My enthusiastic reviews on Trip Advisor
In Trip Advisor I write only if I find something as really great or as really bad! And that under the pseudonym „Fred G". Of course, neither Fred nor I have an epicurean mission that the world is just waiting for, and tastes are different - but not with Fred and me. Nevertheless ... should we ever disagree, and a reader find my / his remarks too outlandish, trite or pretentious, I blame Fred, he's used to that.
So Fred Gerdes is a pseudonym, as is his photo by the way. In truth, it shows a well-known pedal steel guitarist, namely Bucky Baxter, an incredibly likeable guy who has played with Bob Dylan and other greats, a visage that makes any criticism just perfect and unquestionable! Well, that's my theory anyway... I met him once in Nashville and took this photo. Unfortunately Bucky passed away two years ago (2020), a great loss!
However, one should generally express a crude criticism of the platform Trip Advisor - as, by the way, also with reviews of doctors, locksmiths, hotels and other service providers: utmost caution!!! Because here useless nonsense and lies are spread. It is faked without scruples: „The food was super tasty and the waiters totally friendly and helpful!" Or reports of hostile competition: „We waited 40 minutes for the food. The waiters were unfriendly and the food was bad!"
I only use Trip Advisor for a quick overview of gastronomic offerings. Because neither the usual point ratings nor the "reviews" have any value. But especially when I like something very much or not at all, I just can't leave writing!
I hate waiters who refill your wine. When you need them, they're not there, or they keep coming and getting on your nerves when you don't need them!
2016-05 El Pescador - it doesn't get any better than this!
One of the best mariscerias in Madrid that I know. Seafood and fish of the finest quality and prepared at its finest. This restaurant is located in the extremely rich Salamanca district, the food has its price, but it is justified. White wine: try a Waltraud! A small downer, the crowd: styled-up fake blondes and those gentlemen with ties and highly polished shoes, those fine gentlemen with gelled hair, the kind you see almost daily on Spanish TV today in front of the judge's table, accused of corruption, taking advantage, abuse of office, riding expenses at state expense, and other offenses.
2012-12- Trattoria Ferdinando III-Palermo - "Fantastic experience!"
December 25! We were totally lost in Palermo, the city map twisted by180 degrees, confused, a little worn out because of the slopes there, at the next corner a trattoria. "Let's have a beer there." Ok, we entered the place, which was as good as full, lots of families, celebrating Christmas Day. But there was a table for us. The waiter told us there was only a set menu today. Well, we weren't that hungry, but "Let's go!" What was then served was incredible: first a plate of oysters, more raw mussels (similar to "conchas finas" in Spanish), raw red prawns. Then carpacchio: marinated tuna, delicately smoked swordfish and salmon. Then a caponata with sweet glazed onions, followed by linguine along with half a lobster, all in a super delicate seafood sauce. We skirted the main course "swordfish" because relatively full. This was followed by a lemon granita and tarta de cassata for dessert, then double espressi and amari, where we ordered the bill. € 50, - was written. We tipped brilliantly and the extremely amiable waiter explained how we would find our way back to our neighborhood. What more, please?
2013-01- Tmun, Gozo - "Eating place at its best!"Tmun, Gozo harbor: a "funky place" tucked away on the harbor with a lot of charisma. And there are few restaurants that offer sea urchin pasta (rizzi) seasonally Fun landlords, cheerful ambiance, everything from the freshest, any seafood, best meat, an orgiastic chocolate dessert, a huge assortment of homemade ice cream, including gorgonzola! A quasi-Italian eatery at its best, and on an English-dominated island!
2013-01 Terra Celta, Madrid, Ventas - District restaurant with the level of a central cult place!José Blanco runs a Galician restaurant at its finest here in Ventas - the district where the bullfighting arena is located. Plenty of tables to sit outside, a bar-thresher in front. the rustic comedor in back. There is a main menu with the usual Spanish dishes and also constantly changing specialties according to the season: sea urchins (erizos), Galician oysters (the best in the world!), percebes (duck-billed clams), bogavante, santiaguiños (bizarre little crayfish), tuna or beef tenderloin tartare, fish in salt, white asparagus! scrambled eggs with nettles or seaweed, caldo gallego and for a short time even lamprea in its own blood (not to everyone's taste!), all using the best olive oil from Cordoba. Otherwise: sovereign, friendly waiters, a good assortment of wines, especially an excellent Albariño de la casa, which causes absolutely no heartburn. Moreover, here you can have unforgettable soccer evenings both in the bar and in the dining room!
2012-05 Cesare, Albaretto, Piedmont, Italy - "Cesare - The man who cooks everything!"
