Welcome back to “La Cuptor”- part 2

This is the real oven, from the “La Cuptor” (At the Oven)

The “birth place ” of almost all the goodies that the restaurant prepares for its guests.

The second visit brought me lots of dilemmas. That is because I had dishes I loved and wanted to taste again… yet… what about trying other delicious dishes.

Say no more.

We arrived around 2 pm, after hours of walking in the crisp air of the Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, we were cold and genuinely starving.

So we started with some fiery plum brandy from Bran in order for us to get some inspiration for the appetizers.

Last year we had some beef mallow which was… dreamy.

We ordered it again because, do I need to say I am just mouthwatering only looking at this?

If you never tried beef mallow cooked in the oven with coarse salt, garlic and seasoned with toast and a spicy pepper, then please do… but here, “La Cuptor” (At the Oven).

I never said that this was the only appetizer. That is because we tried something new today: pork ears cooked in sauce and with a tasty buttery bread seasoned with garlic.

I almost never say no to try new stuff: so pork ears sounded intriguing and it was an amazing choice indeed, and I would always recommend it.

After such a tasty and rich appetizer, a light soup followed.

I never had onion soup and at “La Cuptor” was the best moment: gratin onion soup…

A cozy soup for a cold day, that comforted and wanted me to go for more.

So, a next visit will follow and I am the most thrilled to share it with you.

Meanwhile, come to Sibiu, enjoy yourselves at “La Cuptor”, in Sibiu, Romania.

Advertisements

Welcome back to “La Cuptor”- part 1

Yes, the best Romanian restaurant ever.

Arrived in Sibiu a couple of hours ago and what a better place to feel at home if not.. “La Cuptor”.

Remember me visiting and reviewing it last year?

Yes, the story continues in a festive decor, but with the same warmth and smiles from the lovely guys from this amazing location.

So many dishes I remembered about but guess what? I wanted something new tonight and … I chose: duck breast with mango sauce, joined by a creamy black rice.

I mean, really, it this is not a culinary work of art, then what is?

It’s a dish where the tenderness of the meat joins the crisp parmigiana taste that topped the al denote black rice.

And the mango sauce… wow… my tasting buds are still in heaven.

Can’t wait to come back the next days and keep you updated.

Thank you, La Cuptor family 😉

An October thought

Thursday evening, October 4th.

Three working days spent properly and Friday tomorrow.

What about pouring a glass of red wine and bathe into this light?

Golden, soothing, warm light from the very heart of autumn herself.

There are these moments, the simplest possible in which we rediscover ourselves.

It’s like we mostly can here our own thoughts without any disruption.

No phone calls, no one calling our names.

A bliss of silence.

Times for us to enjoy our own company, time for questions and answers or that time of total surrender.

Surrendering to dream, allowing to feel like all our dreams did come true and we are at our peak in life.

Surrendering to that feeling of wholeness.

A magical feeling, just like sun slowly going down, to get in touch with himself too.

Dusk is magic, and when embraced by this spectacular glow almost anything seems possible.

Have you had your share of magic today? Have you listened to yourself?

Trust me, you deserve spending quality time with you.

Perhaps over a glass of wine like me, or why not a tea or some hot chocolate?

It’s magical Autumnal October …

Autumnal evenings

Autumnal is a word so dear to my heart.

It is more than a mere word just because it describes a mood, a state that encapsulates in it all autumn related things.

And most of it: the coziness.

Days getting shorter invite evenings to gently sneak into our homes.

I welcome evening in my living room by turning on these lights almost to invite and guide evening’s steps all the way.

Evening most usually finds me snuggled on the couch, with a good book.

And since a good book is always a most welcomed company, tea is almost always a must.

Fresh peppermint or balmy chamomile, dispersing the scented vapors in the room make time standing still and me transporting into the world of the  book I read.

The lights gently remind me where to come back when finishing reading.

All these can be completed to perfection by a light rain outside, with the raindrops pouring in the same pace as the words are unveiling one by one, second after second.

All into an autumnal, random, but oh so special evening.

I am always curious how other people are enjoying autumn… what are their special treats in the evening.

I could imagine a different scenario for each and one of the people I’m thinking of, having the mug between my hands and feeling her warmth.

Yes, because my mug is at least as magic as autumn herself.

How are you this autumn?

Traveling to Italy: from ordinary to extraordinary

Traveling to Italy: from ordinary to extraordinary

Who performs such a transformation?

