Showing posts from March, 2017

Reykjavik- Islenski Barinn

Our final stop in Iceland was to be the famous hot dog cart Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.  We knew there would be a line, we were prepared for that but we weren't prepared for the freezing cold winds whipping off the water that afternoon.  I'll be honest- I didn't even last 60 seconds.  We only had two hours of vacation left and I didn't want to spend them in the freezing cold.  So we headed to Islenski Barinn instead for some food and warmth.

Mr. T had been dying to try something different like Puffin or fermented Shark while in Iceland (ewww to both of those) so we ordered Fin Whale with pickled chilies, herbs and citrus dressing.  I absolutely hated the cold, chewy texture of this but I didn't really expect to enjoy it anyway.  I was there to complete my hot dog mission.

Slow cooked lamb sausage dog with Bearnaise sauce, pickled cucumbers, fried onions and chives.  Sloppy, meaty & delicious- yes...

...served with some crispy Waffle Fries- double yes.

The beer list at …

Reykjavik- Ostabudin

There were three final things we felt we NEEDED to get before leaving Iceland- a ridiculously fresh fish dish, some sort of seafood stew and the famous Icelandic Hot Dog.  We tried to start with the stew trudging across the city to Old Iceland Restaurant only to find it closed.  Undeterred we continued on to the next stop Ostabudin, a specialty cheese store and deli with a small restaurant attached serving up fresh seafood.

The catch that day was Cod served with leek, potato and mushroom, simply grilled in a cream sauce studded with fresh dill.

This cod was thick and tender with large chunks that flaked apart easily with a fork. The slightly sweet flavor of the meat and hearty mushroom sauce created a big bowl of winter weather happiness that we demolished within seconds.

All of the dishes come with a basket of warm, fluffy bread made in house just perfect for sopping up all that wonderful sauce.

Paired with an Icelandic White Ale from Einstok Beer Company this was just about as proper as…

Reykjavik- Matarkjallarinn

After a few beers at Mikkeller and Friends we walked over to Matarkjallarinn Food Cellar; a warm subterranean restaurant that felt like a sexy log cabin with cozy candlelit tables, plush carpets and piano player up front twinkling away on a mahogany grand piano. Being that this was the final night of our 10 day trip we were absolutely exhausted and more than ready to let the Chef make all of our decisions with the Chef's Tasting menu.  What would follow was three hours of absolutely stunning food.

Crab Egg Roll with BBQ sauce & pickled celery on the left of the plate and Seared Scallop with jackfruit and mint on the right.  

Tuna Tartare with sliced avocados & wontons with chili oil

I've had hundreds of tuna tartare dishes in my life but this was exceptional.  The simple avocado and sesame let the deep fresh flavor of the tuna shine through.  I may never have a tuna tartare this perfect ever again.

Beef Carpaccio with rucola, lemon, black truffle and shaved Parmesan

House b…

New Brew Friday Iceland- Brewski Cookie Jar

Our one and only night in Iceland just happened to coincide with the Iceland Beer Week kickoff at Mikkeller & Friends.  The Swedish guys from Brewski were in house along with hometown Iceland Kex Brewing to launch their collaboration beer Cookie Jar.

Billed as a New England style IPA this was made with wheat, oats, malted barley and a ton of hops creating that signature hazy orange body, thick frothy head and lots of bright citrus flavors. This beer was so good we immediately ordered another one along with the Brewski pale ale Mangohallonfeber which was a juicy blast of mango, pineapple and grapefruit.  

We had been to the Mikkeller & Friends in Copenhagen before which was casual and cozy but this one was definitely on the scary side.  Big red jesters were painted on the wall while dolls heads served as the centerpiece for the back of the room.  If I wasn't enjoying the Brewski beers so much I probably would have been a bit freaked out but damn they'e cranking out some d…

London- Rules, Blacklock, Gordons & J Sheekey

We got back to London around 2:00 Sunday afternoon and had less than 24 hours to enjoy the city before hopping on a plane to Iceland.  Luckily almost everything new I wanted to check out was right in our area; first stop Rules Restaurant.

Rules was established in 1798 by Thomas Rule and currently holds the title of oldest restaurant in London. We already had plans for a Sunday Roast elsewhere so we looked around the gorgeous restaurant a bit then headed upstairs to the hidden cocktail bar on the 2nd floor.  I absolutely love anything old and elegant and this place was absolutely dripping with both; plush red couches, thick velvet carpeting and a gorgeous dark wooden bar manned by well suited bartenders.  

Since we were celebrating the spirit of the 1800's I ordered a classic cocktail from that era the Clover Club a blend of gin, lemon juice, fresh egg white and raspberry liqueur.

I honestly have no idea what Mr. T ordered.  It was definitely bourbon based and came in this tiny little…

Brussels Day Four Con't- Cantillon, Nuetnigenough & Moeder Lambic

After lambick-O-droom we hopped back on the train to Brussels and headed back to Cantillon brewery for one last time.  There we met up with a few more New York friends (we NYers like our lambic) and actually had about 3 hours to relax and share the entire list of bottles together.

I was more than happy to have that Carignan and 2007 Cantillon Gueuze again...

...not to mention the gorgeous Cabernet franc driven Saint Lamnivus and possibly my favorite Cantillon in the world Lou Pepe Kriek.  

We picked up some more bottles to go and stopped at our place to drop them off, pausing for a moment in our small but gorgeous courtyard for a glass of Tilquin Mure.

Then it was back to Nuetnigenough for dinner and this rich, hearty steak doused in a thick Cuvee Renee sauce.  I was so sick earlier in the week I could barely look at Mr. T as he devoured this dish so it was incredibly satisfying to enjoy myself in all its glory.

Nuetnigenough not only has great food but also a fantastic beer list.  We move…

New Brew Friday- Day Four in Brussels lambik-O-droom

Our last trip to Brussels we ubered out to the countryside of Beersel to Drie Fonteinen, my favorite geuze producer of all time. It was just a small blendery back then starting to brew their own beer on site for the very first time.  Fast forward to 2017 and owner Armand has opened up a brand new spot called lambik-O-droom which is much closer to Brussels center and boasts a massive space for bottling, blending and barrel aging along with a beautiful tasting room.

Since we had done the full tour of the old facility last time we decided to devote all of our time this trip to relaxing and enjoying his delicious geuzes.  We met up with a friend who also happened to be visiting from NYC and sat down to share some bottles.

Oude Geuze Vintage 2012- one of my favorites of the Drie Fonteinen geuzes.   So bright and lemony with that fantastic lingering toasted sesame funk.  This was so perfect we ordered a second bottle right away along with the delicious house geuze cheese.

This was seriously so…