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Restaurant of the Week Archive


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De Gouden Reael - this cosy restaurant and bar in the north of the city - about 20-minutes walk from Centraal Station - serves unique and distinctive food that is a delicious, innovative blend of Dutch and international influences. There’s a standard starters-and-mains menu, but on both trips we opted for the wonderful sampling menu: a series of starter-sized dishes (best shared) that allows you to try a wide range of the chef’s culinary brilliance. It also has one of the most extensive wine lists in the city and starting prices are very reasonable. Tel: 0031 (0) 20 6233883 - Map Feb 20


Bazar - whether you’re in the Albert Cuypstraat area for the market and want an inexpensive and tasty meal somewhere nearby, or you’re just in the mood for something a bit different, Bazar fits the bill on every count. It’s set in a vast converted church and decorated, Arabian nights style, with giant lanterns, chandeliers and murals. The seating arrangements are basic but comfortable enough, the service is brisk, and the middle-eastern and Mediterranean food is excellent value for money.  Albert Cuypstraat 182 - 0031 (0) 206750544. Map Nov 19


Van Vlaanderen - this cosy and sophisticated restaurant near the Rijksmuseum is the perfect venue for a romantic evening, a celebration or just any time you fancy a superb meal. And with two-course set lunches from around €30 the French/Mediterranean menu won’t break the bank. The impeccable and friendly service is attentive but unhurried and there’s also a terrace for alfresco canal-side dining. Closed Sunday and Monday - 0031 (0) 206228292 Map Aug 19






Taller de Tapas - there are several branches of this excellent tapas bar and restaurant in the city centre, all serving excellent Catalan cooking with plenty of mouth watering daily specials. The prices are reasonable, the house wines are good value, and there are multilingual menus if you don’t trust your Spanish. The original Taller opened in Plaza Sant Josep Oriol, a short walk from the cathedral in the historic Barri Gòtic, and is still our favourite - 0034 933018020. Map Jan 20


El Pintor  - this former painter’s workshop in the Barri Gòtic, just around the corner from the cathedral, specializes in traditional Catalan cooking. The restaurant is spread over two floors and the rustic décor - exposed brickwork and wooden beams - is cosy and relaxing. The food is distinctive and delicious, and whatever you order you'll want to sample your companions' choices as well. Good wine selection, friendly staff, and good value. 7 Carrer de Sant Honorat - 0034 933014065 Map Oct 19


Irati - this inexpensive eatery off La Rambla was reputedly one of Barcelona’s first tapas bars. In the stand-and-eat bar you simply ask for a plate and help yourself to the delicious food. Everything comes on a cocktail stick and these are used to calculate the bill. As the floor is always littered with sticks, this system is clearly flawed. There’s also a restaurant area at the back - closed Sunday. 17 Carrer del Cardenal Casañas - 0034 902520522. Map July 19






De Stove - a couple of minutes from the Markt, in the historic centre of the city, you’ll find this atmospheric little husband and wife restaurant which seats around 20 people. The French and Flemish cooking is fabulous and if the food got any fresher you’d have to hold it down. Everything is homemade including the bread, cookies and ice cream. Try the herb-encrusted cod or the Flemish fish stew. Set lunches from €44 - 0032 (0) 50337835. Map Feb 20


't Huidevettershuis - set in the former Tanners Guildhall, which dates back to 1450, this charming and friendly restaurant specializes in Flemish and seafood dishes. Its four intimate dining rooms are spread over two floors and a window table will give you picturesque canal views as a backdrop to your meal. Service is attentive but relaxed and the excellent food and wine are very reasonably priced. Set lunches from €25. Closed Tuesday - 0032 (0) 50339506. Map Oct 19


De Visscherie - this excellent seafood restaurant in Fish Market square is well known by discerning Bruges food lovers as one of the best eateries in the city. It’s run by a husband and wife team who obviously love what they do; the attention to detail is evident everywhere from the contemporary décor and attentive service, to the stunningly fresh and seasonal dishes. Fixed-price menus from €35 - closed Tuesday - 0032 (0) 50330212. Map July 19






