Dinner at Grande Hotel do Porto restaurant in Porto, Portugal

A few weeks ago, I was with my husband in Porto, Portugal. During our stay we visited lots of different bars and restaurants and today I would like to tell you about our dinner at the Grande Hotel’s D. Pedro II Restaurant.

Location:

Grande Hotel do Porto is located on a famous shopping street- Rua de Santa Catarina. The restaurant is located at the quiet area of the hotel-away from all the hustle and bustle of the main street.

Atmosphere:

The D. Pedro II Restaurant offers its dinner a space where guests cross daily with local clients and passing tourists that when strolling by Santa Catarina Street can’t resist the temptation to come inside

The hotel has an exclusive décor and some beautiful pieces of art are visible throughout the communal areas. Many famous guests have stayed in this property. The restaurant is named after D. Pedro II – the former emperor of Brazil, who found refuge here during the fall of the Monarchy in that country. At the time, the royal entourage took up the entire first floor of the Hotel and stayed here for a while.

The menu:

Antonio-our waiter brought us our menus in no time and that’s when we discovered that the restaurant offers a great selection of dishes. Both myself and my husband are a massive foodies so we were looking forward to our meal.

To start with, we received a complimentary amouse brioche – a glass with some smoked haddock.

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I then ordered a stuffed Portobello mushroom with truffle and vegetables cream and quail egg. It was really tasty.

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My husband ordered some smoked ham cantelloni with arugula in pesto sauce, gratinated brie croutons with honey. He enjoyed it and finished it in no time.

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For our mains we both decided to have a fish. I ordered some bream fillet with olive cream and roasted peppers composition. It was mouth watering!

My husband had some braised salmon with bread crust and chard sautéed in garlic sauce. Not only his main was presented nicely, it tasted even better.

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Dessert is always my favorite part of any meal and I had some beautiful creamy coconut cake and fruit composition. It was delicious!

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My husband ordered a cheese board with a nice selection of cheeses and finish his meal with a glass of traditional port.

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Overall experience:

We both had a nice time at the D. Pedro II Restaurant. The restaurant serves tasty food and offers a great, friendly service. It is also very conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.grandehotelporto.com/en/restaurant-bar/d-pedro-ii-restaurant/

Address:

Rua de Santa Catarina 197,

4000-450 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

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Dinner at The Artist Bistro in Porto, Portugal

Last week, I was with my husband in Porto in Portugal. On our last evening, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – The Artist Bistro. It was definitely the best meal we had whilst in Portugal.

Location:

The Artist Bistro is located inside The Artist Hotel. The hotel is based in a former art school and provides a contemporary and comfortable environment, inspiring and developing the skills of the current students of the Hotel and Tourism school who work there. It is just around a corner from a famous shopping street and commercial area of Rua de Santa Catarina. The metro closest station (Campo de Agosto) is just a few minutes away.

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Atmosphere:

The Artist Bistro is inspired by the artistic heritage of the building which has previously hosted an Art School. The decoration of the restaurant is classy and elegant.

All art visible in the restaurant is made up of pieces from previous students of the old school Soares dos Reis.

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The dinning experience at The Artist Bistro is designed to socialise with the art one can see, smell, taste and feel. The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and inviting. We were welcomed by Katia who was attending our table through the night. She was really friendly and professional. Quiet jazz music was playing in the background…

The menu:

Do you like surprises and trying new things? If you are quite open to the new experiences and you like being surprised then you will love The Artist Bistro. The key aim of the Head Chef – Hugo Dias is to surprise his dinners with a unique experience of sampling some great locally sourced food.

You can now be surprised by selecting one of 3 sampling menus:

  • Myth 5 experiences
  • Musa 7 experiences
  • Bistro 9 experiences

What all of these menus have in common is that they change on a daily basis and they offer dinners a combination of unforgettable flavours. At the beginning of the meal, we were asked if we had any allergies and whether there were any ingredients we really didn’t like. Our waitress took notes and explained that every course we’ll  receive will be a surprise-we could only choose what type of main dish we wanted to receive (fish/ meat / vegetarian). The really unique think about this restaurant was that we didn’t know what we will have for any of the courses!

We decided to try a Musa – 7 course dinning experience. Each dish was beautifully presented and made from fresh seasonal foods.

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While sipping some crispy white wine, our first course arrived- oysters with some red onions.

