LIVADA

As you’ve probably noticed, our life at Untold festival revolved around sleeping, eating and enjoying great music. Even though it seems that our only goal in Cluj was to try as many restaurants as possible, I promise that we did other stuff as well, like going to the actual festival. The bummer about pregnancy, especially in the first four months is that between the eating, dancing and sleeping, I did not have any energy left to actually take some fashion photos. So far, the two fashion posts are the only ones you’ll see of us while in Cluj. But fear not, the Untold posts will soon end and trust me when I say that we have not reviewed one restaurant that is not worth visiting while in Cluj.

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The place we are going to talk about today is Livada. This place is just so great no matter if we are referring to the food, the design or the service. Some of the dishes in their new menu are signed by Chef Patrizia Paglieri, you know her from the Romanian Master Chef. That’s not to say that the dishes that are not signed by her are not delicious, on the contrary, actually everything on the menu is amazing and this is one of those places in Cluj where everyone can find something to eat on the menu. No matter if you are a traditional food lover or fan of the more modern cuisine, thanks to this new and exciting collaboration, Livada now has it all for everyone to enjoy.

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All of us eating lunch there had a sort of combo of dishes, therefore you get to see quite the diversity. I had the carrot soup with a hint of ginger and the homemade french fries with garlic and pickled cucumbers. Hey, I’m pregnant and like never before I am craving potatoes in any shape and size. And, I am a sucker for homemade french fries as I am always too lazy to actually make them myself and they are a rarity in Bucharest. Moving along from the french fries and let’s talk a bit about the carrot soup. The secret to the carrot soup is to actually feel the carrot taste skilfully combined with another ingredient. This is definitely what’s going on with this one, the ginger perfectly compliments the carrots. I really see no point in talking about the perfection of the fries as the photo says it all. D had the Gulash which is a traditional Hungarian dish that judging by the fact that he ate in exactly 5 minutes, I’d say was very, very good. Our friends that joined us for lunch had the cheeseburger which according to them was very good. Like I said, you can find everything your heart desires at Livada.

For dessert, D and I shared the traditional dumplings, and what I loved about them was the fact that they came in bite sized pieces which made it really easy and enjoyable to eat. Our friends ordered the signature Tiramisu which turned out to be delicious but way too big for only one person. We all had different types of lemonades, and I am mentioning them because they are really worth a try. Not surprisingly, the check for me and D came at about 35 E, so this one is at the normal price range for a great restaurant in Cluj. Service wise, this was good, but not amazing, we were however thankful that we did not have to wait for an hour for our food. This is a place we’ll definitely have to revisit next time when we are in the area!

L.

ZAMA

This is the one restaurant I was talking about in an earlier post. The one that almost dethroned BARACCA for me. The only thing that really mattered and made a difference between the two is the quality of service, otherwise, for the kid in me ZAMA would’ve been the best place to eat in Cluj. Unfortunately, the service was so slow and at some point we honestly thought that the lady waiting on us did not understand what we were saying. This was the actual deal breaker for us.

Let me tell you a little something about myself and that way you will probably understand better why this traditional restaurant could’ve been more to my taste than the much classier BARACCA. My grandparents on my mother’s side grew up in this area and therefore my entire childhood I’ve been fed everything that you can currently find on the menu at ZAMA and much more. I really wanted to give this place a try mainly because I miss the flavours of my childhood – grandma is a great cook but she is old and I can’t order food like I were in a restaurant – and I could hardly believe someone else could cook quite as good as her. I was skeptical going in, but by the end I was so in love with this place that managed to take me back to my childhood that not even the slow service could’ve annoy me anymore.

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When I say slow service, I mean it took us almost 3 hours to eat lunch, with about one hour of waiting for the first course, which, if you are a festival goer, you know that lunch is actually breakfast and basically you are starving by the time you reach any restaurant. I am well aware that traditional Transylvanian food is why the term ‘slow-cooking’ was invented, but this was on a whole different level. However, all that changed when the food actually came and therefore, if by that time I wasn’t sure that I was going to write about this place, that all changed the second I took my first sip of soup – this was definitely, food wise, my favourite restaurant!

The food… I ordered the lettuce soup which is a soup that you will not find anywhere else and I do admit that at first I was skeptical but when I tasted it, I was surprised to see that it tasted exactly like my grandmother’s. D chose the wild mushroom soup that was also done in true Transylvanian fashion. Again, for both soups, the quality of the ingredients is extremely important and, like I said before, from the first sip we knew this place was really special and needed a good, great actually, review on our blog. Since there were four of us that got annoyed by the long waiting time, the upside was that we got to see and taste double the amount of dishes that if it was just the two of us.

As a main course, our table hosted two types of traditionally made polenta, and I have to say that both of them were actually the best either of us ever tasted. Good polenta is not hard to make at all, but in order to get great polenta specialities, it has to be made in a certain slow cooked way – my grandfather used to take about two hours to achieve polenta perfection. To get a clue about how easy it is to make good polenta, it takes both me and my mother 5 minuted max, but we could never compare it with my grandfather’s. If you’re ever at ZAMA, try both specialities! Also on our table, we had the smoked pig leg with traditional cooked beans that, again was amazing and I had the one thing that I was craving for days, ever since I got to Cluj – the spinach puree with fried eggs! This is actually my favourite food ever since I was a little girl and while you might think that this combo is quite easy to make, well, it isn’t. The spinach has to be done a certain way in order to satisfy my tastebuds otherwise I can’t eat it – I’ve tried it in a lot of places. Needless to say that this one tasted amazing!

Dessert was yet again a roam through my childhood! We ordered boiled cottage cheese dumplings, bird’s milk – a better version of ile flottante, that you can find on the menu under the name of somloi galuska, and a traditional cheesecake that doesn’t taste like a normal cheesecake and that really needs to be tried out at least once. To be honest, as with all the other dishes, the desserts were amazing! Right to the point where my whole childhood meal was completed! I am telling you, the wait was well worth it as the food was one of the best I have ever tasted and everyone at the table loved it. This is not just a place to satisfy one’s childhood memories, this is a place that satisfies all those food lovers out there!

The check for me and D was about 30 E, so this is really a very cheap place if you consider that we both ate three courses each, plus drinks. ZAMA is really a must visit restaurant if you truly want to experience traditional Transylvanian cooking, but I am warning you, you will wait quite a lot for your food, but it will be well worth it!

L. 

BARACCA

This is by far my favourite restaurant in Cluj, if not Romania, or so I thought until another one, that you’ll read about soon, came quite close to dethroning this one. Good thing these guys at Baracca have a really well trained personnel as that is what really made the difference in the end and kept this one as my personal favourite. What can I say, I’ve loved this place since we first ate here last year and I vowed to never pass through Cluj without enjoying at least one meal here. The problem with this area of the country is that there are so many great places to eat that I only manage to eat here one time every year and that really bugs me. I think that no matter how short or long our stay here is, we always find new and exciting places we want to try.

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The main difference between the restaurants here as opposed to the ones in Bucharest is not the mastery of the chef, on the contrary, I think that chefs in Bucharest are a bit more competitive and therefore more creative, the main difference, and trust me it is big, are the ingredients and more specifically their quality. You can always taste the difference mainly in salads and vegetable based dishes as those are the ones you can’t spice to cover a fad taste, nor can you cook them long enough to loose their natural taste. Thankfully, most of the time I choose vegetable based dishes and trust me, you can tell the difference.

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Back to the subject at hand, Baracca, this place never seizes to amaze us. They did change the menu a bit from last year, but it’s all for the best and now you can easily find more options in the appetisers area as well as the veggie area. This obviously made me very, very happy, but they still kept the lovely carrot cake and a few other dishes unchanged. We ate there on the first day of the festival, at lunch, right after we gout our bracelets and took a few photos (that you’ll see later on), therefore we were starving which is always a good thing as we ordered an appetiser to share, a main dish each and a dessert each and we left there having enough food photos to write a review.

