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The Viking

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  1. The Viking


    Whilst not being an enormously active participant, I still do hope and feel that my contributions might have been useful and appreciated, and therefore seek to revive this thread for personal information and potential gain: I'll be arriving next week 3 days and have 2 potential lunches and dinners that I want to try out the diversity of Lyon. Troisgros is on the menu for monday night, the only thing I hate about that is having to go back to Lyon.. CheZ Pierre an Gourmet de Sèze will definetely be considered! Two years ago I tried Msr Le Bec's restarant at Cour des Loges for lunch and was suitably impressed, alas he's moved. Any reports on/from his new premises? Leon de Lyon and Pierre Orsi are off my list as they'll probably be too involved with Bocuse *D'Or to be able to offer an optimal experience. I'm staying at the La tour Rose, but alas: they're fully booked all nights and do not keep any tables for residents, should I push for a reservation there or not? Or rather: I'm not necessarily looking for a place with the coveted rosettes, elegant atmosphere, synchronized silver domes or best starched linen; a unique experience unknown to the common tourist with a menu (or none) that is untransalated will also to me be as rewarding and satisfying as any "stellar" booking.
  2. A hidden gem amongst the wine shops would also be El Cellier de Gelida in Calle Vallespir, just north of the Sants railway station. Whilst it does not have the broad selection of Lavinia (No shop can match that one!), they do carry some old and rare Riojas and well selected wines from Catalunya. Also: The street itself is charming, bustling with everyday life and small shops; delicatessens, coffe bars, etc.
  3. Great report, Robert, and Spain (once again) beckons my palate, especially a revisit to both San Pol de Mar, El Bulli, and Rafa's for a first time!. It'll have to wait though, as my 3rd child was born just two days ago and if she turns out like the other two they'll all enjoy feasting on ventresca de atun, bellota, chorizo iberico, bacalao, St Marcellin and pa' tomaquet! But to my main point: This also shows our tastes' individuality with espardenyes (as far as I know this is part of the intestinal organ of sea-cucumber, vserna correct me if I'm wrong) being one of my favourites every time I come to Cataluna. Best served a la plancha wih a little olive oil, parsley and garlic they have a superb crunchy yet soft texture that gives a fresh contrasting texture on the palate, with a wonderful slightly sweet taste without any iodine postgusto.. Just goes to prove that we're all individuals!
  4. I might have been given the royal treatment when I was last there in Sept. last year; came with the owners of Colibri and Alkimia who were well known to the owner, and we were given a chambre separé with lots of goodies and extras (althouh not all delicacies did conform to my palate's liking) that were well prepared.
  5. As many here on these forums I've done most of the rec's in the second post by Gerry, and wow, definetely great! But my rec. is off the beaten track in the village of Ullastret; Restaurante El Iberic, phone 972 75 71 08 for down to earth cooking with THE freshest hand-picked ingredients. Owner picked setas in season, the rare Violets del mar, succulent espardenyas, calderetas, etc. The closest thing I came to a website was at: http://www.paisos-catalans.com/restaurants/iberic.html As Bux puts it: Hard work, but enjoyable! Edited for spelling.
  6. definetely puts Enoteca back on my wish-list, and judging by the wines tasted your bill was a steal! Looking forward to the wine-report as well!
  7. Depending on where you live and how far you want to travel I'd definetely go for Catalonia in Spain, particularly the Barcelona area which these days are home to some of the best both innovative and traditional cooking around, even the French are squinting their way. If you're able to top it up with a reservation at El Bulli or El Raco De Can Fabes it'll be worth the trip. IMHO this, flight included, will not set you back more than any comparable weekend in NYC and will be more enjoyable!
  8. Definetely agree with you; Paco Meralgo provides fairly well executed tapas at a reasonable price, but without the extra "twist". I often come there for an early comida those days that I'm late out of bed in the morning (Barcelona nightlife will try to kill you).. BTW: A good no frills hotel in the neighborhood is Guitart Hotel Gran Passage two blocks up on Muntaner, an all-suite 4*hotel with personalized service and reasonable prices!
  9. Havig followed thee progress at www.foodlover.com I'm more than just curious, lay it on us!
  10. Sidestepping a few steps, but worth mentioning: L'Ameloise has to this date served THE best (couvert) bread I have ever tasted, I was there a year ago and almost got full on the bread alone. Perfect crust, slightly smoky overtones on the outside, but aah, ever so delicate on the inside... Mmm, jummy!
