Dear friends, I have always feared the prospect of travelling to Venice, Italy, because of horror stories of tourist traps charging ridiculous amounts of money for average food and bad wines. So, to my great surprise, I had a fantastic experience there last week… possibly THE greatest experience so far in Italy. Valentino on the Lido island was fab for traditional, simple Italian with a wine list that blew me away…including beautiful, older Barolo’s….and at super cheap prices (for the wines we had) Dinner at Belmond Hotel Cipriani was excellent, easily exceeding their current 1* status… Do you have similar experiences with other places where you feared bad quality and ridiculous prices but where you had pleasant surprises?
Author Archives: dilipvw
Christian Bau 3*, Perl-Nennig, D
Absolutely amazing meal in the best company, warm welcome, great staff and a fabulous, generous chef… What more can one wish for?
Cooking becomes art in this restaurant inside a castle near the German-Luxembourgish border. Only the best produce is used to create stunning dishes with beautiful, complex flavors. Without doubt one of Europe’s finest.
L’Air du Temps, Belgiums next 3*?
Sanghoon Degeimbre and his team never cease to amaze. Ever since they moved to the beautiful countryside location in Liernu, somewhere between Brussels and Namur, they have grown and evolved to become one of Belgiums finest restaurants, if not THE finest.
The restaurant has undergone a thorough refurb, putting all the attention on the beautiful garden…rightfully so BTW as the vast majority of the produce used in the kitchen is grown here. Through the large glass windows you look out onto thousands of flowers, herbs, plants and fruits…patiently picked, preserved, dried and prepared by passionate gardeners and cooks. The restaurants sound system plays back sounds recorded in the garden…totally wicked.
I didn’t think it was possible after over ten delightful visits in 2017 but cooking has yet again hit a higher level…world class level. Indeed, never before was the balance in every dish so perfect, the flavor complexity so spot on… The tasting menu is like a perfectly executed symphonic masterpiece…breathtaking, moving, unforgettable.
This restaurant does something to you…it takes you on a journey…it tells a story, about food, about terroir, about harmony between man and nature… Please, take me back!
News from the boys at Hertog Jan
1. The current location is no longer for sale, the negotiations came to an end. Instead, the building and gardens will be used as a high end event location for corporate events, weddings, babyshowers etc….
2. L.E.S.S. Their second restaurant is due to move from its current location (the first HJ location) to the center of Bruges, and later on a second one will be opened in Ghent, including a bakery and wine shop…
3. The current L.E.S.S. Location will be the home of a new concept, high end traditional (Flemish) cooking…
Very exciting times ahead for Gert and Joachim!
No great restaurant without great staff… Just over a week ago I took this picture in an almost deserted Ritz in #London In the background you can see the staff of the fine dining restaurant hard at work after a busy evening service, to get the tables set up for breakfast the next morning. This picture is a tribute to all the men and women in the hotel and restaurant business who go the extra mile day after day to make our experience as their guests truly unique. #thankyou
Radical decision from Stephane Decotterd from 2* Le Pont de Brent in Montreux, Switzerland
Stephane Decotterd, the chef of 2* Le Pont de Brent near Montreux in Switzerland made a radical decision, he from now on will only cook with ingredients from his terroir… he feels it’s his duty to do so, as a chef and as a human being, aware of the ecological challenges ahead. So no more fish from the sea, but local catch from the lakes and rivers around the restaurant, no more exotic fruit but delicious local berries, apricots, pears etc… I applaud this decision, especially because his terroir includes plenty of beautiful and tasty ingredients.
Le chef doublement étoilé, Stephane Decotterd annonce un changement radicale dans sa cuisine du Pont de Brent, près de Montreux en Suisse, dorénavant il cuisinera plus qu’avec des ingrédients locaux. Par conviction que la durabilité de son activité en dépend. Donc plus de poissons de mer, plus de fruits exotiques. Qui travaille déjà de cette façon au Luxembourg, qui cuisine majoritairement ou à 100% avec des produits issus du terroir local, voire de la Grande Région…??? Qui ose suivre cet exemple car ce n’est pas les ingrédients de qualité qui nous manquent…
Back to basics…in Amsterdam: Café Rijsel
Sometimes it’s just all about going back to basics. Café Rijsel is just that. Plus a fabulous, affordable winelist for the real wine afficionado. Dishes inspired by the Flemish and Northern French (French Flanders) kitchen in a laid back environment, an old warehouse in the hearth of Amsterdam South. Open kitchen, charming, personal service and fab wines. What else? A must visit when in Amsterdam!!!! The grilled baby chicken is pure delight. Carefully brined, perfectly seasoned, grilled on the rotisserie and finished in the oven. Juicy, moist, packed with delightful flavours….pure delight!!!!
A visit to Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau 3* in Perl-Nennig (D)
It is not a coincidence that Christian Bau got the ‘Chef of the Year 2018’ title from GaultMillau Germany. For many many years he’s been working literally day and night to make his cooking one of the best of the world. Excelling in the creation of Japanese/French masterpieces which stand out by their perfect balance and complexity, this cuisine will lead you to 7th heaven after just a few bites. The extensive winelist includes an amazing offer of German Rieslings and more than a few hidden gems…at very reasonable price levels. In short, a foodie and bon vivant paradise….