Canned fish has gone gourmet in Portugal. There are many speciality shops throughout Lisbon and Porto and you can’t help but be drawn to all of the colorful packaging! We bought quite a few to take with us to enjoy back in Belgium!
Marisqueira Cervejaria Ramiro was one of our must-visit restaurants in Lisbon! We first heard about on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when he was in Lisbon to taste an array of local seafood ending with a prego, or steak sandwich, for “dessert”. It was so delicious we went back again – normally we never repeat restaurants on vacation! But we just had to have those scarlet shrimp again!!
Sometimes things just work out. While planning for our trip to Portugal, it can get overwhelming try to decide on where to stay in each city. For Lisbon I had debated between Alfama – the eastern part of the city – or a central neighborhood like Chiado or Baixa. Luckily in the end I chose Alfama! What a romantic, beautiful neighborhood!
While in Normandy, we used Courseulles-sur-Mer as our base for traveling. It’s a small town on the coast famous for its oysters (25% of oysters in France come from Courseulles-sur-Mer) and June Beach (one of the 5 D-Day beaches).
The town is very lovely and relaxing. When I researched Courseulles-sur-Mer before booking, I read it’s mostly a resort town with the houses owned by Parisians. I wish we had planned more time to enjoy the city – so beautiful and the seafood and fish are outstanding!
Because I’m now working in Brussels, I thought it’d be fun to spend an afternoon exploring the city with my parents and seeing where I work. My dad was too sleepy due to jetlag, so my mom and I headed to Brussels! We didn’t have too much on the agenda – just wanted to walk around and enjoy a nice lunch at cowfish restaurant. cowfish is located right off of the luxury shopping street, the Boulevard de Waterloo, so it was the perfect location for us!
Koen recently purchased a book on foraging, so we were ready to go on our first adventure! When we looked up possibilities in our area, we decided on oysters in Zeeland! Koen was especially excited to see that Colijnsplaat is a good place to go foraging. His grandparents had a house here when he was growing up, so it was very special being able to see the place Koen spent his summers.
For our first dinner with Nicole and Adam, we chose the restaurant Graanmarkt 13. The food is seasonal, with a weekly menu based on what vegetables are in season. From the site: “Graanmarkt 13 offers a daily varying choice of fish or meat along with various vegetarian tapas-style dishes to share with your company.” Chef Seppe Nobels won the prize “Best Vegetable restaurant 2015 of Flanders” by Gault Millau. So this was the perfect place to take our guests!
Although still cold, the sun was shining – so why not take a trip to the Belgian coast? There are so many cities in Beligum I’d still like to visit and Ostend was at the top of my list.
To quote the Huffington Post, Toast Skagen is essentially a shrimp toast, but there is one mythical ingredient that sets it apart from any other shrimp toast. Kalix Vendace Roe. This Swedish version of Russian or Iranian caviar is orange, light in taste, subtle and not as pushy as its eastern cousins. It’s often served together with butter fried blinis or toast, some sour cream and very finely chopped red onions – as the star of the show. But in the Toast Skagen, it will have to settle with being the jewel in the crown. An orange colored precious gem, placed on top of this culinary treasure.