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We finished them in no time and the waitress brought us some mouth-watering mushroom soup with some olive oil, croutons and chives. It was delicious.

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From the next course onward we were surprised with different dish each. We received ‘Samosas de Artist’. We decided to play a game and identify the ingredients of our samosas-a great way of having fun whilst enjoying your meal. My samosa was with goats cheese with pumpkin and my husband received a samosa with a chicken and chorizo filling.

Next, we received some vegetable brioche with some potatoes, carrots, peppers, balsamic vinegar, courgettes which were all baked with egg. It was really enjoyable.

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Moving on, I received caramelized scallops with a cauliflower mouse-they were divine.

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My husband, on the other hand, got an octopus with a lime foam with breadcrumbs and site salad. It crackled like a sea because of the foam popping up.

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Following on from our great seafood dishes, I received some green beans stew based on a traditional Portuguese sausage and bread in a rich tomatoes sauce.

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My husband got some pork belly, crackling with balsamic vinegar.

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Before our main dishes were served, our waitress brought us some lemon & vodka sorbet to clean the palette. It was really refreshing.

At the begging of our meal I decided to have a fish main and I received some beautifully cooked sea bass paired up with an appetizing vegetable puree.

My husband decided to have a meat main and he received some quail with roasted carrots, potatoes pure in a port sauce with some figs and rosemary. It was the best quail he has ever eaten-extremely tender and cooked to perfection.

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If you read my reviews regularly then you will know that a dessert is always my favorite part of any meal. I received a delectable chocolate brownie with large pieces of nuts and some vanilla ice-cream.

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To finish off his meal my husband received a pear that was boiled in port and paired up with some raspberry ice-creams.

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Overall experience:

We both had an amazing time at The Artist Bistro. As I like surprises and trying new food, I was delighted with the concept of discovery. The restaurant serves delicious food with a twist. In addition to food, the service was great and the restaurant is conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again.

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Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.shotels.pt/restaurantetheartistbistrot/en/home

Address:

 Rua da Firmeza 49,

4000-099 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

Dinner at Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant in Fishmore Hall Hotel

During our recent stay at Fishmore Hall Hotel we decided to book a table at hotel’s Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant. As we are both massive foodies and the restaurant is among the best places to eat in Ludlow, we decided to check it out.

Location:

Forelles Fine Dining Restaurant is located in Fishomore Hall Hotel that is only a mile away from Ludlow.

We booked our table for 7:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waiter who took us to our table and made us feel welcomed.

The restaurant has a welcoming decor featuring simple beige chairs. Each table displayed a candle and a rose to add a bit of romantic atmosphere for its dinners. There was lots of natural light coming through the large French windows giving dinners opportunity to relax whilst admiring the beautiful countryside. The relaxing music was playing in the background.

The menu:

Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant offers classically based, modern British cuisine and welcomes both residents and non-residents who can choose from two menus; a three course A la Carte menu, as well as a six course tasting menu with the option of pairing each dish with an accompanying wine.

The menu at Forelles Restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes that are all built around the best produce from the area. The Head Chef-Andrew Birch provides his diners with a high quality, traditional cuisine with a twist that is based on a fresh and locally sourced ingredients from producers from all over the Shropshire Marshes.

We started our evening with some wine and we  some complimentary bread, olives and nuts.

We decided to try a six course tasting menu. As we weren’t sure which wine to go for, we decided to go for the accompanying wines.

To start with we received some signature Orkney hand dived scallops with some cauliflower, apple and ham hock croquette. They were divine. Our sommelier brought us a glass of unoaked Chardonnay Australian (2016) white wine. It offered a rich and creamy mouth feel that lead to soft tropical fruits and orange zest on the palate.

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Secondly we received some Isle of Wight tomato with black olive crumb and some goats curd. It was mouth watering and accompanied by some Pinot Noir, Whitehaven (2016) wine. This delicate petal rose brimmed with refreshing crushed strawberry, cherry, watermelon notes that lingered.

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Thirdly, some Gigha Halibut was served. It was definitely my favorite course. It was cooked to perfection and accompanied with some sea vegetables and spiced seafood bisque. Absolutely perfect combination! Our sommelier presented us with a glass of Gavi di Gavi Italian wine (2015) that had aromatic, zesty notes with apple, lime and kiwi. It was juicy with a citric and mouthwatering feel creating a refreshing, satisfying finish.

