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Gary Marshall

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Everything posted by Gary Marshall

  1. not that i'm in a rush to see annie and germain depart but if anyone is going to take over winteringham then they'd be in the top 3, i'm sure we'd make mr & mrs boisi very welcome up here! especially as ludlow is a difficult 3 1/2 drive from York, whilst winteringham is 45 mins! There must be some big money in outside catering these days, simon gueller has quit the eponymously titled restaurant he cooked at to set up a catering business too. Another leeds restaurateur did say though there's plenty of parties around where the bill hits £100,000. cooking at gullers is now handled by his protege martel smith who was at his own place gateforth hall which has now closed.
  2. when i lived there a personal favourite was the lime tree on lapwing lane in didsbury, it's a taxi from the centre but only about 15 mins out of town in the suburbs. modern english food consistently in the aa & gfg from memory not sure if michelin rated it (but its not 'star' type of cooking) v popular so you'd need to book but certainly v convivial, decent wine bar the nose next door and i think a renovated pub the metropolitan on the corner so a decent little cluster of places. yang sing still good, curry mile of rusholme must also be experienced! Was never a big heathcotes fan but its been a while since i dined there. wasn't overly impressed with MPW at the lowry hotel either, but if you like his london offerings it's v similar in style and execution. cheers gary
  3. he certainly seems to have changed his view on guests since my visit last year! Only his wife did the rounds, he stayed in the kitchen and even when i went into the kitchen he barely gave a flicker of recognition!
  4. i usually forget that they do list dishes in the guide and then when i discover them, find it really annoying if i've missed the signature dish after the meal! if i'm aware of them i'd try them (ps cabrales, i keep forgetting barrier menu will write it up eventually!) gary
  5. Gary Marshall


    I had a mixed time in the tours area. We went to Charles Barrier on Friday night, as i'd seen it mentioned on this site and i like places with a bit of history. I didn't enjoy it, i'll post the menu later but basically service was v condescending and despite a half empty room (albiet a very nice chandeliered one) they struggled to pace the tasting menu. Things that griped. !) questions asked in French, answered in English. 2)Dishes plonked down down, cloches removed, no explanation but a look on the face of the waiter to say 'bet you've never seen anything like that before', well yes i have! 3) main courses left on a shelf under cloche whilst same waiter continued debate with another table about what was in their dish (confusion reigned because his english wasn't good enough explain the difference between celery and celeriac grrr) food wasn't bad but nothing special 'another' fairly anonymous menu degustation. Maybe we weren't in the mood, we'd driven from beaune and had a day out in the chateau's but it did put us off the fine dining scene we just craved steak bearnaise and we cancelled our reservation for monday night at jacky michel in chalons en champagne. however before it got better it got worse! In the search for steak i found a brasserie in the michelin 'le chope' a 2 knife and fork. went for a look, looked fine decent sea food bias but everything we were looking for. booked table and got a bad one in the window, literally. but that wasn't the problem, poor service, no water despite 3 seperate requests to the waiters, differetnly cooked steaks plonked down with no explantaion, repeated requests for red wine ordered at the start of the meal, (just a blank look at empty white in the ice bucket, as if to say there's your wine). calvados brought with ICE AND WATER ADDED! unfortunatley this seemed to be the only place open sunday too but i just couldn't give them my money. Luckily by now friday night had faded away and when girlfriend suggested she'd drive us somewhere i opened the michelin and found 'le chousile' (SP?) in Ambroise a 1 star hotel/rest. had no idea what to expect but turned up to find a nice old house with a large first floor dining room, a bit bright but welcoming staff. We were not looking for a menu degustation but plumped for a menu 'le jardin du france' which was comprised totally of tomtatoes. i was initially sceptical but it was bloody good. starter was a selection of tomato and parmesan bruschetta, a tomato quenelle and a tomato sorbet. all light and very fresh. mains were a stuffed tomato with a variety of seafood, crayfish tails and lobster sauce i had a tomato tart with braised beef and tomatoes again great. cheese followed (no toms!) and then a confited tom to finish. all in all a great meal, for E 45 i think, would recommend it. restored faith that had been lacking from previous nights.
