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paulbrussel

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Everything posted by paulbrussel

  1. Yesterday Derek Brown announced in Maastricht that another restaurant in the Netherlands got a third Michelin star: De Librije in Zwolle with the young chef Jonnie Boer. This restaurant belongs to the more modern and creative restaurants of the Netherlands, together with Vermeer in Amsterdam (chef: Pascal Jalhaij) and Oud Sluis (Sergio Herman). The latter have two stars in the Michelin guide. Beluga in Maastricht (chef: Hans van Wolde) got it's second star; he is a more modern cooking chef on a classic base. (The other three starred restaurant in the Netherlands is the more classic but personal cooking Cees Helder of Parkheuvel in Rotterdam, who got his third star in 2002.)
  2. paulbrussel

    Two Days in Paris

    First lunch was at Le Grand Véfour, a three star restaurant in the old buildings of the Royal Palace. Chef is the young Guy Martin. At lunch time there is only the lunch menu: four courses (starter, main course, fromages and dessert) with a choice out of 3 for the three courses. Or you can eat à la carte. After my glass of champagne (Taittinger), I chose half a bottle Saint-Véran – Château de Beauregard 1999, which was good. The meal: starter was : Sardines marinées aux aromates, purée de pois chiche et menthe - excellent sardines, filled with a very soft bean puree. Then: Dos de cabillaud cuit meunière, croûte aux olives de Nyons, huile verte, tomate et cèleri blanche. Well prepared cod, but the interesting about this was the crust of olives. With the cheese I took a glass of > 10 years old port of Nieupoort. As a dessert: Mille-feuille aux framboises, chutney de mangue au pollen, which I found a bit normal. Good service in very classical setting. [My personal ranking: 18.5/20] Dinner was at Apicius, a two star restaurant with Jean-Pierre Vigato as chef. There I took the Menu dégustation of 5 courses, with different wines. After the amuse-geule: P’tit Pot de Foie Gras à la Vapeur – Réduction de Porto. Excellent steamed (!) duck liver with the nice sauce of porto. Wine: Banyuls La Rectorie 2000. Next course: Ravioli de Homard – Jus de crustacés au basilic, with: Pernand-Vergelesses – Rapet 2000. Half of the lobster was cooked too long, and not OK. They offered me an extra course to compensate this. Third course: Cabillaud rôti et artichaut violet and whine: Quincy 2001. Good cod and very nice with the young artichoke. Extra course: Rouget, hachis d’huître et cresson, same whine. This was really excellent. Nice red mullet, but much more interesting was the mixture of oyster and cress. For me the best dish this evening. Main course: Suprême de Pigeon sous le grill; as a whine I got a glass of the magnum of another table with one of the best wines: Pichon Longueville – Comtesse de Lalande – 1989. Very good pigeon, and I did enjoy the wine very much, although it was still very young. After the cheese followed the dessert: Fondue de Framboises et Glace Pistache Minute. Good restaurant, although I was not really excited about any of the dishes. [My personal ranking: 15.5/20] Next day I went lunching at Le Carré des Feuillants, a two star restaurant with the famous chef Alain Dutournier. After the Champagne Delamotte “ Blanc de Blancs” 1995, I chose the Menu “Idées de la Saison” which consisted out of seven courses. For the whine, I chose a bottle Saint-Aubin – La Pucelle (Domaine Roux) 1999. Good wine. First course: Huîtres Spéciales “Gillardeau” et Caviar d’Aquitane – accompagnées d’un tartare de laitue de mer et d’une mousse d’huître crémeuse. Astonishing dish in three parts. The special oysters with a jelly, a mixture of avocado and oyster and thirdly a cream of poached oysters. Second course: Homard bleu, Fenouil et Amandes en Escabèche – Fraîcheurs du jardin, pince en bouillon glacé au lait d’amande. Excellent lobster that came with almonds and the fenouil. Second service was the icy soupe of almonds with lobster, also very, very nice! Next course: Pavé de Bar de Ligne en fine croûte de coriandre – Légumes d’été en tajine. Good sea brass that came in a sort of bouillon of herbs which was very fine too. After a surprise came the next dish: Les langoustines pimentées et rôties – Nougatine d'ail doux, réduction de muscat au piment d'Espelette et cébettes. Ingeniously prepared langoustines in different ways, well combined with the sauce of muscat whine. Main course: Filet de Pigeonneau Cuit Rosé, Flanqué de Foie Gras Caramélisé – La cuise compotée en rouleau, quelques girolles et petits pois. Very well prepared young pigeon breast with the spring roll and the liver. A red whine by the glass was suggested. Then: Brie de Meaux et Truffe d'Eté, Litchis à la Gelée de Rose and Les Cérises Burlat en Jubilé "Façon Forêt Verte" – cerises flambées au kirsch, petits babas chocolatées et verveine crémeuse. One of the best meals I ever had, especially because of the top class ingredients and excellent preparation. [My personal ranking: 19/20] For dinner I ended up in Les Béatilles, a one star restaurant. I took the more simple Menu d'un Soir with three courses: Petit farci à la tomate et escargots, girolles et jus de persil simple, Parmentier de ris de veau et champignons des bois, jus clair and Feuilleté léger au beurre demi-sel, poire et fenouil confit. Good value for money. More modern cuisine but not always harmonious. [My personal ranking: 14/20]
  3. paulbrussel

