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John Talbott

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  1. Aside from being one of the nicest, most intelligent and most helpful people I have ever known, Phyllis was one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. She greeted new members, she knew and encouraged them, and when anyone needed help, she was there. She was of inestimable help to me too, indeed, I “met” her when I was looking for someone to help collect newspapers and food guides when I was out of town so that the “Digest” would never lack a week’s reporting. Those gracious acts of kindness turned into one of the most important friendships in my life. Not everyone knows that before she moved to the OECD she worked at Bonjour Paris and the research she did there and her experience and expertise in restaurants, wine and travel came with her to the France Forum. She was and is a class act.
  2. The Week of July 13th, 2009 Monday in Le Fooding, Elodie Rouge reviewed Le Bar’Ju in Tours. This week, A Nous Paris’s Jerome Berger gave 3/5 dots in his review of the diner-looking Japanese-California Rice & Fish, coordinates given before. Wednesday, Paris Update published Richard Hesse’s review of the bar a manger Le Garde Robe about which he had mixed things to say. Friday on his website, Francois Simon reviewed Le Chamarre Montmartre, concluding it was a successful succession. Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, John Talbott wrote an essay entitled “The ‘50’s, Lobrano and me: Trips down memory lane.” Sunday in the NYT Matt Gross’s Frugal Traveler’s column in the NYT covered Lyon and recommended: Ouest Express, Pain & Cie, La Famille + Le Petit Flore. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
  3. The Week of July 6th, 2009 Tuesday, in Le Fooding, Anna Polonsky reviewed the tapas-sangria place Rosalito, in the 10th. Wednesday Paris Update published Richard Hesse’s review of Aux Crieurs de Vin in Troyes. In the weekend FT, Nicolas Lauder discusses the following places open on weekends: L’Ambassade d’Auvergne, Rose Bakery, Hôtel Amour, Miroir + Benoit. Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp wrote an article entitled "Giscard d'Estaing, Oto-Oto, Copenhague, Violon d'Ingres, Auberges & Bistrots” and John Talbott wrote an essay entitled “Cultural Differences III: the UK, US and France.’ Sunday in the NYT Seth Sherwood had an article on Aix-en-Provence that included the following restaurants: Le Passage, Chez Feraud + Pierre Reboul. And I missed “digesting” Matt Gross’s budget selections in Paris on June 28th: Bistrot Victoires, Churrsaqueira Galo, Spring, Cul de Poule + Bar a Soupes. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
  4. The Week of June 29th, 2009 Tuesday, Julie Gerbert, in Le Fooding reviewed Les Grandes Bouches, coordinates given last week, where she enjoyed the food and wine save the dessert. Tuesday as well, ANP‘s Jerome Berger gave 3/5 dots to Le Patio, in the Crillon, which serves Piege-directed bentos with summer products (all courses on one tray) for 45 and 55 €, 7/7 and Philippe Toinard reviewed Anacreon, coordinates in the guidebooks, which has yet another chef who serves fish not drowning in sauce, but lacks brio ; lunch menu at 19 € and a la carte 20-40 € is closed Saturday lunch and Sunday. Monday, in l'Express, Marie-Amal Bizalion reviewed Le Bistrot d’Edouard in Marseille and Wednesday published Yves Nespoulous’s review of Chez Bruno in Dijon. Wednesday, Emmanual Rubin’s « C’est nouveau » in Figaroscope rated and reviewed 3 places with one heart – Renoma, coordinates Googleable, serving smoked salmon, eggs and veggies and sorbets for 50 and a lunch menu at 20 € ; Les Bains-Douches, 7, rue du Bourg l’Abbe in the 3rd,, fatally open at night, serving unimpressive Asian sounding mets for 40 and 60 € ; Les Aprioris, 82, rue des Archives in the 3rd,, open 7/7, serving lunch menus at 13 and 19 € with a duck breast terrine, tartare of the day and a cheese plate. He also gave two broken hearts to the Fujiyamesque Sous Les Cerisiers in the 6th and Le Jean Baptiste, in