4 Nudos Restaurant, Spain

IMG_7904

Category: Modern Spanish Restaurant
Cuisine:  Modern, Spanish
Price Range on Average: EUR 15- 20 for a main course and EUR 3-8 for a dessert
Ambiance: Chic and Friendly, Overlooking San Jose’s Marina Bay.
Address: Club Naútico San Jose, Calle del Puerto, s/n, 04118 San José, Almería, Spain
Tel: +33 620 93 81 60
Website: www.4nudosrestaurante.com
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am–6pm, 7:30pm–12am (closed on Mondays)
Last Visited: 2016

FullSizeRender07 IMG_7907 FullSizeRender09FullSizeRender

Reviews:
One of the best seafood restaurants I’ve been to in Spain and in Europe. This small yet lovely restaurant is tucked away at the end corner of the San Jose’s marina bay. Most restaurants in San Jose are located in the main high street and by the sea shore. This is not a restaurant that you can just pass by and notice. This restaurant is secluded and offers a very relaxed, yet sophisticated atmosphere. The waiters are friendly and passionate about their dishes and would happily recommended dishes when asked.
With so many dishes to choose from the menu I was overwhelmed and unsure of what to order. The waiter willingly helped and brought a tray of fish and shell fish, their fresh ‘catch of the day’. He also explained which fish were caught from the sea nearby, which were wild fish, which were farmed and which ones were local to San Jose. Still unable to make a decision and wanting the gigantic scorpion fish, mussels, prawns, squid and clams, the waiter suggested that the Chef would make me a fish stew with all these wonderful seafood ingredients, which I gladly accepted. I was also keen to try their squid ink paella but the waiter informed me that it would be too big for me as my fish stew would certainly fill me up. He was right! The fish stew was more than enough for one person.

FullSizeRender08 FullSizeRender06

I also experienced the same dilemma with my starter and I asked the waiter to recommend their Chef’s favourite dish. He enthusiastically explained why their octopus is famous with their patrons and why I should try it. I was convinced and once again he was right. The octopus was grilled simply to perfection, served with a slightly spiced olive oil and cold olive oil ice-cream! The combination of the hot and sweet octopus with the salty taste of the cold olive oil ice-cream is truly out this this world. It was so heavenly that I’m simply lost for the words to describe it. The waiter warned me that we did not need two starters since the octopus would be enough for two diners. He was right again. I am also glad to have come across waiters that don’t force me to keep ordering more. On the contrary the waiters at 4 Nudos are so keen for their patrons to enjoy the meal that they would happily recommend a dish and stop you from over stuffing yourself. A common occurrence in my world!

FullSizeRender04

 

We also wanted to try the St.Peter’s fish and the chef explained all the different ways their chef can cook it for us. We simply ask the chef to cook it the way he felt it should be cooked. Once again the fish came out wonderfully. Just slightly dusted in flour, lightly pan fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and drizzled with lemon juice. The flesh of the fish was so succulent, it’s as if it swam from the sea straight on to our plates. I must say that my fish stew was well executed too. Every element of the dish complemented each other. The mussels, prawns, squid and octopus were cooked very lightly not over done and rubbery. The scorpion fish was meaty and the sauce was from the broth of the seafood with a hint of paprika and lovely olive oil. I’ve had many fish stews in France, in Spain and other parts of Europe but this certainly is top league.

FullSizeRender05 FullSizeRender10 FullSizeRender11FullSizeRender03

Finally for the grand finale – the dessert. The waiter came out and ask if I loved chocolate, I told him that I loved it so much that I have it at least once every day! He then asked me if I like the combination of a salty and bitter sweet flavour. Once again my answer was: 100% yes. He was happy to hear my response and recommended their 70% bitter sweet Jamaican Chocolate dessert, served with toast, rock salt, pepper and olive oil. This dessert does not sound as impressive as it is. It is a spectacular dessert, with simple high quality ingredients, combined to make perfection by a very highly skilled chef.