First of all, very important the address: Via Umberto, 9. Because that's exactly where you'll find once again that Cesare, who must have actually left the hamlet for a short time, but has now returned. Cesare makes an extremely iconic appearance in the book by the American and food critic of American Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten, book title: "The man who eats everything". When it comes to "food", Americans are still to be treated with caution, but Jeffrey is absolutely right: Cesare is a super cook and bon vivant! And everything goes completely unpretentious to the point! There is only one menu. The chef stands in the kitchen and simmers, while in the restaurant an extremely pleasant, discreet waitress performs the service. No wine refills, no stupid questions, just everything perfect. Cesare also stops by for a quick chat when there's time. And that's what's nice about this restaurant - no stress! After the four exquisite starters, e.g. finely floured, deep-fried, boneless sardine halves, green asparagus au gratin on a strawberry sauce, salad with slices of rabbit loin, porcini mushrooms with peach slices, it's time for a break. Who likes to smoke, goes to the terrace. Then came, as it should, a small risotto, followed shortly by a kid from the oven of the very best (see Jeffrey) and finally a very tender, fine duck breast. For dessert: coffee, grappa and a mother's style tart. The wines on offer (pretty much all local) are (except for the Barolos) almost all under €20 and are wonderful. Look out for Barbera de Alba! The bill came to €200 including 2 bottles of red wine. Considering the quality and ambience, in my opinion, virtually a gift!
2012-10-Formentera - Es Codol de Foradat
From the main island road towards La Mola, you turn right just before KM 9 (red and white sign) and then rumbles over a camino towards Migjorn beach. 200m before it, you pass a knight's castle-like structure that is worth seeing, which a certain Jörn Dahms had put there in fulfillment of a childhood dream and with not inconsiderable material contributions to the community. The soon frustrated knight, however, left the island a long time ago. That's how they are, the tourists: First they disfigure the area and then they piss off!
Said 200m further we may enter the dignified ambience of the Es Códol Foradat. Sea view, Catalan cuisine, fresh fish, prawns in various forms, mussels, almejas, duck breast with apricot sauce, the best chocolate mousse on the island, a Ribera del Duerro Fuestespina for € 18, - in short, everything is fine. In addition, friendly waiters with an overview, who do not go on your nerves. Super ambience with the best price-performance ratio of the island.
2012-12-La Isla, Sevilla - "Absolutely the bar! One of the best eating places in the world!"
Already a meeting place of the richer Sevillanos, all sorts of lawyers and politicians, which can not be avoided. But for that also no uninteresting faces. There is the restaurant and the bar. I prefer for atmospheric reasons necessarily the bar, more life and more looking. You can sit directly at the bar or at some bar tables with bar stools. There you look through the large refrigerated window on the Calle Arfe, where people constantly stop to admire the enormous fish and seafood hung in the window and otherwise presented. And the food is simply superb and perfectly prepared: any seafood at its finest: large percebes, Galician oysters (the best in the world!), sole, monkfish, huevos de merluzza (hake roe) a la vinagreta (minced peppers, onion, tomato with vinegar and oil), partridge (perdiz), Estremadurian pork shanks, etc. The waiters are extremely confident and friendly, best drinks also on tap (de la casa), for example, a Marqués de Murrieta reserva just so as a copa. Costs as a bottle € 24, -. Everything is not exactly cheap, but it is worth it. Good has its price! For me, especially the bar is one of the best eating places in the world!
2012-12-Delfino-Pozzallo, ProvincIa Ragusa, Sicily - "Truffle pig-like discovery"
Some time to cross from Pozallo to Malta. The TomTom showed us the way to the center. 80 meters in front sign: Delfino Restorante, open. Enter! Very tasteful, modern furnishings, everything glazed, you sit directly above the surf, super ambience. Finest ravioli with fish filling, spaghetti with black squid sauce (hard to beat!), swordfish really "poco cotto" and then a half-frozen almond foam cream, virtually unbearable! To all this an excellent Prosecco, € 80,- on the bill, sufficient reason for a good tip.
2013-01 Zsa, Ortigia, Syracuse, Sicily - "Solid, traditional cuisine"
After discovering nothing authoritative among the thousand useless comments, we roamed the beautiful Syracusan alleys and discovered Zsa near the Duomo. An honest, bright restaurant with tiled floor, no music, TV turned down, lots of locals. Trattoria and pizzeria. Not a place for die-hard seafood seekers, but perfect traditional cuisine. Very good buffalo mozarella with lean Tyrolean ham ("bacon"), caponata with capers, carrots and peppers, the pizza super crispy and relatively thin in the middle, also with buffalo mozarella on offer. € 12,- for a correct red wine, service: two friendly older gentlemen. But who ever meets an unfriendly waiter? - see those 1000 comments of English-speaking foreigners on this site about friendly staff, and nothing else that can help you!
2013-05 Cafe de Turin, Nice - Enjoying the best coquillages in Nice requires the whole guest here!
The only place I know in Nice where, in addition to the official assortment of oysters, clams, and crab shells, seasonal seafood offerings include the common sea urchin and this fantastically delicious violet (sea squirt)! Everything is super fresh, of the very best quality, and priced correctly (not overpriced!).
However, as other reviewers have noted, the service is not perfect. The whole place is a bit loud and funky, and the waiters are not the coolest and in egocentric megalomania like to forget important points of an order. If you want to get your money's worth as a guest here, you have to (see headline): Insist, insist! If whatever is not on the table after a reasonable time, hit it and complain with an angry face! Better of course, if one is at least somewhat powerful of the French. "Jé commandé..." is understood in any case without language problems as "I (h)abe ordered..."! And then just say what is missing or wrong, and soon after enjoy full pipe!