  6. Cabrales i'm in tours next week so i've booked charles barrier and will report back, i'm also booked in at le truffeaux a 2 k & fork which has had decent write-ups, anyone know it? cheers gary
  7. i think you're being a bit harsh. GR @RHR is hard enough to get into with 2 sittings if it were only one then the chances of getting a table would be even worse, i'd rather have a time limited table than not at all, then at least i can try it and decide if i want to go back and be subject to the rules. secondly the time limits are not always rigidly enforced, we book tables at the ivy and are always given a time limit, however they only ask you to move when they need the table back, often much later than the 'curfew' Thirdly this whole contract thing may come about due to the casual attitude of many diners to restaurants ie they book several restaurants and decide at the last minute which ones to cancel, (if they even bother) as you know the fragile economics of a restaurant don't allow for too many empty tables so they want to be able to charge for no-shows, fair enough in my book. Also i can only imagine the reason GR needs a written confirmation of vacation time is that too many customers have refused to leave at their allotted time after being told verbally at the time of booking, thus causing the restaurant problems. Often customers get the restaurants they deserve! With regards to the tasting menu, there's no way they'd say you don't have time to eat it in two hours, it might be bit rushed but it was when i had it on an unlimited table! One thing i've learned if a place is really that popular then go for lunch, not dinner, chances are you'll get the relaxing enjoyable time you expect.
  8. still plotting my holiday route anyone have some thoughts about tours? places open sunday nights especially welcome! cheers gary
  9. Gary - you used the fat from the Lardo? What else is there? Adam, it has a herb encrusted skin on it, i wasn't sure if it would melt like lard so i tried and got quite a bit of fat out of it but was left with a piece of skin, which i now know i should have eaten on a piece of toast
  10. i try to keep my ego in a reasonably well sealed box but it does get out now and again i used the fat from the lardo to cook roast potatoes on sunday and it worked quite well for that, looks like the true way to eat it is a version of our northern classic, bread and dripping...
  11. i think he's a must read too peter, and i'm doubly thankful this week as not only was it a decent review, i now know what to do with the lump of lardo that i brought back from italy!
  12. hi gavin i booked the table at the end of july when i had lunch, that was the first thursday they had free for 6 people, for two was much easier. My lunch booking was for a friday i called the day before and went on the waiting list, they called friday am, however this tactic has failed recently. my colleague wanted a table and found they are now on the old 'we open bookings for that date a month before' type of arrangement, but they did get what they wanted ie table for 6 on thursday, with a months notice. so i'd say either set a date in advance and look forward to it or try a 'cheeky' booking a day or so before if it's for 2 you may be ok. they did say a lot of their regulars live locally and all go away at the weekend so sat lunch might be a good call? (they're shut sundays) cheers gary
  13. Went back to locatelli last thursday evening, still full, still great. prefered my first lunchtime visit, but am realising all my best meals this year have been lunches so that may be a factor. Also tried to order differently to last visit and found that the two meat dishes we had last time are probably the best, rolled pork and the rabbitt. So could do with a menu change This time i had a salted ricotta and grilled aubergine salad (OK), tortellini in brodo (excellent) and veal which i seem to remember being £28 and wasn't £28 worth imho. Again i had the strawberry and mango lasagne (excellent). washed it down with a taittinger (good value i thought at the time), vernaccia di san gimignano and a good red recommended by the sommelier to match the veal which was about £40 and v good, unfortunately lost the bill and i've slept since so memory vague. guests were unaminous in their praise of the restaurant, if it wasn't so hard to get a table i'd eat there a lot more!
  14. i use michelin at all levels, i find it especially usefull for the cheaper establishments as often you can be confronted with a row of very similar looking places and michelin is usually pretty good at pointing you in the right direction, in fact i'd go as far to say i've not been disappointed with any choice of restaurant picked from the guide. As to 'michelin style' to me it implies a certain formality and tradition, proper napery, glasses, table settings and a general correctness in service. The grandeur depends on the level from 1 knife and fork to 3 star.
