Cafes and Restaurants, Life in Moldova, Moldovan Wine

Et Cetera – Excellent Winery and Beautiful Guest House

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One of my fondest memories in Moldova is a stay at Et Cetera winery and guest house. One early spring, my family and a friend’s family went there for an overnight visit.


From the beginning of the planning till the end of our trip, the staff at Et Cetera was one of the best we have encountered here in Moldova. The owners and all other personnel there were warm and welcoming. Similarly, the environment and the atmosphere was tranquil and friendly.


The winery is nice and small and the owner gave us a perfect tour. It was a tour as cozy as it can get–one of the owners guided just us and our friends through the winery. We could taste almost any barrels we found interesting, and ask any questions that we came up with. Tasting the freshest sips of wine with the aroma of the barrels in the background, and hearing the stories of how Et Cetera came to be was a real treat! (and believe me, that story is something you want to hear if you are ever there)


The area around was so green and vast. We took long and refreshing walks through the grape vines and the fruit orchards. Our kids played frisbee in the huge grass field. We ran down the small airplane landing zone (yess!!). We sat at the table outside and drank warm tea (after we had too much wine).


The food at their restaurant was superb! Just thinking of that dinner and the breakfast gets me really wishing to go back again. For dinner, they had pate, fresh salads, fish soup, placinte and more. They were all devoured with lots of praise from all of the clientele. (that’s for sure!) And of course, the wine was as good as ever.


Our bedrooms were the perfect place to rest after a very good day. I took some time to take picture of the rooms and the hall and the bathroom, and I noticed that Et Cetera has done a wonderful job of interior design with quality products. I don’t know what I expected of their guest house prior to coming, but my experience was that of a luxurious hotel.


So, if you haven’t been at Et Cetera as an expat, you have missed out on a heart-warming and peaceful experience.

Et Cetera has a really nice website  – The Really Nice Website of Et Cetera – where you can make reservations and such.

I heard that they can even organize a very private plane ride to their winery (it is 2 hours of car ride from Chisinau, after all). I haven’t inquired about this myself, but that is something to work on for the curious and adventurous ones out there.




Heritage International School- something new in Chisinau

Today I am writing about a brand new school in Moldova. This is exciting to me personally because I am passionate about education. Throughout my life as an expat in Moldova (over five years now!) I have been fortunate to work as a teacher in many international schools. Naturally, I always end up talking about education in Moldova to both expats and Moldovan people. So, I made a trip to the school to take some pictures.
One thing that is absolutely striking about Heritage is its physical environment. Located in the Botanica region of Chisinau, the building stands out with bright and positive colors that invite curiosity and excitement. This feeling continues as you walk inside and explore the hallways filled with bright seating areas and classrooms ready to be used.The school is square-shaped, holding an open courtyard in the center. The corridors and classrooms have plenty of natural light let in by large windows. The gathering areas, such as the cafeteria, the auditorium, the hallways, the playground and other areas for recreation, are spacious and bright. The learning spaces, such as classrooms, technology rooms, laboratories, the library and other rooms for specific needs are equipped with all the necessary furniture, tools and technological resources.Besides its physical environment, there are two things that I liked about Heritage. First of all, the school is in the process of creating a system for students in need of Special Education. They are currently (August, 2017) getting professional advice and training staff to make this endeavor successful. The second special aspect of Heritage, is that it is located right next to the Zimbru sport facilities. This gives a great opportunity for students to do sports easily during and after school.Some of the people who are making Heritage a reality, are the same people who have created CHIPS – the Chisinau International Preschool – in the Telecentru region. CHIPS has been a wonderful place for kids aged 3 to 6 since 2014. Like CHIPS, the Heritage International School is planning to have English as its main language of instructions while providing teachers, a grouping system and other support in Russian and Romanian. They hired international and Moldovan professionals,  and they are planning to follow the Moldovan Educational curriculum as well as International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and Cambridge International Education (CIE).As the staff and administration is working hard to prepare for their first school day, many children are surely getting excited to start learning in the bright classrooms of Heritage. The days before the school are numbered, and I am filled with hope and good wishes for the school’s success as well as for the future of Moldova. After all, a quality education is the key component of a quality life no matter where we live it.

