Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen



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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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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Cua Do Restaurant, Da Nang

Cua Do, Seefood Restaurant in Da Nang, Middle Vietnam

6 points for food

2 points for restaurant

There are probably even more than millions of seafood restaurants in Vietnam, in particular along the very beautiful cost but some of them are outstanding. I believe the people who run it aren’t really aware about it as the cooks, the service people and waitress are probably such doing a “good” job. Aside of the fact that the variety fresh available seafood is impressive you still should know how to prepare all these different fishes, shells, langoustine, lobsters, slugs and crabs.

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Hotel La Sommitá, Ostuni, Puglia, Italy

Hotel La Sommitá, Hotel in Ostuni, Puglia in Italy

7 points for hotel

6 points for restaurant

This is a really beautiful small hotel in Puglia ( It is located at the top of the historic center of Ostuni, a very beautiful little town between Brindisi and Bari. Because of its unique location, you find yourself in the middle of a vital old town but at the same time shielded from any noise but also from the southern Italian heat (if you’re there in summer). A small garden surrounded by high old walls offers an oasis of silence which at night acts as the outdoor part of hotel’s restaurant.

From the top of the building or from atop some of the walls, you can see the lowlands between Ostuni and the Adriatic Sea. During hot summers there is always a mild and refreshing breeze, while in spring or autumn it gets unexpectedly chilly at times.

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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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Restaurant U Kucharzy w Arsenale, Warsaw, Poland

Restaurant U Kucharzy w Arsenale, Warsaw, Poland

5 points


If you were in Poland during the nineties and the first years of our century, you needed good Polish friends to find restaurants and inns which served edible food. Perhaps my Polish friends would protest, but at that time there wasn’t any culture for good food and even any interest in wine. Of course some homemade basics – a pickled herring with potatoes with some fresh dill – could have been delicious, but in general you got only heavy on meat (99% pork) and flavors which were the clear opposite of piquant.  As in every other country in Eastern Europe, you would have expected that after the wall came down there would be a huge “hunger” for new flavors, for foreign influences in cooking and some new tasting experience aside from vodka, beer and salty water. For whatever reasons it wasn’t like this for many years: one of my first foreign food experiences in Warsaw was bad Mexican cuisine (another problem is that I am not a big fan of Mexican food in general). It was frightening to see how my friend from Warsaw enjoyed this bad fast food and some cheap red wine from Chile.WP_20140617_010

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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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