  15. thanks all for the comments so far... bux, i may well check veyrat out as, name dropper that i am, i remembered that when i was at ramsay the head chef mark said Gordon Ramsay was sending them all to veyrat that weekend to sample the food, i'll have a look for the website.... cheers gary
  16. Bux I've had mixed times at the 3 stars i've visited (ramsay, boyer, bocuse and comme chez soi) so i thought this time i'd stick to 2-3 knife and forks 1 poss 2 stars, unless veyrat is really different form the aforementioned? i'm into classic french cusine, regional produce, local wines would be what i'd try to eat whilst in france. Places i really like include jardin des ramparts beaune, Jacky michel in chalons to name a couple. thanks gary
  17. I'm going to stay with a friend who has just moved to vevey in switzerland and will then spend probably a week working my way back to reims. i thought lake annecy looked a decent place to spend a few days, anyone got any thoughts as to where exactly to go, i don't know this area of france so am open to suggestions. Also any thoughts for the geneva/montreux/vevey area would be of interest. cheers Gary
  18. i would second the praise for jardin des ramparts, i loved it and sent my non-foodie parents who still talk about it! I also tried bernard morillon and could see why it lost its star, poor service, uninspiring food, kitchen arguing etc! They did bing a complementary glass of wine at one point to try and make amends which was totally different to what we were drinking, further adding to a generally bizarre evening! i'm booked into Le Montrachet at the end of sept so glad to see that's looking good, i'd like to visit some of the producers in the area does anyone have any advice as to houses that are agreeable to visits? cheers Gary
  19. Gary Marshall


    was thinking about taking some guests to vinopolis before dinner, anyone been? cheers gary
  20. Andy, i haven't worked out this quote thing yet, but your point about whether more simple style suits is interesting. i found after 'star chasing' for several years that the higher i went the more disappointed i was becoming. funnily enough it was a great lunch at Petrus that re-ignitied my love of haute cuisine! This was because although i went hungover and sleep deprived it did have an element of comfort food to it (i had the pigs trotter and onion soup, confited belly and tarte tatin) that i craved. Although i'm going to france soon i don't think i'll be troubling the 2/3 stars. i also found the staff similar, it was very formal until they realised i wasn't standing on ceremony and was happy to chat and listen to their recommendations, i thought them very good overall
  21. A la duchesse anne, in the walls of st malo is a fabulous place, it had a michelin star for 20 odd years but lost it in the 01 guide. i wouldn't let that put you off if you want classic french cusine and sauces, eg the best steak bearnaise i've ever had, turbot beurre blanc, tarte tatin. The place is full of regulars and i suspect michelin's downgrade will not affect business one jot and has more to do with the unfashionableness and simplicity of the cooking than any actual fall in standards. it is one place all my foodie friends rate very highly
  22. Gary Marshall


    i went to paul bocuse last summer it was good but not execeptional and once mr & mrs Bocuse disappeared to bed, service became interminably slow, i was there nearly 4 hours until midnight, i was not v happy! from the board it seems if you want the 'best' 3 star experience in the area, try troisgros in roanne it's about an hours drive/easy train (restauarant is across road from station)from lyon. i also tried one of his 4 brasseries , le nord which was good, lyonnaise brasserie food. nice steak au poivre i seem to remember.