Italians do…

Call it marketing, calling it promoting tourism, call it whatever you feel like to, but whatever they touch it gets almost every time extraordinary.

We all have shops, and we all have malls, and we all try to make them stylish, but let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with this stylish shopping street from Verona.

They understood that each “Romeo will bring his Juliet” to the city of love so why not making the road itself an experience?

Here it is .. italy served the request.

And when I could be tired of so much shopping and just in need for a private spot to catch my breath, taking right, then second left and:

The best ever place for relaxation, reading a book, or sipping a cold limoncello from the freshest lemons from Naples.

Italy serves again, with love, just for her tourists to stay at least one more day.

One more day for her to show me that the attention I put in my actions will reflect in the results you will be getting.

How amazing does this shop looks like? Isn’t it a piece of ordinary turned into extraordinary?

Well yes it is , and I admire and for a moment we wonder if it’s not mostly marketing for charming us more.

Having spent day after day here I merged into the locals spirit:

It was not marketing.. it’s just them, creating beautiful from random, surrounding themselves with what is cozy for their souls.

Rich colors, taffy textures, secrets spots of beauty.

What I found to be the most loving things about italy and her people is the open heart and warmth.

One can go to Italy alone and never feel like being alone.

It’s them welcoming you, trying to give you the best of all they have and the best of them.

From the heart.

And that, trust me it’s something I felt each day from my holiday there.

Happy to have completed this series, and sharing my experience with you.

What can I say? Loving Italy!

Traveling to Italy: dolce far niente

Please say yes when wondering if you should go Italy.

At least for learning what dolce far niente is.

Kindly quoting Wikipedia: “Borrowed from Italian dolce far niente (literally “sweet doing nothing, sweet idleness”).”

The sweet doing nothing has no schedule.

Here an example of it in the morning, when there is rush only if I would have chosen it to be.

Otherwise it was a mere indulgence in being in the moment.

I understood that we are rarely encouraged to just… be. Breathing in, being present and enjoying: a coffee, a friend, the chance for being present for a new day.

Nowadays almost everything is rushed up… from a simple meal to life itself.

Multi tasking is the killer of dolce far niente.

Meals are such an example of dolce far niente. Savoring the food with all the senses, without wondering what time is, what the prices are, what to see next.

Allowing a cold vino to wash out the passing day and preparing you for the next episode of Italian sweet life.

And that might be a delicious nap or the refreshing jazz music from Piazza San Margo from Venice.

What’s similar between these two?

Let’s take the nap behind the shades :

On fresh washed linens one can find peace when taking a nap while a sneaky summer breeze enters through the slightly opened doors, and invites to a sweet surrender in the pleasure of doing nothing.

Simple and amazing as that.

And if not sleepy but in mood for some nice music, this is where one could emerge feeling within himself .

Oh Italy, you never rush things up, you always slow us down, inviting us to love ourselves more, to talk to ourselves more, to be more kind .

Italy taught me that we need time to reconnect with ourselves.

I hope you will experience the dolce far niente next time you go there because it simply puts life into a new, different perspective.

Traveling to Italy: love

Type this on Instagram, please: LOVE.

There are more that 1 billion posts in this right moment .

Imagine how many years we would need to spend getting through all of them.. years in which other new  billions would see the light of day.

Italy is an incurable romantic: if some come for finding love, others come for celebrating love, and others to fall in love with Italy herself.

Thousands of love letters from trembling hands of lovers, millions of love notes form all around the world.

When taking the photo I had a feeling of being hugged by all those people who came here to write these.

I felt hugged by them while they whispered to me their love stories .

Thousands of “love locks” to mark their willing to keep the fire burning, the time to stay still in this sweet Italian surrender.

And yet time flows, we go with the flow: we date, we marry, we stay together or we get separated … everything changes, nothing stays the same, not even the Colosseum.

Venice always shows that people could have many faces. While love only asks for one: for the real self.

Italy taught me the warmth, the good, and in her secret ways she exemplified how whatever we put out there will come back to us. It’s just a matter of time.

The good or the bad, the love or the lack of it … they all come back.

Most of the people visiting it, like me send out good vibes her way, these vibes also turn Italy into a beautiful host and she embraces us all with her goodness… from love.

See? Karma always works.

Traveling to Italy: art

One can never claim to have seen it all in Italy.

An art lover would go a million times to Italy and fall in love with her a billion times.

I haven’t visited Milan until this summer.

