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Posts posted by AlexForbes

  1. I've been trying to do some research on Yam'Tcha, the tiny and hard-to-define restaurant owned by Adeline Grattard (ex-L'Astrance) and I've been surprised by how little info there is about the restaurant here on e-Gullet. Wonder why...

    From what I have found online, her cuisine is far from the stereotypical Cantonese fat/calorie bomb, and seems delicate and dainty, the ingredients barely messed with.

    Fooding has said "not only does (the food) look like nothing you've known before, but what's more, it sends you straight on a trip to thousands of kilometers away without ever leaving your seat".

    Fraçois Simon called his meal there "impeccable", and the restaurant, "one of the hits of this Spring" (he referred to spring '09)

    Has anyone been recently? Any photos to share?


    Yam'Tcha: 4, rue Sauval ( closed Mon and Tue. Set Menus 30 euros at lunch, 45 + 65 at dinner.

  2. Phoenikia, the sad truth is that very few places in Montreal serve innovative food...

    There are many places I love - Garde Manger, Barroco, Joe Beef - but they specialize in upscale comfort food, big hearty portions - innovation is not their thing.

    The city's top pastry chef (known for innovative desserts) is now at Newtown, which is surprising - the place has a clubby lounge on the ground floor and is on a very touristy street, but I've read good reviews of patrice demers' work there.

    There is a lengthy review posted on this forum, here's the link.

    Also worth checking out is Club Chasse et Peche, my all-time fave MTL restaurant. Contemporary presentations, hip vibe, more upscale than all the others I mention but... not innovative either.

    As for Accords, never heard of it... :o

  3. What happened to the idea that we'd moved beyond the term molecular gastronomy? Suddenly, it seems to be back with a vengeance. 60 Minutes used it abundantly in a recent profile of José Andrés, now I see it here...


    I gather chefs don't like the term at all, since it put them in trouble with naysayers that accused them of cooking with "unnatural" chemicals and other "lab-associated stuff".

    I switched to tecnoemotional cuisine quite a while ago...

  4. Weinoo, he may be saying this for years, but...I tend to agree with GordonCooks. First, he's more entertaining than most. And also, he's brutally honest in a way that very few chefs out there dare to be.

    I used to criticize the guy myself. Mediocre chef takes the easy route way out of the business and then bites the hand that fed him.

    Then I bought his second book, and loved it. Guilty pleasure, I guess. Turns out he's much better at entertaining people than cooking. And if he ruffles a few feathers in the process, so be it.

  5. I just read a blog post on New York blog Grubstreet about Anthony Bourdain's new book Medium Raw, which will be released in June. The post includes quotes taken from the book in which Bourdain, in his typically ultrahonest and harsh style, minces no words and bashes Gael Greene (favourite subject is herself), Ducasse (killed haute cuisine in the US), Alinea (where dining is a joyless experience), etc.

    I was laughing outloud as I read this, I must admit.

    My favourite quote? "James Beard House (...)provides comfort and succor and the illusion of importance to a bunch of supremely irrelevant old fucks".

    I kinda agree, to be honest...

    I just had to share the link...

  6. No, actually, D.O.M. is NOT the most expensive restaurant in Brazil. Fasano, also in São Paulo, takes the prize.

    It is a ridiculously expensive place (for what it offers). I have no problem investing 500 bucks on a dinner - as long as the food is damned great!

    Here is the link to my post on the 50 Best blog, which has several photos of the post-reno D.O.M., which IMO looks much better and feels warmer.

    Can't deny the place is expensive, though. São Paulo, as a whole, keeps getting pricier and pricier. More foreigners, more dollars, heavy import duties, and all that put together = price hikes!

    So don't expect an inexpensive star-rated meal: prices are almost in line with New York and even Paris nowadays, believe it or not.

  7. In chatting with The Fat Duck's Executive Chef Ashley Watts the other day I discovered that he and boss Heston Blumenthal will work alongside chef Brad _______, of Australia, in their upcoming (and much awaited) London brasserie at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

    I can't remember what Brad's last name is, and can't find it in any of the Australia forums or even Google, so I thought I'd ask the locals: who is this famous Brad, who apparently is a master at cooking with open-flame fire?


    thanks in advance for helping me solve this mistery! :biggrin:

  8. I was there last week on their busiest night - a Thursday - and... beware: this is more of a bar/club than a restaurant, you'll eat surrounded by bystanders holding drinks, the music thumping in the background. Fun, yes, but not exactly a gastronomic experience.

  9. So the 2010 Michelin for France is out...

    New 3-star on the block? Auberge du Vieux Puits, in Fontjoncouse.

    Ten restaurants were bumped up from one star to two.

    And, of course, much will be said about Helene Darroze's and Les Ambassadeurs' demotions... Hers, surely due to the London venture. And Les Ambassadeurs, due to the departure of J-F Piège.

    Here is the complete list of 3-starred restaurants, and the demotions:



  10. Hi,

    yes, I had dinner there very recently and had the same mushroom "soup" as you did - delish!

