zaterdag 28 augustus 2010
Ambrosia & Nectar
I am told to be rather generous. Uhm, yes I do like to share my abundance of happiness in any size or form. Candy, gift certificates, feelings, cookies, the content of my lunch box, creative ideas, meaningful (or is rather total bollocks?) thaughts about life, you are happy to claim your own share of it all! But there are a few exceptions. Some things I do not like to share!! And one of them is secret spots and places where you can meet up with heaven!
Call me a spoiled brat on that part because once I run into a gem I seem to forget about the other 6 billion people I happen to share this globe with! Because when it comes to sharing certain 'favorite places, books and restaurants' I do have this rather ego centric edge appearing on the surface.
It seems then I do not wish to share this experience with any of you out there. Linger a bit around at the 'crime scene' and think that this is just too good and nice to share. Then I even come up with outrageously excuses why I should not pass on the word. 'No, if more people come here it might turn into a less intimate place to have dinner!' or 'Nay, can't tell, can I? Because then there might not be enough cupcakes for me to have on a rainy Saturday! or 'The pricetag of those nice pieces of jewelery might then go up if too many know this shop just around the corner!' or 'It is my personal discovery so I am going to keep this one to myself! At least for a bit longer!' or....
Yesterday I had once more one of those nasty thaughts. This time we were having dinner in one of the most 'sunny' places of all in Brussels. Even on a rainy Friday night you can experience here the most geniune southern atmosphere ever. And I am not talking about a sun tan studio!! Nope, it is a restaurant but not just 'any' restaurant where you can kill your time and spend a fortune on a three course meal. This one is a league on its own.
And yes, I am going to spill the beans on this one because this is just one of those moments you want to share with your whole address booklet. And listen (read in this case is more appropriate) very carefully because I will say (write) this only once... NOTOS!!!!
I could rave now about the many devine tasting dishes (because the number that passed on was rather already a bit insane to mention) that ended up in my personal digestion system. But I am not even going to try. Because there are not many fitting words to describe what food passed by. The least I can do is copy and paste some of the dishes that are part of the Happy Birthday (they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary) Menu! Still, I am not going to make it easy on you because they are described in French!
Here we go! Came out of the kitchen and just took me straight to Food Heaven
- Potage rafraîchissant yaourt artisanal, concombre, noix et menthe, Bar en lamelles au citron, aubergine fumée et basilic,
- Légumes à la polita',Sardines en feuille de vigne, grillées, salade de hapsias , - _ - Raviolia de Tinos aux blettes, marmelade de tomates',
- Marbré de volaille, pychti de légumes
- Kapama, poulpe mitonné dans son encre à l’aubergine
- Soupe de pastèque au feta et melon
And the wine!! Pure nectar was filling up my glass! The white one just took me so by surprise and before I knew I was sailing for Knossos or an other Greek sunny and colorful island. The red when made you go for Athens to hit the jackpot! I was sitting there on a chair and just dreaming away. Above all I tried to hold on to the many taste sensations that I encountered. 'The Raviolia de Tinos' can still make me marvel and the Kapama just made me scream for more!
When the meal came to an end and the bill showed up I felt a bit sad! Because I just did not want to let this one come to end. But I doubt that this was the feeling the very (and I do think also rather good looking) owner Constantin Erinkoglou is after when you dine at his restaurant.
In a recent interview he mentioned that the Greek cooking is about 'Pan metron ariston!' (run this through Google translate and you might find out what he is after!) For him cooking is a true art and one that takes time. And to get it right he uses many very ordinary and local products. As a result you will never feel like a filled up balloon when you leave.
Greeks love to cook and they don't mind that it takes time. So give them a break when it comes to serving service! But once the puzzle pieces fall in the right place they end up in a very succesfull and delicious combo. You even wonder where the magic touch is in these dishes. In most cases it are the many daily ingredients put together who end up making something extra ordinary. And believe it or not but this time it were the men who asked for a second serving of the dessert!
MMMMMMMHHHHHHHH!!! I want to go back for more! But perhaps I should grant you all the time to book first a table for two (because it is a very nice spot to spend a very romantic tête à tête with that other significant you wish to share this superb culinary highlight with. Keep in mind this is not place to enter while being in a hurry! This is rather the place to take is slow, lay back, breath in and out, enjoy the slow food and dream away. So leave your stopwatch, iPhone, Blackberry, Smartphone and other time consuming equipment at home and buckle up for a dinner of a life time at the most southern restaurant you can find in Brussels! Zeus would have been for sure passing on the ambrosia & nectar at this 'Notos' place on earth!
In case you want to find out more you can take a peak at: www.notos.be
One of my favorite taste sensations was this:
and was put together by this good looking Greek host:
P.S.: Chances are that when you are planning your next holiday that Greece will be on your hitlist! Because Constantin is considered in his home country as one of the best culinary ambassadors they have got out there!! Hope he can keep up the good work!