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Everything posted by naf

  1. Wednesday, I had lunch with my friend at Mon Vieil Ami (Île Saint Louis). We arrived at 12:30 pm with reservation, I was surprised that the restaurant was still empty at 1:30pm. In fact, the whole lunch time, there were only 3 clients (including us)! I asked the waiter if it was due to the crisis, his reply was, it was always quite calm during the weekdays, but very full at night or weekend. But it's very hard to believe this, when they are situated in such a touristic area and in the centre of Paris. The food is still very good. Sad to see there are more staff in the kitchen than in the salle... FYI, they have a special lunch formulaire at 15 euros (only available on weekdays) and set menu with 3 courses at 42 euros.
  2. I would like to know where I can find shops selling specialties of the Basque region in Paris. Thanks a lot.
  3. naf

    Paris Wine Bars

    I have some visiting friends in Paris, and they would like to know whether they can find this in Paris: a wine bar with a self service vending machine that one can buy a smart card and choose to taste several vintage wine by small portions and by wish. If not, I would also like some recommendations of wine bar that one can taste wine by glass? with or without food. I know Racines serves organic wine. Thanks a lot.
  4. naf


    I have this problem too. (I lived in the 18th) The ones I tried and they are good: La Table d'Eugene (but it's at the foot of Montmartre) Guilo-Guilo (Japanese) Here is the list I heard they are good, but didn't test it myself yet La Famille Mon Oncle Cottage Marcadet 16 Tholozé L'Oxalis Le Winch Marguerite Le Square
  5. Julot, I tried to look up Kitune in Google, but I couldn't find it. Did you mean Kifune instead ? Kifune 44, Rue St Ferdinand 75017 Paris TIA
  6. Luis L'Ami Jean is my top choice on your list. L'Os à Moelle is interseting for it's 6 courses meal. If you like traditional bistrot food, I strongly recommend la Régalade (Paris 14), good product and excellent cooking. Also, recently tried Les Terrines de Gérard Vié (ex starred chef from Les Trois Marche in Versailles) they have simple traditional dishes like rabbit terrine, cassoulet, boeuf bourguignon... They serve different dishes on different days, like thursday for cassoulet for example. So be sure you call them up and ask for the menu and choose your day according to the dish you would like to eat.
  7. I've always want to avoid Chinese food in Paris, I found them uninventive, poor product, too much MSG... but when I get nostaglic...these are the places worth visiting... For roasted meat - like barbecued pork, roasted pork or roasted duck (those hanging in the window) . I would recommend Mirama in Paris 5, rue Saint Jacques. Also, their dumpling with noodle soup is quite ok. I remembered once ordering a steamed fish with ginger, it was fresh and very tasty. But most of the dishes are disappointing, especially the vegetable dishes. For northern chinese food - Les Pâtes Vivantes (paris 9) is good price ratio small restaurant. What I enjoy there is they make their own noodle, the portion is big and they are delicious. Their menu is simple but somehow unique from most Chinese restaurants in Paris. As for the side dishes, I would say there are a lot ups and downs, depending a lot if it's a busy day, or the mood of the chef. I like the jelly fish with cucumber. It can be a bit stressful when waiting to be seated, since the place is small, and all the people are lining up inside the room, and with the waiters passing. Another Chinese restaurant we tried once, and I found it quite interesting is called La Cuisine de Chez Moi (Rue Richer, 75009). It's a tiny restaurant, husband cooking in the kitchen and the wife serving, the couple is from Beijing, I believe. I think it takes reservation. Most of the dishes are prepared with care and quite tasty, they are authentic northern cooking: moderately or very spicy. I think if you can't eat spicy food, don't try risking your life...I'm not joking. Some interesting dishes are fried pork intestine. I've tried Shan Gout once, I enjoyed the cooking, I would say in Paris, this restaurant is superior to most restaurant we have tried, I read somewhere the chef has worked in Chen. The product are fresh and simply prepared. Yet, I