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The list below shows our five most recent articles (excluding this week's review). You can browse through the list, use the Search facility on the right to help find a specific article, or click here to view the full archive.

Hereford Road Restaurant, London

Hereford Road Restaurant,  London Hereford Road restaurant is a very straightforward kind of place. It’s in Hereford Road for a start, so there’s no margin for confusion about where you are or where you’re going. At my age, I like that kind of thing. It’s reassuring. What I don’t like is, say, a restaurant called the Red Fort that is clearly not and never has been a fortified military compound built of crimson stone. That’s too confusing for government targeted, middle class, middle aged serial wine abusers such as S and I. We’re off our heads on chablis half the time. We need all the help we can get to find these restaurants, stagger in, order more Louis Jadot and throw a brick at a pensioner before the starter arrives. That’s why it’s always best to keep things simple and thankfully, here is a restaurant that does exactly that. ... read more

Il Clandestino, Portonovo, Italy

Il Clandestino, Portonovo, Italy If there's one thing that Il Clandestino is, it's clandestine. That is definitely the word. To get to this tiny restaurant, you turn off the A14, the coastal highway that runs down Italy from thigh to heel, like the seam on a silk stocking, and plunge through the cool, green forests of Monte Conero until you reach the hamlet of Portonovo. Here, where the mountains of Marche crash into the sea, a narrow strip of land provides space for a few restaurants, a beach or two and a petrol station that sells ice cream. ... read more

Hostaria Del Mare, Modena

Hostaria Del Mare, Modena Snow is falling on the medieval rooftops of Modena as the city stirs back to life after the Christmas and New Year festivities. The metal shutters of cafes rattle open, as loudly as express trains, while the aroma of fresh coffee drifts along the cold air in the winding streets near the Piazza Grande. Unsurprisingly, most of this city’s best and most celebrated restaurants remain closed for the holidays, doors firmly shut after the last tortellini-stuffed customer waddled home in the wee small hours of January 1, 2008. Not even a sausage stirs at Hosteria Giusti, reckoned to be the oldest salumeria in the world (it opened in 1605, and I don’t mean five minutes past four) which serves lunch at a quartet of scrubbed wooden tables in a backroom each weekday. There is nothing doing at Osteria Francescana, the contemporary Michelin two star restaurant where Frank Bruni, the feared critic from the New York Times, praised the ‘five ages and five textures of parmesan’ preparation an autumn or so ago. The entrance is also firmly chiuso at the more traditional Fini where, for nearly 100 years, Modenese society has come to eat dishes such as tagliata di manzo all'aceto balsamico, or perhaps the house speciality of gamberi e mele in salsa rossi. This was Pavarotti’s favourite restaurant, where he would often have supper with Enzo Ferrari, another famous son of the city, and drink his favourite local wine, Lambrusco. ... read more

Nam Long Le Shaker

Nam Long Le Shaker Sooner or later, all roads lead to the Nam Long Le Shaker, the Vietnamese restaurant and bar that has quietly thrived in a corner of West London for more than 20 years. With its Saigon junk shop décor and eccentric owner Thai Dang, it has a back street ambience and rackety allure that’s hard to resist. Diners tired of being royally fleeced by the new glut of bland restaurants serving overcooked chef’s ego and foamed fricassee of baloney could do worse than come here, where the pancake menu pulls no punches and the cocktails could floor an ox. Being too scared (and sensible) to ever try it, I couldn’t recommend the restaurant’s famous Flaming Ferrari cocktail - described on their list as being a ‘powerful jet mixture only suitable for the professional’. The professional what? Perhaps we really don’t want to know the answer to that. The other week, an army officer on leave from a tour of duty in Afghanistan broke the all-time Nam Long record, by downing seven Ferraris in one evening. That says everything you need to know about the horrors of war in Helmand Province. ... read more

Star Inn, Harome

Star Inn, Harome Mist drifts along the glacial valley and the temperature steadily drops as we travel onwards, onwards ever north. Freshly churned fields reveal that the last of the sugar beet has been pulled, a sure sign that the shortest day and the hard frosts of winter cannot be far away. At the verge, a handsome pheasant watches mutely from his fence-post perch, almost as if to say, yes, this is the right way. Keep going, keep going. ... read more

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