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What Is Your Favorite Restaurant Ever In Europe?

What Is Your Favorite Restaurant Ever In Europe?

Old Sep 27th, 2020, 03:54 PM
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zebec... It's the one just off the Rue du Bac. The inside is all done in red and black. The second time we went I wore a bright red blouse. The host who greeted us loved how I fit in with the decor -
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 04:39 PM
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Two more.

1) for winos, err I mean individuals with a marked appreciation of the myriad nuances of fermented grape juice (thx St. Cirq), je propose 'Bistro Bourguignon' on the main drag in Beaune. *Best. Variety. Ever. of A-list wines available by the glass=Meursault, Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, Chevrey-Chambertin and many more. The pinch marks are still there. The food was also pretty good. The owner couple were the first in that region to open such a bistro, all those years ago. We are afraid to go back coz such a return visit could not possibly match the first. Know what I mean?

2) some French towns offer lunches at 'Restaurant d'Application' colleges, where older teen students learn the craft of fine dining. Those students prepare the meals and then handle the serving and most other aspects of the meal. The supervising chefs in charge are not at all shy about commanding their charges with all the verbal fury on the planet (cue us tryna ignore the shouts coming from the kitchen).
Our experience was just this past October in Villefranche-de-Rouergue and it was great. Fantastic value due to reduced prices.

I am done. The discerning cochon.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 04:53 PM
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zebec... do you remember what a glass of Puligny-Montrachet cost? Back in the early 80's I used to be a bottle for $7.95 here in NYC. Now, I'd have to take out a bank loan.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 09:01 PM
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Our first trip with Kim and Mary in 2001. Our most memorable meal ... from the old trip report.

I had decided that on our first night in Florence we should be real Italians and dine late. While preparing for our trip, I had read about a restaurant called Da Il Latini (Via Palchetti 6/r) that reviews said was both good and fun. There were basically two seatings, and the late seating’s tended to have more locals than tourists, so that’s what we did.
Looking back, this was probably the most memorable meal I have had anywhere in the world, and it really had little to do with the food, although the meal was very, very good.

At 9:30 we were lead to the second of three rooms at Il Latini. This rustic restaurant had prosciutto hanging from the ceiling at every turn, and on each table was a seemingly bottomless, huge bottle of Chianti. Walking through the restaurant to our table, the sweet smell of ripe melone was beckoning me.

There really wasn’t a menu, so we just had the waiter order for us. We started with prosciutto e melone (the melon tasted like candy), bruschetta and foie gras on crostinis. Next came a tomato bread zuppa, an incredible vegetable bread soup and a white bean soup.

The group then shared raviolis stuffed with spinach and ricotta plus some rigatoni in a spicy meat sauce. But wait…there’s more!

Next up, I had a great grilled filet, served rare just like it should be. My three companions opted for a very good roasted chicken.

Life is not complete without dessert, at least for the guys. Kim had the tiramisu sprinkled with chocolate chips. The tiramisu was made with a sponge cake. I had the vanilla gelato with fresh strawberries. Both desserts were winners.

We all washed down our dinner with some dessert wine (Vin Santo) and plenty of biscotti for dipping. I then had a cappuccino (yeah, only an American does this, but the waiter did tell me you can only order this after you have completed eating).

Now as I mentioned, when we sat down there was a giant, straw covered bottle of Chianti (from the owner’s estate we found out). This bottle was huge, and you drink on kind on the honor system. Well, this group never met a huge bottle of Chianti we didn’t like, so we certainly put a dent in the bottle as our meal took a long time to consume.

When we were first seated, there were a lot of Americans finishing their meals, but by about half way through our dinner, the Americans had all left, and the entire room was speaking Italian, except for us, of course. The room was noisy and everyone seemed to be having a blast.

After all the Chianti and Vin Santo, the four of us were feeling no pain, including yours truly. We were having such a great time and in such a great mood that for some reason (ok, perhaps inebriation could be a factor), out of the blue I sang out, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…” Before I could sing another note, a large group of Italians at the table next to us, belted out, “That’s Amore!”