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Next, we had some corn fed duck breast with some smoked potato puree, carmelised shallots and hispi cabbage. It was flavorsome. For this course we received some Saumur Champigny Vielles Vignes French wine (2014) – a medium bodied red with a winning combination of plump black fruits and a refreshing dryness on the palate.

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Moving on, it was time for two sweet courses. As I have a bad sweet tooth, I was looking forward to trying them. First of all, we received some lavender cremeaux with raspberry meringues and raspberry sorbet. It was delicious. Our sommelier brought us some Chardonnay Navarra (2012) dessert wine of intense gold colour. It was deeply complex with notes of tinned pineapple, apricot, quince, orange peel and rosemary honey.

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The last course was ‘chocolate delice’. A rich dark chocolate dessert accompanied with some sorbet based on black cherries and ice cream, which was scrumptious. Our sommelier brought along some Black Muscat, Quady Elisim wine (2014) with a rose-like aroma. It was very intense on the palate and full of fantastic rich velvety fruit.

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Overall experience:

We both really enjoyed our fine dinning experience offered by Forelles Restaurant. If you wish to try some superb Shropshire’s cuisine then I would recommend trying one of the Tasting Menus with the accompanying wines. All dishes were delectable and presented beautifully, in addition to service which was flawless so we couldn’t have asked for more. We cleared the plates in no time which is always a good sight.

Address:

Forelles Restaurant at Fishmore Hall, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 3DP England

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

CAKE Restaurant Payment app

Do you live or work in central London? If you do then I would like to tell you about CAKE – the new payment application for Londoners. I decided to give it a go as I go out regularly and the application promises to make it easier to enjoy London’s best restaurants and bars.

You can pay or split your bill all in one app.

Firstly, you can plan where to eat by browsing the places nearby or see a full list of places where you can pay with the app when you tap ‘Explore’.

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As soon as you are sure where you would like to go for your meal or drinks you can contact the venue to request a table.

There is a good selection of restaurants and bars to choose from. Some of the restaurants that CAKE collaborates with are:

  • Rum Kitchen
  • Bunga Bunga
  • Tonteria
  • Lima
  • 100 Kensington
  • Aroma Italia
  • Bar American

As my husband loves Indian food, on Tuesday we decided to book a table at Cinnamon Bazaar located in Covent Garden.

The experience:

After we had our meal at Cinnamon Bazaar we let our server know that we wanted to pay with CAKE. The payment was simple-when I opened a tab in the app and showed my reference number to my waiter who then connected my bill to the app. The payment amount owed was shown in the app and when I approved it the payment was made. There was also an option to split a bill with other dinners which would be really handy if you went out with friends.

Overall experience:

I really enjoyed using CAKE app as it gives anyone opportunity to browse and pay for your meal at many local cafes and restaurants. In addition, the app offers you the possibility to quickly split your bill if you decide to use it while out with your friends.

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Mangia DC Italian Food Tour – Dupont Circle

As some of you probably remember, I was in Washington a few weeks ago. As I am a massive foodie, on one of the evenings I decided to go for a foodie Italian walking tour.

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The tour was organised by Mangia DC.  “Mangia” is Italian for “Eat! Enjoy!” Mangia DC motto is to help locals and tourists alike enjoy Washington D.C. and show them all it has to offer.

The food tour takes place around the Dupont Circle neighborhood which is around 15 minutes walk from the White House. I was welcomed by a friendly and knowledgeable guide who introduced me to the other tour attendees. He described our tour as an informal historic sightseeing tour—with the added bonus of stops in some local Italian restaurants for tastings.

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Our tour started at the ‘Darlington House’.

The staff in this establishment were extremely friendly. Charlie-the Chef and Ernesto-the Manager welcomed us and served us a traditional tomato and mozzarella starter and a delicious mushroom risotto.

I really enjoyed them and would definitely return to this restaurant when I am back in Washington D.C.

Secondly, we walked to ‘Tomate’.

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We sat down and tasted some duck ragu. It was nice but as I don’t really eat pasta it wouldn’t be my normal choice of main.

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After our main we walked around the Dupont Circle and learned about the history of this area. It was fascinating to listen to our guide and I really enjoyed wandering down picturesque streets of this area.

Lastly, we went to Pasha for a dessert and after having some traditional Cannoli the tour ended.

