Where to Eat in Havana

Here are 5 great places to dine when you’re in Havana:

1- Paladar Doña Eutimia: A great little gem in Old Havana. Be sure to start off with a mojito frappe, it’s their specialty.

2- Rio Mar Restaurant: Amazing setting and superb seafood.  The restaurant is located in the  neighbourhood of Mirama and there are wonderful views of the river and the Malecón seawall.

Rio Mar

3- Ivan & Justo: Not only will you enjoy the freshness of the food but you’ll love the décor. Try the ceviche de pescado or the tacos de la casa, our two faves.

Ivan and Justo

4- 304 O’Reilly: This restaurant isn’t hard to find as the name is the address in Old Havana. Owner José Carlos learned how to cook from his grandmother and has a passion for food and art which is evident when you step inside. Have a Caesar, it’s made from scratch.

304 O'reilly

5- El Litoral: Enjoy a healthy buffet or their à la carte menu. Not hungry? Have a cappuccino outside and enjoy a view of the water.

El Litoral

 

There’s an App for That Salmon Chip

Salmon Chip App

Photography by Simon Burn

Dabble’s libations expert Jameson Fink could never be accused of having a chip on his shoulder. On his appetizer menu, sure. But never his shoulder.

Everyday Champagne

The only thing I like as much as Champagne and popcorn is Champagne and potato chips. Crisp, salty snacks and bubbles forever. Homemade or store-bought, a single thick potato chip with a dollop of cream cheese, a few buttery flakes of subtly smoked salmon and a sprig of fresh dill just begs for bubbles.

Jameson’s Pick: Vilmart Grand Cellier NV

Beyond Bubbles

What? Bubbles leave you flat? Well then, let’s stick with France and reach for a Sancerre. These seafood-loving Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire Valley have an acidity that pairs perfectly with tangy cream cheese and fresh dill.

Jameson’s Pick: Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol 2009

Salty Capers

Salt lovers may want to toss on a few briny capers, in which case I recommend heading straight over to Riesling territory. I’m thinking of the criminally underrated dry Australian Rieslings from the Claire Valley.

Jameson’s Pick: “The Merle” Reserve Riesling 2010

A Taste of Café de Olla

Mexico

Mexican Coffee
Warm, sweet and spicy, a steaming cup of Café de Olla is a perfect kick start to your day. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot (the Olla), I prefer to serve this spiced coffee in a big cappuccino bowl. Café de Olla (cah-FAY day OY-ah) is sweetened with little cones of rich, dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo which give a delicious burnt-sugar taste to the coffee, and are easily found in Mexican grocers or online at www.mexgrocer.com.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups water
1/2 cup grated piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
4 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup coarse ground dark roast coffee
3 cloves
1/4 tsp anise seed (optional)

Special Equipment:
Fine sieve
Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil.

Stir in coffee and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth or pour into French press and push plunger down to filter. Pour into mugs and serve. Sprinkle with anise seed if desired.

Note: This is quite a sweet coffee, so reduce the amount of sugar if you usually drink your coffee unsweetened.

Serve with: Churros or pan dulce (Mexican sweet rolls).

Pom Pom Pomegranates

Lucky for us, it was pomegranate season when we touched down in Jerusalem.

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The ruby red orbs were everywhere – sold in restaurants and on street corners. We sampled our first taste (though it wasn’t the last) from this jovial man in the Jerusalem market. He made swift work of the juicing, adding the contents of two full fruits to each glass.

The taste. Just as sweet and “puckery” as you’d imagine.

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How many things can you say “puckery” about??

Wolf of Wall Street: Million Dollar Martini

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In honour of the 86th Academy Awards, we’re serving the perfect recipe for an Oscar-themed party. Enjoy a Wolf of Wallstreet Million Dollar Martini  from the comfort of your own home.

Wolf of Wall Street: Million Dollar Martini
2 oz. Iceberg Vodka
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
Green olives

Shake well with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with green olives (green for money of course!).

The Oscars telecast begins Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. We’re routing for you Leo!

