Vecchio Mulino Beach Bar and Restaurant, Peschiera, Italy – April 2015

Hey friends and followers. It has been too bloody long, but setting up a new company, finding wines, importing wines, and SELLING wines 🙂 on top of the daily tasks of life, has been a lot more work than I imagined, and the posts here have been very infrequently to say the least. Spare time has been used to recover rather than writing down memories and recommendations. My plan is to try to get back on track with this blog, inspired by a reader who said she missed my writing here. But good news is that the wine business is fun and doing very well and the customer base is rapidly growing with many new tastings and events coming up.

But I know – I have a lot of catching up to do, and I will start with one of the latest GREAT experiences I shared with my family.

We visited the Garda Lake area, which was a first for me by the way. It was out of season and therefore we had the chance to experience the area without the hazzle and stress that peak season brings.

I might come back to Garda later here, but will share with you an experience I got to choose, having googled and tripadvisored around to see what would be fun to visit. Few restaurants stood out. But this one certainly did. From the way their internet site is build up with photos and descriptions of all dishes (and may I add, the photos do not lie, that is actually how the food looked for real) to the funny comments made and the general vibe and humor in the text blew me away .

The chefs here do not try fancy cooking – but they cook with great produce and love for simplicity and make certainly great combos.

The Vecchio Mulino Beach Bar is run by a young couple, Fabio and Pamela. It is described by many as the best place to eat at the lake.

Mr. Bo

Mr. Bo

Arriving early, – we sat down and started with some water and a beautiful bottle of my new favourite white – Lugano grapes.

The bar, with the boys.

The bar, with the boys.

The missus, Emil and Oscar and the Garda Lake

The missus, Emil and Oscar and the Garda Lake

The service was not quite ready for us since we arrived fashionably early but the waiter made sure we were being served cold drinks with an eye for detail. Menus were handed and stuff explained.

Coolest menu ever :-)

Coolest menu ever 🙂

Do you notice something...Food Wine..:-)

Do you notice something…Food Wine..:-)

Crispy white.

Crispy white.

Even the coke looked great

Even the coke looked great

The food is mostly served Tapas style and priced at 4,50 to 13 eur per dish, most around 6 eur. Now that is a price level we would wish to have around here.

First we were served a home baked bread

Complimentary Bread :-)

Complimentary Bread 🙂

Food arrived, I will show you what we chose:

Best dish of the day...

Stunning…

Described as “Burrata Cheese on a red Pepper fondue with Porcini Mushrooms” – it was amazing. The creamy cheese hidden a bit here on the photo. That was a GREAT start – 9p.

Fish Balls

Fish Balls

We were sitting in the hot sun – so the basil leaf deco soon looked very tired 🙂 The dish – “Lake Fish Meat Balls with our Signature Fishermans Sauce and Salsa Verde”. More basic, and the sauce more chunky and not as liquid and smooth as on the picture in the menu book. And I think if its a signature sauce – then it should be same – or at least similar every time you serve it 🙂 Little complaint, taste was good 🙂 7p

Yummi

Yummi

Simple and impressive way of presenting it I think. “Grilled Vegetables with Thyme Oil”8p.

A southern touch...

A southern touch…

“Fried Anchovies stuffed with Pine Nuts and Sage”. 8p. Loved it, this was all doing the sun justice and another white – the same 🙂 was ordered.

Best Dish of the day !

Best Dish of the day !

“Shrimps and Tequila Risotto with a tender heart of Acacia Honey and Tangerin”. Best risotto ever, perfectly creamy, and the taste ever so delicate. Astrid was over the moon for this one – 10p.

Final Dish

Final Dish

Cooked to perfection on the grill. This “Pink Pepper Sea Bass served with a Fennel and Garda Olive Oil Yoghurt sauce” – a nice finish, but not hitting the top marks of some of the other stuff. The pink pepper a great combo with the rest. 8p.

My conclusion:

From the moment we entered till the moment we left we felt sure that this restaurant would provide us with a great lunch and felt at home in the laid back but attentive service level of the staff. The bar, the al fresco dining, the lake, the great tapas style food, which made room for many tastings. The wine list was a little on the small side, but I’m sure most of the wines are very carefully picked with an eye for detail and taste. Most bottles were 15-20 eur anyway, which is an outstanding price/quality level. The outside looked great, the inside was a bit disturbed by the “plastic” looking windows that were kept I guess only for the winter/spring season. I am sure they are gone come summer season. But siince we had 24 degrees we had only too much sun to worry about.

