The Busy Day Gourmet

Nov 142017
 

Excellent French cuisine at a reasonable price.  Great atmosphere, great wines, great desserts and the service – impeccable.  We met friends here for dinner and we were very impressed with both the food and the service at this restaurant. Everything was very delicious and came to the table with a great presentation.

Le Séjour Café

We selected a very nice bottle of Rosé to go with our dinners.  The kitchen was in plain view and it was fun watching the chef plate everything.  The service was excellent – very attentive, accommodating and friendly.  I chose the fish of the day which was served with potatoes, mushrooms and root vegetables.  My wife selected a medley of mushrooms over mashed potatoes.  Both dishes were very tasty.

The presentations on the desserts were amazing.  I had the Tarte au Citron (citrus cream tart) with a lemon sorbet.  Wow.  Very light but also very delicious.  A perfect dessert for me.

Apparently this restaurant is next to another very excellent restaurant in Nice – Mon Petit Café Nice.  The brother runs one and the sister runs the other.  We’re looking forward to trying the Mon Petit Café the next time we are in Nice.  I highly recommend the Le Séjour Café if you are visiting Nice.  Reservations are recommended.

Tarte au Citron

Le Séjour Café
11, Rue Grimaldi
06000 Nice
France
Telephone: +33 4 97 20 55 35
Hours: 12:00 – 13:45, 19:30 – 21:45

 

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Oct 222017
 

Ceviche of tuna and swordfish

We had the chance to meet some friends in Nice, France and we were searching for a restaurant in Nice’s old town.  After a little research, we decided on Le Bar des Oiseaux.  Excellent choice!

The restaurant met my expectations in every way.  A great location, a creative chef, a small menu made from fresh ingredients of the day, great desserts, a good selection of French wines and impeccable service.  Everyone at the restaurant was very friendly and did everything possible to make our dining experience enjoyable.

Monkfish with carrots, potatoes and local charcuterie

We shared a starter of tuna and swordfish ceviche.  It was delicious.  I selected the fish of the day for my main course.  It was Monkfish with carrots, potatoes and charcuterie with an artichoke sauce.  The fish was very fresh and very tasty.  We selected a bottle of rosé from a local vintner to accompany our meal.  We decided to have dessert and our waiter indicated that the chocolate mousse was one of his favourites so we decided to ordert it.  Wow.  It was very light and creamy; like eating a chocolate cloud!

La Bourride – Mixed fish with cappelletti

We went back a second time together with our friends.  I tried a pasta dish made with several types of seafood.  This was definitely the dish of the night!  The pasta was excellent and the seafood was very fresh and very delicious.  We shared a dessert made of lemon cream on ginger crust.  It was heavenly.

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

The restaurant has an open kitchen and the head chef checks every dish personally before it is served.  I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re visiting Nice.  I believe you will have a very enjoyable and memorable dining experience.  Reservations are recommended.

Bar des Oiseaux
5, Rue Saint Vincent
06300 Nice
France
Telephone: +33 4 93 80 27 33
Hours: 12:00 – 14:00, 19:00 – 22:00

 

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Jun 252017
 

A piece of Italy in the heart of Kempen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

Taglierini with black truffles and parmesan cheese

Osteria Campunni is an authentic Italian restaurant in the Altstadt in Kempen.  The Siani family prepares excellent Italian cuisine with great service and a fine selection of Italian wines.  I really like their pasta dishes.  One of my favorites is the Taglierini with Black Truffles and Parmesan cheese.  Buonissimo!

They offer a large selection of pizzas with a variety of toppings which are also very good.  One of my favorites is Pizza Andrea which is topped with fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced potatoes and zucchini, tunafish, shallots, parmesan cheese and garlic.  Now that’s a delicious pizza!  I often order the “Insalata Mista”  as a starter.  Their salads are very tasty,

 

Sea Robin with saffron risotto and asparagus cream

made with the freshest ingredients and topped with a nice vinaigrette dressing.

