Our Top 50 Restaurants, or so

Plus some of our Favourite Recipes

As Jubilados (Spanish for retirees) and foodies part of our global experience is to discover the best restaurants in places we visit


“One thing we would never change is macaroni and cheese,” she assures us. “Our customers demand it at every meal.” Exemplary macaroni and cheese it is: buttery noodles in a cream-smooth béchamel hefted by the ladleful from a serving pan, each portion containing a few dark orange patches of chewy Cheddar from the top of the batch.

Jane and Michael Stern, Gourmet magazine, December 1995, reviewing Beadle’s Cafeteria, including its recipe for macaroni—a classic, our favourite go-to comfort food for the last 25 years.

Macaroni. The very word, macaroni, like a mantra, calms us. Thoughts of other food vanish, overcome by desire for this simple dish. Now, right now!

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Is there somebody you know who has been characterized in a love story?

For us, ‘tis Liz (Chute) O’Carroll, proprietress of The Pebble, a renowned B&B in Halifax. Liz and her husband David’s love story is immortalized in the short story “The Pebble” by Ireland’s Bryan MacMahon, writer, teacher, novelist and playwright from the literary town of Listowel where Liz and David grew up. “Our story is one of the great romances of our town,” Liz told us.

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Nusfjord rorbuer (rowers’ huts), now a typical form of accommodation on Lofoten

What did Magellan and I eat a lot of in Norway?

Norwegian Arctic Cod. Skrei to the Norwegians.

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“I ran down to your place this morning and stole juniper berries from your kitchen—couldn’t find them anywhere on our way or earlier grocery travels yesterday.” Yikes, I thought when I received this message from Lynn when we were in Norway. Long overdue for a cleanup, my spice cupboard was a bit of an embarrassment. Last week in a rare burst of housecleaning energy, I tackled the job. “A good thing” as Martha would say. Three good things actually—a tidy drawer, a blog source and a new recipe.

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Pumpkins. Mushrooms. Persimmons. Mmmm…

Late autumn ripens my memories of Japan.

To the night Lynn, Ward, Magellan and I, dressed in kimonos, ate kaiseki at Ryokan Kurashiki. “Dishes of October, The feast to do the sight of autumn colors,” served by a kindly Japanese woman in the autumn of her life who Ward nicknamed “Ryokan Mommy.”

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When people ask, “How was the food in Norway?” they often follow it up with “Did you eat at that famous restaurant in the Faroe Islands?” “Did you get a reservation at Noma?” “Did you go to Fäviken in Sweden?” Super foodies specify the chefs: Poul Ziska, René Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson, respectively.

No, we did not.

Years before these men became world-famous chefs, a woman chef in Norway quietly pioneered New Nordic Cuisine—Heidi Bjerkan at Credo, the restaurant she opened in 1999.

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