Ottolenghi is renowned as a high-end food chain with several London locations. Opened by Israeli chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi, its popularity make reservations a challenge. Wanting to try it, me and my wife finally managed to book at table at the Spitafields location. Situated down one of London's typically curvy alleyways, it offered wonderfully colorful, flavorful food amid a happily sun-lit setting. Here are some photos of the food.
Before returning home from my trip to Europe, my friend Sabino suggested I go see Princi, a London-based Milanese pastry shop. Besides having a pizza oven, it bakes great bread. During my visit, I learned that it was partnering with Starbucks to make some of their baked goods in America. Stay tuned. If you get to London before that happens, try the Princi breakfast, it's killer!
Visiting London's Covent Garden, we tried a Peruvian restaurant called Lima Floral. After my previous Peruvian find back in New York City's Williamsburg, I was curious to try Peruvian food across the pond. Here's what they offered, all good!
A brunch menu, short but filled with flavor and choices. From the balance of starters to the bolder main plates you weren't in England anymore.
Visiting London, after eating a terrible batch of fish'n'chips, a friend warned me about the signals that should have first raised alarms. "The peas should be steeped dried peas," she said. "Not luminous green ones out of a tin!" Well, just as bad as the peas was the mushy batter on fish.
I gave another chance to this iconic dish, this time getting "a proper Fish'n chips," one that passed the test at the famed Fish Kitchen at Borough Market!
Thanks to Executive Chef Nick Melmoth-Coombs who came out to say hello too!
Wanting to try some English traditional steak, Bready Ben" suggested Hawksmoor 7 Dials. What a meal. Fully packed, we got front row at the bar and were taken care of by Henrick,the Danish bartender. Great, straight-forward food and satisfying drinks. Spot on!
Here's some thoughts on a London lunch at Peter Gordon's Tapa Room. A fusion of wine bar and café, the ground floor offers a diverse menu available throughout the day. Ten years ago, I had visited Gordon's restaurant Providores, something I remember as a treat. The Tapas Room fulfilled on Gordon's reputation. Simple, tasty and satisfying. Here's the lunch!
Jaded as I am as a chef (nevermind as a New Yorker!), a restaurant find in Williamsburg left me with pure happy in my belly. And my soul! It's a Peruvian restaurant called Llama Inn. No attitude except serve great food, it's the creation of Chef Erik Ramirez, formerly of Eleven Madison.
I'm not sure, but judging from my meal here, he seems French trained. Regardless, he's serving the most delicious anticucho's, tiradito, ceviche,and more. Honestly, it was so good me and my part just kept ordering. This seven month old restaurant is right on, with remarkable great (yet unpretentious) service. Attentive and knowledgable, where do you get that these days? Here's some food shots, man, I'm going back again!
Dizengoff is a street in Tel Aviv, Israel. Now a restaurant by that name has opened in New York. Focused on hummus, Dizengoff is the creation of Chef Michael Solomon of Zahav. It's great, with fresh, Israeli inspired pickles, pita and gorgeous, delicious, tahini rich hummus. It also serves local beer and a frozen, boozy concoction called "Lemonanna." Though I hankered for a falafel, here's what I had.
Giacomo Baldi, CEO of Molino Grassi USA, has opened a New York City pizzeria called Pecore Nere. Using Parma-produced "Bio Flour," his mantra is "choose your dough." Concretely that means he retards the dough for different periods and gives it a slow cold fermentation. The restaurant is in a fabulous location, and it features a rustic interior enhanced with flour sacks, a great pizza oven, and an open kitchen. Here are shots of some of what we had.