The high rating on tripadvisor is fully justified. This little pearler comes with our highest recommendation for basic, great food with fresh ingredients and freshly prepared ingredients and decoration. Small flaws like seeing the side skewer with lemon and what do I know on some different dishes do not change the fact that we would love to eat here once a week if we could. We wish Fabio and his team all the best and are sure they are looking for busy times and lots of success.

The boys had a final dessert, the missus broke a glass and I lost my credit card, but that is another story 🙂

As seen on the wall of the men's room

As seen on the wall of the men’s room

Oscar loves his strawberries...

Oscar loves his strawberries…

My quality / price rating for this visit:

Food 8p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4.5p (5), 17p (20).

 

Domaine La Louviere, Malvies – August 2014

FWRR were granted the exclusivity of the the fine wines of Domaine La Louviere for Luxembourg earlier this year, shortly after we started up our own wine import business. The wines were among the first to be imported and among the first to be sold out. But do not worry – because there is still the great Le Galante on stock and maybe we can find a few of the reds too – even though our hearts cry every time a La Sedutrice or La Maitresse leaves the garage.

The outstanding artwork

The outstanding artwork

The outstanding art of work :-)

The outstanding art of work 🙂

That hit the spot

That hit the spot

But ever since the import started, Nicolas and Thore kindly invited us to come down down down south and have a look at the production and wineyards. And so we did. we stopped shortly before Barcelona it seems, and were amazed by the landscape,  which actually included more sunflowers than vines. I later told Nicolas, so this is the trick to wonderful herbal taste of the reds – you make them from sun flowers !!!!

Actually, wine maker and new on the team Jem (from Adelaide !!!) – showed us there were actually lots of wine grown on the land surrounding the Domaine.

Here´s some shots to get you an idea what awaited us.

The fountain and "market place" in front of the main building.

The fountain and “market place” in front of the main building.

The beauiful trademark fiirmly placed 4 times on the fountain

The beauiful trademark firmly placed 4 times on the fountain

The Pyrenees and attitude make room for a great wine growing climate

The Pyrenees and high attitude make room for a great wine growing climate

Suns everywhere.

Suns everywhere.

We were spoiled with good weather and Jem playing the perfect host, went shopping for us, right after arrival, and went to get us breakfast the next morning as well. That is great host playing. Good on ya.

First meal was cheese, charcuterie, fine La Louviere wines and …..more wines. What a nice arrival. Stefan made sure the beds were made and that all  of us were installed properly. A funny phone call from Nicolas set the tone of the stay, he was not to arrive until a few days later, but I could assure him we were well taken care of.

The next day we spend in beautiful Carcassonne, had a semi great lunch – and after returning to the domaine we relaxed with table tennis, rosé and ipads.

The big boys below Carcassonne

The big boys below Carcassonne

As always a Mr.Blue Sky when we are on a trip.

As always a Mr.Blue Sky when we are on a trip.

:-)

🙂

Hard to pick the shots to show you from the 200 I took.

Hard to pick the shots to show you from the 200 I took inside the old city.

one last one

one last one

and back the Domaine as I said time to rest before shower and dinner. The dinner I shall come back to in a review coming up shortly.

3 ages..

3 ages playing with rubber bands.

Returning after dinner most people called it a night and I opened a bottle of Rhum and were joined by the Bruxelles/Amsterdam connection in what turned out to be a longer drink – talk and night. I went to bed WAY over bed time but had a great evening. And mind you no hangover the next morning for reasons unexplained to man,

Next day was spend partly at the near by lake and for my part, shopping and cooking for our hosts and us. I had asked Stefan to find a “room with a view” – and the table and setting blew us away. Thank you most sincerely Stefan for arranging this, the evening was truly awesome. A pearler.

Before the dinner Jem showed us around and we were explained what makes La Louviere so special and what they aim for. Nicolas arrived – almost not late and joined us for my Coq au vin, which I think he liked 🙂

New mates - Oscar and Jem

New mates – Oscar and Jem

Dinner

Dinner

A proud wine maker.

A proud wine maker.

Table - and my humble sandwiches to get us going.

Table – and my humble sandwiches to get us going.

Waiting for the "coq" to arrive - Nicolas :-)

Waiting for the “coq” to arrive – Nicolas 🙂

Wine were plenty and good and I got a bit tipsy and called it a night. Judging from the look of some of the fellow diners the next day, that was a wise move.

Last day we spend exploring the area, and packing – sigh – I beat our host Nicolas in table tennis…and was both amazed and happy just doing that. Two things to be noted. One – I have a bad right wrist 🙂 and two  – I do think the score were adjusted a bit just around the 19-18 area, where I thought I was behind and then all of sudden was leading. Never mind. The victory was sweet. Oh so sweet.

Before leaving Nicolas told me some exciting and good news as for the product range of the domaine. Looking foward to that my friend.

We sincerely hope this will not be the last time we are visiting this great domaine. We thank you Nicolas, Jem and Stefan for taking good care of us. And we are looking forward to importing MANY more of your fine wines to the delight of our customers. I shall leave you with a few shots taken by my brother Heiko Schneider – one of the fans of the wines of Domaine La Louviere.

And to those of you who have not tried the wines yet. Feel free to pass by the garage sale of FWRR in Helmsange, Luxembourg or call me at +352661187904 – and let us arrange a tasting for you.

Style and taste

Style and taste

Herbal taste :-)

Herbal taste 🙂

and a final shot of the sun and the beautiful courtyard.

Bye Bye...

Bye Bye…

Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets, Gigondas, France – September 2013

This one has been sitting in my mind for quite some time. I actually thought I shared the wonderful stay we experienced there – but it seems I only shared it with you in my head.

I was at Les Florets the year before, and swore I would be back with my family. As it turned out it had to be the year after. As things went, I got to decide on how to spend the last few days of the summer 2013 vaction – and my mind was so made up. Gigondas, Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets, with a stop-over in Beaune driving down.

We got to stay here 3 nights. We visited the area, we got on top of the world, we dazed by the pool, had lots of great wines, and stunning food and service in this little paradise on earth.

I shall break the photos of the tour up in three chapters, one for each day and leave you to indulge in the photos rather than repeating my sentiments of the first stay.

Day one – 31 August 2013 – arrival, lunch pool and dinner.

The quiet romantic hotel with the al fresco dning.

The quiet romantic hotel with the al fresco dining.

Big boy Oscar

Big boy Oscar

and hungry Emil

and hungry Emil

The view from the restaurant is simply breath-taking, the valley, the hills, the rocky mountains, the flowers – the perfectly set tables.

My lamb

Aubergine in some fashion

Tomato, Avocado and I think Salmon

Tomato, Avocado and I think Salmon

Fish for Emil - somebody remove that lemon foam :-)

Fish for Emil – somebody remove that lemon foam 🙂

And the smile was back

And the smile was back

After dinner rest and then the long awaited pool.

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Lets finish day one with some shots from the evening.

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*

Day two – 1st September – Breakfast – Mont Ventoux – Gigondas – rest – Dinner

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Breakfast is great here, great selection and as mostly in France, great Croissants

Before we left for the mountain – I took some of the nicest shots of the boys ever, the colours where amazing, you can feel that Provence is just down the road.

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After that we took the car up to the top of the world. Quite a ride – not as tough for us – as for the bikers, but all those curves get to you in the end. But the view from up there is worth the hassle. It was a windy day, still when we started the climb it was a nice 23 degrees celcius. On th top it dropped to 13 (!) No wonder, Mont Ventoux rises nearly 2.000 meter above sea level.

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After those crazy hights  – it was nice to hit the valley of Gigondas – only to find there was a local festival, which came handy because the boys could use some of their saved energy, the restaurant I chose was close to crap, the wine not as nice as it should be – or could be, but all in all, sun was out, the missus pretty as ever –

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After a rest and a shower I got to sit down – rest and endulge in a bottle of Condrieu from nearby Saint Cosme.

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And right there in the middle of the beauty of all this, while waiting for the missus to come and join me, sipping the wine – I saw this old man reading his book, ever so quietly – and I thought – could there be any more quiet and beautiful way to spend your autumn.

