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

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

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

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

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

Can the Can, Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal

On my way back from Time Out market, I stopped in one of the many restaurants lining Praça do Comércio for a happy hour nibble. My daughter-in-law mentioned that she had sampled many of them and preferred the food at Can the Can. That and the inviting chalk-written sign offered happy hour margaritas at 5 Euros (~$5.50) and free wifi! How could I resist? The exceptionally friendly servers helped me decide which of their food offerings to sample with my margie. As an octopus fan, I leaned toward the salad -- yet they suggested I try the croquettes.  "Octopus croquettes?" I queried. She highly recommended them, saying that they were made [...]

By |2017-10-24T07:56:45+00:00June 29th, 2017|World Restaurants|0 Comments

Lamparilla, Havana, Cuba

After our first day soaking in as much of the city as we could, we ended up at Lamparilla, a fairly new small, funky-decorated paladar in Old Havana. We were seated on the second floor teeny balcony overlooking the open dining area below with a ceiling so low our waiter needed to stoop over whenever he came upstairs. Whimsically, our table was topped with old records, the walls with ’50s memorabilia and other vintage goods. The delicious squash soup amuse surprised us all with its well-seasoned butternut flavor. Also tasty are the light crispy chicken croquettes ($3) served in a little basket and the ceviche ($4) served with plantain and [...]

By |2017-09-01T17:08:31+00:00June 13th, 2017|World Restaurants, World Travel|0 Comments

San Cristobal, Havana, Cuba

San Cristobal restaurant is the paladar where Obama ate when he was in Havana. Like La Guarida, it's one of the few Cuban places recommended with good food.  We dined at this eclectically appointed restaurant in the downstairs floor of an early 20th-century mansion for lunch midday when we had dinner at La Guarida. We had told our waiter Ray, that the three of us planned to share everything. Loved how the restaurant handled this: he placed a cucumber, tomato and herb pre-garnished plate on the table in front of each of us. Made us smile for sure in anticipation of what was to come. When the grilled lobster ($20 [...]

Cubita, Trinidad, Cuba

Do not miss a meal at La Cubita if you visit Trinidad in Cuba. It's decorated with quirky whimsical artwork and often offers music while you eat. Once we placed our order, the restaurant sent out an amuse bouche that matched each of our orders. One of our four had ordered a vegetarian entree, resulting in a squash-based starter; the rest of us received a fish-mouse atop the cucumber cup. Nice touch that we enjoyed with their refreshing signature sangria ($9). Meals in Trinidad certainly won't break the bank. Each of ours came with a flavorful soup to start, bread and butter, sauteed veggies, rice and a fresh tomato, beet, [...]

La Guarida, Havana, Cuba

Most everyone I spoke to who had been to Havana recently recommended the upscale paladar La Guarida for dinner — the place where Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea filmed Strawberry & Chocolate. It's one of the few places offering elegantly served quality food; we learned they send their chef to France to learn to cook. We walked up the crumbling grand staircase to the restaurant above and — since it was raining —  skipped the new rooftop bar. Our starters from the varied menu included thin slices of fresh snapper carpaccio with a pepper sauce and citrus vinaigrette ($8), an unusual seafood "lasagna"with "noodles" of thinly sliced papaya garnished with [...]

Rafael Restaurant, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

For our last day in Peru, we headed to Rafael Osterling's eponymous restaurant in the Miraflores section of Lima, listed on one list, as the #30 best in Latin America. We selected a local white wine to accompany our meal, the Tacama Blanc Blanc ($30). The waiter placed a basket of their homemade bread along with fresh butter topped with sea salt, "pastrami" made from pig's feet and a goat cheese cream with caramelized onions. The bread and accompaniments were so good, we had to stop ourselves from finishing it! The Emperor tacos alone were worth the visit with crisp sea grouper and prawns, shredded cabbage and radishes on small [...]

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 [...]