  23. Made it to the Fat Duck on Friday evening after a surprisingly easy drive from Leeds to maidenhead, despite the heat (more of which later). On arriving at the FD initial impressions were good, a modern, smart but unstuffy dining room with relaxed staff, which suited as i'm becoming more michael winner-esque in my old age in my unwillingness to get overly dressed up for dinner. A couple of champagnes to start, a nice drop v biscuity in a bolly/gosset manner, i asked what it was but all i caught was something 'boyer', again something i will return to.... we went for the tasting menu, with the wines. i think these dishes have been debated enough on this board so i won't go into too much detail. a sherry accompanied the pre-starters the well known lime sour, ok; the quail jelly, interesting; and the mustard ice cream, fine. Problems began here, i didn't think the sherry went well (i'm used to it being served as an aperitif, michael Hjort at meltons in york is a big fan) but the sherry and the combinations of food just didn't sit well with me, i know the combinations are designed to trick the brain, but i think it flooded my small one and it said no -way! roast scallop was ok, didn't like the cauliflower puree that came with it, wine matched well but the sommelier was so heavily accented i couldn't understand his enthusiastic explanations i think it was spanish. the inability to understand continued throughout the meal, i think they should print the wines with the tasting menu? the heat of the restaurant also soon became apparent, to be fair it was a hot night but everyone in the restaurant was fanning themselves with cards on the table, the heat also had another undesirable side effect, severe body odour on our designated waiter, after placing the dish and describing it i bent to smell the dish and got the overwhelming hit of BO, v unpleasant especially when you have another 10 courses to go! the girlfriend sarah had the crab biscuit with foie gras. i was gracious in letting her have the best dish! It was good but not as spectacular as others have said. I had the cauliflower risotto which would have been ok but the cocoa powder dusting severly put me off. The meat course was poached pigeon with a pastilla of leg, (i would have liked to have tried the lamb slow cooked but it was not on this tasting menu ). Pigeon didn't look appealing, well cooked in terms of execution but looked & had the texture of raw meat. leg pastilla, a small pastry parcel was delicious, again random flavours dotted the plate, pistachio, choccy etc. (though i know pigeon and choc is not new) . Sarah had the sea bass Ok but not revelatory (certainly not as good as guy savoy's sea bass and vanilla). A glass of vacqueras accompanied the pigeon a sauvignon blanc the bass. Another minor irritation became apparent here, we sat virtually in the middle of the room (my choice so as to observe the other diners dishes ) and the staff consistently appeared behind sarah's back, beaming with delight at the dishes but of course she couldn't see them so i had to keep stopping her mid sentence to let the staff deliver the dishes, they had to walk to the front of the table to deliver mine, why they felt the need to hover behind i don't know? not the end of the world but wouldn't happen at winteringham fields! Again the french waiting staff were very hard to understand, maybe cabrales' is right to speak in french after all as we were struggling. There were many other small tastes that came through that i can't remember, but my brain/stomach were v confused by this point and spoons of mashed potato and white chocolate discs with caviar on did nothing to calm them. there were two deserts but as i say the profusion of dishes and flavours made it hard to ascertain what was part of the menu and what was a 'taste'. suffice to say by the time of the chocolate delice, we were beaten. i'd just had enough and sarah was full to burst. (though i did like the spacedust in the bottom of the chocolate!). I felt bad at the end of the meal because the food was imaginative and impeccably cooked, executed and presented. The staff tried hard, if failed in the few small areas i mentioned. In such an establishment i'd usually go to the kitchen and pester the chef with queries but didn't as i felt couldn't go and be honest that i really hadn't enjoyed it. Maybe the a la carte without the extra tastes would suit me better, it's the only meal out of many that has really left my head/stomach in limbo. It's worth a trip just to see what they are doing, and make your own mind up, but for the money (and it wasn't cheap £278 for 2 no coffee) i'd be in petrus, locatelli, rhr, embassy any day of the week. maybe i'm a saddo french classicist at heart (i think i'd have loved in it its early days as an upmarket bistro!) but to me, in a nutshell it was fusion cooking gone mad. ps i remeber an earlier debate about a chocolate desert 'inspired' by M Bras, it does now have a credit, if it didn't before.
  24. Tony i'd agree entirely with the review you mentioned, over priced, under sauced (to my taste) and not really the classic rhodes i was expecting. Even more bizarrely, given the sodexho connection, the restaurant is in their head office, we arrived early for a 12.00 table, they said the restaurant wasn't ready yet would we like to, and i can't remember the exact phrase used but, i got the impression we were going to a bar area for a drink. oh no we were taken and plonked in the reception of sodexho HQ, a greater contrast to the minimalist rhodes you could not find, 70's office complete with nescafe dispenser! me and colleague took one look at each other and simulaneously said, it's ok we'll go to the pub next door!
  25. i had no idea he had a tv programme, but will be watching next week, what time is it on? another one i often miss but really enjoy is locatelli on uk food, he's barking but obviously genuine and passionate about what he does, it's a bbc production heaven only knows why its not on bbc2, deserves a wider airing. will give full fd update on monday. cheers gary
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