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  1. Congrats to Mikey, and the stellar team at XO. I've had the privilege to work with many of them, and they're all seasoned pros that deserve the recognition and accolade.
  2. tocino


    While I'm sure he's be flattered to hear that his restaurant interiors are at par with Café Costes, Bruno Braën is the designer of DNA. The Montrealer's palmarès include Le Club Chasse et Pêche, La Porte, Bily Kun and Pullman. http://www.cabinetbb.com/ DNA's chef is Derek Dammann.
  3. bronte is one of the best in the city. i have problems with the wine list and the prices but they are really an excellent place with the makings of long term success. the energy in the food reminds me of a buzzing resto that hits each note with perfection like La Gouloue in nyc at its peak in the late 1990s. the sommelier should learn to pay more attention to other tables instead of focus all his time on the table of his friends where he spends most of his time each night. Thanks for the constructive criticism Vinfidel. However, I can't say that I'm 100% sure you're talking about me, as I took up the position as wine steward 3 months ago, after working as a waiter since the opening. I can say that I am somewhat averse to blanket generalizations on public forums; especially anonymous ones. I'm not sure that you've been there every night in the last two years, but I come close. I can assure you, my close friends hardly ever dine at my work. So it puzzles me, who am I talking to? We have tasting menus, 5 or so courses during which wine is paired with Joe's plates, and I present and pour each wine when the plate is served. We have regulars, who like to chat and trust my choices on new products as the wine list is in constant flux. We have customers who drop a fair chunk of change on a special bottle, during which I'll prime the glasses and carafe. Sorry if you feel that I'm not spending enough time at other tables, but my plate is pretty full. I try to be at every table during the moment the client is making her choice, but unfortunately sometimes that is the only interaction I have. sad but true a lot of people do not like to see a beautiful woman that is also successful. i will say she trained her staff very well but maybe she does not know food like she really should. her partner for sure is not a food nor wine expert or lover i think he have a business background Hmmm, another blanket generalization, this one happens to be a jab at a friend. Actually, I would consider her partner to have a discerning palate and a good nose. Not sure what constitutes an expert in your books, so i'll hold back. But he has helped co-found a good restaurant, hell, a restaurant for that matter so I think that's coming close. Furthermore, who are you to say someone is not a food lover? this kind of reckless journalism it makes me crazy!
  4. The unfortunate story of talent from the kitchen & service staff being dragged underwater by the incompetetent & greedy levels of managment. (a little sour milk there) hokutsare sama deshta....
  5. On the enthusiastic tip of one of my chef friends, I had a late dinner at Jolifou last night and was pleasantly surprised (the last dinner reso they take is 9:00). From what I had heard the 2 partners (in both senses) are striving to create a great neighborhood restaurant. This place goes over and above, that and I'd consider it one of my favorite places in the city. The ambiance was simple clean and inviting. lots of white with red chairs - accented by halogen spots on the toys mounted on the wall which had a funny disneyland animatronix feel to it as you expected them to start clapping and singing at any moment. Helene, the md, went over the menu with us explaining us the dilly, what the latin items on the menu were, how each was prepared. The menu is market fresh with latin american twists. We ordered a great bottle of St Joseph from Domaine Rochevine, a perfect fit for our choices, gamey with lots of red berry fruit and spices. the wine was a very reasonable $44 which is 1.5 the retail price. The baguette slices arrived, warm i might add, with salted butter(or so i think). 2 great things which add miles to that 1st impression. We opted for the venison carpaccio, and salt cured foie gras followed by the veal cheeks and duck magret. The salt cured foie gras with fig compote and porto sauce was absolutey delicious. gamey, fruits and spice. the venison carpaccio pleasantly not too chewy, accented by lots of fresh cilantro. The mains in relation to the apps were generous in size. great interplay of flavours on the duck magret , lightly sweet "gastric" sauce, spicy salsa verde posole, and roasted parsnips. The veal cheeks were super tender and flavourful, with lots of that rich braised taste to them. they were served with duck fat refried beans. which may sound like a bit much (dom delouise meets taco bell), but wasn't too rich and was perfect for a cold winter meal. we had a a great cheese course of queso fresco (the saltiness of greek kefalotiri meets cottage cheese) and guava jelly. great salt and sweet combination. this was served with baguette and nut bread (both hot and toasty). dessert was a delicious 3 spice creme brulee (cinnamon, cardamom and anise if i remember correctly) which as is usually the case with creme brulee, i was too full, but ate it anyway. All in all a meal with a great balance of flavours. top. Service was relaxed friendly and attentive.
  6. Superb patties at Ma's Place on Sherbrooke in NDG 5889 Sherbrooke. Made in house, not the 7-11 variety. Brings you one step closer to Babylon!
  7. With regards to tommys post about mid to high level restaurants and take out. Depending on how organized the take out situation is in a restaurant, there is no taxing on the the restaurant's take out sales. ie: take out counter, and appropriate packaging. This is where a tip jar is key. However, If you are ordering from your fave sit down joint, which doesn't usually do take out, but you're staying late and want to pick up that duck confit for the office... you get the picture. Not many restaurants are that prepared, and they do it so rarely to have a separate accounting file for take out... unless they have a catering service. Invariably, the combined declared sales of the servers at the end of the night must match up with the days numbers. You bet the servers are taxed on the tip of that meal. Plus, you're still getting the expediter to pack it up during service, and the waiter to time it correctly so it is straight off the pass when you walk in the door.
  8. To answer the $20 vs. $100 bottle question. We're getting into pretty dicey territory here, as I feel that it's getting dissected. To start, if you have that range (and higher) you've got some effort going into the wine choices, pairings and service. I know there's the "I could have made those choices", but if you think that way, you shouldn't eat at restaurants. You have crystal glasses and decanters, you have a server's or someiller's wine knowledge, you have the extra care and pampering from the front of the house staff and the kitchen (this info gets around). A good restaurant should be able to deliver the extra service associated with a better bottle. IMHO, order a bottle within the range that you think the restaurant deserves - will they be able to deliver these intrinsic qualities to add to your meal? If the resto cannot, don't put yourself in that uncomfortable situation, as the bottle is available at the wine store for half the price. To put it bluntly, after 6 years working in great restaurants, no matter the price 15% after tax tip is a minimum for showing gratitude and respect for the service.
  9. The tastiest ones used to be at Peche Delice, (beside jade garden) but it closed a few months ago, sadly missed. Dim sum giant ruby rouge (Clark south of Gauchetiere) does them very well, using nice flaky pastry - not that gummy provigo bakery style crust.
  10. Thanks for the welcome Lesley. They went back to the resto to have a snack after a night at the bar. I don't work there, I work with a former waiter of CdP. I didn't get the grisly details, but it was for sure more than just a flip out. serious ish.
  11. The gossip is all true. A waiter with whom I work with was with the chef when he flipped out at about 4:30 am. After trying to restrain him, he lunged at my buddy. Wanting no part of it, he split and called 911. The police arrived 2 minutes later and arrested the chef. The kitchen and dining room were trashed. The word is that it'll reopen in a week. crazy.
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