Sunday, August 25, 2013

SALVADOR



On a nondescript corner in the Chueca district of Madrid, somewhere between the gay village and the bright lights of the Gran Via lies Casa Salvador, a bastion of unpretentious home-style cooking amidst a rapidly evolving landscape. Immortalized by the bullfighters, MadrileƱo high-society and '50s era writers and Hollywood stars like Orson Wells, Ernest Hemingway, and Ava Gardner that frequented it's dining room, Salvador is truly a restaurant of legendary proportion.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

BOTIN



In Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, he wrote: "We lunched upstairs at Botin's. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast suckling pig and drank Rioja alta." Within walking distance of the capital's royal palace, Restaurante Botin lies down a narrow street near Madrid's Plaza Mayor and a stone's throw from the Mercado San Miguel. Designated to be the world's oldest restaurant by Guinness World Records, they've been serving roasted meats in the Castillian style since 1725 - that's nearly 300 years for the mathematically impaired. The original wood burning oven is still in operation since day one.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

IMPASTO



When chef Michele Forgione quietly left Osteria Venti, the old port restaurant that garnered adoring customers and abundant press thanks to his cut-no-corners, humble Italian food this past spring, people's bewilderment was palpable. He was such a vital element to it's prosperity, why would the chef leave a thriving restaurant with such a dedicated following? Where would Montrealers go for meatballs as delicate or gnocchi as wispy soft? How long would we all have to wait for our next taste of a mason jar of his divine tiramisu? Speculation was abound and questions were countless but answers were few. As it turns out, his withdrawal was an exercise in growth both as a chef and a business owner, and the public's wait wouldn't be so lengthy after all. Rumors began to leak in the following months of a project underway involving chef Forgione and Stefano Faita, host of CBC's "In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita" and son of Elena Faita, owner of Mezza Luna cooking school and one of Montreal's most beloved kitchen supply stores: Quincaillerie Dante.