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  1. winemike


    I have been to l'Arnsbourg two weeks ago and it's the first time I return in three years. I was blown away... It's back on more "classical" ground, with the few hints to molecular cuisine completely gone from the table. While it was never too much, it's a part that did not attract me much in his food. Now, while still very inventive, his cuisine is clearly on a more classical note. I do love it. Superb wine list that has seen serious improvement over the last few years too. A definite three stars experience. I will return without a doubt.
  2. Interestingly, a few years ago, I sat next to Mylene Farmer (the famous French singer) in a Japanese restaurant in Paris (cannot even remember the name) but what was funny is that I mentioned to my (back then) girlfriend that my "neighbour" was a really good looking girl... to which she replied "yeah... and she's famous too"... only then have I realised who she was. I'm not a fan of the singer but, wow, she's good looking!... Anyway, I remember the okonomi yaki better than the singer
  3. winemike

    Alain Chapel

    Thanks guys. I have little time so cannot go in lengthy detail (can answer questions though and will try to post more details later). We had couple of starters that do not deserve any particular attention, one was a scallop and oyster in a crustace sauce... all nice but somehow disjointed, no harmony in the dish... a letdown. And a potato cake with burgundy truffles which was pretty tasteless though wonderfully presented. We then had the famous poulette de bresse en vessie which is most definitely a delicious dish. Cooked to perfection, the poutlry was carved just as perfectly and the vegetables, cooked "a l'anglaise" were a perfect companion to the poulette... not to forget the great foie gras cream sauce that went with it all. Simple and delicious is the best description I can find and in that sense, fully agree with Julot. The wine service was very good and the wine list more "interesting" than fantastic. My global feeling is that Alain Chapel just "froze" at his death and that the place survives on his talent and aura. The setting is beautiful and certainly worth a detour. For once, and though I normally can't care less, I have to agree with the Michelin guide... worth a detour if you pass by but certainly not a trip. Cheers - Mike
  4. winemike

    Alain Chapel

    Julot... If there is stuffed pied de porc on the menu, I will not hesitate a millisecond. I've had an absolutely amazing one from here a couple of months ago... still on the search for the best on the surface of the planet...
  5. winemike

    Alain Chapel

    Great pictures indeed! Many thanks for those and for the input. Too bad about the frogs... one would not expect a miss on frogs while so close to the Dombes... Cheers - Michael
  6. I will be driving to Lyon and then Roanne (going to Troisgros, of course ) and have booked Alain Chapel for the night before. I have never been there but know the wine list is amazing... Has anyone been recently? How was it? Any particular dish to choose?.. or avoid? Many thanks for your input in advance. Cheers - Michael
  7. You're not alone. I had one of the most mediocre Michelin starred meals there. Food appalling. Service appalling. Incompetent sommelier (!!)... Apart from the setting, a meal I will not forget... unfortunately. Cheers - Michael
  8. Yes, fully agree. I had lunch there last Saturday. It was nothing short of amazing. Cheers - Michael
  9. Francois Simon says, here are the results...
  10. winemike

    Wine Stores

    Good pick, Sharon. Both on the wine and the shop! If price is no issue, and only in that case, try Lavinia, boulevard de la Madeleine. Silly prices but you'll find what you're after. La Cave des papilles, rue Daguerre in the 14th had a very good Rhone section but I have not been in years... it might still be worth taking a look. Cheers - Michael
  11. They claim they care about customer feedback, indeed. I also happen to know that there are "preferred" customers whose comments they value higher than those from "simple" customers. As a "simple" customer, I have written quite a few dinner reviews and sent them to them and they actually read my comments with some attention. They noted what I liked and did not like and I had a personalised reply each time. Of course, they never argued any point... So, how much does this count in the printed guide? i'm not sure it does that much at all. There are still quite some inconsistencies. The star rewards remain mysterious and obviously inconsistsent. It is obvious to a lot of people that no, it is not ONLY what's in the plate that matters. The 3 star category pretty much a joke (not even half of them are actually worth the trip)... -of course, this is all only MVHO- It's been debated many times here and on other boards, so no need to go in details about the reasons why the guide somehow keeps having some influence... but I do believe that marketing still is the main guide to the guide... The rumours "game" is always fun, of course Don't know for Paris. But for Strasbourg, I've heard "La Casserole", "Le Pont Aux Chats" and Buerehiesel for one star. The one that clearly deserves it, IMHO, is "Le Pont Aux Chats".
  12. A general remark about high end restaurant wine lists is that rare are those which offer great QPRs. The lists are, as you say, predictable. Great names, great vintages and not so great prices. I don't live in Paris (and have not been in quite some time) but think it's worse there than "en province". When I really want to focus on wines, I eat at thome. Cook simple dishes to leave all the space for the wines. The only downside?... the bottle is not replaced for free if it faulty. Interesting would be, as you say as well, to get "good wines at the right age"... But have rarely seen such things in "top" places. Exceptions exist.
  13. Marlena, the two places you're talking about are: Adolf Wagner and Gemahltes Haus. Both are on Schweizer Strasse and worth a visit indeed, if a tad touristy... Cheers - Mike
  14. VivreManger, I must admit that I find you're quite "motivated" if your train arrives at 2pm in Strasbourg and you have to be back at the same train station at 6pm, wanting to spend time at L'Auberge de l'Ill in between. You will be able to make it, but you'll be rushing. Without discussing the restaurant itself, it is quite a stretch from Strasbourg (60 km). A taxi will take you 45 minutes to get there... L'Arnsbourg is just as far in the other direction (even a bit further, I think). And the cuisine is in the opposite direction too. JG Klein is a soul mate of Ferran Adria, Haeberlin not quite... Buerehiesel has given back its stars because Antoine Westermann retired and his son Eric took the restaurant over. I have not had time to visit it since the takeover but it's clearly changed. More simple, less formal. Cheaper... but the dishes look good and the reviews too. I will have to drop by when I can. It depends on what food style you're after but Strasbourg does have quite some good places to offer. If the plate content is the most important to you, I suggest my favourite restaurant in Strasbourg: "Le Pont Aux Chats" rue de la Krutenau. It's Buerehiesel (when it had the 3 stars) without the price tag. Even the chef is the same (sous-chef at Buerehiesel for 13 years)... And stroll around in Strasbourg is indeed something to be done. It's a wonderful city...
  15. I do completely agree with this. And also, quite some people I know, who do visit such "haute cuisine" restaurants (read: 2/3 Michelin stars) don't actually care/understand the cooking. It's the glassware, the service, the setting that impresses them... Nevertheless, there is more "interest" in haute cuisine in France in general than there is in other countries - in my experience. I've lived several years in North America where "haute cuisine" is to almost no-one's interest. People just don't care about it. In the UK, it's a trend/fashion but not something which will make the news... And in Germany (where I currently reside), no-one cares. I agree that it does not make the French more aware of what "haute cuisine" actually is - when in the plate. But the interest has been there for longer and splurging in restaurants more of an admitted "splurge" than elsewhere. So, comparatively, I think there's more awareness or interest. But as you rightly point out, the vast majority of people don't care/know much about it. Holding a French passport is certainly not giving any advantage in understanding cooking either.
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