Tag Archives: eats

The Dubliners

The saying is, “When In Rome do as the Romans do”. Well the same goes for any city right? So we decided to take on that motto, “When in Dublin…”.   In our minds that meant hit the pubs, listen to live music – modern and folk, have a Sunday roast, brunch with beans on toast, all while exploring the beautiful city of Dublin. And that is what we did, very well I might add.  Dublin did not let us down, through rain and shine. This was our second visit and each time I become more and more fond of this city and the people.

We arrived on a rainy Friday evening rushing to our hotel, The Westin at College Green, and off to the O2 Arena to see Lady Gaga! My husband being the good sport he is, bought me tickets to the show, which he secretly enjoyed. This venue is a great place to see a show. We had standing tickets so we could experience all of the fun with the “Little Monsters”, which is how Lady Gaga refer to her fans.  So Little Monster 1 (me) and Little Monster 2 (my husband :)) enjoyed the music,  but this was only Part 1 of the music series that weekend.

Lady Gaga Live at O2 Arena
Lady Gaga Live at O2 Arena

Day 2 consisted of an early start so we could take full advantage of the beautiful sunny day. We started with a breakfast at Elephant & Castle. It might sound familiar as there is also one in New York City. Unfortunately we didn’t document our delicious breakfast but we chowed down on Huevos Rancheros, a creme brulee  oatmeal with berries and an omelet.  I’d highly recommend this place if you are looking for a good solid breakfast or brunch. Following our delicious meal our day continued on with exploring Dublin. We made our way through Grafton and Liffey Street, for some shopping and then off to the Dublin Castle.

Shopping on Grafton Street
Shopping on Grafton Street

On the way we found the non touristy areas and wandered through the narrow, cobblestone streets to find some great thrift and music shops,  little cafes and restaurants off the beaten path. After all of this walking we of course worked up another appetite so we stopped in at “Taste of Emila”. This great little spot served up boards of salumi and cheese. HEAVEN! What more do I need than salumi and cheese paired with a glass of vino, at an authentic Italian restaurant.

 

Taste of Emlia - Salumi
Taste of Emlia – Salumi

That evening we had Part 2 of the Music Series at Academy 2, to see a Pearl Jam cover band, Pearl Jem. Academy 2 was a small, intimate venue, with enough seating for us to sit back and listen to this cover band who sounded just like the real life Eddie Vedder.  I went back in time for a moment, to my sophomore year in high school, as I listened to Even Flow, Jeremy and Alive. Then I opened my eyes and thought, “No this time I am in Dublin”.  While I have fond memories of high school this moment was much better. So we had a great time at the show with no real plans for the rest of the evening. On our walk back through the Temple Bar area, bar being the key word, we stumbled across what we both thought to be one of the best parts of our trip, the Merchant Temple Bar. We saw a sign that read “Live Music” and thought lets check it out, more music, why not. That seemed to be the theme of the weekend anyway…

Merchants Arch Temple Bar - live music, amazing crowd
Merchants Arch Temple Bar – live music, amazing crowd

It was a little crowded so we made our way to the back of the bar and found a cozy spot which lead to a great little table offered to us by two Irishmen. Now I’m not sure what the best part about this bar was because there were so many things to choose from – the friendly locals, the pints of Guinness flowing or the awesome live music – Irish folk,  hairbands,  Pop; or all the people dancing and singing along having a fun time.

Merchant Arch Temple Bar
Merchant Arch Temple Bar

Needless to say we woke up on day 3 a little slow and in need of a good breakfast. We made our way to The Bakehouse for some Beans on Toast. What better way to start your morning after a night filled with Guinness. A cute place alongside Ha’penny Bridge. Their motto is to serve the traditional foods that their parents and grandparents were raised on. I feasted on Beans on Toast with mushrooms and a freshly squeezed orange juice. We enjoyed it so much that we went back the next day before our flight back to Copenhagen because we didn’t have enough the first time around. 

The Bakehouse Brunch
The Bakehouse Brunch

This time I had the Potato Farls with a side of baked beans and an orange juice. Delicious. Of course they have lighter and healthier options if that’s what you are looking for. 

After breakfast we were in dire need of a walk so it was time to do some more shopping before we headed to our final night of the Music Series Part 3, back at the O2 Arena to see One Republic. I didn’t have high expectation for this concert but surprisingly it ended up being my favorite. Sorry Little Monsters but this band sounds better live than they do on their album.

Needless to say our trip to Dublin was a fantastic one. Filled with good food, Guinness, music and shopping but most of all a beautiful city with wonderful people. Make your way to Dublin someday friends. You won’t be disappointed. I can promise you that.

O2 Arena
O2 Arena
The Temple Bar
The Temple Bar
College Green
College Green
Beans on Toast Crisps cause you can never have enough Beans on Toast
Beans on Toast Crisps cause you can never have enough Beans on Toast
The Bakehouse Menu
The Bakehouse Menu
Sunday Roast at O'Neills Bar and Restaurant
Sunday Roast at O’Neills Bar and Restaurant
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle

IMG_6897

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all about the “Hygge”

I’ve decided my first post should be dedicated to “hygge” in Denmark. Friends and family have many questions about Denmark, which I can never really give a response that does it justice because I always turn to my biggest quam with this country… the winter. I am well aware I should not complain because compared to the US and their East Coast weather this year it probably feels like spring here, although my first winter didn’t but we’ll cover that some other time. Even so, I feel as a Californian, I still have a right to get tired of the short winter days and low, gray skies. Besides that and the difficult language Denmark is a very charming, “hygge” country. What in the world is “hygge” you might ask? Well, the Wikipedia definition says, “one of the fundamental aspects of Danish culture is “hygge”, a concept closely related to “coziness”: relaxing with good friends or loved ones, often while enjoying good food and something to drink or creating a more friendly atmosphere by lighting a few candles, Christmas time, when loved ones sit close together on a cold rainy night, is a true moment of hygge, as is grilling a pølse (Danish sausage) and drinking a beer on a long summer evening.”

