Eating Green in Venice

Nutrition & lifestyle expert Sophie Eustache says “we are what we eat”

Bistrot de Venise

Sergio Fragiacomo believes the history of Venetian cuisine reflects the history of the city. The Rialto market was once the world’s leading spice emporium, and exotic spices were a status symbol for the nobility. The Bistrot de Venise serves a contemporary menu using natural ingredients, as well as recreating ancient recipes, with an award-winning wine list.

luxxrs.com recommends: Vegetarian Fantasy with seasonal ingredients

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Ristorante Wildner

An oasis in the middle of the masses, the veranda of Restaurant Wildner has a sparkling view of the lagoon. The Fullin family is passionate about simple, traditional Venetian cuisine, accompanied by artisanal wines and handpicked olive oil. The matriarch, Donatella, is in charge of the Slow Food of Venice organisation and makes all the desserts.

luxxrs.com recommends: Vellutata with peas from Sant’ Erasmo

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Al Vecio Marangon

Amarone by the glass, perfectly decanted, sets the tone for this tiny, pretty eatery tucked into a courtyard where you can lunch until 3pm and dine at 6pm. Like a nurturing mother, Marina Bobbo serves comforting local food in a cosy ambiance highlighted by an old “marangon” or carpenter’s table. Seats 28 inside and 20 out. Reservations advised.

luxxrs.com recommends: Artichoke hearts with parsley and virgin olive oil

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Osteria Antica Adelaide

Alvise Ceccato takes green to the extreme. He puts his personal touch on every aspect of his pure Venetian food, delivering it from nature to your table. He knows his seafood, down to the zone, and where his gardens grow. He takes your order, cooks your food and serves it up with a little help from his friendly staff, jazz purring in the background.

luxxrs.com recommends: Mixed herbs and vegetables of the season

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3 Boutique Restaurants in Venice

Be charmed by some of the best boutique restaurants in Venice.

Chat qui Rit

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Giovanni Mozzato left the corporate world to create his dream, Chat qui Rit, right in the heart of San Marco. He handpicked each detail of the stylish interior, from the designer Danish and Italian chairs to the tiles on the floor. The select menu is a creative fusion of Venice and the East, starring delights like Shi Drum Fillet with Watercress Sauce and Wasabi, and rare cheeses like Pule, made from the milk of 100 donkeys living on the Zasavica Nature Reserve in Serbia. Great wine, too.

Vecio Fritolin

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Together with owner Irina Freguia, female chef Najada Frasheri brings a touch of Mother Nature to every pretty plate. The beef is hand-chopped. The catch of the day is from the Rialto market, just minutes away. The time-honored Venetian ‘baccalà’ is served snuggled inside a cannolo, surrounded by colorful candied garden vegetables.

Ristorante La Caravella

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Once a magnet for intellectuals like Sartre and de Beauvoir, La Caravella is still in the hands of the fourth generation of the congenial Serandrei family. The cosy, wooden interior is modelled after an ancient ship; the bread homemade, the wine list extensive and the service attentive. The classic Venetian menu is innovative, fresh and beautiful; the ravioli stuffed with scampi is divine.

Ultimate Dining Experience in Munich

These are some of the hottest places to try in the capitol of Bavaria right now.

Go beyond the cold temperatres and get excited to discover the coolest restaurants and cafes that Munich has to offer.

Sophia’s Restaurant & Bar

Top chef Michael Hüsken, already well-known to Munich’s gastro public through his work at Schloss Elmau and in the Michelin-starred restaurant Werneckhof, continues to impress at Sophia’s with refined Italian cuisine, emphasising the changing seasons with imaginatively prepared dishes. In an airy, light and delightfully arranged dining space, the competent staff offer fine wines from a well-thought-out international wine list.

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Heinrich Matters

The new place-to-be in Maxvorstadt: a cosy, casual café-restaurant with a shabby-chic look, where you can feel comfortable all day long, from breakfast through to dinner. The decorative interior perfectly complements the lovingly prepared dishes which include vegetarian options. The key focus is on regional and organic fare.