Well, that sort of opened the fun floodgates. For the better part of 90 minutes the four of us, along with about 20 of our newest Italian friends, sang a variety of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra tunes, took pictures of one another and laughed the night away. They all spoke English pretty damned well. It was the coolest night.

Finally, about 12:30, the owner came back to our room and reluctantly said that he had to close up, and it was time for us to go. When we were handed the bill, we could hardly believe it. The total cost for one of the most fun evenings I have ever spent came to a total of 120,000 lira per couple (60 bucks)!

We all laughed more as we walked through the rest of the restaurant that was now pitch black because the rest of the patrons had left about an hour previous to our departure. Damn, what a night!!

And here is the evidence!



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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 01:58 AM
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The little hole in the wall places that offer good food, good atmosphere and good company. Or about any place in the mountains that offer traditional local dishes from the area.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 03:05 AM
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Memorable food sometimes is the thing that sticks in the mind, even after a lifetime. When DW and I were mere kids (and before DD) we spent a couple of weeks at the Grand Hotel Glyfada on Corfu. We got into the habit of sitting at the beachside bar that belonged to the hotel after dinner and whiling the night away with a few drinks and conversation with fellow guests into the small hours.

One night at about midnight (or it might have been later), there were a couple of fishing boats sailing along the beach and back again and we idly watched them whilst chatting. One of them beached in front of the bar and came up for a drink (obviously well known to the bar staff) and we asked him if they'd caught much-as you do. He showed us a large fish they'd got earlier and one of our party asked him how much it was. We pointed out that it wouldn't be too well received in his room by the maids, but one of the bar staff said that we could use the bar's barbecue to cook it there and then. Our fisherman offered to clean the fish and after doing so put it over the charcoal for us. There were about 10 of us and the fish was plenty big enough for us all, including fisherman and staff. The bar staff found some lovely salad to go with it and we restarted on the very good white wine they offered.

We were in bed by 5am.

Last edited by Rubicund; Sep 28th, 2020 at 03:09 AM.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 10:21 AM
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zebec ... " We are afraid to go back coz such a return visit could not possibly match the first. Know what I mean?"

Absolutely, that's why we never returned to Il Latini. We just wanted to keep that memory forever, because that experience could never be duplicated on a return visit.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 12:05 PM
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I find that each area has one dish that is perfection. Cinque Terre is known for the pesto, Goulash and roasted chicken in Germany, Flemish stew, calvados in sauces, love salmon in Scotland and Ireland. I have not found a favorite in Spain except olives. Portuguese custard tarts, I need to learn how to make those.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 12:51 PM
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So Gwen, I am just now perusing our TJ (trip journal) for that voyage, which was actually fairly recent-- Oct. 2016. To answer your question, all the wines by the glass @ that bistro then were priced at 13.50 euros. That's a lot more than we typically are ever willing to dish out for glass-loads, but if we wine lovers were ever going to splurge, Burgundy was surely the place.

We also then went to the village of Puligny-Montrachet, the world capital of rich, dry whites for a tasting at 'La Table d'Olivier Leflaive'. Je repete, normally I run a mile whenever we see such costly dining situations. But the tasting was the only way to gain access to those legendary wines by the glass. It was 9 glasses with a 4-course cold chicken lunch. I told my wife then that if she dared use the spitoon, I'd kill her on the spot. Ironically, both Mrs Z and I agreed wholeheartedly, that the pair of (competitor) Meursaults that were snuck in amid those nine glasses werehands-down the best of the lot, definitely better-tasting to our tongues than the host Pulignys. Our young sommelier gal had a good sense of humour and pretended to remove our final, upcoming glasses after I revealed our unanimous tasting opinions.

I am done. The popped cork flying across the table.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 01:00 PM
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zebec... if I convert my 1981 dollars to today's it looks like your glass and my bottle were in the same price range.
Hearing that you preferred the Meursaults makes me feel less deprived !
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 01:28 PM
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Tom, great memory.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Shall I post that one a fourth time???? The spam 'deferred post' thing is getting out of hand, no?
I am done. The the the the the the the
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 02:22 PM
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Yo MT, does Morocco count in this Euro-focused post? Please can I get a pass from you in presenting Le Maroc as an honorary European locale? (*Jayzus Zebec, don't ever say that to a Moroccan citizen!!--editor).

