we indulged in their a few starters. Do try the unusual Asian honey-glazed chicken wings ($12.50). What's not to like about truffle parmesan hand-cut French fries? ($10.50)   And, so that we could sample more than one pizza variety, we asked for half Margherita (San Marzano sauce, fresh basil, mozzarella $15) and half Salsicce (with sausage, $16) all covered in fresh arugula (+$3.75). Not NY pizza, but still good. Even better are the entrees we sampled. The rich and [...]

By |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00April 21st, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Driftwood, Nautilus Hotel, Miami Beach

When I arrived at the Driftwood Room inside the new Nautilus South Beach Hotel, the chef — Alex Guarnaschelli — was actually there at a table with some business associates. That wasn't surprising as  the day I was invited to stop by for lunch was during the South Beach Food and Wine Festival where Alex was a participant. Her menu is described as "cuisine of South France with a Miami palate;" her offerings though were pretty ordinary. What was lovely was sitting outside on the patio by the pool and the friendly service. We started with a couple of the restaurant's "for the table" offerings along with our cocktails ($15). [...]

By |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00April 7th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Winemaking Cooperative of Carpi and Sorbara, A Visit

Before heading to the winery Cooperative of Carpi and Sorbara, I met with representatives of Lambrusco for a wonderful meal at Clorofilla Wine & Restaurant (via Vittorio Veneto n.2 Carpi, Italy), where we had about a dozen choices of their fizzy wines. The majority of Lambrusco (meaning wild grape) is produced in Italy's culinary mecca, the Emilia Romagna region where I was visiting. Lambrusco can be either a refreshingly fizzy slightly sweet or a dry wine. Because of that fizz and its acidity, Lambrusco is traditionally served with salumi, sausages and rich meat pasta sauces that the region is also famous for. We happily sampled all of those pairs during lunch. [...]

Talde, Miami Beach, FL

While in Miami Beach for the South Beach food and wine festival (#SOBEWFF), I stayed at the Thomson Miami Beach and was invited to sample their new restaurant Talde operated by the same team that has Talde Brooklyn, Talde Jersey City, Thistle Hill Tavern, and Pork Slope. Lucky us, creative chef Dale Talde was in house that day. I liked this high-energy tavern-like restaurant with innovative twists on Asian food so much better than my Brooklyn experience. I'd suggest starting with the not-too-sweet plum basil margarita, made with house-made plum-basil syrup, El Jimador silver and Triple Sec, garnished with Thai basil ($12). Do try the nod to the NYC pretzel [...]

By |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00March 20th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments