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Gary Marshall

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Everything posted by Gary Marshall

  1. if the irish sommelier you mentioned is gearoid devanny he worked in paris (whilst tom had his sabbattical) at pierre gagnaire, maybe he's just picked up the accent a bit? a friend of mine even recalls the now legendary annie schwab putting on a faux french accent in their early days, unfortunately his wife knew her from her school days and rumbled it straight away gary
  2. Phew ! got there in the end gary ps restaurant mag is not trade only, it is freely available on the high street.
  3. i can assure you its always the evil gary that posts. the good gary is a slight, healthy slim figure who is knocked well out of the way by evil gary who grabs the wallet and heads off to put on another layer in preparation for winter gary
  4. the short version is it was a birthday celebration. the longer version is that i'd wanted to go and try his cooking ever since aubergine days but didn't have the wherewithal to do so, then he started RHR, i eventually got a table and one at petrus too, only to find myself flooded in the village and unable to get out, so that was cancelled. so when the moons correctly aligned and i had both the cash, the time off, the birthday excuse (always a good one for totally unnecessary expenditure i find!) and someone to take, i booked the tables. Looking back i must have been feeling flush because this trip came on the back of 4 days in paris where we also ate at guy savoy and tour d'argent my chef mate from york and his girlfriend were supposed to join us for lunch the next day but work got in the way and he had to cancel, i thought it a shame to waste the booking seeing as they are so hard to get and i'd waited so long to try it so off we went with the virtuous thoughts of sticking to the set lunch. Of course once there all thoughts of parsimony went out of the window and we got stuck into the a la carte. The night before i'd had good chats with the staff and spent a while in the kitchen after service talking to mark askew and it may have 'slipped out' it was my birthday the next day! Of course at that time i didn't realise that virtually everyone in the restaurant the next lunchtime was celebrating something, however they did offer us a complimentary fish course which was gladly recieved, we got really well looked after and when i mentioned i fancied going to the then newly opened claridges sometime they gave me the managers direct line and we had all in all a very, very pleasant afternoon. in fact all of this talk is giving me wallet threateningly bad ideas so i'd better stop reminding myself of how much we enjoyed that trip cheers gary
  5. I had the menu prestige for dinner and had ALC lunch the next day. i found the lunch more enjoyable but that may just be my preference and the fact the service was more relaxed and we got well looked after as they knew it was a return visit. ALC from memory is different dishes, to the prestige ie its not a tasting menu drawn from the alc. the prestige is good value and you do get plenty of it, being a glutton it's not a problem for me but if you are worried about it i would suggest you ask the staff what the best way to go is - they may split alc dishes/ change prestige dishes, espec if you tell them you are trade (i seem to remember your hubby is a chef?). At many restaurants i now do starter, split a fish course, main, cheese, desert, but then i'm a pig I'm sure they'd do similar for you if you wanted a half way between alc and prestige. i didn't see any decent pubs nearby and they do have two sittings, but if they wanted you out they would normally tell you at the time of reservation/confirmation. not sure that they offer an exact glass of wine to match the prestige but this may have changed, their website from memory has wine list on it so you could get a feel for the prices. hope you enjoy it
  6. but to be fair to thom, there's also another angle, as the organiser of what has become a successful and popular event, run by his employer, it would be professionally foolish to enter into a debate too deeply which essentially is ' the restaurant best 50 awards have no validity-discuss' especially if he wants to be further involved in the project. also when his editor has already participated in, and is aware of the thread. so i think it a little unfair, i'm sure he stands by the methodology, it makes sense to me, but even if he didn't it's unlikely he'd agree on a public website read by his employers don't you think? cheers gary
  7. thank you no, i think they are quite used to people adding to their order as they go on. When it's busy no doubt they like to work through the orders asap and re-use the table. i think many first timers don't know how much they will need/want so you might go in and think 3 and a desert will be sufficient but then you see someone elses and you've got room so you go for it, that for me is one of the great things about the restaurant, there's none of that 'i wish i'd ordered that' , if you like the look of it just add it to your order!. on my first trip i had chestnut soup to start and then another one instead of cheese because it was soo good! cheers gary