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Dinner was enjoyed inside, the mistral had arrived. I shall not bore you with too many details. We had open wines, they were all great. I had one of the best pieces of meat EVER.

What a piece ...

What a piece …

and it was good night.

Day 3 – 2nd September 2014 – Breakfast – Crocodile Park – Avignon – rest – Dinner

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The crocodiles came in all sizes, I think there was around 400 of them. Funny thing occured after 30-60 min. when Emil proclaimed. That one is alive !!! – He had not realized that apart from the wooden ones he sat on, – they were all maybe not moving alot – but most definetely alive and not to be taken lightly.

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Avignon is worth a visit, great local food at Lou Mistral, not so funny incident occured when I left to look at a shoe-shop across the street while the others was on the toilet. Emil chose a different toilet, and came out first and thought we all left. I rushed back feeling like the worst daddy in the world, as Astrid and Oscar just emerged from the other exit. It can easily go wrong.

Back at the hotel – freshening up, playing games, and our last supper at Les Floret for this time.

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Conclusion:

Like last time Thierry and Dominique and all the staff made sure we could concentrate on us and relaxe, endulge in the quietness and romance of the place and – just enjoy the good food and the great weather and the stunning views.

The kitchen even went the extra mile and cooked me the dish I had fallen in love wiht the year before, even though it was not on the menu. The chef came to the table, and I explained it to him in my poor poor French. And it was just as good 🙂

Just as we were all happy with Potsdam the week before, I think we were all quite happy here, focus was on relaxing and the good food, and that is of course more my idea of fun 🙂 So I thank you dear Astrid, Oscar and Emil – for coming with me on this long ride to the Southern Rhone and coping with all that food and romance.

I wish I could be back this year. Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets comes with my highest recommendation.

So with that wish I shall leave you with an oldie but goodie – One Summer Dream, written by Jeff Lynne a good 38 years ago.

Rock on dear Thierry and Dominique.

 

 

 

 

 

The best dishes of 2013 – “The Directors cut”

Again in 2013 many good meals were had, many extraordinary dishes were consumed in restaurants in Luxembourg and Europe.

I think my favourite meal this year I had at Falco in Leipzig, the most romantic eve I experienced in Anna Amalia in Weimar. The most surpricing and low budget lunches but with great food was also consumed in the Pickled Piglet in Birmingham and Le Fromagerie Marylebone, London. It was nice to be back at Le Cinq but especially the amuses let me down a bit.

There was less dining out in Luxembourg, especially the drop in quality in some old favourite places made me sad. I do think that Restaurant Clairefontaine and Bouquet Garni are among the best in the country. And my favourite Italian Il Riccio never let us down. I enjoyed some easygoing and Luxembourgish inspired menu at Brasserie Aubergine.

Private great cooking classes were held at Clairefontaine and in a small German town where I found new friends and an amazing group of people that were all with an amazing cooking level. And who knew how to have fun.

I shall present you with some of my best shots of some of those dishes that made 2013 a VERY gastronomic year for me.

Here you go…

10. Gaumenschmaus, Potsdam, Germany

10. Gaumenschmaus, Potsdam, Germany

Simply the best Flammkuchen I ever had. The missus had an equally good salad. GREAT quality for little money. Potsdam was such a nice city, especially the Dutch Quarter.

9. The Pickled Piglet, Birmingham, England

9. The Pickled Piglet, Birmingham, England

Went here with good friend Jörgen, to catch a Bruce show, spiced up with performances by good friend and great singer Gazza, who dedicated a song to me – The Ghost of Tom Joad and after the Bruce show Mark Wright performed his Elvis show. What a day. Lunch was had at the Pickled Piglet, and the army of GREAT tasting tapas dishes amazed us. They outshone the meal the next day at one star rated Turner´s by many miles. I think we had a range of nine Tapas and especially the lamb meatballs blew us away.

8. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

8. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

A burger as good as it gets. I think it stayed on the menu for quite a while. It was damn good. Kobe style beef, with panfried frois gras. Respect Arnaud.

7. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

7. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

And while we are here, why not stay. I must say I think my favourite meal this year at Clairefontaine was my birthday menu. I thank you for that dear Arnaud and Edwige. This dish is of course one of Arnaud´s classics. His bio egg on truffles and risotto his way.

