Europe 2014 | Best Thing I Ate

As mentioned previously, we just got back from a few weeks on the road, so I thought the easiest way to kick things off is with a quick run down of our favorite food experiences from the adventure. To give things a little structure, we’ve broken it out by city. Though we certainly had more time and more meals in some cities than others, and these are far from any sort of proper review, we hope you’ll enjoy sharing in our food memories.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Him: For a single bite, I’d have to give a nod to Tapa Del Toro at Torvehalle. The few selections we made before our canal-side picnic were packed with flavor. For the best meal I didn’t get to eat, check out Noma.

Her: We ate and drank so many lovely things in Copenhagen (the benefits of traveling with food people) but my best award has to go to our family style meal at Atelier September. Walking in as a group of 6 Americans, the chef took one look at us and said “sit down, 160 dkk per person, and I’ll take care of it” Having not received a recommendation for the cafe from THIS GUY, we may have been sceptical, but it was completely amazing: skyr yogurt with stone fruit, granola, strawberry, and fresh lavender // croissants and rugbrød with butter and rubarb jam // several cheese options including a burrata I’d sell my granny for // a beet dish with snap peas . . . every bite amazing

Atelier September Copenhagen SkyrJust the first bits of the Atelier September feast

Malmo, Sweden

Him: This one is easy, given we only had one meal there, but it was still a pretty notable experience and one I’d imagine as tough to beat. The hakken biff was on special at Buffen, and was a semi-blind pick for me. Rich and flavourful, it was just the right meal to reward me for bravely trying the herring starter.

Her: Asking for a recommendation of traditional Swedish food from one of the local hotels paid off big: authentic swedish veal meatballs, mashed potatoes, lightly pickled cucumbers and lingonberries. (Let me proactively answer the obvious: this meal made Ikea’s offering taste like a shoe after stepping in dog crap)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Him: Probably the hotdog I had outside the Rijksmuseum while waiting for our canal tour to start. This city has such a rich street sausage culture, it’s hard to deny…. Alright, all jokes aside, I’d have to vote for the chocolate cake from The Lobby on Nesplein. I’m pretty sure no actual cake was involved, but rather two types of fudge, dense and packed with cocoa flavor, layered on top of a crushed cookie crust, with orange toffee sauce, blueberries, sweet greens and a raspberry sorbet. It was seriously so good that even the second time I ordered it I didn’t get a photo until after the sorbet was toast.

Her: Ditto that cake, it was so nice we ordered it twice.

Paris, France

Him: First thing first, the prix fixe menus in this town always seemed like a good deal. Secondly, this is a place where the duck confit costs less than a cheeseburger. Pretty easy decision here. I’ll eat duck confit nearly anytime it’s offered, but this one was so well prepared that the meat slid right away from the bones but didn’t taste at all overcooked. If I could get a second vote, I’d also recommend the pistachio macaron from Pierre Hermes. Not a ton of pistachio flavor here, but the cream ratio is cranked up and almost resembles a more study whoopie pie.

Her: The macaron challenge (Pierre Hermes v. Laduree) is most memorable from this trip and the coffee flavor from Laduree gets my best in show. (A close second is the baguette + fromage spread enjoyed on the Champ de Mars.)

Brussels, Belgium

Him: Chocolate, no waffles, no chocolate, no…. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by both the frites and the waffles in Brussels and Bruges, but I cannot deny the excellent quality of chocolate. Even though we can find many of the Belgian brands in the U.S., getting them fresh from the factory seems to have made a big difference. For this leg I’d say the Framboise truffle from Godiva wins it.

Her: The chocolate, all of it . . . Neuhaus or Galler, take your pick. The actual food on the otherhand, waffles included, was meh.

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