It was NYE in Marrakesh and our 'Riad Yasmina' owner couple were planning to put on a BIG spread for that night. Mid-afternoon, we were chatting with a multi-generational Parisian family by the riad courtyard fountain, struggling to gain any acceptance from their oh-so aloof members. Soon the pretty young masseuse woman whom we'd earlier booked, arrived to take Mrs Z and I both back to our room just off the riad courtyard. The cool Parisians looked up then and took brief note, but were never told just who the young lady was and why she took us away.

My wife and I each enjoyed our separate massages with the masseuse, then after paying, we both walked her outside our room, through the courtyard towards the exit. Our hair then could not have been more messed-up and disheveled from massage than at that moment. The Parisians looked over at us and their shocked expressions left little doubt about their perception of what had just happened between the masseuse and the two of us back in our room. Oo-lala!

**The BIG Spread was served later by candlelight. Not for the first time on our various travels around the globe, we then witnessed the unthinkable gesture done by fellow guests: the Parisians led a larger group of French tourists out of the riad so that they could all attend some disco party downtown. I'd seen the same insensitive thing occur in India and was again now, blown away.

To trade the opportunity for locals such as these riad owners to spoil you with all 14 of their Grandmother's Best Recipes, for some BS kitschy light show, fireworks and doing the Macarena with a thousand strangers at a ripoff price...was beyond belief for us. We did not roll that way, it wasn't why we traveled. Each to their own, I guess.
The food was spectacular. We were the sole guests who'd stayed behind. I made sure to chat up the musicians.

I am done. The feast (burp).
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 04:11 PM
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zebec...glad you stayed for the party. I'm sure all that food was shared happily someplace. (I trust you didn't eat it all...)
As long as we're in Morocco, my first visit there was just a one day visit to Tangier and an overnite at the El Minzah Hotel.
In their restaurant I had one of the most delicious things I'd ever tasted. (this was early 80's) .. Chicken with cracked olives and preserved lemons.
I managed to track down an authentic receipe and authentic ingredients and made that recipe for many years. I never had a bad meal in Morocco,
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 05:49 PM
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Great thread, MaiTai. Bookmarking.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 06:43 PM
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I have been following along with thoughts of travels in the future. One of my most memorable meals was in Bantry, Ireland at a place called the Fish Kitchen. It is a cozy place above the fish store. The fish was incredible and all of the sides delicious. The star of the show was the chocolate orange tart....incredible. The Fish Kitchen ? Quality Seafood Restaurant
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 07:19 PM
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Certainly a number of restaurants come to mind, but I'll just mention one. We dined here because it was recommended in a Fodors trip report by ... maitaitom! Restaurant Carmen de Aben Humeya, Granada, Spain. Perfect setting with an Alhambra view table, perfect service, and prefect food. Thanks maitai.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 08:30 PM
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TrophyWife has the right idea--a super post to bookmark for future use 'out in the field.'

I am done. The mystery meat stew in a remote Portuguese village ('Scuse me madam--just what is that?)
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Old Sep 29th, 2020, 06:30 AM
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I wrote about a favorite meal in Sicily but for a favorite setting and experience I name the Kronenstubli at the Grand Hotel Kronen in Pontresina, Switzerland. It was so unexpectedly elegant. It had the natural wood walls of a stubli but the table and service were of a very high level. The waiters wore black gloves and there was a fresh flower arrangement on each table. And our meals of lobster bisque and pressed duck were incredible. We thought we were going to a simple stubli but were rewarded by finding this restaurant in charming Pontresina. The rest of that trip in Switzerland was challenging as far as food choices, raclette and fondues, wursts, none high on our list of favorite foods.
Tom, thanks for this thread, one of the best threads ever, a keeper!
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Old Sep 29th, 2020, 09:15 AM
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Kleeblat makes a key point above. In Gimmewald. we once enjoyed a raclette lunch, a meal made more tasty by the fact of us having just ran in out of the rain. *A Rick Steves tour was there beside us.

I am done. The cat at your feet below the table.
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