As stated above, in Wikipedia’s definition of the word, it is a huge part of the culture.  For clarification purposes Hyggelig is the adjective for hygge. This word is used to describe everything from homes, bars, snow, rain, sun, dinner, candlelight, the long spring days, and the list goes on. Anyone who has visited Denmark or has spent an extended period of time here is familiar with this word. Its part of every day life. Things AND people are “hygge”. For example, you enter a cozy restaurant, its “hyggelig” . If you go visit a friend at their home, its “hyggelig ”.  A drink on a sunny afternoon along Nyhavn is “hyggelig”. Candles at dinner or while watching TV are “hyggelig ”.  Walking through a blustering wind storm can be “hyggelig ”.  It really is amazing how the Danes can turn even a gloomy situation into a “hyggelig” one. For that, I must give them credit. Maybe this is one of the reasons they are known to be the happiest people in the world.

Now that you understand the meaning of Denmarks most used word, I’d like to share a few of my favorite “hyggelig” places in Copenhagen with you.

Mother
Høkerboderne 9, 1712 København

Now one might say I am picky when it comes to Italian food. Well I feel that I have every right to be, being raised in an Italian family where my Nonnas cooked amazing Italian meals for the family every Sunday followed by my mother and aunts doing this on a daily basis. So yes I have set my standards high. When you walk into Mother not only do you get the aroma of the dough rising, the pizza in the wood oven, and the antipasti platters filled with cheeses, salumis and bruschetta (pronounced bru-sketa), passing you by but you also get a feeling that you are in the restaurant of true Italians. The majority of the staff in the kitchen, which is an open area right behind the counter as you enter, are speaking loudly in Italian, and this makes me feel at home.  Why? Simply because I come from a loud Italian family. The pizza is quite amazing. With the doughy sourdough crust and the tomatoes tasting like they’ve come straight off the vine, you can just taste the freshness in the ingredients.  They also offer a brunch, which makes me smile every time. This is a perfect way to try a variety of their pizzas as they are continually come straight out of the wood oven onto the buffet brunch table, piping hot. It’s also followed by sides of pastas,  salumis, cheeses and traditional ‘old’ Italian dishes that I have only seen my dad make. For example,  Pane Cotto (cooked bread). This is a dish with dry chunks of Italian, French or baguette bread, sautéed in olive oil, garlic and fresh zucchini.  Every time he makes this dish its followed by him saying in our family’s Italian dialect, “This is a poor mans meal. It’s what we ate when we had nothing in Verbicaro”. For those of you who don’t know Verbicaro, it’s a little picturesque, charming, undiscovered town in Calabria, where my parents grew up and my cousins and I were fortunate enough to spend summers there with our grandparents. More of those stories to come later! With that said, Mother is a casual and modern spot in Copenhagen that brings me back to my Italian roots every time. Its good quality food, great service and you’re guaranteed to have a “hyggelig” time.

Mother Pizza


Salon 39

Vodroffsvej 39, 1900 Frederiksberg

If you are a whiskey and rye connoisseur this is your place. Unfortunately that’s not me, but I have been known to enjoy a fresh cocktail.  At Salon 39 the bartenders use quality ingredients, all of their juices are freshly squeezed and you can see the passion within them while making your cocktail. This always makes me appreciate drinks and food so much more. Speaking of food, it’s another good reason to come here. I never really thought I could write about a cheeseburger but this one is worth taking the time for. The 39 House Cheeseburger has so much flavor and deliciousness to it that I want to go back there as I think about it. From the bun with a slight crisp around the edges to the fresh beef burger topped with their smoked mayo makes for a delicious burger. If you are meat eater you will also appreciate their Bistecca Fiorentina, all 900 grams of it. Made to share you will definitely get your fill of protein. I can’t speak for this myself as I have never had it but Daniel and friends have enjoyed it and they seemed pretty content after their 450 grams each. Last but not least this place is the perfect description of “hygge”. When you walk in you first see the bar. It looks like a small venue but the further back you go the more tables there are although the places books up quickly. Walk-ins for dinner are rarely able to be accommodated so its best to make a reservation.  If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the bar you can enjoy the view of the wall filled with whiskeys, while the bartenders are happily making the most interesting of cocktails and listening to jazz, soul and blues tunes spinning on the record player.  It’s definitely a place to visit if you’re in town or planning a trip to Copenhagen and looking for a “hygge” atmosphere.

Salon 39

K-Bar
Ved Stranden 20, 1061 København K

K-Bar exudes the “hygge”!  It’s small and quaint with limited seating but it’s the kind of place you go to when you just want to catch up with a friend or that someone special. K-Bar offers cocktails, bubbles, wines, mocktails, and a variety of over a dozen martinis. If your drink of choice isn’t on the menu, just ask.  It’s definitely worth a visit.

K-Bar K-Bar

As I said these are only a few of my favorite places in Copenhagen. Stay tuned for more!

Tak og har en HYGGELIG dag 🙂
(Thanks and have a HYGGELIG day)