Jan 11 2013

Romantic Restaurants for the Single Guy – Part 2 (Fiona)




OK, you’re a single guy, you have met someone new – she’s looking like a ‘keeper’ –  and you want to move things along a bit (or a bit faster anyway!).

In Part 1 of this article (here) I covered the top 5 restaurants in the world. In this second part I will cover the best 5 restaurants I have actually been to around the world….. and that are a bit more realistic on the wallet. They are not exactly cheap – but they’re not ‘silly money’ either – and you should at least be able to get a reservation there before you start drawing your pension.

Click on the web links I have provided for each one to discover more about them.

I hope you get the opportunity to experience one or more of these fabulous restaurants with that special lady in your life one day. She’s out there waiting for you – just get out there and look for her….. and cook her a romantic meal once in a while J

Lots of love,




1 Le Parc (Carcassonne, France) http://www.restaurantleparcfranckputelat.fr/

(website has an English section)

I last went to Le Parc in the summer of 2012, sitting outside in the covered garden, listening to the cicadas chirping away and soaking up a beautiful sunny day at the foot of the ancient historical ramparts of La Cite in Carcassonne. He could have had me there and then if he had wanted to!

The food of chef Franck Putalet here is divine and the fixed price lunch cost €35 each (which included a glass of wine, a salmon starter, breast of duck main course and dessert). For a 2 star Michelan restaurant, that is remarkable value and it is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.  There are more expensive and more extensive menus available both at lunchtime and in the evening for all you gourmets out there but I promise you the fixed price lunch will leave you full and happy.

If you have any problems with the web site, try a different browser to internet explorer.


2 La Signoria  (Calvi, Corsica) http://www.hotel-la-signoria.com/

(website has an English section)

La Signoria is a 5 star hotel situated just outside Calvi in Corsica (the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean). I ate in the Romanesque-style palm gardens here on my birthday in June last year under a beautiful pale blue evening sky, accompanied by the best, most discrete table service I have ever experienced. The menu when I ate there offered a great selection of dishes based on local organic ingredients (I had a cold pea soup as a starter that was to die for) including local cheeses.

The hotel was once an 18th century Genoese estate and is quite incredible and luxurious, nestled at the foot of the Corsican mountains and away from the general noise of the town. I think they still doing cooking classes here too.


3 La Mere Zou (Dublin, Ireland) http://www.lamerezou.ie/

I have to give my favourite local restaurant here in Ireland a place in my top 5 list. La Mer Zou is a thriving but relaxed restaurant in the centre of Dublin (St. Stephens Green).

The food is simple but stunning classic French cuisine (including a good selection of local seafood), it is relatively  inexpensive and the ambience (it often has live music such as a guitarist or cello player) created by the owner and staff is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. It also has a good selection of wines at affordable prices. Early bird menus from 6-7pm currently offer 3 courses for €26.

If you are ever in Dublin, I would definitely recommend eating here.


4 The Cinnamon Club  (London, UK) http://www.cinnamonclub.com/

Quite simply, the best Indian restaurant I have ever eaten in and I would get on a plane and go back there tomorrow for their spiced rack of lamb. Based in the heart of Westminster, in the former Westminster library, it will change your perception of Indian food if you dine here. If you have a lady who likes Indian food, take her here.


5 Izakaya Sozai (San Francisco, USA) http://www.izakayasozai.com/

San Francisco is a great, fun town and this is a great Japanese fusion/ramen restaurant. A lot of the menu covers seafood options but there’s plenty of meat on offer too and you can have it on skewers, breaded, deep fried, braised, sashimi’d or with wasabi!  The ramen is great and it’s a fun place. Whenever you look around in this place everybody looks happy and like they are having fun.

I think ‘Izakaya’ actually means a Japanese drinking establishment that serves small plates (like tapas). I had a complete pig-out and went for small dishes of pork belly  and a whole grilled squid followed by ramen (ritsu tonkatsu).




Nov 14 2012

Naughty, naughty (Andrea)


I had to post this – it is so funny.

An employee at the Dublin restaurant Cinnamon has been terribly naughty and lost his cool with a customer on the restaurant’s Twitter feed.



If you can’t quite read that, it says: “Here’s something else for you to retweet. You’re an arsehole. Why don’t you come in and introduce yourself to us?”

You can find more on this story, as reported by the Irish Times, here. In fairness to Cinnamon, it is an exceptionally good restaurant….. and sometimes, customers can be….. well….. just….. ‘arseholes’

By the way, you can also follow us on Twitter @alphadogfood

Lots of love,



Nov 8 2012

Romantic Restaurants for the Single Guy – Part 1 (Fiona)


OK, you’re a single guy, you have met someone new and you want to move things along a bit.


So you’ve tried some of our menus on her and have arrived at the conclusion that she may be a ‘keeper’ and is worth taking out for a romantic meal and spending some money on (or she’s playing really hard to get and you are getting desperate – the big romantic meal out is the last throw of the dice as far as you are concerned).


If you are lucky enough to be able to afford the best, the list of five restaurants below are considered to be among the crème de la crème of eating establishments in the world (good luck with getting a booking/reservation in the foreseeable future though!). I’ve chosen five from around the world (as our readers are scattered across the globe), rather than any specific ranking or awards, otherwise I would have been listing only European restaurants (that’s just my little joke to all you non-European chefs out there – don’t take it seriously or get offended now).


Next week, I will produce a second list: my top five of great restaurants that I have actually eaten in. They are not cheap – but not ‘silly money’ either – and you should at least be able to get a reservation there before you start drawing your pension.


See you next week,






1 Noma (Denmark)


Noma is consistently voted the number one restaurant in the world. I’m not sure how much the menu cost of 1,500 Danish Kroner converts to in your currency (wherever you are reading this in the world) but in Ireland that’s about 200 Euros – which seems a reasonable amount to be eating at the best restaurant on the planet! A friend of mine has been there and she says it is just amazing.


2 El Celler de Can Roca (Spain)


The Roca brothers run this fabulous restaurant in Spain – and you can even do cookery courses there if you want to improve on what you can learn here with Alpha Dog Food! Traditional cooking at its best with tasting menus at around 130 Euros and feast menus around 160 Euros – but you do get nine courses and two desserts for that!


3 D.O.M. (Brazil)


Chef Alex Atala in Sao Paulo is very big on local ingredients in a big locality. One for the international jet-setter.


4 Per Se (USA)


I have always wanted to go to Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant in New York (Manhattan). I know several people who have and it was all they talked about for days afterwards. The food sounds amazing.


5 Iggy’s (Singapore)


All I can say is: “art meets food.” What I can’t figure out is are those menu prices in Singapore dollars or US dollars?

US$1.00 is about SG$1.22 at the current rates/time of writing.