FullSizeRender12
4 Nudos offer Michelin starred quality dishes in a more relax and less formal ambiance for half of price you’d pay at Michelin starred restaurant. If you are around or passing by San Jose this is a place that should not miss if you are into excellent food.

FullSizeRender02 FullSizeRender13

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Pinches Tacos

IMG_4852

Category: Restaurant
Cuisine: Mexican, serving tacos, burritos, tortas and taco soup.
Price Range on Average: USD $2.00 - $3.15 a taco
Ambiance: Humble but flavoursome
Address: 8200 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood CA 90046, California, USA
Tel: +1 323-650-0614
Website: http://www.pinchestacos.com/home.html
Opening Hours:  Open 7 Days a week, Mon-Wed    9am-Midnight,  Thurs-Sat 9am-3am and on Sundays 9am-10pm
Last Visited: 2016

taco 3

Review:
The best taco in L.A!
Pinches tacos is a family run business, with six branches across California. The Anaya family’s mission statement is to provide customers with the best taco experience by using high quality meats and seafood, fresh garden vegetables, hand made tortillas and high quality artisan breads. They found through experience, that keeping things simple is a good recipe for success and happiness.
I certainly couldn’t agree more. They got it just right.

FullSizeRender IMG_5561 tasco1 IMG_7112 IMG_7111
Pinches Tacos is well known with the locals, there is always a stream of people popping by to sit and have a quick meal at Pinches. Cars keeps coming by too to have take away from this humble place that serves amazingly delicious tacos.
Pinches tacos may not be in line with the setting of Ivory or of L.A’s 24/7 Standard restaurant or even the glamour of Chateau Marmont opposite. It is not a place to be seen nor it is about the glamour of L.A. It’s humble and authentic and that’s why I love it so much. Pinches is all about the heart warming, simple and absolutely authentic Mexican food that they serve.
They serve the best pinches tacos and a particular favourite of mine is the Asada taco of grilled angus beef and Carnitas a citrus scented pork best eaten with a homemade cold Horchata drink (a ground rice and cinnamon sweet drink, sometimes also made with almonds).
Although, there are good Mexican tacos at the Central Market in downtown L.A, pinches is still one of my all time favourites. I love the humble setting, friendly service and above all the delicious tacos. It does not matter what time of the day or day of the week I come. The food served has been continuously and consistently been of the same excellent standard. If you happen to be in L.A this is place not to miss for a good authentic Mexican tacos.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Trattoria Da Rocco, Firenze Italy

IMG_3939

Category: Trattoria (Canteen)
Cuisine: Traditional Italian
Price Range on Average: EUR 12.00 per person starter, main and dessert
Ambiance: Traditional, Rustic Italian Trattoria
Address: Piazza Ghiberti, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Tel: +39 339 296 3055
Website: www.trattoriadarocco.it
Opening Hours:Sun – Sat 11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Last Visited: spring of  2014 for lunch

IMG_3943 IMG_3941

Review:
I visited Florence (Firenze) in spring time of 2014.  Thousands of tourists visits this amazing city of culture, art, great architecture and food. Finding a good place to eat that is not at the heart and heat of the crowded tourist attraction is hard to find in Florence. It is even harder to find a reasonably price place to eat or to just have a cup of espresso. Florence, although beautiful and is certainly worth visiting is incredibly pricey which is not surprising when millions of tourists would be willing pay a fortune for a cup of espresso.
If you are looking for a simple Italian food, just a step away from the centre of the tourist attractions. Then, the Trattoria Da Rocco is the place for you.
IMG_3934 IMG_3946
IMG_3936IMG_3935

This Tratorria offers humble, authentic Tuscan dishes, cooked simply, are tasty and reasonably price. It is located inside the historic covered market of Sant’Ambrogio. The market is frequented both by locals and tourists, fresh fish, seafood, ham, cheese and vegetables are sold here. You can therefore shop and eat at the same site.

