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Everything posted by Laidback

  1. Today we walked by the former location of Velly , 52 rue Lamartine and now there is a place called Villa Victoria where Velly used to be. Does anyone have the skinny?
  2. While I have by no means given even a good sampling of restaurants in our new neighborhood(Lamarck-Caulaincourt) I would like to mention a few re-visits in other arrondissements that we have made this trip. Last night our friends took us to our biannual farewell visit to their customary favorite in the 16th, Chez Géraud, which you remember Pudlo selected as his bistro of the year for 2007. While I almost never agree with Pud as to "bests", this being no exception, it is good and will be as long as Géraud hangs in there. It is game season and they do game well, so I started with a good terrine de biche with onion compote and then had a Panaché of Lievre, which features it prepared in a couple of different ways. The rable was grilled and presented with a portion of the traditional Lievre Royal served with an apple gratin...tender and rich in flavor. This place is noted for its' Paris-Brest and it was a very good rendition. Wines were a white Macon and a red Savigny Les Beaunes. Per routine, Géraud came around after the meal insistent that we try a sip of his 1974 Armagnac; I gratefully accepted. Don't come here expecting fireworks, just quality product served with pride in a homey setting decorated with madame's faience and a Steinlen ceramic on the back wall. We also revisited Au Gourmand for the 1st time since their move from Vaugirard across the river in the 6th to rue Molière in the 1st. I was expecting good things after being alerted by John Talbott and Joan Grace, but WOW...how do they do that for €32? The place is still on the small side, but 15 seats larger than before, and nicely decorated with linens, etc. It was full of business suits for our Friday lunch, but the service was still friendly and welcoming, even though I was wearing my uniform from the '50s, chinos and a sweater. "The Wife" started with a delicious bisque with legumes cuit-cru and ecrevisses and I fared equally well with a creme leger of rattes, white onions, escargots, grenailles and pinons with a touch of basil. Our mains were an outstanding presentation of noix St. Jacques over an unctious saffroned risotto; look how perfectly the scallops were prepared: , and a cote epaisse de cochon fermier roti served with veggies from Joel Thibault; not your ordinary pork chop: Our bottle of €47 2004 Pessac-Leognan costs more than the 3 course menu. Desserts were good, but not extraordinary; a pear/Fourme d'Ambert tart and a Mirabelle soufflé. After having fallen below our radar, this place is squarely back on our preferred list. Another revisit that I suspect you tire of my touting is Carte Blanche on rue Lamartine in the 9th,but the rapport quality/price here is excellent, €35 for 3 courses. Our bouches were amused twice; 1st with a small piece of foie gras on a matching piece of toasted brioche then with a socks knocking off brandade of cabillaud with caviar d'aubergines. The lovely Ms. L. had an entrée of cream of white paimpol beans with chorizo and shrimp, while I began with a creative version of a petoncle and raspberry ravioli served in a broth with baby spinach shoots: Her main was gambas and noix St. Jacques served over ratte potatoes and green beans split lengthwise enhanced with a citrus sauce: Mine was Pata Negra roti (roasted species of Spanish pork loin) served over sautéd green beans and red peppers and a side dish of purée fumé: Desserts were roasted figs and curry ice cream and a version of Belle Poire Hélène: Other revisits this trip that are holding up as well as ever are Le Violon d'Ingres, Le Florimond, and Le P'tit Troquet, all in the 7th arrondissement. The cassoulet I had at La Fontaine de Mars was a disappointment; the beans were still hard, whereas the Constant version at Le Violon was outstanding.
  3. As I mentioned up-thread, we revisited Cottage Marcadet on rue Marcadet, just West of the intersection with Ruisseau and Duhesme. This made our 3rd visit since the new young chef Cyril Choisne took control. This is a tiny(16 seat) jewel box of a restaurant with abundant linen, nice crystal and flatware and a new, friendlier young maitre/server who speaks very good English. There is a menu for about €35 for lunch but the items we wanted were à la carte and on the expensive end of the spectrum. Our meals for 3 people have run about €100/person, which includes a coupe de Champagne, 3 courses, ½ bottle of a white Burgundy with our entrées and a nice bottle of red Bordeaux with our mains as well as Chateldon mineral water and 3 coffees. one entrée was Grenouilles Blondes with beignets filled with a sweet garlic cream: Another was an artfully plated tuna of excellent quality: One main was roasted Breton lobster with young veggies; a slight miss here as the lobster was a little overcooked for our taste: Another main was cote de boeuf roti-persillée. Felice educated me at this point that when speaking of meat, the term persillée means marbled, rather than referring to parsley as it does in other contexts. The Maitre/server presented it uncarved for a photo before carving it into juicy, tasty slices, plated with young vegetables: The accompagnying wine was selected by our guest, a very nice Bordeaux the 2nd of Chateau Chasse-Spleen, l'Orotoire. Well done Felice! You are presented a selection of 3 warm breads, which are re-offered as necessary. The service could not have been more pleasant, not cloying, but friendly and professional. Desserts were a Declinaison of chocolat: and a pommes millefeuille: I have my doubts that the neighborhood will support a restaurant with the prices necessary to maintain this quality; One can only hope.
  4. Granted, but if one is in the neighborhood, like you and me, it's a fine spot.And despite my curmudgeonly attitude, I think the pictures really add a lot. ← Thanks John, that was in essence what I wanted to convey, but in re-reading my post I can see that it appears that I was referring to Les Fables, when I meant Le Winch, for the hard to beat €29 menu. I would not hesitate to go to Le Winch from another arrondissement for the combo of comfort, and rapport quality/price.
  5. This past Sunday we attempted to have the €15 brunch at "le Café Qui Parle" on rue Caulaincourt but our esteemed forum leader had given it a good critique during the week and apparently all the world listened... the line was down the street! Patience not being one of my virtues we detoured a couple of blocks to "Le Winch" on rue Damremont and had a nice seafood Sunday. The appearance is clean and modern with well spaced tables. There is a large no smoking sign and a €25 2 course/€29 3 course menu with 5 to 7 choices. Ms. L started with Le Tourteau, a bit of crab meat with a tomato jelly and a broccoli mousse. I began with fresh anchovy filets served in a Mason jar with caviar d'Aubergines and sweet red peppers. Our mains were Encornets, tender squid rings and tentacles, with sweet peppers and basil...outstanding, and gambas, not too overcooked as the photo appears, coated with spices and a bulghar brick. The chef is Normand/Breton and uses butter and cheeses from his fellow countryman, M. Bordier, and his version of Tarte Tatin is above average. This place is not going to trifle with my present allegiance to "Les Fables de la Fontaine" for seafood, but for €29 you will be hard pressed to top it, coupled with an affordable white Macon-Village.
  6. So far the photo/no photo poll is 1 to 1. So which direction should I take? Perhaps the lack of interest in the subject should guide me.
  7. This Fall we are spending 3 weeks in Paris in another new, to us, neighborhood, the Lamarck-Caulaincourt area. We love it; there is a metro less than 100 yds. from our door and a good bus less than ½ of that. Immediately below us is a good boulangerie, presse, and wine store, and across the street an ATM, prime greengrocer and a small grocery store. On the same street a few doors down is a good "Red Label meat" boucherie, and just a few blocks on down the hill is the neighborhood market area at the intersection of streets Ordener, Poteau and Duhesme. Friendly cafés and little restaurants abound; nothing much to get to get excited about in terms of gourmet places, with the exception of Cottage Marcadet which I will deal with in a separate post, but several little places are just fine for casual, neighborhood standards. John Talbot mentioned Poulbot Gourmet on rue Lamarck and since it looked good and is about 100 yards from our apt., we gave it a try and were pleased; Ms. L. had a croustillant de canard appetizer that was above average, as were her Coquille St. Jacques. I enjoyed a standard magret de canard with framboise sauce, a bottle of Morgon and a vacherin for dessert. This is a pretty, proper little traditional restaurant with well prepared food. A lesser spot, which didn't inspire or poison us was the Coup de Coeur on rue Cloys. In the café/bistro genre we tried Chez Ginette with it's nice little terrace, offering salads, a huge €15 cheeseburger, pavé de boeuf, etc. and Café Arrosé where I had a good, spicy saute de canard with poivrons and espelette and Ms. L. had a generous slice of a courgette quiche. Both spots are on rue Caulaincourt and offer copious 2nd hand smoke. On up the street is a slightly more upscale place, the Cépage Montmartois, with a huitriere outside. The oysters looked good so I enjoyed some fine Speciales #2 and good moules-frites while the wife had a more pedestrian poulet roti. A French businessman next to us at Chez Ginette insisted we try what he called the best Vietnamienne in Paris, so we did; the Sourire de Saigon on Mont Cenis. When I enter an Asian restaurant and there are no Asian clients and a few Asian employees I get nervous, but it was actually quite good. The Gambas de Rivieres Geantes grillés were tasty served over rice noodles with a citrus sauce and the nems du porc were fresh and not as greasy as some, although the riz Cantonais was about as bad as I remember having. This place is only open for dinner and was jam-packed, so they must be doing something right. Other spots on our neighborhood list are Le Winch and Le Café Qui Parle. More later; there seems to be some strong sentiment here against photos, so let me know whether you prefer text only or text with photos for my next installment.