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As an appetiser we chose to share the goat cheese mousse which was more than enough for both of us, especially since we had plans for another two courses. This appetiser was one of the best goat cheese appetiser I had ever tasted, the combo of cheese and lemon jelly was amazing. As main courses I chose the pumpkin seed soup while D chose the duck breast. I had the duck breast last year and I have to say that I envied D with every bite he took, but fear not, next year I will have the duck breast (I can’t eat meat medium cooked and in my opinion, some meats, duck included, taste like shit if it is well done). The meat came with a sweet potato puree that was absolutely amazing. My soup was a big surprise as I was expecting the classic pumpkin soup but in fact it was actually made out of pumpkin seeds and tasted great, to say the least. For dessert I chose the carrot cake that I had my mind set on since last year and I have to say that I am amazed by it every time, while D chose the Mascarpone cream which he gave a maximum score!

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Like I said in the beginning, the one thing that set this place apart and kept in in my personal favourite top list is the well trained and friendly staff, the fact that the food came quite quickly despite the fact that it was almost full and last but not least, the great quality of the food – but that is something normal in Cluj-Napoca. The check came at around 40 E which is more that decent considering the fact that we left satisfied and full. As you’ve noticed, I did not say anything about the interior design, simply because yes, it is great, but there are so many other reasons worth mentioning to give this place a try! I know for sure that we will always eat at Baracca every time we will be in town!

L.

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POLO

So here we were, on the first night in Cluj, at around 8 o’clock in the evening (told you it take about a day to travel across country), both of us starving and me craving eggs. The problem about craving eggs in the evening is that most restaurants do not serve breakfast past 12 o’clock. This is how we ended up having dinner/breakfast – in my case, at POLO. True, the fact that it was near our hotel was a big plus, because even though we spent most of the day sitting down, I did not have the energy to actually travel a lot for food. To be honest, the moment I lay down on the bed I seriously considered going to bed on an empty stomach.

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Back to this wonderful place that was able to provide a frittata at 8 in the evening. The first thing I loved about it, and, to be honest, about most of the restaurants in Cluj, was the way it was decorated. This one is a Polo themed restaurant and it followed that theme to the letter. Needless to say that is something I love about any place. We were lucky enough that everyone was having their dinner on the terrace so we were able to take as many photos of the interior as we wished without annoying anyone.

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On to the food… I ordered a frittata and D ordered the beef steak with home-made potato chips and pepper sauce. My frittata was just perfect having everything I love in it: goat cheese, onion, bell peppers and tomatoes. It was cooked just right, as most cooks tend to make it too dry for my taste, and, just like any frittata, it came in a hot pan which means that I literally burned my taste buds because I couldn’t wait to eat. D‘s steak was good and the combo of potatoes and pepper sauce meant that the plate was left without a gram of food in it. Both our plates were left as if someone had cleaned them in the dishwasher. That’s how hungry we were from the road.We couldn’t leave without tasting the desserts, and as we couldn’t decide, we ordered all three types of dessert. They were amazing, and I have no idea which one was best, so if you do decide to give this place a try, make sure you go with at least two other people so that each can get a different desert.

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We loved the fact that the staff was very friendly and they actually aided us in our photoshoot of the place. The check was about 30 E, tip included, which is normal for great restaurants in Cluj, but quite low for an equivalent restaurant in Bucharest or at the seaside. Surely, have there not been so many amazing places to eat in Cluj, we would have definitely come back during our short stay there, but we will surely come back here next year.

L.

Double the trouble…Cravings!

This has to be the most complicated kitchen experience we’ve ever had. It was complicated because of a multiple of factors like the fact that this is a very slow recipe, I mean it took us about 4 hours in total to get from ingredients to an actual dinner. Why we did so many things? Well because I craved sweet potatoes and D craved honey turkey breast. Did I ever mention that D lives this pregnancy all the way? I mean extra kilos, cravings and sleepiness. Therefore, we both needed to get satisfaction out of our dinner and we ended up cooking an entire day just to devour our plates in maximum 10 minutes – yes, we were starving by the time everything was done.Needless to say that this dinner was extremely satisfying for both of us.

The entire day started with me craving sweet potato in basically an form and D wanting to eat some sauce infused turkey breast. The entire cooking experience started with D breaking two glass bowls, my favourite glass bowls, which did not result in a fight, if you might think that. No matter how much I like a certain breakable object, especially if it’s from the kitchen, I’m actually glad when it breaks accidentally because in my mind it means that all my bad luck just broke. So no harm done!

