Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Paris without shoestrings

After a wonderful stay with my family in Dallas I moved on to Paris for a quick few days of snacking before Copenhagen and Italy.  
I began at La Quin Cave (to the left in the photo) for a glass of wine and then was fortunate enought to be let in to Murcerie Mullot next door for a dinner of beautiful clams, cured mackerel that I still can't quite believe, sole and monkfish roe. Extraordinary. Nouf already mentioned that I got flagged for using my phone-  not so much for photographing but texting. I was told to "put my phone down and enjoy myself". I did and I did. 
I then organized an old school bistro steak and frites versus new school Paris falafel world championship wrestling match, which of course I won.  

Oddly there was a great Reuben. 
And lastly a cocktail bar that though awkwardly named the "Experimental Cocktail Club" produced new friends and new flavors that will last in my memories of this quick but perfect layover. 

Kiin Kiin

Dinner in Copenhagen last night was at the world's only Michelin-starred Thai restaurant, leaving three of us with the impression that Thai food might be better left unstarred. 

Grasshopper and baby carrot in malt "dirt" and wasabi cream, tuna "earthworm" and "so forth". 

Salad course thing. 

Lots of freeze dried rubble on everything . 

Gorgeous underground room though. A former opium den (charmingly mistranslated as "hash club"). 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quick Kvetch from Athens

Ordered a 12 oz coffee which was €2.90. Passenger behind me orders an 8oz coffee and it's €1.20. I asked the cashier if I had heard right and she said yes. 

The reasonable person in me hates this and wants to fight it. The tired me walks away. 

This explains something about the Greek economy. Not sure what. Will solve after coffee. 

Also, line cutting. 

Pici Keen

A brief report. 

Pici had cocktails in Paris last night. The first two on the list.  

Lucky guy.

Bill's bitters, all the way from Santa Fe! 

He also befriended the bartender, Max, who introduced him to a tiny-batch Haitian rum made from sugarcane and olives. 

Alici had "muffuletta" in Palermo. I have no idea how that differs from New Orleanian muffuletta but am wondering if  sesame bread is involved. Will google that when I'm not in an airport. 

Pici also had "the best eggplant I've ever had, hands down" at Chez Marianne. 

And said that it figures he had to go all the way to Paris to get a good Reuben. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Not Your Mamma's Marsala

Alici writes:

Every single thing I've eaten in Sicily has been amazing. We went to this great wine bar in Palermo last night and they served snacks (potato chips, Cheetos, and a bag filled with panini), and holy hell, the panini were incredible! They were so basic too.

They always serve an amuse bouche to start at every restaurant. Last night it was the soup with smoked scamorza, the soup was potato with lots of olive oil. Then the raw fish atop shaved pumpkin (zucca) in agrodolce (sweet/sour). Spaghetti Nero di seppia, and I forget what the fish was because that was my colleague's dish. I had the spaghetti. Soooooo good.


Today she went on to Marsala.

Fresh fennel harvested for today's vineyard lunch. 

Piatto di pesce crudo (raw tuna, three different types of prawns, diced apples, olive oil, octopus, in season shaved artichoke hearts that were pink and yellow).

Tiny wild strawberries for dessert. 

A shot of Marsala waiting in my room as a nightcap. 

I keep seeing these wrinkly apples and pears everywhere. 

Easy to ruin lunch at the breakfast tables here. 

Jane on the Street

Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, Ceci's drinking well. 
"I had the very best cocktail of my life after asking the bartender to make me something potent and bitter. 'So what's this called?'
The next day I googled the words I had written down in my notebook.
Boulevard Jane, how strange, nowhere on the internets is there any mention of a cocktail with that name.
That's because it's a Boulevardier. Rye whiskey, red vermouth, Campari. No Jane. A foggy head, though."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Extra Virgins

To get back in the hang of it, we're reviving the blog now even though Pici is in Paris, Alici is in Italy for work, Noci is in the Emirates, Filone is in Copenhagen, and Ceci and Duca are at home in Amsterdam. Things will get more calorically diffuse very soon, but here are some current highlights. 

Alici was in Verona for work last week and shared photos. But soon she will have to put up with sharing food as well. 

Here are some of her notes.

"Goo in center = polenta (very Veronese), slice of thing on top = lardo (<3). Giardiniera in the cup was house made and just awesome. And the salami was wow wow wow."

And in response to the many questions about it from me and Ceci: 

"No, the plate was not for sharing! It was all mine. 
The polenta was seasoned, and probably had some cheese in it, but not much. I don't know which kind. 
I didn't eat any bread with the salami. I just ate the lardo with a fork."

Because it was her birthday, nobody tried to sneak some lardo. 
(Also her colleagues are not wild animals like some of us.)

"Beef carpaccio. Martin loved it. The beef is raised well here. Shaved artichokes on top."

"The last dish was also a local specialty: maccheroncini cooked in Amarone della Valpolicella (hence the colour), with broccolini and Tastasal (local sausage not in casing).
The wine flavour was not overt in the pasta, and I think it's a pretty traditional preparation."

"Some kind of Calabrian sausage on the left, neonata (newborn anchovy condiment with hot chiles and olive oil) on the right."

"Calamaretti (baby octopus) in a rich white bean purée and balsamic vinegar. Mega delicious."

"This was a type of pasta like fettuccine called something else I can't recall, BUT it was with sea urchin roe and the white stuff is mozzarella di bufala."

"I haven't eaten any gelato since arriving." 

And then she sent multiple texts about how nice everyone is and the wonderful service everywhere and the terrible driving. 


Meanwhile, Pici managed one photo of his first snack in Paris before the chef's wife cockle-blocked and told him to put down his phone and eat like a person. 

Noci had the 'Splodin Shroomstack at Shake Shack at the World Trade Center in Abu Dhabi and regretted it. It was like biting into a fried abscess.

Alici arrived in Palermo yesterday. 

Noci had a the best ever vegetarian Lebanese breakfast with fatteh...

The silkiest hummus... 

And the greatest maqdous. Pickled baby eggplants stuffed with chile, nuts and garlic, and preserved in olive oil.

Chiles for the sinuses. The plate was full at one point...

Fresh Arabic bread poofs straight from the oven

Mint lemonade

Pici hit L'As du Falafel in Paris