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RichieRich

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  1. Artisan in Paso Robles

    We had dinner there mid-September. Enjoyed the abalone appetizer along with the smoked gouda and porter fondue. Mains were a wild boar tenderloin dish that doesn't seem to be on the menu now, and the sort of seafood paella minus the rice (if you see the menu, you'll know what I mean). Both were excellent. Decent wine list (not cheap). One caveat - the room can get loud once it fills up.
  2. Was just at Disneyland for the day last Tuesday. Walked up to the reservation counter at Blue Bayou a little before 10:00am and was told they were already booked for the entire day (offered a reservation for the next day - as if we'd come back just for lunch). They did say you can just walk up and put your name on the wait list for immediate seating. We did that last time and were able to get in after only 15min or so - but that was off-season. Had dinner at Napa Rose and can confirm that the food is quite good. Only downside was that due to no reservations, we ended up being seated in overflow/Siberia. Service was also somewhat slapdash - sometimes attentive, sometimes disappearing for long stretches.
  3. Healdsburg/Yountville

    It does sound great. Can you give me an idea of driving time from Healdsburg? We are geezers and after a lot of wine rather not challenge our road-worthiness...LOL ← I just returned from a similar trip and dined at Farmhouse Inn after reading Russ' recommendation. Had a fabulous meal. Definitely second the comment about the wine list and would add that the sommelier was terrific. Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Seemed to really enjoy talking about wine and as a result, so did we. Make the whole process fun (not to mention scoring some really great wine matches). I would say drive time from Healdsburg is about 30 min give or take. (Edited to fix premature post-age.)
  4. I'm curious Kouign -- can you tell me if they still have that center, single-lane traffic thing? I remember when it was initially built; running one direction in the morning and the other direction in the evening. There was a point when it was thought that there was no way it was going to last and they were going to have to open it to both directions. I haven't driven that area in almost 15 years and have always wondered... ← Carolyn: Not only is it still there, but it's in the process of being extended past Lake Hodges (and growing to 4 lanes). Regarding the Rancho Bernardo restaurant scene: I had dinner recently at Bernard O's and had a drink at the bar afterward with the chef (Patrick Ponsaty). We spoke at length about the restaurant scene in the immediate area. One thing he said he was continually frustrated with was the conservative nature (food-wise) of his customers. He continually tries to put new things on the menu and then ends up taking them off after a few weeks. I have heard similar comments from others in the area. Hopefully over time this may change with the new 4S Ranch area expanding so rapidly. But for the time being, I wouldn't consider Rancho Bernardo to be very supportive of anything remotely cutting-edge.
  5. Tasting Notes: What's useful?

    I've been lurking here for a while but this thread (and Mary's urging just now) has finally brought me out of the woodwork. For me, the question of what's useful in tasting notes is extremely context-dependent. Am I trying to describe the wine to someone else, am I looking at the back label to decide if -I- am going to like it, or am I trying to record my own impressions so that a year from now I have something to jog my (all too untrustworthy) memory. The hardest of all for me is to give some sort of meaningful impression to someone else. I've had a couple of introductory tasting classes, etc so I've been exposed to some methodology and a structured approach to tasting. That at least helps establish some common terminology. But as has already been pointed out elsewhere, individual palates can vary tremendously. I have a good friend that I swear must have the genetically opposite palate of mine. We go back and forth along the lines of "You tasted WHAT?" "Where do you get THAT from?" And yet this happens with wines that we both think are great. In this circumstance, trying to establish a common vocabulary is... challenging. I think FloridaJim, JohnL, et al do a great job in this regard. I find all their notes extremely useful. The easiest is just taking some notes for my own future benefit. The audience is limited, and dare I say, quite forgiving. When it comes to back labels, I guess I'm in the more-is-better camp. I like a combination of data points (like Ridge has, for example), and at least some indication of flavor profile. At that point, I feel like I can usually tell enough to give me a better than average chance of making a good choice. Of course, there's always the marketing phraseology to wade through... Can there be a more useless phrase than "while drinkable now, this wine will continue to improve..." Just once I'd like to see a back label that says "You'd have to be nuts to drink this now".
