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Everything posted by AlexForbes

  1. Well, according to the blog Eater, it's not rumour, it's fact! Here, the link. R.I.P., John Dory!
  2. AlexForbes


    Seems like egulleters aren't the only ones who love Aldea... Mr. Bruni also seems to have liked it quite a bit! The link to his NYT review, here.
  3. I disagree again. Bistronomique refers to a place that has a bistro-like SETTING - maybe a bit cramped, informal, simple if compared to a high-end white tablecloth restaurant - and NOT bistro food at all,but rather, authoral, inventive cuisine that may, here or there reference bistro classics but is not at all "bistro food". A bistro serving gastronomie is a bistronomique. A bistro serving bistro food is... a bistro! Or, in the words of l'Express, "De la grande cuisine dans un petit restaurant, des prix serrés et des idées larges: inventée au début des années 1990, la recette, qui mêle esprit
  4. I meant that the accent was now primarily on food, not on words. However, I do not think 'being all about the food' and what follows in your definition is accurate for 'bistronomique'. The word is simply a contraction of bistrot and gastronomique, and thus refers to a place where a combination of bistrot food with some elements of high end cuisine (plating, culinary research, 'innovation') are served in bistrot surroundings, which are not necessarily simple. Defining it as "being all about the food" would imply that the other categories of restaurants are not based on the same principle, which
  5. Ptipois, I am not sure the trend is gone. I, for one, hear the term bistronomique more and more. You say "Maybe because, with the help of economic realism, the accent is now primarily on food." But... bistronomiques are ALL about the food! Basically, the true bistronomique is a place where the chef prefers to spend his dollars on ingredients and kitchen labour, and not so much on service or décor. A simple-looking, casual place where... it's all about the food! So I don't see why such resistance to "categorizing" and calling some places bistronomiques... It's interesting to note that in Braz
  6. What I would like to know is whether any of the bistros mentioned in Bittman's piece fall into the "bistronomique" categorie. To my surprise, despite the fact that there's even a topic in the French dining forums entitled "The economy and French restaurants: 2008-9", very little has been written here about the bistros serving gastronomy at friendly prices, which are now being called "bistronomiques". Not sure what that means? To quote the New York Times, which did a story on Barcelona's "bistonomicos", they are "dedicated to offering high quality, contemporary — and yes, occasionally clever
  7. You and Weinoo are right: the Standard Grill's "speakeasy" cocktail is actually a Sazerac. But I see this done ALL the time: cocktails that have an official name going by a different name to suit the bar's / the restaurant's image or style. I realize it's not exactly right, but it's quite common. About the absinthe - I asked the manager and she said it was an error, it's not actually made in-house (as I suspected).
  8. Two places that are serving very interesting cocktails in Toronto are Barchef and Black Hoof. Barchef, Toronto Great care is taken to make many of the bitters and syrups in-house, as you can tell by fthe rows of medicinal-looking jars on the counter (two examples? Grapefruit bitters and cola bitters). Some of the drinks served: - Malpeque oyster submerged in a stellar Caesar - martini served three ways: dry, dirty and steeped in rosemary. - Sake and fresh orange juice with soy, a strip of honeyed duck, bridged over the glass, and sesame seeds on the rim - Caramelized Banana, salted butter,
  9. I went for brunch with my brother and the place was pleasantly busy. Not at all jam-packed. They sat us at a little table and I asked to move to one of the comfy banquettes, and it worked. Much better! The piggie is everything that has already been said here: simply delicious, and juicy and smoky. Also loved the classic DBGB dog - perfect sausage-to-bun ratio, toasted bun. Fries? Perfection, too. Service? great. Very efficient. Crab cake with curry sauce? Best I've had in years, all crab, no fillers. Perfectly seasoned. I left the place with a smile that went from ear to ear, basically. And
  10. I find that the new restaurants in New York have been making a bigger effort to offer cocktail lists with some personality, that incorporate interesting ingredients like cilantro, smoked salt or creme de violet. The other night I had a bite at the new Standard Grill, at the Standard Hotel. I tried the "speakeasy": rye, raw sugar cube, bitters, housemade absinthe, lemon twist. Turns out I could't believe the absinthe was housemade (who makes absinthe at home?!) - I asked the manager. But the drink, served neat, was very good all the same. Their gibson is made with a "splash of juniper-onion b
  11. AlexForbes