2013-05 Ristorante-Pizzeria La Piedigrotta Da Carmine e Antonio - all around great!
Via A. Gianelli 29, 16166 Genua, Italien (Piazza De Ferrari) +39 010 3200561
A restaurant rich in tradition, and in the best sense! Seafood oriented, the large, well-run kitchen prepares wonderful dishes: various very fine ravioli and other pastas, all kinds of daily fresh fish, a nice list of pizzas, for dessert, for example, a very tasty Neapolitan cheesecake with cedro (citron). In addition, a large wine selection and very confident, pleasant, almost amiable waiters, who give you the feeling of being well looked after in the right place.
La Piedigrotta is a bit back from the street, with a nice terrace directly over the sea and the house number 29 is hard to find. If in doubt ask someone at the front of the road!
2013-05 Ristaurante Da Nonna Sceppa, Paestum, Province of Salerno, Italy. - "Super food, super ambiance (more than pleasantly quirky)!"
An absolute feast for the palate, plus a bottle of high-class Prosecco for an incredible €14 (Astoria Casa Vittorino)! Raw Gamberi Rossi, sole au gratin with asparagus, bream with artichokes, followed by dangerous crème bisque desserts and not to forget: to start with an incomparable Mozzarella di Bufala! This is produced exactly in this area and its consistency is quite different from what you may have previously eaten as an imported product in other European countries! Super friendly and knowledgeable service. The guests: all through the bank - tourists, local families, possibly also members of the provincial organized associations. Anyway, not only food but also interesting and amusing ambience - it may be looked!
2013-07 Arzuaga, Ctra N-122 Km 325, Quintanilla de Onesimo - "Wild boar freshness at its best!"
If you arrive here as a German after the sun has set, and look at this above the road from the outside garishly white and red illuminated property, it seems rather as if a huge whorehouse is stationed there. But this is not so at all. It is a hotel with a large restaurant and a huge bodega inside the earth, where the excellent in-house wine is processed. Apart from that, you can see a lot of hectares of vines during the day, although it should be noted that only one kilometer away, the vines of the Vega Sicilia bodega (by far the most expensive and hottest wine in the region) are on the ground. Part of the restaurant are two glazed and air-conditioned terraces overlooking the country road. The menu suggests that you're dealing with a high-end establishment. This is not really the case! Because the portions are so large that you may like to share, especially the appetizers. Three of us ate a luscious salad as well as a portion of an absolutely excellent morzilla. Also "from the house" very well made ham croquettes are served. Main courses: Especially recommended are roe deer, venison, wild boar, wild boar piglet. This comes wonderfully juicy on the table. A nice garnish was fried Rukula. Dessert assortment extensive, € 15, - for a very good Ribera del Duero "La Planta". Ultimately, one has spent with good choice about € 50, - per person and for that simply excellently dined. Ultimately: Do not be deterred by the very first appearance, enter and definitely come back!
2013-12 Ristaurante Cru...do re', Piazza Vittoria 11, Naples, Italy - "Italian raw with Japanese aesthetic."
It annoys me to no end when, as here, people who apparently can neither afford nor are able to adequately appreciate a really good meal spread caustic nonsense out of mean ill will! Because already if one looks from the street by the window into the kitchen, hardly doubts should remain that one will have to do it here with highest Italian kitchen art. And that's exactly how it is! The signs point to "raw", Italian in taste, but following more of a Japanese aesthetic in presentation. Thinly sliced raw fish sashimi-like, but not on rice but on a mixture of potatoes and pesto. Crudo of course also various oysters, mussels, fish and shellfish. The pasta with gambas and black truffles as well as the risotto with razor clams as well as the smattering of mint on the tuna tartare left nothing to be desired. In addition an enormous wine list, fantastically light dessert compositions and brisk, Italian-language music, which stands likewise for the taste security of the operators. 80 euros per person should be calculated, but it can hardly be better spent!
2014-04 Piazzetta del Sole, Farnese, Italy - small and fine!
Already alone a small jewel in the Latio, this somewhat sleepy Farnese. And all the more lovely because of the Piazzeta del Sole. I would certainly take the 80km journey to be able to eat here again. A small, very fine restaurant with about 10 tables. You are well looked after by 3 ladies with a sense of humor. Among the starters you find fennel, broad beans and pecorino. Primi: 5 light rice and pasta dishes, as main courses lamb, rabbit and beef in different variations. Last but not least, all kinds of delicious dolci.
Be sure to make a reservation!
2014-04 GIGINA, Bologna, Italy - traditional at its best!
I would definitely travel 80 km to eat here again. And from the center of Bologna you have to drive about 7km out towards the airport. All this is worth it, because everything is great and the best example of traditional Bolognese cuisine: food, wine list, ambience, staff. The Vitello tonnato with unsurpassable cream, Spuma di Mortadelle - pureed and airy, perfect the Bolognese Ragú (by the way without tomatoes!).Definitely make a reservation!