    El Raco de Can Fabes

    Indeed, I just learned from a friend in BCN that he passed away. Very sad news! Always when I went to BCN I passed by one of my favourite restaurants in Europe. He was a great chef, and a very nice man; as Corinna, always when by him I had a nice, friendly and interesting talk with him. All the best for his family, friends and his restaurant colleagues!
  4. I know your post is almost 2 years old and there has been no comments added. I will be in Brussels in 2 weeks and I have booked CCS but not Sea Grill because of the many negative comments I have seen on other websites. Would anyone recommend it now ? I haven't been to the Sea Grill for over a year now, si I can't judge whether it has changed so dramatically since the chef Mattagne started his own owed restaurant. But in the past years I have eaten there over 50 times and in my view the quality was constantly high. CCS has all the times disappointed me (3 or 4 times). To be recommended: Jaloa (not Jardin brasserie), and Bon-Bon.
  5. In reply to ameiden: I started to say to the chef that the food was good as ever. So there was no difference in that respect. Nevertheless, the cuisine has stayed about the same over the last 10 years, and so changed little. This probably has lead to the decision that also the second star has been taken by Michelin, leaving Bruneau now with only one star.
  6. paulbrussel

    El Celler de Can Roca

    Thanks to their third star, I was unabale to book 10 days in advance for a Friday lunch :-(. I choose as alternative Can Fabes, which I never regret to go to, by the way.
  7. paulbrussel

    Taipei

    At the end of March I will be in Taipei; is there any updated information about top quality restaurants there? Thanks in advance! Paul
  8. After almost 10 years I had such a bad experience last Saturday at Bruneau (now two starred, fro a long time 3 star restaurants) in Brussels that I just sent the following letter to the chef, stating that the arrogant and very rude attitude did decide me never to go there again: Jean-Pierre Bruneau Chef de Cuisine Avenue Broustin, Bruxelles Bruxelles, le 8 mai 2009 Monsieur, Depuis des années j'ai savouré tout ce qui provenait de votre cuisine. J'ai toujours eu une grande admiration pour vos qualités en tant que cuisinier. Comme je vous l'ai dit samedi dernier, malheureusement ce jour-là c'était la dernière fois que je me rendais dans votre restaurant. Votre hôtesse était vraiment extrêmement désagréable, ne montrant aucune flexibilité, ni de la politesse, mais au contraire: elle m'a montré, en présence de deux amis à moi, un grand dédain pour quelqu'un qui depuis presque dix ans déjà vient régulièrement chez vous. Le ton sur lequel elle m'a répondu sur toutes les propositions de compromis faites par moi, était vraiment incroyable. Je ne pense que ni moi, ni aucun autre client chez vous, ne mérite un tel traitement. Je vous ai averti par après que c'était ma dernière visite chez vous. Vous m'avez choqué en me répondant: "Ce n'est pas grave!", réponse suivie par les mêmes mots quand j'ai montré à quel point j'étais stupéfait par votre réponse. Tout cela m'a bien expliqué comment un chef aussi arrogant et avec un tel manque d'éducation a pu recruter une hôtesse qui manque également d'éducation. Votre réponse m'a confirmé que j'ai fait le bon choix de ne plus venir chez vous. Vous étiez presque indifférent vis-à-vis de moi. Je suppose et j'espère que vous êtes aussi indifférent au fait que j'ai déjà commencé à déconseiller votre restaurant aux autres gourmets. Dès lundi, quand on m'avait demandé, en tant que grand amateur et connaisseur de recommander un restaurant pour un dîner d'une compagnie de renom, je me suis décidé de ne surtout pas recommander le vôtre. En ayant écrit beaucoup de critiques de restaurants sur internet, aussi sur les meilleurs restaurants de l'Europe, je communiquerai également ce traitement minable sur internet. En même temps je copie cette lettre (en b.c.c.) à mes amis et connaissances à qui j'avais recommandé votre restaurant et qui sont venus chez vous. Etant encore furieux, pour la première fois, je me sens incapable de clôturer cette lettre avec une formule de politesse.
  9. I always take the bus from Brugge to Breskens which goes every hour and stops near the restaurant in De Ridderstraat..
  10. paulbrussel

