Archive of ‘Eating Out’ category

La Terrasse (Duras)

la terrasseIf you’re ever in Duras, make sure you book a table at restaurant La Terrasse. Situated on 4, place Jean Bousquet, directly in front of the majestic castle, the restaurant was reopened  in the summer of 2013 by the couple Mathias and Éléonore Billaud. Unfortunately, it appears it went through a difficult period with the previous owners, but since its new management, La Terrasse has secured a spot as the number one restaurant in town — and with due right.
During the weekdays (with the exception of Wednesday) the restaurant serves a three-course, set-price menu for fifteen euros. The choices are always creative, plentiful and very delicious. I’ve had an exquisite ossobuco, a dish of silky squid ink pasta with a creamy seafood sauce, crispy tarts topped with summer vegetables and cheese, oriental style pork and many excellent desserts. The wine list includes a good selection of some of the best local wines as well as other good choices from the rest of France. You can also choose a carafe of their house wine, which will not disappoint.
For dinner (with the exception of Tuesday and Wednesday), the restaurant offers a varied menu that includes perfectly cooked steaks, regional delicacies such as confit de canard, a few seafood options and even a very tasty fish n’ chips (remember, there’s a large English expat population in Duras!). This year one of the special offers outside the menu was a starter of oysters which almost made me cry it was so good — especially with a chilled glass of champagne (or two)!
The best part, however, is the friendly and correct service. The team is always welcoming and very helpful, and the owners are pure charm and grace. The only thing you’ll have to remember is to book a table as judging from the always full restaurant, we’re not the only ones who have fallen in love with La Terrasse!
Tel: 05 53 84 29 62

Gustafson (Amsterdam)

JKF_Gustafson1115_LR_007 (2)Since late summer of 2015, pop-up restaurant Gustafson has called one of the Dutch capital’s most hip & happening hotspots, the Westergasfabriek, home. In anticipation of the warmer months ahead, Gustafson recently opened a large terrace, GUUS, which seats up to 150 people and weather permitting, profits from round-the-clock sunshine. But that’s not all. The trendy and multifaceted establishment is also a podium for design, music, expositions and a variety of other cultural events.
On Friday, we finally had a chance to check out Gustafson’s menu, and though the weather certainly did not lend itself for dining on their new terrace, the experience inside did not disappoint.
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When good things come to an end…

IMG_3480Though I love eating out, I am everything but a food snob. OK, with the exception of the ‘Salade Riche‘ I so much adore (and had last weekend again) at one of my favorite French restaurants, Bel Ami. I guess that salad would classify as rather snobbish with its abundance of fish and duck liver curls. But aside from that sensual dish of pure gastronomic indulgence, I am not partial to fancy restaurants that serve ‘artistic’ cuisine with smudges of food, flowers, geometric patterns or foaminess that reminds me of spit. Nor am I impressed by ‘well-known’ chefs or their Michelin stars. In fact, the type of food (and type of restaurant) that I most enjoy is down-to-earth. Real food. Real people. Real passion. And sometimes, there’s a great deal of passion to be found in those ‘simple’ restaurants, which unfortunately are either never discovered or too ‘plain Jane’ for some.
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Squid Ink Seafood Tagliatelle

Seafood tagilatelleThis past summer we visited Duras once again — that lovely village in the southwest of France that stole my heart years ago and which I plan to call ‘home’ one day. Over the years we fell in love with a few of the restaurants both in Duras and in the surrounding area. I have my favorite place to eat a good duck confit, a place that makes a consistently perfect omelet and a place that serves the best menu du jour ever. That place is called La Terrasse (4, Place Jean Bousquet), and that place was the inspiration for this wonderful dish.
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