Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eating on the Moon: Rome

Last but certainly not least in our honeymoon culinary adventures came Rome.  Rome was wonderful.  Rome has lots of wine.  And noodles.  But very few toilet seats.  Remember that, peeps, should you ever take a Roman Holiday.

Our first night in Rome we were tired, but finally defrosted after dealing with much colder temps in London and Paris.  We wandered around and came across a little bar that was blasting 80s Madonna.  There's nothing bad about that, amiright?  I went with a traditional pasta carbonara while the H had chicken.  Smothered in cheese.  Just like he likes (and just like he can get at home, but that is neither here nor there).

While we traveled, we made use of pocket-sized Frommer's guidebooks that we hoped would help us choose restaurants.  By the end of the trip, it became a running joke that we were getting "Frommered" because half the restaurants in the book were closed.  THANKS FOR NOTHING, BOOK.  Well, not for nothing, because the book did recommend La Carbonara.  It was totally hidden and hard to find (and up a big hill) but well worth it.  The mozzarella and pancetta were fab, as was the ravioli and steak.  The tiramisu was also heavenly (but so rich.  SO rich).  Thanks for that, book.

On one of the last days of the trip, we went shopping for handmade leather loafers for the H near the Spanish steps.  It started to rain so we ducked into a little trattoria.  We had no idea what to expect, but this lasagna was BY FAR the most delicious thing I ate in Rome.  It was heaven on a plate.  The H's rigatoni with peppers wasn't half bad, either.

We had pasta with artichokes (and other good stuff that I can't recall) and some amazing salted pork at the Enoteca Provincia Romana, near the Forum.  It's a great little wine bar and was really close to everything.

This meal, at Enoteca Cavour 313, may have been the other food highlight of Rome due to the simple fact that the atmosphere was wonderful and our waitress was a delight.  We had a great meal of antipasti, wine, and this wonderful chocolate hazelnut ice cream concoction, and we left full but not uncomfortable.  Also, we love cheese, so that didn't hurt.

We had to venture off the beaten path, a bit, our last night in Rome because a lot of the restaurants were closed.  We ventured out into the suburbs to a restaurant with an insanely rude group of servers but a wonderful drink menu and great food.  I had the tagliatelle and the H had steak and potatoes (in a fancy Roman style, naturally).

Rome was awesome and I was glad to end our long trip on such a high note.  We were really able to take it easy there, eat a lot, drink a lot, and relax a little!

I'll be back to regular posts next week, peeps!  Thanks for reliving my honeymoon culinary adventures along with me!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eating on the Moon: Paris

I am going to apologize in advance for the quality of some of these photos, peeps.  There were times when I was so hungry that the photos were the last thing on my mind.

All that said - I loved Paris.  The food was great, the people were lovely, and it had a much more relaxed, fabulous vibe than London (which is coming from somebody who LOVES London).  I had never been to France before, so this all came as a delightful surprise.

Our first night in Paris we stopped at a little brasserie across from the Palais de Luxembourg and had a huge meal of roast chicken (for me), beef bourguignon (for the H - listening him try and pronounce bourguignon was hilarious), and delicious crepes with poached pears and pear ice cream for dessert.  And a bottle of wine, obvs.  We practically had to roll back to our hotel (we were fortunate to be staying right in the Latin Quarter, near everything.  Rolling was possible).

In addition to making crepes a daily habit, we also made croque monsieur/madame -s a near-daily habit as well.  They never disappoint, and they're filling without being heavy.  We also indulged in a lot of dessert, including this chocolate mousse with gingerbread cookies.

We spent an afternoon at Versailles, which was just insane.  I could've been French royalty, is all I'm sayin - those people know how to LIVE.  We wanted lunch while we were there, but this mean woman cut in front of us and bought EVERY SINGLE SANDWICH.  I'm not kidding.  So we had a lunch of desserts.  It sucked.  Or something.

I also ate a lot of red meat on this trip.  I can remember our trip to Spain, when I was in high school, and I believe I ate quite a bit of red meat on that trip, too (my mother will be sure to correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, I've no doubt).  The food in Spain was just too weird for my unsophisticated palate at the time - too many sea creatures with heads for my taste.  That wasn't the case in France, the meat was just GOOD.  Never the best cuts, always full of flavor and cooked to perfection.