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Final thoughts:

Mangia DC walking food tour will take you on a unique, interactive journey of the Italian wines and foods. I had an unforgettable evening with a progressive dinner at 3 different establishments and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to discover Washington whilst at the same time having some great Italian food. The tour costs $65 and is definitely worth it.

X

Pauline

Dinner at Vinodol restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

A couple of weeks ago, I was with my husband in Zagreb in Croatia. On our last evening, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – Vinodol.

Location:

Vinodol Restaurant is located in the city’s center on Nikole Tesle’s street.

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Atmosphere:

Vinodol Restaurant serves meals that are prepared according to traditional recipes, with a modern approach.  The restaurant has a large inside area that can hold up to 180 guest in addition to a green and spacious outdoor terrace that sits 100.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and inviting. We were welcomed by Lucy who was attending our table through the night. She was really friendly and professional.

The menu:

All guests can choose from A La Carte as well as great daily menus made from selected fresh seasonal foods. They both looked great. We decided to have a glass of Prosecco to start with while considering what we should have.

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Starters:

While sipping our Prosecco, we decided to order some asparagus, shrimp and wild mushroom risotto from a daily menu. It was delectable and I wish I could recreate it at home.

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Mains:

There was a great choice of mains on the menu. We asked our friendly waitress for a recommendation as we couldn’t decide and agreed to share some lamb prepared on spit from Cres island.

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It was really tasty and tender. It also came with a couple of sides and some potatoes.

Desserts:

We were full after having our starters and mains but we still decided to try some desserts: some hazelnut fantasy cake and a creme carmel. They were both delicious but the hazelnut cake was simply amazing! It was definitely the best cake I’ve tried so far this year and you should definitely try it if you visit Vinodol.

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Overall experience:

We both had a lovely time Vinodol as the restaurant serves delicious food based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. I loved my hazelnut cake and will definitely reccommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth. The service was really friendly, restaurant is located in a city center and it serves great quality, traditional and Mediterranean food with a modern influence so I would definitely visit it again.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.vinodol-zg.hr/en/

Address:

Ul. Nikole Tesle 10,

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

Lunch at Sofra Green restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

During the last full day of our trip to Zagreb in Croatia, we decided to head to Sofra Green Gold- a traditional Bosnian food restaurant. I have never previously had any opportunity to try Bosnian cuisine. It is known to be often prepared with good quality meat that is one of the key ingredients of some of the most popular Bosnian dishes such as bosanski lonac, ćevapi, begova čorba, burek, and grah so it took no time to convince my husband to accompany me to a lunch at this restaurant.

Location:

Sofra Green Gold restaurant is located in a business district of Zagreb, around 20 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes taxi ride from in the city’s centre.

Atmosphere:

The atmosphere at this traditional Bosnian restaurant is homely and it features lots of traditional features. I really enjoyed its décor and, for a minute, it felt like I was taken to a different country.

We were attended by a few different approachable waiters throughout our lunch.

The menu:

Sofra Green Gold restaurant offers traditional Bosnian specialties served in authentic Bosnian environment.

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Starters:

To start with, we tried some Begova čorba. It is the most popular soup in Bosnia– Bey’s soup made of chicken meat, vegetables, cream and okra.

Mains:

For our main we decided to share some meat pie (burek) and Cheese pie (sirnica). They are both traditional pies from Bosnia made of meat and cream cheese. I really liked burek and the meaty filling was amazing.

We then had some ‘Dragon of Bosnia’. This massive platter comes with a selection of meat accompanied by some rice and mashed potatoes. Firstly, I tried the beef steak with dry prunes, peppers, cognac and Worchester.

It was really tasty and I liked the gravy sauce accompanying it. Secondly, I digged into minced meat “čevapi” with beef prosciutto, cheese and vegetables in white cream sauce.

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Again, I wasn’t disappointed. All flavours worked perfectly with each other. In addition to our platter, we aldo had some traditional Šopska salad- a season salad based on tomatoes and cucumber with cheese and some cucumber in cream.

Desserts:

For our dessert we had some home-made baklava and Tufahija, which is basically a boiled apple in a sauce served with nutty filling and topped up with some whipped cream. They were both yummy!

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Overall experience:

We both enjoyed the food and atmosphere in this Bosnian restaurant. The restaurant is very popular-when we arrived at 12:00 there were just a few other tables taken but in around 30 minutes the restaurant was full of locals and expats so I would advise to book a table in advance.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://sofra.hr/

Address:

Radnička cesta 37b

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline