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Everything posted by robyn

  1. We went to Per Se our last trip. Meal was pretty good. My husband hated the wine service (I don't drink wine). Hated eating dinner at 5:30. So it's time to try some new places. Especially since - if I recall correctly - it is now tasting menu only - take it or leave it (which it wasn't when we dined there). I generally like menus which are choices of 2-3-4-5 (however many you want) courses. Robyn
  2. I knew it was really close - that's why I asked the question . You know what - I may do both. I assume that Corton is the hotter ticket - so it's better to do it on Thursday (which is my husband's birthday) as opposed to Friday (which is when we will do EMP). Yes? Robyn ← I'm with Sneak...Corton by a smidge. The flavors were more concentrated somehow. But I'm always in favor of doing both whenever there's a question. It sounds like you have a great lineup there! ← I'm getting there . Here are the tentative plans. We're arriving late Wednesday afternoon. Staying at the Four Seasons. We'll be tired - and will eat at L'Atelier. With "small plates" we can eat as little or as much as we care to. Corton on Thursday. EMP on Friday. Both big deal meals (in terms of volume) - but I can't do both except to put them back to back. Jean Georges for Saturday lunch (some friends are coming in from out of town to see us - and lunch is more convenient than dinner - they'll have a 2+ hour drive to get home). JG serves a lot of fish - so I think we can have an excellent but light lunch. Blue Hill on Sunday night (one of the few places open Sunday night). That will be about it in terms of plans except for some scrambled eggs and nova or salami pancake style at a deli . I like where I live a lot. But although we have world class golf (and things like world class medical facilities - Mayo Clinic - for that matter) - we have no world class food. Some very good food (for the first time - we have a local restaurant that is a semi-finalist for a James Beard award this year). But nothing like we can get in larger cities. Don't have Jewish delis where we live either. I talked with my husband about it. And he thinks the schedule looks fine. He can eat more than I can - and worst comes to worst - I will order a meal and eat only a part if I start feeling stuffed. From what I have read in terms of dining in New York these days - there is not a lot to gain by going from the higher end to the upper middle of the restaurant chain. The city is "on sale". I never would have thought I'd see buy 2 nights/get 1 free at the FS in New York in the spring. Anyway - I promise to spend a lot of money in New York if you guys in New York come down and spend some dollars here in Florida. We are not exactly doing too well these days either in terms of the hospitality industry. Robyn
  3. Why would you say that there has not been a thorough investigation? For starters it was Blumenthal who closed the restaurant before the authorities even heard about it. They appear to have conducted a lot of tests yet they have been unable to determine the cause of the illness. I'm by no means an environmental health expert, but I would have thought that if they haven't been able to determine the root cause after a few days of testing then it's going to just get more and more difficult. If it was caused by a virus, I don't believe they would be able to prove it For an interesting story about a company that dealt with many people who got sick eating its food (and a few died) - look up Jack in the Box. They do in fact close restaurants here all the time when they find serious food safety violations during regular inspections (whether or not people have gotten sick) - and do not allow them to reopen until the violations have been corrected. Note that all restaurant inspections are printed in our local newspaper on a weekly basis. Is it a case of double standards here though? I haven't seen any evidence of similar cases in the UK that have been treated differently ← I haven't read anything about any investigation which went beyond the 4 walls of the restaurant. The source of the problem is most likely a factory (like one which produces foie gras) or a farm (where animals or people contaminate produce). Or something similar. FWIW - if I were a betting person - I'd put the virus theory at about 50 to 1 odds. Robyn
  4. Whether or not he's a "dickhead" (living in the US - and not being a sports fan - I never heard of the guy) - the simple fact of the matter is 6 people in his party went to the restaurant - all ate the same menu - and all got sick. The fact that 6 reasonably healthy middle-aged people all got sick after eating the same meal is pretty good evidence to me that they got sick because of what they ate. And now - with there apparently being no thorough investigation why these people - and many others - got sick (at least no investigation that has been reported) - the restaurant reopens. If 40 people went to our local McDonald's and got sick - the health authorities would shut it down ASAP and not allow it to reopen until it had determined why people got sick and the restaurant had fixed the cause of the problem. For an interesting story about a company that dealt with many people who got sick eating its food (and a few died) - look up Jack in the Box. They do in fact close restaurants here all the time when they find serious food safety violations during regular inspections (whether or not people have gotten sick) - and do not allow them to reopen until the violations have been corrected. Note that all restaurant inspections are printed in our local newspaper on a weekly basis. I do not think the standards that apply to my local burger stands should be more strict than those that apply to fancy restaurants - no matter how expensive they are - how many Michelin stars they have - or how much foodies love them. I will note that when D'Artagnan had its foie gras problem - it recalled all of its products from restaurants all over the country - and did not sell any new product until it had tracked down the cause of the problem. And for small retail buyers like me - it simply called us and told us to trash the stuff we'd bought - and issued us refunds. What it did almost caused it to go bankrupt (this happened during a busy Christmas holiday season) - but I developed a huge amount of respect for the company - and am still a loyal customer. Robyn
  5. I knew it was really close - that's why I asked the question . You know what - I may do both. I assume that Corton is the hotter ticket - so it's better to do it on Thursday (which is my husband's birthday) as opposed to Friday (which is when we will do EMP). Yes? Robyn
  6. Thanks for this information. I looked up the restaurant - and the website didn't say it was open for Saturday lunch. So I got around to calling the restaurant today and it is indeed open for Saturday lunch. And the menu looks great. Plus the restaurant is apparently planning to continue its Winter Promotion for quite a while (although the lunch menu is very reasonable to start with). I have been meaning to try Jean Georges again (haven't been there in a long time) - so this sounds like a great idea. Robyn
  7. I had looked at the Bar Room - but thought it might be too noisy. And this is how the place describes itself on its website: "The casual, vibrant and bustling space..." But thanks for the suggestion. Robyn