If you are curious, you can find more information here:  and here:




Cafes and Restaurants

Rozmarin – quality food and calm atmosphere


I feel so lucky to know the owner of this sweet little cafe, Rozmarin. Mainly because I often talk about how the food is prepared with her. This makes me feel as if I’m eating a home cooked meal there. In fact, that is the feeling the owner of the Rozmarin would like everyone to feel. She works tirelessly with her lovely chefs and bakers to create quality food for people. As a foodie myself, I have to say, I love Rozmarin’s dishes any time of the day and any day of the week. My family has become a regular costumer from the start.


The atmosphere at Rozmarin is another reason I go there often. The space is clean and bright. The decor is artful and playful. They have a super creative artist working on the look of the cafe, and I am often mesmerized by her work there. During the changes of the seasons and celebrations of some holidays, the decor changes accordingly, enticing me to go there and see it.


Aside from the food and the atmosphere, what I love about Rozmarin is that it quietly changes the cafe scene of Chisinau. At least, during the last five years of my life here in Chisinau, I have not seen a cafe that serves so much more than just coffee and cake. By so much more, I mean international cuisine in their menu, brunch during weekends, sandwiches with their own bread, showcasing of local art, live music on some nights, to name a few. Rozmarin’s humble space continues to fill more and more seats every time I go there. At this rate, Rozmarin will soon give other cafes a good reason to up their game a bit.

I say bravo to Rozmarin, and I encourage everyone to go see and try what they have! You can find out more at the Rozmarin Cafe Facebook Page.




Jeraffe resto – Chisinau’s daring Asian and seafood cousin 

In our four years living in Chisinau, we have heard about Jeraffe several times, but mainly as a good catering service.
Last year however, we noticed big posters about the “new” Jeraffe with a chef from Japan.

So, we had to try it as I have a special love for Japanese food, especially sushi.

We were pretty impressed with the quality and presentation of food. Service is always nice whether you are at the restaurant or reserving a table on the phone.

Recently, they even started having a seafood festival where they serve lobsters, crabs, mussels and  raw oysters. That was something to try! Which  I did. It was pricy but that’s understandable as they were imported. It’s a nice thing to enjoy once in a while! I really apploud their guts to serve raw oysters!

It’s a place I am starting to love for special occasions. Their Facebook page is always updated with new events and recent pictures of their food. They tend to do Special Menu sets that’s fun to experiment with. Most of the time, we had to reserve to get in, and we have enjoyed all of the meals there!


Check it out and enjoy!


Chisinau National Tennis School – amusing architecture and atmosphere

Our son goes to take tennis lessons here – sometimes with the already-formed groups, and sometimes with private trainers. Everytime, I go there, I feel like I’m in a different place than Chisinau.  The architecture in the big indoor hall is pretty awesome! Maybe nothing unique, nevertheless, it makes you want to stay. Of course, the hard wooden floors are a bit strange for tennis, but hey, I think kids still enjoy the play. 

While my son plays, I love to take a walk around and look at their framed picture of old days and famous players that started there. I also enjoy the walls, ceilings and the floors. 

The windows are  filled with flowers. This is not unusual in Chisinau, and in some other post-Soviet cities. I always wish I could raise flowers like they do!   The outdoor play area is huge and has clay courts.The school is running throughout the year and is run by the state. Sometimes I don’t fully understand how they run and how we need to pay, but we find a way. If u like tennis, it’s a great place to visit! 


Chisinau Map and Walks – iOS app GIVEAWAY!!!


I am super excited to host this Giveaway of the Chisinau Map and Walks iOS app. As I have shared on my Facebook Page before, I love having good map apps on my phone, especially because I drive and I have room to improve when it comes to understanding maps. Chisinau Map and Walks is a fun and great tool because it offers so much more than just a map. As you can from the pictures, it has different types of filters that are interesting to explore and use.