the 5th in place of Helene Darroze’s Toustem serving scallops (out of season) and spiritless chicken on a 18 lunch menu and 40 € a la carte. In a terrifically valuable “Dossier” Wednesday, Colette Monsat and Sylvain Verut provided categories of places open all summer, as follows: Greenside Chalet de l’Oasis Père Lapin Gordon Ramsay Le 51 Le Saut du Loup Rosa Bonheur Good Bistrots La Fontaine de Mars Cafe Constant Zinc Caius Père Clause Maree Passy Foreign Delices d’Aphrodite Ratn Zyriab Madame Shawn Les Cailloux Recently opened Cru Glou Bar Terrasse de la Gare Cantine Merci Terrasse BBQ du Mama Shelter And Francois Simon went to the Lancaster, coordinates in the guides, where he recommends folks to go for a « super good » dinner at 258 € for two. Wednesday as well, Richard Hesse, in Paris Update revisited two places : Spring (for the lobster roll) and l’Ardoise Gourmande for a regular meal, reliking both. Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp wrote about Alain Ducasse and John Talbott wrote an essay entitled “Cultural Differences II: Italy, US and France.” Saturday in Figaro’s “Croque Notes,” Francois Simon talks about “street food” in particular sandwiches. In addition he and Alexandra Michot cover two places on the Riviera: Les Pecheurs + La Passagerie. Sunday in the JDD, Astrid T’Serclaes reviewed Passage 53, coordinates previously given and Aurelie Chaigneau had an article on “tables in the sun,” that included: Drouant, Primo Piano, Villa9Trois, Cantina Mundo, Mama Shelter, Le Café suedois. Sunday in the NYT Mark Bittman had an article on his favorite Paris bistrots: Le Gaigne, l’Epigramme, Itineraires + Les Papilles. In WHERE recently, Alexander Lobrano has recommended Chez Andre in May, Chamarre Montmartre + Oth Sambath in June and Le 58, La Table d’Eugene, Guilo-Guilo + Jardins Plein Ciel as well as and the Westside Kitchen for picnics/sandwiches and Samesa + Le Meeting in July. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
  5. Today's Scope had an article on places open "during the vacation" that included: Chalet de l'Oasis Au Pere Lapin Gordon Ramsay Le 51 Le Saut du Loup Rosa Bonheur La Fontaine de Mars Cafe Constant Zinc Caius Pere Claude Maree Passy Les Delices d'Aphrodite Ratn Zyriab Madame Shawn Les Cailloux Cru Glou La bar terrasse de La Gare Cantine Merci La Terrasse BBQ du Mama Shelter
  6. The Week of June 22nd, 2009 Tuesday, Philippe Lafon, in Le Fooding reviewed the wine plus light food place in Gaillac, the Vigne en Foule. Tuesday as well, ANP‘s Jerome Berger gave 3/5 dots to Sous les Cerisiers, 12 rue Stanislas in the 6th, 01 42 77 46 24, open Mon-Fri evenings only, run by a Franco-Japanese chef who has three menus at 38 €, 48 € et 68 € containing very Japanesy-sounding food and Philippe Toinard reviews l’Acajou, coordinates in the guidebooks, which has had the same chef (Jean Imbert) since 2004 but has a new table d’hote, common table and terrace but serves awful sounding dishes, except for the millefeuille for 19 (lunch), 31-59 € and is closed Saturday lunch and Sunday night. Tuesday, in l'Express, Katell Pouliquen reviewed as her resto under 30 € Au Reve, 89, rue Caulaincourt in the 18th, 01-46-06-20-87, a la carte : 20 euros, open 7/7, serving salads, pasta and daurade. Thursday, Francois-Regis Gaudry wrote up the Maurician/French Chamarre, coordinates given before, beloved by everyone but me, as his restaurant of the week. That day on his blog he also wrote up a restaurant that indeed does look like it belongs in Brooklyn, Yard, 6, rue de Mont Louis in the 11th, lunch formula at 13 €, a la carte : 30 € serving good mozzarella but banal tomatoes, mackerel and tagliatelles. Wednesday, Emmanual Rubin took over the “Dossier”and the end of year insert and summarized places with terraces : The most inescapable Yam’Tcha The most city picnic Mama Shelter The mosr Marais Cru The most hidden Passage 53 The most neo-guinguette Cantina Mundo Most Italian Caffe dei Cioppi Most experimental Nomiya Most Costes La Societe Most BCB Green Le Jardin d’Ampere Most bistro Frenchie The most cinema-eat Le 51 The most country like in Paris Rosa Bonheur The most night La Reginette The m,ost smoke in summer La Terrasse du Chacha The most muted Asian Rice & Fish The most Bobo Corso The most so long so close Chamarre Montmartre The most Chinese Shan Gout The most mini mini Le Zinc Caius The most sane Kitchen And Francois Simon went to the Cafe Germain, coordinates given, where three ate for 117 € and to go, he says "Bah, bof…." Wednesday as well, Richard Hesse, in Paris Update came over Montmartre and reviewed Le Café Qui Parle very positively. Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp wrote two essays about Le Café Pleyel and Romantica Caffe and Vin Chai Moi, Bistrot de l'Avenue & Chalet des Iles and John Talbott wrote one entitled “Cultural differences I – US and France.” Saturday in Figaro’s “Croque Notes,” Francois Simon is the latest to have “found” Chamarre in Montmartre. In a perfectly charming article in July’s Gourmet, Alexander Lobrano takes a trip down memory lane to the great old favorites of yesteryear: L’Ambassade d’Auvergne, Auberge Le Quincy, Chez Georges {soon to lose its chef}, La Grille, Josephine Chez Dumonet, Au Moulin à Vent, Robert et Louise, La Tour de Montlhéry Chez Denise + Le Train Bleu. Jarringly juxtaposed are Ruth Reichl’s five contemporary favorites: L’Ami Jean, L’Astrance, Le Comptoir du Relais, Pierre Gagnaire + Le Pré Catelan. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
  7. I encountered a similar experience today at a place I really like - Le Gaigne. Ouch, I hope these places survive given their great food.
  8. l'Assiette is a mixed bag, agreed; but do you find Nuxis under Thierry Curiale since last June as good as Guifeli as it was under Michel Craca? I am guilty about my fall in custom of La Cerisaie.
  9. Well, I've only eaten once at Chez Casimir since Tredgeu left and was disappointed. I tend to go to Chez Michel only during game season and then it seems OK still. Colette doesn't like it because she thinks it's "too dark" but that's the decor not the food.
  10. The Week of June 15th, 2009 Monday, in A Nous Paris, Philippe Toinard gave 3/5 dots and reviewed the “girly” Cru, coordinates given before, where he noted both the cooked and cru fish (some out of season or facing extinction) as well as duck, soups, salads, carpaccios, tartares, etc. Meanwhile, Jerome Berger awarded 3/5 to Le Chamare Montmartre, coordinates given before, apparently because the terrace is now open and they have a 17 € 2-course lunch, 3 for 25 € which he quite liked. In the side-bar they say they’re following Les Grandes Bouches, 78, rue de Levis in the 17th, which serves good menus at 17 and 26 € (pastilla of goose confit and duck breast.) Monday Francois-Regis Gaudry on his blog reviewed Le 58, 58 Tour Eiffel in the 7th, 08 25 56 66 62, where one can eat burgers, fries, etc for 19 €. Tuesday, in l'Express, as his resto for under 30 E, Pierrick Jégu reviewed Le Dandy, 17, rue des Petits-Champs in the 1st, 01-42-96-47-54, a la carte about 25 euros, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, serving a nice daurade tartare, Corsican sausage and an impeccable blanc-manger all with a view of the gardens of the Palais Royal. Tuesday, in Le Fooding Julia Sammut reviewed Le Bistrot d'Edouard in Marseille. Wednesday, Emmanuel Rubin in Figaroscope gave 2/4 hearts to Chalbens, 33, rue de la Chine in the 20th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, with a lunch formula at 12,50 but variable a la carte prices from 25-40 €, in the ex-Vin Chai Moi space, serving gazpacho with peppers, a lamb stew and chocolate fondant. In addition, three places merited one heart, the photo-op went to Les Trois Baudets, 64, Blvd de Clichy in the 18th,, closed Mondays, Sunday brunch, serving bean salad, spinach and ricotta spaghetti and strawberry tarts; then there were the crepe place Francois Simon wrote up last week - West Country Girl and Pod, 39, rue des Vinaigiers in the 10th,, closed Sundays, with 12 and 18 menus, a la carte about 25 €, for a millefeuille of tomato-mozzarella, salmon with mustard and a moelleux of cocolate. A busted heart went to 