Can you image that in Rio de Janeiro there's a place so unique that can be called an Italian bistro? Italian because the menu is all based on the pizza land's gastronomy, but here you will find only the modern and sophisticated tendencies of this traditional cuisine.
Bistro because the flair and cosiness of those places are present everywhere. With three floors, the third a terrace right under Cristo's statue, the ambience could not be nicer.
For passioned lovers Lulu is a great choice. You can have a quiet place full of candlelight to inspire your romance. For group of friends it's also a good idea, after all, who doesn't enjoy a well-prepared meal in a beautifully decorated environment?
Rua Visconde de Carandaí, 2
Jardim Botânico – 21 2294.7830
Very central, very cheap, and provides all the facilities you could wish for. Great choice of breakfasts from The Causeway Cafe. Fresh cooked and very reasonable.
22-32 Donegall Road, Belfast BT12 5JN
The Stallion Inn on Amathus Ave in Limassol in Cyprus is a great place to eat. They do all types of meals and the sweets are out of this world.
The service is great and the staff are fantastic, plus they have a large stock of wines, spirits, beers, soft drinks and liqueurs. We had a fortnight near to them and we had all our evening meals there, we thoroughly recommend the Stallion to everyone.
Lots of excellent beers often in the British style locally brewed, available in bars (such as the Sport Bar on Main St) and stores to take back to the bungalow/cabin/camper. Mind the elk if you're walking back late. Burgers the size of an elk.
Jasper town, on the Athabasca River
Cosy tea room/bistro/restaurant (mind your head!) at beautiful Cramond on the quayside of the River Almond and Forth. A great selection of home cooked local recipes, soups with home made bread, full meals or just a tea, coffee or chocolate and cake.
The stone built artisans cottage was once a cooperage for the long gone brewing pub next door. Lovely walks along the beaches and fields away from the Edinburgh crowds, but within walking distance of the city (four-five miles).
On the waterfront at Cramond, watch the boats swans and seabirds. Buses and a big car park up the hill.
We dined in the ground floor restaurant and had the great value tasting menu of five enormous courses. Located in an iconic, modern building on the banks of the river close to where it meets the sea.
La Caravella is a historic restaurant in Venice, the decor recalls the famous vessel, but with an elegant touch. In summer the restaurant serves its delicious dishes in a typical Venetian courtyard. It's a first class restaurant with great dishes (turbot, filet of beef, risotto, pasta) and wide selection of wines. Cost is not obviously on the cheap side, however it is among the less expensive, considering restaurants of the same level, or even of a lower consideration! Remember to make a reservation especially on weekends.
La Caravella is on via XXII Marzo,
refer to its website
Linger Longer, in the suburb of Sandton–French style food with South African flavours, fantastic place to eat (not for the budget conscious though!), in the elegant dining rooms or on the shady terrace. We had a selection of mouthwatering starters (porcini, enormous oysters, scallops, crocodile curry, langoustines, and more) which barely left room for the delicious main course and delicate desserts!
The sommelier can tell you all you need to know about South African wines. Book to avoid disappointment.
La Colombeat Constantia Uitsig wine estate is now 50% owned by a black empowerment co-operative. The French style food at La Colombe was of a high standard – 'jalousie de langoustines' anyone? - with excellent service on a garden terrace by the vineyards. There is another restaurant (The Constantia Uitsig) overlooking the vineyards and a more informal restaurant (the River Café) in the courtyard behind the wine shop – noisy when we were there because of ‘the ladies who lunch’.
Blues at Camps Bay. Cool seafood restaurant with terrace and panoramic windows overlooking the beach. Great food in a relaxed environment. Apparently it gets very busy here in season, so booking is recommended.
This is an authentic Spanish restaurant with a very friendly staff, local products, a good cook, no-nonsense food (we had a wonderfully fresh dorade for two) and all the things you will appreciate in contrast to the fast-food dominated tourism industry on the Balearic Islands.
The restaurant has just closed for the winter. I suppose it will open again on May 1st, 2008. Give it a try!
Restaurante Cala Blanca
Cala Blanca, Menorca, Spain
(5 km south of Ciutadella, overlooking the little beach of Cala Blanca)
Salix restaurant at the Willow Creek Winery on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne is simply superb.
Local produce and seafood, a great view and the fine wines from the winery and other areas create a high-class dining experience. Go for lunch or dinner and enjoy!
Willow Creek Vineyard
166 Balnarring Road
Merricks North 3926
ph: 5989 7640
Google map: tinyurl.com/p4l5ox
See www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2007/oct/27/saturday.seville for details.