It includes attractions and city tours. I learned new places about Chisinau through it, which is something I like! So far, my favorite thing about this app is the Track Me feature! I have been always wanting to track the places I drive, especially if it is a new place, so I can later look at it and follow it. This is something, I am so excited to try out!


I am looking forward to continue my journey through this app, and here is your chance to own it on your iOS devices. The app is created by GPSmyCity, and they are offering 20 promo codes for the Chisinau Map and Walks (full version)!! Thank you so much, GPSmyCity!

To enter, you just need to leave a comment about your favorite place in Moldova! Your comment must include a picture of this place. The first 20 commenters will get the promo code, so hurry up! This giveaway will last only until October 31st!

Once I receive your comments with pictures, I will email you the promo code (and the instructions), so make sure to include your email address when you enter to comment. Your email address will not be shown to the public.

So, don’t wait any longer. Enter your comment down below!

Good Luck!

Cafes and Restaurants

La Dolce Italia – A place with gelato ice-cream in Chisinau! 

 Life is full of sweet surprises!

We have been living in Chisinau for almost four years now, and I wonder how we have never came across La Dolce Italia! Maybe we have walked by it, but how did we not go in and discover the delisously beautiful gelato ice-cream?!   After hearing about it from other expat friends, we decided to go in and explore this place. It’s a humble little place right next to Ulim and across from the Italian Embassy (of course)! It is run by three sweet ladies, and who are the people who MAKE this gelato right there!


They also serve other delisous food. You can see some pictures it in their Facebook page. Their gelato ice-cream, however, is probably the most popular thing in there! They are smooth, creamy and come in many wonderful flavors. This place is an instant hit for our kids, of course! We also noticed a “Happy Hour!” sign. When I asked when is the happy hour, they said “any time.” I think I like this place 🙂 I started taking pictures. Soon after, the ladies came out with a complimentary Italian lemonade. Yum and so nice!  Next time I want to try their pizza and whatever else they have got!  They also have a nice little area for outdoor seating. IMG_7784 IMG_7785 IMG_7791
They will be seeing us much more! Go and enjoy this place and let me know if you have tried their food or drinks!


Smokehouse- an American style good beer and smoked meat in Chisinau. 

For about a year now, there has been a buzz in Chisinau about a couple of American Volunteers in Moldova, who have been trying to open a BBQ place in Chisinau.

Their story of diligence, passion and dedication to open this eatery – following the Moldovan rules by the book, step by step – has been more talked about than what they would serve.

Naturally, I was interested in the food and atmosphere more (although the their story is indeed inspiring).


Above is a picture of what I ordered – a chicken burger with coleslaw and baked beans. I did enjoy it, especially the side dishes. It gave me a feeling I was somewhere in the USA.


The nachos were something exciting to see on the menu. When it was on our table, I was afraid that the white line of liquid was mayo, at first, but it turned out to be sour cream. Duh!!

My husband’s pulled pork came on a toast – southern influence.

Kid’s Maci and Cheese was yummier than it looks in the picture above. Although, this place is not particularly fears toward families, our kids enjoyed all the food and medicine he fact that they heard people speaking English all around them. If you come here with kids, lunch may be the best time. They have gorgeous big tables where our kids loved to spread their toys and drawing pads on.

My favorite thing about the Smokehouse was their American beer on tap.

I will definitely come back for this and maybe some chicken wings, that they serve only on Wednesdays.

Their address is 128 Boulevard Stefan Cel Mare, but the entry is on Aleksandrii street.

Hope you go and enjoy! Let me know how you liked it!


Smokehouse Facebook


Life in Moldova, Wellness and Social Life

Olsi Salon – pamper yourself in Chisinau 

Sometimes, pampering is essential to staying sane in the parenting world. So it’s a positive thing to do to go into a spa and get something that makes you calm down and feel like you can go into the parenting world with a smile. Unfortunately, we have to pay for it!

Some people like to pamper themselves with drinking and/or eating, some people like to stay in bed all day (which is the cheap option), some people like to shop, and some people like to go get some treatments done.  For me, I like to do all of the above.

