Stuzzikini – Marbella

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 If you’re looking for real Italian, this is it. You cannot get any better than the homemade cuisine served at this cozy eatery located in the heart of Marbella’s old town. Stuzzikini offers a  unique menu comprising of mainly Sardinian dishes with some interesting Piedmontese favorites like the raviolini del plin – a beef ragout ravioli served in  a delicate beef reduction  made with butter, sage and aged Parmesan. stuzz2

The bucatini carbonara here is the real deal, no cream, just fresh eggs and a generous touch of pork cheek bits that give it a slight saltiness and crunch – divine!   Appetizers like the Fregula Sarda – clams and mussels with minute pasta balls in a saffron garlic and white wine reduction or  another Piedmontese favorite -vitello tonnato – thin veal slices smothered in a tuna and mayo sauce were absolute pleasers.stuzz3

Aside from a great wine list, the desert options were varied and light.  Just like everything else on the menu, the final touches to our meal were all homemade:  from the rich yet  light tiramisu, the creamy ginger  panna cotta with citrus coulis to the tiny cream filled profiteroles  covered in melted chocolate. If you want to be in for a true Italian treat, Stuzzikini is it!stuzz6

Stuzzikini

C/ Alderete 5

Casco Antiguo

Marbella

Tel. 952 775 994

http://www.stuzzikini.com

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Café Skansen – Oslo, Norway

skansen1After a long flight from Boston with nothing to eat – airlines  now charge for  awful food that I refuse to pay for- and  checking into my hotel, I went looking for a good place for lunch, I was famished!skansencarpaccio

I was fortunate enough to arrive in Oslo on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. There was a lovely breeze so I hoped to find a spot where I could sit outside. I wanted to avoid the  tourist places in the harbor so I went into town looking for somewhere locals ate . I wanted to eat what they eat.

So, after doing some research, I found Café Skansen, a lovely house with an amazing outdoor patio that was pefect for this breezy summer afternoon. The building reminded me of something I would find in Provence – just like Van Gogh’s Yellow House…smack in the middle of Oslo.skansefishsoup

Friendly waiters, ran around tending lively patrons who drank a lot more than they ate. I was hungry and wanted something hearty to go with a nice glass of chilled Hansa beer. The first thing that caught my eye was one of the appetizers: Carpaccio av hval or Whale carpaccio – “Whale?….Isn’t it in danger of extinction?” I thought. Indeed, but it seems that Norwegians have no qualms about eating it. Well, actually they only consume the Minke whale, a small 25 foot long baleen that is not considered  endangered.skansenhalibut

Regardless, my curiosity won over my conscience – I know, I still felt really guilty but I had to try   what everyone called a ” real Norwegian delicacy”- somewhat fatty but more meaty than fishy- delicious! I needed another Hansa to rinse my conscience and move onto the next dish. This time it was something more commonly accepted: Skalldyrsuppe or fish soup. A creamy chowder made with chunks of salmon, halibut, shrimp, clams and mussels. The fish had its skin on and   I knew that in spite of contaminants, salmon skin was rich in omega 3 oils but I wanted to know why they left it on. I was told it was just easier to handle and  wouldn’t fall apart in the soup. It didn’t matter, it was definitely hearty. 

I didn’t need anymore food but I had already ordered a main course: Kveite, halibut with potatoes au gratin over creamed asparagus. A small portion of flaky  halibut baked to perfection that paired wonderfully with the light and airy asparagus foam. Café Skansen proved to be a delightful start to my Scandinavian foodfrisking expedition! I was more than satisfied with my first Norwegian meal and, of course, my first Norwegian beer.skansenbeermussles

Café Skansen

Rådhusgata 32

0151 Oslo

Tel:24 20 1311

http://www.cafeskansen.no