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  1. Zibetto is consistently good. Not exactly midtown, but Via Quadronno is worth a walk north http://viaquadronno.com/index_nm.html
  2. I don't know about you, but I'd say that 20 out of our 25-ish restaurant meals in paris this year were either mediocre, seriously overpriced, or (most often) both. So I was pretty excited to even find something where I walked out thinking that the meal had been good, interesting, and fair value. Doubt we'll manage Spring before we have to return to London, but will look into Caius. Cheers!
  3. We ate at Chateaubriand last night knowing nothing about it -- not its reputation, not that the format was a single 4/5 course meal with no choices, etc. It was a really excellent meal. At €42 prix fixe I don't think it's an incredible bargain (portions are very small; with three glasses of wine and coffees we hit €120; the crowd is entirely hipster unshaven depths-of-the-11th) but then I can't think of any restaurant in Paris where you can eat food of this creativity or precision for that price. The front of the house was short two servers so there wasn't really an opportunity to ask about the components of each disk, and I didn't take notes so won't try to guess precisely what was in each disk. We started with an amuse of marinated tofu with a kind of shaved savory gelato made to look like roe -- I think it might have been chilli sauce. This didn't really work at all. Starter: barely seared sashimi-grade tuna (lightly marinated in rice vinegar I think?) with superb tiny yellow and red beets and baby turnips. My wine had the same with basque anchovies (2 ways) instead of tuna -- 8 2/3 months pregnant and all that. Superb dish. We were hooked. Main 1. Lieu jaune (pollock) served in a bowl looking raw, at room temperature, with assorted coquillages. Hot broth poured over it. My wife (very pregnant) looks dubious. We're assured that it's been cooked for 2 hours over very low temperature and they remove the coquillages from her dish (mostly). I'm pretty sure sous-vide, given the texture is almost of raw fish. Nice dish, quite subtle, but no fireworks. Main 2. Cut of meat I didn't understand cooked blood rare (except for my wife's which is of course well done). Two small slivers of red onion (or shallots? not sure) that are superb -- they have been marinated and doctored in complicated ways we couldn't figure out. Puree of smoked eggplant. Very good, not superb. Cheese (me). Didn't get name of cheese, semi-hard, quite dull, with good membrillo. Desert. Verveine sabayon with assorted berries. Superb. Wines: glass of a lovely, light champagne that I failed to note down. Glass of 2006 Touraine domaine des bois lucas (100% sauv bl) -- late-harvest but dry, something like Thevenet's wines. Worked well with food, not sure I'd want a whole bottle of this. Glass of (vintage unknown) Domaine des Foulards Rouges "Potron-minet" [a new phrase to me -- vulgar slang for "the crack of dawn"] -- quite nice, very mineral.
  4. Just to say that we had a VERY disappointing meal several weeks ago at Pied a Terre. Dishes were fussy with a lot of ingredients that didn't come together. Not a single "wow" moment throughout. Wine list has a staggering markup, and I couldn't find anything under GBP50 of merit. To his credit, when the sommelier strongly recommended a bottle we really disliked, he took it back. We really dislike the new room -- very cold. I don't think we'll be back. Chris
  5. our target audience is anyone who is interested in italian cuisine. i suppose the book isn't directly targeting the obsessive foodie crowd that we are on egullet. but then again i'd hope that those with a passionate interest in italian food would be interested in the book for the wide range of recipes collected from all regions of italy over its 50+ year history as well as as a reflection of the recipes italians themselves have turned to over the years. anyway, the criticism is helpful. we've got thick skin. there certainly are things that can be improved about the book and we expect to publish many editions over a very long period of time. your comments are going to go directly to the editorial and design team! so keep them coming. in the meantime i would be very curious to hear if you think that there are more "undiscovered classics" out there. this forum has mentioned two other italian books -- what other great classic cookbooks are there that don't exist in english but should?