  11. I've always liked the "Murria", a delicatesssen at Roger de Lluria #85, with its traditional decor and approach to its customers as well as its niche products. Here I used to find THE apricot and raspberry marmalade highlights from the company "Renart", as well as a wide selection of cheeses, different hams, esparragos, pimientos de piquillo de Lodosa as well as of course a great wine selection. But: They are traditional in their approach which means no fresh meat/fish/poultry/vegetables
  12. Don't know whether this is the right forum, but'll post anyway. Gong to Sheraton Algarve with Mrs Viking and our two Vikingettes for a week starting the 22nd, staying at Sheraton Pine Cliffs, anyone know the on-site restaurants? (Usually I don't go for resort/hotel restaurants in touristy areas, but the hotel looks rather nice, som might give it a shot). Secondly: Vila Joia provided a superbly memorable meal 12 years back, and we're booked there the 23rd. Any recent experiences?
  13. Looks like Sevilla definetely was an eGullet place this weekend! I was at Poncios monday for lunch, had the tasting menu and thought it definetely wonderful, BUT describing it as a selection of 6 tapas + 2 desserts is the understatement of the century! I left the place very full, and portions half the size would have sufficed... The decor to me is definetely dark with a worn feel like an old cafe in Vienna (or Oslo for that matter), but with the sun shining from the plate.. Nice contrasts in texture and taste, but as a whole spun around a traditional approach. My rodaballo was succulent, as well as the fried roe of cod with habitas. Relatively short, but correct wine list. I'll report later on my friday night dinner at Hacienda Benazuza.. Some other places I tried: Casablanca; Nice tapas, freshly made, but I think their ooooh so famous tortilla is a hype (But: I had it late in the evening, so it may have been drier than orginally planned). Casas Robles for lunch on Sunday: Well executed shellfish, especially the gambas blancas and carabineros. The baby-lamb chops a la parilla were dry, and the guarnicon nothing to write home about, though the Vino del Olivo '98 made up for it! Followed the evening crowds on Friday and Saturday to Bestiario and Buddha Al Mar, veery nice until the wee hours. More to follow..
  14. If you're staying in Alicante (the city itself) I'd definetely go for Nou Manolin, excellent tapas and substantial well executed main courses. The wine list is to die for..
  15. Pierre: Looks like you'll be in Sevilla just around the same time as I (16th-20th for a medical congress). Have already made plans for Benazuza, and as most of my colleagues on this trip do not share my passion for gastronomy and oenology, it'd be great to meet any fellow gastronauts . Feel free to drop me a PM.
  16. But: What guide would you rely on for a more complete and indepth review than Campsa which i also use most of the time to supplement "Lo mejor..." ?
  17. Personally I prefer the "Lo mejor de la gastronomia"; to me the most consistent, although some of the newer more talented not so high profile restaurants might get an undeservedly low rating. This guide also lists subcategories such as best places for pinchos, tapas, rice dishes, bacalao etc. It can also give you some inside hints to Spain's best food products and wines, although I find their wine ratings to be rather bound and tied to few producers with the same ones appearing year after year.
  18. Title says the most, but going there for 5 days from the 16th of April for a congress, but plan on using a car to be able to do some explorations. Some years ago back in -92 I tried Egana Oriza and thought i very good. I've searched throug egullet topics, but no really recent info regarding restaurants and in particularly regarding the one at ElBulli hotel. Generally I love both the modern and solid traditional approaches in Spanish cooking, and I'm a sucker for a well selected wine list without extreme mark ups.. Any updates or other tips?