The last time I was there, I had a beautiful fish dish, Sea Robin with saffron risotto and asparagus cream.  Wow – now that was really good.

 

They offer a nice selection of wines to compliment your meal with many of the wines coming from the Puglia region in Italy.  I can recommend a bottle of Otre if you’re looking for a nice Primitivo from Puglia.  And if you still have room for something sweet, they have a very nice dessert menu.  Try the Panna Cotta, the Zabaione or the Tiramisu.  Finish off your meal with an aperitif such as Grappa, Limoncello or Averna.  Then you’ll be certain to be “Tutto bene!”

Osteria Campunni is one of my favorite restaurants in Kempen and one of my all time favorite Italian restaurants.  I highly recommend that you give them a try if you are looking for a very authentic Italian restaurant experience.  Reservations are recommended.

Pizza Andrea

Osteria Campunni
Kirchstrasse 6
47906 Kempen
Germany
Telephone: +49 2152 89 69 59
Website: www.osteria-campunni.de
 
 
 
 
 
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Nov 202016
 

I wanted to do another post on this restaurant because we enjoy going there so much.  It’s often a place where we meet friends for a drink and to socialise after a long day at the office.  We often end up eating here because the atmosphere is so warm and friendly, and because the food is wonderful.

One night after meeting some friends we decided to have dinner together.  My friend suggested that we share a Tomahawk steak.  I was hungry for a steak and I had been wanting to try the Tomahawk steak for some time; so I decided tonight was the night.  Wow am I glad I did.  It was a very delicious steak, cooked to perfection and with a great presentation.  Paired with a glass of red wine and sides of seasonal vegetables and potatoes – now that’s a meal.

Let professional Chefs Patricia Schmidt and Sascha Terhorst tantalise your palette with their creative and ever changing menu.  There are always a few staples on the menu – the entrees that people really enjoy and regularly order; but I really like that they update their menu on a regular basis.  That’s what keeps me coming back – to see what is new and interesting and tasty and delicious!

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Tomahawk Steak at restaurant Das Ercklentz

Das Ercklentz
Judenstrasse 8
47906 Kempen
Germany
Telephone: +49 2152 54465
Website: www.das-ercklentz.de
 
 
 

 
Other creations from the restaurant Das Ercklentz:
 
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Roasted Scottish lamb with mediterranean vegetables

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Grilled salmon with sesame seeds over rice

 

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Fresh grilled cod with Fall vegetables over shallot mashed potatoes

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Aug 142016
 

My wife and I are always looking for new restaurants.  We recently moved to Kempen, Germany and have found a little gem of a restaurant in Venlo, The Netherlands, just across the German border.  We were visiting a local night spot in Venlo one day, and we asked the bartender where we could find good Sushi in Venlo.  Without hesitation he recommended the Motown Music Cafe.  He said you’ve got to go and see Eddie.  He makes fantastic Sushi there.  So here are some pics of our first visit to the Motown Music Café.  Sushi Chef Eddie Siang offers some of the best and most creative Sushi creations that I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  His Sushi rolls are more than an wonderful culinary experience; they are magnificent examples of creativity and his love for the art of preparing Sushi.

Motown Music Cafe - Unagi Roll and Salmon Roll

Motown Music Cafe – Unagi Roll and Salmon Roll

Motown Music Cafe - Tsunami Roll

Motown Music Cafe – Tsunami Roll

The restaurant has a Motown Music theme and sits on a beautiful square in downtown Venlo.  Around the corner from the restaurant is a lovely inner harbour near the river Maas.  If you’re ever in the area near Venlo and are looking for a really special Sushi experience, I highly recommend the Motown Music Café.  Eddie’s Sushi is available for dinner only; usually after 6:00 p.m.