Back to the recipe, or should I say recipes, because this really is a double recipe post. This is by no means a difficult dinner, I mean, come on, we managed to do it, but as I said, it does take a good chunk of your day to do it. You can try and do it like we did, attempt at doing more than one thing at a time, or just do one or the other. Either way, each dish, be it the potato or the meat, will take you about three hours in total. There will be no nutritional information this time as my UP app decided to crash a bit and I can’t really add any of the ingredients. Maybe I will update it later.

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Here’s what you will need for both dishes:

  • 1 turkey breast
  • 30 gr ginger root
  • 6-8 hot peppers
  • 300 gr fresh mozzarella
  • 1 garlic head
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 200 gr sour cream
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200 gr sweet corn
  • 30 gr chives

Since there are a lot of ingredients, a lot of instructions will come your way, but trust me, at the end, every effort that went into this recipe will be so worth it! From this point on, I will treat each recipe different.

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The Sweet Potato

  1. Cut all the potatoes into halves.
  2. Mince half of the garlic, all of the chives and cut the mozzarella into small cubes.
  3. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius and put the potato halves in it for about an hour. You should check if they are done by using a fork: if it goes in easy, they’re done!
  4. Take out all the potato core being careful not to ruin the skins as you’ll use them for the next step.
  5. Mash all that potato goodness while adding a dash of butter and the sour cream.
  6. Then it’s time for all the other interesting ingredients to come: the chives, the garlic,the corn and the mozzarella cubes.
  7. Mix everything well and, using a spoon, fill the potato skins and off into the oven they go again for another 20 minutes.
  8. That’s it for the potatoes, and it should take you a total of 2-2 1/2 hours.

The Turkey Breast

  1. Cut the meat into bite sized portions.
  2. Grind the ginger root, mince the remaining garlic and finely chop one chilly pepper.
  3. In a bowl mix 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce and 2 tbsp honey and stir everything well.
  4. Add the ginger root, minced garlic and the chopped chilly pepper and stir well.
  5. Put the meat into the bowl making sure that it is well covered with the sauce, cover it with foil and leave it in the fridge for at least one hour.
  6. After the meat absorbed all the wonderful aromas, put everything (sauce included) into a cast iron pan, cover it and leave it on a small fire for 20 minutes.
  7. Take the cover off and leave it until almost all of the sauce is gone.
  8. On a grill pan put the remaining chilly peppers for 5 minutes and be careful as they tend to pop from the heat – D got attacked by them!

Basically that is it! All you need to do is carefully arrange everything on a plate ,take lots of photos and enjoy.

L.

 

 

 

Zahana 33

Since summer is here and our European getaways have come to an end for now, we decided to run to the seaside for the weekend and try and find more great, safe places to eat there. It’s very important if you decide to come to Romania for a seaside adventure, to be very careful where you eat, as a lot of places tend to be mediocre at best with prices as high as a Michelin star restaurant. It’s also best if you try and steer clear of beach restaurants. There are a few that we’ve tested throughout the years that are both excellent food wise, offer a very nice atmosphere and are conveniently located on the beach so you can grab a quick lunch or dinner.

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One of those places is the newly opened Zahana 33. I say newly opened because they just opened one restaurant in Mamaia at Hotel Lido, but they have a few years of experience in Bucharest – where we first fell in love with their food. This is a traditional Romanian restaurant that has its own meat preparing secrets and basically what you get in your plate you won’t be able to find anywhere else as the chef keeps his tricks very well hidden. Since we brought the chef into our discussion, his name is Catalin Jernoiu and everyone that actually knows something about gourmet food will know right then and there that this restaurant is a must try. Usually you can find the chef at the seaside during the weekends and in Bucharest during the week, so my recommendation is to visit the two restaurants accordingly. I will not spend anymore time on the Bucharest restaurant as we want to review that one as well, so from this point on we’ll only going to talk about the one at Hotel Lido in Mamaia.

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First and foremost, it’s best if you call ahead and make a reservation, especially during the weekends when it tends to be quite full despite the very big terrace. Even though they do have an indoor restaurant where you can enjoy your dinner, let’s be serious, if you’ve come at the seaside, you probably do not want to spend a minute inside during the day, so it’s best to call ahead. The overall atmosphere is not of a gourmet type restaurant, even though the food is, and everyone should feel quite comfortable there, especially since you don’t feel like you are either overdressed or underdressed. That was achieved thanks to the very casual, very beach appropriate design that combines the feel of the old classic Romanian restaurant – wooden furniture, with the beach feeling you should get while on vacation – various marine elements, including a full burlap rooftop. The staff is very friendly and professional which brings the whole experience to perfection.