2014-04 La Piedigrotta, Nervi (Genoa), Italy - traditional at its best - unchanged super!
15 extremely rewarding kilometers outside of Genoa, directly above the sea shore, you will find this somewhat hidden, unpretentious, traditional Genoese restaurant. Above the entrance door, by the way, is written ".......The TomTom will lead you there on untraceable paths. Do not be put off by this, because there is very good food waiting to be eaten! Fish in salt, ravioli filled with white fish, very tasty oysters, other appetizers of raw sea creatures, super tasty squid carpacchio with equally thinly sliced, freshly blanched artichokes and the finest Ligurian olive oil. And no one from the staff acts like this is anything special. Yes!!
Definitely make a reservation!
2014-06 El Lagar De Isilla - Sovereign super!
Here you can find not only lechazo (milk lamb from the oven), but also, for example, "mollejas" (lamb sweetbreads) prepared in the best way, an assortment of mushrooms, especially "amanitas", yellowish, firm to the bite and strong in flavor, and a stunning wine list: 8 pages of Ribera del Duero "robles" (joven) and 7 pages of Ribera del Duero "Crianzas". And that's not all! In addition, friendly, trained staff. One feels in the best of hands.
2014-10 Maricastaña Castaño del Robledo, Spain - "The finest!"
Saint Joseph! Here we go again with all these useless comments from English people! If they didn't just throw up after the meal or no waiter hit them in the face, they immediately write "super great"! And that simply because these people apparently lack the palate to verify that they have possibly eaten a thousand times worse!
This restaurant here is ABSOLUTELY TOP CLASS! A pilgrimage destination, which is worth even the longest journey! Best regional materials (wild boar, black pig, chestnuts, stone and other mushrooms, finest, selected ingredients! One eats so well rarely! And that without fancy dress and brimborium. Red wine tip: Sancha Pérez!
€ 50,- per person for a culinary pleasure of the first order!
2014-10 Taberna Trasteo, C/. Maria Luisa 24, Zahara de las Atunes, Spain. - "High Class & No Fancy!"
You can't eat photos, but these pictures here aptly document the incredible creativity of this excellent chef - both in terms of entrees and main courses, as well as his extremely crafty desserts. Truly rarely in my life have I eaten, drank and felt so good and so special!
2015-01 KOA, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands - a restaurant with a concept!
An extremely successful mix of Latin cuisine, i.e. Spanish, South American and Italian. We enjoyed very tender lamb, ceviche (raw marinated fish with fresh cilantro, fruit and avocado cream) and super tasty ravioli filled with shrimp and scallops. Also a perfectly seasoned coconut cream soup, good wine selection and all kinds of cocktails. The service is very friendly and engaging, and the nature of the food suggests that everything is made fresh in-house. And reviews from English speakers - positive or negative - are best ignored!
2015-01 Kings Fish, Calabasas, CA 91302, Los Angeles, USA - from the sea at its finest - a visit worth making!
A very tasteful place somewhere in the nowhere of the endless expanse of non-urbanity of the juggernaut that is Los Angeles, about 15 minutes by car from Disneyland, Anaheim. This place could destroy all evil prejudices against American cuisine!
The first thing that comes to the table, together with butter, is a sourdough white bread, of which I, as a German, "unfortunately" have to say that it is the best bread I have ever eaten in my life - whether white or dark. On the menu are then about 10 different oysters (East Coast preferred, because in many places Californian oysters are served, which are grown in brackish or fresh water and are practically inedible), a correct sushi palette, all kinds of fish (Yellowfin = red tuna preferred, because super quality), lobsters and lobsters fresh from the aquarium, Clam Showder or - who likes it lighter - Miso Soup, and also excellent side dishes like spinach, rosemary potatoes, glazed carrots etc.. In addition, ignorant non-fish eaters can be satisfied with a select meat selection.
The wine list is also impressive, even including a Spanish Albariño! And the Californian wines are not bad either. And last but not least: Super rock music from the house stereo (no boring top-40 hits like always here in Europe)!
2015-01 La Vineria, La Condesa, Ciudad de Mexico - very fine cuisine!
A small, stylish restaurant with a strong Italian twist, yet authentic, very fine cuisine. Good fish dishes, delicious desserts and a correct wine list. And watch out for the mescal "Meteoro"! Plus tasteful music (decent rock, soul and jazz) in the background. And just around the corner my favorite hotel in Condesa, "Casa Condesa Amatlan 84"!
2015-01 L'Invito, Boca del Rio, Mexico - The Italian promise!
After almost three weeks of "tortillas, tacos, lime juice, cocteles de camaron, de pulpo, de caracoles, de jaiba" - these often with fresh cilantro, but always in that diluted, sweet tomato ketchup sauce - here now is a place with cause for a sudden outcry of excitement! Finally, olives and olive oil, tagliatelle, correct white bread, reasonable red wine, burrata (really true!), the palate laughs! The well-traveled Venetian chef and his Mexican waiters do a super job here.