  8. So much depends on your price range. To me, nobody in Paris has ever done a better job with fish and lobster than Le Divellec; it is one of the most expensive seafood restaurants and tends to be traditional rather than experimental/cute which is fine by me, as my preference in seafood is rather straightforward...I don't want my beautiful, fresh lobster lobster desecrated with unconventional spices and weird combinations. On the other end of the price spectrum, my favorite for years was the Bistro du Dome, just across the street from the flagship, but one of my last visits before Les Fables de la Fontaine opened, I experienced a serious lapse in the preparation(severely over cooked) and service(could care less). Since Les Fables opened it has become my medium priced favorite. Fresh seafood in Paris is expensive to very expensive to exorbitant.
  9. Thanks everyone; I live on the central West coast of Florida, not exactly a cheese paradise. Ptipois, you were as usual, the beacon of lucid info. I like it lissé and as faisselle, mainly as a dessert, thus my preference for either honey or a fruit coulis. Thanks.
  10. For a few years I have enjoyed fromage blanc as a refreshing warm weather treat, especially for dessert with honey or a fruit coulis. I haven't found this in the USA; does it exist under a different name there?
  11. There is a good reason the Latin expression "Degustibus est non disputatum" has survived to our times, because one of the reasons I would go to Troisgros is for the "familial" plates. The piece de boeuf à la moelle sauce Fleurie and the saumon à l'oseille are classics that were perfected by Pierre and Jean are incomparable. I can intellectually relate to the new cuisine with the Japanese influences of the son/nephew/grandson Jean Michel, but emotionally I still cleave to the traditional favorites. I understand that my generation must bow to the genius of the molecular, bizarre combinations of the Pierre Gagnaire devotées. There is room for all, to prefer one style doesn't condemn all others.
  12. Indeed, it was top. We should do a historical topic; for me, I'd relive Giradet, Lameloise, Bocuse, Barriere de Clichy + Jamin, Loiseau, Pere Bise, Boyer pre-Crayeres and even {gasp} in the very early days l'Ami Louis. Would I be age-ist or get no responses if I insisted that the only posters be born before WWII?I mean, if Frederic Gersal can do a c10 min spot on Telematin qd, why not us? Send me a PM if interested. Otherwise we'll let the idea die. ← John, I qualify age-wise but I tend to be more glutton/gourmand than gourmet. One place I will always remember is the the restaurant at the Negresco about 38 yrs. ago. A small bowl of simple green peas was served as a side dish of which I still search for the equal. The fresh fish as far as I remember was simply prepared but of incontestable freshness. I haven't been to the temple in Chagny since 9/11/01 but at that time Jacques Lameloise had not abandoned the wonders of traditional French cuisine for the modern wave of foams, passion fruit, yuzu, etc. Among my favorites among the more modern, in terms of spice usage without losing a sense of terroir was Olivier Roellinger at Cancale, but my last visit was about 12 years ago when the great god Michelin deemed him worthy of less than 3 stars. I admit to a weakness for tradition and find wonderful French cream,butter and wine based sauces still thrill my palate and have never found Taillevent boring or lacking in technique, service or wine choice through the tenure of Del Burgo, Legendre and now Soliveres. As I noted on another thread, few meals have pleased me more than my 1st visit to Troisgros when Pierre was still a presence. If someone has done a better filet of beef à la moelle with a Fleurie wine sauce please let me know...boring, traditional, maybe; superb, without a doubt. Who else in Fance has had a monument done entirely of forks? Another great memory is staying overnight some years back at Boyer's Les Crayeres, the details elude me as this was pre digital camera years but the overall experience made quite an imprint.
  13. Last Sat. night Pat and I had the good fortune to have been dining at Troisgros and 2 points I observed. 1st, pictures were being taken by the staff of a few patrons, much more obtrusively than my discrete, flashless shots of the art served on our plates. I always feel a little tacky doing so, but few things bring back the wonderful experiences like looking back through my photos across the years. 2nd, the dress code is becoming more relaxed. One older French gentleman, me and another distinquished looking American were the only ones wearing ties. This is not to say that the other diners, mostly French, were shabbily attired at all, they were wearing expensive looking sport coats over open collared shirts...no T-shirt/jeans were spotted. The last time we were here was in 1994(I know thanks to my photos ) and every man in the room was wearing suits and ties. I am not making a judgement, just stating observations.