I have been in several salons here in Chisinau and I like each for different treatments for manicure and pedicure, I love going to Olsi Salon, which is conveniently located on the corner street of Aleksandri and Bucuresti.

A private room overlooking the street is very comfortable and gives out that calming vibe right away. The pedicure chair is awesome and the foot bath you get is so-so soothing. They have a nice collection of nail color and the service is very nice.

The salon has many other services such as, hair coloring and cutting, Turkish bath, facial treatments, massage and more.

They also have this blue bullet shaped shell that is supposed to do something I completely forgot. They explained it to me very nicely but I was too busy taking pictures of it, because I had never seen one. I think you can take special baths in it, among other special treatments.

They have a nice website here. You can find their contact there and call them to make your pedicure and manicure appointment! Let me know if you have been there before!

Enjoy pampering yourself in Chisinau!

Food in Moldova

Asia Room – sushi, woks and more!


There is a new interesting place in Riscani region of Chisinau!IMG_9252 It’s called Asia Room! There is a building in Riscani (on the circle where drive-through McDonald’s is located) that has about 5 levels. Top four levels are a set of restaurants that is owned by the Dor Group company. This company has many good quality restaurants inside and outside of Chisinau.Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.56.56 PM In this particular building, the four restaurants/rooms are called: Room Cafe, Junior Room, Asia Room and Chef Room. The link above has more details about the other rooms, and I will hopefully do more posts on them. For now, however, Asia Room takes the spot.


Asia Room has a funky yet elegant vibe with cute enormous face sculptures and nice large windows. If you go there for dinner, reserve a place by the windows and you will feel like you are sitting in a big city.  Sushi taste and quality is as good as it can be for a city without access to fresh seafood. When I go here, sushi is not the only thing I want to order, though, which is why I like this restaurant.IMG_9268 The menu is filled with interesting Asian dishes from salads, soups, noodles, sushi and deserts. The dishes are not really big, so if you want to be full, get couple of dishes. I like that Asia Room doesn’t have big portions actually, because I feel more satisfied trying more flavors from their menu.  I chose a few dishes that are my favorite to show here. Maybe these will give you a good sense of the restaurant. IMG_9274 This was an interesting rice wrap I tried. The wrap is crunchy, and filled with a good combination of fresh and cooked vegetables and shrimp. It was delicious! IMG_9275 Shrimp Tom-Yum! This soup was rich and flavorful. I loved the taste of curry and coconut milk in it. IMG_9271 A warm mushroom salad – this had several types of mushrooms in it and fresh tomatoes. It was dressed with delicious asian flavors. IMG_9277 And of course, their sushi was pretty good too. They have a very specific set of rolls, and I have tried several of them. I usually don’t like rolls that have mayo and things other than the fresh raw fish in it, but the rolls I tried here have made changed my preferences about that a little. The eggplant roll, for example is not something I would order usually, but it tasted pretty good here!

. IMG_9278 These pictures are my own pictures from my phone camera, so they are not that great in terms of quality. If you want to see more pictures, go to their Facebook page, and to their company page (link above). Pictures there are much more convincing. They also provide pictures of their menu pages. Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.23.52 PM If you like to go out to restaurants more than twice a week, you might be interested in their Loyalty Program. It is a discount card that lets you gain points according to the frequency of your visits. The service was pretty good. It is that kind of restaurant that has a waitress or a waiter lingering near by looking at you and making sure everything on the table looks good. This can feel a bit awkward.

They also do not like you go to their restaurants with your jackets on, so they insist on you taking them off downstairs at the entry. This can be somewhat discomforting for someone like me who likes to be really warm. However, it took me two visits, to forget about it. The food is worth the discomfort, and it does look better when it’s just you sitting on your chair instead of you and your two jackets.

For directions, the best way to find out is through the Dor Company website. Click on the map below to learn more: Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.55.53 PM Currently, Asia Room has a good deal for sushi. If you order two rolls, the third one is free! This will expire on February 15th, 2015. Let me know if you have been there or plan to go there. Enjoy!