  8. If a restaurant is supposed to be among the top 50 in the world (and charging accordingly) - I think *it* should have a web site which contains - among other things - accurate information about its reservations policy (so people won't have to rely on other web sites - or messages written by people they don't know). Robyn interpretation: they should have a website so i don't uneccessarily and highly pedantically quote something about a restaurant i know zip about and subsequently be made to eat my words. ah well, made me laugh this morning. cheers gary
  9. In light of Gary's comments about how busy the place is getting, and, as I won't be up to Leeds for lunch in the very near future, perhaps I should eat my words in the meantime. it's even worse than you think andy, it's full and there's not even a menu outside yet! (although i'm sure there will be one eventually) it's all word of mouth and reviews at the moment. cheers gary
  10. glad you enjoyed it yin one of the great things about this place is the menu is in constant evolution and tony does tinker regularly and try new dishes, the thing is even the 'tests' are undetectable from the regulars! From your description it sounds like a further evolution of guinness but he does have plenty of other cocktails up his sleeve. Tony wants the foodie customer, so i'm sure he will have been happy to have an enthusiastic punter to feed on a quiet service. although let's keep the fact saturday lunches are quiet to ourselves, it's getting very busy on an evening now! cheers gary
  11. and voted for it too in the survey gary
  12. its great isn't it, when you spend hundreds of pounds and be made to feel they've done you a favour deigning to let you dine there. is it me or does anyone else know of such a high profile haute cusine place that has engendered such mixed reviews? i've certainly not felt the need to rush back but opinions seem to polarise, which i can understand if the cooking was un peu outre like the fact duck but there's nothing to be scared of at ta. why such difference of opinion i wonder? cheers gary ps on my trip the best member of staff was gearoid devanny the sommelier, he knew and cared and we weren't going mad as we had a meeeting after. (although he did think we were in the wine trade when he overheard us talking about going on to corney and barrow, unfortunately it was the bar, not the wine merchants )
  13. i think i want to read this book what other odd things do we do?
  14. feature in the '50 best' edition of restaurant mag too. gary
  15. i went to alle testiere in venice and cecchino dal 1887 in rome on the back of last years survey. as has been said even if you used in isolation as a guide i don't think you'd exactly suffer food wise cheers gary
  16. I can't find my email reply but think pretty much the criteria were what had you enjoyed for whatever reason. I haven't had chance to pick up the mag yet. I also embarassingly can't remember exactly what i went for in the end after deliberating, but i definitely had atelier robuchon in, Gordon Ramsay, Hibiscus, new tayyab and probably number 3 york place. as with all of these things, no doubt i'd change it again if i were asked today! cheers gary
  17. Our final day in paris was easter sunday, we had a 11.30m booking at atelier de joel robuchon. After the disaster of the night before at the 'other' atelier i had high hopes for our last meal of the trip. there was another couple in front of us when we arrived just before 11.30 and when they eventually deigned to open the doors there was about 10 diners, all seated on the right of the restaurant. i’d been once before and thought it fantastic, but a bit rushed at times, i ordered about 6 courses and could see them stacking up on the hotplate so i said to sarah that this time we’d let the others get their orders on and had a cunning plan to order our lunch a few courses at a time as we only had to catch the eurostar at 2.45 so had plenty of time to kill. first up were two glasses of champagne, by the time we had these others were on their first courses the plan was working! when i left england my favourite and bargain chestnut soup was on the menu but by the time we made it to paris it had changed to ‘l’oseille en fin bouillon foie gras et jeunes asparagus’, Which we both had, it was twenty times better than the soup at maitre albert but not as good as the mighty chestnut, on my first mouthfull i said to sarah, ‘this tastes green’ which it did, almost a taste of chlorophyll, no doubt due to its infusion with fine asparagus tips and sliced stems. second courses i had the iberico ham and sarah the ‘tarte fine de maquereau aux parmesan’. for some reason this took an age to appear, perhaps 20 minutes. sarah’s tart was interesting, very provencal with the fish, olives & tomato on a fine pastry base, the ham ok, a generous portion of sliced ham, but despite the wait i still had to remind them about the pain tomate that should accompany it. i also squeezed in an ouef cocotte, served in the usual matini glass with a good soft egg which was was good but not as memorable as i, well, remembered. although i had planned a few more courses paradoxically time was looking against us due to the delay, but we solidiered on..... We had seen another diner tuck into a steak tartare and although i asked for a demi portion the chef refused, little worry, sarah had that as a full plate and of course I had the lamb cutlets. The tartare was excellent nice and spicy and even offered with heinz tomato sauce! itwas accompanied by fries a l’ancienne, basically curly fries which were very good, the lamb and of course the pomme puree was up to usual standards, rare gorgeous thymey/garlicy lamb and the finest heart clogging pomme (that is so unctous it looks like mayonnaise). with about half an hour to spare now we had a portion of the ‘tartes de tradition’ to share, a selection of slices from minature tarts, they ranged from the darkest chocolate to the lighest lemon, but weren’t earth shattering. I had a coffee and planned a calva but were out of my ‘usual’ and bearing in mind the stinking headache i endured back to york last time i thought i’d take it easier and cancelled the order. other than the champagne we had water and a bottle of chorey les beaune 2001 tollot beaut, the most expensive of our trip at 70e. bill was a mildly unpleasant 216e. Maybe we’d ordered badly, with a preponderance of heavy dishes, maybe the menu is better in winter but it wasn’t as good as my last trip and to add insult to injury there was a noticable price creep, and it wasn’t a cheap place last time out! I’ll probably give it another go as it suits to have an early and flexible lunch when we’ve got a eurostar to catch but hope this was an off day-not a trend towards higher prices/ unattentive service. Roll on the next trip to paris! cheers gary
  18. Anthony's wasn't open when the voting for the restaurant mag survey took place. I'm sure if they did the survey now it would regain its rightful place (cue thom to tell us all about this years survey.......) cheers gary
  19. Saturday saw five of us hit Anthony’s for a specially requested tasting menu to show my southern friends that the real hotbed of gastronomy at the moment is neither london or ludlow but leeds. I think their train journey from London was much more pleasurable than mine from York. I always seem to find myself on the henparty/football express and was seemingly the only sober person on the train, although I was slightly alarmed when a I got a text saying they were just heading through manchester when they meant wakefield! Southerners! I showed them the sights. We went first to number 3 york place to check out the menu there, unfortunately they are closed Saturday lunch, but I think the ‘pork 3 ways’ was the choice of the group. All this walking had made us thirsty, a quick trip to all bar one helped out, and in true to form, they were amazed how cheap the drinks were-southerners! We then ventured to show them leeds best restaurant, no, not Anthony's, not number 3 not even pool court but ‘the living room’ (well the best according to observer food monthly readers!). The girls got stuck into cocktails whilst scott and I stayed true to the calling (carling?) of lager. Suitably refreshed we headed to Anthony’s. First impressions, everyone seemed to like the bar but were so intriuged they didn’t want to hang around in the bar for an aperitif, they wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Olga had sited us at a large square table with plenty of room for them to display the dishes, we had elected a ‘menu surprise’ so just had a brief guide to what to expec for wine purposes and went for a ‘fits many styles riesling’ at £20. First: upside down chocolate guinness. Tony has just about perfected this dish now, the menu here is in constant evolution, I had this 2 weeks ago and although good and clever (the head is removed, frozen, placed in the glass and topped up with guinness) It tasted quite definitely of guinness, not a problem if you like guinness like me but I could see it not suiting all tastes. However now it is much less intensely guinness and the small raspberry and chocolate accompaniment leaves a sweet finish- excellent and impressive starter. Second: Jacketless potatoes: again fantastic, no discernable difference from last week. Probably my favourite food discovery this year. Rest of the table were equally impressed , they were also impressed with the way Olga knew exactly how the dishes are made, there was very little she couldn’t explain. Third: Cod scratchings, apple and celeriac puree these were cod skins treated like pork scratchings with a dip, very unusual, the ladies weren’t as keen but as per usual scott and I scoffed them happily. Fourth: Candy beetroot and mango ravioli now you may see this written here and think it sounds like silly food, I can assure you it’s not. The finest pasta covering the filling, a good palette refreshing sort of dish I thought. The advantage of not knowing the menu meant no preconceptions. Fifth: asparagus , yoghurt and olive oil, 3 tender sprue asparagus with a mousseline looking sauce which was in fact the yoghurt dressing. Sixth white onion risotto, parmesan air and espresso. I had this on my first visit and thought it impressive. This dish doesn’t need evolution, this was one of the best risottos ever, and I like to think of myself of a