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8 Favorite Places for Dinner in 8 of My Favorite Cities

8 Favorite Places for Dinner in 8 of My Favorite Cities

Rome:  Restaurant Target.  It is an unusual name for a restaurant in Rome but traditional dishes are served in an elegant atmosphere, with excellent and polite service, at a good value.  My favorite meal here is a bountiful salad and the Orichetti pasta with provolone and zucchini.   Everyone loves this place because there are a wide variety of choices on the menu from pasta, meats and good seafood.

Dublin: Rustic Stone.  Loud (but not too loud), exciting, and action-packed, expect a great meal at the Rustic Stone.  Expect a big-time experience with appetizers like oysters and shrimp with entrees focusing on ribs, big cuts of beef and burgers.

Oslo:  Vippa Food Hall.   Norway does not necessarily have a traditional restaurant scene like most other countries we visit, so when in Oslo we like to go to food halls that serve a wide variety of dishes with offerings that change on a regular basis.  Why we like the Vippa Food Hall is that it is perched out into the fjord for beautiful outdoor views, especially at sunset.  There are usually great selections of beers and food offerings from far-away places like Syria, Poland, Mexico, and of course, from Norway itself.  Try it.  It's fun.

Vienna:  Heuer.   It is the place to go in Vienna.  We like how fresh everything seems to be (they have their own garden right on the premises).  We always start with a refreshing drink like a Basil Collins or an Apricot Colada.  They have plates for sharing like oysters and crispy beef tartar.  But what I would do, is get an order of those delicious french fries.  For dinner, there is a wide variety.  For those who like to chow down, try the steaks or chicken dishes.  But they do have lighter fare too.

Lima:  Restaurant Huaca Pucllana.  Of all the countries we visit, Peru probably has the best (and most reasonably priced) food scene.  Fusion restaurant Huaca Pucllana is one of our favorites.  It is remarkably perched alongside Incan ruins in the heart of the city.  There is always time to start with an original Pisco Sour and then come the appetizers.  If there with a group, get the assortment with items like blue crab claws, causitas pucllana (a salmon tartare) or Peruvian beef hearts. If that scares you off, there are appetizers like small lobster and salads.  For dinner, they serve an Amazon white fish, mild and delicious, that of course cannot be found here at home.  

Madrid: Taberna Los Angeles.  For us, it is the place to go for original tapas.   It is nothing fancy and not expensive, just expect good old traditional tapas. We usually start at the crowded bar for drinks then move to picnic-table like seating.  There is a menu with traditional tapas selections or entrees like tirabuzones de pollo con patatas (chicken and potatoes), and Madrileno stew.  It's always a fun (and inexpensive) night out at Taberna Los Angeles.

Munich:  Hofbräuhaus München.  For a fun night in Munich, don't miss the Hofbräuhaus.  It is a gigantic, gigantic beer hall with long communal tables with the oompah band playing in the background.  Plenty of beer and of course you can guess the entrees - plenty of sausages and things like pig knuckles.  You gotta love it!

Florence: Trattoria Zà Zà.  It's always busy, even for lunch or dinner.  It is perfectly situated next to the Mercato for easy access to fresh veggies and meats.  There are indoor and outdoor dining options.  Trattoria Zà Zà seems to have it all.  We usually start with some table-shared appetizers with cheeses and salamis.  Individual apps like the traditional peasant ribolitta is a true Tuscan experience.  There are plenty, plenty pasta dishes like taglietelli and papardelle in duck sauce.  For dinner, everyone seems fixated on ordering the rosemary sliced steak.  But don't forget the chicken breast in truffle sauce or the eggplant parmigiana.  Don't expect to see any seafood on the menu.

The Professor recommends the Eating and Drinking series of books by my friend Andy Herbach.  These books have excellent restaurant recommendations and helps the diner translate menus that are not in English.  Buy it for yourself or these books make great gifts. 





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