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Vecchia Lanterna

In the elegant neighbourhood of Lehel, gourmet chef Antonino Denami has presented authentic Italian cuisine for over 10 years – seasonal produce, originally prepared but never over-the-top. The ambience is stylish and modern with designer lamps adorning the airy salon, where Denamis’ wife Mirka Otta offers noble selections from an extensive wine list.

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Schubecks Fine Dining im Boettners

Alfons Schuhbeck is extending his ‘Platzl Empire’ with fine dining at Traditionhaus Boettner’s which has garnered its first Michelin star since 2018. In its elegant setting, chef Maurice Krieg, one of Schlemmer Atlas’ “Movers of the Year,” serves dishes that elegantly combine French haute cuisine with a touch of Japanese lightness.

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Baan Huraa, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort : A Thai culinary symphony nestled in an Overwater Oasis

Often in the world of food, the war of prowess becomes an unwieldy battle between the real deal and the good stuff. There are those who have eaten dishes in their place of origin and will accept no other version of it; and there are those who accept appetising dishes with much nonchalance for authenticity. I take pride in saying I have picked a side; the former one of the two.

Anantara Veli’s signature Thai restaurant Baan Huraa easily surpassed all my prior rendezvous with Thai fare. Nestled over the ocean, the overwater haven radiates oodles of authentic Thai delicacies coupled with the finest hospitality. Enveloped by the rhythm of the sea beneath and the soothing horizon, I was overpowered by Baan Huraa’s ambience almost instantly.

The service was exceptional and the staff was welcoming and eager to help amateurs navigate the fairly alien menu. For non-vegetarians, the menu was inexhaustible with bountiful options across meats and seafood. Furthermore, unlike most other Asian diners flung far and wide, Baan Huraa had no dearth of vegetarian alternatives either.

Our much-awaited vegetarian three-course dinner commenced with the Thai version of paan. The server approached our table with an adorable wooden box brimming with some interesting condiments such as raw ginger, lemon chunks, raw coconut, red eye chilies and sambal. All the condiments were to be wrapped into a leaf to form a refreshing pre-meal bite.

Given my love for tofu, the Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce was the most obvious choice for the first course. In addition, we also ordered a Som Tam salad. The Tofu Satay was a winner with its tender and velvety centre seasoned with spices and marinated to perfection. The peanut sauce was so delectable, we requested for another helping. We even teamed it up with the Som Tam salad, which was flavourful and tangy with a hint of spice from the birds eye chilies. The finely-cut papaya was left al dente to perfection, adding a crunchy texture to our first courses.

An interesting trio of red, brown and white sticky rice
Main Course – Pad Thai Noodles and the Winner of the Night – Massaman Curry

For main course, a sizeable feast greeted our taste buds in the form of Pad Thai Noodles, Massaman curry and a Three-Mushroom Salad. Commemorating the fine flavours of Thai cuisine, the Pad Thai was a real highlight! Comprising light flat noodles, sautéed perfectly with a wholesome variety of vegetables, the dish managed to maintain a perfect balance between sweet, tangy and spicy. The dish of the night however, was the Massaman Curry. It was a welcome change from all curries, be it Green, Red or Massaman, tasting exactly the same in most restaurants back home in India. While this Massaman curry too did have a generous amount of coconut, the flavour generated from the freshly prepared peanut paste and perfectly cooked vegetables, shone through and made it one of the better curries we have tasted on our travels worldwide. Interestingly, Baan Huraa ditched the concept of a singular portion of white rice; and partnered the curry with a trio of rice, brown, red and sticky white. We especially enjoyed pairing the curry with the red rice. Unfortunately, the Three-Mushroom salad was nothing to write home about; it lacked the zest and essential nuances the rest of the dishes entailed.

