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Restaurant of the Week Archive

 

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Amsterdam

 

Tujuh Maret - if you haven’t tried Indonesian food yet, Amsterdam is a great place to give it a go and this small mid-price restaurant south of the centre at Utrechtsestraat 73 is one of the best in the city. If you are a first timer, an ideal introduction is a rijsttafel, a banquet of 18 delicious and spicy dishes that range from mild to just shy of pass me a bucket of iced water. It includes a chicken satay that is so good you won't want to share it with anyone. 73 Utrechtsestraat - 0031 (0) 204279865. Map Dec 18

 

De Compagnon - this restaurant, a few minutes from Centraal Station, is a little difficult to find but make the effort and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best French cooking in the city. It specializes in classic Bourgondian dishes accompanied by an excellent selection of wines. The service is friendly and attentive, as you'd expect from a restaurant at the expensive end of city dining. Ask for a window table overlooking the canal. Closed Sun and Sat lunch - 0031 (0) 206204225. Map Oct 18

 

Bazar - whether you’re in the Albert Cuypstraat area for the market and want an inexpensive and tasty meal somewhere nearby, or you’re just in the mood for something a bit different, Bazar fits the bill on every count. It’s set in a vast converted church and decorated, Arabian nights style, with giant lanterns, chandeliers and murals. The seating arrangements are basic but comfortable enough, the service is brisk, and the middle-eastern and Mediterranean food is excellent value for money.  Albert Cuypstraat 182 - 0031 (0) 206750544. Map Aug 18

 

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Barcelona

 

Orio - this comfortable and inviting restaurant at Ferran 38 in the heart of the old city serves traditional Basque-style dishes and pinxtos - essentially tapas on bread. The food is excellent and good value, the house wines are inexpensive and very quaffable, and the staff are friendly, helpful and attentive. Fresh oysters are a house speciality and they serve some of the best croquetas in the city - 0034 933179407. Map Dec 18

 

Taller de Tapas - there are several branches of this excellent tapas bar and restaurant in the city centre, all serving excellent Catalan cooking with plenty of mouth watering daily specials. The prices are reasonable, the house wines are good value, and there are multilingual menus if you don’t trust your Spanish. The original Taller opened in Plaza Sant Josep Oriol, a short walk from the cathedral in the historic Barri Gòtic, and is still our favourite - 0034 933018020. Map Sept 18

 

Irati - this inexpensive eatery off La Rambla - Cardenal Casanas 17 - was reputedly one of Barcelona’s first tapas bars. In the stand-and-eat bar you simply ask for a plate and help yourself to the delicious food. Everything comes on a cocktail stick and these are used to calculate the bill. As the floor is always littered with sticks, this system is clearly flawed. There’s also a restaurant area at the back. Closed Sun - 0034 902520522. Map July 18

 

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Bruges

 

't Huidevettershuis - set in the former Tanners Guildhall, which dates back to 1450, this charming and friendly restaurant specializes in Flemish and seafood dishes. Its four intimate dining rooms are spread over two floors and a window table will give you picturesque canal views as a backdrop to your meal. Service is attentive but relaxed and the excellent food and wine are very reasonably priced. Set lunches from €22. Closed Tuesday - 0032 (0) 50339506. Map Nov 18

 

De Visscherie - this excellent seafood restaurant in Fish Market square is well known by discerning Bruges food lovers as one of the best eateries in the city. It’s run by a husband and wife team who obviously love what they do; the attention to detail is evident everywhere from the contemporary décor and attentive service, to the stunningly fresh and seasonal dishes. Fixed-price menus from €35 - closed Tuesday - 0032 (0) 50330212. Map Aug 18

 

Bistro de Pompe - step through the door of this charming old house just off the Markt in the heart of the city and you’ll find a diminutive and cosy bistro with a modern interior serving good food with a wide range of influences. The varied menu gives you plenty to choose from including excellent meat and fish dishes - especially the steaks - tasty pastas and tempting salads. Three- course menus from €30. Closed Monday - 0032 (0) 50616618. Map May 18

 

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Lille

 

Le Barbue d’Anvers - this charming and rustic estaminet is not a place you’ll find during a casual wander around the city but it’s definitely worth seeking out. It’s tucked away down a cobblestone alleyway a couple of minutes from Grand’ Place in a lovely sixteen-century brick building. The restaurant is arranged over three levels, and serves tasty and good-value local dishes. Two-course set menus start at €24 and the small wine list has bottles from €21 - 0033 (0) 320551168. Map Nov 18

 

Clément Marot - you want to take your partner or friends somewhere special for lunch. Somewhere they’ll have the kind of gastronomic treat they’ll enthuse about every time someone mentions the words Lille or France. Somewhere welcoming and relaxed where the bill won’t bring tears to your eyes. Take them to this temple of wonderful food and wine round the corner from Grand’ Place in the heart of the old city - 0033 (0) 320570110. Map Aug 18

 

La Terrasse des Remparts - even if your only criteria for judging a restaurant is the quality of the food, it’s still hard not to be impressed by the dramatic setting of this Lille institution. The restaurant is part of the 1620 Porte de Gand gatehouse in the historic centre and has a wonderful terrace and glazed veranda. The food is also very good - modern French cooking with Flemish and Mediterranean flourishes. Set menus from around €25 - 0033 (0) 320067474. Map April 18

 

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Milan

 

Bice - there are about 40 Bice restaurants around the world, including one in London, but the original opened in Milan's historic centre in 1926. Like its stylish cousins, it’s a favourite of the rich and famous, but you don’t have to be loaded to eat here: set lunches start at about €25. A good wine won’t break the bank either. The extensive menu is traditional Tuscan and Milanese, and the food is excellent. Closed Sunday - 0039 0276002572. Map Nov 18

 

Sadler - whether or not you need a special occasion to blow around 200 euros on a meal, this stylish and contemporary two-star Michelin restaurant in the Navigali district of the historic centre will certainly turn your visit into an unforgettable gastronomic experience. It is quite simply one of the best places to eat in the city thanks to the wonderful cooking of Claudio Sadler, one of Milan’s top chefs. Via Ascanio Sforza 77, closed Sunday - 0039 0258104451. Map Sept 18

 

Casa Tua - for good quality food at reasonable prices head for this busy osteria near Porta Romana in the south-east corner of the city. It specializes in Tuscan cuisine and you get a free plate of delicious antipasti while you peruse the excellent menu. The wines are also Tuscan, and the subtly fizzy house red and white are such good value it's rude not to drink them. Pleasant surroundings and friendly staff. Closed Monday - 0039 (0) 25514269. Map July 18

 

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Paris

 

Restaurant Lapérouse - this romantic and evocative restaurant has had some illustrious patrons over the years including Alexander Dumas, Emile Zola and Víctor Hugo. The scratches and graffiti on some of the mirrors were supposedly the work of suspicious women testing the diamonds given to them by their lovers. River views, intimate private rooms, good food and unforgettable surroundings. Fixed price menus start at around €45 - 0033 (0) 143266804. Map Jan 19

 

Brasserie Bofinger - this wonderful restaurant is said to be the oldest brasserie in the city and is everything you’d expect from a traditional French brasserie - tiled floors, leather banquettes, vast mirrors, miles of wood panelling, and smartly dressed waiters in a hurry. The beautiful art nouveau interior and stained-glass dome are a protected national monument and it's worth eating here just for the view. Set menus start at around €30 - 0033 (0) 142728782. Map Oct 18

 

Astier - there are two very good reasons why this charming little bistro near place de la Republique, just north of the centre, is always busy - the food is excellent and it's superb value for money. And for cheese lovers there’s an additional bonus, Astier has one of the best and most generous cheese platters in Paris - and a great wine list to go with it. Three-course set lunches from €27 and bottles of wine from €20 - 0033 (0) 143571635. Map Aug 18

 

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Rome

 

L’Antica Birreria Peroni - you don’t have to be a beer lover to enjoy eating and drinking at this basic and budget beer hall at 19 Via di San Marcello. The simple but delicious food has Roman and Teutonic influences and the house wines are very good value. It’s a favourite with local businessmen at lunchtime, and gets crowded and lively. You might have to share a table with other diners but that's part of the fun - 0039 066795310. Map Dec 18

 

Osteria dell’Ingegno - a modern wine bar and trattoria just a stone’s throw from the Pantheon. It's a great place for a casual drink, a snack in between sightseeing, or a romantic evening meal. The food is delicious and inventive without being fussy, and the service is relaxed and friendly. The outside tables overlook the massive columns of Hadrian’s temple and are a great spot for people watching. Mid-price and up. 45 Piazza di Pietra - 0039 0667806622. Map Sept 18

 

Vecchia Roma - this wonderful ristorante in Piazza di Campitelli - near Teatro di Marcello - is a city institution with a long history and provides fine dining in elegant and historic surroundings. Superb food, excellent service and an extensive wine list make it perfect for special occasions. There’s also a large outdoor terrace. Expensive but well worth it. The only credit cards accepted are Amex and Diners. Closed Wednesday - 0039 (0) 66864604 Map July 18

 

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Toulouse

 

Michel Sarran - set in a lovely 19th-century building with a charming indoor garden, this two-star Michelin restaurant is run by master chef Michel Sarran and his wife, Françoise. The food is superb, and it's probably the best and the most stylish eatery in town. A three-course set lunch, including wine and coffee, is unfaultable value at around €60 and there are also tempting €100 and €132 menus. Closed Sat/Sun & Wed lunch – 0033 (0) 561123232. Map Dec 18

 

Emile - this great city-centre restaurant overlooks one of Toulouse’s most picturesque squares - Place St. Georges - and has a terrace for alfresco dining in the summer. It serves wonderful and beautifully presented local cuisine including cassoulet, duck and foie gras; and is famous for its excellent and interesting wine list. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the staff are unobtrusively attentive. Fixed-priced lunches start at around €20. Closed Sunday & Monday - 0033 (0) 561210556 Map Sept 18

 

Le J'Go - this busy mid-priced bistro and (upstairs) restaurant opposite the indoor market in place Victor Hugo is spread over two floors, several rooms and an outdoor terrace. It serves tasty, good-quality food but as it specializes in meat dishes, particularly lamb, it’s probably not a good choice for vegetarians. Service is friendly and attentive, and there are fixed-priced menus and a reasonable choice of wines - 0033 (0) 561230203. Map May 18

 

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Venice

 

Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal - there are several good reasons for eating in the Grand Canal restaurant of the beautiful 17th-century Hotel Monaco including the faultless service and excellent food. But the best reason of all is the waterfront terrace with its spectacular views of the mouth of the Grand Canal and the Santa Maria della Salute church. It’s expensive but you’re getting more than just a great meal, you're getting an experience - 0039 (0) 415200211. Map Oct 18

 

Cantinone Storico - if you fancy getting away from the crowds and eating in a quieter and less frenetic Venice, head for this traditional trattoria in Fondamenta Bragadin, close to the Guggenheim. The menu is mid-priced and typically Venetian, so there's plenty of fresh fish on offer. You can also dine al fresco by the Rio de San Vio canal and the seafood risotto with seasonable vegetables is superb. San Vio - closed Sunday - 0039 (0) 41 5239577. Map July 18

 

Vini Da Gigio - this cosy canalside trattoria is tucked away from the crowds in Fondementa San Felice and specializes in fish and traditional Venetian cooking. The dishes, from starters to puddings, look as good as they taste; the service is attentive and relaxed; and there is an extensive wine list. Unfortunately, and with good reason, it’s very popular, so it’s best to book. Set menus from €45. Closed Monday & Tuesday - 0039 (0) 415285140. Map June 18

 

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