Memorable meals around Europe

In the past four months I was fortunate enough to visit seven different countries and meet lots of lovely people. Along with business meetings and cultural visits, I also got a chance to try some spectacular food. Here is a brief summary of my favorite meals and snacks:

Istanbul

This city never fails to amaze me. New bars and restaurants are opening up every day. And yet, the meal that I most enjoyed was probably the cheapest and simplest. A plate of kebaps at the Grand Bazar, at one of the restaurants tucked in a corner of the Bazaar. The meat, served with two roasted peppers, a roasted tomato and some rice was just perfect. As a side, I ordered a portion of stuffed eggplants (Kuru Patlican Dolmasi). Possibly the best pairing ever possible.

Athens

After a long day of walking around the Acropolis, all I wanted was a home cooked meal. While this was not possible, we were able to achieve the thing closest to a home cooked dinner. One of our docent took us to To Kafenon in Kolonaki just behind the Benaki museum. Here we had a fantastic zucchini salad (the house special) and an incredible fava bean pure.

I should also add, I had one of the best coffees I have ever had (yes, it’s true) at the Yes Hotel-New Taste restaurant. They use a fantastic coffee machine (only one of six in the world) and the result is truly remarkable, even for a coffee fanatic like me.

To Kafeneio-26 Loukianou, Athens

Berlin

Let’s be honest, when we think of Germany, food is not the first thing that comes to mind. And yet, I had one of the most memorable meals of the past 12 months here.  Being gluten-intolerant I always do a little research when visiting a new city. However, I would have never imagined to find anything like Sauvage in Berlin. This is a bio restaurant serving paleolithic cuisine. This means no grains and no sugar but amazing meat, fish and vegetables. They had me from the beginning, and when I tasted the starters I was ready to commit myself to the cause of paleo cuisine! I am definitely going back!

Barcelona

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Traveling makes me crave sweet things, especially if my flights are at odd times of the day. Barcelona turned out to be the perfect place for this kind of craving. I had a couple of great dinners while in the city, but the most visit culinary memory from Barca remains of chocolate. Traditional flavors from Fargas or unique, modern pairings from Cacao Sampaka. Either way you cannot go wrong!

Fargas:Rambla de Catalunya, 8 Barcelona

Cacao Sampaka: C/ Consell de Cent, 292   Barcelona

Madrid

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The matching of Flamenco and croquetas must have been made in haven..or simply at Casa Patas. Rushed to this venue after a busy afternoon we decided to have dinner there, since we didn’t have time to go anywhere else before our flamenco show. And so we ordered a portion of croquetas caseras and a portion of pisto.  My taste buds could not have been happier. The food was fantastic, the wine impeccable and the flamenco moving.

Casa Patas: C/ de Los Cañizares, 10 28012 Madrid, Spain

Paris

Probably one of the most memorable aspects of this short visit to Paris was the fact that I found a good place for coffee. Being Italian I always struggle with the idea of paying 3 Euros for a terrible coffee. This time, I paid 3.60 Euro for a fantastic cappuccino and I was happy with that. While drinking my cappuccino, I could nibble at a memorable macaron (or maybe two) from the nearby Pain de Sucre.

Terres de Cafe: 14 rue Rambuteau. 

Pain de Sucre: 16 rue Rambuteau

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