The Truffled Mortadella at BDJ in Madrid

The perfect free sample proved irresistible bait on a Friday afternoon in Madrid, reeling my friend and me into a bocadillo bar named BDJ. We knew what we wanted before sitting to see the menu: more of whatever was in that bite at the door. And that bite was of a sandwich called the Mortadella…

That Tortilla at Casa Dani in Madrid

“I just don’t even know how we’re going to fit.” “Yeah but that tortilla though…” A very lazy Saturday morning saw my friend and me strolling the streets of Salamanca in central Madrid, recounting the events of the night before. There had been an all-male pregame and a rum and coke with far too much…

A Bocadillo de Calamares in Madrid

After a weekend of total inactivity, I forced myself off the couch and into the shower this morning (ok, more like midday.) The idea was to go out, eat something pretty, enjoy the unusually warm weather and check out how my grandmother’s ring, which I just started wearing as an early birthday gift to myself,…

A Bistronomique Dinner at Porte Quinze

Tucked away on a barely-there side street between the Quai de la Douane and Place Saint-Pierre is Porte Quinze, bistro gastronomique of Ivorian Chef Gilbert Okoin. With its modest capacity of just 20, the ambience is intimate, and the interior as discreet as the location. Light wooden surfaces, touches of taupe, grey and white here…

Spanish Cult Classics and New Things at Stagier

A long time has passed since my bachelorette trip to Mallorca back in April, and many things have happened since then. I got married, for one. As I think back on that trip now, it’s all a blur of excellent wine, one-on-one’s with four of my favorite people, endless gin tonics and hungover brunches with…

Dinner at Le Schuss on our Last Night in La Mongie

Our Assumption Day long weekend got off to a patchy start this year. Too tired after the wedding to plan any big adventure, we decided on a peaceful retreat in the Pyrenees. Ben picked the spot, a spattering of lakes in the Néouvielle National Nature Reserve. We prepared our packs for one night of camping…

Capperi: Dinner Inside a Pizza Oven during a Heat Wave

On the hottest day ever recorded in the history of Bordeaux, two friends and I made a reservation at a pint-sized pizzeria where the dining area is about 1 meter from a 350° C wood fire burning oven. After some hesitation and a few longing glances in the direction of Aphrodite, a breezy Greek terrace…

Lunch in Cauterets after a Night Off the Grid

It’s been a year now since our hike up to the base of Vignemale, the highest peak in the French Pyrenees. A morning that started out gloomy due to rain and fog (and the realizaton that we had left at home some of the instant meal packets we had so carefully prepared the night before)…

Lunch with a View Over the Balaton at Kisfaludy-Ház

If it’s a bit of history, a great wine list, decent food and unbeatable views of Lake Balaton you’re after, Kisfaludy-ház is the spot for you. Constructed in the 18th century and still rocking the classic thatched roof, this place once served as a kind of winery, where grapes were pressed after harvest. At this…

Generally Unimpressed by La Copa Rota

Ahh the wonders of rue Notre-Dame… The precious little brocade (antique shops), a very special bridal boutique, and historical facades overgrown by florals gushing forth from every terrace, the heart and soul of the trendy Chartrons neighborhood of Bordeaux. Get a beer at Zhytho or sit out on the terrace of the Halle de Chartrons,…