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  1. ]Thanks to all for your suggestions. We will start exploring some of them as soon as we get some free time.
  2. We will be visiting London from the U. S. in late April through early May and would appreciate recommendations on restaurants. We will be staying in Mayfair and will be part of a group but will have a few evenings on our own. We can accommodate a range of price levels, from inexpensive to expensive, but not very cheap or very expensive. We would be interested in seafood, pubs, ethnic (mid-east or far east), European (French, Italian with or without pizza, middle Europe), good British, etc. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
  3. We will be in Boothbay Harbor for a few days, attending a wedding. There will be 2 - 3 couples, all from the Washington D. C. suburbs. Seafood and fish are target areas. Are there any places you would particularly recommend, and are there certain dishes to be sure to order? Thanks.
  4. If you are in Alexandria after sundown, you might try the Union Street Grill for dinner.
  5. I would like to suggest the Stardust, in the north end of town. My food advisor thinks that the Majestic is pedestrian, but she likes the Stardust. Its bar is also fairly nice.
  6. We were just in Brugge as a stop on a tour through Belgium. One night we ate at a nice French restaurant, Den Anker, located at Katelijnestraat 52, about 15 - 20 minutes walk from the train station. It's essentially right across the street from the Church of Our Lady. My wife said that the lamb was superior. We noticed that it was crowded at lunch, but there were tables available at dinner. It was not cheap but not overly expensive either.
  7. We just returned from a tour of Brussels, Brugge, and other cities. We had two nights free on our own in Brussels, one of which we spent exploring within the Place Ste. Catherine area. There seem to be any number of seafood restaurants. I suppose that any of the guidebooks that mentions the area will indicate their favorites. Expect prices to be slightly higher than in some of the more touristy areas, but the food and service will be worth it. There are a couple of places that specialize in lobster, and we ate in one of them. As I recall, the prices for the lobster dinners were in the 50 euro range. One observation by a couple of dumb yanks: we never did get the tipping issue settled. Our tour guide said 10 percent and the seasoned travelers in our group said "nothing," except for exceptional food or service. Generally, we opted for the latter, but were uneasy about it for a while.
  8. Um, these messages all seem to date from the year 2001. Might there be any more recent recommendations for Brussels? We are going to be there in October of this year (2004) and would appreciate any suggestions.
  9. To put closure to this topic, we did go to St. Louis, but a friend drove us around, so walking distance turned out not to be an issue. We had two dinners, both delightful. One was at Puck's in the Art Museum and the other was at Bar Italia (did I spell these correctly?). From reading the earlier messages, I got the idea that some of you felt that there wasn't a great deal to choose from in terms of good restaurants. My perception is that there might not be a great number of multi-star places, but what there is is "cherce." Thanks again to all who responded to the initial query.
  10. Thanks for the responses and the recommendations to view other, related, message sites. These all gave us some good ideas of what to look for and what to expect.
  11. My wife and I will be in St. Louis for a conference in mid-June--coming in for a couple of days from the Washington D. C. area. We will be staying at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and would appreciate suggestions for places to have dinner and maybe a lunch or two if the conference schedule permits. They can be real good, or maybe OK and above. Our areas of desire are: Italian, French, Steak, Seafood, Oriental, or just fine cooking. We aren't interested in 5* restaurants (mainly on financial grounds), although one 4* would be acceptable. A hidden gem that is a favorite with the eGullett crowd or with St. Louis insiders would be a pleasant surprise. We would like to be able to walk to and from the restaurants, so five or six blocks is an opening bid on the radius from the hotel. Any suggestions that you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks, LARRY WIENER
  12. I don't know all the fancy-schmancy terms you people use, but here is why we like going to the Prime Rib in D. C. when one or both of us has (have?) a taste for steak. When we first went there and were asked how we wanted the steaks done, we said, "Seared black on the outside and pink on the inside." The waiter didn't even blink and the steaks came seared black on the outside, etc. That's good enough for us. Now, the real current problem for us is that we don't like underdone fish. Alright, we are supposed to like it translucent or whatever, but we don't. When we forget to specify "cooked all the way through" or whatever, and get it half raw in the inside, it's a pain.
  13. Gee, I don't think we noticed any oakiness in there. Maybe I don't know what to look (taste) for, but it just seemed to be a nice deep rich wine. LARRY
  14. We really appreciated Katie’s discussion and recipes. We are now a couple of days into Passover with some more to go, and here are some notes on our experience to date. GEFILTE FISH. We were pleased to see Katie’s recipe using salmon. We are originally from Oregon, so the use of salmon wasn’t that unusual. This year we used a 50/50 mix of salmon and red snapper. The resulting fish had a nice light pink color. We also mixed the fish with beaten egg whites, to keep the texture light, and not rock-solid as it had been a couple of year ago. We found that the fish balls we made grew during cooking; the resulting diameters were about 1-1/2 times what they had been originally. My advice to any newbies is to start them smaller than the size you would like to see on your plate. One area where we part company with Katie’s recipe is in the cooking time. We didn’t understand why you only cook the fish for 5 minutes. The NYTimes Cookbook and “Love and Knishes” both call for a two-hour cooking time, and that is what we used. Otherwise, you might have to include in the seder ceremony one of those statements about the use of undercooked foods being possibly harmful (the eleventh plague). WINE. We live in Alexandria, VA and do most of our wine shopping in the District of Columbia. There are independent liquor stores there, many of which carry a few Passover wines; none carries a lot. This year we went to the Calvert-Woodley. For our seder we used Teal Lake 2002 Shiraz. This Australian wine was dark purple in color, very flavorful, and very smooth. We also bought, either for taking somewhere or for later use, Weinstock California White Zin, 2002, and Delagrave French Red Bordeaux, 2002, Herzog Selection. We had used this latter wine a couple of years ago and were pleased with it. LARRY AND SANDY
  15. AFTER-ACTION REPORT Contributors to this board were kind enough to send us some recommendations for our recent trip to Philadelphia to see the Flower Show, so for your information we are providing a trip report. We were in Philadelphia from Thursday morning until Saturday afternoon. We arrived by train from Alexandria, VA, which is just across the river from Washington. D. C. Thursday was spent along Antique Row, where Sandy was looking for tchotchkes. Fortunately for all concerned, she was able to find some satisfactory ones, and in doing so to locate a shop that had plenty more. We went into an Italian restaurant on Pine Street, Valentino, in which we had a delightful lunch. Larry had pasta puttanesca and Sandy had an all-vegetable cold antipasto. This set the stage for the nice places we found throughout our visit. We had theater tickets for that evening, so we went for a pre-theater meal to Rouge, where we met the delightful and very hospitable Katie Loeb, who could not have been nicer. Highlights included a soup that was reminiscent of some we had had in Italy, and a glass of very nice white wine, Weinzorn Edelzwicker (It must be good. This wine was featured in a mailing we just received from a D. C.wine shop; I don’t think you can ignore the force of coincidence). Also, Rouge was the first restaurant we had ever been to in which tea (made with loose leaves) was served in a French Press device; that was quite a change from the usual approach of letting us pick tea bags from a wooden box. The play, the Philadelphia Story, was at the Walnut Street Theater. If you are a fan of classical films you would have a good time analyzing the differences between the play as written and the movie. Even more so, you might find it interesting that this production is done in what I gather was the classic American theater style, three acts, with two intermissions. I don’t think you see many plays presented that way any more. Our day at the Flower Show was jam-packed, in terms of both time and space. The Convention Center was filled with attendees, and that alone would give the show a few points toward being rated a success. The show comprised a large number of exhibits that combined wood, greens, and brightly colored flowers in artistic settings. Amateurs might not be able to replicate the settings they saw there, but they were still worth seeing. For lunch we fought our way through the Reading Terminal market to get some Italian sandwiches and fruit. That was another dense crowd. After that, it was back into the show for another couple of hours. That evening we had dinner at Brasserie Perrier, which some participants on this board had suggested. Larry had Pan Roasted Bronzino (we found out that it is a Mediterranean fish) and Sandy had Alsatian Choucroute, and both were excellent. For dessert we had the cheese selection, which went perfectly with the sparkling Prosecco we were drinking (tourists). The chef himself passed through the room, to the general approval of all the diners. Eating there was quite an experience, although our recommendation for any newbies is to request a table in the back where the noise level is subdued. The next day, Saturday, we spent a couple of hours strolling through the Italian Market, buying some bread, cheese, olives, and fruit for the train trip back. All in all, this was a very nice trip to a very hospitable city. We like Philadelphia. It has more of a big city atmosphere than Washington D. C. (maybe it’s because there are tall buildings) and is less frenetic than NYNY. I hope that we can return soon. Thanks again to all for your suggestions. LARRY AND SANDY
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