Friday, November 25, 2011

Le Poisson Rouge

This is one of these times when you do not plan on going to a restaurant and then change your mind at the last moment and of course end up having an absolutely phenomenal meal.

I am talking about Le Poisson Rouge in the tiny French coastal town, Port-Vendres. I went there this summer in June.

Another one of these 'you've got to know where you're going' places. For starters, it is not in the town so as a tourist you will not stumble upon it. Secondly, to get there you first need to drive in the direction of an industrial port and just when you are convinced that you are completely lost the road gets even smaller and goes through a tunnel - which is a two way tunnel but accommodates only one car - and you think that as soon as you get out the other end you'll turn around and try to find the correct way. But instead, you arrive!

The restaurant focuses on fish. No surprise, really, given the name. It is conveniently and appropriately also located on the sea, next to a small beach, giving it a very nice atmosphere and beautiful views.

me and my baby going for a swim after the meal...coincidentally this photo
nicely shows the view from the restaurant 

For the life of me, I wish I could remember what I ate. I only remember that it was delicious! And beautifully served. On the picture below you can see my relatives getting excited as the desserts arrive. Also delicious.

Look it up on the Internet and if you happen to go to Port-Vendres, then I do recommend you try to find this restaurant. You will not regret it...your wallet might...but you will not.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boos Cafe

Finally a post about my current home country: Luxembourg. My mom was here so we had a babysitter and my wonderful husband took me out for a Sunday brunch. Just me and him and great cafe with amazing atmosphere and good food. The place is called: the Boos Cafe and it is located in Luxembourg, in the town Bridel at 31 Biergerkraitz - that's a mouthful to pronounce. It in the middle of the forest, really. Check out and you get a nice feel for what the place looks like in the summer. This was my first visit there and  middle of November hardly counts as summer so I missed out on the beach feel that they advertise. Apparently in the summer they create a beach club complete with white sand (unknown where they find it), lounge chairs, BBQ, etc. The beach is sorely missed in the country of Luxembourg and anyone trying to bring any beach-like feeling is welcome in my eyes. I can see how this would make an amazing hangout place in the summer:

However, I must say that they worked wonders creating a winter wonderland too. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas but in a beautifully understated way. the fireplace, the all-white tables, chairs, benches, walls, floors, lamb skins and blankets...complete with a frost like decoration that made you feel like you were in a Nordic winter house.

The buffet

Near the fireplace

Restaurant area

I did not want to leave. I did wish they would serve Glogg. That I did not find, but the food on offer was fantastic. Really, anything you could wish for - from British breakfast with sausages and beans to american chicken wings to eggs done any style you choose to sushi, pancakes, salads, etc.etc.etc.

Some examples form our plates:

I cannot say a single bad word about this place. Before going there I heard that it is super expensive (the brunch was 30 euros per person + drinks) but compared to London, Paris, NY, was not. And the food was good. Even more importantly, the service was good. I also heard that it is place to "see and be seen"...yes, there was some Gucci and Burberry around but nothing too extravagant. And it was actually quite nice to see young people (with families) looking pretty and dressed nicely enjoying a calm Sunday brunch. I shall return, and will take others with me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Yes, another one of Paris...we just spent the weekend there...and we ate. And we ate well. This one is called derrière (at 69, rue des Gravilliers). In English: behind, backside, bottom...go to their website HERE and you are greeted by one.

P booked this place for us for Sunday brunch but it is also open for dinners, however it was impossible to get a dinner reservation on such short notice. I loved the place. The interior design makes it feel as if it was someone's home, complete with a dining room, living room, bedroom, etc. In the bedroom the tables are actually around the bed and you sit on the bed...

To find the place is a little bit tricky - another one of those "you need to know where you are going" places. The entrance is just a normal Paris door with no sign whatsoever for a restaurant. You push the large green door, your heart this the right place? or am i breaking and entering? But fear not! Usually the door is open...

And as soon as you enter, you are in a wonderful courtyard. I must say, we went without our 1.5y old boy but it did seem that it would be an easy place to go to with children.

But we had booked a place inside. We were early - basically they were just opening when we arrived. And I was disappointed as they seated us, in nice big soft armchairs, but next to the entrance to the back room and next to the coffee makers...and juicers. Also, there were teeny tiny pieces of glass on one of the seats so we asked to change the table. It was not a problem and we got a nice table in the middle of the room. They persistently seated any couple who arrived in this horrible table that they first wanted us to sit at...I cannot understand why!?!? the second couple who was seated there actually left the restaurant...the third also asked to change the table and the fourth couple who unluckily got the table was stuck as by then the rest of the place was full. A word of the wise - when you book - ask either for a table upstairs (in the bedroom...wink wink:)) or the table next to the ping-pong table (where we sat)...just maybe say, that you do not want to sit next to the coffee maker!!! In all honesty, I think they should just get rid of that table and people would be happier all around!

Anyway, I am losing my thoughts here....

But here you see where we ended up sitting and a place we liked! Also you get a glimpse of the wonderful eclectic interior design.

Here is the coffee maker and juicers...

But let's get to the important part: food! The brunch menu is 35euros and consists of unlimited buffet, 1 cold drink, 1 hot drink, 1 starter and 1 main course.

P started with a mixed salad and I ordered melon. Ahhh, the wonderful taste! I honestly just expected pieces of melon but they completely surprised me by bringing melon that had been marinated in rose pepper and I believe rose oil and I have no idea what else. But the taste for me was completely new, interesting and unforgettable.

My main were roasted ribs and salad. Again, it did not disappoint. And then we raided the buffet. We were actually completely full by then but the buffet table was OH, SO PRETTY, and the huge selection of cakes and pastries and fruit was so welcoming that we completely buried ourselves under it. The food looked pretty but it also tasted good. So good that as I am writing this I can feel my mouth watering.To drink we both got fresh grapefruit juice and coffees.

The buffet

And finally...I often judge a restaurant by the facilities...and again, 'the behind' did not disappoint. See for yourself. Is this not just lovely?

A place to return. I want to find out what their dinner menu is like!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

La crêperie Breizh Café

So, we rented an apartment for the weekend in Paris and the owner said that we should go to this restaurant Chez Nenesse. I usually do not trust these types of recommendations from hotels and apartment owners who say jus to go there and say that Louis sent you. But the reviews of this apartment all spoke highly of the restaurant recommendations and we needed something early, quickly and without reservation so we thought to give it a try. Just to find out that it is closed for this weekend.

Having no idea where to go and no reservation for Saturday evening we decided to go into the first place that we like. Beggars can't be choosers. We stumbled upon a completely innovative idea of a brasserie of Bretagne cuisine with Japanese influence: La crêperie Breizh Café (109 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris).

Mostly it was crêps with different condiments - salty and sweet. The crêpes themselves were wholewheat and of a completely different texture than one would imagine from a French crêpe. Like they say on their business card: "a different crêpe, a tradition renewed, creative. The condiments almost always included an egg and then something.

P took "Payasenne" - a crepe with onions, egg, sausage, cheese and something else that we cannot remember. I took a daily special - it had chanterelle mushrooms, smoked duck, egg, cheese and cabbage. Both were absolutely delicious. But I rush ahead as I forgot to mention the fresh out-of-this-world Bretagne oysters that are delivered each morning and today at least tasted of heaven (and seawater). I must say that the presentation got high score too: on a bed of salt and crushed ice.

As for eating they stick to various variations of the crepe then to drink they stick to various variations of the cider and drinks made of or with cider. We took a carafe of cider and it came in a beautiful earthware carafe together with a japanese inspired cone earthware cup. Additionally I tried an aperitif of cider with strawberry liquor and it was delicious.

I wish we had, but we did no make it til dessert. Our neighbours did and as they basically licked the plate afterwards I feel safe to say it must have tasted good. You could pretty much see and hear everything your fellow patrons did because the place was incredibly small, cosy and tight, with wonderful lighting. I think only 15 tables. You'd think it could bother you but instead it felt nice and not intrusive at all. Our neighbours happened to be an elderly worldly couple who struck up a conversation with us immediately. We were lucky as it turned out that the lady knows the owners and she was able to give us the entire history plus a recommendation of a teeny tiny B&B that they run in Bretagne. The guy literally looked like he had just stepped out of a Woody Allen movie. He must of been at least 80 years old but I am pretty sure they were there on a date. They spoke french, italian and he spoke american english - we found out that he is a real old-school banker. Like the one they write books about.

I loved it there! But as a recommendation I think the mere fact that most (if not all) crepes had egg on them I would suggest going there for brunch instead of dinner.

PS. Also look for the Breizh Café in Cancale (7 quai Thomas) and their 4 bedroom hotel where the view is supposed to be spectacular over the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. We certainly want to try once we go there.