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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Food

Aranyszarvas, Restaurant, Budapest, Hungary

Aranyszarvas, Restaurant in Budapest, Hungary

5,5 points

This has been my favorite restaurant in Budapest for many years. It became a place of many lunches in the Hungarian capital as some years ago the office of an affiliated company I worked with was WP_20150303_007just around the corner. Today I only come at night and it is very nice as well.

This restaurant offers an appropriate mix of classic style, elegance and coziness. You feel immediately very snugly like in a familiar big living room.

The food is a perfect combination of high end Hungarian cuisine and an excursion into southern European styles.

The menu is constantly changing and oriented to the seasons, but probably also to the weekly inspirations of the chef. What I really like is that you recognize an individual character and – let’s call it – a signature in all of the dishes. Whether you take the fish, chicken or some lamb, the way it is prepared and cooked is somehow similar, always down to earth in its substance but subtly flavored.

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Bistro and Winebar Cave Croisette, Cannes

Cannes: Cave Croisette at Rue de Antibes

5 points

Everyone who knows me also knows how much I dislike Cannes. However, due to my business, I had to be there quite often.

WP_000737If you prefer to stay away from the touristic areas and horrifying food alleyways, if you like to avoid the grotesque freaks with some super models at the Croisette, and if you’d rather be around “normal” people, you should visit a small Brasserie and wine bar called Cave Crevette, at the beginning of Rue de Antibes. See here.

There is a very nice and nimble lady running this place – if I remember right, her name is Isabelle. The service is perfect and incomparably fast, considering the southern French and in particular Cannes waiter. As I was told, she is from the north of France as an explanation for her diligence.

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Hof Zuort, Weiler and Restaurant, Engadin, Suiss

Hof Zuort, Hotel and Gasthaus, Zuort close to Ramosch, Eastern Engadin, Switzerland

IMG_1190Without a previous recommendation, you would not easily find this magical and fabulous place, deep in the Eastern alps of Switzerland. Or you find yourself on a tracking or climbing tour and would like to stop over somewhere different from the typical alpine hut. This historic and untouched hamlet is surrounded by big mountains, wood and meadows – and is almost unreachable by car.  http://www.zuort.ch/

At this place, time stands still. The only noise here comes from the surrounding nature, or from the creak of IMG_1183old wooden floors and walls.

The place offer unique and historic rooms (a very limited number !) in original style. You better reserve many days in advance if you’re traveling there during summertime.

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RivaBella, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

RivaBella, Italian Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

0,5 points

What a dreary and uninspired restaurant. I guess all the food here tastes the same, having no particular or distinguishing flavors, but is in an American way “rich” which in the most of the cases means that it is just heavy. Although the waiter was “so” nice, I could have selected any dish it would have been an excellent choice, if not the best of the night. Don’t be foolish enough to ask him about anything as he – honestly a really nice guy – would probably never have had a chance to taste any of the dishes he’s serving.

The place isn’t inviting and just shamefully expensive considering your experience. Any pasta dish is not below $20.00! Main courses are all at least $40.00!

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Weinbar Rutz, Berlin

Restaurant and Winebar in Berlin

7 points

As many of my friends know, my favorite restaurant in Berlin is WEINBAR RUTZ . There are hundreds of trendy places, a remarkable number of Michelin star restaurants in the city and probably some location with a lot of good wine as well. But there isn’t any other place comparable to this one.

It is an easy but unique concept as at the lower level you have rather a food-bar or tavern with slightly more basic but fantastic dishes along the motto “Save the German Food Culture”. You get blood sausages or some liverwurst or rutabaga stew or – at least at the moment “crispy haddock, chestnust, red cabbage and baked kale – but also just a solid “home” aged steak. All this usually is not served with a typical German beer but with the best mostly German (white) wines. You would only very seldom get such high quality wine by the glass anywhere else. This place offers you even sometime a Großes Gewächs (which is similar to a Grand Cru) by the glass and if you become a “friend” of the house, they might open a bottle just for you without letting you buy the entire bottle if you didn’t drink it. If you go for first floor, please ask for the table in front of the kitchen because then you can watch my friend Marco Müller preparing the plates with his amazing and always surprising culinary art and extraordinary taste experience. Here you encounter Chinese or other Asian flavors combined with regional ingredients and condiments. Marco is always spunky enough to present unusual and sometimes, I would say, experimental combinations of taste.

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Arco Antico, Pizzaria, San Marco di Locorotondo

Arco Antico, Pizzaria, San Marco di Locorotondo, Pulia, Italy

1497581_302969813223190_7948449430752086154_nToday my son Balthasar shares his memories of his “best pizza of the world”:

We were on holidays in Apulia, Italy when we normally ate dinner. The food of our sensational hotel “Il Palmento” was decent. But there was even a better place to have dinner. Only 5 minutes walking from our hotel, there was a restaurant – called Arco Antio – with what I think is the best pizza in the world. I remember dark small streets towards a small light, the restaurant. I remember cars from the parking place on a flint ground. The light wasn’t bright at all. But still you could see my dad with his red-sunburned head. ^^

Behind the kitchen inside of the trulli building, there were the eating tables inside of the not very bright but relaxing light. Even when it is your first time there, the waiters and the cooks treat you like you are there every day. I remember, when my sister and I always asked our parents for 50 cents for a bouncing ball. I also remember watching the pizza maker making pizzas. Continue reading “Arco Antico, Pizzaria, San Marco di Locorotondo”

Imren II, Turkish Inn (Gasthaus), Berlin (Wedding)

Imren II, Turkish Gasthaus, Berlin, Badstrasse

There are five “Imren” places in Berlin. I haven’t been to all of them, but among three I tested the best is Imren II, on Badstrasse in the Berlin district of Wedding, where many Turkish people live.

Here you can get the best Döner I know. This is serious!

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Fresh lean veal gets layered on a spit (It’s called Yaprak) and on the top is a layer of real lamb fat which melts down into the meat due to the heat. Continue reading “Imren II, Turkish Inn (Gasthaus), Berlin (Wedding)”

Facil, Restaurant, Berlin

Facil, Restaurant, Berlin

7 points

As I wrote: Weinbar Rutz is my favorite restaurant in Berlin. This is because of its very special concept of a wine bar and a restaurant. If you ran a real competition between the two very exciting chefs, Micheal Kempf’s style is of course different than Marco Müller’s, but both would deserve two Michelin stars (although only Michael Kempf has two (!)).I really see parallels between the two. Like Marco Müller, Michael Kempf uses mostly regional products but is able to combine those with global and modern flavors. Perhaps Michael isn’t so experimental (any more) and less risky but therefore you are on a safer side with him. His cooking creations are remarkable and just wonderful! I’ve never had a really strange culinary experience there, which I actually have had once a while elsewhere.

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