And if everybody praises Milan for the amazing shopping offers, I praise it for the amazing art of the shopping location.

It felt like I stepped in a top class museum, without paying a dime, and yet allowed to be dazzled by such a beauty.

Time seemed to vanish and I just resumed to breath in all the beauty.

And if I haven’t visited Milan before, I did see Venice last year, and I simply couldn’t get enough of her.

So, this year, I went again straight for Piazza San Marco, on the channels, knowing what I expected for.

All the beauty from Piazza San Marco made me wonder how mankind was able to create such masterpieces when all was so rudimentary.

I still have my doubts, that by the time I am writing these lines, people could build such edifices..

Those almost laced statues telling a story of themselves, by the mere passion and imagination of people who conceived  in their minds such a project.

Buildings   are indeed breathtaking on the Roman soil, the same soil on which Enzo Ferrari dreamed of, and created his brand.

First I considered visiting only the Ferrari  museum from Modena, but under a glimpse of inspiration, I paid for the full experince: both Ferrari museums (form Modena and Maranello). That was the best decision of the day.

I was proved again what talent, hard work, a vision, and a brave man can acquire.

I felt that Ferrari is not only a top notch brand as we know, but Ferrari is art at its finest.

From the elegant and  fancy road cars way to the “fireball” cars they have in the Formulas.

I left the museums happy, inspired and ready for more beauty.

And of course, I didn’t have to wait too much. At all in fact.

And this is because artists express themselves on the streets singing out loud their stories, crying out their passions.

And i could see it in their eyes that they were not to be stopped.

One can not stop art from flooding freely.  Not when it inspires so many people.

Art united as all, no matter of ethnicity, religion or civil status.

We were all there breathing and taking Italy deep inside us.

Traveling to Italy: people

The tiles are hot, wheels pushing against them feeling sticky and yet…

People are coming.

By airplane, train, boat, cars.

It’s like a silent summon in an universal language that we all understand.

And we are here, ready to discover every corner, every street, every work of art that can greet us from each corner… to meet all the others who are just like us.

Italy is wandered up and down by groups of tourists gathered like ants, all following audio instructions, waiting for the next green light so they could reach the next street.

It was delightful to find this little girl fascinated by the pigeons from the piazza from Milan.

I could saw her eyes sparkling with joy, and taking her best pose so that her mother could capture that magic moment.

Her mother and me… because i also witnessed her happiness.

I witnessed that happiness and Italian people  pouring their souls into their passions. Modern time alchemists.

I learned… that like alchemists turned lead to gold so can we: transforming each of our experience into the best self-education.

Time flies by, people also, and while night unfolds over the heated Italy, even more groups emerge to indulge into a gelato at least.

People reaching out to people face to face, bonding like we used to once, when social media was less aggressive.

Italy is like a witch and a mother herself to all of us : she befriends everybody, so that we could love her unconditionally and visit her whenever she feels lonely.

Traveling to Italy: coffee and spritzes

“Un caffee per favore! ”

And the day begins.

“Un caffee” is what Italians refer to an espresso… because let’s face it, espresso is “the holy definition ” of coffee.

And they do not fool  around: a tiny cup with 60 ml of the best, strongest and creamiest coffees of them all.

I slowly take a sip and it’s like I live the moments when each bean has been harvested and roasted.

Coffee has in Italy a social meaning to people:  I see crowds  waiting for their coffee and cappuccino in a joyful peace, just like they are anticipating the magic liquor they are about to receive.

And because almost everything starts with it, so were these two I’m about to tell you about.

Being in Italy, I tried all kinds of gelato and other ice creams for a boost of freshness when heat was almost overbearing.

So it was this amazing ice cream sprinkled with with coffee syrup and drowned inamaretto, enjoyed as an escape in Piazza San Marco in Venezia.

And if I thought that was the best, here i was in a peaceful day in Modena, when this amazing “crema di caffee” stepped in.

How is it? Well, imagine one   espresso frozen and “fluffed up” until he couldn’t take it anymore.

That was a dream, caressing my tasting buds while i served it one teaspoon at a time, wishing it would have never ended.

Just like coffee is a religion, so it’s spending time with friends and family and enjoying their most famous.. Aperol spritz.

Ice cold, prosecco fizzing with a burst of volcano like color which reminded again that life is to be enjoyed one sip at a time.

Never rushing the days but tasting each one of them.

I hope you are doing this right this moment, while reading these lines.