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Everything posted by Laidback

  1. "In addition, the squid just didn’t live up to its reputation (or compared with that at the rue Delambre Bistro Cote Mer) ...." John was this a typo, referring instead to the Bistro du Dome on Delambre? For years this was a Sunday favorite of mine for good, relatively inexpensive seafood, but I have heard it has slipped lately. Do you have any recent info if there has been a change in management or have you tried it recently. I am very grateful for your postings and will definitely try Bouchet, Cinq Mars, Cerisaie, etc. while in Paris this Spring. Thanks again for your efforts.
  2. Curious as to why you warn against Le Divellec other than the astronomical price. In the same Pudlo it gets 4 forks and 2 plates. We have had 3 celebratory evenings there in the last several years and have found no fault. The last time was a rainy evening about 2 years ago and we used the voiturier. As we paid our bill the hostess brought our coats and announced that our car was at the entrance, which was in keeping with the level of service we received tableside, and the fish was very fresh and grilled just a little more than bleue as we had asked. Admittedly the price is more than I care to tolerate except for very special occasions.
  3. This may not be as formal as you wish, but I have heard that it is enjoyable. We took the Rungis tour she suggests with Isabelle Batchelor(spelling?), and plan on taking one of Mme Caillat's classes. http://www.promenadesgourmandes.com
  4. I find the Zagat useful as a compact directory for addresses, etc. The best quide for consistent, explanatory info to me is "Le Pudlo Paris", but any guide is about a year out of date by the time it is published and distributed. The beauty of eG forums is the timeliness as well as the quality of the posts.
  5. The chef in the top right group photo looks a bit like Pierre Troisgros don't you think?
  6. Cancoillotte is on the menu at Chez Maitre Paul in Paris which is an outpost of Franc-Comtoise cuisine.
  7. We haven't been to Maison Bricourt in about 4 years, but at that time We were very impressed. Traditional dishes expressing the terroir of his area(seafood, lamb from the salt marshes,etc) but subtly influenced with his judicious use of spices. At the time we placed it in the same league with Troisgros and Les Crayeres.
  8. Good premise John. I tried Le Meurice and even though it is not new this year, Yannick Alleno is, and it was my favorite "new" spot followed by Mon Vieil Ami, Les Ormes(new location),L'Acajou, De La Garde, L'Ourcine, Fables de la Fontaine. After Le Meurice I quibble somewhat with my wife about the pecking order. Felice, let's hear from you.
  9. What has become of Ghislaine Arabian since the dust-up with the owner of her restaurant which has since been named Seize sur Seize and now Table de Joel? Much of her team remained at Seize Sur Seize, but is this still the case now that the restaurant is under the wing of M. Robuchon?
  10. I didn't sart visiting France until 1994 on a regular basis but during this decade there has been quite an improvement in the acceptance of non smoking areas. I am sure in the past several of you have shared my experience of asking for a non smoking table and having the ashtray removed from the table while on each elbow there were smokers. It seems that non fumeur signs are perceived as rather droll suggestions to many French people. Times are thankfully changing; several occasions this last trip when I called for reservations, I was asked if I preferred fumeur or non fumeur, and Le Florimond stated nicely that they were now completely non fumeur, as is Le P'tit Troquet. Both places were full so it doesn't appear to have negatively impacted their business. John, was the ancient restaurant in Versaille's disease smoke related, cholesterol or just old age?
