Blackbird

When I flew to Barcelona last weekend, I was reminded myself about this post. I read in the magazine of Handelsblatt (a German newspaper) about To-Dos in Chicago. And to my surprise it included the restaurant I also visited: Blackbird.

A michelin star restaurant in an upcoming trendy area.

I took the tasting menu. Their very natural inspired decorations (flowers and leaves) and their variety of vegetable ingredients were noticable. It were ten courses, of which I ate only nine – I will also explain why with the last course.

After having had some wine and yummy Sangria at the Godfrey (you remember from my last posting: here), I was in the mood for another lovely wine pairing accompanying my dinner. The day was so well, Chicago put me in the mood. With every course and every new sip of wine my mood got better of course 😉 and I must say that the menu was fantastic.

Here are some of the courses:

“spring onion brownie. uni ice cream. smoked strawberry. almond. green garlic”

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“green garbanzo. asparagus. sesame.”

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“potato. seaweed. lamb.”

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“ahi. smoked pork. fava. meyer lemon.”

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“mate.mint. green almond. fernet. ricotta”

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This was the last course. Which I unfortunately couldn’t finish. Well, on the one hand, I may have been tipsy…but acutally I tried everything on my plate…I may have been full, because I had a couple of hours before many dishes already at the Godfrey…but hey, this usually never stops me from eating desserts, even after 10 courses, I will manage a dessert…or two…so, it definitely was that I don’t like mint in my desserts at all! A decorative mint leave is still ok, but everything tasted too minty. Other people might love it and I’m sure many would have loved this dessert. Which was cleary the optical highlight of the dinner and had all textures I would want in a dessert: creamy, crispy, soft, chewy, melty, cold – I just don’t like it too minty. But this is just something personal (me, who even doesn’t like the tiny tic tacs with mint flavour!), so I’m 100% sure that you, dear reader, would have enjoyed every bite of it.

All in all the presentation, the well chosen ingredients, the beautiful platings and the composition of the texture of the food are excellent. Besides that I only had a few spoons of my dessert…I liked, loved and licked everything until the plates were more than clean!  This is a top location and I will stop there again on my next visit in Chicago!

 

Where? 619 West Randolph, Chicago    http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com

Oktoberfest

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A lot of people are currently posting images and stories from the Oktoberfest. So, I don’t want to post anything special about it or go into any details you might have already heard.

But since it’s the last day of this year’s Oktoberfest, I wanted to share some food pics I took this year before it is all over again.

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Until next year – cheers 🙂img_61081

 

 

 

Chicago

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Its already autumn. Times were so busy that I couldn’t keep up with the blog and only uploaded pictures on IG. Of course I enjoyed summer a lot. Did some serious travels and all weekends were filled with activities, be it weddings, trips to close cities or to nearby outdoor spots. Last two weekends were dedicated to Oktoberfest and I also had family over visiting Munich. So a lot happened….

But one thing has had continuity: Food. I ate a lot. The scale tells me so.

One of the places that is responsible for adding some kg to my weight was Chicago. The city trip I already wanted to tell you about. Of course I wanted to enjoy some Deep Dish Pizza

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and I couldn’t hold back myself when visiting the Rooftop Bar at the Godfrey Hotel – their food is so delicious that I was ordering almost the whole menu. Smoked Salmon Pizza, Watermelon Salad, Beet Salad, Salsa with homemade plantain and taro chips, BLT Sliders and the best: Duck Quesadillas.img_4279

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I had Rosé with the food and their White Sangria afterwards. Coming from Germany where Sangria is mostly associated with binge drinking parties or just cheap alcohol, I wouldn’t normally go for Sangria. But I saw other people sipping it and this Sangria is completely different from what I know Sangria is like. It had yummy and colorful frozen fruit granita in it which made it really tasty.img_4452

So this was the best place to chill in the afternoons. Since I liked this place so much I also stayed a night at this hotel.

What else did I do in the windy city:

  1. Been to a Michelin star-ed restaurant which I will write about sometime later. A short glimpse already with this pic:img_4377
  2. Visited the Field Museum with their T-Rex, Totems and the seasonal exhibition of Terracotta Army (this museum is a must-do for families!)dsc02072dsc02074
  3. Watched the fireworks of the 4th of July celebrations at the Navy Pier from the hotel room.IMG_4244.JPG
  4. Did some sightseeing stuff and walked through downtown a lot dsc01963dsc02064img_4272dsc02200img_4147img_4098
  5. Went to a food festival.img_4436
  6. Rented a bike and went all the way up north, passing nice beach spots and well made lakefront pathsdsc02192
  7. Stayed at the W Hotel where they had excessive breakfast dishes, such as these ones:img_4113IMG_4254.JPG

All in all, lot of food and a great time in Chicago.

Hey – I’m back!

My summer-blog-break is coming to an end and I have so many new food stories from Bolzano, Amsterdam, Chicago and Toronto. But more about it later.

 

Thanks to a lunch discussion today, I had the idea to talk about my fridge.

…wait!…what?

– yep you got it right, my FRIDGE.

 

It seems that people have different kind of methods how they organize their fridge. Like their handbags – and if people are blogging about their handbag contents – why can’t I do about my fridge.

 

Opening the fridge at least 20 times a day, it is the most important item in my household I guess. And to start with: I have two fridges. One in the cellar and one in my apartment. The cellar one has a big freezing area – good for precooked meals, chicken stock or frozen fruits. Besides that the fridge has only drinks chilled for upcoming parties.

So, how does my apartment fridge look like? It is a model pre-choosen by my landlord. Nothing special. It has a small freezing box on the top, where I store ice cream, crushed ice, fish and brezn dough (we are in Bavaria!).