    Overall, great dinner. Good thing my dad paid. :)

    And yes, of course, it IS super expensive. Sao Paulo these days costs a lot and chef Atala is friends with all the other chefs u mention, so why should he charge any less than they do? I figure that's his thinking...

    Anyhow, will post photos of my dinner here soon. For now, a word of warning: DOM just underwent a lightning-fast renovation that left it with a lot less tables, and prices will go up, I think.

  11. OOps, just noticed that my question has been answered, in the Les Ambassadeurs forum:

    The Food Doc

    Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:27 AM

    I was trying to make reservations for dinner in November at Les Ambassadeurs, but I was informed that their chef had left in August, and that the restaurant is now closed until a new chef is hired. Pity, was looking forward to sampling their dishes on my visit.

    So strange that his name is still on the hotel's official website!

  12. Well, it turns out the New Yorker's Andrea Thompson agrees with Gastrodamus. She, too, said that the lamb burger is fantastic, in this week's New Yorker, just out.

    She basically liked everything she tried there.About the triple-fried French fries she says

    that "they have an ultra-crispy exterior and a creamy interior akin to the mashed potatoes that share a plate with the superb pork belly".

    I especially liked the way she ended the review, saying that a woman that she dined there with, after finishing the meal, said: "I'm pregnant with pig!"

    That kinda says it all about the place, no?

  13. Hi JenC,

    Better late than never, a few of my thoughts:

    Au Pied de Cochon is, as you saw, a traditional QC resto, even though it's quite young and hip.

    Club Chasse et Peche does contemporary QC cuisine and is my absolute favourite in town - so glad you liked it too!

    La MOntee on Bishop is ok, nothing special. You didn't miss much.

    The Atwater market is... a market. Not too exciting, the Jean Talon is better.

    It's not necessary to get yourself all the way to Fairmount bagels, they're sold at a myriad places downtown.

    A site you might find useful: Montreal for Insiders

  14. I just got back from 4 days eating and drinking in QC city and I will answer VioletFox's questions (from above), which I think most will find useful:

    Le Saint-Amour? still worth a visit?

    YES. Oldie but goodie! Had a great dinner there, although dishes are on the old=fashioned side...

    Laurie Raphael? Not worth a visit?

    Pretentious. Pricey. Chef too much of a celeb to actually show up and cook. Annoying electronic music.

    Aux Anciens Canadiens - can't imagine that it's not still worth a visit

    Kitshy but cute. A great intro on Quebec food 101, hearty and rustic.

    Le Chateau Frontenac - any food worth having there? how's the bar? it used to be fabulous. What about staying there? Worth the splurge?

    Just toured several rooms. Trouble is they are all very very very different, the hotel is huge and has gone thru several renos. When calling, be very specific in what you want. I actually love the cheaper rooms that face the lovely inner courtyard, with all its greenery and xmas lights. River views cost more.

    The restaurant is gorgeous, the views, ditto. Never eaten there, though. The bar feels very much like.... a hotel bar! :)

    Best lunch?

    Le Café du Monde: rue Dalhousie, 84, tel. (418) 692-4455 (and yes, this large bistro is very family friendly!

    My absolute favorites in QC city:

    Restaurant Toast

    and Panache at the Auberge Saint-Antoine

    8, rue Saint-Antoine

    418 692-2211 or 1 888 692-2211

    Best breakfast? (may/should include croissants!)

    The St Antoine has a great breakfast open to non-guests...

    MUST-SEE (there you can buy not only great croissants but anything you'd ever need to compose the world's most perfect picknick basket):

    Épicerie J.A.Moisan

    Restaurants that have been there since the 60's and 70's (my misspent youth!) and still worth a visit?


    Also, for those who haven't heard, pls. note L'Utopie restaurant is now closed, sadly.

  15. novayork_thebreslin.jpg

    So The Breslin opens at long last, at the rock'n'roller Ace Hotel, near the Empire State. Place getting tons of buzz already, because of who's behind it (same owners as Village favourite Spotted Pig, and recently shuttered John Dory). For now, according to Grub Street, they'll serve bkfst and lunch only. Cult chef Fergus Henderson (of St. John fame) is the inspiration for the meat-centric menu. Grub Street says, "Of course, the Brez will be a meat lover’s dream: Fergus Henderson’s pig’s head was one of the best things we’ve ever eaten, and we’re assured a half-size version will be on the menu. "

    Would love to get reports from egulleters on the food...

    Here, the full blog post on Grub Street

  16. Mike Peed reviews Marea in this week's New Yorker. Not sure what to make of the review... He spends too much time trying to be funny and not enough words on whether what he ate was good or not. Lobster salad with burrata and eggplant? "Springy" and "healthful". Seafood soup? Mussels, clams etc came in a "weak tomato sauce". Spinosi pasta with langoustine? Came with one of the langoustine's eyeballs. Zuchini cake? "Splendid". Many lines are devoted to explaining the huge cost of FEDEXing all the seafood in from all over and how the place cost Michael White and his partner 4.5 million.

    After a second read, my impression is that he didn't think much of Marea - but didn't really want to say it, for fear of dissing a chef that all his peers seem to put on a pedestal.

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