The alignment of food, hospitality and company. A magical trio that I’ve started valuing more than just searching for the perfection of just one of these elements. I guess a matter of crossing deeper into one’s age. A unique ❤️ evening at @alajmobros’ Le Calandre. A lovely inspiration for the forthcoming busy Spring.
127617 April, 2019
Revisiting a couple of classics. Beauties, both lovely ambassadors of Italy.
170611 April, 2019
Now, THIS is called a Bismarck hamburger. Yes, it is as messy as it is good. What should be one’s obligatory stop in Padova, @uvapadova, does food the comfort way and as a perfect platform for what is the grand star here — a stellar cellar. Find your Leforts, Mazieres, Gimios, Desplats, No Controls, Perrons, Octavins, Bruyeres etc etc etc here. Of course, all your necessary Italian references, too. You see, Padova’s a small place, so their cellar is not depleted as if you were living in a metropolis. Top!
85210 April, 2019
It is against my logic that one of the most exciting restaurants I’ve been to lately is at the border of Veneto & Friuli Venezia Giulia. But, it is. The zone that I generally file under “do not let your foot off gas until you’ve reached Venice”, now has an incredible gem in @al_cjasal. Brother-chefs Manias both worked under Italy’s finest, @stefano_manias with Enrico Bartolini and Mattia @ortocj with the Alajmo family, as did @elena_falliero, in charge of desserts. The food in this family-run osteria is clever. Yet it is not overthought & fussy but playful & comfort. Obviously the team has beautiful technique but one that’s here to serve the guest’s palate. Instead of an ego, there’s taste. Cornelissen’s Munjebels are up there on the list, as are a few others from @meteri.it’s list. A must visit. @gabrielezanatt you are my hero for this recommendation.
203169 April, 2019
With age comes a more conservative palate and Sunday lunches by a golf course.
There’s a beautiful 360 view from the roof of @vinomagula’s new cellar on top of a hill outside of Trnava, Slovak Republic. Vineyards & mountains on one side, Bratislava in the distance on the other. A bit more than half an hour drive from the capital, Magula family winery is a beautiful symbol of a whole new generation of young Central-Eastern European winegrowers building on their parents’ heritage. As are his wines, Vladimir himself is precise and dynamic, committed to organic viticulture & exploring new vinification methods. A beautiful gem. (Btw. Trnava has one of the best breads I’ve tasted lately in what is if not the best restaurant in the region, @akademia_trnava led by chef @lukashesko.)
17661 April, 2019
Chapeau to @petrabredova who continues to pursue her conviction of making honest low-intervention wine in Moravia, Czech Republic, despite her going at it completely alone. This Slovak-born vigneron pursued a sommelier career in Prague before moving to the countryside. “I feel more at home here,” she says, showcasing her most valuable possession right now— a @johndeereeurope tractor. Petra is part of a rising generation of 20&30 year-olds who produce organically, with little apart from grapes added, selling mostly outside the Czech Republic.
106031 March, 2019
There really should be a division to BMC and AD in the Czech Republic. That’s Before Milan Nestarec & Anno Domini. Not to say that he is the reincarnation of Christ. But he did show the way (sic!) to many who today make Eastern Europe one of the world’s most exciting & vibrant wine regions. @milannestarec’s name is on many of grower’s lips there. (To the point that “like Nestarec” really should become Moravia dictionary’s proper entry.) Yet, what does it really mean to be Nestarec...as Milan himself is changing and now coming to a phase of greater than ever precision & elegance of wines (how about that Neuburger 💥). Plus, the dedication to pure low-intervention wines is undisputed here. Now taken to the next level, one where the winegrower himself is growing up & with the best vintages still to come. That being said-what a great start these previous years have been for him! Cheers.