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. recommends: Vegetarian Fantasy with seasonal ingredients


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. recommends: Vellutata with peas from Sant’ Erasmo


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. 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. 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


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

vecio fritolin

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

la caravella

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.

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

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 or visit

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


Ninive | The New Dining Sensation Under the Stars

New dining sensation Ninive is now open at Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel, offering a unique outdoor culinary experience with breath-taking views of the Dubai skyline and a menu that celebrates the diversity of Arabiccuisine.

A concept created in one of the world’s most modern cities, Dubai, Ninive was inspired by the cultural and culinary diversity of the Arab region, and takes its name from one of the world’s seven wonders – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or Neneveh.  Serving cuisine with roots in Gulf, Levant and North African traditions, Ninive is a green, urban oasis suspended between two of the UAE’s most iconic towers, serving dishes that pay homage to the Arab kitchen in a fresh and hospitable approach.

The stunning décor pays homage to the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the Middle East and North Africa, and features hand-made brass, wood, marble and leather items that will evoke nostalgia. Tucked away on an elevated terrace at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, the venue is a verdant, tranquil haven in the heart of the city’s bustling financial district.

The Details.

Location : Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Opening hours: Saturday to Wednesday 16.00 to 02.00 ; Thursday & Friday 16.00 to 03.00.

Interview / Review: Gigi Morelli

Le Cirque Dubai – The Luxxrs Review

We were delighted to return to Le Cirque Dubai to sample its new fall menu, following our announcement earlier this year regarding the restaurant’s opening.

A new arrival on the Dubai French/Italian fusion stage earlier this year, Le Cirques is located at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Le Cirque offers classic French fare with an Italian twist. Chef Wesley Tyron-Berghoff has recently made a couple of masterful changes to an already beautifully balanced selection of dishes and we were keen to try them.

As we entered, the atmosphere was set by a charming French playlist in the background and during the beginning of the meal which we felt was a nice touch. Ever fans of the Dior-esque greys and blush pinks at Le Cirque, we noted the eclectic selection of artworks on display which complemented the surrounding really well, providing interesting talking points for diners.

Another new detail this time round: the French country house, antique style plates in dusty pinks, blues and greys were a pleasant contrast to the overall atmosphere.  As a consistent feature, however, it is pleasant to see the Dubai outpost of this New York institution retaining the same sophisticated modern feel as its New York elder sibling.

To start we were served delicious seared tuna and tangy scallops which were served with coconut lime and sweet potato. Both tasted as good as the style with which they were plated. We also sampled the beef tartar, which was delicately flavoured with a quail’s egg yoke as a subtly different touch.

Having enjoyed Le Cirque Dubai‘s burrata the first time round, we were delighted to try it again this time. We found the burrata to be second to none in the starters by all standards, rivaling even the likes of La Petite Maison and Cipriani. With its date and fig sweet jam reduction, a new element, this dish differentiates itself. It is an unexpected middle eastern twist on a classic. The flavour of the dish is sweet, but rounded and elegant and the texture of the burrata perfect – with a contrasting exterior and beautifully creamy interior.

For main course we had melt in the mouth striploin steak accompanied by creamy asparagus risotto with parmesan and beautifully cut and double cooked pommes allumettes, again all of which worked well together.

Dessert was a particular highlight with crepe suzette being prepared at the table, complemented by a delicious Paris-Brest and crème brulee. A charming touch was the crème brulee recipe which was etched on the bottom of the serving plate.

With regard to service, the waiters and the sommelier were very attentive, friendly and knowledgeable with a particular mention for the waiter for choreographed the crepe suzette presentation.

The Details:

For reservations, contact or call +971 (0) 4 372 2444.

We Take a Look at the Excellent English Wines from Danebury Vineyard

Valentine’s Day may be over, but there are 364 other days’ worth celebrating with Danebury Vineyard’s quality English wines.

Limited production with exceptional quality, that’s the focus of family-owned boutique vineyard Danebury Vineyard. Based near Stockbridge in Hampshire, the highly regarded vineyard estate covers some seven acres – land that was once a successful racehorse yard. The racing heritage is now reflected in the company’s wine labels. And it named its sparkling white wine after Cossack, a racehorse trained at Danebury that won The Derby in 1847.

Vine growing at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury has been producing quality English sparkling and still wines since 1988 and follows organic principles in its wine-making. The UK’s long summer days allow for maximum ripening of its cool climate grapes, ensuring strong fruit flavours. While the chalk and flint soil lends the wine its mineralogy.
Danebury produces two varietal white wines: Schönburger and Madeline Angevine, and a Reserve Wine that’s a blend of the four varieties grown at Danebury. The vineyard’s sparkling offering is the premium vintage Cossack – an award-winning white wine made from Auxerrois Blanc and Ruländer grape varieties that will be released in Spring this year.

Grapes grown at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury’s expert winemaker, Vince Gower has been producing quality English wine for over 20 years and has won dozens of national and international awards. His careful approach entails minimal intervention, with the pressing, fermentation, transferring and filtering process carried out with the utmost care, ensuring the delicate nature of the juice is preserved and the character ‘terroir’ of Danebury Vineyard is fully expressed in the finished wine.

