There is nothing better than a delicious meal in Italy. I mean come on, if you go to the right place, the ingredients are so fresh, everything is homemade and all is just perfect. But finding these places is the difficultly. It is so much easier to stumble upon a tourist trap with mediocre pasta than to find a real gem, like Taglio. Especially in an industrial city like Milan.
This fabulous cafe, restaurant, bar and gourmet is located by the Canal and offers fabulous service from morning to night. When last in Milan I stopped by for an aperitivo and was taken aback by the quality of ingredients, delicious bites and incredible wine. You can stop by Taglio at any moment of the day, be it for a coffee in the morning, to buy fresh homemade pasta at their grocery at any time of the day, during the day for lunch or in the evening for an aperitf or for dinner. It will all be excellent. I can’t wait to go back to Italy for another round. They use either the highest quality ingredients or ones that are homemade! Taglio – VIA VIGEVANO, 10 20144 MILANO.
If you’ve never heard the name, shame on you, as this man is a sheer genius. And still, if you haven’t heard the name you’re about to get the low down. As it’s Thursday, I thought I would do a little throw back and talk about the London institution for healthy, good and delicious eating that I hold very close to my heart. If you must go anywhere when you are in London, you must pay a visit to an Ottolenghi restaurant.
Who is Yotam? Born and raised in Jerusalem, the man has a very very interesting history and life that came before his fooding success. That being said, his fooding endeavour did not start directly with this vision, but early in his career he began working in the industry as a pastry chef for several very known and reputed resaturants. But it all really began in 2002 when he opened Ottolenghi in Notting Hill.
His dishes quickly sought praise, with a foundation on vegetables, crazy and inventive flavour combinations, and the essential Middle Eastern spices including za’atar, rose water and pomegranate molasses that must are completely unaccustomed to. The business has grown enormously since, and he now has a variety locations including a finer dining restaurant called Nopi. Each restaurant has a calm and “at home” ambiance. It’s always like I never left when I return to Ottolenghi. The only thing missing is, is that he has not opened in Paris (please come to Paris Mr. Otttolenghi). But at least he has published several cookbooks, so we can make our own attempts at home. Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about this incredible chef. The only thing I can really say is that the next time you’re in London, you absolutely MUST visit Ottolenghi. As you can see from the photos, you will leave happy. Check their site for more info.
So the general consensus here in Paris is that fresh, good natural and healthy juices are hard to find. We need to go far away to special places to find these kind of products. While yes, there are special boutiques catered to juice in Paris, I promise one of the best is not far from your door step – it’s called Life Juice. This 100% pure pomegranate juice, without any added sugar is created using pomegranates carefully selected from small farms, picked at maturity and pressed without the bark to minimize the astringency to achieve a taste intense yet refined.
Life Juice can be found at nearly all Parisian super markets (Monoprix, Franprix, Carrefour, Carrefour City, etc.), making it extremely accessible. The small format is practical (only 120 ml) and the contents within the bottle are so incredibly beneficial to the body. Not only is this berry loaded with Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Potassium but also contains two plant compounds with extremely powerful medicinal properties. One of these compounds, Punicalagins has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. Pomegranates even have anti-inflammatory effects, help fight cancer and help to lower blood pressure and fight arthritis and joint pain. The list goes on and on. This stuff is really magical and Life Juice makes it accessible and easily consumable. Plus – it tastes really good. Check out their site for more information, and stay tuned as you will see more and more about this fabulous product on my social media.
Best healthy address of Milan is HANDS down, Mantra Raw Vegan. This awesome spot is ideal for any and everyone interested in healthy and delicious juices, meals and desserts. I must admit, I have yet to find a spot that compares in Paris. Mantra Raw combines a market, where snacks, seeds, superfoods, cold pressed juices, teas and sweets are available for purchase as well as a fully functioning restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner. I had the pleasure of stopping by for a bite and a juice while in Milan.
Owner and founder Marina insisted on preparing me their house signature and best seller – TOSTAVO. This delectable is a composition of raw bread, dehydrated for 18 hours, with mashed avocado, cold smoked cherry tomatoes, marinated fennel and edible flowers. It was not only beautiful but supper yummy. Likewise, I tasted and very much enjoyed a coconut tiRAWmisu (ha ha – it’s true though) that Is caffeine free! Perfect for those looking for cut back on their caffeine or that are very sensitive to caffeine in the evening hours (like me). And finally, to drink, the Mantra cold pressed AUMARANCIONE. A juice consisting of carrots, oranges and lemon. Oh la la, incredibly fresh and wonderful.
I truly do not have enough positive things to say about this wonderful place. It has everything you could ever want or need to feel good and eat right. Its pretty much worth a trip to Milan just to try this raw utopia. Please follow them on Instagram for some serious food porn @mantraw and check out their site for more information.
Who can honestly say they they are sick of hummus? You are most certainly not me if this is the case (and I truly question your taste buds if you said no). As I spoke about in my recent article on Yafo, Hummus has tons of health benefits most of us are very unaware of. So no need to fret on that front. That being said, let me introduce you to a relatively new address in Paris for the most natural, organic and authentic hummus around – Chiche.
For starters, the owners Marc Ancointe Tallec & Jonathan Sason Cohen are serious about the ingredients and everything that goes from their kitchen to your plate. They use only organic and seasonal ingredients and import their tahini and pitas directly from Israel. It doesn’t get much better than that? Their menu offers many different variations of hummus bowls, ranging from their biggest hit – a mixture of beef and lamb with pickled onions and parsley, to their spicy eggplant bowl. They also feature a seasonal Madjadra Bowl which is a sort of Israeli couscous (a base of bulgar and lentils with pickled onions, Israeli salad and a mix of vegetables). I got to try the special veggie for this one when I stopped by yesterday, it was a fabulous broccoli with sweet cranberries. Sheer deliciousness. Take my word for it and go have a healthy yet very satisfying experience at this awesome spot. Chiche – 29bis rue du Château d’Eau 75010.
I may not be a vegan, but I most certainly enjoy a yummy vegan meal. It seems like a new address pops up every day in Paris, but my heart still lies with the woman who started it all – Angèle. I discovered La Guinguette d’Angèle while working at A.P.C., where her famous lunchboxes frequented our photoshoot sets. It was always the best kind of day when the shoot was catered by Angèle.
The business has now expanded and is no longer just a catering service. There are now two storefront locations in Paris, one in the first, for take away only (34 rue Coquillère) and a takeaway AND eat in location in the eleventh (2 Rue du Général Renault). She also has her own line of granola, kale chips (and much more) and 2 cookbooks! I stopped by to eat lunch there today and it was well worth the visit.
Lunch started with their daily lunch box, a mixture of organic and vegan ingredients including homemade beet hummus, salad, grains and a lentil pea salad. Simple and very light but excellent. Thus, I could not help but to treat myself to a piece of her delicious vegan, gluten free banana bread for dessert – and oh yes, it was good. The perfect end to a incredibly vitamin rich and delicious meal that left me feeling happy. I highly recommend this spot to anyone looking for a nutritious meal that tastes good and really makes you feel good. For more information, check out her website.