Trattoria Da Rocco is popular both for locals and tourists. Hence, you will find that they turn they tables constantly as guests comes and goes. The service is quick and the food is already made at the centre of the restaurant. They simply dish up the food you order and serve it quickly to your table. Although, I have always preferred food cooked to order, I cannot complain when the main course is price at €5 euros. The food is also tasty and the ambiance is busy and lively. It was a memorable place to visit mainly because I’ve had my first Ribollita soup here. A hearty Tuscan soup made with vegetables and bread. I am now obsess with Ribollita and have since tried experimenting different recipes to relive the moment when I first I had it. Other dishes they serve includes pasta with tomato and mozzarella, tripe in tomato sauce, roast beef, roast chicken, baked lasagna and panzanella . This is not a place to experience haute cuisine but a place where you can try something simple and tasty at a reasonably price trattoria that is full of character.
IMG_3938IMG_3937

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

La Tagliatella Almería, Spain

IMG_3567

Cuisine: Italian
Price Range on Average: EUR 20-25 per person for 3 course meal with soft drinks
Ambiance: Busy and Lively
Address: Rambla Federico Garcia, Lorca 2, 04004, Almeria, Spain
Tel: +34 950 245 424
Website: www.latagliatella.es

IMG_3570

IMG_3587
Opening Hours:
LUNCH:
13:00 – 16:30(SUNDAY-THURSDAY)
13:00 – 16:30(FRIDAY-SATURDAY)
DINNER:
20:00 – 0:00(SUNDAY-THURSDAY)
20:00 – 0:00(FRIDAY-SATURDAY)
Last Visited: summer and winter of 2014 for late lunch

Review:
The first time I visited Almeria, I arrived during the siesta hours when majority of the shops were closed. I went looking for a restaurant to eat and just stumbled across La Tagliatella restaurant located just by the port of Almeria and at the beginning of the Rambla Federico.

IMG_3574

In my travels I would always prefer to try something new, try the local regional food and eat at family ran restaurants.
But after having Spanish food for 5 consecutive days, the thought of a nice pizza for a change was just so tempting to refuse and so I went into this restaurant expecting simple, basic pizza food. But I was surprised and impressed with the extensive menu and the quality of the food they served. Although La Tagliatella is a chain restaurant, it certainly didn’t feel like it is. In fact I didn’t know that it is until I came back into the UK and did some research on them. The service was friendly and accommodating and the pizza were crispy thin and packed full of flavour. Upon arrival, the waitress came over with a nice ricotta puff with a sweet sauce and balsamic dressing, which may sound like a strange combination but it did taste good.

IMG_3578

IMG_3601

For mains I had the aubergine pizza, perhaps, it is common to have an aubergine pizza but I have not tried it before nor have I seen it in any Italian menus. It was certainly a pleasant surprise to try the Melanzana pizza, made with thinly sliced caramelised aubergine, balsamic vinegar and honey.

IMG_3604

The Pepperoni piccante pizza came with humble slices of spicy salami from Calabria with a simple tomato based sauce.

IMG_3695

IMG_3603

The cream of zucchini soup was rich and comforting.

IMG_3602

IMG_3696

The cheesecake de La Tagliatella dessert had a lovely spanish twist to it, it was a cheese cake with a ‘Tocino de cielo’ botttom a Spanish egg flan dessert, drizzled with rich caramel sauce.