  19. Returned form BCN last week, and amongst other places did Alkimia for lunch which to me was not the experience I had hoped it to be. The dishes were well prepared, but the Pulpitos/rice dish was heavy without distinction, the espardenyes lacked the "crunch" that is unique for this dish. Excellent service though, and some bargains on the wine list, particularly Jacques Selosse's "Substance" at approx. 90€. El Celler de Can Roca was a MAJOR letdown, the service and attention were not worthy of any Michelin rated restaurant, and probably taints my impression of the food, but at some points haløf our table was served one dish whilst the other half had to wait for 5' for their portions. Some standout dishes were presentede, but tom me hardly worth the 100km trip. Much better to stop at the halfway point in St.Celoni. My favourite this time as before: COLIBRI in Riera Alta. I went there with the proprietor/chef of Norway's only 2* restaurant, and to him this was one of THE best places he's tried in BCN (And he's done most of them). Superb atention from Robert, excellent espardenyes, flavourful tuna tartar with its mango vinaigrette. Fresh pulpitos to die for, succulent rodaballo. Every dish accompanied by a little extra that adds the magical twist to the basic flavours, and beautifuylly presented. Only letdown for me was the texture of the lamb, even though the sauce and spices were superb. Hopefully Michelin will not notice this little gem.
  20. Leaving this weekend to the partially all too touristy southern parts of Gran Canaria, and whilst I do have some first hand knowledge of good restaurants between maspalomas and Puerto de Mogan I'm still interested in reports from anyone else with nice and surprising experiences.. Wanna share?
  21. The field narrows, and lots of good input has come my way which MIGHT cause major changes, and I'd love some further feedback! Chantecler, Bastide de Moustiers and -Ste Antoine stand firm. Jouni is booked for friday night, but if I was sure of getting into La Merenda (Because my colleagues have not been there and it's definetely different!) I might prefer the latter.. Robert: If you have some clout with Jouni, please advice me, and we'll get a special meal for the whole table. We still hold the booking with Maximin in Vence, but lookingat the feedback here I'm inclined to change it to Parcours or Au Rendez Vous des Amis. Finally: Plumail for saturday night? Any of these restaurants that offer exceptional selection or value-concious wine lists?
  22. Regarding "Size matters": These asparagus do come in different sizes, and each box will have the number of asparagus marked on the outside. For the cojonudos they usually come as 5/7 or 9/12 a box, myself preferring the latter. The most common are 13/16. The 5/7 commend by far the highest prize!
  23. Thanks again for good advice, we're stioll working on finalizing our plans, and I'll keep you posted as well as trying to write up a trip report at the end.. La Merenda seems to be dodgy for advance reservations, even the local Amex concierge couldn't get one as she turned up at their door... So it might be Jouni for friday night, or Au Rendez-Vous des Amis.. Blind lemon: (Great name btw, did you pick it up from Cheech'n Chongs Blind Melon Chitlin'? ) As for Chantecler; I was there for lunch last year, and I do agree that it might not be 2* quality, but provides excellent value for lunch, not dinner. Katie: Yes, we will be stopping by St.Paul de Vence, off season it should be less crowded than usual, but many of our group's members now find it a wee bit too tourist oriented. Busboy: Please let me know what you thought of Robert's wine shop recommendation (After you've finished carrying out all the DRC wines). And finally: As a newbie to eGullet: Great forums with lots of similar minded enthusiastic Gastronauts(TM registered) providing lots of helpful info, thanks!
  24. Grrreat! Also provides me with a great foundation for my upcoming trip in November for the Lo Mejor De La Gastronomia although Arzak at that time is closed..
  25. SeAAttle: Well, maybe you have just been here and experienced our great weather... Maybe going a bit off topic... Hope you did try Bagatelle. Took my two daughters aged 6 & 9 there yesterday for an early dinner, and it was once again great! 5 course+ meal, dishes served a bit speedier than normal, in at 6.15, out by 8.20 pm. Apart for my youngest one trying to order hot cocoa for drinks at the start, they made perfect and not too challenging cuisine for the littl'uns, who savoured grilled crayfish, risotto with porcini and tiny cubes of apples, wild duck with a richly reduced sauce, gnocci and haricorts verts, great desserts and petit fours. Not all of the dishes we're amongst the young ones' favourites, but they truly enjoyed the diversity of flavours, AND the youngest one did get her hot (Valhrona) chocolate along side her dessert. Speaking to Mr. Hellstrøm afterwards in the hallway, also thanking him for av very sympathic tab, he said that he had followed the progress of our meal from a distance, and considered the reduced bill more of an investment in future business, as especially the eldest one had shown such expressions of sheer delight at some of the dishes and its individual components. And last, but not least: The atmosphere at Bagatelle whilst not being overly formal, transformed my two small "potential bombs of ill temper" into well behaved flexible kids, and enjoying that as well...
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