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daves2009's Profile

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Ibai in San Sebastian: Has anyone been? Cost?

Thanks Mrs M; apologies everyone if I misled

Sep 03, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

Ibai in San Sebastian: Has anyone been? Cost?

Walked by several times when in town in July (it has always seemed like an interesting place from reviews, articles and other titbits); frankly, it looked like it had closed down. it may have been on vacation but usually on previous visits there has been some sign of life

Aug 30, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

What's new on the Pintxo scene in Donostia/SanSebastian?

Hi
We have some friends visiting San Sebastian later this month (July 2012) and I wondered if any CHers had any new recommendations. On previous visits ('06, '09 and '11) we have really enjoyed

In the Parte Vieja:
La Cuchara de San Telmo, A Fuego Negro, Borda Berri, Zeruko, Tamboril

And in Gros:
Lagar, Hidalgo, Mil Catas, Alona Berri (is this still open?)

We'll pass all these on but I wondered if there were any newer places to add?
Thanks in advance!

Jul 14, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona as a visitor (with young kids!- gulp!). Much resarch has been done, now there are questions - please help!

Catamaran, Xiringuito Escriba on playa Bogatell both do good paella

Jun 07, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

One Week in and Around San Sebastian: Narrowing Down the Choices

Go to Getaria at mid-day and enjoy the kokotxas and grilled turbot. 25 / 30 mins on a bus and a nice break from the fine dining side of things. I like sitting outside Kaia Kaipe (although others may prefer Elkano). Also, for every *'d establishment there's an inspirational, fun place to eat pintxos. My advice is to keep the high-end places (where possible) for lunch so you can get into this, more social, culinary experience in the evenings. Akelarre would be my pick of the high-end btw

Jun 04, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

It's a few years since I went to Cal Pep for lunch but I loved it. The food was perhaps heartier than I expected and I still remember 2 standout dishes (botifarra amb mongetes - sausage with White beans) and a clam dish (with ham in a sherry sauce). I don't know if they take reservations; back then you arrived early and got in line.

On the beach (Bogatell?) Xiringuito Escriba is good but I always had a soft spot for the (slightly gruff) Catamaran

Should you be tempted to try some tapas while in Barceloneta, El Vaso de Oro on c/Balboa is good

May 10, 2012
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

West of Ireland in August - Recommendations, Please?

Hi Amy
A few years ago I visited the Island Cottage (http://www.islandcottage.com/) restaurant on Heir Island in West Cork. Maybe somebody else on here will have been more recently but I recall it being a memorable experience. A short booat ride to a quiet island, drinks on the terrace at sunset, a fun atmosphere at dinner and a moonlit walk back to the boat.

Valentia Island in Kerry is very nice. We stayed at Glanleam house and enjoyed a nice dinner there but, again, this is a few years back so I'm not even sure if it is still a going concern.

In Limerick, we ate well at the hotel on Pery Square.

I would whole-heartedly second the suggestions of the English Market in Cork and Morans on the Weir

Apr 30, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Dublin for New Years

Hi Amy
Good to hear from you. I have a few suggestions but I think you're likely to elicit many more responses if you open a new thread with a title relevant to your travels (eg "ireland's west coast - recommendations please") since there are probably people better qualified to opine on those regions. Do you want to do that or stay on this thread?

Apr 26, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Upscale Dublin or Ireland restaurants in general

The Cliff House hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford (on the south coast) has an excellent restaurant. For a splurge in Dublin, Pearl is excellent as is Thorntons (although i'd rank it higher for food than atmosphere). In Galway, I've never really done upscale; I would recommend Morans on the Weir outside the city for some seriously good oysters.

Apr 11, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Gnocchi in Rome OTHER THAN Thursday?

I don't know about gnocchi but, if you like fish, the best I ate in Taormina was at l'Arco dei Cappuccini (sorry if that's "off-topic")

Apr 05, 2012
daves2009 in Italy

Cork, Dublin, Inverness, Edinburgh, Newcastle

Pearl Brasserie in Dublin is excellent. Pichet would also be a nice option.

