Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

The Corner Cafe, 73 Main St, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland

corner cafeA few weeks ago this new restaurant and takeaway, The Corner Cafe, opened on the corner of Hunterston Road and Main Street in the Craft Town of West Kilbride Ayrshire, Scotland. My husband took me to lunch there recently. The takeaway enters from the corner cafe logoMain Street while the restaurant is entered from Hunterston Road.

When we went in, I was very impressed with the bright modern decor. Also, you can see into the kitchen. I like this, it is clean, tidy and well organised. The Corner Cafe was busy when we arrived for lunch but we did manage to get one last table for two. The table was a decent size, so many modern restaurants have tiny tables for two people.

corner cafe fishWe were also pleasantly surprised by the menu. There were imaginative specials, a variety of light meals and a generous choice of main meals. I was impressed that there was a choice of meals for vegetarians too. My husband swithered with having the fish but finally decided on one of the specials, the chicken caesar club sandwich with fries and extra onion rings. He enjoyed the meal very much. I chose the vegetarian cous cous with roasted vegetables. It was a most unexpected vegetarian option and delious. The portions were generous and there was a lovley choice of cakes and desserts.corner cafe choccake

I am also impressed that the access for disabled people is excellent. The Corner Cafe is a new venture. I recommend it and wish it success.

Valerie Penny

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Il Radicchio Ristorante, 1801 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, USA

arlington.jpgI have always enjoyed my visits to Arlington, Virginia, USA. I first visited the State many years ago when my friend Connie was my hostess. It was then I also met our friend Denise. Good times. However, on my most recent visit to Virginia, my husband and I went with our friends Lisa and Bill. We visited their niece, Nika and her beau, Hani and they hosted a pre-dinner drinks party for us. It was such fun. After this we all made our way to Il Radiccho Ristorante, Nika and Hani’s favourite restaurant. They have good taste!radiccio-menu

il-radiccio

Il Radicchio is quite a small, family run, Italian restaurant. It has a fun atmosphere and friendly service. There is easy disabled access to Il Radicchio Ristorante and there are lots of choices of food available for vegetarians as well as omnivores. We had delicious plates of bruschetta for the table as a starter. It was fun and delicious. The boys chose beer to drink, except for Hani as the poor guy had a late meeting to attend that evening and needed a clear head. The girls shared a bottle of red wine. The breads and salads on offer were lovely too.

rad-inside

For our main courses we mainly chose a variety of risotto, pizza and pasta dishes. My husband chose the spahetti bolognese and spicy sausage. He has a big appetite and the portion was ample for him. I chose the spaghetti with pureed basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. It was delicious, but I could not finish my meal! Nevetheless, we all made room for coffee and deserts. My husband had an americano coffee to wash down his chocolate cake while I enjoyed a latte with my icecream sundae. rad-cake

We very much enjoyed the embiance and the food at Il Radicchio Ristorante. Next time you are in Arlington, I highly recommend this restaurant.

 Valerie Penny

 

Caffè Bianco,Via Dei Baullari, 147, Rome, Italy

My husband took me to Rome recently to celebrate a significant birthday. During the visit we were exploring the city and realised it was time for lunch. We turned a corner and my husband spotted the Caffè Bianco,Via Dei Baullari, 147, Rome, Italy. It was a great find!

Unusually, for a main street Ristorante Pizzeria in the centre of the city, Caffè Bianco advertises a lunch timecaffe-bianco special menu. It is as good as its word. You get a choice of various drinks, a salad, bruscetta and a choice of a variety of pizza and pasta main courses. We sat in the veranda area to the street side of the restaurant. It was busy, and we quickly found out why. The staff were polite, friendly and efficient. The diners are also somewhat protected by the weather by clear plastic sheets. Access for those with mobility problems is easy. On top of all that the food, for omnivores and vegetarians, was delicious.

My husband and I both chose soft drinks but requested a large bottle of still water too as the weather was hot and quite humid so we got dehydrated walking about the city. The drinks were served swiftly. Maybe we looked more dehydrated than we felt. The salad and bruchetta were served on the same plate. The salad was fresh and the tomatoes deliciously sweet. The bruscetta was not served on toasted bread as it is in the UK, but the fresh bread was warm. Altogether this made for a tasty starter.

caffe-bianco-insideI chose a maghuerita pizza and my husband swithered between the lasagne and a ham pizza, but eventually plumped for the pizza too. The pizza are made to order, so there was a few minutes to wait between courses. However, during that time, the cabaret came on: a diner arrived with his bodyguards. He entered by a side door and one of his bodyguards was stationed at each of the three entrances with one keeping watch outside on the street. Another minder joined the important person at his table. I was quite excited that it might be somebody really interesting, but it was a politician.