  6. Sonoma Restaurant Scene

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus about The General's Daughter. My friends and I had a fantastic dinner there Saturday night. Chef Dishman did a tasting menu for the five of us and couldn't have been nicer or more accomodating (we had a couple of people with dietary restrictions). Standout dishes included the afore-mentioned spicy tartar with green apple and cucumber "slaw" (although with salmon instead of tuna this night), shrimp and andouille sausage with creamy grits, and the single freshest, most sublime oyster I've enjoyed in quite some time. In addition to the overall quality of the dishes themselves, it was clear that a lot of thought went in to the progression from one to the next. For example, the shrimp and sausage over grits (a very rich dish) was followed by a simple fillet of perfectly roasted halibut over a simple bed of leeks and carrots in a mild broth. I don't normally think of halibut as something light and refreshing, but that was the effect it had here. It essentially acted as a palate cleanser between the previous course and the next (dry-aged center-cut rib-eye with a red wine/peppercorn butter). After the meal, we were invited back to the kitchen and I asked chef Dishman about that and he confirmed that was exactly his intent. Service was extremely professional and engaging. For the dessert course, we were each given a different dessert so we could try each and pass them around. Our waitress asked if we had anything in particular we would like to drink with dessert and when we said no, she disappeared and returned after a couple of minutes with a different dessert wine or digestif that she had picked to match each one. She just left all the bottles so everyone could try a little of each with the dessert it was intended to match. I had to check and yes, she had picked them all out at the spur of the moment once she saw what Chef Dishman had sent out. In any event, a completely satisfying and enjoyable experience. And if Chef Dishman is still lurking out there anywhere, thanks again to you and Nichole for taking such good care of us. I should have pictures of a few of the courses in a day or two. If so, will try to post.
  7. Le Meurice

    Wow vinobiondo! That was definitely a contrast to our meal. I can only say I'm glad the appetizer courses had changed by the time we were there. And I would have to say (and did so on another thread comparing Le Meurice with Ledoyen) that some of the dishes had a certain "rollercoaster" quality that felt like our palates were being pushed and pulled (sometimes a bit aggressively). Nonetheless, we left feeling very satisfied. I've noted several other positive reviews about Le Meurice here on eGullet, but it sounds like your experience goes beyond the kitchen just having "one of those nights". Hard to know what to make of all that.
  8. Ledoyen

    Dinner at Ledoyen 5/4/05 Chef Christian Le Squer Arrive at 8:00pm and are escorted up a grand staircase to the main dining room on the second floor. The room is long and slightly narrow with tables lining either side of the long axis leaving an open central path along the length of the room. We are seated at a window table near one end of the room. The room décor is very elegant but a bit darker and more restrained than the somewhat “exuberant” décor at Le Meurice. Again, we both choose the tasting menu with wines to match (244Euros per person including wine). For an aperitif, we each choose a glass of Puligny-Montrachet (unfortunately, I neglected to note the particulars but it certainly held its own). One nice touch which remained constant throughout the evening: If you finish your glass, it is repeatedly refilled for the duration of the course – and well after. Another interesting tidbit: If you choose champagne as your aperitif (which looks to be the typical choice), they have a champagne “cart” which consists of a large punchbowl filled with crushed ice containing 6 or 8 bottles of different champagnes from which to choose. This is wheeled table to table so you can review the selection. For the first amuse, we are brought a little marble slab that has four different tidbits: A tiny smoked prawn on a cocktail skewer surrounded somehow by a creamy foam topped by a tiny truffle slice. It looks almost like a dressed-up foamy marshmallow. The smoky/creamy combination is quite nice. Next, a single-bite beet tartlet. Then a one-inch piece of fois gras cut into a perfect rectangle so as to look like a fine chocolate. It is covered on each side with a thin crunchy biscuit crust. It looks for all the world like a tiny piece of fois gras candy. Finally, a small tube-shaped “cigar” of soft mixed vegetable brunoise surrounded by a thin, crispy crust of some sort of fine hair-like pasta threads. All are quite good and a very interesting progression of bites from one through four. This is leisurely followed by the second amuse: A martini glass containing a chilled tomato concasse en gelee. On top of this is a perfect quenelle of chilled tomato mousse which is then topped with parmigiano reggiano and basil. It’s very refreshing and I enjoyed the contrast of the intensely-tomato base with the milder smoother mousse on top. At this point, we are offered a selection of amazingly unusual breads. I don’t know who is the current pastry chef at Ledoyen (wish I did), but I have to say that all the breads and pastry items were definite highlights. There are four or five breads to choose from including a miniature version of the standard