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AlexForbes

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Everything posted by AlexForbes

  1. Hi Chris, thanks very much for this, although... the mentions, like I had said before, are few and far between, and date back, mostly, to 2004. How come? Has the place fallen out of favour despite the high pedigree of its chef and director with over 20 yrs of combined El BUlli time? And another question: what does Mas Pau mean? Carme Ruscalleda's place is called Sant Pau, so assuming it means Saint Paul.... Mas Pau could be... I have no idea, but it sure is a strange name.
  2. I recommended the restaurant to a friend and blogger, Ricardo Freire. He went, loved it and posted a full report, in Portuguese, with photos of all the dishes. So even for those who don't read Portuguese, you can see what the place and the food look like by clicking here.
  3. I thought the Spanish readers of this forum would find it curious to know that a Brazilian food magazine called Prazeres da Mesa is hosting a huge food forum which will take place in São Paulo from Nov. 4 to 7. Its format is very much "inspired" by Madrid Fusion and all the top Spanish chefs will be there: Ferran, Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Joan Roca, Quique daCosta, Bersategui, Andoni, etc. For those of you who can understand Portuguese, you can read more here. And the even't official site is here. The lineup is certainly as strong as Madrid Fusion's - should be very interesting!
  4. I did a search on e-gullet on Mas Pau which yielded close to nothing, which I found odd.... Specially since the chef-owner, Xavier Sacristà, cooked for more than 10 yrs. at El Bulli. The restaurant's director, Toni Gerez, also worked at El Bulli for a whole decade. They both left in 93 to take over Mas Pau. As a Food & Wine article published long ago said, "Twenty miles from El Bulli, just outside Figueres, sits Mas Pau, an estate where the wiry and disheveled Xavier Sagristà heads the kitchen. Adriá is a co-owner of Mas Pau, and Sagristà is at pains not to appear to be a clone. " So I'm left wondering: - is Ferran still part-owner? - how many (if any) Michelin stars does this place have? - is it worth the detour/ drive from Barcelona? - are there any reports on dinners there that somehow I've missed?
  5. John, I am doing some research for an upcoming trip to the Piemonte - to eat and drink, mainly - and was very impressed by your concise and very useful reviews. Thanks very much for sharing!
  6. Oh, and the best new restaurant of all is the new and revamped Les Pechés de Pinocchio in Magog, (town near Sherbrooke) now in a fancier space with a beautiful wine cellar and live music. I had a deconstruction of sushi last night that was delicious, even if it sounds iffy, while my husband had a T-Bone with the best morels he'd ever tasted, freshly arrived from BC by express post (same supplier as toque and alinea). Great strawberry sorbet, as creamy as ice cream, great apps, overall, a top-notch dinner. The chef-owner knows his stuff, and has said he's inspired by Alinea, French Laundry and other top restaurants - and he's got the book library to prove it.
  7. As a Brazilian, I'm constantly annoyed by certain foreign journalists who come to Rio or São Paulo and write badly-researched stories on the dining scene, throwing in many prejudiced comments. One such story just ran on the Bloomberg portal - I won't even link to it here. The guy had Chinese and Indian food while in town! So I was very glad to find a well-written and very well-researched story on Rio, published by National Geographic Traveler. Now I'll be sure to send the link to the many North Americans that ask me where they should eat in Rio. I thought egulleters would find it handy, too, so here's the link.
  8. I have been comissioned by a very nice Chilean magazine, ININ, to write about the new trend of everything being gourmet, from waters to coffees to teas to chocolates. For the 2008 foodie, it seems knowing wine and fine cuisine is not enough. I could name several examples in São Paulo, where I am from, since there are, for instance, several chocolate “boutiques” selling D.O.C. chocolates, like Chocolates da Cau and Choco.lab. and Saint Phylippe. Never have there been more wine tastings and courses. Cooking schools are popping up everywhere like mushrooms in the fall. In New York, there's a chocolate shop called Michel Cluizel that does tastings where specific D.O.C. chocolates are paired with different wines. Gourmet waters and beers are also a trend in São Paulo, and the upscale Japanese restaurant Kinoshita (excellent, by the way) has a sake sommelière. I also know that in Santiago, for example, the merkén chile was used in the indigenous cuisines for ages with nobody paying much attention, but now it's become a sought-after delicacy, exported to New York, etc. I would like to find more South American examples of this trend of everything becoming gourmet, from local spices to teas and chocolates. If any of you know of specific food markets or delicatessens selling high-end gourmet spices or teas or chocolates or whatever, or restaurants with tea lists or water lists or even new high-end wine or cookery schools, please let me know. Thanks in advance!
  9. Hi Pierre 45, I have been comissioned by a very nice Chilean magazine, IN, to write about the new trend of everything being gourmet, from waters to coffees to teas to chocolates. I could name several examples in Brazil, where I am from, since there are, for instance, several chocolate “boutiques” selling D.O.C. chocolates, like Chocolates da Cau and Choco.lab. Gourmet waters and beers are also a trend in São Paulo, and the upscale Japanese restaurant Kinoshita (excellent, by the way) has a sake sommelière. Since you were just in Lima, I thought maybe you could tell me (and all other egulleters) if you saw the same trend there, if you - or anyone else reading this!! - remember specific food markets selling high-end gourmet spices or teas or chocolates or whatever, or restaurants with tea lists or water lists or any other very gourmet-type specifics. Thanks in advance for your help!
  10. Hi Ronaldo, please tell us more! When is it coming out, and how do you know? As for the "who's independent" discussion, I will say, once again, that Brazil's number one resource for independent ratings, the equivalent of the Michelin, is the Guia 4 Rodas. Period. Nobody in the industry would disagree. Numerous anonymous inspections, a large team of inspectors eating year-round all over Brazil, etc. To search for a city or specific restaurant, just click here
  11. Kinoshita is my favourite Japanese restaurant in São Paulo, which by the way has better sushi than most other cities in the world. I posted photos on my blog, which you can see clicking here I also highly recommend Jun Sakamoto, for serious sushi lovers, it is the Masa of Brazil. Or for a fun night, the more casual Kosushi or Nagayama.
  12. Really? Can't imagine why anyone would subsidize Ramsay. Since when does a millionaire restaurateur need a subsidy?! Odd... Are you sure?
  13. Sounds great, Lesley, and I have no doubt that it will become THE reference for restaurant searches in MTL. Plus, you can actually make a profit, if you want, by having a boxed area of related Google ads. If you ever do want contributors - who knows, you may have a section on New York or São Paulo restaurants - I'll gladly volunteer! And do let us of all know when it goes online, and best of luck!
  14. Ok, so I finally tried the Pois Penche. First annoyance: I had to bring my (very well-behaved) baby and the maitre d' gave me VERY dirty looks on 3 occasions, although I asked to be seated inside away from everyone else (it was a gorgeous day and 95% of customers sat outside). Rude. Our waiter was excellent, and brought our lunch fast, as we had the baby. Fries were lukewarm and limp, despite very smartly presented in a paper cone, with mayo on the side. Skate fish with brown butter and capers was sloppy and had way too many bones. Unremarkable. Niçoise was very nice, which made up for the rest. Overall, I loved the décor, loved the Paris-inspired ambiance, but thought the food was so-so.