 

So whats in my actual fridge today:

– Fruits – today an exotic fruit mix for breakfast, blueberries and a ripe mango.

– Eggs, salad (a mix and red chard) tomatoes, avocado and mushrooms

– Dried Tomatoes (always good for pasta sauce), jalapenos, pickled cucumbers, anchovies

– Two kinds of butter (one for baking and cooking, one for bread – and if I expect guests for dinner, I will have a salty french butter for the bread rolls)

– Topping for bread (breakfast or dinner as typical in Germany): Goatcheese in two variations, smoke salmon, bacon, horseradish and herb cream cheese spread (as you can see I eat that a lot currently) and several fruit jams

– Quark, yoghurt, mozzarella, cottage cheese, Actimel and a lot of milk (for Müsli, cereals, crepes and of course for tea)

– Mango chutney, sweet and sour sauce, various kind of meat stocks, mayonnaise, two kinds of mustards (french and a sweet one – for Weißwurst), Sambal Oelek, Wasabi, a ready made Cassis Salad sauce

– Drinks: Tomato juice, veggie juice, smoothie, various kind of fruit juices, non-alcoholic bitters,  tonic water bottles (good for Lillet or Gin), Lime Juice Cordial, Cassis de Dijon (always reminds me about the European Court of Justice Decision in my law studies – but it is acutally for Kir), wine (rosé and white), a left over beer from friends (I usually never have beer at home), Prosecco and, of course, a Champagne (to celebrate the good times)

I probably forgot some items that are somewhere in the back of the fridge…but this is it.

Wow, I never thought that I would have that much in my tiny fridge. So I must have a good storage system aka organization 😉

Cheers to that!

Kühlschrank

Sauce Bolognese

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I noticed different reactions by people in Europe vs US when I tell them that one of my hobbies is cooking. In Europe they will ask me: “Which country’s cuisine do you prefer cooking?” In US: “What’s your signature dish?”

Well, it is easier for me to answer the first question, because it is fairly broad and with cooking I am not limited to just one dish. It is not easy to answer the latter one. But if I really had to decide on a signature dish, it would be Pasta Bolognese.

Why? I love simple dishes. I love Italian food. I love meat. I love Pasta. All in all a perfect dish. And, I developed a recipe which I do not want to change under any circumstances. I have tested it already many times and my guests were always super-satisfied. So, I am happy, guests are happy -> best conditions for a signature dish.

Ingredients:

  • Clarified Butter
  • Sugar
  • Sweet Paprika Powder
  • 4 bay leafs
  • Bunch Fresh Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Tomato paste
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 4 Carrots, chopped
  • 850g Tomato Puree
  • 850g Canned Peeled Tomatoes
  • 700g Minced Beef
  • 300g Salsiccia (with Fennel)
  • Bacon Rinds
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • 400 ml Red Wine
  • Parmesan cheese

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Roast the chopped vegetables in clarified butter for about 10 min. Roast the minced meat and the plucked Salsiccia either after the veggies or in a seperate pan for at least 10 – 15 min, until brownly toasted and add a good dash of sugar and some tomato paste. Add the vegetables, the spices/herbs, bacon rinds, tomato puree and peeled tomatoes, beef stock and 200 ml wine. Let it cook for at least 2h, add wine from time to time and also 5 min before you are going to serve it. Take out the bacon rinds, thyme and bay leafs before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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Panther Grill

Panther Grill Starter

I gathered so many food experiences in Munich during the last months but had less time to write… now I have a huge backlog… Of course, I just could put pictures online, it’s fast, but then it would just be another version of my Instagram account. And pictures sometimes tell only half of the story. There are restaurants that can nicely plate their courses – perfect for IG – but the taste might not reach the gorgeous plating. Also, you know, I’m talkative…so I really want to tell you about the things I’m eating 🙂

Today I want to share my dinner at Panther Grill.

Since it had opened its doors, it was on my must-go-and-check list for restaurants in Munich. Why? Well, I must admit, because I fell for their cool interior the first time I passed by this restaurant. It is really stylish (a bit retro, a bit scandinavian, a bit bar-chic) and I love the dimmed light they use. Although – as you can see – for the disadvantage for pictures. But who the hell takes pictures of their food (except for these totally weird foodbloggers?)…

I knew from friends that Panther Grill offers good steaks. But I was also surprised by their starters – because these are having a modern touch arrangement on plate – I have seldomly had such creative combinations and platings in Munich (!)- and are sensationally delicious. And the taste of my starter (scallop) even superseded its (instagramable) presentation! So this is definitely outstanding – and therefore you should under no circumstances skip the starters!

Panther Grill Surf n Turf

Panther Grill has some solid variety of steaks and you may choose between US beef or organic Bavarian beef …and the classic Surf’n’Turf. Side dishes and sauces can be selected upon own taste. Sides: From crispy sweet potato fries to mashed potatoes with truffle to creamed corn (first time seeing creamed corn in a Munich restaurant) to spinach to grilled veggies etc. –  I tried almost all and all were good, I especially liked the veggies and truffled mashed potatoes. I also tried different kind of sauces and whilst I was a bit disappointed with the Merlotjus (less taste), I can highly recommend the Pepper-Cognac Sauce!

Panther Grill Steak

And then there was the dessert. They have e.g. a Cotton Candy Ice Cream, which sounds interesting, but I wanted to go with something solid to conclude my dinner: Fruit, Ice-Cream and Cookie layer in a glass. Good.

Panther Grill dessert

All in all, I have to say that I will for sure have many more dinners at Panther Grill. Especially as I’d like to see and try more of their incredibly good starters…and of course the Cotton Candy Ice Cream 🙂

Where?   Franz-Josef Str. 45, Munich    http://www.panther-grill.de/