baguette; a multigrain spiral-shaped roll that looks for all the world like a small pecan roll only it’s savory not sweet; and the most unusual, something that is only described as “shrimp bread”. I keep thinking I must have mis-translated so I try some. It is black in color, round, slightly flattened, somewhat spongy in texture like a good sourdough, and tastes intensely of shrimp (!) When it was first described, I kept thinking maybe it had bits of shrimp meat baked into the dough, but no. It’s completely smooth and uniform throughout. To look at it, you would have no idea that it’s anything other than a very dark bread. It’s only when you taste it that it fairly screams “shrimp”. We spend a good deal of the rest of the night trying to figure out how it’s made (our best guess, maybe squid ink to color the dough and intensely-flavored shrimp stock used instead of water). Definitely one of the memorable experiences of the evening. Course 1: Grosse langoustines Bretonnes croustillantes, emulsion d’agrumes a l’huile d’olive. This was essentially two large langoustine tails done two ways: One tail is butterflied, roasted and served with a quenelle of lemon/olive oil mousse. The other tail is shelled, rolled in the same fine, hair-like pasta threads as the vegetable “cigar” amuse, and then either roasted or flash-fried to turn the threads into a crispy crust. Wine is a 2000 Chateau Hostens-Picant “Cuvee des Desmoiselles” Sainte-Foy Bordeaux. Very crisp, clean, refreshing, and a fine match with the langoustine. Both tails are excellent, but my favorite is the roasted tail with the lemon/olive oil mousse. As you work your way through the tail, the mousse slowly melts over it and turns into a sauce that is both rich and lemony. Course 2: Blanc de turbot braise, pommes rattes ecrasees a la fourchette et montee au beurre de truffe. This is described as a speciality of the chef and it was my favorite dish of the night. It is a small block of line-caught turbot braised so that is just barely cooked through. It is served on a small bed of “rattes” potatoes in a truffle-butter sauce. The turbot is topped with a stenciled series of angled stripes (like the chevrons on a sergeant’s sleeve) made from powdered black truffle and black olive. As you eat the turbot, the black truffle and olive powder falls into and mixes with the truffle butter sauce intensifying the truffle flavor and looking just like vanilla seeds in ice cream. Both this dish and the previous one were all the more impressive to me because of the way they slowly seem to transform themselves as you work your way through them. Wine was a 2000 Henri Boillot Meursault. In a curious coincidence, the same wine we had for an aperitif the night before at Le Meurice. It worked very well with the truffle butter sauce, having the richness and backbone to stand up to the dish but still acidic enough to cut through all the butter and fish. Course 3: Noix de ris de veau en brochette de bois de citronelle, jus d’herbes. Veal sweetbreads skewered by two sticks of lemongrass, on a bed of baby fava beans and petit pois. Sauced with a green herb jus. Wine was a 2000 Jean-Michel Gerin Condrieu “La Loye”. This was a very simple dish in contrast to the previous course, yet still perfectly done and very satisfying. It was amazing how much the simple lemongrass skewers flavored the sweetbreads. Delicious! Between the lemongrass, the fava beans and peas, and the fresh herb jus, it was like the sweetbreads became a vehicle for tasting a spring garden. The viognier was a nice partner to the dish – have to keep that pairing in mind if I ever try and serve sweetbreads. Course 4: Cheese cart. This was more or less the standard cheese cart service except of course for the quality and rarity of the cheeses themselves. I choose an aged chevre and a cheese I believe was called “lange” (?) Had I known what was to follow, I would have picked more. As soon as we had made our cheese selections, they were forwarded to the sommelier who then selected individual wines to match each cheese. So just after my cheese plate was presented, the sommelier set down a glass of wine immediately behind each cheese. He then explained what each wine was, and was also very particular about the order in which we were to proceed. With the chevre, he matched a very nice Sancerre (although he was very detailed about each wine at the time, I’m afraid my notes once again failed me at this point). With the lange, a nice glass of blanc-de-blanc champagne. The chevre was my pick here – possibly the best chevre I’ve ever had. It was the perfect combination of sharpness and crème. Most chevres always seem to be more one or the other. Course 5: First dessert course. A 3-inch circle of fraise des bois topped with a thin crunchy caramel disk, then topped with a lime sorbet and then a tiny dollop of raspberry mousse. Once again I was blown away by the intensity of the tiny fraise des bois. And of course everything combines perfectly once you take the first bite. Wine was a 2003 Domaine de Barroubio Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois. While this wine was pleasant enough, there wasn’t really anything that memorable. Mignardise tray: Another small stone serving tray containing: 1) a bite-sized pear brioche, 2) a bite-sized “candy apple” consisting of apple puree inside a tube of bright red crunchy “candy apple” candy topped with a tiny green apple top and stem, 3) a bite-sized crispy pastry cup filled with a sort of orange/strawberry meringue, and 4) a bite-sized violet “marshmallow”. Course 6: Second dessert course: A warm passionfruit sabayon served in a passionfruit shell and a small “swizzle stick” of sweetened meringue to garnish. I’m not a huge passionfruit fan, but I had no problem finishing this off. Once again, simple, clean, and perfectly done. Wine was still the Muscat. Course 7: Third dessert course: A chocolate mille-feuille consisting of 3 crispy chocolate tuiles with a luscious soft chocolate mousse sandwiched between. It was served with a pistachio ice cream quenelle. Wine was something new to me – a Byrrh “Rare Assemblage” which the sommelier described as similar to Banyul and made from Grenache and Caraignan grapes. The sweetness of it helped match the sweetness of the dessert, but this seemed one of those times that a red wine/chocolate pairing was somewhat forced. With coffee: A small glass of raspberry mousse and an assortment of nougats. For the coffee service, you choose from a selection of exotic coffees on the coffee menu (Jamaica Blue Mountain, etc). About half the men in the room seemed to be smoking cigars after dinner. At Ledoyen, like the champagne and cheese carts, there is a cigar cart which consists of a large humidor with a glass top that is wheeled to your table so you can select your cigar of choice without ever leaving your seat. The cigar steward then perfectly trims your cigar and uses a small torch like a crème brulee torch to light it and it is then presented to you already perfectly lit. We each finished off with a glass of 1949 Castarede Armagnac. After the generous pour into each glass, the waiter noticed there was only a little more than an inch left in the bottle and so drained the rest into both our glasses. We were thus obliged to finish every drop lest we appear ungrateful for this generosity. Out the door at 12:15am Total bill for 2: 713Euros. Chef Le Squer came out to greet each table towards the end of the evening and we told him how much we enjoyed our meal and how “complete” the dining experience had been at Ledoyen. He seemed genuinely pleased. He also seems somewhat shy and nervous in front of the customers. Certainly very polite and pleasant but underlying that you get the impression that he’d much rather be in the kitchen. As a contrast, Chef Alleno at Le Meurice seemed much more at ease working the room and seemed to almost enjoy it. I certainly didn’t notice any discomfort. Some other miscellaneous observations comparing Le Meurice and Ledoyen since we were able to dine at both on successive evenings: At this writing, Le Meurice as two stars (although based on the current guide, maybe it’s better to say two and a half?), whereas Ledoyen has three. After having what can only be described as a wonderful evening at Le Meurice, we each were curious if there would be any noticeable difference between a two-star and a three-star. After dining at Ledoyen, both of us agreed that there were indeed a few differences that we felt made the experience at Ledoyen superior (at least to us). Start with the food. The meal at Le Meurice was great. But at the same time, as creative as some of the combinations were, there was occasionally a dish that had something a little out of balance or while a combination might have worked, it might have had a certain “pushing the envelope” quality that was fun, but sometimes was a little like being on a culinary rollercoaster. That no doubt sounds harsher than it should because again it was a great meal. But I say that in order to contrast with Ledoyen where every dish seemed a perfect balance of all its parts. Each dish was so “complete” for lack of a better term. And the progression was perfect as well. Each dish seemed to be a perfect setup for the next. Also, as mentioned there was an extra element of transformation in several of the dishes so that as you ate them the sauce was slowly changing the character of fish, and so on – thus the last bite was different from the first. At Le Meurice, as good as everything was, that didn’t happen. Next, service. No complaints about the service at Le Meurice it was professional, personable, and thorough. Yet somehow, the service at Ledoyen was more. It was as if everything was anticipated and provided such that it magically arrived just at the moment you realized you wanted it. Certainly not the sort of hovering over you, constantly intrusive service that so often appears instead. Instead, people just magically appear and disappear as needed. I’m really struggling to describe what is almost an ethereal experience. It’s almost as if you’re being transported to another world for an evening. Finally, wine service. Here I think both restaurants balance out. I can’t comment on the respective wine lists and prices since we had wines paired for the tasting menus both nights. But within that limited experience I thought Ledoyen’s service more generous (as they continually refilled whatever wine you were drinking at the moment), but Le Meurice offered the more interesting selections, even if you had to pace yourself to make sure you had wine left when the food arrived – at Le Meurice there were a couple of times that the wine arrived some time before the course it was to accompany. Normally a nit-pick, but when you know this is your only glass, you’re left to stare and take a tiny sip now and again while you wait for the food. But that said, there were several wines served at Le Meurice that were absolutely incredible! Whereas all the wines served at Ledoyen were good, but none was what I would consider a revelation.