182, 182, quai Louis Bleriot in the 16th,, reprised by the gang that runs the Café Barge with menu-cartes at 35 and 44 € serving an assiette campagnarde, brochette of over-cooked shrimp and risotto, filet of bass and lifeless, dry rice. Wednesday, in Figaroscope, Colette Monsat et al reviewed the best mojitos in Paris, the top three being at: Bar du Costes Le 228 Bar du Lutetia And Francois Simon went to the Montana for one but they’d run out of fresh mint so he had a champagne and Belvedere for 31 € which he said was “whatever.” Wednesday as well, Richard Hesse, in Paris Update wrote another of his thoughtful and informative reviews of Frenchie, coordinates already given {as noted before he’s one of the few reviewers writing in English.} Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, John Talbott wrote an essay entitled “Ordering the Cheapest Wine on the Menu.” While Francois Simon’s Saturday “Croques Notes” are not posted on the Figaro website {yet?}, I have a sneaky suspicion that they duplicate what is on his blog where he lauds Georges, rue de Mail near the place des Victoires, where he’s been coming for 20 year but warns that the Breton chef, Alain, will soon be retiring, so hurry up if you want to go. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
  11. It is probably wildly unfair to suggest that the restaurants run by Constant are like those of his culinary children and grandchildren but surely some things rubbed off.Thus one could consider those of the "children:" Pur'Grill Restaurant- Jean-François Rouquette Chez Michel &Chez Casimir– Thierry Breton Le Clos des Gourmets – Arnoud Pitrois Laurent - Alain Pégouret L’Os a Moelle, Les Symples...., La Cave..... & Le Barbezingue – Thierry Faucher La Regalade, Le Comptoir – Yves Camdeborde & Bruno Doucet Le Repaire de Cartouche & Cafe Cartouche – Rodolphe Paquin Le Restaurant→Le Restaurant d’Eric Frechon→Eric Frechon, Le Bristol – Eric Frechon Le Troquet & Cantine de Troquet – Christian Echebest And then there are the "culinary grandchildren:" L’Ami Jean – Stephane Jego L’Ourcine – Sylvain Daniere L’Entredgeu - Phillipe Tredgeu One of those loks dated but I can't tell which.
  12. Update on the Dogwood and Alizee The Dogwood remains an absolutely splendid place with innovative cooking and exemplary service. Visitors to this topic often stay in Inner Harbor hotels and justifiably are reluctant to venture far afield (even though it’s only a 20 minute cab ride) but now that Galen and Bridget Sampson have opened a Mini-Dogwood at the Women’s Industrial Exchange at 333 North Charles Street, (410) 685-4388, their food is closer by a long shot. It’s only open to the public for lunch but they’ll do private dinners. In any case, our meal, with Christian Delutis at the piano, at the main Dogwood started with a terrific house salad and gravlax with a fried zucchini blossom stuffed with salmon mousse (thus giving two very different salmon tastes) and pickled onions. Then Colette had 3 delicious fried scallops with chorizo, pineapple and spicy grits and I the sweetbreads with pickled ramps and a big chunk of pork scrapple. Colette couldn’t stop herself from ordering a fine lemon tart, whose pastry was the only blemish in an otherwise great meal. With a bottle of $20 wine and no coffee, the bill before tip was $78.44. As for Alizee, we went back with two friends this weekend and were less impressed than before. We started with a “simple” salad that Colette thought was poorly-dressed but I thought was OK except that it was large enough for all four of us; one of our crew had the calamari which were fine by me too. The fushi (fusion-sushi) dishes were also much too much, although both the banana lobster shrimp and spicy salmon and eel rolls were good. In addition, for mains, we had one soft shell crab and a rockfish, the latter Colette was annoyed about since in these days of daily printed menus, it along with the other specials, were not written down and our waiter did not reveal the prices of the specials. Our bill for two was $85.06 before tip. We’ll go back but for sure we’ll share almost every dish.