Apr 04, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Need tips for upcoming Ireland trip

Hi Giant
Galway:
Sheridans Cheesemonger has (or had) a nice little wine bar upstairs where you could sample the cheese and charcuterie
Outside town in Kilcolgan there's a place ced Morans on The Weir where can enjoy soome very good oysters and other seafood
I've heard from friends that Eight Bar was good but I haven't been myself

Cork City:
The English Market is a great place to check out local produce (otherwise I was generally disappointed)
In Kinsale, I thought Fishy fishy was good
There are also a few smokeries in the direction of Cobh which might prove interesting

Kilkenny:
A colleague reckons that Campagne restaurant is excellent

Enjoy
Dave

Feb 14, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Yet another request for Dublin spots

Hi dmcg,
I posted this a couple of months ago http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805343 . Are you interested in something specific I'm more than happy to help
Dave

Jan 31, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Recommended restaurants (with outdoor space) for wedding reception - Near but outside Verona City

First of all, congratulations. Best of luck with the search for a venue. We stayed at Villa Quaranta for a long weekend 4 years ago; the food was excellent. The manager of the restaurant at that time, Simone (?), was a real asset to the place - excellent with the guests, proud of his restaurant and accommodating where necessary. The hotel was (and probably still is) owned by the Tommasi family which meant that the restaurant had an excellent supply of quality wines at decent prices. Despite several trips into Verona for dinner / lunch, the most memorable meals of our trip were at Il Borgo, the hotel's restaurant. If I recall correctly, there was also a beautiful (if small) chapel within the main building

Jan 20, 2012
daves2009 in Italy

Dublin for New Years

Oh Amy, that's too weird. I was in Pearl for dinner on 12/30 for my birthday too. The Game was excellent that evening. If I knew you were there I'd have sent over some bubbly :-)

Jan 04, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Dublin for New Years

Amy626,
Any feedback from your trip? Hope you had a good time. I ate in Pearl myself the other night and really had a great meal. On the other hand, a meal at La Maison in the run-up to the holidays was a bit of a disappointment.

Anyway would love to hear about your experiences ....

Jan 02, 2012
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Nice venues for romantic meals in Algarve (Almancil / Faro / Loule / Quarteira)

Thanks Monchique! We're big fans of ApoLonia from past visits. Their wine selection is excellent.

Some acquaintances mentioned Gourmet Natural and Couleur France in the Almancil area. Do you know these 2?
daveS

Oct 24, 2011
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

Nice venues for romantic meals in Algarve (Almancil / Faro / Loule / Quarteira)

Hi Chowers
Can anyone recommend some nice dinner / lunch spots in the eastern Algarve? We're heading for a week's holidays near Almancil. We normally go in early or late summer so the dining options are usually eschewed in favour of fresh fish from Quarteira market cooked simply on the grill.

Since we're going at a time when temperatures are a good bit lower, we'd like to try some restaurants. Any suggestions?

Hope you can help
DaveS

Oct 21, 2011
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

Chow Sleuths -- Help me remember the name of a Munich restaurant

Kaisergarten?

Sep 14, 2011
daves2009 in Europe

Crete (Palaikastro, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos) - any recommendations?

Heading to Crete on Friday - thanks all for your help and advice

Sep 14, 2011
daves2009 in Europe

Dublin for New Years

No problem - I'm enjoying it!

Restaurants in Dublin
In the last 15 years Dublin has undergone a massive transformation as a place to dine out. The range of cuisines and price levels is broad but there are many places charging comparatively high prices and failing to deliver on almost any level (food, service, atmosphere). That said, there are plenty of excellent places to eat – I’ll try to steer you clear of the pitfalls I’ve encountered.

The period between Christmas and New Year / early January sometimes suffers from a lack of choice (some restaurants close for the holidays) so you’ll need to check if you find something you like.