Le Barbue d’Anvers - this charming and rustic estaminet is not a place you’ll find during a casual wander around the city but it’s definitely worth seeking out. It’s tucked away down a cobblestone alleyway a couple of minutes from Grand’ Place in a lovely sixteen-century brick building. The restaurant is arranged over three levels, and serves tasty and good-value local dishes. Two-course set menus start at around €25 and the small wine list has bottles from €23 - 0033 (0) 320551168. Map Feb 20


Club Marot - this gastronomic gem just round the corner from Grand’ Place in the heart of the old city is one of Lille’s best kept secrets. The food is beautifully cooked and presented, and excellent value for money. Set meals start at around €30 but when you see the rest of the menu, and how the other diners are enjoying their food, you might be tempted to spend a lot more - 0033 (0) 320570110. Map Oct 19


Le Sebastopol - next to the wonderful Théâtre Sébastopol in the town centre is this relaxed and unpretentious restaurant, which proves that Michelin-star dining doesn’t always require a second mortgage. Whether you opt for the €55 menu - including two glasses of wine - or the €70 seven-course gourmet extravaganza, your taste buds will still be thanking you days later. There are also some good value wines on offer. Closed for lunch Saturday and Monday - 0033 (0) 320570505. Map June 19






Boeucc - there can’t be many restaurants with a 320 year history but this stylish and expensive eatery set in the stable block of an 18th-century palazzo is one of them. Just a few minutes walk from La Scala, it’s a favourite of Milan's bigwigs, high-fliers and people who like good food. The Milanese and Italian dishes are wonderful, the wine list extensive, and the service friendly and efficient. Closed for lunch Sat/Sun - 2 Piazza Belgioioso - 0039 (0) 276020224. Map Dec 19


Casa Tua - for good quality food at reasonable prices head for this busy osteria near Porta Romana in the south-east corner of the city. It specializes in Tuscan cuisine and you get a free plate of delicious antipasti while you peruse the excellent menu. The wines are also Tuscan, and the subtly fizzy house red and white are such good value it's rude not to drink them. Pleasant surroundings and friendly staff. Closed Monday - 0039 (0) 25514269. Map Sept 19


Trattoria Milanese - this mid-price trattoria is a little hard to find, but well worth it. The Milanese certainly seem to think so because the place is invariably heaving with locals. It’s everything you’d expect from a family-run trattoria with over 70 years cooking under its belt. The classic regional cuisine is simple and delicious, the surroundings are basic but pleasant, and the house red is excellent value. Via santa Marta 11, closed Tuesday - 0039 0286451991. Map June 19






Astier - there are two very good reasons why this charming little bistro near place de la Republique, just north of the centre, is always busy - the food is excellent and it's superb value for money. And for cheese lovers there’s an additional bonus, Astier has one of the best and most generous cheese platters in Paris - and a great wine list to go with it. Three-course set lunches from €27 and bottles of wine from €20. 44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 0033 (0) 143571635. Map Dec 19


Jules Verne - the Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Anton is in charge of the Jules Verne restaurant on the Eiffel Tower’s second level but it's worth visiting just for the amazing panoramas of the city. You’ll need to book in advance, especially if you want a window seat. There’s a private access lift in the south pillar so you can avoid the queues and fixed-price lunches start at around €105 - 0033 (0) 145556144. Map Aug 19


La Tour d’Argent - this restaurant was opened in 1582 to cater for aristocrats tired of slumming it with the proles. It became so popular that people fought duels to get a table. Luckily you no longer have to reach for a weapon to eat in this plush Michelin-starred eatery. It's famous for its duck and vast wine cellar, and has wonderful panoramic views over Notre Dame. Set lunches from €105. Closed Monday and Tuesday lunch - 0033 (0) 143542331. Map May 19