  14. Well, I drifted by after lunch at l'Ami Jean about which I'll have much to say later, and the place was full and when I looked in the window I was astounded by a raised table facing the street seating about 8 persons that had more glassware on it than most restaurants carry altogether. I entered and asked to see the carte (menu); there is none, one orders the 50, 100 or 1000 Euro meal and with the wine(s) come "surprise dishes." It opens tomorrow to the public, today was a Press preview (having just eaten I only half-heartedly suggested they should have invited me). But they were most pleasant and we exchanged cards. On verra. ← John is this the old Chamarré location?
  15. Joan, the Picard I remember is on rue Grenelle near the intersection of rue de l'Exposition.
  16. Now I have. Thanks for the tip. (I'm still interested in more residential neighborhood faves.) ← Very subjective as almost everyone has their favorite. I find mine by watching for ones with the longest line of customers. In the 9th my fav. is Delmontel on rue Martyrs and in the 7th, Pain d'Epis on Bosquet.
  17. Thanks for the report; your photos add so much to the review. I assume from your avatar that you are a devotée of one of my favorite restaurants in Vienne.
  18. Thank Laidback, not everone reds the [urlhttp://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=97669&st=30]Digest. ← And then there are those who like me, read practically all of your summations and have the age induced memory capacity of anywhere up to several days. Anyway it was another in a long line of encouragements for what Daniel is doing.
  19. It has probably been previously mentioned, but for those eGulleteers who haven't seen it, the Sept. restaurant issue of Bon Appetit has a nice 6 page article replete with photos of Spring and Daniel Rose by Alan Richman.
  20. This is interesting...I wondered where these 2 Passard proteges had gone after you mentioned that Le Chamarré closed its doors. Have you paid them a check out visit yet? Has your radar pinged on the location of chef Varnier since he left Au C'Amelot?
  21. So what happened to Chamarré; Closed or moved?
  22. Excellent report but may I point out one address typo; Pramil is on rue du Vertbois.
  23. Jean, I must endorse Sue's comments on Le Grand Pré. we have eaten there 2 times and will again this Fall. Even though it is in the sticks and only been open a few yrs. Michelin did award it a star last year. Another place that I didn't notice mention of above is "La Feniere"in Lourmarin I celebrated my birthday there a few years back and the chef, Reine Sammut, did an outstanding job. At the time she was recognized(by Pudlo and others) as not only the best female chef in Provence but one of the top 3 in France. It has been a few years, but I can't imagine that someone of her talent level would disappear. Again I agree with Sue and Cigale that Chez Bru/Bistro d'Eygalieres is a very special treat.
  24. Paris doesn't seem to offer much in the way of Mediterranean food, especially bouillabaisse. You will cripple your wallet at Le Dome; I had it at Le Petit Niçois in the 7th about 4 yrs. ago and it was passable, but I have heard very tepid reports on the restaurant since then. You might also try Mediterranée across from the Odeon.
  25. We have a family of Parisian friends who have treated us to dinner at Chez Géraud on rue Vital in the 16th each trip for several years. Géraud Rongier is such an affable, modest man who is proud of his wines, in particular those from the greater Burgundy area. My 1st visit I complimented him on his involvement with Beaujolais, telling him that it was our favorite summer red vin de table; when we left he had packaged up a Morgon, Fleurie, and a Brouilly of his bottling for us as a gift. Last night our host ordered a Savigny les Beaune and M. Rongier came by with an excellent glass of Volnay for me to try as well. Without doubt it helps that our host/friend is a long time hunting companion of Géraud, but that doesn't alter a bit the good quality of the plates coming out of the kitchen. This is a very traditional cuisine; foie gras, tete de veau, salade de gesiers, escargots, ris de veau, sole meuniere, poulet demi-deuil, scallops in season, lobster and steak...a veritable honor roll of bistro classics executed to a high standard. Our host usually orders the Paris Brest for dessert, feeling that the version here is a classic. I complimented Géraud on winning Pudlo's award as best bistro of 2007 and he asked if I thought that it was any better than previous years and agreed with me that he was unaware of any change, but humbly appreciated the recognition. If you go, notice the Steinlen ceramic on the back wall done especially for him. Don't expect Gagnaire, Barbot type dazzling platings but don't expect to leave hungry.
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