Monday, March 16, 2015

Be*, Excelsior Hotel, Thessaloniki

Be* is the cafe bar restaurant of the Hotel Excelsior, serving American comfort food for breakfast lunch or dinner.

We have been there pretty much for everything. From just a coffee to a dessert or brunch and dinner. Except from the regular menu there is also a carte with tapas sized dishes (like the trio of burgers below).

Pancakes with peanut butter and strawberry marmalade were excellent.

The burger comes in a brioche with hand cut fries and tzatziki sauce. You can add cheese, bacon or eggs. For 6,5 euros there is this trio of different kind of burgers with chips. For a healthier version you can have it with roast chicken and vegetables fries.

Chocolate souffle, more like a moelleux is one of the best in the city too.

Fish n chips.  

The service is very good, the prices are ok and the food well presented, with good quality ingredients properly prepared. Generally it gets my vote.  

What I didn't like? I guess the beverages (soft drinks) are kind of expensive, despite the reasonably priced menu. 

Komninon 10 & Mitropoleos str. 

See also:
Mavri Thalassa, Thessaloniki
Burgers in Thessaloniki
Alfredo's, Thessaloniki
DaVinci, hotel Nikopolis, Thessaloniki
Gordon Ramsay (3 Michelin stars)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Maison George Larnicol, Paris

After I heard about Larnicol's work on macarons I asked a friend that was then in Paris to bring me back some when he returns. 

George Larnicol was born in Brittany (Bretagne). At the age of 30 he followed the steps of his patisserie father, then opened his first pastry shop in the 80s. In 1993 he gained the prestigious title of Meullier Ouvrier de France. 

Since then many more stores have been opened in the Brittany area, Bordeaux and Paris. The first Paris store was in Saint Germain opened in 2010. Nowadays the number has increased to a total of 26 boutiques all of them in northern France.  

The whole production is carried out in Melgven in the south Finister, the extreme west end of Bretagne, close to the place where Asterix village was supposed to be. 

In his boutiques you can find chocolates in many assortments or sculptures, macarons and viennoiseries like kouign amann (had this amazing pastry from Christian Lesquer in Ledoyen). There are about 16 different flavors of kouignettes like amandes, framboise, pistachio, citron, rhum and raisins or chocolate. 

Now to the macarons. They appear subtle in flavor and colour, without artificial colours and without animal fats. The colour is only derived by plants.  

I too found their taste mild. You can easier taste the almond than in other macarons, maybe with the exception of the pistachio one(which was pretty intense and flavorful). The texture was very good, airy, light with a very thin crust outside. The lightness was then again confirmed after I ate the whole box at once. 

The price is about half than in Laduree or Pierre Herme. 

See also:
Laduree, macarons
Pierre Marcolini, macarons
Philippe Rigollot, Annecy
Stohrer, patisserie Paris
Patrick Roger, chocolatier