6. Lameloise, Chagny, France

6. Lameloise, Chagny, France

I have said it before and I shall say it again. Lamb at Lameloise is a marriage made in heaven. Happy to be back always. The service, the room, the food, the wine, – pure class. The crust on this lamb, the roasted garlic. Oh my God.

5. Schloss Berg, Nennig, Germany

5. Schloss Berg, Nennig, Germany

And just as Lamb is never wrong at Lameloise – Tuna is never wrong at Schloss Berg. In fact nothing is ever wrong there lol. The staff, especially Mrs. Bau and sommelier Daniel Kiowski make sure you are spoiled while Christian Bau and his brigade in the back does their magic.

4. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

4. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

Without compare the evening at Falco was the best dining experience the missus and I had in 2013. The fun, the interaction, the sometimes crazy and surpricing ideas that was presented to us. This porc, was the best meat I have had in 2013 for sure and maybe in my life. It was outstanding. Thanks, Peter, Christian, Oliver and all the staff that made this evening stand out.

3. Le Cinq, Paris

3. Le Cinq, Paris

Even though the menu as such let us a down a bit, it was good to be back, and to be here with good friends Jerome and Dragana. It was definetely a treat to be invited here, thanks Drag. But the amuses was not up to par, and the menu swayed a bit up and down. This starter, variations of octopussy was the best octopussy I have ever had in my life, and I have no problems in saying that THAT dish and watching the ballet that Le Cinq is was worth the admission alone.

2. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

2. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

So lets repeat what I said about Falco. That evening blew us away. This dish was the best fish we had all year. The somehow unlucky glazing of the plate made it hard to shoot – but trust me the Omble Chevalier wth wasabi, curry apple was to die for.

1. Greenhouse, Mayfair, London

1. Greenhouse, Mayfair, London

The Greenhouse was awarded their second michelin star for the 2014 edition of the guide. And that holds out. From the minute we entered the room we felt special and in good hands. Many of the dishes were amazing. This little something was mainly cornish crab and mint jelly, cauliflower, apple (granny smith). I do believe it was more or less a signature dish of the talented French chef Arnaud Bignon. So if you go there – try it out and say hi from FWRR. Sometimes it is the little things that counts. I never wanted this dish to end.

So, I again thank you dear friends who made all those meals worthwhile and possible in 2013, I missed dinners with some old friends I hope we will be able to catch up in 2014 – for what is outstanding food without the right dining partners….so thank you dear missus Astrid and dear dining friends, Torben, Jerome & Dragana, Serge, Johan & Tracy and Jörgen and of course Oscar and Emil who again made room for some very proud parents.

I shall leave you with some shots of the boys fine dining.

Emil at the Greenhouse after a long London day.

Emil at the Greenhouse after a long London day.

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Oscar having a Burger at Clairefontaine – 1-2 and 3 🙂

I am the Walrus...

I am the Walrus…

Knive and fork is a Man´s Job

Knive and fork is a Man´s Job

Chocolate cake is never wrong :-)

Chocolate cake is never wrong 🙂

And finally Emil looking not so impressed. He finished the plate :-) at wonderful Hotel les Florets in Gigondas

And finally Emil looking not so impressed. He finished the plate 🙂 at wonderful Hotel les Florets in Gigondas.

Falco, Leipzig – 16 August 2013

My friends will know that the last few months brought me many ups and downs. In some cases too many for a lifetime. I think only last month I made the missus a list of my best moments of the last three moments. Only two restaurants made the list of around 30 personal emotional highlights. One restaurant in Weimar, I shall get back to that one later – and our new favourite dining place on this earth – Falco. Having been here only once before, expectations were sky high. Peter Maria Schnurr is the essence of a rock´n´roll chef and what this blog is all about. Enjoy life NOW. Keep on dreaming. Keep a light in your heart and in your  life. Peter just wanna see you smile.

This time at Falco we were spoiled with a stunning menu, outstanding service a funny and entertaining Peter Maria Schnurr and had such a GREAT evening with much needed laugther and extravagance on all levels.

Let me set the scene. We had just had 1 week of holiday, meaning – our beautiful boys spend 1 week with their grandma and grandpa. Leaving us a week to endulge in time. Lots of much needed time. However, it was great to be back in Leipzig to pick them up and to see that they actually missed us. However, this last evening was to be spend without them.

