Friday, October 21, 2016

Black Sea Cusine and Culture in Istanbul

I am an advocate for exploring the communities on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul... Kadikoy, Uskudar, Beyerbeli , Kuzguncuk and more.   Culinary Backstreets, that estimable collection of culinary bloggers obsessed with authentic food and dining experiences (to all of our beneftis) has just written up a cultural center and restaurant in Uskudar that highlighting the Black Sea area and its distinctive culture and cuisine (and Butter!!).  Here is the link.

If you are in Istanbul and want to go, best bet is to take the Marmaray or the ferry over to Uskudar and then take a taxi to this wonderful sounding place.  Unless you are fluent in Turkish and can figure out the local buses, a taxi is probably the best and would not be terribly expensive at all.

Read and enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Dine like a French King and Queen at ORE, new at Versailles

Famed chef Alain Ducasse created a dinner in honor of Princess Diana and former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in 1994 and since then he has been on a mission to tell the history of the Château de Versailles via the table.

Set in a space overlooking a magnificent courtyard this is Ducasse’s riff on a chic gastronomic café by day (estimate 35 E plus drinks per person.) At night, the space is booked for  private“dîners d’exception” when guests can dine like a King (from the kingly starting sum of 500€).  So if you have a group of gourmands with a budget, this is an unforgettable option.
Ducasse and Executive chef Stéphane Duchiron delved into Versailles’ archives and, inspired by the past and the bounty of today, created dishes such as hot and cold starters, amuse bouches such as snail croquettes, foie gras cromesquis, beignets of frogs legs,  main courses such as sole with shrimp, turbot au champagne and quail pâte en croute – followed by regional cheeses and a multitude of incredible desserts including, Les Délices de Marie-Antoinette, seasonal soufflés and Ducasse's famous baba au rhum.
There’s also authentic Croque Monsieur de jambon de Paris et Comté (14€) or roast chicken sandwiches with courgette, aubergine and basil – paired with a glass of Cider or a bottle of Champagne BRUT Alain Ducasse available at any time of day for a royal snack.
Château de Versailles, Pavillon Dufour, Place d’Armes, 78000, Versailles. Tel: 01 30 84 12 97
Jaïs restaurant