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paul jaouen

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  1. I'm a regular there. I have been since the start. They have never served an amuse bouche. Also serving cheese without ordering sounds very strange.
  2. paul jaouen

    Ox

    I loved Ox. The food and service were great and they were accomodating with their corkage policy. Only complaint I ever had was the noise level. I heard it was not financial but owner disagreements. Of course this is just hearsay. I have no facts on why they closed.
  3. I thought the same thing but then again many would say we overdo.
  4. I had not been in years. Went to the one in Madison years ago and thought the garlic overwhelmed. I went to the one in Cranford this past Friday and they have cut back on the garlic. They also state on the menu that they will prepare your dishes with level of garlic you want. We did not ask for anything other than their norm and it was fine. Good place, good food, not ass kicking food but good and I would return. One issue for me is there were too many chicken dishes on the menu and not enough red meat or seafood dishes. I would like to see more variety. Oh and service was excellent.
  5. Was there a set price for this menu? I do a lot of this type of BYO dinners and would be interested in doing one at the Manor. BTW, nice line-up. The '90 Beau can be very sexy if you get one with not too much brett. But the '89 for me really rocks!
  6. Hudson County does one. Week of July 28th this year.
  7. Pretty cool that Ox made the list. This is a good place to go during the week as it doesn't get too crowded. While they do have a liquor license they have been accomodating in regards to corkage charging $15. I would recommend you call ahead to make sure the policy didn't change.
  8. I got to try this relatively new restaurant in Lebanon this past Friday. Food and service were excellent at this BYOB. My one complaint was that the AC did not get the place cool enough and it was a scorcher outside on Friday. My first appetizer after an amuse bouche of grilled scallop with a hint of bacon and sausage, was Portugese Octopus with green olive, anchovy, pine nut puree. Definitely the tenderest octopus I've had and may be the best octopus dish I've had although a dish at Esca in NYC rivals it. This went surprisingly well with the oldest bordeaux I've ever had which was a 1916 Chateau Cantemerle. Also had the 1920 this night but not as good as fruit had faded. Probably not the greatest pairing but it worked as the wine was elegant enough not to overpower the octopus. Second app was their pork belly which was superb. And since I can never get enough pork I went with the suckling pig for my main course which was flavorful, tender and they got the crispy skin part right. Drank some older California Cabs and some other bottles of bordeaux which also worked well. Finished off with a mixed cheese plate and an '85 Veuve Cliquot Rose Champagne which was a good match for the cheese and it was a nice way to finish. I hope this place does well. The food is very good but the location of the restaurant is in a strip mall and prices are high for the area I think. So we'll see how they make out and if they can sustain support. I would certainly return.
  9. It does get busy on Saturdays. I usually avoid as I do not have the patience to wait. Fridays can be quite busy but not so much in the summer. We usually go early on Friday or during the week. One more thought is that they do like to turn tables on the weekends so make sure you tell them how you want it paced.
  10. This Bistro www.atouteheure.com has been open for just about a year and has gotten more popular over that time. I've been more than a dozen times which means I like it. One thing I like is that you know where the main ingredients come from as they list the farm or butcher it comes from which are mostly local. This can lead to other fun things. For example, I had a sheep's milk cheese that I really enjoyed so I ended up visiting the farm, taking a tour, and finding these great raviolis that they sell there made with their cheese. I also bought a bunch of other cheeses. They do some cool stuff during the week like all you can eat mussel pots on Tuesday nights with the accompaniment of some excellent pommes frites with house garlic-saffron aioli. The mussels are all you can eat but the frites are not and if you have no will power like me, you will re-order the frites! Negatives are that pricing is not bistro-like but they are BYO which makes a big difference. Once in a while they miss with a dish but they are quick to replace it and make it right. It's a friendly, cozy place that I would recommend you try. It is a small place although they have more seats in the summer as they have outside seating. Reservations are only taken for parties of 6 or more.
  11. I love CulinAriane. Harder to get into on weekends because it is a smaller place. We're doing a wine dinner there later this month during the week. While CulinAriane remains steady I think Passionne has consistently improved. If you haven't been in a while it's worth another visit. I was a big fan of Orbis until they changed their menu to small/large plates. Seems to me they were not sure what they wanted to be which I think hurt the overall experience. Some of the small plates were actually quite huge. I haven't been in a while so granted they may have gotten a more confident handle on their restaurant's style or what they want the style to be.
  12. I have eaten here three times and have enjoyed each visit. Food, service, ambience are all fine. It is BYO and they have decent stemware so no need to bring your own. Some of the highlights are a special of lobster risotto (had twice) and the venison. Venison was cooked exactly as I ordered. Not gamey but loads of flavor. Chocolate souffle for dessert with a Barolo Chinato is killer.
  13. Just got back from a few days in Key West. 915 Duval, Hot Tin Roof, and Louie's Backyard were all very good. Seven Fishes is no better than diner food. Worse Bananas Foster I've ever eaten (actually not eaten). All three of the recommended restaurants had great views, service and food. Wine lists in Key West need work. I made an online reservation at 915 Duval and they lost my contact info. They booked a wedding that night so we were out of luck but they asked us to come another night and comped us a bottle of wine (our choice) which was quite decent. Went to Grand Cafe for lunch which was quite good and had the best wine list I saw. Definitely would try for dinner next time.
  14. paul jaouen

    Ox

    For our wine dinners, they are allowing us to bring our own for $12 corkage per person (not per bottle). This is quite reasonable but I'm not sure if it is only for larger wine dinners that we organize or if it is policy for smaller parties also.
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