The Boys were back in town.

The Boys were back in town.

Or more precisely we were back in town to pick them up. We enjoyed the day with a walk around Leipzig and a trip to the huge Völkerschlachtdenkmal.

Impressive with lots of steps inside to be conquered.

Impressive with lots of steps inside to be conquered.

Back to Falco…

And the stunning view from Falco over Leipzig.

And the stunning view from Falco over Leipzig.

Inside the restaurant we were greeted as old friends by maitre Oliver Kraft, and sommelier Christian Wilhelm. Together with the rest of the staff they are as good as it gets. And make sure all dishes are explained, questions are being answered and chit chat delivered in a balanced and nice way. And on a pleasant down-to-earth way that we prefer. Rock´n´roll.

Its been a while since the dinner took place and some details has slipped my mind since. Some plates were very very hard to shoot, since the glazing of some newly purchased and very exclusive plates did not work well with my camera.

But I shall give you some highlights.

The ever so light and passionate kitchen of Peter Maria Schnurr

The ever so light and passionate kitchen of Peter Maria Schnurr

The menu for the missus was prepared and printed with focus on the gluten issue etc.

Great bread....

Great bread….

One of the best looking and tasting amuses EVER

One of the best looking and tasting amuses EVER !

Amuse

Amuse 2

Amuse 2

Amuse 3

Astrid had this without the lardon, and let me just say, the lardon carried the dish.

Amuse 3 - a masterpiece

Amuse 4 – a masterpiece

All four amuses outstanding, the little funny looking thing here above, was tuna with a GREAT combination of tastes. Explosion of simplicity and good taste. 10p for the amuses

And then the sun went down and the moon came up.

And then the sun went down and the moon came up.

Corréze veal, tartare and sweetbread

Corréze veal, tartare and sweetbread

Great presentation, simplicity and respect for the tastes with no disturbing elements but also no kick factor. 9p

A beauty for the missus

A beauty for the missus

A little bit of everything – Miso coconut hummus, H2O melon, truffels and what do I know. Great 10p

Crab !!!

Crab !!!

No, no crab, but crab. GREAT dish. 10p

Walking mountain Trout

Walking mountain Trout

I do not like the plate. And it was almost impossible to shoot. The white glazing that looks likes a sauce disturbs the picture. They were very proud of these one of a kind plates. But – what they should be proud of was the delicate trout and the stunning dish. I think it was the best dish the missus has had this year. She was VERY impressed. 10p

Leipzig by night...

Leipzig by night…

Porc

Porc

I can say many things about this dish. But if the missus might have had her dream of a dish. Well so did I. Best meat ever. Reminded me of the first time I had lamb at Lameloise. It melted on your tongue. It was stunning and worth a trip to Leipzig alone. I love you Peter Maria Schnurr or whoever did this. 10p is an understatement. You had to be there to understand.

A few other dishes hit the table during the dinner, but I am not happy with the photos. The quality of the dishes were equal to what is shown here anyway. Off to the sweets.

A game of petanque maybe ?

A game of petanque maybe ?

Eatable of course. Including the “sand”.

What followed this time around at Falco was simply the funniest but also great and good working desserts we have ever had. The Petanque above was just a small warm up.

Jamaica with Jamaica rhytms...

Jamaica with Jamaica rhytms…

I got to taste this as well and my own set of mp3 player etc. A friend of Peter – Matthias Tanzmann had created/chosen the funky music to go with the next two couple of desserts for the missus. It was not rock´n´roll…but wauw, what a great way of being innovative, and surprice your guests. We loved it. The rhum, mango and coconut did the rest.

Round two of that Coconut Groove

Round two of that Coconut Groove

Applause, 10p for the two.

My dessert, with a rubbish photo was the only flaw of the evening. I did not care too much about it, was happy to have tried Astrid´s 🙂 Inside my dessert was as I have seen before baby sweet corn. I do not get or like that lol.

Anyway, last off was another stunner

Hehehe....

Hehehe….

A refreshing, tonic creation to finish of a great menu. Funny thing is – they cannot get the Sweppes Tonic cans in Leipzig so they had to go for a Fanta cans.  We salute you for this dish and promise to ship some tonic cans this week – deal ? Great finish 10p

I think a few more sweets hit the table, but we were too full to bother and maybe even rerejected lol.