2015-02 Tandoori Station, Madrid - fancy, but good!"
If you have fought your way past the nagging receptionist beforehand on the phone for reservations or then when you enter, and later also manage to prevent the waiter from clearing away the delicious mint sauce too quickly, you can eat Indian food here correctly. The rice is great, but the dishes look as if they have been pre-cooked in huge troughs for a long time. In the evening, the restaurant opens at half past eight. It's worth taking a look beforehand at the "Gold Gourmet" on the left, which stocks a captivating selection of vegetables and fruits.
2015-04 Hotel Angleterre, Grenoble, France - "super luxury for little money"
In relation to the generally disastrous French hotel situation, this hotel can be listed under "super luxury for little money". Separate WC, bathroom with whirlpool tub, bidet, hairdryer, kettle including Nescaffee, DVD player, wonderful view of the Place Victor Hugo. In addition, correct, inexpensive dy breakfast and competent and helpful staff at the reception. Grenoble: definitely here again!
2015-04 Agnello d' Oro, Bergamo, Northern Italy - Eckhard Henscheid's 1st choice.
A magnificent 5-story tower building on the central Via Gombito in the upper town. One of my favorite authors, Eckhard Henscheid, wrote a wonderful novella called "Dolce Madonna Bionda" in 1983 about a stay in Bergamo among all sorts of half-baked survivalists, staying for just under a year in this very hotel. The furnishings are as good as a historic building might allow. No refrigerator, but at least a bidet and hair dryer in the bathroom. And the higher you live the better! As a bonus, there is a free "resident ticket" for parking your car.
2015-04 Azienda Agricola Lambruscheria Ca' Berti, Castelvetro di Modena, Italien - "traditionell italienisch pur!"
I would gladly accept even 80km of travel for this pleasure. Being nearby means "definitely go there and enjoy the food, the various Lambrusco and the ambience". Everything is perfect and presented by extremely nice people.
2015-11 K' Leti, Jarandilla de la Vera, Extremadura, Spain - yes!
This place is a gem that you would hardly expect to find in this hamlet (despite the old venerable Parador)! "The tapa under a fresh wind" could be chosen as title, but what is offered here goes far beyond the value of what is usually called "tapa"! Seasonal porcini mushrooms, raw tuna fillet on very tasty sauce "Reducido de Martini", small caramelized secreto fillets (marbled pork), sotted, slightly spicy chicken gizzards (not to everyone's taste, but where else can you get such?!), a first-rate mousse de chocolate, the best wine of this area (Carabal - Ribera del Guadiana). Otherwise: good-humored, confident waiters and an innovative chef.
Interior: fresh and bright, the guests rather young people, a certain noise level with contemporary music should be happily accepted. Bourgeois people and people of English mother tongue should better take the totally boring international cuisine in the local Parador restaurant at more than double the price, instead of ruining the super ambience of K' Leti!
2016-02 Zocalo Central, Ciudad de Mexico
If you are looking for a really classy hotel, you better choose the "Grand Hotel Ciudad de Mexico". Unfortunately, the rooftop terrace restaurant there has greatly diminished in quality. And therefore at least for dinner you have to go around the corner to the Zocalo Central. Fantastic cuisine, not overpriced, friendly waiters, great view over the city. And you can smoke as long as you have a table on the terrace. Militant non-smokers, of which there are unfortunately more and more, just let them go, even if they look so hateful!
2016-02 UNICO, Quintana Roo, Mexico - and yet...
There is a lot of complaining about the prices. And the fact that the cheapest Weil can cost 550 pesos is a sure sign that this is not a place for backpackers. But: I have never eaten such a juicy piece of Mahi Mahi before. 1st class, super tasty and full of flavor!
Ambience: elaborate interior, Italian modern, perfect view of beach and sea. A little oasis in this otherwise totally elegance-free Quintana Roo zone!
2016-02 MARIONETAS, Merida, Mexico - absolutely!
Beautiful patio, large rooms, quiet location, yet very close to the center, nice and educated hosts and 100m across "La Negrita", a funky bar with atmosphere, where until 9 pm mostly Cuban live music is celebrated! There the post goes off! And also nearby "La Oliva", a small Italian place with super authentic food.
2016-07 KULTO, Madrid - In Cook We Trust
Exactly. Better to trust cooks than gods or even Spanish politicians! And you can even blindly trust these cooks here! Apart from two beloved marisqueries (seafood restaurants), Kulto is for me the best dining place in Madrid. Super cuisine, best materials, lots of fresh herbs. Ambience Mediterranean as well as the dishes, but in addition they excite the palate with mysterious Peruvian and oriental ingredients.
Raw tuna of the highest quality: "Tacos de atun", "Satai de atun" or try the piglet fetuses "manitas de cerdo" - a tender stew with chickpeas and unexpected flavors of coriander, curry etc.. - tastes a thousand times better than it sounds! Wine: Try the Bierzo (red) or the Pato Mareado (Albariño, white).