  9. Le Meurice

    Thanks very much, wyf4lyf! I'll post my Ledoyen notes in a separate topic.
  10. Le Meurice

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I spent a week in Paris at the beginning of May eating my way across town with a buddy of mine. Belated thanks to all at eGullet for such a treasure trove of recommendations. As part of the trip, we dined at Le Meurice and at Ledoyen on successive nights (the better to compare and contrast). I hadn't really planned on posting my notes, but several friends and a guilty conscience have nagged me into it. I don't normally take a lot of dining notes, but this seemed as good an occasion as any to start. Apologies in advance for the length. If this generates sufficient interest, I can follow it up with notes from Ledoyen. Dinner at Le Meurice 5/3/05 Hotel Meurice Chef: Yannick Alleno Room décor is consistent with the rest of the hotel – gorgeous over-the-top baroque décor with every surface either gilded, marbled, or multi-colored cast plaster friezes. Dining room itself is actually fairly small with only a total of 14 tables. We both choose the 8-course tasting menu (170Euros per person) with wines to match each course (additional 130Euros per person). For an aperitif, we each choose a glass of Henri Boillot Meursault 2000. To accompany this, we are brought a small amuse of what seems to be a small brioche baked in a tiny bundt pan. The brioche is savory, with small chunks of duck meat mixed into the dough. It is pre-portioned into bite-sized pieces skewered with toothpicks. The very outermost crust is crunchy and buttery, but the rest is just melt-in-your-mouth soft brioche with savory duck bits. It was an OK match with the Meursault, but had I known in advance, I might have gone for a red burgundy to match with it – but that’s probably splitting hairs and more a personal preference than anything else. At the same time we are offered a selection of the house breads. I choose the olive bread. Again it seems perfectly done. I could eat the butter that accompanies it with a spoon as a separate course…but I digress. Second amuse: 3 small bay scallops in their shells topped with a cream/foam. Again, perfectly prepared and actually a nice match with the Meursault. First course: A small langoustine tail, marinated but otherwise raw, surrounded by a crystal-clear green apple jelly and topped with osetra caviar. Wine was a 1999 Clos Saint-Yves Savannieres. This was one of the best dishes of the evening for me. The tart green apple jelly was incredible in combination with the crisp clear clean shellfish essence of the langoustine. The caviar garnish just put it over the top. The wine also reinforced the sense of crisp/clean (apologies for my lack of better wine descriptions). Second course: Four asparagus wrapped in a Spanish Serrano-type ham, roasted, and then each topped with 3 tiny disks of bone marrow. The bone marrow was the interesting part of this course for me – it added a certain depth and fullness to the asparagus and ham and of course wasn’t just laid on in a slap-dash fashion. When the plate was first presented, the bone marrow looked like tiny white perfectly-formed mints placed on top of each asparagus spear. It obviously had to have been formed in some sort of a tube or ring mold and then sliced perfectly, but even so, the effect was really impressive. Wine was a 2001 Domain Trimbach Muscat d’Alsace. This was a revelation as a food/wine pairing as I’ve always struggled to try and beat the classic conundrum of trying to match asparagus with any wine. But the slightly sweet/syrupy character of the Muscat worked very well in this case – perhaps helped by the bone marrow. But at some point you just have to say the combination worked. Third course: Roast seabass wrapped in spinach, served on a bed of spring peas and fava beans with roasted spring garlic and tiny Noirmoutier potatoes. Wine was a 1978 Domaine Leroy Puligny-Montrachet premier cru. While the seabass was first-rate, what made this course for me was the wine. I have never had the opportunity to taste a really fine, aged white Burgundy until now. I was amazed at how young this wine tasted. I kept sneaking a look at the label to make sure it was really as advertised. This wine (besides being an obvious first class burgundy) tasted like it was still on its upward slope. An amazing experience and may have ruined me forever in terms of what I can find in my local San Diego wine retailers. Fourth course: Duck Fois Gras poached in Gevrey-Chambertin. This was the other course of the night for me (beside the langoustine). The fois gras was outstanding, poached in the same wine served with the course – a 2000 V.Geantet-Pansiot Gevry-Chambertin ‘Vielle Vignes’. The fois gras