Getting to the food part of this review. We went there several times and the one time we did take our camera with us, we were 8 at the table which is why we got to photograph as many dishes as we did. First of all, this being a meat specialised place it’s a pity to not have a meat based dinner, however, they offer quite a wide variety of courses that elegantly avoid meat if you decide that meat is not your thing in the evening. As you know, this is one thing that is a must for me in order to actually put together a restaurant review because, despite the fact that I am not a declared vegetarian, I do enjoy vegetable or cheese based food more that meat based ones. Despite that, knowing how well the meat is prepared here, I ordered something meaty to eat. You should not miss the appetisers as all of them are delicious. As you can see from the photos, you can find a very wide variety of dishes, as well as some of the chef’s specialties, and I have to say that everyone at our table was absolutely ecstatic and full at the end of our dinner. Besides the amazing appetisers, meat and fish dishes – that everyone that ordered fish said it was amazing, but as you know, I didn’t try it – you can’t leave without trying one of their amazing desserts that do not need any description as the pictures speak for themselves.

 

The wonderful thing about all the food is that, as you can spot from the photos we took, each dish has a certain type of plate which always keeps you guessing an gives the place a very original feel to it. The whole evening, our dinner was accompanied by live music sand by a Greek band which completed the whole experience and made us want to return the next evening. Price wise, I’d say that you pay a lot less than what the food is worth, but on a greater scale, this is a medium priced restaurant, therefore you get the services and food of a very expensive one, but when the check comes you start wondering why you tried other restaurants thus far. This is one of those rare safe places to eat on the beach in Mamaia, so I suggest you give it  a try!

L.

Au Chien qui Fume

Au Chien Qui Fume…Here we are again…Me with a glass of something in front of me – the beer is not mine – and D taking pictures of me. The thing with French terraces is that most of the time the tables are so small that you have to order taking that into consideration. Apparently the French do take care of your silhouette. Another low point about French terraces is that usually, you feel like you are sharing your plate with the stranger next to you. All this happened to us the last time we were in Paris and ever since we have promised ourselves to never stop and eat at those types of terraces.

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But, what do you know? When hunger strikes, there is no reason behind any choice you make. Luckily for us, hunger struck near this lovely French restaurant that actually had a terrace. It is called Au Chien Qui Fume and it’s the only terrace I’ve seen throughout Paris that actually has space between tables. This immediately made both of us want to give it a nice review so that other tourists visiting Paris will experience amazing French food in a very nice environment. So, moving along to the food. The menu consists mainly of French cuisine, but it doesn’t exclude anyone, so you can find vegetable based dishes, poultry, fish and basically anything your heart desires, all with a French twist, which is exactly what we wanted for our last lunch in Paris.

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Obviously, both of us had to order some specifically French dishes, therefore I ended up with my favourite – The Onion Soup, and D chose the chicken casserole. What can I say? My soup was absolutely delicious and I knew at first mouthful that this place deserved a review on the blog. If you ever find yourself in Paris, make sure you give this place a try and especially the Onion Soup that was absolutely amazing. D loved his chicken casserole that not only looked amazing, but you could feel the taste of real free range chicken and fresh potatoes. Really, his dish reminded me of a chicken stew that my grandmother used to make me when I was little. Those were the days where you cooked whatever you grew in your yard, all natural, hormone free food.

For dessert I chose the Creme Brulee because, hey, we are in Paris, right? and D chose Ile Flottante which is a dessert I know from when I was little and again, my grandmother used to make it. It does seem like my grandmother was a specialist in French Cuisine, doesn’t it? Well she used to call this dessert ‘Bird’s Milk’ but it’s basically the same thing. The Creme Brulee was magnificent and I love the fact that great quality vanilla was used as that seems to be a rarity lately. I have to say that we were very satisfied with our lunch and we were actually sorry we only discovered this place on our last day in Paris as we really wanted to give a few other dishes a try.

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The cheque came at about 70E which is more than decent considering the area as well as the fact that it’s full tourist season in paris right now. I also loved the decor and the fact that the whole restaurant was open and you couldn’t really feel where the inside area was ending and the terrace begins. It was very nice to feel like we were the only ones at our table especially taking into consideration our other experiences in Paris. This place is defiantly a must-try!

L. 

 

L’Atelier Renault / Desperate times need desperate measures

Right… After a short break in posting, here we are back to our first day in Paris… I must underline yet again, the fact that we came to Paris for the third time and these posts will not include any landmarks or other tourist orientated places. The first day we arrived in Paris was the day of the semi-final between France and Germany, but I desperately needed two things: the Loubilaque lipgloss and some eye make-up remover from Guerlain. Now, because we spent some time in front of the Louvre, there was absolutely no time to get to the FanZone area to watch the game, we were both hungry so we had to improvise. To our surprise, we ended up being very happy with our improvisation.

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Since we were on the Champs Elysees, we decided to have dinner and pray for a tv at the L’Atelier Renault. Not only did they have a TV, they have several TVs and we ended up having our very own TV to watch the football match. The most amazing thing about that evening though was not the match, but the food. For a restaurant on the shopping boulevard of Paris, this one was really surprising. We had eaten on the Champs Elysees the other times we visited Paris and, to be honest, the food was mediocre at best, so we went in without having great expectations, we really just needed anything to eat and a TV to watch the game. This posh little restaurant surprised us and made me want to write a review because I feel that other people should give this one a try.

First of all, because the lightning is pink, most of the photos we took turned out shitty, but the atmosphere inside, because of that shitty lightning, was very nice. Moving along, this is the only minus I could find about the place, this and the fact that you have to take a mini excursion to reach the toilet, but that’s ok as you get to visit most of the showroom until you get to your destination. Because we are tourists, we are always on the search of decent wi-fi (well me mostly, as D has a great deal with his network provider), and this place really has decent Instagram-uploading wi-fi, so that’s another big plus.

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I really feel that we should be moving along to the food now, as this is supposed to be a restaurant review, and as it turns out, I’ve said nothing about the food so far. So, as stated earlier, we were hungry. I mean, really, really hungry as the last thing we had eaten that day was the food on the airplane at noon. The menu really doesn’t offer a lot of dishes, but it contains everything for to satisfy even the most picky foodie. The downside of the menu is that it gives you very little detail on what a salad contains so I ended up with a lovely green beans based salad. Not that I am complaining or anything, but it would’ve been nice to know in advance. Besides those lovely beans, it also contained the most amazing goat cheese I have ever tried, so the food lover in me was very satisfied. D‘s lamb chops were cooked to perfection and there were no surprises on his plate.

Despite the very satisfying main courses, because we really wanted to make a review on the pace, we both decided to get dessert as well. We got the Atelier Renault Cafe ice-cream, which besides the fact that it was delicious, it was also huge. Don’t get me wrong, when I say delicious, I tend to compare it with the Italian gelato and this one came very close. We also got the Elysee Angelina’s Special Pastry for L’Atelier Renault Cafe which didn’t WOW us but I’d say it was still in our top 10 desserts of all time. The entire meal was accompanied by still water, a few beers for D and a couple of fresh pressed juices for me, and the cheque came at about 100 Euros, which, if you factor in location and the quality of the food, I’d say it’s not out of the ordinary. We had a great time and we got to see full-hand how the French celebrate getting into the final, as everyone came to Champs Elysees after the match.

L.

Social Media in Paris!

Naturally, it is time for the Paris posts to start. As per usual, we are going to start by putting together all our online activity (Instagram and Facebook) throughout our weekend getaway. Of course a whole set of fashion/food/leisure posts are coming your way, so make sure you check our blog daily! in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak!

L.

Pizza Battle…

Well, we had to get down to this point in our trip: finding the best pizza in Milan. Obviously, to be able to do that, D had done his research with a local guy and he showed him the absolute best pizza restaurants in town. Since there were two of them, we had to compare them in one post and give you the results of our ‘masterful’ judging. The two amazing pizza places I am talking about are called: Donati and Da Ciro. You can find both of them on TripAdvisor as being in the top 5 pizza places, but since we only had two pizza dinners we had to choose two of them and after serious counselling with D‘s local friend we concluded that these two are the best to try out.