*High-end (and relatively high cost):
Thorntons http://www.thorntonsrestaurant.com/ 2* food + 0.5* atmosphere (maybe slightly unfair) = 1* from the Guide Michelin – in my opinion, the best food I’ve had in Dublin but the room is a little dark

Pearl Brasserie http://www.pearl-brasserie.com/accueil.htm fab food in a snug, subterranean setting (some intimate alcove tables for smaller groups

)

L’Ecrivain http://www.lecrivain.com/#HOME great 1* food and a nice relaxed atmosphere

*Moderately priced, good quality:
La Maison http://lamaisonrestaurant.ie/home.html a little bit of Paris in Dublin (although the service can be a little disorganised

)

*Top-quality, good-value lunches:
One Pico http://www.onepico.com/about.php delicious food which is a bargain at their lunch price

Locks http://www.locksbrasserie.com/index.php the younger sister of Pearl (above); a lovely room for lunch or dinner on the banks of the Grand Canal on the edge of the City Centre

*Smaller plates, seafood platters:
Dax Wine Bar http://www.dax.ie/cafe/home.html a cozy, intimate place to share a selection of charcuterie or cheese; good wine list and knowledgeable staff happy to discuss pairings

Oyster Bar in the Cliff Town House http://theclifftownhouse.com/restaurant/bar/ the sister restaurant of Ireland’s only non-Dublin 1* restaurant (the excellent Cliff House in Ardmore, Waterford

)

Ivans in Howth http://www.beshoffs.ie/?page_id=38 located in the small, well-to-do, harbour suburb of Howth – 30 mins north east along the bay from central Dublin by the DART light rail system - you can take a table in the restaurant or sit at the bar and have a pint of Guinness with your oysters or fish platter. A new-ish restaurant from a family firm with a long connection to fish in Dublin.

Wine cellar at Fallon & Byrnes http://www.fallonandbyrne.com/section/152 great place for an early evening drink and nibble (perhaps before a visit to the Stags Head pub around the corner?) fine wine selection (including EUR 1 corkage on Mondays

)

*Lunch on-the-go:
Soup Dragon http://www.soupdragon.com/menus.html excellent soups if you’re in this part of town

*Brunch:
Lennox Café http://www.lennoxcafe.ie/ nice place for eggs Benedict and a read of the paper

*Coffee:
The Humble Bean http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humble-Bean/204530422920627 excellent coffee and soups/sandwiches

The attitude of Dubliners to food has changed dramatically in the last decade. We are much more adventurous and knowledgeable due to a combination of emigrants returning and immigrants arriving and sharing their cuisine.

This cultural and gastronomic mix is very much in evidence in the spread of ethnic food options (Thai, Tapas, etc) but also in the prevalence of food markets which go from venue to venue around the city and suburbs, 7 days a week.

I would recommend 2 markets in particular – Saturdays in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar (currently under reconstruction but should be ready for your arrival ) and Sundays in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire (a 25 min journey south along the coast on the DART

)

If you like cheese, by the way, there is an excellent purveyor of Irish and European cheesy comestibles on South Anne St in the city centre: Sheridans http://www.sheridanscheesemongers.com...

Have a good trip

Sep 08, 2011
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Dublin for New Years

I'll start with pubs and bars:

Old School Pubs (central):
Kehoes http://www.louisfitzgerald.com/kehoes
The Stags Head http://www.louisfitzgerald.com/stagshead
Mulligans of Poolbeg St http://www.dublinpubs.ie/pub.asp?id=478
Davy Byrnes http://www.davybyrnes.com/

With traditional music: O’Donoghues http://www.odonoghues.ie/bar.htm

Newer “brew” pubs – a wide selection of beers and ales from small producers
Bull and Castle http://www.bullandcastle.ie/bullcastle/home.html
Porterhouse http://www.porterhousebrewco.com/

If you go for a walk in the Phoenix Park, this is a good place to slake your thirst:
Ryans of Parkgate St http://www.fxbrestaurants.com/ryans-pub/home.html

For a slightly more buzzy scene, the bars in the Shelbourne Hotel are nice:
http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/phot...

The list could be 4 times as long and not get close to scraping the barrel ..... really. Most places in Dublin have a fairly convivial atmosphere. These would be my favourites but most Dubliners will have their own preferences

I'll be back in a few days with restos

Sep 07, 2011
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Dublin for New Years

Hi Amy,
Dublin posts have become a little stale and same-y. While there are a few new places opening of late, the typical recommendations here on CH focus on quite a short list of restos.

