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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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New York

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Restaurant, New York, USA

7,5 points

It’s an experience, no question. Delicious, really on the highest level! The wine accompaniment remarkable. The dining area – if you find it: stylish and like a very elegant showroom that still offers a cozy, almost snug ambience. Quite different than the way some have described it.

For a few days now, I’ve been asking myself how I should describe my experience at the 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Chef’s Table in New York. Hard to beat, I would like to write, because it is. And yet, a nagging thought has crept in, which reduces the experience a little. And the longer this thought settles in, the more space it takes up. Is it really only possible to cook on such a divine level if you combine ingredients from three different continents (!) for a single course? The inspiring concept of César Ramírez is surely to use only the BEST ingredients in the world: beef and seafood from Japan, foie gras from France etc…. It is amazing how César Ramírez lays down various “taste trails” that end on the tongue and on the palate in a path that unites all the elements and components of the various taste ideas, leading to an explosion that proves all the power of enchanting cooking, even composing. It’s like one of the greatest and, above all, the most intelligent symphonies you might recall.

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Layla, Restaurant, Berlin

Layla, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

6 by Alexander van Dülmen

Already the third time: another review by best friend Elisabeth Burghardt – this time about a new hot-spot restaurant in Berlin

It’s been a few years now that Israeli chefs have been leaving their mark on the international culinary scene, especially with their imaginative use of traditional oriental ingredients, spices and herbs. Foodies across the world have become devoted disciples of stars like Yotam Ottolenghi, Gal Ben Moshe or Meir Adoni. The latter, well-known for his hugely popular restaurants in Tel Aviv and New York, has just recently opened Layla, a new hotspot smack in the middle of Berlin.

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Indian Accent, London

Indian Accent, Restaurant, London, United Kingdom

7 points

Given the lack of alternatives, some time ago I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Casa Enrique (Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens) in Queens, New York.  Even though I’m no big fan of Mexican cuisine, it turned out to be an unexpectedly great experience. When I was in London recently, I could have perhaps found some alternatives, but we ended up at an Indian restaurant — though I am also not a big fan of Indian cuisine. And? Indeed, it turned out to be fantastic. The same experience again, somehow.

It is a persevering cliché that food in England is bad. Isn’t there the famous joke: “What would be paradise in Europe? The Italians cooking, Germans constructing cars; British policing, the French making love, and Swiss organizing everything. But what would be the nightmare of Europe? The Swiss making love, the French building the cars, British doing the cooking, Germans as the police, and Italians organizing everything.” But the aforementioned cliché must have some basis. I guess if London weren’t so cosmopolitan, you would find far less interesting and inspiring food there. Actually, I am very seldom in London (unfortunately) but I have a few friends there who are fortunately into more than bad English beer and fish & chips afterwards. Those friends occasionally invite me for nice lunches or dinners, which by itself is a proof of friendship, considering the price of a meal in London. The prices are ridiculous! Food is expensive in the British capital – even if the pound went down due to the stupid Brexit idea.

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Omoni, Restaurant, Berlin

Omoni, Japanese Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

It’s not exactly news that one can always discover a great new place in Berlin — if one only searches. The press and the internet often outdo each other in reviewing the latest restaurants and bars, so I should probably refrain from writing about Berlin’s restaurants if I’m looking to get any attention with this blog. But since this is not my motivation in writing, I of course will continue to write about what I want, including interesting or less interesting places, also those in Berlin. And if I look at the stats of my blog, it always surprises me to see which articles are read more and which less. I don’t really see any particular logic behind it, since there aren’t subjects that would seem to connect the interest of the readers. So, it isn’t that the reports about wine necessarily have more readers than reviews about restaurants. If the place is rather unknown or not many people wrote about it before or posted about it on any social network, then it happens that my review appears among top 5 in google or other search engines. But again, this doesn’t mean so much, since my handful of reviews of Bordeaux wines are all pretty popular, although many reviewers have written about these same wines. The good thing about this realization is that you can just write about anything and if you do that — and make it entertaining enough, hopefully — you will find one reader or another. As said, I’d like to continue writing only about my personal and, thus, of course, subjective experiences and insights. Continue reading “Omoni, Restaurant, Berlin”

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens, New York, USA

6,5 points

When we talk about New York, most of us are actually just talking about Manhattan. In reality, New York is much more: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. I recently stood for the first time not in Manhattan but in Queens. Not too far away from the end of Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge —  at the Z NYC Hotel (I don’t think I will go back). From the roof, you have an amazing panoramic view of Manhattan.

The area around the hotel is – let me just say – special. Taxi garages, bakeries, craftsmen’s workshops, stores for work clothes like uniforms and safety wear – but then also design studios, exhibition halls and cool working spaces, hotels and hostels called “The Local NYC”…it is an area in transition.

In particular, on the banks of the East River there are many new real estate developments. Those faceless glass modern sleeping towers that dominate Toronto’s waterfront as well. Although I guess it isn’t bad to have a flat there.

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Michael’s Restaurant, New York

Michael’s Restaurant, New York, USA

5 points

If you like to see expensive, ugly outfits and dresses, go to “Michael’s” in New York. Tasteless but certainly posh combinations of grey and light blue, unsuitable suits, tight rose sport coats with beige trousers…  and most of the guests aren’t young and beautiful either – wealthy bankers, elder show hosts and politicians – a sophisticated New York cosmos which, as an outsider, you might not experience very often. “Look, there’s the former Secretary of the Treasury! And he’s having lunch with …” Michael’s restaurant is a sort of institution in New York, which most inhabitants have heard of but perhaps have never been to. As a foreigner, you wouldn’t even know about it. It is located in a midtown business district. Continue reading “Michael’s Restaurant, New York”

Pizza “Piazza Rossa”, Berlin

Piazza Rossa, Pizzeria, Berlin, Germany

5 points

Pizza!

Probably one of the most incomparable dinner! Let us be precise: Italian pizza. Is there anyone who never had a pizza? Very seldom I believe.

Almost fast food.

Kid’s food. Family food. Compromising food. Extreme rich in varieties. Pizza with pineapple…..

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15 East, Restaurant, New York

15 East, Japanese Restaurant, New York, USA

7,5 points

Once a while ago introduced by my friend David L. Molner I discovered one of my absolute favored restaurants in the world: 15 East! The name is the address: 15 East, Manhatten.

Although you can find reviews about Sushi restaurants time by time at this blog, (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/06/12/nobo-budapest/) Japanese cuisine – sushi, sashimi etc. – is usually not my most preferred food. It is always a very welcomed alternative as it is fresh, in certain regards light and probably healthier than much other stuff. The most problematic aspect about this food is that it needs to be fresh and it – let’s be honest – needs people who are ready to pay decent amounts of money for it. Both aspects are probably the reason why we can’t find too many really excellent Japanese Restaurants in Europe (in particular Germany) comparing to USA.

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Movia, Veliko, 2006

Movia, Veliko Rdece, 2006, suho rdece kakovostno vino ZGP, Brda, Red-wine from Slovenia

6 points

One of the probably most underestimated or let’s say undiscovered wine country in Europe is Slovenia. The most northern country of so-called Former Yugoslavia has three very different wine areas among some real small others:  Podravje (in a triangle of Austria and Hungary), Posavje (toward south-east and Croatia) and Primoska which borders to Italy and Istria / Croatia as well. Although there are certainly interesting and even much less known wines from the first two areas the best known one is Primoska. Probably all internationally recognized wine makers of Slovenia are out of this region which lays in southern foothills of Slovenian alps along long valleys towards the Adriatic sea. Some of the wine growing areas are connected directly with Italian areas Friuli but also Venetia.

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