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.

IMG_4701 IMG_4700-001IMG_4702-001

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.

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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…

Falco, Leipzig, Germany – 29 May 2012

“Coming home, I’m coming home
Let me show you who I am
Let me show you I’m your man
I would give anything just to see you again”

Falco 1986

*

“Coming home” – to the hometown of the missus – it had been too many years – we finally managed to fit the gastronomic pride of the “new” part of Germany into our schedule. The restaurant is situated on the 27th floor of the old Westin Hotel which of course provides the guests breathtaking views of the city.

“View to a kill”….

The name of the restaurant pays homage to the family of falcons that are nesting on the top of the building every year.

The mother falcon watching her two “babies” that were nesting below where a cage had been build by the staff.

Peter Maria Schnurr holds 2 michelin stars and his style of cooking is not far from the one we know and adore of Christian Bau in Schloss Berg. Its light and modern – sometimes daring combinations and always pretty as it get presentations. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the bar keeper of the bar that runs into the restaurant. A glass of Ruinart Blanc des blancs and the  stunning view of Leipzig. I had spotted the “Bible” – entitled Cuisine Passion Legere – on display at the entrance and requested to have a signed copy ready at the end of the meal. The funny thing is, that the cooking is one of the lightest you will find, and the book for sure is one of the heaviest. A monster of a book. I am so looking forward to endulge further into it in the coming months.

First amuse was served with the champagne at the bar.

Round one goes to Falco ..

Beautiful arranged, and the gluten-allergy and vegetarian status of the missus being respected from the first moment always give us a certain amount of confidence 9p

Christian Wilhelm best sommelier of Berlin 2010 showed us our corner table with the same stunning view of Leipzig. He was throughout the evening a perfect host, so was his two female colleagues. Service do not get much better than this.

Bread

Bread at Falco is not your standard basket, but these two on display here. It was combined with two other tastings. However, there was no gluten-free variety but the missus was fairly warned to watch out.

Second amuse…and

Third and last greeting from the kitchen…

Those two rounds of amuses was stunning and especially the last one, with the caviar of salmon trout – to die for. 10p

We had opted for the small menu, which will set you back 144 eur – the larger version comes at 179 eur.

Raw Scallops with rhubarb with a green ice cream of Granny Smith, olives and basil

Loved it. Best scallops in my life I think – or at least way up there with the best. Loved the presentation too. 10p

Lobster with basil, choriandre, mint and apple.

The colour of the green creme AMAZING. 9p

Salmon trout – Omble Chevalier

Great dish, great taste of the fish, slowly cooked, and the presentation again with an eye for detail, both for the eye and mouth 9.5p

A small – clear the palate thing.

I think it was red berries ice – on a coco bisquit. Great plate too.

“Schwarzes Eichel” porc on a paella creme (!)

My choice – Iberico porc – slowly cooked at low temperature I think (which is not my favourite style) – the paella creme on top tasted like paella…great combo. But the weakest dish of the evening 8p

Iceland Kabeljau

This dish was re-aaranged to fit the gluten-free aspect. A large piece of cod – but cooked to perfection – and a great dish but also not as sharp as the starters 8.5p

Luise Volkert proudly presenting the cheeses…

I asked Luise to present the tray as if we would have some, but we opted no up front. Great job. And a great selection and beautiful counter it was. 10p

Pre-dessert….

Strawberry botox

Again a presentation that brought memories from Bau´s kitchen. Great dessert 9p

Another after dessert was served – but the picture I got from that is not good, – instead the crusty lollies will be the last food shot of this evening.

My boy lollipop…

Lovely as the meal and evening.

Conclusion:

I am so happy, and so is the missus – that we finally managed to eat at Falco. It does not get much better than this. The staff, the kitchen, the service level, the views, the ambience. Everything was in balance – and the easy-going ways of the service is just what we like. At the end of the meal Peter Maria Schnurr came to our table and we chatted a good 15 min about the meal and life as such. He proudly showed me what he had written for us.

A happy chef. He has every reason to be just that.

He also invited me to the kitchen to sign a tile on the wall, an honour not many people had been offered, and my signature – Das Bo – with a small thank you – is right there in the midst of these wizzards or just another brick in the wall among “other famous” people. I thank you Peter Maria for that honour, for the time with you – and ALL your staff for a tremendous evening. Be sure to find os back next time we are in town. I shall add a bonus point – because everything on this evening was in balance. And to the pretty brunette waitress that cared so good for us throughout the evening…I am sorry I forgot your name dear.

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5p (5), plus the added bonus point – total score for this visit  20p (20)