    Beluga

    I have had a meal at Beluga 9 times, the last time in June 2005. I thought about going there again, since some people say Van Wolde has become better. But I am eally a bit shocked by all this negative feedback here!
  11. Nice, your Brussels reports!The sentence I quoted is exactly the reason why I come here quite often for a quick dinner of about 45 minutes and with two glasses of wine for about 30-40 €, incredibly good priced for Brussels for dinner (lunch is quite another story!). [i wanted to have dinner tonight there, but they are closed this week.]
  12. OK: then I fully understand the difficulties :-).
  13. I am afraid I have to agree with you.
  14. Difficult to eat high end in Aalst.[Just to be precise: your post suggests that Flemish and French are alike - of course some one who understands French will never be able to read Flemish unless he also learned Dutch / Flemish.]
  15. I can certainly again agree with the first recommendation.The second unfortunately is certainly not (longer) true!
  16. For me there is some incoherence between the two remarks.I have tried Comme chez soi several times, the last time when Rigolert was already almost completely in charge. The meal gave me (again) the impression that the food is OK, good, but nothing special except for the extremely high prices. So I would rather say: "If you want to treat yourself, it is more worth going to Sea Grill".
  17. Surely, Oud Sluis, being imho the best restaurant of the Benelux, is even a better choice as De Karmeliet.[You can even go there by bus 2 (every hour to Sluis-Breskens at 59 past) from the train station and stop at Sluis, Ridderstraat.] If you go there, do make a reservation, esp. for Friday, Saturday and Sunday quite in advance. (I tried to book for Friday dinner 9 months ahead but didn't succeed.)
  18. Also Sketch, expecting something like chez Pierre Gagnaire, was terribly disapponting to me and not comparable at all to his restaurant in Paris.The latter I do like very much, and I have never been disappointed. The WOW factor is indeed less present, in my view, as it is at elBulli or WD50 though.
  19. My suggestion would be to choose between De Karmeliet: a three starred restaurant owned by an about 50 year old chef who is cooking already for many years at constant level, very solid, expensive, good ambiance in a comfortable way as to be expected at this level. It is a modern cuisine based on classical cuisine.Much more creative cuisine is to be found at Hertog Jan, owned by two young guys of about 30, cuisine inspired by the cuisine moleculaire, much less expensive, much less exclusive and comfortable but very pleasant and both guys are very good. The restaurant has one michelinstar but will certainly get in one of the coming years a second one. Have a look at both websites to get an impression to make a better choice.
  20. Very painful indeed! It explains why there are so few top restaurants in the biggest country of Europe, I suppose.
  21. Well, that is really a great honour for le Moisonnier! I don't think it deserves that, but well: it has only a few couverts, I think, so not comparable with a two star in a 4 or 5 couverts restaurant.
  22. paulbrussel

    Going Dutch...

    It seems to have been a cigar shop before, newly built in 1970 (of Felix Heijnen), replacing an adjacent older building of the cigar shop built indeed after the bombings in 1940. Right after the bombings, temporary shops were built in front of the post office. Later the cigar shop became the first and oldest MacDonald's in Rotterdam.
  23. paulbrussel

    Going Dutch...

    This must be a picture taken from your hotel room, facing MacDonald's and in the background the Post Office, one of the few builidngs that survived the Second Wold War bombardments on May 10th 1940. On the right side you see the Stock Exchange / World Trade Centre. A bit further down the street, there is a good restaurant: Amarone - worth trying, chef as well as maître coming from starred restaurants, the latter from the first three starred restaurant ever in the Netherlands, Parkheuvel in Rotterdam (now one star of a former two starred chef). Just around the corner you will also find the Asian, good restaurant Asian Glories and a bit further down you have the well known palace called Dudok, after a famous Dutch architect and the place being famous for its apple pies.
  24. The best restaurants I could find (in 2004!) at Santorini were: Selene and Le Sud; in Athens I would try Varoulko, the only Michelin starred restaurant.
  25. paulbrussel

    Hof van Cleve

    Thanks for this report: indeed one of the most difficult restaurants to reacht, esp. if you - as I do - need to rely on public transport... You may indeed consider this as the best restaurant of Belgium (as well as the most expensive), although some people consider... Oud Sluis (just across the border in Holland) as the best of Belgium :-) - and I must admit, I do agree with the latter. (By the way, taking a bus from Bruges station to Sluis is indeed a convenient way of getting to Oud Sluis.)
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