Anyway, that all gave us sufficient diversion before out main courses arrived. The pizzas were delicious. The bases were thin and the toppings generous. We enjoyed our meals at Caffè Bianco. I highly recommend this modest restaurant, without hesitation.

Valerie Penny

 

Colessio Hotel, 33 Spittal St,Stirling, Scotland

bloody scotlandI recently attended the Bloody Scotland Crime Writers’ Festival in Stirling, Scotland. The talks and events took place mainly in the Albert Halls and the Golden Lion Hotel. However, I chose to stay in the 5* Colessio Hotel. I had been to a meeting at the hotel some years ago and was favourably impressed. It is central, and has a wide variety of health and spa facilities.The Colessio Hotel is part of the Aurora Hotel Collection which is a small but growing portfolio of hotels and lodges in Central Scotland.

I was greeted peasantly at reception and taken up to room 115 by a young lady from reception. I was very hot and was delighted to have the benefit of bottles of mineral water in the room. so I sat and relaxed and drank my mineral water and ate a packet of complimentary cookies, which were very tasty.

colessio-outside

However, I became increasingly aware of a draft at my back. I got up to check where t was coming from and found a hole in the window. Not just a crack, a great big hole. Luckily, I had not unpacked. So, before going to my first meeting, I explained the issue and requested a room change from reception.I was told the staff had no idea that the window was borken and was asked what kind of room I would like. I asked for one without a broken window! I was re-roomed to room 118. It met my modest requirements. It was disappointing to note that room 115 was re-let to alternative guests. If I were manager of the Colessio Hotel, that would not be acceptable. The staff certainly knew of the broken wndow when room 115 was re-let to those other guests.colessio-bed

That apart, my stay in the Colessio Hotel was very pleasant. Both rooms 115 and 118 are relatively small, but the main building of the hotel is an old Victorian building is a 9-minute walk from the Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery, a 12-minute walk from Stirling Golf Club and a 6-minute walk from The Thistles Shopping Centre. However, the rooms are modern and feature flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and tea and coffeemaking equipment, plus large en suite bathrooms. 

colessio-room

Room 115 is a disabled friendly room with a wet room. The photos here are from room 118.

colessio-bathroomThe staff were courteous and helpful. They could not have been more pleasant. Breakfast in the Colessio Hotel was served as a generous, varied continental buffet. There was also an option of an additional served hot breakfast.

The bar is well staffed and the bartenders are attentive. Evening meals, served in the hotel restaurant are from a wide, varied reasonably priced menu. Several tasty vegetarian choices are on the menu. The reastaurant is pleasant to be in as it features a striking palette of black and white  with designer touches evident throughout.

There is a gym and an indoor pool at the Colessio Hotel, but I did not have time to use them. All in all, the Colessio Hotel is a very nice hotel, but it is not as luxurious as many 5* hotels that I have visited. In none of the others was I offered a room with a broken window.

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

Lemon Tree Garden – Rethymnon, Crete by guest author Reijosfood

First published by Reijosfood on 5th August 2016 at https://reijosfood.com/2016/08/05/restaurant-review-lemon-tree-garden-rethymnon-crete/.

Summer vacation in Crete, Rethymnon meant also visits to several restaurants and tavernas. Tried about 10 places and always tested starters and main courses. Better avoid dining spots with most aggressive “in throwers”, best ones are those counting on menu,location and athmosphere.

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Mostly ate in Old Town where you can find many good and not so good dining spots. When it comes to taverna type of restaurants serving traditional greek food, Lemon Tree Garden is the choice. Judgement is based on two visits, which both were above average in “tavernas category”.

Restaurant has good service, fresh ingredients and well prepared dishes not forgetting vegan choises.

During second visit had for starters Spinach Pies, Vine Leaves Rolls and Feta Cheese.Usually spinach pies include cheese, but restaurant had vegetarian version available. Two types rolls, vine leaves (dolmades) and zuccini flower rolls. Both were prepared at restaurant, too often you get canned rolls. Greek style feta cheese was delicious, right mixture of herbs and tomato.image

For main courses had Gyros, which in this case were perfect. Best part of this was just outdoor terrace, grilled pork. In one taverna get meat which had been grilled earlier and was warmed before serving.