General noise is present! But no fancy-pants place, alerte waiters, always good, expressive music from soul and rock. For me, the far better choice than visiting one of the local Michelin places with their silly, theatrical posturing. The patrons are tolerable - despite the Retiro neighborhood - although you've seen Mr. Justice Minister here, too.
Be sure to make reservations for the restaurant (upstairs). Otherwise, downstairs, you can hopefully snag a high table complete with bar stools until about 9:30pm.
2016-09 Ballena Verde - Zahara de los Atunes, Spain - Best music and sea view
If you look from the sea to the countryside, there is the best music for music lovers on the far left at the edge of town and, on top of that, the coolest bar with a sea view. The landlord Pepe is a virtuoso keyboarder and singer himself and sometimes plays jazzy music for the guests. In summer, Zahara de los Atunes is home to all sorts of artists, TV people and other creative types, but in addition and among them there are unfortunately also a bunch of unpleasant nouveau riche who - each looking at his cell phone most of the time - sit on the terrace of Ballena Verde and think they've made it.
2017-01 Scoma's, Fisherman's Warf, San Francisco, USA - "incredibly good!"
Everything is prepared at its finest, super tender calamari in herb sauce, tartare of the very best quality lightly smoked salmon, swordfish on a bean guiso - it doesn't get any better than that! Sufficient wine and beverage selection, very good Prosecco! And due to the location a bit further out on the rather industrial looking pier, you are at least a bit away from the Fisherman's Warf hustle and bustle. You may have to wait a bit at one of the two bars, but you can also dine there. Again, super ambience and not at all overpriced. We were there three times within five days!
2017-09 Aponiente, Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain - equally good does not go...
And certainly not better! And if you are in the lucky position to be able to pay the bill of a 2-star Michelin restaurant (per person from € 200,- upwards) and are equally into fruits of the sea, this is - I'm afraid even - the best restaurant in the world - stars or not! And this one is hidden away in this little spot Puerto de Santa Maria in the bay of Cádiz in a former, ancient tide mill.Newly rich foreigners can even have their car parked by a restaurant attendant. Fortunately, the clientele is almost exclusively Spanish, who don't really need such service.For the reception, an excellent Fino is served in a glassed-in anteroom to the left of the imposing entrance area, along with various amuse-gueles, until you are soon led into the restaurant, where you pass the large, open kitchen complete with Chef Angel and a multitude of chefs and cooks.The concept: everything from the sea! Unfortunately, for Michelin stars, strongly defined menus with a multitude of tiny bites as well as a few molecular foams seem to be obligatory, but that doesn't detract from it, because everything is just absolutely polished and of the very finest - chopped oyster meat hidden under a foamy cream, sea urchin paté, every specie could trigger a small orgasm. And all this in a pleasantly modern ambience with friendly, discreet waiters who don't get on your nerves, which is often the case in starred restaurants. Very good the white wine "Forlong". A small downer is that the next day you hardly remember in terms of taste what all the delicacies you guested there.
2018-02 Piu di Prima, Madrid - Finally!
After all, I've been looking for a really good Italian place without any success during all my last 8 years in Madrid. But suddenly, there cheekily opens this Piu Di Prima right 150 meters from where I live! And what a joy: Italian cuisine that surpasses by far everything that calls itself "Italian" in Madrid. Two chefs from Venice celebrate the finest creations: There's no pizza, but there's a variety of truly homemade pastas, e.g. filled with a cheese-herb mixture including a raw egg yolk, a Vitello Tonnato as it could not be better, fresh artichokes like a wide blossom flat out of the pan, classic lasagna as it should be, a huge Milanese veal escalope of the very best, a monkfish in perfect to the point consistency, a dessert called "Mojito" because green with a white foam on top, delicious! In addition, cultivated atmosphere and a successful selection of Italian and Spanish wines - Teresa, the landlady knows where to go. And outside, a guy is employed to park the limousines. And if you run out of tables on a spur-of-the-moment visit, you can always go across the street to Terra Celta: an excellent Galician that doesn't set out to convince at first glance, but has amazing seafood, among other things.
2018-03 Confusione, Càdiz - Pizza y delicatessen - back in the day!
It's not far-fetched to think that these guys have set their sights on becoming the best restaurant in Cádiz in no time. At the moment they mainly offer pizza to order for pick-up and take-away, but they also have a small assortment of absolute delicacies, e.g. small handmade ear pasta "Orejitas", which come with tender cooked mushrooms and thinly sliced meat from the buy (ox) in a cream sauce, or in front a foccachia made of dough blackened with sepia ink, the tiramisu "PLUS" has a base of homemade dark sponge cake, topped with the finest mascarpone cream.In addition, the Italian also knows how to put together a super collection from the Spanish wine selection. "On the house" there is limoncello or grappa, and also the pizza is of the best quality. The Apulian father of the Spanish-Italian chef is responsible for it.It was empty at 20.30 and packed at 21.30! I see this innovative site soon greatly enlarged in another location.