  11. We immensely enjoyed a night and dinner at La Cabro D'Or at the foot of Les Baux.
  12. Please give me your list of brasseries serving food equivalent to Taillevent. I have been going there through the reigns of Philippe Legendre, Michel Del Burgo and recently Alain Soliveres and it has always been of supremely consistent quality. I attribute this to the very hands on, second generation owner, M. Vrinat, who is the epitome of understated grace and charm, and the main reason Taillevent has remained at the top of nearly every guide for years on end. I have eaten upstairs and down, and my only preference is to not be immediately under the staircase. I don't consider(nor desire) the cuisine to be as daring as that of the remarkable Pierre Gagnaire, but it has always been based on the best products available, with variations on classics. Since I only get to dine there about once a year, it is comforting to know that their signature dishes, such as the lobster sausage will be available. As for service, one trip we were seated in one of the upstairs rooms and a 3 generation family with about a 6 yr. old boy was graciously seated near us. The head waiter discussed possible special meals for the boy. He was served at the time the adults got their appetisers and the waiter cut up the meat dish for him, brought his dessert without much wait, then arranged two chairs together and brought a blanket and pillow so he could nap through his family's meal. Another time we were greeted by name by a waiter we had met previously at Le Violon d'Ingres, who was not even assigned to our room. There can always be off nights no matter the restaurant...Guy Savoy forgetting to refill our wine glasses, surliness from one waiter at L'Ambroisie, being too close to a large group of chattering, chain smoking Japanese at Le Grand Vefour, icy service at Le Carre des feuillants, etc.,etc. Perfection is unattainable but Jean Claude Vrinat keeps it as his goal.
  13. This small restaurant received a Michelin star last year and even though we have spent 3 Spring and Falls within a short walk from it, this trip was the first time we gave it a try. Patrice Vidal is the proud owner and is dedicated to his metier. The name is a tribute to his enormous(over600) collection and passion for French wine. He only accepts 5 tables for lunch and 7 for dinner in order to assure personal attention to each guest. His chef, Pascal Toulza, has been with him for about 7 yrs, if my well vinified memory is correct, and was formerly with Passard at Arpege. There are comfortable upholstered chairs and the decor is pleasant overall with yellow and blue colors and white wainscoting. Our entrées were delicately marinated Coquille St. Jacques and lightly tempuraed langoustines which had been sautéed a perfect fraction above bleu and served with a croquant filled with an avocado coulis...extraordinary. The mains were a magnificent cote de veau served lightly pink as we had requested and a braised souris d'agneau served with a brochette of sliced turnips,beets and onions. M. Vidal recommended an excellent Madiran which was not something I would have considered, in fact he steered me away from a more expensive Crozes Hermitage. Dessert was an unusual and very generous millefeuille of chocolate. Our total bill for 3 people including champagne, Chateldon mineral water, and coffee was €276. There is no prix fixe menu, everything is à la carte. We look forward to a return next Spring when there will be a change of menu based on the season.
  14. The following is a post I did on BP last April: 1st visit to L'Ami Jean since the ex Regalade chef took control. The decor is unchanged, still on the dark, unprepossesing side. Good things: friendly,helpful service; a €28 menu; excellent whole wheat bread from the neighboring Poujauran Bakery, served with a little pot of fromage blanc sprinkled with ciboulettes and espellette pepper; a decent bottle of Madiran for €18; a wonderful bouillon de legumes, a clear beef broth full of lightly cooked fresh vegetables(a whole tureen left on the table); the Basque specialty, Axoa, a veal stew with Tomato based sauce, green and espelette peppers served with a little pot of mashed potatos; a dessert called crémeux de citron jaune, noix et pistache en nougatine. Bad things: canette roti entiere...I expected a whole roast duckling, but it meant the duckling was roasted whole then cut up, probably my mistake in interpretation, but I received a small leg and thigh that was so tough I literally could not cut it up, the flavor was good and "ducky", but hard to deliver from bone to mouth. The only other negative was the gateau Basque, which supposedly also comes from Poujauran, but this one must have come last week, cold and dried up like it had become intimate with the inside of their frigo for several days, not nearly as good as I had at Mellifère a few days ago.All in all the good outweighed the bad and I will probably go back for another try.
  15. John I assume that since you quotationed menu you were referring to the prix fixe not the carte. 65 yr. old brains get confused between France and the USA with terms such as menu and entree. I followed Mme Mikula from Olivades to her eponymous spot across from the George Cinq. I have only been 2 times and didn't order the prix fixe as the regular carte was very appealing, and every serving was from good to excellent. Do you feel that she went back to her Arpege roots from the simplicity of Olivades to seek a Michelin star?
