Paris – 11/25/17 – Clamato, Little Red Door, and Balagan


Septime’s little sister Clamato is another place where I could easily eat everyday.  Incredibly fresh fish, fantastic flavors and perhaps the best service that I had on this trip.

trout from banka, marinated vegetables & white cheese

cuttlefish, sesame and chili

baked scallops, lard and sauvignon

Little Red Door
Definitely go at opening to the Little Red Door.  What an incredibly cute bar and I absolutely loved the architecture based menu concept.

With a fitting name meaning ‘beautiful mess’ in Hebrew, Balagan is certainly un-Parisian aside from being part of the Experimental Group.  While quite a scene, it is incredibly energetic and I couldn’t help but have an amazing time.  And the food was amazing…that pictured as well as a few extras that I didn’t photograph.

frenavon bread

beef tartare damascus, herbs, pepper coulis, tahini

beetroot salad, spinach, arugula, mangetout pea, peas, feta cheese


Mexico City – 4/21/17 – Nico’s, Limantour, and Quintonil

Mexico City’s traffic is so terrible that we spent most of the day going to and from lunch but it was completely worth it for the guacamole cart alone.  I think the Eater article calling this the best restaurant in Mexico city was a bit too much, but its still an must-do.  No dish descriptions because we muddled through ordering from an only spanish menu.

For pre-dinner cocktails we headed to Limantour’s Polanco location which was close to dinner.  Great drinks and space and I think deserving of its place on World’s 50 Best.

How Quintonil is even in the World’s 100 Best, let alone currently at number 22 is one of the many reasons the list is complete bs.  From the moment we sat down service was confused and just poor as if the right hand did not know what the left was doing.  And despite having inquired ahead of time, they seemed perplexed that we had brought some wine and almost did not know what to do with it.  I made it through the escaroles but when we got to the peas in a chia and tomato broth dish, which was pretty terrible, I had wished so much that we had booked Pujol for a second night in a row.

cactus ceviche with beetroot and orange

shrimp “flauta” with a squash blossom “aguachile”

seafood “vuelve a la vida” ear shell clam, beef tongue with noisette spices

charred avocado tartare with escaroles and mexican herb chips

peas in a chia and clarified tomato broth and smoked lard

trout “puerto nuevo” style, with fermented cabbage and sea weed mojo

dry aged duck breast with bitter almond and habanero puree, with hibiscus and figs

cactus sorbet

six and twelve month aged Ramonetti cheese, mandarin, honey and pumpkin seed

frozen mousse of roasted banana, cateja and basil

London – 4/7/17 – Kricket, the Connaught Bar & Kitty Fisher’s

I absolutely loved this casual and stylish Indian spot in Soho.   I was afraid there would be a line but arrived at opening and had no issues.  The counter is definitely the place to sit as I ordered more food after seeing what was being plated for others that looked fantastic.

Lasooni scallop, goan sausage, poha, seaweed

kid goat raan

pumpkin, makhani sauce, fresh paneer, hazelnut crumble

Connaught Bar
At least I had a lot of luck with hotel bars on this trip.  Connaught Bar is absolutely gorgeous and somehow I was the only person there mid-afternoon.  I will be back for sure.

Kitty Fisher’s
Evidently Kitty Fisher’s was quite difficult to get into when it first opened but somehow seems to have slipped under the radar of most of my American friends.  The space is incredibly comfortable and felt like it had been around for years.  Very elevated ‘pub’ food and really a perfect low key evening.

perfect lady – gin, creme de peach, lemon & egg white

whipped cod’s roe on toast

leeks, smoked hollandaise, crispy chicken skin & hazelnuts

mackerel, heritage carrot, radish, piccalilli

London – 4/6/17 – Hoppers, American Bar, the Gibson, and Street XO

I generally quite detest the possibility of waiting in a line to get into a restaurant but will make somewhat of an exception if it suits my schedule to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to opening and be guaranteed the first seating.  Most often this rules the spot out entirely but I am glad that I made the effort for Hoppers as soon as my flight landed.  I have been missing out having never before tried a hopper – the Sri Lankan crepe of sorts made with a batter of fermented rice and coconut (enhanced further by an egg fried into the bottom).  This will be at the top of my to-do list for my next trip to London. Delicious all around.

arrack attacked – arrack, lime, bitters, house ginger beer
hot butter devilled shrimps

egg hopper and lamb kari

American Bar at the Savoy
I wish I could remember what was in it, but months later of course I cannot.  However this was the best cocktail I had on this particular trip made by an absolutely lovely bartender.  American Bar ranked #2 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for 2016 and is certainly worth a visit.

The Gibson
Unfortunately all ‘best’ lists end up filled with those places that deserve to be on the list and those that shouldn’t be there in any rational world.  Somehow the Gibson ranks #6 on the same World’s Best Bars 0f 2016 list.  Perhaps I would have fared better if I had kept to a classic Gibson.  I think the photos pretty much speak for themselves as the fairly out-of-control garnishes completely destroyed the drinks as they fell in and changed the flavor and became a soggy mess.  I did love the candy but it would have been better on the side!


Street XO
I didn’t intend to plan such a theatrical evening but somehow it worked out that way. Everything about Street XO is a bit over-the-top from the uniforms to the plating. So much so that I almost expected to hate it but thought the flavors were quite good, even the unexpected combinations. I was seated overlooking the kitchen which is always the best spot. However the exhaust system was completely terrible (I’m not sure if this was the normal state or it was broken) and my eyes were burning and my clothing and hair reeked when I left. Nobody wants to add drycleaning to the dinner bill. It was fairly intolerable yet I did order an extra dish and suffered it out because I was enjoying the food so much.

grilled squid with green papaya, sour & spicy hibiscus dressing, peanuts, fine herbs and lime pesto with a shot of Thai Rebujito

Galician grilled octopus, tomatillo and green apple mole with creamy yuzu potato bonbons

Pekinese dumplings, strawberry hoisin, Ali-oli and pickles