found the portion of each dish too small, from entries to the main dishes, we have the same feeling. So if you are very hungry, you can easily ended up with a somewhat overpriced bill. I read many recommendations on Li Ka Fo (Paris 13), I tried twice, both times I was disappointed. We ordered fried soft shell crabs and crispy duck... They simply tasted like they have been forgotten in the freezer for a long time... I was wondering maybe I was unlucky the first time, but I went again just a few weeks ago, some impression, some dishes are tasteless, others are just average. They offer some more rare dishes like duck tongues. But I don't believe the remark that they are equivalent of Chez L'Ame Jean for Chinese food in Paris. Far from that.... I would like to find good dim sum restaurant too in Paris... I haven't tried Tricotin yet. Most Dim Sum places we tried are just reheating frozen dim sum (I guess you can buy the same yourself from the chinese supermarket and reheat yourself). Chen sounds good, especially their peking duck... I'm not sure I would want to try it though, because the budget I have for Chen, in my annual trip to Hong Kong, this budget allows me a far superior meal. I would say that the Chinese cooking is catching up especially starting from last year. The new smaller restaurants offer some varieties and different regional dishes. I hope this trend will still continue...
  8. We were dining at Jadis yesterday, glad to know that they didn't have a Valentine menu at all!
  9. Incredible; I was going to tell about the guy who comes by every so often to sharpen knives; you're not crazy at all. The problem is that I cannot figure out his schedule. ← Actually, I live not far from Place Charles Bernard in the 18th district, I vaguely remembered seeing the guy once or twice in the market doing it... and some years ago. Me too, I'm interested to know when he is passing by...
  10. For Spring, I tried to secure a reservation on the 22 July 2008 for a Friday night, and I need to wait until mid november, so the wait is a bit less than 4 months. As for l'Ami Jean, I have succeed a reservation just 2 days before for a Thursday night dinner. Actually, to my surprise, I saw some relatively hot resturants, the weekdays can be quite calm, maybe because of the economy and the anti-smoking laws.
  11. I found an article online that covers a big list of restaurants, the dates of summer 2008 opening time. (or vacation time) Here is the article Hope it's useful for those who want to visit. It seems one needs to sign up the site to read the page. Though I just found the page on Google and can access it without a membership. (Source: Indagare.com, the original article has URLs for the restaurants websites) Summer Standbys Allard. Open all month. Brasserie Lipp. Open all month. Café Flore. Open all month. Fauchon Le Café, a glamorous new cafe on the first floor of France’s most famous food hall, is open all month. Gaya Rive Gauche. Open all month. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Open all month. Le Cinq. One of the few three-Michelin-starred restaurants that remains open all month. Le Comptoir du Relais. Open all month. La Fontaine de Mars. Open all month. Le Jules Verne. The only Ducasse outpost that remains open in August. Pur’Grill. Another three-starred-Michelin restaurant that is open all month. Restaurant Hélène Darroze. This two-star Michelin remains open all month. Café Marly, in the courtyard of the Louvre, is open all year. Venerable tea room Angelina is open in August. Bonpoint Café , a great casual lunch or tea option, stays open all month. The chic restaurant at the Hotel Costes is open and a good spot for lunch. Delicabar. Open all month Le Castiglione, a charming family-run cafe near the Hôtel Costes, is open all month. Summer Maybes Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. Closed July 22 to August 27, but his restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne, remains open. Alain Senderens. Closed August 3-27. L’Ambroisie. Closed August 2 to September 2. Only open for lunch on August 1 and 2. L’Avenue. Will probably close for two weeks (dates to be determined). Caviar Kaspia. Closed August 2-18. Dominique Bouchet. Closed August 2-25. Le Grand Vefour. Closed July 28-August 25. Guy Savoy. Closed August 3-27. Il Cortile. Closed July 23-August 24. La Cigale Récamier. Closes August 15th to end of the month. Le Soufflé. Closed August 3-24. Pavillon Ledoyen. Closed August 4 to end of the month. L’Orangerie. Closed August 4 to 24. Pierre Gagnaire. Closed July 26-August 24. Les Bouquinistes. Closed from August 3-25. Le Ferrandaise. Closed August 3 to 24. Aux Lyonnais. Closed July 27-August 24. Fish La Boisonnerie. Closed August 2-23. L’Ami Jean. Closed July 26-August 26. Shuttered in August Astrance. Closed for the month. Benoit. Closed for the month. Chez Georges. Closed for the month. L’Ami Louis. Closed for the month. Le Meurice. Closed for the month. Le Relais Plaza. Closed for the month. Les Ambassadeurs. Closed for the month. Le Violin d’Ingres. Closed for the month. Le Voltaire. Closed for the month. Taillevent. Closed for the month.
  12. I'm wondering if anybody has tried this food event by Thierry Marx at le Laboratoire? Is it a food event or more, an art event? I got an email some time ago from my daily art (not food!) newsletter e-flux, more info: - 29 March - 21 July Monday - Friday (12pm - 7pm) - 2 formules: Menu dégustation complète - 3 steps with navets, lobsters and pear belle-hélène Menu dégusation légère - 1 step - pear bell-hélène
  13. From the dessert I have tasted, Constant's chocolate tart is really good. Personally, I truely dislike the green tea pastries of Aoki, too sweet for me, though good to look at. For Hermé, I like his coffee tart, his canelé is fine too, though it is different from the bordeaux version. I am not that fond of his famous macarons (maybe except Isphan), too sweet too. I have tried Stohrer a few times, it never impressed me, but didn't try their Baba au Rhum. I have some fade memory that Chez Denise's Baba was quite good. L'Ami Jean's Riz au lait is quite famous. (Yeah I know, they aren't pastry shops) Olivier, maybe it's interesting to share your best mille-feuilles places. (I remembered once eating a very good one in a café with a small counter inside selling pastries, not far from Tour Éffiel, but forgot exactly where...) If anybody knows some good choux pastries like éclair, this will be appreciated too. I heard that Véronique Mauclerc (rue de Crimée) is good for éclairs (but haven't try them out yet) thanks!
  14. After hearing many good reviews on the restaurant - le Transversal, we decided to give a try and booked for a dinner. As many knows, the restaurant opens only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner. Early October, we called to reserve on 13 Oct, which is a Saturday. Everything was fine, and we looked forward for the day. Just a day before, the restaurant called us,the reservation was not possible, we decided to move the date to 18 Oct, which was unfortunely the famous day of strike in France. So we got another call from them, saying the restaurant would be closed with the problem with public transport, which we totally understood. We still wanted to try restaurant and our date was quite flexible, and we moved our reservation to 26 Oct, which is tomorrow. Yet again, we got another call from them this morning, saying it will be not possible. This time the reason is, the restaurant will be closed because of "privatisation de salle" - somebody has booked the whole restaurant for a private function. But I told them, you have accepted my reservation some 2 weeks ago, and you could have informed me earlier, not just the day before. The answer is, the person who took our reservation doesn't know that dinner is only open to public on Thursday night, while Friday and Saturday night is only nights of "privatisation". At this point actually, I don't know if I should believe in him or not. I'm quite disappointed as I have not forsee that this would have happened again. He tried a bit to fit me on a Thursday night which I declined because of the busy working schedule of weekday and the mere disappointment and the uncertainty if they will honour their words. I have the feeling that the restaurant will be open to "public" if there are nobody booking the whole place for private functions, so the "public" is always on the waiting list. Anybody recently has dinner there? Do you have reservation problem or just me? Or they have just change their policy for dinner? It's the first time this has happened to me, all the restaurants or bistrots I have booked had honoured the reservation.
  15. naf

    Baguette de Paris

    Gosselin: "The baguette is the bread of Parisians," "It has a life span of just six hours."
  16. naf

    Baguette de Paris

    Best bakeries in Paris according to CNN Travel : Croissants Maison Kayser 14 Rue Monge, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/44-07-17-81; closed Mondays Sourdough loaves Le Boulanger de Monge 123 Rue Monge, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/43-37-54-20; closed Mondays recommended also: pain bio au levain Miche Poilâne 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/45-48-42-59; closed Sundays recommanded also: big round miche, apple tart Baguettes Gosselin 125 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr.; 33-1/45-08-03-59; closed Saturdays recommanded also: lunch baguette sandwiches Pain aux raisins Moulin de la Vierge 166 Ave. de Suffren, 15th Arr.; 33-1/47-83-45-55; closed Thursdays Pain au chocolat Boulangerie Bechu 118 Ave. Victor Hugo; 33-1/47-27-97-79; closed Mondays recommanded also: pain au chocolat orange, pain au chocolat coco-banane Croissants aux amandes La Flûte Gana 226 Rue des Pyrénées, 20th Arr.; 33-1/43-58-42-62; closed Sundays and Mondays recommanded also: brioche vendéenne Fougasse Pain D'Épis 63 Ave. Bosquet; 33-1/45-51-75-01; closed Saturdays
  17. Of course no, John! I have a quick check in my local supermarket, I can only find "Gillot" still doing "Au lait cru" AOC.
  18. I guess most in the eGullet forum don't buy industrial or supermarket cheese. Anyway, I found this news sad. Starting from April 1, two leading French cheese makers Lactalis and Isigny-Sainte-Mère which represent 90% of the market, are giving up a centuries old recipe for making Camembert cheese. "We decided the risk of using raw milk was too high for us given the quantities we produce and our position in the market," said Luc Morelon, a spokesman for Lactalis, a family-run group based in Normandy. In English In French (by François Simon)
  19. I did some research before choosing a "cocotte" of my life, from either Le Creuset and Staub. Staub usually comes with a brass knob that can withstand very high heat (up to 500˚F) while Le Creuset's bakelite knobs can only withstand up to 355˚F (180˚C according to their French website). I guess if you are in a professional kitchen, you don't want trouble of have melting or cracking knobs with certain recipes that require higher cooking temperature.
  20. Today, I read an article on "FOOD" in the magazine "Série limitée" from Les Echoes. It talks about the passion on food of the ex-fashion journalist, Claude Deloffre. The articles mentions some of the possible food related events that will be held by the shop, a possible idea could be a festival on South Africa food. The present events (with the participation of le Bon Marché) - Les contes de fées - Les fous de cuisine - La cuisine buissonnière Starting from February 2007, there will be an event "Kitchen Duets", a series of mini-conferences on given themes by an English and a French chef. Doesn't sound to me that the bookstore is closing at all.
  21. naf

    Francois Simon

    It is stated in the site of Paris Premiere VOD FAQ that they are not supporting Mac. Only in only a few weeks time, they will support Firefox on PC. Annoying! Don't they know there are enough Mac users around?
  22. I have tried the Robuchon's Parmentier au Canard, pretty average stuff. His new range includes couscous with lamb, which is extremely oily. Forget about trying the Paul Bocose or the Bernard Loiseau prepared food, they aren't different from the 2.50 € equivanlent ones without a chef photo. Generally, Guy Martin from Monoprix is a bit better in taste. I was surprised once with a certain duck cooked with some spice. It was actually quite good, but I saw it only once. I guess it was a Christmas special product. I have to agree with Pitpois's 2 golden rules. Some of the Picard's product is exceptional.
  23. As far as I remembered, Le Pré Verre has a lunch menu 12,50 €. Le Temps au temps, 11 € and 13 € lunch menu, I think the cheaper menu is like you can have a glass of wine with the main dish, the other is a two course menu, either an entry and the main dish or the main dish and the dessert. I like Le Temps au temps, the place is small and the girl serving was nice, as she has taken the trouble to translate the whole menu into English for my visiting friends. Don't forget to reserve.
  24. From Régal magazine (in french) feb-mar 2006: Chef Frédéric Crochet has became the chef of Mon Vieil Ami. This must be pretty recent, when we were there last November, we saw Antony Clémot running in and out of the kitchen the whole night. Last time when we were there, we thought we had made a reservation a week before, but upon arrival, we understood that there wasn't our name in the list. We later understood that my French husband has reserved another restuarant by wrongly dialing a wrong number telephone number. Clémot was very nice, he told us to come back half an hour later, around 9.15 pm and promised us a table. And on a Saturday night!! But I observed if you come later than 9.30 or around 10.00 it seemed you could get a table even without reservation. Of course we had a splendid meal, and very fulfilling, btw, their portions are BIG. After the meal, I requested to have a look in their kitchen. I was amazed that it was really tiny, especially the pastry place. One of their secret of very tender meat is to cook them by sealing the meat in vaccum plastic bag, and cook in controlled temperature (65˚C if i didn't forget) in a slow cooker for several hours.
  25. Since yesterday, Pierre Hermé's site is on. Not a lot of information but you can see his current collection, and also a video featuring his recent hot cakewalk in Crazy Horse.
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