Da Giggetto is a wonderful and busy Roman-Jewish restaurant has several rooms, two outside terraces and a very impressive setting, the Portico d’Ottavia. Specialties include fried artichokes (carciofi), dry-salted cod (baccala) and the extremely moreish courgette flowers filled with cheese and anchovy (fiore di zucca). In the Summer you can escape the heat by having an aperitif in the cellar tasting room. Friendly service and a good selection of wines. Mid-price and up - 0039 066861105. Map Dec 19


Vecchia Roma - this wonderful ristorante in Piazza di Campitelli - near Teatro di Marcello - is a city institution with a long history and provides fine dining in elegant and historic surroundings. Superb food, excellent service and an extensive wine list make it perfect for special occasions. There’s also a large outdoor terrace. Expensive but well worth it. The only credit cards accepted are Amex and Diners. Closed Wednesday - 0039 (0) 66864604 Map Sept 19


Colline Emiliane - tucked away down a quiet side street near Piazza Barberini, and easy to miss, is a family-run ristorante that specializes in classic Bolognese cuisine. It serves some of the best pasta and cured meats in the city, as well as a wide choice of delicious Italian dishes. The house wines are good value and they do a superb Zabaglione. Budget to mid-price - via delgi Avignonesi, 22. Closed Sunday evening and Monday - 0039 (0) 644817538. Map June 19






Michel Sarran - set in a lovely 19th-century building with a charming indoor garden, this two-star Michelin restaurant is run by master chef Michel Sarran and his wife, Françoise. The food is superb, and it's probably the best and the most stylish eatery in town. A three-course set lunch, including wine and coffee, is unfaultable value at around €60 and there are also tempting €100 and €132 menus. Closed Sat/Sun & Wed lunch. 21 boulevard Armand Duportal - 0033 (0) 561123232. Map Nov 19


Le J'Go - this busy mid-priced bistro and (upstairs) restaurant opposite the indoor market in place Victor Hugo is spread over two floors, several rooms and an outdoor terrace. It serves tasty, good-quality food but as it specializes in meat dishes, particularly lamb, it’s probably not a good choice for vegetarians. Service is friendly and attentive, and there are fixed-priced menus and a reasonable choice of wines - 0033 (0) 561230203. Map Aug 19


Emile - this great city-centre restaurant overlooks one of Toulouse’s most picturesque squares - Place St. Georges - and has a terrace for alfresco dining in the summer. It serves wonderful and beautifully presented local cuisine including cassoulet, duck and foie gras; and is famous for its excellent and interesting wine list. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the staff are unobtrusively attentive. Fixed-priced lunches start at around €20. Closed Sunday & Monday - 0033 (0) 561210556 Map July 19






Cantinone Storico - if you fancy getting away from the crowds and eating in a quieter and less frenetic Venice, head for this traditional trattoria in Fondamenta Bragadin, close to the Guggenheim. The menu is mid-priced and typically Venetian, so there's plenty of fresh fish on offer. You can also dine al fresco by the Rio de San Vio canal and the seafood risotto with seasonable vegetables is superb. San Vio - closed Sunday - 0039 (0) 41 5239577. Map Jan 20


Vini Da Gigio - this cosy canalside trattoria is tucked away from the crowds in Fondementa San Felice and specializes in fish and traditional Venetian cooking. The dishes, from starters to puddings, look as good as they taste; the service is attentive and relaxed; and there is an extensive wine list. Unfortunately, and with good reason, it’s very popular, so it’s best to book. Set menus from €45. Closed Monday & Tuesday - 0039 (0) 415285140. Map Sept 19


Corte Sconta - this oasis of calm and wonderful seafood trattoria is a hidden gem and one of the best places in Venice for an alfresco meal on a sunny day. It doesn’t have a canal or lagoon view but walk through the main restaurant and you’ll find yourself in a vine-shaded courtyard and the perfect spot to enjoy some of the best cooking in the city. Mid-price and above. Calle del Pestrin 3886; closed Sunday and Monday - 0039 (0) 415227024. Map April 19




















































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