CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris, Oh My!

Due to the circumstances of last week, our trip to NYC is on hold. I just don't think that we'll be able to squeeze it in before I need to go back to school on (oh dear Christ!) August 23rd. Until that point, my dance card is looking just about all full up.

We are, however, hitting Europe in the fall -- no doubt about that, bitches! Due to some frequent flier action, we are able to layover in Amsterdam for two days, so what began as a trip to visit heaven on earth (and also to meet Jon's family in Nice at the end) became a multi-city tour.

I am, however, completely fucking overwhelmed by how to possibly choose where to eat. Help! For the love of God, please!

Our destinations are as follows: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Nice. And, despite the fact that I have wanted to visit Paris since I was 12, I have been to none of these cities before. I know, I suck. Now someone please tell me how to choose where the fuck I'm supposed to go.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Los Caracoles, Barcelona
Golfo De Bizkaia, Barcelona

7/18/2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

maybe you should make it your job to visit every supper club in the world. Doesn't amsterdam have the original?

I have eaten memorable food in amsterdam but unfortunately I cant remember where.

Fries and peanut sauce from a street vendor - you have to try that!

When i was in Barcelona I made mostly the wrong food choices, no thanks to Time Out. But I do recall a platter of smoked tuna topped with marcona almonds that was divine. Oh, sorry, come to think of it, that was Madrid. Barcelona - yes good langoustines there.

Paris - where do you start? I am not even going to begin to give you advice cos I just aint fancy enough...

7/18/2006 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only help with Paree. Go to Chez Michel out near the Gare du Nord. It's not fancy but it's damn fine, the highlight of our trip (and our friends' trip last week). Great country fare e.g. huge ramekins of pate, mason jars layered with house-smoked salmon, purple potatoes and thick coins of onions, and tons of game meats. Call ahead once you get to Paris (and save your moolah for El Bulli).

7/18/2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Maiser said...

does anyone else think it's funny that sam had memorable food that she can't remember?

7/18/2006 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amsterdam: One place for you to NOT MISS: De Kas. Call *now*. Ask for the chef's table in the kitchen, if you can get it. Plan nothing else that evening. Be ready for magic.

Also in Amsterdam: Kantjil & the Tiger is my fave rijstaffel there so far. If I had two meals I'd make sure I got De Kas and a rijstaffel.

Get aperitifs at Wynand Focking.

Sam: the supperclub in amsterdam is the original - and it's good fun. I've been a few times, but I wouldn't miss De Kas for it.

More when I can pull my journals for you. 8)

7/19/2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got back from Amsterdam...

Not to miss: De Kas, Envy, Van Harte.

7/19/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You absolutely MUST visit the Pancake Bakery in Amersterdam on the Prinsengracht just down the street from the Anne Frank House. Dutch pancakes are nothing like ours and you don't eat them for breakfast. They are like two giant crepes layed flat on a plate and have all sorts of fabulous stuff in the middle!

7/19/2006 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, A'dam. I used to go a few times a year when I was in the travel business. Such a wonderful little place.

Traditional Dutch food can be really heavy. Also can be good. Moeders is a nice example of down-home cooking.

Go somewhere for rijstafel.

Get an Argentine steak. Fan-fucking-tastic beef.

If you're interested in a canal boat tour, the only way to do it is with Saint Nicolaas Boat Club. Small boat, no yucky tourists (only the good ones ;).

I've seen some of the most amazingly funny and fun improv in Amsterdam too. Check out Boom Chicago if you have the time. Don't worry, the show is all in English.

Have fun! Get to know your inner gezelig self.

If you have any questions, let me know.

7/19/2006 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Barcelona you MUST go to the Boqueria [main market off the Ramblas] and there are several bars in there but my favorite is EL Quim de Boqueria!! Breakfast or lunch. There is another little bar in the market with a basque X in the name that gets good reviews as well.

7/19/2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try L'epi Dupin in Paris, small bistro in St. Germain - always bustling with great food and people. Also splurge on Taillevent, lovely sauces and superb veal. Take a 2 hr trainride to Lyon and eat at Paul Bocuse, you won't be disappointed.

7/20/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger Carolie said...

The prix fixe lunch at Alain Passard's Arpege is really lovely, and won't break the bank the way dinner would.

Click here for a review I found that describes a different menu but a similar experience to mine.

Afterwards, cross the street and stroll through the Rodin gardens. A lifetime highlight for me...

7/24/2006 5:03 AM  
Blogger Carolie said...

p.s.--if you tell them you are a foodie or a restauranteur (I used to be one, and I mentioned it when begging shamelessly for a table) the chef will often send out "extra" dishes.

I was given 10 courses rather than the 7 of the fixed menu (the folks at the next table kept saying "but...what is THAT? We didn't get that!") The final "extra" was "tomato with twenty flavors" prepared in a copper pan at the table, and I was challenged to name them. Yikes!

7/24/2006 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll go nuts in Paris. Here are a few suggestions (all in Paris): Guy Savoy (keep in mind, however, that this place makes French Laundry look cheap), Market, and Spoon

7/25/2006 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you haven't left yet I'd recommend Le Petit Zinc, 11, rue Saint Benoit near St. Germaine. That's where I had my wine epiphany in '99 and a most memorable dinner as well. Open your senses and enjoy.

8/03/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just did a similar trip (paris, french countryside, barcelona, san sebastian, & london)

for paris:
- gagnaire - no question, perfect everything
- l'arpege - perfect vegetables
- many other reviews on my blog

for barcelona
- can roca - 1 hr north, worth every last penny. ate there twice, see reviews:

- Boqueria market - order langostines @ Pinoxto (first bar when you walk in)

8/03/2006 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barcelona - you have to go to Cal Pep in the Born area. Get there just before 1 when they open, or ask for the tables in the back. Long line. Its mushroom season! One of their specialties.

8/17/2006 8:31 AM  

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