  13. Francois Simon posted a video on his blog showing a resto that I couldn't identify, completely empty, saying it's sad. It looked a bit (in the dark) like Les Bouchons ex-Francois Clerc, now Le Restaurant de Philippe et Jean Pierre, 7, rue du Boccador in the 8th,, which is open Saturday night, but I wasn't sure.
  14. Chez Georges on the rue du Mail in the 2nd. ← Francois Simon, on his blog today lauds Georges, rue de Mail near the place des Victoires where he’s been coming for 20 year but warns that the Breton chef, Alain, will soon be retiring, so hurry up if you want to go.
  15. Sorry that I forget to cross-reference the report; I may induce Colette to try it again next week.
  16. I have not been since the sale but Francois Sullam (prop) and Christian Bisch (chef) bought it and presumably (according to Pudlo) have "conserved" the seasonal flavors, esp the game in fall-winter. ← I did go and didn't reflect that here, which I'm remedying now.
  17. There is an old topic on the Les Halles area that largely discusses Pied de Cochon and that should be updated to indicate the reopening of Pharamond which is pricey (and which I re-visited in December 2006) and for non-food fanatics, not worth it. Pharamond 24, rue de la Grande Truanderie, 1st (Metro: Les Halles, Etienne Marcel) T: Closed Sundays and Mondays A la carte 40-80 €. Let me repeat what I've said many times before, though. Even though your friends may be staying "centrally" almost any place is reachable by Metro in 20-30 minutes. Thus a quick glance at prior topics on say the last 3 pages should give you/them some great ideas.
  18. Well, the few I've eaten in, I wouldn't return to. Even the 2 hearters are a mixed lot, sometimes good and sometimes not.Often if one goes to the review, Rubin will say, this was over-cooked, or that was dry or mushy or whatever.
  19. I've popped this topic up for a couple of reasons. First I saw IrishAdventurer's query and then I realized newer members may not know there are compendia on restaurants by arrondissement one can get at by searching.In any case, even though IrishAdventurer's friends may not want places in the 14th any longer, I'd suggest several relatively new and in my mind, very fine places, actually worth a trip: Le Bis de Severo 16, rue des Plantes 14th (Metro: Alesia) T: Open Tuesday to Saturday night A la carte 35-70 € (depending on whether you have the beef) L’Entêtée 4, rue Danville, 14th (Metro: Denfert Rochereau) T: Closed Sundays and Mondays Menu-carte 30 € at both lunch and dinner and a 20 € menu for 3-courses with no choices. La Cantine du Troquet 101, rue de l'Ouest, 14th (Metro: Pernety) No telephone/no reservations Closed Sunday nights and Mondays A la carte from 30-40 € L’Assiette 181, rue du Château, 14th (Metro: Pernety) T: 01 43 22 64 86 Closed Mondays and Tuesdays Lunch menu 25 €, evening menu 50 €, a la carte: 25-40 €. Le Jeu de Quilles 45, rue Boulard, 14th (Metro: Mouton Duvernet) T: Open for lunch only Tuesday-Saturday and dinner Wednesday and Friday A la carte 40-60 € (depending on meat chosen) And our member Julot, loves: Au Bistrot d’a cote 18, rue Lalande in the 14th (Metro: Denfert Rochereau) T: Closed Sundays A la carte 30-40 €
  20. Roughly speaking, the ratings emulate Michelin's 1-3 stars, however: A Nous Paris awards 1-5 dots, one being lowest - five highest, and Figaroscope awards 1-4 hearts; 1=Hold on, 2=To your forks, 3=Reserve right now and 4=Run; there's a busted/broken heart labelled Ouf, a kilo gained (ie for nothing). Regarding the 14th; I'll pop that topic up for comments.
  21. Host's Note: At the suggestion of several members who participated in the discussion of "self-conscious, narcissistic or egotistical" cuisine in France, I've split off that discussion here.
  22. Has the economy hit the Paris dining rooms that hard? I guess I haven't been paying too much attention since I was there 6 months ago. Then, every multi-star, and most of the more casual places, I visited appeared to be fully booked. I recommended l'Atelier because it is one of the few high cuisine places that I know eschews the multi-week/month reservation game. It would certainly be hard to say any restaurant with nearly a dozen outposts worldwide is 'not-to-miss'. ← So as not to get off this topic (3 days), I'll refer everyone to the topic on the economy in France that we have running.
  23. Another thought is to look at two topics that deal with people's quest for and experiences eating in Paris for 2 days and a week.
  24. I hope you'll have your laptop because there's lots of places mentioned on the topics here that reading about will tell if you'd like them. For instance, the grand luxe places like Eric Frechon's Bristol, bistrots like Paul Bert, modern fusiony plasces like Ze Kitchen Galerie, members' favorites like l'Arpege, Le Regalade + Spring and newer places like Frenchie, Bigarrade + Passage 53. Read, enjoy, report. PS I'll also take this opportunity to merge your topic with one of exactly the same title.
  25. The Week of June 8th, 2009 Tuesday, Julie Gerbert, in Le Fooding reviewed the Franco-Japanese Sous les Cerisiers in the 6th {that certainly sounds more Japanese than Franco to me}. Tuesday as well, ANP ‘s Philippe Toinard gave 3/5 dots to Vin Chai Moi, coordinates given before, in the former Delizie d'Uggiano space, retaining their famous cocktails with syrup and having a mixed dietetic/gargantuan menu with a terrine maison, a gaspacho of petits pois, salmon and veal daube. Across the page, Jerome Berger gave 3/5 to the “trendy cantine” La Bouche, 1, rue d’Eurpatoria/pl. Maurice Chavelier in the 20th,, closed Sunday nights and Mondays, with a lunch formula at 14 and menus at 23 and 28 € (dinner) for tabouli, pork chop and melon soup. Wednesday, in l'Express, Francois-Regis Gaudry wrote up the Japanese Makoto Aoki in the 8th. Wednesday, Emmanuel Rubin in Figaroscope gave 2/4 hearts to the California-Japanese Rice & Fish and 1/4 to the bank converted to a hotel-restaurant Bling Banke, Hotel Banke, 20 rue La Fayette in the 9th,, open 7/7, costing about 50 € a la carte for eggs with Bellotta, cassolette of peas Catalan style and milk-fed pork as well as a new Costes-run Italianate Corso, 2 place Franz Liszt in the 10th,, open 7/7, costing 35-45 € for cod “cappuccino”, Montana entrecote and Neapolitan vacherin. Wednesday also, in Figaroscope, Colette Monsat reviewed restaurants for all occasions: Intimate The Duke’s Bar Hotel Daniel Restaurant de l’Hotel 1728 Laperouse To see and be seen La Societe Derriere La Fidelite La Reginette Café Germain Groups of friends La Salle a Manger du Square Trousseau Les Papilles Caffe dei Cioppi La Cave de l’Os a Moelle With kids? Mood Atelier Maitre Albert O Restaurant Justine 58 Tour Eiffel New discoveries Zen Garden for their 45 E whole turbot Le Comptoir de Tunesie for a totally fresh menu for 16 E La Villa Corse for a pork chop and puree. And Francois Simon went to the delicious crepes bar, the West Country Girl , 6, passage Saint-Ambroise in the 11th, 01 47 00 72 54, currently closed Sundays and Mondays. “Go?” “Yes,” it’s only 40,10 E for four. Wednesday as well, Richard Hesse, in Paris Update gave a very nice review to Les Fines Gueules in the 1st. Saturday/Sunday, in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp wrote about La Reserve Ramatuelle, Obamas' Eats & Les Crayeres and John Talbott wrote an essay entitled “Eating at Home: I.” Sunday’s NYT had an article by Joe Nocera that suggested eating at Le Cilantro in Arles. Please post comments here and not in the Digest thread.
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