was served with a truffle jus that was more truffle chunks than jus. But what made the dish really interesting to me was the little “gnocci” that accompanied it. They looked like they were piped with a star tip and then filled with a green pea puree. Then they were poached in the same truffle jus as was served with the fois gras. Finally, they were each trimmed off flat at one end and covered with a thin disk of parmagiano-reggiano. Fifth course: Choice of poached filet of beef with bone marrow or poulet de bresse with fois gras and moreilles. We both chose the poulet de bresse. This was ¾ inch vertical slice of breast meat with a thick slice of fois gras placed between the skin and the breast. It was served with a truffle sauce (again) and also with several small moreilles in a cream sauce on the side. In addition, 3 small perfectly turned baby parsnips stuffed with some sort of forcemeat (I couldn’t really identify and it wasn’t listed on the menu). Wine was a 1995 Chateau Leoville Poyferre. This wine was listed on the menu as the wine for both the beef and the poulet de bresse. It had a most amazing nose – something like a cedar cigar box but with other aromatics and deep rich plums as well. And while it was a fabulous wine, I found myself wondering if it wouldn’t have been a slightly better match with the beef than with the chicken – but that’s nit-picking. Sixth course: In lieu of a strict “cheese” course, this was a compose of razor-thin beet slices covered with comte cheese, drizzled with hazelnut oil, melted, and then surrounded by baby spring greens (mostly baby beet greens I think). Wine was a 1998 Domaine Rolet Arboise Blanc from the Jura. The compose was good, but I found myself wishing for a more straightforward cheese course at this point (although they do have a regular cheese course it wasn’t part of the tasting menu). But this wine was the wine discovery of the night for me. I had never tasted any wine from the Jura region before although I have heard of the “vin jaune”. But this wine (described by the sommelier as 80% chardonnay and 20% jura grapes – my notes are a bit unclear at this point) simply didn’t taste like anything I’d ever had before. I can’t really describe the flavor other than to say it was strong, rich, but not syrupy or cloying in the least. Of course, it’s now a few weeks later so my memory is a bit faded… After this was the mignardise tray: a tiny fraise des bois macaron, a tall shot glass of grapefruit sorbet, and a tiny chocolate scallop shell filled with what I think was a chestnut puree. Seventh course (dessert 1): A vanilla crème “log” wrapped by a tuile cookie with sliced hazelnuts. This was topped with a perfect line of tiny “fraise des bois”. Wine was a Loire valley dessert wine – 2001 O. De Cenival Couteaux du Layon ‘Chaumes’. The strawberries and the vanilla were perfectly balanced and the wine was not too sweet so the combination worked very nicely. It’s amazing how intense the flavor can be in those little fraise des bois. Eighth course (dessert 2): A poached pear that had been hollowed out and filled with a vanilla filling and topped with another tuile cookie on top. The pear was somehow both poached and seemingly caramelized (at least that’s how it tasted). The vanilla crème was made from some sort of exotic Venezuelan vanilla bean (whose name escapes me at the moment). In fact, when I asked about it they made a point of bringing out several beans in pieces on a serving plate to show me. It was surrounded by a drizzle of pear puree as a garnish. Same wine as dessert 1. Overall, it was a wonderful meal. I thought the langoustine and the fois gras courses really highlighted Chef Alleno’s reputation for creativity with classic ingredients. He came over to our table at the end of the meal and I said how much I enjoyed the combination of the green apple jelly and the langoustine. He said “you know, it’s funny – we first tried that jelly with fois gras and it was disgusting!”. Somehow I found that very refreshing. Service was dedicated, thorough, and very personable but with a few minor glitches along the way. Ex: at one point they brought out the third wine instead of the second, though they quickly corrected themselves. Another minor nit on the wine service: You are only given one glass of each wine for each course. And the wines are served somewhat ahead of each course. If you finish a wine too soon, too bad. While it’s certainly a fair pour (and the sommelier is particularly personable), I found it an interesting contrast to Ledoyen where each course’s wine was continually refilled until well after we had finished that course. Total bill for two (including 2 1962 Armagnacs): 761Euros.
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