good risotto judge! Seven: roast squab, pickled garlic ravioli. Concensus was this was the best dish. Perfectly cooked squab with an almost flower of finally mandolined garlic slivers, on the side just fantastic to look at and even better to eat. for the reds we a chorey-les beaune £26 i think Eight: Rack of seabass, lemon puree scallop tartare. Another stunner both in looks and execution, it now seems an obvious thing to do but I’ve never seen it before, a fillet of sea bass with exposed ‘ribs’ all french trimmed of course with a puree, not of the zest, or the full lemon, but the white pith! Accompanied with a scallop tartare of such precision cutting it was breathtaking. Nine:Rabbit spiced bread + beetroot and mango puree. This was 3 delicate cylindrical fillets of rabbit covered in pain d’epice with the purees. Another visual and taste stunner. Ten: cheese, having missed out on the cheese on my birthday I asked to slip in a quick course here. We had 2 platters of 4 cheeses each again all perfectly kept and again the garnish had altered, not just pickled celery, but tiny grape pieces and puffed pumpkin seeds. Again the attention to detail shows, Tony could easily have left it at celery but no, he takes it that bit further and then further still, they picked out the un-souffled seeds as well! we had an ischian desert wine to go with the cheese and deserts. Eleven pineapple cream, without cream: funnily enough a creamy pineapple dish, as they said without cream in a tall shot glass. Twelve:reconstructed apple tatin, the finest innards of tarte tatin you will ever have, hust no pastry but the absolute essence of tarte tatin! Thirteen: warm chocolate fondant + black sesame ice cream. A great fondant and the ice cream very moreish. We then retired to the bar for coffee and calva thinking we were done, but no At the bar Fourteen: chocolate fennel- a sort of sikh kebab on a stick of choccy rolled in chopped fennel tufts Fifteen: chocolate kikos a rectangle of chocolate ganache rolled in kikos seeds, a sort of spanish popcorn. Sixteen: chocolate sherbert dips: little cellophane bags filled with a mixture I think of the kikos seeds and choccy, stuck well to the spoon provided. We then had a pleasant hour or so chatting with anthony senior and sister holly before out respective trains back home. A great afternoon. It is a measure of the calibre of this restaurant that a brigade of two can turn out such perfect food. Everything was perfectly cooked. It was then down to personal taste what you thought was the best, nothing was over cooked, underseasoned or on the plate for no reason. Also Tony had given us several ‘works in progress’ and you couldn’t tell them from the ‘old’ menu dishes, even last minute sauce changes were undetectable until he told us later what the original plan was. This restaurant is going all the way, if you want to be able to say you went there before it got its stars then get booked in, because there’s no doubt in my mind if they can keep up the opening pace & deliver this quality of food to a full house then that’s where they are heading. cheers gary
  20. i'll definitely do it, just finding the time to do it justice, also got atelier robuchon to do as well gary
  21. I was lucky enough to have a tasting menu at anthony's on saturday lunchtime with few foodie friends who had ventured up north to try anthony's (only £19 return pre-booked on gner, if you fancy it). unfortunatley i haven't got time to write the meal up fully at the mo, but as a blatant tease, here's some of the post dinner comments.... 'one of my best meals ever', 'one of the meals of our lives' 'i can hardly wait to return here' and my favourite 'this place pis*es all over the fat duck' the 15 elements that comprised the lunch will take a while to write up! cheers gary
  22. thank you for your thanks the staff were certainly welcoming, they had a humourous air about them and most were in their early 20's. There was a young boy though who looked about 12! i liked the atmosphere in the restaurant, it was buzzy with a good mix of countries. i think we were the only english but there was a group of spanish and plenty of french in there. having said that would i go back? well my trips tend to be booked weeks in advance to try specific restaurants, i wouldn't do that again to visit, but if i found myself without a booking one night, it would certainly be on my list of places to try. that's nothing to do with the quality/enjoyment of the place, just the sheer number of places in paris i want to try and only so many trips to fit them all in gary
  23. wouldn't say MA claimed the 3* provenance but Well's IHT review specifically mentioned the oysters en gelee, and i'm sure other dishes. Other reports suggested a competent kitchen. With hindsight they may well have been pre-opening special nights. from the reports i had assumed that's what i would get, the rottiserrie plus some decent starters, obviously i know menus change. I wouldn't have been too bothered if the starter dishes were as simple as the rottisserie ones, had they at least been worth the money, which i didn't think they were. gary ps knew i should have ordered the chicken!
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