Dessert – The simple yet flavourful chocolate ice-cream

We were full to the brim after the delicious meal, but decided to order the chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was extremely creamy and airy, with an excellent dark chocolate flavour, making it a perfect end to a sumptuous meal.

All in all, we had a memorable culinary experience comprising a terrific amalgamation of flavours and textures right from start to finish. Baan Huraa is definitely a must visit for anyone heading to the Anantara properties in Maldives.

Where: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort
Veligandu, South Male Atoll 20109, Maldives
Phone: +960 664-4100
Average Cost: $110 for two people

Review: Diana Herrick

Messieurs, don’t scoff Mr. Skoff!

At last year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux, French eyes where rolled and heads turned away with envy as Walter Skoff, an outstanding winemaker from Austria tore away from under their aristrocratic noses the highest award, the „Denis Dubourdieu Trophy“, for his Kranachberg Sauvignon Blanc 2015.  The French can no longer lay claim to having the best Sauvignon wines because as Walter Skoff or ”Mr. Sauvignon Blanc“ as he is famously known, uncorked the world’s premier Sauvignon Blanc he demonstrated not only to France but to the rest of the world, his expertise in outstanding wines by coming first out of more than 800 international submissions.  What more proof do the French want?

Mr. Skoff at work

The family run business is now in its 5thgeneration and the key to its ongoing success in Gamlitz over the many years is down to the fact that the wealth of winemaking experience is being passed down from generation to generation, and constantly being developed.SKOFF Original was founded in 2011 and the range of wines nurtured are typically Styrian, with Welschriesling (Italian Riesling), Gelber Muskateller, Weißburgunder, Grauburgunder and Morillon (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay respectively), as well as the native red varietal Zweigelt.  A sparkling Brut and nobile sweet dessert wines also flow from its vineyards. Demands for wines made by Walter Skoff’s team stretches internationally, and way beyond the boundaries of Austria.

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All these exquisite wines and also his flagship wine, the premium “Royal Sauvignon Blanc“ may be sipped first hand on the terrace of the “Buschenschank“ on the Walter Skoff Wine Estate  which stands majestically on the “Sudsteirischen” wine route, offering breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside. And if you find it hard to leave, then there are six comfortable guest rooms upstairs, with equally magnificent vineyard views.

Contact: Vineyard Website

Belmond Reid’s Palace has announced a three day food festival that brings together 8 Michelin starred chefs

Belmond Reid’s Palace in Portugal has announced an annual gastronomic festival that brings together the best of European culinary talent to offer a one-of-a-kind experience. The festival will bring together Michelin starred chefs from across Europe, including Luís Pestana, Executive Chef of Belmond Reid’s Palace and the Michelin-starred William Restaurant. The chefs invited are:

– Michel Van Der Kroft of ‘t Nonnetje in Holland, 2 Michelin Stars;
– Ricardo Costa of The Yeatman Hotel in Porto, Portugal, 2 Michelin Stars;
– Davide Bisetto of Oro – Belmond Cipriani in Venice, Italy, 1 Michelin Star
– Joachim Koerper of Eleven in Lisbon, Portugal, 1 Michelin Star;
– Pedro Lemos of Pedro Lemos Restaurante in Porto, Portugal, 1 Michelin Star;
– Sergi Arola of LAB by Sergi Arola – Penha Longa Resort in Sintra, Portugal, 1 Michelin Star
– Vitor Matos of Antiqvvm in Porto, Portugal, 1 Michelin Star

The Art of Flavours Gastronomic festival will take place from the 8th to the 10th of June. Guests will have the opportunity to attend masterclasses organized by the Michelin starred chefs and take advantage of their expertise and knowledge. Other events include an outdoor party where brilliant Chefs, winemakers and producers from all over the world will set up more than 20 stalls, inviting visitors to experience an incredible range of flavors plated in fine china from Vista Alegre. At this event guests can watch the esteemed chefs at their live cooking stations and eve talk to them one on one. The evening is capped off by the Madeira Atlantic Festival, a magnificent pyromusical show.

The festival will close out with the Stars dinner, a nine-course experience that will include contributions from all the Michelin starred chefs. Chef Sergi Arola has chosen the caviar and foie gras as main ingredients, Pedro Lemos will homage the local fish by presenting a bluefin tuna with mushrooms and wasabi. Luís Pestana will use Madeira wine to flavour Wagyu beef and will include truffles, foie-gras and secret Madeiran ingredients and Pedro Campas, the Pastry Chef of Belmond Reid’s Palace will close the experience with the unique desert – Flavours with tradition – passion fruit, cottage cheese and honey cake.

The Food Party will take place on the 9th June will start at 7.30 pm and it’s priced at 140.00 € per person while the Stars Dinner on the 10th June is priced at 200.00 € per person and starts at 7.30 pm. You must book in advance to secure seats. Call +351 291 71 71 71 for or send an email to reservations.rds@belmond.com

Review: Lisa Johnsen

Crazy Fish Dubai Launches ‘Oysters And Bubbly’ Nights

Nestled in the heart of DIFC, Crazy Fish Dubai, the newest Italian seafood fine dining concept, launches an enticing ‘Oysters and Bubbly’ offer.

Featuring the distinctive taste of the Mediterranean Sea, Crazy Fish launches its new Offer, sourcing oysters from Spain and Italy, while the bubbles are imported from France. Savour the moment with unlimited succulent oysters complemented by a refreshing glass of bubbly while enjoying the trendy Brasserie interior décor of the restaurant.

The restaurant, conceptualized and launched first in Monte-Carlo by Italian entrepreneur Flavio Briatore, offers the freshest and best quality fish and seafood straight from the Mediterranean Sea. The fish and seafood, served at the restaurant, are daily caught and are not farmed. Elaborating on the idea of serving simple dishes that are rich in taste without concealing or distorting the flavour of the fish, guests at Crazy Fish will be spoilt with choice.

The Details.

‘Oysters & Bubbly’ Night at Crazy Fish Dubai | Every day, from 19.00 to 21.00 | Podium Level, Al Fattan Currency House DIFC

AED 220 per person.

Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday: 19.00 – 01.00 | Thursday & Friday: 19.00 – 02.00 | Saturday & Sunday: 19.00 – 01.00

Information & Reservations.

Call 056 115 1724, email reservations@crazyfishdubai.com or visit http://crazyfishdubai.com/

Tobasco reveals a special edition sauce presented in a tiny Champagne bottle

The most ubiquitous hot sauce: Tabasco, is celebrating 150 years of setting people’s taste buds on edge. To commemorate the anniversary, the company has created an over-the-top limited edition Diamond Reserve Red Sauce which comes in a miniature Champagne bottle.

It’s not the just the bottle that’s fancy though, Diamond reserve is made from tabasco peppers that have aged in barrels for as long as 15 years. The long aging period allows them to develop in flavor and complexity. Even the peppers chosen are special – with their color, texture and robustness being considered before they were picked at Avery Island for this special sauce. The aged peppers are combined with sparkling white wine vinegar, before being sealed into their in their very special gold foil topped bottles.

They may look fancy and make a great gift for a spicy food loving friend, but their priced at just about $35 for a six ounce bottle. They are likely to sell out soon so get yours here:

Available at: CountryStore

Caprice at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong — A magnifique feast for the senses

Dining at Caprice, the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s two-Michelin-starred French fine dining restaurant, is an experience that qualifies as eating of epic sensations.

The Chinoiserie décor itself is in a league of its own. With three massive Czech crystal chandeliers framed by large views overlooking the harbour, leather armchairs and an underlit catwalk-like landing in Yayoi Kusama-yellow from one end of the space to the other, the ambience is vibrant, classy and impactful. The open kitchen even has a curtain of Swarovski crystals perched above the stoves, making you feel like you’re dining within a diamond.

Under the baton of Chef Guillaume Galliot — who was once the youngest sous chef at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, and formerly at the helm of The Tasting Room by Galliot in Macau, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant — Caprice has maintained its two Michelin star rating since he joined the French institution in 2017. So it follows that when Chef Galliot stopped by our table to say hello and tell us a little bit about himself and his background, we happily gave him free rein over our meal.

“The open kitchen even has a curtain of Swarovski crystals perched above the stoves, making you feel like you’re dining within a diamond.”

The service standards were, of no surprise, exceptional. Each course arrived perfectly timed and accompanied by a phalanx of waiters who simultaneously flourished the cloches open with bright eyes and polite smiles. Throughout lunch, the staff moved swiftly around, brisk walking over at the slightest indication to tend to our every request, query or concern. My warm water cup, for one, never fell below the halfway mark, and we didn’t once lack the appropriate utensil or accoutrement at any point.

For our appetiser, we sampled one of the signatures: a ‘Land and Sea Tartare’ composed of Australian Wagyu beef and Gillardeau oyster, topped with Kristal caviar and a surprisingly large sheet of gold leaf for a visual oomph. Fresh snow peas lent a distinct crunch while a ring of egg confit and parsley drops presented an orange and green ring around the beef. Ooh la la.

“Each course arrived perfectly timed and accompanied by a phalanx of waiters who simultaneously flourished the cloches open with bright eyes and polite smiles.”

The next dish was one of the standouts of the meal. Named ‘L’Œuvre de Mon Voyage à Singapore Le Laksa au Crabe Royal, Œuf Confit et Citron Sudachi’, it roughly translates to ‘The Work of My Journey to Singapore: The Laksa with King Crab, Confit Egg and Sudachi Lime’. The creation was inspired by Chef Galliot’s time in Singapore and blended with classical French flavours — laksa being one of the most iconic local dishes of the city-state.

Served in a crustacean-shaped bowl, the yellow sauce — lighter than the typical orange laksa soup — bore the same, rich flavour. Within, fresh snow crab, lobster, leeks, coriander, chopped hazelnuts and a dusting of grated lime zest came together elegantly to enhance, as opposed to overpower, each ingredient.

The next three plates were equally noteworthy: a creamy Guilvinec turbot in new Caledonia prawn consommé with ginger; Racan pigeon cooked in a cocoa pod with pumpkin purée, salsify, and natural jus; and a glorious beef cheek Parmentier with potato espuma and parmesan cheese, topped off generously with black truffle.

The pigeon in particular, which hails from Chef Galliot’s home region of Loire Valley, was first shown to us in its cocoa pod before being carved up. The presentation was exquisite, the smell sublime. For the final finish, an outrageous topping of truffles went hand-in-hand with the juicy, full-bodied flesh.

All too soon, it was time for dessert but the culinary delights continued. Courtesy of esteemed pastry chef Nicolas Lambert, we enjoyed a pre-dessert yuzu parfait-meringue concoction with basil syphons and lime jelly drops on a crispy polenta that had the lightness of being. The combination of the different textures also contrasted beautifully at first bite, to the last.

Last but not least was a Joe-inspired treat featuring coffee ice cream, walnut tuiles, laddie fingers soaked in coffee syrup and caramel drops that looked too good too eat, but one that I practically inhaled during the conversation. By the time our teas and mignardises arrived, the restaurant had emptied out before we realised.

Judging from this experience, Chef Galliot truly flexes his classically trained French muscle while blending in his own influences from working around the world. His creations are evidently thought-out and intriguing, making the entire affair memorable. Though Caprice lost a Michelin star from three to two after a change in leadership in 2014 — with Chef Galliot maintaining the two-star ranking since he’s come onboard — we predict a triumphant return to its former status sooner than later.

Where: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3196 8888

 

Peyote DIFC a luxxrs visit

Our mission is to filter for you the best, most luxurious (and delicious!) culinary, fashion and cultural experiences taking place across the city. We aim to bring you the best that Dubai can offer.

