Showing posts from October, 2018

Bordeaux- Brasserie Bordelaise

Usually on European vacations I'm obsessed with getting Steak Tartare in every form possible. Which was still true on this trip, it just took a serious back seat to Mr. T's vacation duck obsession.

Duck Confit to be exact but since that dish isn't available in most restaurants other forms of duck would  have to suffice.  Mr. T had already enjoyed a classic Duck Breast at Gordon Ramsey the day before but now we moved onto to Brasserie Bordelaise; a bustling spot right in the heart of the city.  

When the meal begins with a complimentary tin of pate you just know the meal is going to be something special.

The Duck Breast arrived perfectly scored on the top with their signature red wine bordelaise sauce for drizzling.  This was rich and juicy with just enough fat to melt into the meat and make it incredibly tender.

It was served alongside a huge bowl of frites that was more than ample for the entire table.  I was still full from our big lunch at Le Saint Julien so I ordered what …

Bordeaux- Chateau Paloumey, Le Saint Julien & Chateau Mouton Rothschild

In order to get the full Bordeaux experience we booked a two day wine tour through Bordeaux with Elodie.  Our fantastic guide Lea picked us up at our place each morning then drove us to various wineries beginning with Chateau Paloumey on the Left Bank.

This small winery has had a long history in the Medoc region however it wasn't all wonderful.  Back in the 1950's the original owners abandoned the vineyard due to rising costs and it wasn't until 1990 when it was purchased by the Cazeneuve family that it became a fully functioning winery once again.

Chateua Paloumey's location has a warm climate with gravel soil perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard has 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and all of the wines are aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. 

 We had a chance to tour both the vineyard and the barrel room then finish with a tasting of wine from both their vineyard and a few others in the area.

We all loved…

Bordeaux- Glouton Le Bistro

Monday evening in Bordeaux was pretty quiet.  Most of the restaurants were closed but we were able to find a cute little bistro called Glouton that was listed as vegetarian friendly and accepted online reservations for six people (not an easy find in Bordeaux).

Although it didn't seem vegetarian friendly at first.  The tiny chalkboard only listed two appetizers, two entrees and dessert; but after speaking with the waiter we were presented with a few additional options that sounded wonderful.  I'm obviously not vegetarian but the options sounded so good I jumped on board with the veggie set.

Burrata is always delicious on its own but add on freshly ground pesto, basil and some of the thickest, juiciest heirloom tomatoes in existence and a this normally delicious Burrata became knock your socks off kind of good.

It was followed by a wonderful creamy Risotto studded with mushroom, cherry tomato and spring onion that tasted just as fresh and seasonal as the Burrata.  

For dessert a Bl…

Le Bordeaux- Gordon Ramsey

Our first full day in Bordeaux got off to a sleepy start. We had treated Brussels a bit like Spring Break with 10:00 AM brewery visits each day and nonstop eating and drinking thereafter.  I guess my body was a little tired because I didn't open my eyes until it was almost noon.   Luckily I woke up just in time for lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Le Bordeaux. 

I've honestly never been a huge fan of Gordon Ramsey but this restaurant was absolutely gorgeous.  A lovely patio sat out front overlooking the elegant Bordeaux Opera House, while inside was a much more formal affair with white linen tablecloths, cushy red velvet love seats and a beautiful spiral staircase extending from the center of the room.

Le Bordeaux offers an amazing three course prix fixe at lunchtime but I wasn't excited about the options that day so Mr. T and I decided to split a few appetizers beginning with the delicious Cesar Salad stuffed with chicken, marinated anchovies and Parmesan cheese alongside a thic…

Brussels Day IV- In De Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst

Our final morning in Brussels we packed up our bags and headed out for one last beer-centric stop to In De Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst, which translates to The Insurance of Great Thirst; a cozy little pub that's the last remaining cafe in the town of Eizeringen and only open on Sunday's.

The small brick building looks like something out of an old fairy tale with exposed wooden ceilings, tiled floors and a delightful mix of church goers and beer geeks all chatting over a few bottles of delicious lambic. 

Grote Dorst has one of the largest selections of kriek and gueuze in the entire world with fantastic bottles like the Bokkereyder Wijngaard brewed with Muscat and Riesling grapes and the Toots Tribute a dry, funky gueuze I absolutely fell in love with that Sunday morning.

Of course it's hard to just order one or two bottles when faced with such an incredible list so we stayed for a few vintage 3 Fontenien's...

...a super dusty bottle of 50 Degrees North- 4 Degrees East…

Brussels Day III- 3 Fonteinen & Nuetnigenough

Day III in Brussels we woke up bright and early for a trip to my favorite place in the entire world, 3 Fonteinen's Lambik-O-droom.  This beautiful brewery located in the town of Beersel creates the most exceptional gueze in all of Brussels (in my humble opinion that is).

We arrived right at 10:30 AM for the Saturday  morning tour which takes guests through the history of the brewery, barrel room and bottling facilities.

Since I had already been to Lambic-O-droom before I hung out in the tasting room while my friends explored and enjoying a solitary bottle of Oude Geuze Vintage 2012, one of my absolute favorite geuze's of all time.

Followed by an Oude Geuze Vintage 2008 and 3 Fonteinen's incredible geuze cheese paired with mustard and apricot preserves.  I was really hoping to bring some of this fabulous cheese back to NYC but it was completely sold out by mid-day.  I guess everyone else loves this wonderful cheese just as much as me.

We spent the rest of the afternoon making o…

Brussels Day II- De Heeren Van Liedeckercke, Belga Queen & Moeder Lambic

Friday morning we kicked off our day with a delicious Belgian waffle,  then headed back over to Cantillon where we had spent most of the day before.  We just had to get one more bottle of that delicious Lambic D'Anuis.  

Of course that one bottle turned into about five more other wonderful delights but finally we pried ourselves away and hopped on a train to Denderleeuw for lunch at De Heeren van Liedeckercke.

De Heeren opened its doors as a specialty beer cafe back in 1991 by owner Joost de Four.  He had always wanted to sell lambic and reached out to various brewers in the area to stock his bar.  However one brewer, Armand Debelder from 3 Fonteinen, refused.  He would not allow Joost to sell any of his bottles without first being trained on how they were made.  So Joost was trained by the great Armand himself and today De Heeren is known as one of the best lambic bars in the entire world.

In fact many brewers have created special lambic just for Joost and De Heeren like the elderfl…