London and Paris –A Tale of Two Cities in Small Plates

NOPI interior

NOPI interior

A few days ago, we took the Eurostar to London for the weekend, where we met friends for dinner at NOPI (North of Picadilly), a fairly new restaurant in Soho that serves primarily small plates. The restaurant is the brainchild of Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of two award-winning cookbooks, and owner of four glorious take-out food shops in the UK capital.

From the minute we walked through the door into the brightly lit modern interior, I knew we were in for a treat. The menu is not extensive, but the dishes are carefully thought out and composed of unique

Savory Cheesecake at NOPI

Savory Cheesecake at NOPI

flavors and textures. Our favorites included a creamy burrata set atop fresh orange slices served with a sprinkling of toasted coriander seeds and a drizzle of lavender oil. Roasted eggplant paired with lime pickle and Greek tzatziki plus a dish of zucchini and cheese fritters served with cardamom yogurt were other temptations. A savory cheesecake scented with hazelnut, thyme, and honey arrived at our table in a small copper pan, only to disappear within minutes! Continue reading

Apple and Golden Raisin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Early this spring I had a chance to dine at Ottolenghi, an excellent, yet unpretentious restaurant in the Islington area of London. My meal was so memorable that I wrote about it on my blog, mentioning a celestial Apple and Sultana Cake with Maple Frosting.

Back home, I couldn’t get the heavenly cake out of mind, and set out to reproduce it.  After multiple tries, including several failed icing attempts, I had a version close to my remembrance of the original. Then, by chance, I found the recipe for the Ottolenghi cake on line, reprinted from one of the chef’s earlier cookbooks. The British cake was made with olive oil, mine Continue reading

Borough Market London, East London, England

Borough Market London East London, England (near London Bridge on the south bank of the Thames Underground Station)

Located in east London near London Bridge, Borough Market is celebrated not only for its exceptional British food products, but for an array of international items as well. This lively market, with its long history dating back to the 18th century, is open three days a week—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—and boasts teeming crowds of both Londoners and visitors from around the globe. Continue reading