 
Motown Music Café
Oude Markt 8
5911HG Venlo
Telephone: +31-614687824
Website: www.motownmusiccafevenlo.nl 
 
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Jul 182016
 
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Nigiri Sushi Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant

I am a big fan of sushi and my son is also.  So while visiting my son in Raleigh, North Carolina I asked him if he had a recommendation for a good sushi restaurant.  He suggested that we go to Tokyo House.  We were able to get in without a reservation and we asked for seats at the sushi bar.  We had a great experience there.  The restaurant has a loyal group of customers many of whom shared there admiration for the restaurant and it’s owner while we were there.  We both ordered Nigiri sushi dinners which came with soup and salad.  The sushi was excellent; very fresh and well presented.  So this s just the prelude to the real review.

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Vegan Sushi Dinner Tokyo House

On another trip to Raleigh my wife joined us for dinner at Tokyo House.  My wife is a vegan so she asked the server if the restaurant could make her a vegan sushi entree.  The owner came over to the table and said that he could prepare something special for her.  And from the photo you can see that it was truly special.  My wife loved it.  A beautiful presentation of vegan sushi – all vegetables with rice and seaweed, some special sauces and lots of care.

I had the typical nigiri entree once again and it was also outstanding.  All the fish was very fresh, beautiful sliced and perfectly presented.  For personalised service and excellent food it doesn’t get any better than the Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina.  If you’re in the Raleigh area and are looking for an excellent sushi restaurant, I highly recommend the Tokyo House.  Let David Lee and his excellent staff prepare you an authentic Japanese sushi dinner that you will truly remember.

 
Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant
7439 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
Telephone: (984) 212-8416
Website: www.tokyohousesushi.com 
 

 

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Feb 162015
 

I have the good fortune to be working in the area near Düsseldorf, Germany and I found this wonderful restaurant in the town of Kempen.  Das Ercklentz is a culinary jewel in the middle of the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.  We were walking down the street one night and we decided to have a look at the menu outside the restaurant.  My wife noticed right away that the restaurant offered some vegan choices so we decided to go in and give it a try.  Fabulous!

Ercklentz_SauerbratenOne of my favorite German dishes is Sauerbraten and they make a really good “niederrheinischer” Sauerbraten complete with Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) and potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöse).  I was in my element: my favorite German meal in a lovely restaurant with great service, a nice glass of wine and my wife by my side.

My wife had the Celery (Sellerie) Schnitzel served on a bed of mashed potatoes and endive (Endivienuntereinander).  Wow – what a great dish.  I was able to get a taste before my wife cleaned her plate and it was really good.  Ercklentz_Celery_Schnitzel

If you ever get the chance to visit Düsseldorf, do take the time to drive out to Kempen and enjoy a meal at Das Ercklentz.  I hope you are as charmed by this lovely town and this great restaurant as I was.  Chefs Patrizia, Sascha and Uwe will deliver a great dining experience for you in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  Enjoy!

 
Das Ercklentz
Judenstrasse 8
47906 Kempen
Germany
Telephone: +49 2152 54465
Website: www.das-ercklentz.de

 

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Sep 222014
 

While visiting our friends in Canton, Georgia just north of Atlanta we took a drive northeast of where they live to visit some vineyards. We made a reservation at Le Vigne Restaurant located at Montaluce Vineyards for lunch. It took about an hour and a half to drive there from their home, but it was well worth the trip. The vineyard is located at one end of a rather large development of estate homes. It’s a beautiful landscape of rolling hills covered with lot of grape vines.

The restaurant is located in the same building that houses the winery. It’s high ceilings and large windows offer a fantastic view of the vineyards. Our friends ordered off the menu, but my wife and I were looking for something vegan.; so we asked the chef to come up with something special just for us, and oh boy, did he ever.

Heirloom vegetables on rainbow Quinoa from Le Vigne

Heirloom vegetables on rainbow Quinoa from Le Vigne

He prepared a medley of sautéed seasonal heirloom vegetables and mushrooms served on Rainbow Quinoa. It was absolutely fabulous; very light and flavorful. We all ordered a glass of wine with our meal, so we could do a little sampling before we went on a tour of the winery. The wines were quite nice and went very well with our meals. Our friends ordered the Grouper, which was brought in fresh that morning and served with heirloom vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes.