  8. BTW - I searched through the articles available to me on line - and found no evidence that health authorities had done what would be the norm here in the US - interviewing everyone who got sick - finding out exactly what they ate and when they ate it - trying to discover common threads in their dining experiences - and then exploring the sources of the food(s) they had in common. Doing all of this doesn't necessarily result in answers - but it is normal procedure here in the US. I also ran across this in one of the articles: "The chef, who is self-taught, opened The Fat Duck in 1995 and it was awarded a third Michelin star in 2004. However, in the same year, food and safety officers found 'borderline' levels of listeria in the foie gras and expressed concern that 'no core temperatures of the meat are taken'. But these problems were swiftly dealt with and Mr Blumenthal has since introduced more stringent procedures." Wouldn't be the first listeria problem with foie gras. D'Artagnan had the same problem in 1999. Wonder if the authorities have examined not only the Fat Duck kitchen - but the facilities that supply its foie gras? In the D'Artagnan case - it was found that the factory that produced the foie gras was contaminated with listeria. So production had to be moved to another factory (a factory contaminated with listeria is pretty much a total loss). Robyn
  9. I am trying to decide which restaurant to go to for my husband's birthday (on a Thursday night) when we're in NYC. I have pretty much narrowed it down to Corton or EMP and having a hard time deciding between the 2. So - for those of you who've dined at both - which did you like better? In terms of our other dining places - we will probably go to l'Atelier Wednesday night (it's in our hotel and we'll be tired from our trip) - and Blue Hill on Sunday (it's open on Sunday - which is unusual). And that's the tentative outline so far. Robyn
  10. We're getting together for lunch with an old college friend of my husband's when we're in New York City in May. On a Saturday. Neither of us lives in New York. I am trying to find a suitable place for lunch. My primary requirement is that the space is nice - the tables aren't too close together - and that we will be able to sit and chat as long as we care to. That obviously rules out a lot of places. Second requirement is that the restaurant be somewhere in the middle of Manhattan (i.e., not downtown). We will probably go to MOMA or the Met or similar after lunch - and don't want to go all the way downtown - and then come all the way back. The third is that the food should be pretty good or better. I have some possible candidates - but nothing really hits me between the eyes. Payard Bistro looks good on paper - but I have read some bad reviews about the service. At Aquavit - the dining room is closed on Saturday - only the cafe is open. I have been to Cafe Boulud before - and recall our "2-top" as being right on top of the "2 top" next to us (don't know about "4-tops"). 57 is the restaurant at our hotel. I am sure it meets the first 2 requirements - but not necessarily the third. It has kind of a "brunchy" menu on Saturday. FWIW - I've had a tough time searching for restaurants open for lunch on Saturday - because some of the information on some of the restaurant search engines I've used is wrong (i.e., it says a restaurant is open for lunch on Saturday when it isn't). Anyway - any comments on these possibilities - or any other suggestions - would be appreciated. Robyn
  11. Next time........................Thanks ← Au gout du jour. Cute. However I agree with hughw about trying places that are steps - or even miles - off the beaten path. Whether they are new and unknown - or so well known that they are no longer considered "trendy". For what it's worth - with places *on* the beaten path - I find that people are frequently reticent to say (at least in public) that they had sub-optimal experiences (although I have had such opinions expressed to me in private). Robyn
  12. You're welcome. In my experience - it is sometimes possible for a restaurant with a famous chef to be terrific even if the famous chef isn't in the kitchen (like with Gordon Ramsay RHR). *IF* the chef has money in the game. But if all you're doing is selling your name - I think the results are - in my experience - uneven or worse. FWIW - I am not a huge fan of ceviche at restaurants. It is very easy to make at home - and usually too acidic for my taste. And there is so much more to Peruvian food. I had a Peruvian housekeeper for about 7 years - she was a really good cook- and used to bring us lots of home-made Peruvian dishes. Also - my husband's Spanish tutor (for about 5 years) was from Peru - and she used to do the same thing. So we have more than than a nodding acquaintance with Peruvian food. Not to mention that Peruvian Spanish is "muy puro" (my husband's Spanish is terrific). Robyn
  13. There is actually a rather excellent (albeit pricey) Italian restaurant on Miami Beach - Casa Tua (at least it was excellent the couple of times we dined there - last time was about 2-3 years ago). It is a cut or two or three above the average South Beach restaurant - and no offense - more than a couple of cuts above the average strip shopping center Italian restaurant you'll find in New Jersey and elsewhere. Closest thing to a meal in Italy that I have found in the US. Robyn
  14. The time is important. If you only have a couple of days - perhaps you can do a couple of big deal meals - and get over your indigestion when you get home. But if you're talking about a week or so (we spent 8 days in Paris in the fall) - no way. Unless you are really used to eating very large amounts of very rich food on a regular basis (we're basically pretty healthy non-obese people - and we don't do this). I guess one's age is important too. Younger people can perhaps binge for a longer period of time without feeling totally indisposed. As I have mentioned before - if you're staying in a nice hotel with good food - one option on a longer trip is room service a couple of nights. You don't have to worry about ordering a meal for one - and splitting it for 2 people. Or another option is throwing in a place or two with "tapas" kinds of menus - where you can order a few dishes - keep it light. fresh_a - I am not sure it is as much a question of calories (a good burger has a lot of calories) as the richness of the food. The fat content from the ingredients standing alone - to all the reduced sauces. I sometimes make these kinds of things - including sauces - at home. You know - starting with a bottle of port and winding up with 1/4 cup of sauce. This kind of stuff is wonderful on an occasional basis - but it will make a person with normal eating habits sick to his or her stomach if not done in extreme moderation. There are - however - antidotes where you can have a lot of fun. Like I had a wonderful salad of all kinds of exotic radishes from the market (plus a modest main) at Tokyo Eat for lunch one day. Talk about interesting taste - with no bloat (I walked about 3 miles after lunch with no problems). Robyn
  15. This is the Wikipedia article that discusses the franchises. He doesn't seem to have a lot of skin in the game - except for his name. Robyn
  16. FWIW - we did the 100 euro lunch at Guy Savoy and the hotel concierge staff arranged it for us (thanks Fresh_A and friends ). There were both caviar and truffle elements in the meal (that is not of great importance to me but I thought I'd mention it). We did let the maitre 'd do our meal - and perhaps we got smaller portions than normal. Who knows? It was more than enough food for us. Also - we probably spent at least as much or more on wine. So that 100 euro lunch can quickly turn into a 200 euro lunch - more or less. Still - IMO - an excellent value and great food. Robyn
  17. Our meal at Guy Savoy was the best we had in Paris. "Carrying the burden for the future" is not the same as serving a great meal. Robyn
  18. Also keep in mind that it is no longer chic to flaunt money anywhere - even if you have it. Especially if you have friends who are in trouble. Robyn
  19. According to the article - he's not opening the restaurants. They're franchise operations. Robyn
  20. robyn

