Archives

Grand Cayman Island

A few years ago we started what has quickly become a favorite family tradition: planning an annual beach vacation for the dead of winter. The town of Rincon on the far west coast of Puerto Rico was an easy last–minute destination for our inaugural trip but was quickly outshined by our stay at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.


Read More

Grand Cayman Revisited

We have fallen in love with Grand Cayman—the sunny weather, the breeze on the beach, the white sand, the turquoise water, and the friendly people. It is a real Zen place, a place we go to unwind, but also to have fun. This year, as we have done for the past three years, we stayed at the LACOVIA  http://www.lacovia.com/ on Seven-Mile Beach, in a villa right in front of the ocean where you can see the sun setting in the horizon and hear the soft waves at night.


Read More

VINEYARDS OF ARGENTINA

Buenos Aires reminds me of Madrid, the wide boulevards, trees and large government and bank buildings. We stayed at the Hotel Sofitel Buenos Aires http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-3253-sofitel-buenos-aires/index.shtml a boutique hotel just off the Recoleta area, where you will find many embassies, deluxe hotels, outdoor cafes and fancy shops. 


Read More

Oporto

Porto put the “Portu” in Portugal, a name that harks back to its Roman origins, it is the economic capital of northern regions and is surpassed only by Lisbon, the capital, in terms of economic and social clout. It is situated along the banks of the Douro River, which winds down from Spain to end its course here, in the Atlantic Ocean, on the western part of the Iberian Peninsula.


Read More

Lisbon

Portugal, on the western edge of the Iberian Peninsula is tempered by the warm southern Atlantic Ocean winds, is one of Europe's earliest settlements, having been populated by Greeks, Phoenicians Romans and Moors. Its capital, Lisbon is at its center, on the estuary of the peninsula's longest river, where the Tagus River, empties into the Atlantic.


Read More

SANTAELLA: A new restaurant in Puerto Rico

The Plaza de Mercado de Santurce is the local meeting place, where cooking enthusiasts, chefs and plain folk visit daily to buy the fresh produce and their staples, and to socialize. It acts as a magnet for a slew of small, restaurants that specialize in the local cuisine, like “ El Popular”, where many executives go for their fix of the “ mixtas”- (rice, beans and beef stew).


Read More

POSITANO & CAPRI

Positano, like Capri is more of a way of life than a tourist destination. Located in the Campania region, on southern Italy, Naples is its gatepost, the third largest city in Italy, home of Mount Vesuvius, with Pompeii and the Herculaneum, cities that lay buried in ashes and preserved for centuries, now examples of classical antiquity.


Read More

Eating in Naples

“I went to England once. I lost seven kilos in seven days,” said my taxi driver, holding up seven fingers, taking his hands off the wheel as the car careered down the narrow highway. “If you want to stop a Neapolitan from eating, take him to England or France.”


Read More

Three Days in Paris

I love Paris and I would go there at the drop of a hat. So when I had to go to Europe recently on a business trip, I figured out a way to end it in Paris. My colleague Esty and I decided to visit some hotels in the 6th and 7th arrondissement and in between have a few nice meals and perhaps do some shopping.


Read More

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina is a popular tourist destination point because of generous discounts on airplane fares and a favorable exchange rate (it was 3.75 Argentine Pesos to US $1.00 last time we looked). It is a thrilling starting point to a pleasurable vacation which will provide fabulous wines, endless cuts of grass fed beef, a lively nightlife and many cultural attractions, all at very affordable prices.


Read More

Andalucia, Spain

I do not recommend driving in Seville. While my grandson had his meltdown on the train from Madrid to Seville––understandable for a jetlagged five–year old after the overnight transcontinental flight, my son–in–law had his in our rental car on the streets of Seville––understandable after two hours of navigating the one–way–always–the–wrong–way streets of the city.


Read More

Beach a la Mode

Imagine yourself at Paris Beach. It's not a lap of a theme park or a hotel strip in Las Vegas. And it's not a website. It's a temporary, artificial beach in central Paris stretching about two miles along the Right Bank of the Seine River from the Quai du Louvre to the Quai Henri 1V, aka "Georges Pompidou Way."


Read More

A Week in Brittany

I hadn't planned to travel after I got to Paris in July. I thought I would stay put. But then the thunderclap of the summer exodus began, August set in, and even Paris Plage, the artificial beach installed annually now on the Seine closed on August 21st. My favorite city started to seem forlorn. Damn the exchange rate, I had to go somewhere, else.


Read More

La Table d’Orphée

Every New Year's Eve in Paris. It is the way I renew my calendar, reset my personal clock. I was looking forward this year to capturing my favorite dish for the réveillon (traditional feast in France on the eve) pintade aux cèpes (guinea hen with cepes, a black mushroom akin to the prized Italian Porcini) at Chedhomme a small but scrumptious traiteur in the fifth arrondissement a few steps from famed market street, Mouffetard, aka La Mouffe.


