My Two Favorite Hungarian Pastries

At around this time every year I get homesick for Hungary and nostalgic about the dishes I regularly enjoy there. I get to daydreaming about lángos by Lake Balaton, salted goose cracklins (libatepertő) on toast for breakfast, mixed Vecsési pickles on the side of all classic meat-and-paprika dishes, my grandma’s chilled sour cherry soup… And, although I don’t…

La Llardana with a Vista over Benasque

This is one of those meals I’ve been wanting to resurrect from my Drafts folder for quite some time now. Here goes. About a year ago, the beau and I rented a car and drove out to Benasque to spend some time enjoying the Spanish town’s gorgeous natural surroundings with my brother and his wife,…

Lamprey à la Bordelaise at Brasserie Le Noailles

“Elle connaît? Est-ce la première fois qu’elle en mange?” he asked my Frenchman with a half-assed nod in my direction. He wasn’t the best waiter, or even a very good one at all. But I get why he asked. “Oui, elle le connaît très bien,” came Ben’s answer. A lie but a well-placed one. When, on…

Cooking French Stuff at Home: Cailles Aux Raisins

Passing through the endless aisles of Auchon on a Saturday morning a few weeks back, we collected essentials. Yoghurt and butter, milk and coffee, laundry detergent and Brita filters, salmon and steak. But when we got to the poultry case, a cellophane-wrapped package of flesh caught my eye. On a styrofoam tray 3 x 2…

Cooking French Stuff at Home: Canard aux Pruneaux

There’s an epicerie fine called Rock du Palais literally right across the street from my apartment. It’s become my go-to on on those nights I plan to spend dabbling in the canned-and-jarred chapter of France’s inexhaustible cuisine. They have all kinds of great stuff there: duck foie gras, duck magret with duck foie gras, duck…

Dinner at the Wonderful Le Chien de Pavlov

I’m about three months overdue on an account of my evening at Le Chien de Pavlov, a jewelry-box-sized, quiet little brasserie specializing in creative French dishes prepared with market-fresh, seasonal ingredients. We caught our 9:00 pm reservation after a beer out on the terrace of Le Trou Duck around the corner, and sat to a…

The Big Last Meal at Elle Effe

The last dinner of a trip has to be a special one. I think I remember learning that during my childhood from my parents and I’ve lived by it ever since. I guess most people do. For our last night in Rome we chose a place called Elle Effe on the petite Piazza Pollarola near the…