  6. okay, so so far some of you hate the paper, some of you hate the photographs, and some of you hate the design. tough crowd! to take a few of the points that have been raised: it's true that the book is something like a dictionary or encyclopedia. remember the history of the book -- the editors of DOMUS magazine (under Gio Ponte) commissioned experts to collect traditional recipies from every region of italy. i think that the book was used as a reference book by italian home (and professional) cooks looking for ideas, not as a "teach yourself how to cook" book such as julia child's THE JOY OF COOKING. SILVER SPOON is surely unmatched in the english language for the breadth and authenticity of italian recipes presented. it's certainly true that there are some recipies, even sections ("brains") that will not be of interest to most anglophone cooks. we made the decision to keep these in for authenticity; and besides, with 2,000 recipies, if you don't want to cook brain you've got a lot more to chose from. the paper is in fact very expensive, difficult to source paper chosen for its translucency, its relatively low bulk (bulky paper would have made the book too large to bind given the 1,200 page count) and for the slightly ambiguous coated/uncoated feel. most cookbooks use coated paper since images look sexy on glossy paper, but the text is then difficult to read. this paper works relatively well for both images and text. we particularly liked the slight translucency. photography: we are incredibly proud of the photography, which was newly commissioned for the book from one of the uk's leading food photographers, jason lowe. he shot everything in his studio using ingredients bought from london's borough market, shooting only in natural light. i have heard a lot of compliments for the photography though off the record might agree that there are one or two where the colour balance (in the reproduction, not the originals) could be improved when we reprint. in any case, please give the book a look and make your own judgments. it is already widely available in the UK (and by all reports selling off the shelves) and should be arriving in stores as we speak in the US. i'm happy to note that the reception for the book has been so positive that we are effectively sold out of it and expect to see stores run out of stock well before christmas. by the way, here are a few links to articles about the book: observer independent london eating publisher's site thanks
  7. it is just now on sale in england and will be out in the us in a few weweks. i have a copy since i work for the publisher (and am therefore necessarily biased). but speaking personally YES it is definitely worth it (at £24.95 / $39.95) -- my girlfriend and i have already started to cook from it and have a long list of recipies we're planning to try. note that it is NOT a step-by-step "how to cook" type book -- you won't find a 12-page illustrated "how to make a perfect risotto step-by-step" recipe here. it is rather a compilation of recipies from all over italy, originally published by DOMUS magazine in italy and now, after 8 editions and several million copies in italy, in english for the first time. phaidon has a dedicated micro-site for the book which is here: silver spoon chris
  8. Cellar Gascon is definitely worth a visit for fans of wines of the Southwest of France. There is some good food to be had but in our recent experience it can be uneven. The winelist is really quite reasonable priced compared to other restaurants in London, with only about a 100% markup over retail (whereas many good restaurants go for 150-200% in my experience ... shocking!).
  9. Hmm, our experience was very mixed at the Cellar. Good wine list as always -- one of the best I've seen for the wines of the southwest -- and one or two good dishes, but then a really bad piece of tuna ... Full review of Cellar Gascon on The Modern Babylon
  10. We are enormous fans of St John -- among our favorite restaurants in London. Great value for money, except for the wines; but then there are good inexpensive choices. review of st john
  11. chrisnorth


    We couldn't get in to Flocons as they were booked up the entire time. We did walk by and it looked wonderful. Also there is a cavist (wine shop) below the restaurant that must be the best one in town -- though it was closed when we went by they opened it up for us so we could buy a FANTASTIC bottle of 2000 Jamet Cote Rotie. Had a nice if not especially memorable meal at La Ferme de Marie -- lovely ambience and good service, okay but not fantastic wine list. Our other dinner out was a disaster -- Le Fer a Cheval. Though recommended by several friends and other sources, we hated everything about it except for the (very pretty) room. The service had pretentions to 1/2-star but was seriously amateurish. Bad piped-in pop music spoiled what would have otherwise been a charming ambiance. But the real disaster was the food -- every dish, without exception, involved heavy, rich ingredients. The cooking was heavy handed and the dishes so rich and saturated in butter that we each only ate a tiny proportion of what was on our plates and still went home feeling sick. Really a place to avoid. On the other hand the snow was fantastic!! Chris
  12. chrisnorth


    Now we're off to Megeve. Shame Lucy never posted her final reviews (hint, hint). Any recent recommendations for someone not ready to fork out 289 euros for the least expensive menu chez Marc Veyrat? Or else convince me that I should indeed come up with the €.
  13. We had a wonderful time in Porlock ... but struck out on the food hunt. Staying at the Porlock Vale house, the breakfasts were wonderful -- all fresh, local ingredients with extraordinarily good coffee. But our one "fancy" meal out was a disaster -- Andrews on the Weir. The food was mediocre throughout; the service was trying for 2-star michelin but managed something closer to NY diner-style service. (I stopped counting major faults of service once the count hit 10.) And the room is really quite tacky -- e.g., chair legs spray-painted in gilt. I think next time we're sticking to good local pubs. Chris
  14. Thanks for the suggestions. A little research turned up these two restaurants. Anyone tried either? Andrews on the Weir, Porlock Vale [we are staying nearby] Castle Hotel Both have 3 rosettes from AA -- but I have no idea if AA is reliable ... Cheers, Chris
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