If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to drive out to the wine region near Dahlonega, please stop by Monteluce Winery and try their restaurant Le Vigne. Let Executive Chef Austin Rocconi satisfy your taste buds with one of his very special creations. Reservations for lunch and dinner are recommended. Check their website for availability because they host private parties and weddings, especially on weekends.

 
Le Vigne
Montaluce Winery & Estates
946 Via Monteluce
Dahlonega, Georgia 30533
Telephone: 706-867-4060
E-Mail: info@montaluce.com
Website: www.montaluce.com

 

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Sep 142014
 

We were visiting my sister- and brother-in-law near Cobourg, Ontario; which by the way, is a great place to visit. It’s located on the north shore of Lake Ontario about an hour north of Toronto. We had been doing some work around the house, so on our last night there we decided to try a local restaurant nearby called Pitchers Place. It’s a great little restaurant located at Gores Landing near Rice Lake and it is a real gem! If you’re in this area definitely give Pitchers Place a try.

Stuffed Eggplant from Pitchers Place

Stuffed Eggplant from Pitchers Place

One of their house specialties is the Stuffed Eggplant. I decided to try that and my brother-in-law opted for the fresh House Smoked Fish Cakes. Both entrees were outstanding – nice presentations and very well prepared. The eggplant was stuffed with roasted apple, sweet potato, walnuts, rice and topped off with a minted yogurt sauce. I enjoyed it very much.

House Smoked Fish Cakes from Pitchers Place

House Smoked Fish Cakes from Pitchers Place

 

 

 

I got to taste the fish cakes that my brother-in-law ordered and they were delicious. The fish cakes were served with sauteed Kale and a roasted red pepper sauce. They were delightful – very light and tasty.

I don’t usually eat dessert, but I couldn’t help myself this time, because they had so many freshly made treats. I selected the homemade blueberry pie. WOW – fresh blueberries, homemade crust, delicious whipped cream topping! I love fruit pies, especially blueberry and this was one of the best I’ve ever had (sorry mom!).

Homemade Blueberry Pie from Pitchers Place

Homemade Blueberry Pie from Pitchers Place

If you get the chance to visit the Cobourg area, be sure to give Pitchers Place a try. You’ll be glad you did. Pitchers Place is open for lunch and dinner. They are closed on Tuesdays.

Pitchers Place
8642 Lander Road
Gores Landing, Ontario
K0K 2E0
Telephone: 905-342-2832
Website: http://pitchersplace.ca

 

 

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Sep 032014
 
The Fiction Kitchen

The Fiction Kitchen

If you’re visiting Raleigh, North Carolina I recommend that you try The Fiction Kitchen. We were looking for a vegan restaurant to try while I was visiting my son in Raleigh. Several people recommended that we try The Fiction Kitchen and that was a great recommendation!

Farmer's Market Plate from The Fiction Kitchen

Farmer’s Market Plate from The Fiction Kitchen

We started off with some Root Vegetable Chips with edamame Hummus and seasonal Pesto as an appetizer. Yummy! My son ordered the Farmer’s Market Plate which is a medley of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. I had the Tinga Tacos – spicy mock chipotle chicken on corn tortillas served with slaw, black beans, and seasoned grains. Wow – were they ever good. We both really enjoyed our meals and we were more than willing to share a little taste from our plates with each other. Warm and friendly service and a table-side visit by the chef all made for a very enjoyable evening at The Fiction Kitchen. I’m a fan and I will definitely be going back to this restaurant on my next trip to Raleigh.

Tinga Tachos

Tinga Tachos from The Fiction Kitchen

 
 
 
 
 
The Fiction Kitchen
428 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Telephone: 919-831-4177
Website: http://thefictionkitchen.com/

 

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