We are often asked how we achieve this, what standards do we apply. The answer is simple: our team of specially selected writers and reviewers all have one thing in common: a love for quality, taste, beauty and aesthetics. This is where Peyote DIFC comes in.

Peyote – The Review

Dubai, the culinary haven that we are lucky to call home, has seen a genuine emergence of a new generation of restaurants offering a modern take on traditional and, sometimes, indigenous cuisines. Peyote, launched earlier this year, is definitely a contender for one of the finest, most original, delicious and aesthetically pleasing newcomers in this category. Acclaimed chef Eduardo Garcia (of the Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City – voted in the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America) balances the contemporary and the classic at Peyote, which boasts elegant dishes based on the sharing concept around main themes which include: ensaladascrudoceviche, tacos and fresh meat and seafood.

On approach to Peyote, as we meander through the Gate Village in the DIFC, we are taken by the simple beauty of the ‘peyote‘ flower which adorns the outside wall of the restaurant.

The ‘peyote‘ is a type of cactus native to the Chihuahua desert – noted on the one hand for its medicinal and hallucinogenic qualities but also for its gorgeous, delicate, pale pink, circular and many petaled flower – which the maison Peyote has so beautifully and stylishly adopted.

As we enter, we note the carefully chosen yet simple decor of natural birch wood. The notes of colour are provided by the strategically placed pale turquoize ceramic pineapples on the proportionate open spaced shelves. Right on trend, these ‘objets‘ subtly direct the colour spectrum: cornflower blue, peyote flower pink and lavender pastel that occur tastefully in the surroundings and in the tableware. Notes of copper work in tandem with the natural hues and the marble bar is elegant and inviting.

Upon arrival, we are delighted by the chili and passion fruit margarita – a must-have signature cocktail from Peyote in London. It is spicy, delicate and makes for a perfect start to the evening.

Entrees

We start with the guacamole which is tasty and zesty, and set out to try the fried baby squid with jalapeno mayonnaise and lime. Huge fans of deep fried squid and very taken by Zuma‘s version of the similar dish, at The Luxe Diary, we are harsh critics. But Peyote’s definitely stands the test with the tangy and delicate flavours of its signature batter. Delightfully crisp and flavoursome, it is a great result.

We move on to the tacos. Here again, we are pleasantly surprised to discover Peyote‘s declension of this traditional Mexican speciality. The Tacos de res (braised beef short ribs, salsa verde and cilantro cress), on their delicate lavender coloured soft corn taco bases are the most moreish combination of buttery sticky beef contrasted beautifully with the sharp salsa verde. We also try the Tacos de tempura de gambas, tiger prawn tempura with chipotle mayonnaise and lime – equally delicious.

From the ceviche family, our favourite was the Laminado de hamachi – razor thin slices of hamachi delicately layered with a unique type of Mexican truffle. A close second: the stunning Ceviche blanco with cilantro oil and coconut aguachile.

A perfect side to the tacos and ceviche was the Esquites, sweetcorn with homemade mayonnaise and queso fresco. A surprisingly delicious side – with its ingredients showcased perfectly and let to shine.

Desserts

The desserts are another world of culinary discovery. We opt for the Oaxaca Chocolate – warm chocolate chipotle mousse and raspberry sorbet. It is an interesting combination: not too sweet, with an earthy, rich and very genuine cocoa flavour, contrasted with a sharp and fruity rapsberry sorbet –  a triumph.

We also enjoyed Peyote’s take on a traditional dessert, Tres Leches. A vanilla soaked sponge cake with raspberry jam and burnt milk ice-cream, this dessert is the definition of comfort food with an expert twist. The berries add freshness to this warm, milky and vanilla-sweet bowl of deliciousness.

Service

The service at Peyote is excellent. The staff are attentive and appear to genuinely enjoy hosting their guests.

Contact: +971-4-521-6300 | info@peyoterestaurant.ae
Location: Gate Village No, 2 | DIFC, Dubai

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