(but now - 2020 - forget it! The staff is completely overworked, constantly changing waiters and waitresses. You can make a reservation, but it's useless because of the inadequate organization on the part of the boss, who treats his subordinates snootily. You arrive and the reserved table is already taken. And it happens that after a certain amount of time you are asked to leave and make the table free again. And be careful with drink prices! Be sure to ask the price before ordering!
Irascible, the southerners!
It should be noted here that we had an absolutely filthy evening. Our reserved table near the door was already occupied, so we had to make do with a table in the far corner in the monkey heat. The waiters were hopelessly overloaded, the Prosecco due to lack of ice lukewarm and suddenly € 10, - more expensive than before. In the end, the hired chef came to ask us, with a guilty expression, to take dessert outside in the alley on one of the window sills. Final decision: We won't go here again.
About 2 months later, the boss was in the process of opening a pizza takeaway store near our domicile. Everything was still under construction and the roll-up chalouse was half pulled down. I slipped in there to finally confront him about the last incident and in anticipation of an apology. After I greeted his wife, he came forward. "You lost your best customers there 8 weeks ago," I prefaced the conversation. He denied everything, and after I called him "cowardly" because really he should have come to us himself to bring up the dessert issue, he snapped, "How can you call me cowardly in front of my wife?!" A single, super aggressive shouting, I said nothing more and, fearing for my health, was forced to flee under the roll-up door into the open air.
2018-09 La Terraza, Càdiz - totally unjustified invective!
La Terraza is not really a place to look for on the internet, simply one of many in the Plaza del Catedral where the cruise tourists stop. And the tremendous number of bad reviews on the net can only be explained by the fact that writers have been recruited here by competing restaurant and bar owners to post these invectives. I have eaten very well here several times at lunch, the finest fresh tomatoes, puntillitas (small fried squid), gallo fillets (parsley fish), sufficiently good white bread, correct traditional Spanish cuisine, and very friendly service to boot!
2019-01 Sushi Joint, Fullerton, CA, USA - Johnny Tren - Very, very best!
Located in Fullerton, just before the underpass right on Harbour Boulevard, this tiny place with its flashing lights doesn't seem very confidence inspiring to the more staid diner. But it's worth venturing inside! Here Johnny Tren is behind the bar preparing incredibly creative sushi and other Japanese creations.
I've been to many sushi bars around the world, and "unfortunately" I have to say that I've never eaten as well as I do here at Sushi Joint. Sashimi from the Yellow Fin Belly, stunning, small oysters, very tasty, the Fullerton Roll and lots of other rolls at their very best. The ambience slightly rock'n'roll, very pleasant service and in addition this always good-humored chef who is happy to recommend other specialties. If you are in the area, definitely go there! Even a longer journey is worthwhile! And on weekends, various live bands play in Fullerton, so that after an incomparable meal you can optionally enjoy another beautiful evening in this little place of the legendary forefather of the electric guitar - Leo Fender.
2022-04 La Islita, Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera - Absolutely top!
I'm afraid that hardly any German here appreciates the true quality of this place. Everyone just writes platitudes like "It was delicious". Here you can get homemade stuffed pasta - ravioli with all kinds of deliciousness in it! Making pasta yourself is a laborious job! We don't have here boring ravioli filled with spinach and cheese, like many Italians order pre-made from some money-grubbing suppliers! Here we create ourselves! And even the pizza is of the very best quality, thin and crispy! And the desserts, wow! Tiramisu is not equal to TIRAMISU! Or the delicious Baileys flan! And: competent service!
2022-06 - Pan y Circo, Sevilla - Eat & art
A work of art spread over three floors with an incredible wealth of detail. Nothing has been spared, the glazed elevator could easily have cost € 100,000. Croquettes with cecina (Bünden meat), langostinos teriaki, kidneys de cordero lechal and lots of Arabic, Moroccan-style dishes, e.g. caneloni with a cheese and pear filling. A wonderful mixture and a delight for stomach and eyes. In addition unpretentious Bossanova music. Approx. € 40,- per person is like a gift!
2022-05 Sevilla, La Isla is back – luckily!
For 20 years this has been one of my favorite restaurants. Shortly before the pandemic, the owner passed away and La Isla was ugly remodeled, with the new boss in a dark suit and tie mostly chewing gum huddled next to the defaced bar. And it wasn't just the pandemic that drove the place into bankruptcy. Recently, however, the place has been tastefully renovated by new owners, and the cuisine has found its way back to its first, excellent standard. A wonderful assortment of fish and seafood in an upper-middle-class setting (lawyers and other high-income earners). But it is worth again to take something there!
2022-06 El Puerto de Santa Maria - La Taberna del Chef del Mar
Chef is the wife of Angel León, who years ago opened what I consider to be the very best restaurant in the area of Cádiz and soon earned two Michelin stars. He then left the restaurant to his wife and opened Aponiente a few meters away in a former tidal power station, where he was immediately awarded three Michelin stars for his ingenious creations (everything from the sea!). The Aponiente is even a class better than the Taberna, but one can hardly remember the next day what the almost twenty small, gradually gourmet dishes consisted of. The Taberna is more down-to-earth, although here too everything comes from the sea. But a fish is a fish, croquettes with cuttlefish meat including ink remain quite identifiable, expensive plankton powder makes the rice green, which like everything else here is also extremely tasty and unusual. For dessert, the only non-sea product is an iced melon soaked in sherry in a vacuum, delicious!