My conclusion and rating for this visit.

I shall make this one short and simple. Peter Maria Schnurr, Oliver Kraft, Christian Wilhem, Kathleen and all the staff provides all we want in a restaurant. It is just so unbelieveable good and surpricing. This time around we felt like old friends coming back. It was like hitting harbour after a deadly storm. We felt warm and cozy and were spoiled with attention and outstanding food. There is no way that this evening was not one of the best we have ever had in a restaurant. It was out of this world. We thank you from the botttom of our hearts for making this one a night to remember.

So what you expect folks. . TOP score on all levels. 20/20 Points.

I shall finish with some shots from after service. Last time I got to write on a tile in the kitchen. This time we had an upgrade and were allowed to write in the entrance hall. On the wall. We wrote in Danish. We love you Peter Maria Schnurr…..rock on.

Peter and the missus !

Peter and the missus !

After dinner talk....

After dinner talk….

My tile from last year..

My tile from last year..

Big smiles...

Big smiles…

I shall finish this overdue review with a little reflection.

You guys out there. Including the whole staff at Falco. Keep on dreaming. Open up your heart. Keep a light burning. Then everything will turn out well.

To all at Falco, we love you.

To Astrid, I love you and thank you for the many outstanding moments we shared so far. I hope for many more to come.

To my boys, it was great to have a week without you, it is even better to have you back. You light up our lives.

Now give this song your attention for the next 5 min or so. This ones for you loved ones…

My favourite restaurants 2011 !

And the FWRR awards 2011  goes to….

The below list is most likely also my all-time favourite list. But I will update the list next year and see if there are movements. Most of the restaurants on the list all gave me some memorable lunches or dinners in 2011. Some are still so present in my memory from earlier vistis that I cannot disregard them. So if I had 10 restaurants to re-visit on this planet, this would be my choices today.

1. Schloss Berg, Nennig. Bau continue to improve his cooking to perfection. I like everything about this place, the ambience, the service – the food and wines top notch.

1 - Schloss Berg - The Champion

2. Sölleröd Kro, Copenhagen Now had this pearl been in France it would be a 3 star michelin – but as it is – its in Denmark and thus “only” have 1. Jan Restorff is the best maitre in the world.

2 -Sölleröd Kro - runner up

3. Lameloise, Chagny Frederic Lamy and his team in the service makes sure the perfect food from the kitchen is delivered and presentated to perfection.

3 - Lameloise

4. Le Cinq, Paris. Not visited this year, but I cannot and will not leave it out of my list. Its simply too good. Maybe in 2012. One can always dream. 2 star michelin rating. No food photo – but a photo I never get tired of. Oscar and the missus meeting Bruce Springsteen, just outside Le Cinq.

4. Le Cinq - well actually Bruce Springsteen meets Oscar...

5. Restaurant Babette, Vordingborg – Henrik and Brian in the front and Vivi and her team in the kitchen make sure your dining experience is close to perfect. Being in rural Denmark, 1 hour from Copenhagen i.e. it has no michelin star rating but I am sure it would have at least 1 in France.

5 -Restaurant Babette

A shared 5th place go to

5. Der Butt, Warnemünde. 1 Star michelin rating. Tillman Hahn in the kitchen and all is well in the world. The dinner we had here last summer was outstanding, and even better than the years before.

5 -Der Butt

7. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg. When Arnaud Magnier is good, he is really good. He is for sure the best chef in Luxembourg, and he often surprices you with combinations or presentations you would never dream of – but afterwards you will. Take a look at the the Cordon Bleu Revisited below and you will know what I mean. 1 star michelin rating.

7 - Restaurant Clairefontaine

8. Restaurant Rosin, Wulfen. Visiting Frank Rosin in his newly awarded 2 star michelin restaurant was something else than expected. Very down to earth cooking. Beautiful settings, and a wine list among the best I have seen in Germany.

8 - Restaurant Rosin

9. Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg. Thierry Duhr is among the best chefs in Luxembourg, and this adress is probably the most romantic gastronomic restaurant with its stone walls, and open fire in the evening. 1 star michelin rating.

9 - Bouquet Garni

10. Hotel Marbella Club, Marbella. For sure worth a visit. Javier Doncel, or the other waiters will treat you as a king, And you will be stunned by the quality of the food and surroundings. No michelin rating.

10 - Marbella Club Hotel, The Beach Club Restaurant

Enough gastronomy….

I shall finish the list of with some Brasserie style restaurants – but they all managed to impress me – some of them once some of them repeatedly..

1. Bullerei, Hamburg. Tim Mälzer and or his team, produces simple food, but with an outstanding price/quality, super friendly staff and an ambience I simply fell for. A surprice on the list, but the evening I spend there was really something. No michelin rating.

        1 – Bullerei – perfect beef

2. L´annexe, Luxembourg. Award winning in two categories, Jerome with J.P., Sebastien and Christophe in the front and “Miche” and his team in the kitchen provide you with super Brasserie food and you always feel welcome no matter how crowded the place is. And believe me, it can get very crowded. No michelin rating.

                       2 – L´Annexe

3. Ill Riccio, Luxembourg. Tano and Tina holds this restaurant in firm hands. Luca is slowly taking over the responsibilities, and he is everything you could wish for in a host. Its a TINY restaurant with a large menu, good wine list. The kitchen is very flexible and will cook just about anything you ask for. Easily my favourite Italian restaurant. No michelin rating.

3 - Ill Riccio

I am thankful forall the good friends that shared the moments with me along the way in 2011. Rock on….

Restaurant Babette, Denmark – 11 August 2011

“Concerto for a rainy Day” Jeff Lynne 1977

“I’m standing in the rain
I’m waiting all alone
I’m so tired
I wanna go home”

After 5 days of non-stop rain we needed something to ease our minds and lift our spirits, so after booking the table and convincing the boys that NOW was the time to get in the car – we felt very good about the upcoming lunch and in keeping the tradition of a visit to this little gem at least once during our summer break.

It was good to be greeted as regulars – hey we are – every August we have been here for the last 4-5 years or so. They were all there, Brian, Vivi, Henrik….It is always good to see the light in their eyes.

Waiting for the food can be a “Man’s job” – during this summer, the boys have actually improved in trying different food, even some green stuff which until now has only been considered a little less dangerous than poison. But the waiting is still killing them.

Here are some poses to give you an idea…

No amuses today but we were happy just to be here….they only just came back from holiday.

However, the concept with around 5-8 dishes to choose from is stil the same. Food and wine were ordered, a lovely smooth 2004 Puligny Montrachet from Dujac.

A nice drop....

Pickled Flunder with Cantalupe Melon, Cucumber and Mayjonaise - enjoy.

What a beauty, what a starter. The bar had been set. 9p

Monkfish / Anglerfish - with Dill top and Mussel Fond.

A classic in Babette. The buttery fond is to die for, here served with Monkfish, could be any fish. The dish pops up in different variations at Babette, and it is lovely. 9p

Fried Mullet with Tomato, Celery, Chili, and Anchovy Oil

The missues choice. The presentation more on the easy side in compare to the two dishes before. But the pickled tomatos wonderful and the fish cooked perfectly. 8.5p

Rack of Lamb with New carrots and Relich of Rosehips, Pumpkin and Mustard seeds

Great dish, came with a second serving of other parts of the lamp on a mash. Loved it. 9p

Say cheese...

Small but great selection from the now famous Knuthenlund estate on Lolland, about 1,5 kilometers away from were I grew up. Great stuff. They have recently won a “Best Brie in the world” award. 8.5p

Variation of Blueberries - White Chocolate, Licorice Vanilla.

I actually think there was a pre-dessert too…but forgot to shoot it. This was splendid. 8p

Conclusion:

As you know by know I love Babette. There style is simple and beautiful. The service down-to-earth but with a sheer level of quality and surplus. They know what they are doing. And Brian is slowly turning into one of the best waiters in Denmark I think. But no wonder, he is learning from one of the best – the mighty Henrik Pedersen. It was a pleasure being back. We almost forgot the rain. At least for a while. We said our good-byes, sorry to the young waiter – I forgot your name, you were great too 😉 – and rushed back the summerhouse, and decided that the following day would be the last in Denmark for quite a while.  But when we return, Babette is on the wishing list.

I shall leave you with my rating and a pretty smiling face

The missus...

My rating for this visit:  Food 8.5p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4p (5), total score for this visit  17p (20).