    I need help!

    Product liability insurance is important because Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to sicknesses caused by food. FWIW - here is the place to start when it comes to state laws and regulations (there may be additional local laws and regulations). Take a look at FAQ 4. Robyn
  21. robyn


    Has anyone who isn't trying to hide from someone ever asked to be seated by the bathroom or kitchen doors? Robyn
  22. There was an article within the last couple of days in the WSJ about how higher and even some middle of the road New York restaurants (like Ruby Foos) are dropping like flies. I don't live in New York - but will visit in May. For those of you who live in New York - or travel there frequently - what's your opinion about what's going on? Here where I live - northeast Florida - a lot of places are dropping like flies too. But a bunch are middle of the road or lower chains I will never miss. And some were high end places that really weren't worth the price. OTOH - we have our first dim sum place with carts ever for this area - and it is packed (we have a reasonably large Chinese population - and they know a good thing when they see it!). On the third hand - no 1-2 hour long waits to get into The Cheesecake Factory anymore. But enough of Jacksonville. What is happening in Manhattan (where I will spending most if not all of my time)? Robyn
  23. Was the restaurant doing an ok business? I am afraid that half the restaurants I am looking at for a trip in May will be out of business by the time I get there. Robyn
  24. robyn


    So they're not sexist. They're just idiots. What were they doing - waiting for Tom Cruise to show up . I'm not familiar with this restaurant (so I don't know where the bad tables are - probably in the back by the kitchen door). But what I've found with restaurants where someone at the FOH has a bit of brain matter is that when business is slow - you seat the people who arrive early up front - or in a prominent place - to give the impression that you're doing an ok business. Robyn
  25. robyn


    Were you alone - or with another woman - or a guy? This kind of thing still happens with women (with men too - though less frequently). Robyn
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