I have a little, almost criminalistic story to tell about this: extremely decorative, lifelike regional fish made of paper dangle from the ceiling of the sea chef's taberna. We really wanted to have something like that in our house, but the origin of these works of art was not quite verifiable. We were only told that an Argentinian woman based in Barcelona made them, but nothing more concrete was forthcoming. On an Aponiente visit, we asked again, and sure enough, weeks later, an email came explaining that this Argentine had a booth at a handicrafts market on So-and-So Street in Barcelona. I immediately googled the street, discovered a restaurant including phone number and called: "Buenas dias, there must be an arts and crafts market near you where a woman runs a booth with paper figures." The waiter was very nice, but advised me to better call Pizza Paco because it was very close to this market. Googled again, found Pizza Paco, the waiter even nicer, and he actually put us in touch with this Paola Micheo. We sent her ten photos of fish from the Cádiz region, and two months later these beautiful, filigree works arrived at our place, perfectly packed.
2022-07 Madrid - El Pescador - Good things come at a price!
Everything on the menu here can be eaten in other places, but not at this incredible quality. This marisceria is the best I know in the world! The best, pure stuff from the north of Spain, everything superbly prepared, no foams, no emulsones, traditional interior. The sole Evaristo is the best I've ever had, to the point inside and crispy outside. And those round, Galician oysters and any crustaceans, etc., that let no wish go unfulfilled. Even the actually simple croquettes filled with carabiñeros or cuttlefish meat complete with black ink are of an unexpected delicacy. Sometimes there are small squid caught with fishing hooks. Followed by a lemon sorbet!
You should arrive here as early as possible in the evening, because a little later there is a risk that they will come and seat themselves at the surrounding tables: those styled-up, fake blondes and those gentlemen with ties and highly polished shoes, as you see them almost daily on Spanish television today, sitting in front of the judge's table, accused of corruption, taking advantage, abuse of office and riding expenses at state expense.
Be sure to book!
2022-08 – Puerto de Vega, Asturien – Cofradia / very best!
The last lobster I had eaten in January 2020 in Los Angeles - combined with a visit to the fair. No comparison at all with the lobster here in the Cofradia on the coast of Asturias: pure taste, plus lots of coral (eggs) on the abdomen, simply delicious! Before that, delicious oysters and a Salpicon de Marisco (cold seafood salad) that included plenty of lobster meat and langostinos, very different from what you're used to. It was accompanied by an excellent Godello white wine, super nice, unservile, confident waiters and the wine right on the table. (I hate wine waiters who give you refills and are never there when you need them, or keep coming and getting on your nerves when you don't need them!)
Definitely make a reservation!
Mozzafiatto - Authentically Venetian!
Stefano learned to cook in Venice and was the head chef at Piu Di Prima for several years, possibly the best Italian restaurant in Madrid to date. Now he has opened his own place in the Chamberi district and, of course, has taken most of his brilliant recipes there. For example, ravioloni, filled with a mixture of cheese and herbs, including an almost raw egg yolk that pours onto the fork when cut. Or ravioli, filled with a cream of bacalao and cheese along with oven-baked Cheryy tomatoes. And his vitello tonato is also beyond criticism, a tuna cream that could hardly be more exquisitely made. A bottle of the best Prosecco for € 18, - pleases the palate. In addition in this very pleasant, not at all Schickimicki Ambiente Italian hit music from the 60's underlines the culinary benefit. You can feel good all around!
La Taberna de Nino - Mazagón - a gift!
Mazagón is a tourist resort, near the Doñana Natural Park, northeast of Huelva, possibly the ugliest city in all of Spain. A vast area of refineries, industry, and the most awful architecture. Even the highly praised fish market can in no way compete with that of Cadiz. The small Mazagón is also ugly, but houses a pedestrian zone, which in other coastal towns is often called "Calle de Hambre" - "hunger alley". One restaurant after another, and hardly any of them seem particularly inviting. But one does: La Taberna de Nino, a rustic-looking gem with an exquisite menu. In addition to a spectacular assortment of meats - presented in a huge display case - there are even Galician oysters, which share space with lobsters and Langoustes in a large aquarium. Plus carabiñeros a la plancha (be sure to spoon or suck out the head!), large white gambas from Huelva, turbot, sole, pargo in a salt coat, etc. All served by extremely friendly waiters, who fillet the fish in a highly professional manner. In addition, an excellent Blanco "Barraderos", which costs a ridiculous € 13. Altogether one is with 40 to 90 euros. And it is worth every euro!
And almost all the waiters are from Lebriche, a small village south of Seville, whose baker recently won the award for "best baker in the world". We once bought two excellent loaves of bread there, which stayed fresh for a week and left no doubt about the qualification. So: Nino, better make a reservation! We arrived at 20:00 and at 22:00 every table was taken!