Thursday, December 29, 2011

Airport Restaurants in America

Airports are starting to serve food and drink that are actually good.

America’s best new airport restaurants

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chilling and Breathing at TTG

Today we have one of the most typical wines of Austria, a white Gruner Vletliner from The Domaene Gobelsburg 2009 and from Slovakia , Janousek, Frankovka Modra 2008. I’m especially looking forward to the Frankovka Modra since I’ve never tried anything from Slovakia and it’s an award winner that was immediately recommended by Trunk Wines in Old Town Bratslava, it is described as having aromas of cherries, chocolate and stone fruit and a taste full of dark chocolate and stone fruit with a velvety finish.
I’m excited.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Eating & Drinking Summary Europe November, 2011

Paris is always a great place to spend a couple of days if you love art, food and wine. We stayed on the Isle Saint Louis in the heart of things at Hotel du Lutece. Breakfast everyday was excellent OJ, coffee, croissant, bread, eggs, cheese. Typical French continental but all of the very good quality expected in Paris. We’ve written about our restaurant visits there already but I wanted to mention that the Beaujolais Nouveau had just arrived and every bistro, brasserie and restaurant featured one. Fresh fruity and cheap Gamay. The 2011 vintage matured early and had longer in the bottle so is one of the best vintages in recent years. If you are ever in Paris in late November or December take the opportunity and try the Beaujolais. It’s not rock your world wine but it is fun.
Prague was the highlight of our trip this time. We were booked into the Hilton Prague, it’s one of the largest group and convention hotel in Europe and not one I would usually choose, but they are doing a lot of things right. We checked in late and didn’t have plans for dinner, the restaurant in the lobby, the CzecHouse Grill and Rotisserie, looked good so I made a reservation. They greeted us at the door with a delicious warm aperitif. The service and food were outstanding. A double amuse bouche, one oyster and a warm truffle potato salad was very impressive. A selection of house made breads was served with a bean dip and butter. The wine list offered Czech and Italian wines and the staff had opinions on them. They feature local specialties and stone-grilled fish. It was so good we ate there the last night as well. The Atrium Restaurant serves breakfast from 6am and again the food was very good and service quick and pleasant.

We hired a private guide and driver the next morning and toured Prague. It was so interesting to see it through the eyes of someone who had lived through the Soviet invasion and the Velvet Revolution. Ivana dropped us in the Old Town with a recommendation to eat lunch at Restaurant Kolkovna. It served good Czech food and fresh Pilsner Urquell beer. In high season you would need a reservation since it is popular with locals and tourist alike. A table outside in the summer would be ideal for people watching.
The next part of our trip was a river cruise and here the food and drink was a disappointment. The Avalon Panorama is a new ship and may have some things to work out but I didn’t think the food was of a high quality so there’s more than just a staffing problem to deal with. However it was a Christmas market cruise and the markets offer lots of good cheap food. Excellent sausages with sauerkraut on buns, great potato latkes and gingerbread that is unforgettable. All washed down with beer or Gluevien. Great atmosphere too.

One of our best meals was at Caffe Rinaldi, Alter Kornmarkt 3a, Regensburg, Germany. I had a Strossapreti with mushrooms and shaved truffle and David had a linguini with ragu, both were perfectly prepared, dense a little chewy. Both plates were cleared with the delicious bread supplied. They also made one of the best coffees we had in Europe.

Our last days were spent in Bratislava. We hadn’t intended to go there so it was especially handy to have a computer along to do a little research. The Christmas market was again a success and we had a late lunch at Restauracia Presburg, Michalska 4. Friendly, attentive service combined with good beer and wine. We had a marinated camembert cheese appetizer, some soups and roasted potatoes. A happy place with well prepared food.