Last year whizzed by so quickly that I can’t believe that it’s already three days into 2009. We did several gastronomic trips, went away on a few long weekends and tried many new restaurants. Here’s to looking back on what we did, where we went and what we ate in 2008.
Best Breakfast –
London’s The Wolseley
where the atmosphere and the scrumptious breakfast treats are worth the steep prices. From the tabletop, to the crisp linen napkins, the FT to the flaky croissants, the silver flatware and accessories to the perfect cappuccino and most of all the non-stop people watching, it’s the busiest and buzziest breakfast in town.
– Barcelona’s TapaC 24
where we enjoyed the tapas, the atmosphere and the fantastic casual concept of culinary whiz Carles Abellan
that we ended up eating there twice in just one week.
Best Pastry – The flaky custard-filled pastries at Lisbon’s Pasteis de Belem are an example of how change isn’t always good. Their classic recipe created in 1833 has stayed delcious through the centuries.
– Empanadas from Buenos Aires’ El Mirasol
can be ordered to-go or even better, delivered hot and fresh straight to your door. Snack food that beats pizza any day.
Best Market Meal – Our impromptu late spring lunch in Paris after a morning foray to the market at Place Maubert with my friend Daria. We had to control ourselves and not buy everything in sight. We ended up with ribs and potatoes and some runny ripe cheeses that remind me of why I want to live in France one day.
Best Bang for the Buck – With no end in sight for the current credit crunch, La Moraga in Malaga offers excellent tapas in a sleek, modern atmosphere with prices that don’t hurt the pocket. Great wines by the glass for less than €5 each and tapas from €3.
Best Al fresco Asian
– Another cheap find (pretty rare) in Marbella, Top Thai,
delivers what it’s name suggests – top Thai food in a simple al-fresco setting. Perfect even for a sunny winter’s day when spicy food help keep you warm.
Best Homemade Breakfast
– Waking up late on the weekend and whipping up corned beef hash
is one of the best homemade breakfasts I can think of. Add some fresh orange juice, illy coffee, the weekend papers and it justifies staying in on a Saturday.
– Paris L’Entrecôte
has the best hot, salty, crispy fries and the most amazing sauce to swirl them in. You’ll have to exercise patience though as the crowded entryway and the interminable wait will almost make you give up and leave. Stick it out and you’ll be rewarded.
Best Kid’s Menu – I’m not a big fan of “chicken nuggets and fries” offered as kid’s meals in most restaurants so I was pleasantly surprised that fancy London restaurant, Le Cercle, offered a proper children’s degustation menu (same food as mum and dad, just in tinier portions) for free (that’s right, FREE) when one parent orders the prix-fixe menu.
Here’s to 2009 and new gourmet travels…….Happy New Year!