Danebury Wine Collection

Danebury Madeleine Angevine 2014 – Still Dry White Wine

Medals – Bronze: Decanter Magazine, UK Wine Awards. Commended: International Wine Challenge, Sommelier Wine Awards.

Madeleine Angevine is a white wine grape from the Loire Valley – a popular choice for UK winegrowers. It has the advantage of being early ripening and grows well in cooler climates. Madeleine Angevine makes an attractive fruity, yet dry wine with a flowery nose similar to Alsatian Pinot Blanc and refreshing finish. It’s the perfect aperitif and pairs well with chicken, seafood such as scallops and crayfish or charcuterie and pâtés.
Alcohol: 11.5% Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury Schönburger 2014 — Still Dry White Wine

Medals 2017 – Bronze: Sommelier Wine Awards

Schönburger is a relatively unknown German grape variety with a slightly red skin when it ripens, a hybrid of Pinot Noir, Chasselas and Muscat Hamburg, popularly grown in England. It is quickly pressed with no skin contact to produce a silky, aromatic, dry white wine. It has a rich, full soft palate exhibiting a refreshing, clean finish, making it an excellent accompaniment to fish, chicken and vegetable sauce-based dishes.
Alc %. 10.0. Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury Reserve 2015 – Still Dry White Wine

Medals 2017 – Silver: Sommelier Wine Awards, Bronze: Decanter, IWSC

A full dry white wine, which is a skilful blend of all our grape varieties (Schönburger, Madeleine Angevine, Auxerrois Blanc and Ruländer [Pinot Gris]). Displaying a complex combination of the fruitiness of Madeleine Angevine, the crisp acidity of Schönburger, structure of the Auxerrois, complemented by the subtle in influence of Ruländer, and delivering plenty of mineralogy on the finish. It works well with a variety of dishes due to its complex flavour and crisp acidity: a taste of Hampshire in a glass.
Alcohol: 12%. Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury “Cossack” 2014 — English Sparkling Wine

Made from a blend of 95% Auxerrois Blanc (a cross between Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir sharing the ancestry of Chardonnay) and 5% Ruländer grapes (a German synonym for Pinot Gris). Cossack is crafted using the traditional bottle fermentation method and aged for approximately four years on its lees. A classically structured wine that lasts on the palate, Cossack is equally delightful to drink either on its own or with food.

To be released in Spring 2018

Grape vines growing at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury Vineyards — Where and How
Danebury House, Stockbridge, Hants, 8020 6JX
Tel: +44 1264 781851

Visit and Text: Gigi Morelli

Katsuya by Starck – The Luxxrs Review

Katsuya by Starck, located in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah, at Al-Naseem Hotel, successfully marries master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi’s fresh take on Japanese classics with design icon Philippe Starck’s sleek and sultry interiors.

As you enter the restaurant you are welcomed by the magnificent setting, with straight lines and compartments due to the fact that the restaurant is conceived to look like a bento box. As the weather is cooling down, you can enjoy your dinner on the lovely terrace offering a view over the resort’s lagoon. The service is exceptionally friendly and very attentive.

To kick things off, we recommend the already famous Burning Mandarin which lives up to its name and reputation – burning, spicy, surprising, and well-presented: we couldn’t ask for more.

The menu offers a wide variety of mouth-watering starters such as the crispy brussels sprouts with balsamic soy and toasted almonds and the seaweed sunumono – mixed seaweed in a sweet vinegar dressing, the moreish creamy rock shrimp – crispy bite-size rock shrimp tossed in a creamy spicy sauce and the cucumber sunumono.

In particular, we’d like to talk about the brussels sprouts. Never great fans we decide to take the plunge and do not regret it at all. The inventive dish is crispy, tasty,  spicy: the perfect mix to discover these vegetables and actually enjoy them for the first time.

For mains, we try two of the restaurant’s specialities with a couple of sides. Highlights include the Miso Marinated Black Cod which is really a must-try dish! A very tender fish, well-presented, with unexpected and unparalleled flavour due to the sweet miso and the special taste of baked black cod. We are also very taken by the Wagyu Filet with Foie Gras – exquisite medallions of foie gras served on top of tender Wagyu beef, a really interesting and unique combination of two particular flavours. For those who love Japanese beef and Foie Gras, it is a must-have dish. The sides are also delicious – Robata beef asparagus, and Wasabi mashed potatoes – traditional Japanese flavours, always a delight.

Mains are followed by delicious mochis for dessert – traditional rice-wrapped ice cream with seasonal fruits – we particularly recommend the strawberry and green tea flavour, a personal favourite.

Katsuya offers a very pleasant dining experience with food of the most unexpected, unique and exquisite flavours – proof that you can enjoy a delicious dinner in a Japanese restaurant serving revisited traditional food without being limited to sushi.

Katsuya is a design and culinary success in every sense! We’ll be back soon!

Review: Gigi Morelli