I also ate a lot of French onion soup (above and below).  I have always been a fan and it kept me warm and full after days of walking in the cold (it was just as cold in Paris as it had been in London, so I had to do my best to stay warm!).

The H also tried duck for the first time in Paris, and fell in love.  This duck had a nice crispy skin, and a great mustard-based vinaigrette.  Rich and wonderful.

The H planned a tour of Reims and the champagne region, and we were fortunate to get a nearly-private (just us and one other couple) tour of the Billecart Salmon winery.  We got to try three different champagnes and see all of the inner workings of the place - it was AWESOME.  I love champagne so the trip didn't disappoint,and it was nice to get out of the city and see some of the gorgeous countryside.

After our day of drinking champagne and not eating, we decided to continue drinking at Au Sauvignon in Montparnasse and eat nothing but cheese and bread for supper.  Which, now that I think of it, could have contributed to my love of France . . . moving on . . .

Our last night in Paris we dined at La Closerie des Lilas and the food was incredible.  Our appetizer consisted of a puff pastry covered with some kind of honey glaze, artichokes, tomatoes, greens, and (gulp) chicken livers.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  I will try anything once, and those livers were DAMN tasty (when I wasn't thinking about WHAT they were).  I had a great steak (again!) and the H had duck (again!) in a cherry sauce, with a macaroni gratin.  We had a salted caramel parfait with ice cream and candied macadamia nuts for dessert.  Again, I could've rolled back to the hotel.  We had to get up early for our flight to Rome the next day, but we certainly left France on a high (and full!) note.

Paris was truly incredible and I hope that we can go back.  If not, the H ordered us a case of champagne from one of the other wineries we visited (Ernest Remy - where I failed to take pictures during our tasting) so the memories will live on in the bubbles forever!  Or until we drink it all!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Eating on the Moon: London

I'm back, peeps!

The H and I had a fabulous time at our wedding, as well as during all of the pre-wedding festivities, and the honeymoon was a wonderful success.  The H surprised me with a trip to London, Paris, and Rome and we ate.  And ate.  And ate our way around those three cities!

First up, London.  We hit up a great little restaurant in Shepherd Market called The Market Brasserie.

I had this awesome chicken, balsamic, mushroom something or other.  With cheese, natch.

And the H (it feels very strange to type that) had this bitchin', spicy risotto with chicken.  Had I known that we were going to end up in Rome, I probably would have steered away from either of us ordering Italian food, but I was just along for the ride and had no idea where we were going, other than London, so we ate as we felt, in the moment!

We also shared this amazing flourless chocolate torte with ice cream and strawberries.

Obviously I failed at the number one blogger duty:  don't take a photo before you dig in.  Oh well!

We also managed to eat at a French restaurant in London - Aubaine. 

This salad had frise, pomegranate seeds, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and buffalo mozzarella.  It was amazing.  I had a steak (which I failed to photograph) and the H had lobster spaghetti:

To say that we ate well would be an understatement.  Later that night we did a tour of some of the oldest pubs in London, and had an awesome time.  I definitely recommend checking out some of the old bars (especially Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese) if you find yourself across the pond!

On our last day in London we decided to do the Jack the Ripper tour.  The weather was freezing, the H was sick, and I wanted Indian food, so we headed to The Liberty Bounds, a pub with regular pub food (for the H) and Indian food (for moi).

The F had this enormous chili dog, with onion rings and chips, while I dug into some chicken tikka masala.

I am a huge lover of Indian food (law school BFF and I used to go out for Indian regularly) and this hit the spot, particularly since it was so cold out.  London has great Indian food - a big plus for me!

As for other London adventures, we did some shopping (Harrod's and Fortnum & Mason, anyone) and saw all of the sights - and ate a lot more, as well.  Some of the food in England isn't exactly photo-worthy, so I did my best to capture the really good stuff.  After London we left for Paris by train and didn't look back - that food post, coming up next!