Read More

L’Auberge Côté Jardin in Conilhac-Corbie

Our good friends and fellow Francophiles Salli and Jerome, who live in Southwest France, report on another recent notable meal in their area.


Read More

L’Hostellerie du Château de la Pomarède

We are pleased to have good friends and fellow Francophiles Salli and Jerome, who live in Southwest France, reporting on some of their recent notable meals in the area.


Read More

Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

For years, thinking this resort had no beach, I had passed it over, recommending to clients destinations with beaches galore: Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, or St Barths, for example. But, searching recently for a quick family getaway for myself, my daughter, her husband, and my grandchild, I decided to take another look. I am glad I did.


Read More

Truffles for Thanksgiving

Traditionally we've not paid much service to national traditions or tastes in food, especially on Thanksgiving. Once we had a wild turkey at my sister's house in Michigan. It was quite good, but the meal would have been better had someone not taken my request to strain the jus as instructions to strain it over the sink drain and save only the cooked out vegetables and neck bones.


Read More

Rigoletto

It's often said that the three most important things in the success of a restaurant are location, location and location. That's likely to be true, but I, and a good many like minded people I know, are willing to go pretty far out of our way for a great meal. What I like, is a room in which to spend the night after a great dinner, eliminating worry about how tired I may be, or how much alcohol I may consume.


Read More

La Vrai Andouille

Andouillettes are smaller than Andouille, and always eaten hot. They may be nicely formed like a professional sausage or they may be rather coarse misshapen objects. They may be pork or veal. They may not have much of an aroma or they may reek of the barnyard so much as to disturb your tablemates.


Read More

Choosing a Wine

I'd like to reference something I just ran across on the web. It's Pim's secret to getting good value wines from fancy lists in Europe. While Pim sets the sommelier to task finding an interesting bottle, at a price of 50 - 100 euros, (a not unreasonable range in most very good restaurants, although we go a lot lower in bistros) that's not likely to be easily found in the U.S.


Read More

Dinner at le Calandre

Sameola di Rubano may have once been a small town or village, but today, Le Calandre is part of a suburban strip mall on both sides of an active road. Under the same management as the restaurant and in the same building, although accessed by separate entrances, is the Hotel Maccaroni.


Read More

A Birthday Lunch for Daniel Boulud

Last spring, some of Daniel Boulud's top staff and a few of his alumni who could spare the time from their current engagements, got together to host a very special dinner for the chef.


Read More

Dinner de Chasse et de Chefs

A few nights ago, 25-30 of NY's most prominent, important and, dare I say, lucky chefs enjoyed what I hear was a spectacular game dinner replete with that hiding under one's napkin while eating unmentionable flying oiseaux.


Read More

Paris July 2001

L'Astrance was an easy and obvious choice for dinner. First, Patricia Wells wrote "a star is born" in her International Herald Tribune review of the restaurant. Then Bénédict Beaugé cited the opening of L'Astrance as "the most important gastronomic event of the last few months in Paris" in The Art of Eating, Spring 2001.


Read More

Brittany July 1999

In July of 1999, we were back in Brittany to attend a family wedding. It turned out to be a typical French country wedding -- a ceremony in a 15th century Gothic church followed by three days of eating, drinking, singing and dancing.


Read More

Foie Gras

"Foie Gras Event Is Killed by Protests"is the headline that caught my attention in the NY Times on Tuesday, August 24, 1999. Michael Ginor, whose Hudson Valley Foie Gras is prized by starred chefs across the country was due to promote his new book, Foie Gras . . .


Read More

Brittany July 1997

France has steadily moved away from it's rural agricultural heritage over the last thirty years. Changes in Brittany have been particularly noticeable. The traditional coiffe,or headdress, we had commonly seen on the streets in the southwestern part of Brittany, is now seen only at folkloric festivals, on special occasions and in museums.


Read More

Gascony September 1996

We were tired, but hungry and eager for some local food when we arrived in Toulouse. Using the Michelin and Gault-Millau guides, we picked three bistros as likely candidates to satisfy our appetite and mood. The first two, we discovered, were no longer in business.


Read More

The Basque Coast

The Maria Cristina, built in 1912 and extensively restored in 1987, is part of ITT Sheraton's Luxury Collection of exclusive hotels. It maintained as San Sebastian's finest hotel and one of the gems of European Belle Epoque luxury hotels. Its central location is extremely convenient with the beach of the bay of La Concha, but a few blocks in one direction, and the Parte Vieja (old part of the city) and its tapas bars, a few blocks in another direction.


Read More

Bastides of Gascony

There are about 300 bastides (bastidas in the provencal language, or the langue d'Oc) in Gascony and the Guyenne to the north of Gascony. These fortified towns were built in the 13th and 14th centuries for military, political and economic reasons.


Read More