Open only on weekdays, between 1pm and 5pm.
c/Pedro del Toro, 12 (+954 214 115)
Hidden away on a narrow street Behind the Museo de Bellas Arte
This pub, halfway between Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road tube stations, is brilliant. As well as a good range of drinks and a yummy menu, it offers loads of live music events all week (from open mic nights to unsigned indie bands and old-time jazz).
Thanks to a new refurbishment the Spice now looks like a slightly garish, eccentric Highland mansion, and it's extra-cosy for sinking winter pints. And best of all the pub's attractions? Three words: Sticky. Toffee. Pudding.
6 Moor St (by the intersection of Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Ave - just next to the big theatre)
We stopped for lunch at this little farm shop cafe (near Haslemere in Surrey), and had the best cup of coffee I have ever tasted - and I have tried a lot of coffees! I got talking to the owner, and he has looked for (and obviously found) a company that roasts the beans in some sort of special way (he explained, and it was interesting, but the details are a haze now). Then he has a machine that slices the beans in a way that doesn't release the (bitter) oils. After that, he'd researched the best water to use (de-ionised)... and so on. This guy is a real treasure.
Headley Road, Grayshott, Hants
01428 712777 (shop/restaurant)
There is a much more attractive alternative to a central location in Lexington. About a 15 minute cab drive south from the downtown area, there is an area known as Lexington Green.
This area houses the Hilton Lexington Green suites hotel. All rooms have an attractive bedroom, and adjoining living area.
The hotel is one of the few in the city to offer an outdoor pool (though it's small and open in summer only). But it does overlook a small man-made lake, and is right beside the city's best book shop, a multiplex cinema that claims to be 'arthouse', and the city's most popular seafood restaurant (Regatta's) that often has live music on its patio area.
In addition to this, you are just a five-minute walk from Fayette Mall, the city's best shopping complex that houses Macy's, Dillards, and many stores much loved by the fashion-conscious. The Mall also has some attractive restaurants including P F Changs, a trendy chain featuring quality Chinese dishes. A 10 minute drive away you can find the discreetly located, Guiseppe's, renowned for its excellent Italian food, service, and jazz nights.
Lexington is also home to Keaneland racing track. A visit to the track is enjoyable, and the track has its main annual meeting in October of each year. Lexington is very much a city dominated by a University – the University of Kentucky – but despite the large population of young students, the downtown area lacks the vitality one might thus expect.
Devassa is a typical carioca bar, that has a special thing: the homemade beer. Devassa has its own beer, in different versions: blond, red, black and Indian. I had the blond and found it very special. The menu is another chapter: many yummy finger foods, typical of Brazil. Go feel yourself a real carioca!
R. Prudente de Morais 416 Ipanema
Across the Ohio River from Cincinatti lies the city of Covington which is in Kentucky. Once very run down, Covington appears to be in the process of revitalisation. A hotel on the Covington riverfront is ideal if you want to enjoy a spectacular view, but be careful where you choose.
The Marriott offers very attractive rooms, but given the hotel's location, it seems incredible that the tiny hotel bar offers no view of the river and Cincinnati. But this is a vastly superior hotel to the neighbouring Embassy Suites, with its dull rooms, and with priceline.com you can get a great deal at the Marriott.
There are lots of cafes, restaurants and bars in the area known as Mainestrasse Village. We ate at Chez Nora, that has been owned by Jimmy and Patty Giliece since the early 1990s. Since opening the premises have been extended several times and this is testimony to the obvious popularity of the place with discerning locals. Deceptively large inside, the restaurant provides diners with good choice at reasonable cost.
The crab cakes in particular are worth a mention. On the upper levels there is a rooftop patio, and there is regular jazz music at weekends. Well worth a visit. Another notable restaurant in this area is Pho Paris, offering (as the name suggests) Franco-Vietnamese food.
If you are looking to dine in Cincinnati or Covington you cannot go wrong if you try one of the many establishments owned by or associated with Jean-Robert de Cavel, and the next time we are in Cinci, Pho Paris will be our first choice.
Having decided to stay clear of Mainestrasse at the weekend, on the Saturday night we took a 10 minute taxi drive from Covington to visit Primavista, an award-winning Italian restaurant regarded as one of the best in Cinci. The restaurant does offer a fabulous view. However, we probably had the least attractive table, and our view was the doors to the kitchen. The food is very good, and the wine list is commendable.
We enjoyed an exceptional Merlot for less than $35. Dinner for two with wine and drinks will be just under $150.
It's a private villa in a really small quiet village called St. Spiridon, in the north of Corfu. What I really love about it is it's still home to many locals, so you can experience the true Corfu, as opposed to today's tacky modern complexes.
Close to small tavernas offering delicious locally cooked food, and just five minutes' walk from St. Spiridon bay, a gentle beach, perfectly clear for snorkeling.
I found it browsing through the search engines, it's shown on www.villas-in-corfu.co.uk
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