Old Time Jamaican Lemonade

Jamaican Recipes 4

Recipe courtesy Cook Like a Jamaican

Jamaican Lemonade Recipe
The Jamaican lemonade that I knew as a child is better described as limeade because we used limes instead of lemons. This recipe was created to taste like the “lemonade” I remember. We used wet sugar, which has a strong molasses flavour. To duplicate that flavour I added a few tablespoons of molasses. You may find this drink quite sweet, but that’s because you’re supposed to pour it over ice, which dilutes the flavour. If you prefer it less sweet, simply use less sugar.

Tip: slice 1 lime or lemon and put it in the jug with the lemonade for a beautiful presentation. This recipe also makes a wonderful mix for cocktails. Add some rum to a jug to make a quick punch.

Ingredients
8 cups cold water
8 juicy limes (you may need 1 or 2 more)
1 juicy lemon
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp molasses

Directions
1. Juice enough limes and 1 lemon to make 1 cup of juice
2. Add brown sugar, juice and molasses to the water and stir until all the sugar has dissolved
3. Pour in a jug and refrigerate

Serves 8

I’ll Bring the Bubbly

New Year Card OUTSIDE 4x6 2

I am in charge of champagne for the New Year’s party I’m attending this year. I know all about the best glass to use (and it’s not the coup) and I know I’ll need at least 1 bottle for every five people (after all, there are other cocktails happening throughout the evening).

But which champagne shall I serve?

Personally, I’m a fan of Pol Roger’s Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, but the price tag is a deterrent when you need to buy multiple bottles. I also love (and yes, it’s partly because it’s pink) Moet Rose Imperial.

Whatever you’re serving (and you will tell us, won’t you?) we hope this New Year’s is one to remember.

Cheers.

 

Cranberry Squeeze

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Start the party with a ‘prepare in advance’ holiday punch featuring rich, tart blood orange complemented by bursts of cranberry and ginger.

Snowshoe Hot Toddy

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Recipe by Dee Brun

The Dabble gang know exactly how to throw the perfect snowshoe party. And a cool party needs a warm drink.

Ingredients

1 oz white creme de cacao
1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
4 oz hot chocolate
1 can whipped cream
Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

In a thermos, add creme de cacao, raspberry liqueur and hot chocolate. Shake well, pour into a glass and top with whipped cream. Add sprinkles for a festive touch.

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Harvest Icebreaker

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Time to welcome autumn and warm up the spirits with a spicy hot cider drink.

Harvest Icebreaker
Ice
1 oz. vodka
4 to 5 oz. apple cider
Ground cinnamon
Sugar
1 apple
Caramel apple dipping sauce
Fill a shaker with ice. Add vodka and apple cider. Add a few shakes of ground cinnamon. Strain into a microwave-safe container. Microwave until hot, but not boiling (about 30 seconds).Rim a coffee mug or other hot beverage glass with sugar. Transfer warm beverage to rimmed glass.Garnish with a second dash of cinnamon and an apple slice that has been coated with caramel apple dipping sauce.Top with whipped cream if desired.

For more drink recipes, visit: Iceberg Vodka

App for that Seared Tuna

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The App:
Seared ahi tuna with roasted serrano créme fraiche, shiso aioli and blonde frisée and citrus salad.

Jameson’s Pick: 2010 Pazo Señorans Albariño

I have acquired an unbridled fondness for Italian white wines, especially those from Campania. (Don’t worry France, I have not forsaken you.) Seared tuna, frisée, citrus? No problem for this ultra-pure and refreshing white, which accommodates zesty fruit, snappy greens, and seafood with aplomb.
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White Citrus Sangria

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Labour Day weekend marks the end of summer. Whether you’re spending time relaxing at home or having a big end-of-summer party, these cocktails made with Lipton Iced Tea will be sure to keep you and your guests cool and refreshed! What will you be doing this long weekend?

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hoursIngredients:
1 bottle Lipton ® diet green tea with citrus
1-3/4 cups white grape juice or white wine
1/4 cup orange juice
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, slicedDirections:
Combine Lipton ® 100% Natural Diet Green Tea with Citrus and juices in large pitcher. Stir in fruit. Chill at least 2 hours. Serve in ice-filled glasses.
4 servings