Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A weekend at home(s)

Friday, November 10—
LUNCH TODAY — in fact a midday dinner — at a restaurant we like quite a bit, just across the street from the apartment we've been sharing for the last week with our hosts. We say goodbye to them today, for another year or so, so why not take them to lunch?

We've eaten here a few times over the years, and this time I think it is even better. I begin with Rundercarpaccio met oude Reypenaer, pestodressing en pijnboompitten: beef carpaccio with old Amsterdammer cheese, måche, parsley, fennel greens, and pine nuts with a pesto dressing.

I'm not sure I had a second course; perhaps a salad. I'm writing this several days after the fact. The dessert was memorable: a sort of vla, fortified with genever, with little almond cakes and chocolage-covered nougat lollipops.

     🍷Viura/Verdejo, Conde Pinel (La Mancha), 2016: delicious

Restaurant De Heerlijckheyt Het Loo, Koningstraat 1, Apeldoorn; 📞+31 55 521 3997

Then we took the train to Amsterdam, to have dinner and spend the night with friends. Yolanda is a professional cook and cookbook author, and knew what we'd like to eat. She began us, for example, with hareng. You can't have too much of this, especially when served with delicious gherkins.

Main course was salmon, simply poached, coverfed with a strew of chopped herbs, garnished with cherry tomatoes. Then a quinoa pilaf with chopped parsley. Salad. Dessert.

And, since Krijn was involved, a number of bottles of spirits: the odd Cleveland Bourbon I'd brought him (bought at De Heerlijckheyt), another Bourbon, and a marvelous artisinal Apfelkräuterbrand Mühlengeist from Brennerei Spanier Holsthumer Mühle Startseite, I think. Smooth, fruity, a little edgy.

Next day, Saturday, November 11, we took the bus from Amsterdam to Luxembourg. We had a quick cup of coffee chez Yolanda, then nothing until reaching Brussels, where a half-hour stop allowed time to buy a pistole ham-kaas at a dubious convenience cafe.

Arrived in Luxembourg a little early, say 4:30; we had time for boissons (that delicious Luxembourg Rivaner white wine) during a short waIt for Catharina, then to her new home.

Dinner was, again, salmon — not a all unwelcome. Catharina served it with rice and “grandmother sauce,” a thin sour cream (I think) based sauce with herbs, very good; and a green salad. She is our Swedish daughter, and knows our tastes.

     🍷Rivaner sparkling wine

Proud Croatians in a Luxembourg fund-raiser
Sunday, November 11, we spent enough of the afternoon at a special fund-raising cultural "culinary" event that we hardly needed to eat (or drink) otherwise. There were sixteen countries represented: all the Scandinavian ones; Luxembourg of course; the United States (rather weak: pancakes and lemonade!); Croatia, Bulgaria, Morocco, Israel, Germany, a number of others. Nearly all these countries were handing out samples of sausage, pastries, breads of various kinds, cheeses, wines, and spirits. Ireland was particularly generous with her whiskies. Croatia boasted an excellent Slivovitz.
Then Monday, November 32, we took a train from Luxembourg to Lugano by way of Mulhouse and Basel. Another short-ration day, with coffee and bread and butter — Catharina's delicious home-made bread — and then nothing until we found a restaurant car on the last leg of the trip and availed ourselves of another ham-cheese tosti with a glass of white wine.

That evening, though, we booked into an excellent hotel, the Victoria, whose only drawback was that its restaurant was closed. Oh well: another was across the street, and there we had our first Swiss meal in probably forty years. It was a hell of a lot better than the last one, a gluey fondue somewhere in the sticks. Here we had spaghetti Bolognese and a nice green salad and amused ourselves watching three businessmen (I guess they were) from India drinking "double Jackies" and Johnny Walker Reds with chicken pizzas, ordered without looking at a menu.

     🍷Red, Veneto

•Cafè Retrò Ristorante Tivoli, via Generale Guisan 6, Paradiso, Switzerland; 📞+41 91 993 16 54

And now I'm finally caught up with Eating Every Day, and have only to get around, one day, to bringing up to date the

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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