  16. A favorite of ours is Le Florimond on La Motte-Piquet in the 7th. M. Rubin declares they have the best stuffed cabbage in Paris and I heartily concur. Laurent Martin is as congenial a front man as I know in Paris. Sorry to reply so late but I just recently found the gullet.
  17. it was indeed a change but I must hedge on better/worse. Flora is a very talented chef and I believe Les Olivades was her break away from M. Passard. It was devoted to Provençal cuisine and the quality/price rapport was outstanding. The main negative was its' popularity...the restaurant was slammed every service and apparently no one could say no to reservation requests. Since Deligne took over there is much more calm and decorum(no one squeezing between tables due to the overbooking). Deligne has kept a Provençal touch but has added his own signature with a smattering of spices picked up during his West Indian sojourn, and there is no question he knows his way around the stoves with his impressive credentials.
  18. One option, particularly in nice weather is the Moulin de Fourges just outside of Giverny in a lovely pastoral setting beside a small river. The cuisine is traditional, not haute cuisine but better than the slim pickings in Giverny. One disadvantage is that the more expensive tours on day trips from Paris visit there in their vans.
  19. Janice, you have been given 2 terrific suggestions but they are very different in substance. The Bristol, Meurice, etc. are marvels of dressy, sophisticated dining in lovely settings with concomitant pricing. Le Reminet is tiny, casual, very affordable and excellent value. Forget about l'Atelier de Robuchon unless standing in line and paying exorbitant prices for tiny bits of wonderful food served at the bar(no table seating) rings your particular bell.
  20. Zouave your incisive reports speak for themselves, so what was it that disenchanted you so much with the new chef at La Dinée after the departure of M. Chabanel? I was as pleased with my subsequent visit as before, maybe more so because of the perceived attitude that the new guy was eager to please, whereas, as talented as Chabanel was, he let us sit while he discussed business of some sort at length.
  21. I have the great good fortune to have been able to spend every April and October in Paris since retiring a few years back and have a few comments about the above suggestions. Every one mentioned is an excellent choice. I would recommend Le Violon for lunch, rather than dinner, as you can almost always get a reservation the next day. Normally Catherine Constant is not there on Wed. because of the children. Their tiny Cafe Constant is enormous value, always jam packed and they don't take reservations. Some days the lunch prix fixe at Le Violn is not listed but has always been available. I found L' Astrance through Mme Costant when they first opened and it is truly superb, but reservations are difficult. They usually don't answer faxes; I queried Christophe about this and received the classic Gallic shrug with a reply that they were too busy. Their price has climbed each time we return but it is still excellent value.
  22. As a new member, I am probably repeating information already better stated in other threads, so I beg your indulgence in advance, but here is my list: Mon Vieil Ami on L'Ile St. Louis, L' Entredgeu in the 17th, La Grande Rue, La Dinee, Le Troquet and De La Garde in the 15th, Le Florimond, Les Fables de la Fontaine, and Le Clos des Gourmets in the 7th. L'Ourcine and L'Os a Moelle are also great value, but I know they have already been covered.
  23. Assiduously reseraching restaurants is one of life's great pleasures for me, however there is still the occasional low note. One glaring example was Chartier, which is listed in many places as a place to visit. My recommendation is just that...visit but don't eat! My entrecote was far from cuttable with any utensil normally found in a restaurant, the haricots vert were mushy and barely vert. The price is very affordable but the quality unacceptable.
  24. For rapport qualité prix I would endorse La Grande Rue in the 15th. It is another of the new young husband-chef/wife-hostess à la Clos des Gourmets. The decor is inauspicious but comfortable, there is a true non-smoking area, and as of last April reservations could be obtained in a day or so. The chef trained under the requisite culinary rock stars...Ducasse and Robuchon if my memory is correct. I have been there 3 times and as of yet haven't hit a sour note. If you like this place then venture out to the edge of the 17th for another similar price/quality treat, husband/wife combo called L'Entredgeu.
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