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….and Stuffed VegetablesSweet pepper and tomato stuffed with deliciously spiced rice. A perfect vegan dish accompanied by sliced potatoes.  Olive oil is always part of the dishes, and combined with the proper spices, makes for the perfect sauce.

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In previous post you can find some information about Greek wines, which are part of dining. In Lemon Tree Garden had Melios and Chateau Julia, both Merlots.

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Chateau Julia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Tree Garden has nice outdoor terrace inside old walls. The name comes from the trees above tables, lemon and orange trees are the roof of restaurant.

After dinner restaurant serves fresh water melon, lemon cake and raki depending on what you have eaten. Nice way of ending dinner, but as you know what to expect, do not order dessert.

 

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

Scott’s Bar and Restaurant Largs Yacht Haven, Irvine Rd, Largs, Scotland

scotts in largs

It was a long time since I had been to Scott’s Bar and Restaurant at Largs Yacht Haven. It had changed beyond all recognition when I joined a recent family celebration hosted by my brother-in-law and his wife to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary. It was a lovely occasion.John & Lesley 25

We had a long table by the window. The menus were interesting and varied. I was particularly surprised and pleased that there was a complete substitute vegetarian menu that I could choose from.

red wine at scottsOur nephew recommended the haggis tower starter to my husband. It was a good shout as he enjoyed it very much. I chose from the vegetarian menu. The vegetables tempura were delicious. Throughout the meal red and white wine, beer and cider all flowed freely. John and Lesley were very generous hosts. Also, the service at Scott’s was excellent. We had a dedicated server taking our orders and ensuring all was well. It was lovely to feel so valued. We had the long table, by the window, at the top of this photo.

table at scotts

For the main courses, fish and chips was a popular choice. This was served in a beer batter with mushy peas and a slice of lemon. Having eaten his own portion, our nephew then “helped” his girlfriend with her fish before moving on to “share” my meal. This young man has hollow legs: he takes a lot of feeding!

food at scottsI cannot blame him for wanting to share my maincourse, though. I had chosen the vegetables fajitas which arrived sizzling to the table. They were served with sour crea, cheese and a chilli sauce. It was very tasty, but there was no way that I would manage to finish the four pancakes offered. My husband chose the ribeye steak. It was large and cooked exactly as he had asked. His steak was served with onion rings, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. This was a big success. (Our nehew had no chance!)

largs marinaIt is amazing to admit that we made it to desserts and coffee, but we did. My husband chose  a selections of icecreams. The quality of the icecream was excellent and left him a little space to “help” me with my chocolate brownie. The bownie was tasty, but, to my taste, slightly dryer than I would have liked. The selection of coffees was wide and included decaffinated choices.

After our meal, we adjourned to the bar for a night cap before the evening came to an end. Scott’s is a very sleak gastro pub now. Although it had been a long time since I had been to Scott’s Bar and Restaurant in Largs, Scotland, we had a lovely meal and a fun evening, so I highly recommend it and doubt it will be so long before I am back again.

Valerie Penny

 

Oscar’s Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, The Esplanade, Saltcoats, Scotland

oscars outsideMy husband and I had arranged to meet friends for dinner at Oscar’s Cafe, Bar and Restaurant at The Esplanade, Saltcoats, Scotland but they were unable to make the date. However, as we had been looking forward to the evening, we decided to go anyway. What a fun evening!

Access is by a small flight of stairs or by a ramp, so those with mobility difficulties have easy access. The service at Oscar’s was friendly and polite. We were seated in a booth and enjoyed people watching through the evening. Oscar’s caters for a wide variety of diners: families with children, couples both young and not so young, larger groups and a private party was going on in the function area upstairs. This restaurant also runs a Disney movie silently on a large screen behind the bar. This is a brilliant way of keeping the younger diners amused.

The menu is varied and does cater for vegetarians. My husband had the chicken and chorizo sausage pie. He really enjoyed it. I had the vegetarian fajitas: also delicious. The atmosphere in Oscar’s was excellent. The restaurant was happy, busy and good-natured. This certainly added to our enjoyment of our evening.Oscars inside

For pudding my husband had a chocolate brownie, which he said was one of the best he had tasted. I had a chocolate nut sundae. it was delious, but enormous and I had no chance of finishing it! We rounded off our meal with coffees. We did not really need to have coffee, but we were having such a lovely time, it would have been a shame to leave earlier than we had to.

I highly recommend Oscar’s Cafe, Bar and Restaurant, The Esplanade, Saltcoats, Scotland and will dine there again.

Valerie Penny