IMG_3612

The two times I’ve visited this place the service and the old have been equally good that I would certainly go back to this restaurant again. It is a restaurant worth a detour and deserve a good review. The value for money was excellent. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also welcoming. On my last two visits the restaurant was packed with local families and I cannot help noticing that people just keep coming into the restaurant. There’s always a queue which is always a good sign for a restaurant.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Stone Grill, Alicante, Spain

IMG_1525IMG_1555
Cuisine: Steak House, Authentic Argentinian Steak
Price Range on Average: EUR 20-25 per person for 3 course meal with a glass of good wine
Ambiance: Modern and Fun 
Address: 03189 Campoamor Valencia, Alicante, Spain
Tel: +34 656 61 33 56
Website: http://www.thestonegrill.es/
Last Visited: 2014 for late lunch 

IMG_1560 IMG_1559 IMG_1533 IMG_1512

Review:
If you are looking for an authentic Argentinian steak in Spain, there is no better place to go than “The Hot Stone Grill” restaurant in Alicante.  The steak has been carefully sourced and flown directly from Argentina’s finest beef producers.  The steak in this restaurant truly is remarkable. It is served on an hot stone that is heated to between 280-350 degrees celsius and remains sizzling hot for 50 minutes. There is no way your steak can be over cooked or under done since it is up to you, the diner, to decide how long you’d like your steak to be cooked on your very own “hot lava stone”. It is a fun restaurant visit, as the cooking of the steak lies with the diner, it is an interactive fun night out with your  families and friends. It is a family friendly restaurant, perfect for parties.

IMG_1524 IMG_1523
For those of you who are not keen on beef, they also serve amazing prawns fresh from the coast of Spain and other seafood. They also offer vegetarian dishes that you can also cooked on the ‘hot stone’. If you ever get the chance to visit this restaurant don’t miss out on the steak and the onions cooked with honey on a hot stone. For the finale there is nothing better than ending your night with a lovely sweet home made crema catalan.

IMG_1530IMG_1540

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Pizzeria Antica Porta- Florence, Italy

IMG_1061

IMG_1076

Pizzeria Antica Porta
Category: Restaurant, Pizzeria
Cuisine: Italian, over 100 pizza to choose from
Price Range on Average: EUR 8.00-10.00 (for a pizza) EUR 20.00 -25.00 (per head for 2 course meal including drinks)
Ambiance: Traditional, Rustic Italian Trattoria
Address: Via Senese, 23, 50124 Firenze, Italy
Tel: +39 055 220527
Website: www.antica-portica.it
Last Visited: 2014 for dinner

Review:
Located just a few steps away from the City Centre. This amazing Pizzeria offers authentic, crispy, super thin pizza that is so heavenly! This trattoria proudly offers over hundreds of different pizzas.  There’s truffle pizza, classic pizzas such as margherita, for dessert there’s also the chocolate pizza, though not for my taste, I am sure there are those who would love it.

Although, this trattoria offers pasta dishes as well, this is really a place to have a ‘Pizza’.

IMG_1068

 

IMG_1067

If you are a pizza fan, this would certainly be a perfect place for you in Florence. The pizzas are reasonably price and for Florence they are a lot cheaper than any other trattorias you will find located in the main city centre. Since it is not in the main tourist centre, the area is less busy and hence it is a more pleasant area to stroll around before or after your meal.

IMG_1060

Florence is also known for its ‘tripe’ so I decided to order their “Trippa di baccala con palate” for my starter, which is tripe with salt cod fish and potato cooked in a simple tomato sauce.  The tripe has a melt in your mouth texture, the fish is cooked to perfection and the sweetness of the tomato sauce compliments the saltiness of the cod. Although, this dish was listed on their ‘special dishes for the evening as a main course’ on a hanging blackboard, I requested to have it dish for a starter instead. The waitress told me that I can have any of their dishes anyway I want it. Either as a main or a starter.

IMG_1064

IMG_1065

IMG_1066

For main course, I had one of their pizza recommendations on their menu, which is the ” Stracciatela and buffalo mozzarella pizza in tomato base sauce”. The pizza was incredibly thin, the cheese is rich and creamy, but it did not over power the tomato base sauce. The outer crust of the pizza is so crispy that you can snap it with your fingers. The centre of the pizza on the other hand, is not crispy but softer in texture – yet not soggy. For me this really constitutes the best pizza. The combination of texture and flavours is superb! I loved it so much that I kept dreaming about this pizza for 4 days! Also ordered Vesuvio pizza and must say that it is now one of my favourite pizzas as well! This pizza has slightly spicy pepperoni, sausage meat and a lot of buffalo mozzarella! They once again managed to balance the flavour of the dish by not having too many sausages or pepperoni to over power the buffalo mozzarella and tomato base sauce. Again, if I have the chance to visit Florence again. This would be my first stop, upon landing, Trattoria Antica Porta for a Vesuvio Pizza!

