As the first post to sum up 2017, I want to start with the favorite. Food.
There were quite a few gastronomic discoveries this year, but I want to start with a simple no-brainer – Marius.
Make reservations in advance, it is full every day. Magnificent bouillabaise and vitello tonato are on the menu daily. The rest of the menu is daily refreshed. Every Monday a wonderful table d’hote for €35. Everyone who has been there, wants to come back. Not just because of food and wine. Also because of a home-like feeling, and excitement of every single dish, and Kees himself of course. Perfect wine selection, Chateau Cambon as house wine. Been here like twenty times in 2017, and will continue doing so.
Via S. Calocero, 3, 20123 Milano
A two-star Micheline restaurant. Contaminated Italian cuisine by the Japanese chef Yoji Tokuyoshi, who is a true devil. Menus are expensive, but this is a once in a lifetime culinary experience. Wine pairing is strongly recommended. You will be taken for a real taste trip.
Auberge du Lion d’Or
Place Pierre-Gautier 5, 1223 Cologny, Switzerland
The restaurant in Geneva, where food is not so important, but is very good. Make a reservation in summer for outside seating, and enjoy the incredible view of the mountains and sky changing color every ten minutes during sunset.
Auberge Jean & Marie
Albert Cuypstraat 58-60, 1072 CV Amsterdam
And back to Amsterdam for French food again. Voted best French restaurant in the Netherlands, definitely a worthy experience. The short menu is refreshed every month or so, and everything is so damn good. Owners, Jan and Marije (Jean and Marie themselves) are on the floor and are so cool! If you’re into digestifs, ask for a Kilo of potatoes. Really, just do so.
Kitchen Galerie Bis
25 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris
The list would be incomplete without a French restaurant in Paris. Very difficult to pick just one, with too stiff competition, but I would go for Kitchen Galerie Bis (sorry, Jon, Dab deserves a special post). A restaurant with a very refined cuisine, where you also need to book in advance. Small starters and fantastic mains. Good for a date lunch, and for dinner of course. Cod is to die for.
Dôme sur Mer
Arendstraat 1, 2018 Antwerpen
And a Belgian culinary experience should be here. Dome has two restaurants in Antwerp. This one is a little bit off center - if you take a long walk towards restaurant from Antwerp Centraal on a Saturday night, you will understand why Antwerp is a Jewish city. The restaurant itself is small, with great interior and wonderful selection of seafood. Starting from oysters and going all the way to a huge selection of fish and shellfish. Wonderful cava Can Xa Brut and a perfect Macon to accompany half a lobster.
15 Cours Masséna, 06600 Antibes
Antibes, sun, heat, awesome food and wine. Not much to add. The small wonderful place near the market in Antibes, steps away from Musée Picasso. A highlight of our summer - we went there every day we were in Antibes. Classical French mediterranean food with small twists here and there. Awesome house wines.