Dining in Spain: El Celler de Can Roca***

El Celler de Can Roca is the restaurant in Girona (Spain, 1.5 hours from Barcelona and close to where El Bulli used to be) of three brothers: chef Joan Roca, sommelier Josep Roca, and patissier Jordi Roca.  Since for me the wine and especially the wine pairing is very important for a great dinner experience, the combination of a famous chef with a famous sommelier was already a good sign for this restaurant. (My favorite restaurant in the Netherlands, and one of my favorites in the world, is the Librije in Zwolle, run by chef Jonnie Boer and his wife sommelier … Continue reading Dining in Spain: El Celler de Can Roca***

Dining in Paris: l’Astrance***

Paris is a 5-hour drive and it is one of our favorite cities in the world, so we like to visit once every one to two years. There is only one surprising thing that is less great about Paris: so far we’ve not been very lucky finding a restaurant there that we really liked. We tried a two-star restaurant that was good but too expensive and a bit boring, and the other restaurants we tried were all mediocre. I had had my eyes on l’Astrance for some years, but so far never managed to secure a reservation. l’Astrance has the reputation … Continue reading Dining in Paris: l’Astrance***

Dining in Chicago: Alinea***

Being jetlagged has its advantages. I’ve just had a fantastic dinner at Alinea and am eager to blog about it, but I wasn’t sure when I would get around to that as I will be travelling in areas where wifi is not something to count on. We went to Alinea with friends from Chicago where we are also staying the night. I’ve slept really well after the dinner at Alinea for about 6 hours, but now it’s 5am (i.e. noon in the timezone I left yesterday) and I am wide awake. So what better thing to do then to do … Continue reading Dining in Chicago: Alinea***

Dining in the Netherlands: De Librije***

Every year since De Librije has been awarded its third star (in late 2004) we have celebrated our wedding anniversary on June 15th with a dinner at De Librije. The first time in 2005 was very special, as it was our first dinner at a three-star restaurant and we were completely blown away by both the food and the wine. As I’ve written before, follow-up visits to a restaurant are like sequels to a movie: it is hard to beat that first great experience. But De Librije has held up quite strongly, and that’s why we keep coming back. We … Continue reading Dining in the Netherlands: De Librije***

Dining in Italy: Combal.Zero

  My regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a few days. That’s because I was in Italy, to visit friends and to eat at Combal.Zero. In September we dined at Combal.Zero in Rivoli (close to Turin, Italy) for the first time and were totally impressed with the food. So much, that we wanted to go back there again soon. And so we did. Combal.Zero has two Michelin stars (I can only guess why there aren’t three), ‘tre forchette’ (3 forks) from Gambero Rosso (the highest rating from this leading Italian guide) and ranks 59 in the … Continue reading Dining in Italy: Combal.Zero