IMG_1069

The restaurant itself is not an up market restaurant. It is not the place to be seen or one of those restaurants where people go because of its luxurious ambiance or because it is run by a famous chef. It is a simple, down to earth place, a more relax trattoria where both locals and tourists goes. There are lot of young Italian families that goes to this restaurant as well. I love that this humble place offers one of the best pizza in Florence yet still offers them at reasonable prices and continues to cater not just for the tourist but also for their long standing local customers.  I highly recommend this humble restaurant to anyone visiting or living in Florence! Buon Appetito!

“Arrivederci in cielo Vesuvio”

IMG_1074

IMG_1072

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Restaurant Review: Bordeaux- Le Noailles

Le Noailles
Category: Restaurant, Brasserie
Cuisine: French, Typical Brasserie Dishes
Price Range on Average: EUR 35.00 (per head for a 3 course meal excluding drinks)
Ambiance: Traditional, Rustic French
Address: 12 Allée de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Tel: +33 5 56 81 94 45
Website: Currently Not Available
Last Visited: 2013 for dinner

Review:
This beautiful Parisian style brasserie has been serving typical French brasserie dishes such as steak and pomme frites and sole beurre noisette since the 1932. This restaurant is centrally located at the Allées de Tourny just a few steps away from the Grand Theatre. This is not the restaurant to go to for a haute cuisine gastronomic experience, but a place instead to enjoy a casual dinner with friends and reminisce the old times. This is certainly one of the places to go to when in Bordeaux just like La Tupina, not because it is the best but because it has been around for decades.

IMG_2447
The atmosphere and dining experience will take you back to 1930s, it has a lovely covered terrace with tables and wooden chairs set up by the side street overlooking the Tourny alley square, full of smoking locals who’ve just finished work. The main restaurant is decorated in traditional dark wooden panelled walls and red velour booths, with waiters in traditional black and white outfits and black long aprons running around across the room as they navigate all the tables of hungry guests of both regular locals and tourists.

IMG_2443

The atmosphere is busy and noisy, so if you want a quiet romantic candle light dinner this is not the place for you.  Expect the waiters to be running around you throughout the whole evening, at one point our waiter tripped and accidentally dropped an ice cream on a guest’s jacket, I must say that it was an accident and he was very apologetic still something I should mention for those readers who are particular about service and expect superb service. As someone who is in love with food and adventures for me this is just another exciting new experience to try, so the running around doesn’t really bother me. I was simply happy to have tried another restaurant that has been serving food for decades. The food is not much to write about, I can see why this restaurant appeals to locals and tourists as they serve, if not all, certainly most of the traditional brasserie dishes you would expect without all the fuss and fusion type dishes you find in some of the new trendy restaurants.

This is a place that serves plain, simple, classic French brasserie dishes in massive portions. The price is little bit more expensive than I would expect for the quality of food and service they provide. But then as an institution that has been around since 1932, a restaurant well located at the centre of Bordeaux I guess they can charge the prices they do.

For the main course I tried their steak which was cooked perfectly, the French beans that came with it was however over cooked and under seasoned. For dessert, the waiters come to each table to show the day’s patisserie and ice cream samples, guest can then pick their choice from the plate of desserts or order from the menu which has the classic desserts you’d typically find in French brasseries such as crème caramel. They have a wine list that suits every budget. 

Overall the food is average, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. If you fancy a night out with friends, in a busy restaurant full of atmosphere then I would recommend this place for sure.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS