Copenhagen, Denmark

nyhavn-christmas-boats

Hello, friends!

I’m back in Boston after a week in Copenhagen, where my boyfriend and I ate 24/7 and tried our best not to get hit by bicyclists channeling their ancestral viking spirits.

bike-bridges-copenhagen

I survived, and now I’m going to share my experiences with all of you lovely people. If you’re planning a trip to Denmark in the near future (or even in your daydreams), I hope I can provide you with part of the answer to “where should I eat in Copenhagen?”. And if you’ve never considered Denmark to be a place worthy of your travel time and budget, I hope I can show you just how wonderful it truly is. Continue reading

Dublin, Ireland

cliffs-of-moher-and-clover

After ten days of frolicking around Ireland, I’ve come back to share my adventures with all of you. More importantly, I’m going to tell you all about the food I ate and where I ate it, and all of the fun things I did. That way you have something to go off of when you’re planning your own trip to the Emerald Isle (which I highly recommend you do).

dublin-ireland

I was traveling on my own, so I booked a bed at the Generator Hostel in Dublin, and I’m glad I didn’t spring for a hotel – I felt totally at home at the hostel. It was far enough away from the touristy area of town, but close enough to walk to pretty much everything worth seeing. The Jameson Distillery, which was right next door to the hostel, was on the top of my list of things to do – unfortunately, it was undergoing some changes and won’t reopen for tours until March 2017.

guinness-brewery Continue reading

Eating Through Europe: Gelato

fatamorgana gelatoWhen August rolls into September and I notice the leaves begin to drift lazily to the ground, I usually breathe a sigh of relief at no longer having to wipe droplets of sweat off my forehead and peel myself off of public bus seats. And like the next girl, I always get a little excited thinking about all those comfy autumnal layers I can soon show off.

But this year?

Summer is hanging around a bit longer. The air is still heavy, and I’m still sticking to things. And it really makes me wish I was back in Italy, letting my tongue chase drops of gelato as they rolled down their cone, while I happily sat under a scorching Tuscan sun. Since I’ve been back in Boston, this is what I’ve missed the most: the obligatory afternoon gelato to keep cool (and sane). Unfortunately, it’s hard to find great ice cream here. And when we do, we don’t eat it every day. Which is a damn shame.

So, this is an ode to the gelato I fell in love with in the handful of cities I was lucky enough to visit this summer: Paris, Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome, Parma and Bologna, with the best for last. I hope it inspires you to get yourself a cone before summer slips away. Enjoy!
leili eating gelato Continue reading

Eating Through Europe, Part III: Italy (continued)

siena plates
Ciao, bellos!

This is the third and final part of Eating Through Europe – read up on Part I and Part II to whet your appetite. Part III is all about my visits to Florence, Siena, and Rome. Let’s do this.

Florence

Traveling from the red city of Bologna to the gray city of Florence marked the transition from the Emilia-Romagna region into Tuscany. Florence and Siena, my two stops in Tuscany, were by far the most scenic, and were home to the most beautiful works of art.

firenze

In Florence, after a full day of walking through galleries and visiting the David, my stomach demanded sustenance. Luckily, there was a nearby panini shop, All’Antico Vinaio, that had a never-ending line out the door. The enigmatic guys behind the counter made ordering a panino easy – either you told them what you wanted, or they surprised you with a combination of meats, cheeses, and veggies that melded so perfectly together you could say they were the Michaelangelo of sandwiches. I can’t even tell you what the specific ingredients were in my panino, but I do know there was a hefty amount of pecorino cream on each piece of freshly baked rustic focaccia. It was divine.

allantico vinaiopanini man panino Continue reading

Eating Through Europe, Part II: Italy

sfogline pasta duoWelcome to Part II of this series, Eating Through Europe! This part is all about the places I loved in Italy. More specifically, in Venice, Parma, and the foodie’s paradise, Bologna. (Check out all the places I loved in Paris in Part I).

Venice

I quickly realized that Venice in July was populated by more tourists than locals, and I was a little anxious about falling into one of the many tourist-trap eateries that seemed to be on every corner. Luckily, though, I was able to stumble upon couple spots off the beaten path that offered a more authentic view of Venetian fare. First up, though: the outdoor markets.
venice boat market
As it is surrounded by water, it only makes sense that Venetian dining is heavy on the seafood. The bustling fish markets by the Rialto bridge were a sushi-chef’s dream, and the fresh produce stands that accompanied it were a feast for the eyes.venice marketvenice fish marketAfter a full day of getting lost in Venice’s ancient, narrow streets, cicheti (small bites) were the perfect pre-gelato snack. At All’Amarone, these salty cicheti included toast with various salumi, cheeses, olive spreads, and sardines. I was pleasantly surprised by the baccalà mantecato (salted and dried cod cooked in milk to become a creamy, salty spread). It was rich, yet simultaneously light like a mousse, and was one of my favorite foods in Venice.venice cicchetteMy other favorite? Dinner at Osteria del Cason, a modern eatery well away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist-filled piazzas. Spaghetti al nero di seppia, a black pasta dish with cuttlefish in a sauce of its own ink, was saltily delicious and the cuttlefish were plump and meaty. If black pasta turns you off, that’s your loss – this was seriously good. Although to be fair, it did stain everything from my gums to the tablecloth (sorry I’m not a perfect eater, guys). The shrimp at Osteria del Cason were also plump, herbed and buttery, and downright drool-worthy. When in Venice, this is the place to go.cuddlefish inkWhile I was sad to leave Venice, I was thrilled to finally get to my next stop: the Emilia-Romagna region. While each region in Italy has their own cuisine, Emilia-Romagna is considered the foodiest region (yes, “foodiest” is the technical term). It’s famous for some of Italy’s richest foods: meats, cheeses, pastas…basically, all the good stuff. Let’s get into it. Continue reading