    Le Meurice

    Was a bit shocked to get an email from a PR firm saying Yannick Alleno is on his way out. To quote the release: "· Marrakech’s hottest new property, Royal Mansour (opening November 2009), has tapped former Le Meurice talent: three-star Michelin chef Yannick Alléno. Alléno will serve as Executive Chef with three different restaurant concepts, all focusing on reinterpreting traditional Moroccan cuisine." Can it be? Does anyone have details as to why he'd leave Le Meurice for Marrakech??
  12. Actually, I had forgotten to mention in my report that when I went they were offering 20% off all the food prices, since they were still in "soft opening". That deal must be over by now. but the menu prices are as follows (a small sampling) Oregon morels, shrimp and lardo, 17 crudi, 10-21 white wines by the glass, 9 - 18 desserts - 12- 14
  13. I figured I should try 2 apps and one main. Here is the list of mains, not sure if you can read it: As I said before, our bread was only so-so and did not come with oil or butter. I had lunch at The Modern the day before, where both the bread and the butter were exceptional, so I couldn't help feeling let down... The fluke crudo was nice. Can't think of anything more illuminating to say. I'd add a pinch of fleur de sel if I had it at the table... This was delicious. Morels from Oregon stuffed with shrimp and lardo, and a tiny bit of wild watercress. Then came the main course: seaweed mari
  14. Had lunch there on Wednesday. Was very much looking forward to it, especially after seeing (reading) all the hype on Grub Street. Boy, what a disappointment. The non-descript façade already turned me off: how can anything this talked-about seem so unstylish? The service was bad beyond words. Can't count how many times I had to wave my hands to try to get someone's attention. I have to cut them some slack - it was, after all, their FIRST day open for lunch. But still, with all those servers you'd think they'd figure out how to communicate with each other! Finished my Ligurian beer and never h
  15. The São Paulo La Mar is now officially open. It's been getting tons of press in Brazil. I posted photos of it here. There's a lot more information - including an interview with Acurio himself - available here, but this link is only for those who can read Portuguese! I am not sure whether Acurio realizes that Sao Paulo natives are crazy for raw fish and total sushi-holics, so even though he's not serving anything Japanese, he'll have very high standards to meet if he wants to please the locals. I don't think there is any city in the world that serves better sushi outside of Japan. Let's see h
  16. First of all let me clarify: I went to Steirereck recently because I happened to be in Vienna for the Relais & chateaux meeting - same for many other judges - but I WAS NOT wined or dined or comped. Secondly, no I have not been to Asia - but that's why I am not on the Asia panel! I am Brazilian, and I am on the South American panel. Trust me, there is no lack of judges who travel extensively to Asia in the 50 best Academy, including many who live in Asia - but I sure ain't one of them. And now, on a lighter note, who ever knew Jay Rayner was so funny and young and tall and looked so much l
  17. sethd, to answer a couple of your questions: the reviewers are, mostly, chefs, restaurant owners and food writers like myself. This year, I think over 800 judges in total. How do chefs view this? Well, if they didn't care, then surely Grant Achatz wouldn't have left his rest. at 3 am to get on a flight a few hours later for London. Ferran went. Arzak went. Alex Atala went. Heck, THEY ALL WENT. The big shots, I mean. How many awards things do these guys attend? Few. Especially the very hard-working, non-imperialistic chefs like Achatz. so it's easy to say the list is bs. But I really think the
  18. Hi Lesley, the rule says you must have eaten at the restaurants you vote for in the last 18 months, not 12. and this year they made us say when, exactly, we ate at each restaurant (although I guess nothing would stop someone from telling a little white lie) But no, of course we are not expected to eat at dozens of restaurants around the globe. We are only asked to vote for 5 which are, in our view, some of the world's best - where we've eaten recently. So my 5, OBVIOUSLY, are a reflection of where I've been lately. In 08 I was in NY, Vienna, Barcelona, Cotswolds (UK) and Brazil. So that defini
  19. And the Oscar goes to..... El Bulli, again! And The Fat Duck is runner-up, again! Happy to say my predictions came close. Ramsay down? Check! Off the list altogether. Trotter down? Check! Alinea up? check! Up to #10. Scandinavians on the rise? Check! Noma is #3. My beloved Steirereck made the list, and I know why: Relais & Chateaux had their annual meeting in Vienna, so many top chefs and food jounos (such as myself) ate there recently. Full list will go up soon on their site. For those who can't wait to see it, it's also posted online here. And a story about Ramsay's fall, in The Telegra
  20. Oh, and another guess: L2O in Chicago will also make the list. It's only been getting rave reviews since it opened.
  21. Jay is right: getting into the best Japanese restaurants is very hard - one needs to be recommended by a Japanese. And some of those that are excellent and relatively easy to get into, such as Sukiyabashi Jiro, make no effort to impress with the decor or service, or even give a warm welcome ( this specific whole-in-the-wall where 80-something Jiro-san works his magic has 3 Michelin stars). The sushiman at another restaurant, Azabu Kadowaki, mr. Toshiya Kadowki, famously said to the NY Times that only the Japanese understand Japanese cuisine: "“Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese
  22. Wow, Judy, I hadn't noticed the date slip, thanks for pointing it out! And here's the list of last year's winners, just to show that it is indeed euro-centric, and could use a few Japanese restaurants, at least: 1 El Bulli Spain World's Best Restaurant 2 The Fat Duck UK 3 Pierre Gagnaire France 4 Mugaritz Spain 5 The French Laundry USA Best Restaurant in the Americas 6 Per Se USA 7 Bras France 8 Arzak Spain 9 Tetsuya's Australia 10 Noma Denmark 11 L'Astrance France 12 Gambero Rosso Italy 13 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay UK 14 L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Fr
  23. First of all, I know that theoretically this topic should be filed under food periodicals, but.... Restaurant Magazine's annual ranking of the world's top restaurants is very much a British thing. British magazine, big awards ceremony in London on Monday, Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck usually #1 or #2 (although who knows how the recent mishap might have affected his "handicap"...) So I started the topic here. "Best of" lists are love-hate affairs, and as soon as they come out there are legions of bloggers and journalists who criticize them. But, like it or not, the fact is the list has bec
  24. Great AUDIO SLIDESHOW on The New York Times' site... enjoy!
  25. It's now official, the São Paulo La Mar opens THIS MONTH. And Gaston will go to São Paulo in April for the official launch. São Paulo La Mar: Rua Tabapuã, 1410
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