Can you perhaps give us a little more detail of what you're after in a restaurant (price range, formality, cuisine). I'm not certain whether everywhere I would recommend would be open for NYE (or whether, if open, they would have a reasonable pricing structure given the night that's in it) but you can check their websites / e-mail them.

In terms of pubs there is no shortage to quality venues; one caveat is that they will all be fairly packed (although that's part of the convivial/familiar nature of socialising in Dublin). Do you want old-school or new? Traditional irish music or more modern tunes? A drinking spot or somewhere that morphs into a nightclub as the evening develops?

Sep 06, 2011
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Crete (Palaikastro, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos) - any recommendations?

Hi all
I will be travelling to Crete for a wedding in palaikastro next month (Sept '11). i wondered if anyone had recommendations for places to sample some quality local food.

I've heard from others that the fishing industry in eastern Crete has suffered due to dwindling stocks and that I should not expect much in the way of fresh fish in restaurants in this region. Is this the general concensus / experience of the CH community?

We will also be spending 4 days in Elounda and are keen to know if there are any particularly good tavernas or restaurants which you'd recommend for dinner. We'll be staying in a nice hotel but would rather dine with the locals if possible.

Finally, does anyone recommend any local cheeses, wines, etc? Discovering a local gem has made some of our holidays perfect over the last few years so if anyone could point us in the right direction we'd be really grateful

Cheers

Aug 29, 2011
daves2009 in Europe

Oysters in Dublin?

Hi RedHead, hope I'm not too late with this. The suburb of Howth, which can be reached via the light commuter rail system (known as the Dart) in less than half an hour from the city centre has many seafood places along the pier. Ivans, for example, has an oyster bar in it's small food hall. We ate well in their restaurant last week (including a lot of oysters).

In the city centre, in addition to those places previously mentioned, the Cliff Townhouse on Stephen's Green (an off-shoot of the Michelin-starred Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Waterford) has an oyster bar

Enjoy yourself

Jun 02, 2011
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Calcots in Barcelona

I will be visiting Barcelona in early March and would love to eat my body-weight in calcots but i won't have the time to make it to Valls or a similar location for the full calcotada experience.

Can anyone recommend a good place for calcots in Barcelona?

Thnx

Jan 17, 2011
daves2009 in Spain/Portugal

lunch recommendations in Belfast

I'm in Belfast this coming weekend and was hoping to take my friends (and their 2 young children) out for lunch. Do any chowhounders recommend somewhere relaxed but with really good food (perhaps a gastropub)?

Hope you can help
DaveS

Aug 30, 2010
daves2009 in U.K./Ireland

Berlin - I need restaurant recommendations, insider knowledge :-)

Hi all
I will be travelling to Berlin for a week at the end of July - staying in Mitte - so I have a couple of questions:

1. Is there a mass closure of restaurants a la Paris during August? If so, are there some that remain open which are especially of note?

2. Can anyone recommend some nice places with terraces to eat out on? For a beer garden i was thinking of Prater but perhaps soomeone could recommend an upmarket place

3. What do people think of the following as a roll call of restos for my trip:

Schneeweiss
Margaux
Paparazzi

I don''t want to do the Michelin star thing - I'm looking to eat some german food and see the local take on other cuisines

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Dave

Jul 19, 2010
daves2009 in Europe

Lunches in Taormina

i don't suppose you could share some of your ideas for dinner in Taormina? I am going next month and so far have found it hard to get advice. Looking for somewhere for seafood, a pizza/pasta place and somewhere upscale. Really though, any insight would be helpful - we don't want to waste a single meal whhile we're there :-)

Jun 18, 2010
daves2009 in Italy

Italy: It's More Than Just Rome, Florence and Venice...

Joe, I'll be in the Siderno / Roccella Ionica area of Calabria for a week next month. Would you have any recommendations in that neck of the woods?

Jun 18, 2010
daves2009 in Italy