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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Dining at Lasarte

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Before the most recent trip to Barcelona, I spent a lot of time researching various restaurants to dine at for a good friend’s birthday. In a city known for its food, narrowing down the choices was not an easy task. Obviously, the first place to look was anywhere with the name Adrià, either Ferran of elBulli fame or his brother, Albert, who runs the much-raved about Tickets, along with Enigma.

Making reservations turned out to be somewhat vague, with no clear confirmation a table would be available once in Barcelona. In the end, decided it was important we had a confirmed table to make sure it was an amazing birthday celebration. Running through various travel guides and, especially, the Michelin guide, found out about Lasarte, a three-Michelin star establishment located just off the Passeig de Gràcia.

The reservation process was straightforward and when inquiring about their menu, with regard to dietary restrictions, their response time was remarkable (they are very accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions). The reservation process alone was just about enough to confirm the birthday would be celebrated at Lasarte.

The day arrived and we took a walk down the Passeig de Gràcia, even stopping for tapas on the way.

Upon entering the establishment, it was amazingly clean and modern. We were seated right away and noticed a few of the other tables with elegantly-presented dishes and just as elegantly-dressed patrons. It was already exhilarating walking into such an establishment, it got even more exciting once the menus arrived.

The evening began with an array of ornate appetizers, each served in a unique way, with a variety of textures to start the evening. The first course began with an oyster dish served with an iced watercress slush, parsnip, and sea mist. For molecular gastronomy fans, seeing anything with foam arrive to the table automatically get the senses going.

Probably the most beautiful of the 11 courses was the red curry dish. Described as scarlet shrimp royal with red curry, raw artichokes, celery, and apple, the dish offered a variety of colors and textures. It’s the typical go-to photo when telling people about the dinner.

Scarlet shrimp royal with red curry, raw artichokes, celery, and apple.

If I were to name the most memorable dish, there is no doubt it was the charcoal grilled pigeon with citrus, capers, black olive, and smoked sauce with galangal. The idea of eating pigeon was a rather foreign concept, which made it the most striking option when first perusing the evening’s menu. There was a red meat quality to the flavor and texture and, overall, it tasted good – it was mostly about getting over the idea of a pigeon being on the plate.

Charcoal grilled pigeon with citrus, capers, black olive, and smoked sauce with galangal.

Dessert was amazing – and gorgeous. Almond and salt praline, apricot, and rum ice cream. It’s cliché to say “it was too beautiful to eat,” but this, in fact, was; and it was all worth it once getting that first bite.

Almond and salt praline, apricot, and rum ice cream.

There’s a reason places like Lasarte are acclaimed. The aesthetic really makes a difference in the overall experience. A quiet and relaxed room with perfect lighting made the dinner all the more appealing. Very attentive staff – who even walk you to the bathroom – add an appreciation for the care the restaurant puts into service.

Then, there’s the food. 11 courses, each with its own unique taste and beauty, it truly presents the soul of the restaurant itself.

All of it comprises the “dining experience,” and this was one of the most memorable ones.

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Seamore’s

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From the guy that brought the ever popular Meatball Shop, Michael Chernow brings a seafood-based cuisine with Seamore’s. Right on the corner of Broome and Mulberry, you see right into the restaurant in passing, looks very clean and inviting.

Honestly, had first taken notice of the place after getting a “Like” from the restaurant’s instagram on a picture of a cookie enjoyed while in North Carolina. Was immediately drawn when looking into what Seamore’s was all about; the menu was intriguing and knowing it’s a Michael Chernow place, had all the confidence it was going to be a prime destination once back in New York.

Taking a seat at the bar, had a bit of an idea what was the intended order – having gone over the menu several times previously – but still was awestruck by the options. Went with the spicy tuna burger, various machinations of what would arrive ran through my head previously, can truly say, the actual sandwich was beyond expectation. The burger was as it says – spicy; but it wasn’t a jarring spice nor was it slight, the spice warms up throughout the chewing process and pairs so well with the Kölsch they have on tap.

Tuna burger spiced to perfection, generously stacked with fixings.

Tuna burger spiced to perfection, generously stacked with fixings.

Couldn’t be more satisfied after polishing off the burger and devouring every single delicious sweet potato fry, then came the inevitably difficult idea of dessert. The bartender approaches and mentions dessert, had previously eyed it on the menu – pumpkin spice ice cream topped with salted pumpkin seeds – it didn’t take much convincing to go ahead with dessert. A magnificent decision.

Pumpkin spice ice cream with salted pumpkin seeds. Who can say 'No?'

Pumpkin spice ice cream with salted pumpkin seeds. Who can say ‘No?’

Written by Paulo Loreto

November 11, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Carmine’s

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It’s been over a year and a half since living and working in New York City. Had the opportunity to catch a Broadway show with family; got tickets for “Rocky” at the Winter Garden Theater.

After the show, decided to dine at a classic spot, an old favorite, Carmine’s; one of the best known restaurants in New York City. An icon, known for delicious Italian cuisine served in large family-style portions.

Upon being seated, caught sight of one of the greatest draws of the place, the calamari.

Every previous visit to Carmine’s has been highlighted by the mountain of delicious, fried squid that leaves both a memorable sight and taste. Hot, fresh, crispy – all keys that make the calamari at Carmine’s so extraordinary. The huge appetizer is, typically, enough to satisfy one’s appetite, but the entrée offerings usually keep you craving more.

Carmine’s boasts locations throughout New York City, along with Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Atlantis-Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Carmine’s boasts locations throughout New York City, along with Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Atlantis-Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Written by Paulo Loreto

June 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Oyster Omelette

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A popular snack dish throughout Asia, the oyster omelette can typically be found served off take-out carts or hawker centers. A fairly simple-looking process, cooks prepare a basic omelette and towards the end of the process, throw in oysters. The result is a warm and delicious dish, accompanied by the sweetness of fresh oysters; a unique combination that is rare to find outside the region.

Partnered with a spicy chili sauce, each bite takes on a new level of tastiness.

This Oyster Omelette was enjoyed at the People's Park Food Centre in Singapore's Chinatown.

This Oyster Omelette was enjoyed at the People’s Park Food Centre in Singapore’s Chinatown.

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM