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Charlene Leonard

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  1. managed to book a table for 8 at Hakkasan, Nahm and Top floor at Smiths with under a week's notice.
  2. My experience in a restaurant can be greatly affected by this. I want to feel relaxed and comfortable when I'm eating and if I don’t like the table and there are others available I will ask to be moved. If I am seated at an awkwardly positioned table, one near the toilets, door etc or (my main pet hate this one) tables which are too close together I can get annoyed but my other half normally tells me to shut up and enjoy the meal! If I have been to the restaurant before I will sometimes request a certain table but some restaurants are reluctant to do this (I suppose it must be quite annoying if everyone requested specific tables). I am also not a fan of the long bench style dining table - I don’t want to fight for elbow room when eating. Does anyone know if a book exists which gives you details of the best tables to get in restaurants?
  3. Article in last Saturday's Financial Times The Business magazine (04/05) on where Venice's best restaurants are hidden. I work there so can send you a copy in the post if you want one... At a glance it mentions Alle Testiere, Vecio Fritolin, Do Mori and Pisani Hotel
  4. is the most exciting chef at the moment and why?
  5. i know, i know but sometimes the obvious need to be pointed out....I can hear my boyfriend breathing a sigh of relief from here...
  6. Steve - you have completely hit the nail on the head...
  7. this is completely what happens when b/f has tried to cook. I just can't stay out of the kitchen and have to 'just check how things are going'. one time he was roasting some vegetables and it said 'coat the veg in olive oil' he must have put at least 3 cups of oil on them! and I can't even begin to tell you about the time he chopped up some chillies...
  8. this backs up what Adam says... how we perceive taste...
  9. yes, I should have added that he does all the washing up and even gets on his hands and knees and cleans the oven...
  10. I am interested to know about the balance of cooking done by partners in other peoples houses. I live with my boyfriend and I do ALL the cooking EVERY day. I asked my boyfriend the other day how many times he had cooked for me this year and he said “Well, I toasted some pine nuts for you the other week and I made some mashed potato for you one night when you came in drunk” !!. The thing is I love cooking, I love thinking about what we are going to eat and at the weekend plan everything from breakfast to a scrumptious Sunday roast. As soon as I get in from work I start preparing dinner anything from a quick salad to last nights ragu which had to be cooked in the oven for 3 hours. I suppose my question is should I let my b/f do the cooking some nights?. He loves to eat but not to cook, if it was left up to him it would get to 8pm every night before he would start thinking about what to eat and then it would be beans on toast. I’m not really complaining but some nights it would be good to come home, kick my shoes off and relax. My kitchen is too small for two so it is either him or me. I’ve said to him before “Right every Wed you should cook” but it never works out because I take over or he forgets. So, should I let go a bit or do others do all the cooking and not mind?
  11. alas, I fear this is something us generous food lovers will have to put up with. I started another thread on the similar lines about splitting the bill and have come to the conclusion that some people see food as merely fuel (I know, I know hard to believe but true) and therefore resent paying anything above the exactly what they have had. They don’t see the whole picture about eating and whilst these people might enjoy coming round to your house for dinner because they are not greatly interested in food - by this I mean everything from deciding on the menu, shopping for the ingredients, prepping the ingredients, cooking and then eating - it wouldn't even cross their minds to reciprocate the offer. When I go out for dinner I am there for the sheer joy and pleasure of eating and being there with my friends. I will order whatever I think sounds delicious and drink whatever I fancy at the time, be it the cheapest or most expensive thing on the menu. When it comes to paying the bill. I just throw my card in and expect it to be divided evenly because the cost is the least important thing on my mind (don't get me wrong I'm not Miss Moneybags but just see eating out as an essential expense, like a mortgage). Some people don’t get this and are sat there thinking “I only had a main course, I’m only going to give £15…” or “She ordered the £18 main course, I’d better get a side order in aswell…”
  12. I went to Gaby's last week and agree wholeheartedly with what you both say. It was my first experience of a salt beef sandwich and it was decidedly average. The rye bread was fine but the salt beef was quite dry and I would have preferred it sliced thinner and for there to have been more if it. and only a quarter of a gherkin - very mean. I also noticed it was full of tourists... On the other hand the falafel was superb, light, fluffy and tasty with a good helping of humus.
  13. just bought two lovely sirloin steaks for dinner, any suggestions for a sauce to go with them?
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