Tag Archives: secret

The Butcher

If you haven’t noticed yet, the someonetoldus-bloggers are quite fond of a good hamburger every now and then. That’s why when The Butcher first opened it’s doors in Amsterdam’s cosy  The Pijp area, we were one of the first to take a peek. High quality burgers (Aberdeen Angus Beef) are being cooked and served at the front area of the house. It’s a place to go for snack before going out (or even better: after having had too many drinks). But… when you walk all the way to the back of the place, there’s a big door that looks like it leads into a refrigerator or storage area. Guess again. Making a reservation through your special connections in Amsterdam might open this big secret door for you to see what’s behind it. How? We’re not going to tell.

The Butcher

 

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Kuma Inn

Since it’s getting harder to make reservations for this Lower East Side eatery anyway, we see no point in keeping it a secret any longer… just be sure to only share Kuma Inn with your best friends! This tiny Filipino/Thai restaurant is located above a Bulgarian bar and everything about it – from its location to the art that covers the walls – is a little strange. Once you have located the spray-painted name, you climb two flights of crackling stairs that make you wonder if you’re in the right place. Boy, are you in for a surprise! Kuma Inn is an intimate, no-fuss, cash-only, BYOB restaurant. The food is comparable with (or better than) the uber-trendy “Asian Fusion” places in New York, minus the arrogant staff and sleek decor. Better yet, at Kuma Inn you pay about one-fifth of the price! It’s the perfect place for a quick bite, low-key romantic dinner or birthday party: nothing fancy, just great food in a fun atmosphere. Be sure to reserve well in advance and don’t forget your favorite wine and/or a couple of beers.

Kuma Inn interiorKuma Inn Chinese Sausage

Kuma Inn entrance

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Da Francesco

We hate to use the term, but Da Francesco is really a ‘must-visit’ when in Rome. The place has no www and the tourists aren’t aware. It’s packed every night, but it’s mostly locals. This fine Italian restaurant is situated at the tiny square Piazza del Fico, only a minute walk away from crowded Piazza Navona. Therefore a true ‘hidden gem’ (jeez, another of these cliche travel terms). Why go here? Well, first and foremost because of the divine Italian food on the menu. And no, being in Rome doesn’t mean you’ll be served the best pasta’s and pizza’s around every corner. Truthfully, it’s actually quite challenging to find a restaurant with friendly staff and good Italian food that isn’t overprized. Da Francesco serves amazing Italian food, is reasonably prized and the staff is having fun and laughing all evening while working extremely hard. Yes, they will even just look you into your eyes while they’re taking your order. No grumpy waiters (sick of all the tourists) at this place! Tried and recommended: spaghetti carbonara.

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D Magazine Outlet

Everyone knows bargain hunting can be very rewarding. Especially in an expensive city such as Milan, great deals on high-end brands will make your trip worthwhile. D Magazine Outlet has three stores, two of which are located within Milan’s Golden Triangle and one a little further away on Via Forcella. If you have time and don’t mind going out of your way, try the latter. This store appears to have the best items and is relatively quiet and well-organized. All stores have racks that are labeled by designer so you can save time by skipping the ones you don’t like or just sprint towards your favorite one right away. Designers include – but are definitely not limited to – Galliano, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Helmut Lang…and prices are usually around 50% off. How can we resist?! Be aware: outlet shopping requires a great deal of patience and perseverance. But, wouldn’t a pair of Lanvin peep toe shoes marked down to $250 make up for that?

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Number 11

Number 11 is definitely the most charming place to stay in Bruges. Even though prices are a little steep for a regular Bed & breakfast, the whole experience makes it worth it. Owner and host Carine Destrooper-Deprez ensures a warm welcome, makes one hell of a breakfast and is eager to share the city’s touristic highlights with you but also recommend great local restaurants. The 17th century house is located on a quiet street in the heart of Old Bruges and everything within the city walls is within walking distance. The whole house is beautifully furnished and the three guest rooms are named after their dominating color schemes: Vanilla, Chocolate and Grey-white. Next to the comfort (with so few rooms, it’s practically your home) and romantic ambiance, everything is arranged perfectly down to the smallest detail. The generous and far-reaching hospitality of the host is what sets this Bed & Breakfast apart from any luxury hotel in the area. Fun fact: several scenes from the movie In Bruges were filmed in Number 11, and actor Colin Farrell enjoyed a three-month stay in the guesthouse while making the movie.

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Corte Sconta

For some good fish cuisine Venice is the place to be. But! Be aware of all the tourist trap restaurants around San Marco square. Accidents soon happen. When it comes to fish, one of Venice’s best kept secrets is Corte Sconta. Don’t get lost in the small out-of-the-way Venician streets looking for this ‘strictly seafood’ restaurant. It’s not very out there, what makes it at the same time very well hidden for tourists and full of locals. On a nice summer day, there’s tables outside in the lovely courtyard. Don’t expect an English menu – or English speaking personnel for that matter – but don’t worry, it’s all just fish and pasta. Fresh from the sea and prepared with only high quality seasonal products. Try the frittura mista if you’re hungry for a huge plate of lobster, shrimp, calamari, soft shell crab and ginger clams.

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