Da Ciro

This was the place we had dinner after the beauty infused long day at the Alfa Romeo Museum. It goes without saying that after such a long day, lunch or not, we were starving by 7:30 when this place opens. Yes, by the way, lots of the restaurants only open for dinner after 7:30, which was a big adjustment for us, as we tend to usually eat by 7:00 p.m. We did however were completely mesmerised by this place as it’s interior decoration was in that pure classic Italian old-school way and it really gets you into the mood for a Birra Moretti and some amazing pizza.

And the pizza doesn’t disappoint! Not one bit! It’s full of lovely first quality ingredients and it is baked to perfection on their wood oven. Naturally, I couldn’t help myself and even though I was full of that Godly pizza, I still wanted some dessert, mainly because that is my way of testing a restaurant all the way. I mean, main courses and generally any savoury dish isn’t that hard to do, but when it comes to dessert, the cook needs real skills in order for it to be perfect. I was very, very happy with that choice as the desserts were amazing. I had the Napoletan Cannoli and D had some sort of lemon pie. Naturally we shared the dessert and I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the lemon pie, but I was in total awe of the Cannoli. This was the first time I had tasted the perfect Cannoli. This is such an amazing dessert that really requires skill as the cream in this one was absolutely bliss, as opposed to other restaurants in which I’ve tried it.

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All in all, we were both very satisfied with our dinner, and if some of you follow me on Instagram as well, you would’ve seen that I crowned Da Ciro‘s pizza as being the best on the nigh we ate there. The check was about 50 Euros which is more than decent considering the fact that we both ate a pizza each plus desserts plus drinks. That is a fair price for a dinner all over Milan.

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Donati

We had dinner here on our last night in Milan and I was so happy to end our trip with such a lovely dinner and walk afterwards. This pizza place is located in the new developed area of Milan that I was telling you about in our first Milan post, so you can walk off your dinner in a very lovely manner. This is yet another place that is in it for the win of Milan’s best pizza. The interior design here was not as impressive as Da Ciro, but this one did have a terrace, packed full with all sorts of gizmos to keep mosquitos away, so in no way did we notice the interior design until we had to use the toilet. I’m not saying that this one is uglier, but all I’m saying is that they did miss some parts of the whole classic Italian pizza joint. They do however have some nice old school decorative pieces inside that look to be in pristine condition.

This place is a family affair and you can be waited by the owner, which gives you a nice and familiar feeling while there. Obviously, since this was a pizza battle, we both ordered pizzas and even though we did have to wait a bit – about 15 minutes – it was well worth it!. The moment my pizza came, just by looking at it I knew that this is going to make my decision a very hard one. I mean, couldn’t the pizza here be horrible just to make both of our jobs easier? Apparently not, as Italians to love their pizza!

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Everything about this pizza was perfection! But I was determined to fully judge this restaurant as well so, since they didn’t have Cannoli (lost some points there), a Creme Brulee had to suffice as dessert. Thinking that this dessert will help me decide more accurately (I was expecting to be disappointed, I mean, this is a French dessert), but it didn’t as it was superbly made! Just like my mom does it! 50 Euros later we left the place without having a clue which one of the two restaurants is better, but we were convinced we will get to the bottom of this.

Conclusions

Back home, we really had an serious and important talk about these two restaurant – yes, most of our serious talk are either about food or wine – and we decided our winner. Since pricing and service couldn’t be a deciding point – both were impeccable – we had to go at it the old fashioned way: the food. Here’s what we came up with:

Da Ciro is the best if you want to have a full Italian experience : decor, dessert and pizza.

But…

Donati is the best if you actually want to taste the most perfect pizza in the world!

I’d say it’s a tie, but not quite! Either way, both places are great to eat while in Milan. The best thing we learned from this carb infused experience is that pizza is really easy to make and hard to screw up, but the difference with the pizza anywhere else in the world and the one from Italy is the quality of the mozzarella cheese, the amazing taste of the prosciutto and the masterful way in which the base is made. We always eat pizza wherever we are and none of the pizzas we’ve tried tasted quite as good as these two pizzas in Milan (not even the one from Rome).

L.

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