  15. Hi Fat Guy, I tried out the interactive list at Adour, but found it to be quite annoying to use. You have to waive your hands in the air, and the projected ray of light that "reads" your hand movements is quite slow to catch on. Moreover, on the night of my visit one of the two projectors was broken. And trying to select a wine using the system seemed so complicated - nobody seemed to try except me - that I gave up and asked for the regular wine list. Waiving my hands in the air as 4 staff members looked on with amused looks on their faces was not my idea of a fun way to order wine. It seemed to me like a bit of a hoax, to be honest. Now... for a true interactive wine experience, I think Celler de Can Roca has it. I found out on the Spanish site Círculo Club del Vino that Josep Roca, the sommelier, erected altars in the cellar in homage of his five favourite wines, where guests are encouraged to “experience” them by sight and touch. While images of vineyards play on a flatscreen monitor, guests can dip hands in a tub of steel mini-spheres wich evoke the cool and popping bubbles in champagne. Running one’s fingers down a cool and smooth piece of slate inside a polished piece of olive wood somehow evokes the brute force of Priorat wines. Reds from bourgogne are represented by velvet pouches, while a rough piece of limestone draws reference to the parched terroir that Jerez hails from. Here is the original text in Spanish: nueva bodega de Can Roca
  16. Thanks again, Pille, I was actually thinking of writing to you asking you to post this (beautiful) photo.
  17. Yikes, by the sounds of it, Plane Food is... quite plain. I thought GR would know better... Let's hope Brasserie Roux, opening late July, is more exciting than this!
  18. Thanks, Pedro. I just got an email from Bulli sommeliers Ferran Centelles and David Seijas. They tell me the following: "Currently we are immersed in the second adaptation of the e-cartavi, which will be a revolutionary and very fun way to search for wines. In the meantime, the e-cartavi is available online for customers wanting to consult our list before arriving at El Bulli". Very interesting, I am curious to see what they'll come up with!
  19. I am researching for a short article about dining at Heathrow's new T5, and I've been asked by my editor to write about the top 3 restaurants at the terminal. Who's eaten at T5 and can give me some feedback, please? Believe it or not, the choice is hard, as there's lots of restaurants already opened or coming soon. Most notably, Wagamama's first airport outlet, Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food (ha ha) and Brasserie Roux, supervised by legendary chef Albert Roux (of Le Gavroche fame), which will open July 29 at T5's new Sofitel (attached to T5). These are my 3 choices, but I thought Caviar House might deserve to be included, too. Thoughts? And here's more terminal food and drink info, from the BA site: "The Galleries First Lounge, with 542 seats, will be for FIRST customers and Gold Executive Club members. The lounge will feature 'The Gold Bar', which is covered in gold leaf and is lit by a Swarovski crystal chandelier. During peak times the bar, again stocked with some of the world's most interesting wines and spirits, will be served or, if they prefer, customers can simply help themselves. The Wine Gallery will have a selection of prestigious wines and offer wine tastings at selected times throughout the day. The Champagne Bar, which has proved so popular in the First class lounge in Terminal 1, has been recreated within the new area and will serve a range of the best champagnes." And more, from Caterer Search "...free-range, organic, Fairtrade and sustainable products - will be an essential feature of the food offer [at the lounges]. Executive chef Bob Brown, formerly senior lecturer at Westminster College, will be introducing a strong training culture in the state-of-the-art kitchen. Considering there are no kitchen facilities for the lounges in T1 and T4, passengers should immediately enjoy a product far superior to anything they've experienced before at Heathrow." and the link to T5's site again, any feedback from people who've eaten at T5 would be much appreciated, thanks!
  20. Pille, Rogelio and others who have gone to El Bulli this season: how is the wine list presented? Did you get a printed list, or were you offered a tablet PC with the virtual, interactive list? thanks!
  21. Hi Pedro, thank you so much for this. Do they bring the tablet PC to the table automatically or do you have to request it? Do they also have a "normal" printed wine list? thanks again!
  22. Hi, I am writing an article about hi-tech interactive wine lists for a Chilean magazine. Recently, I read an article in the Periodico de Catalunya,in Spanish, kindly posted by Lenski on the Celler Can Roca forum, that said that the new wine list at El Celler de Can Roca is incredibly modern, a full sensorial experience. Josep, the sommelier, is quoted as saying "ours is a sensorial cellar. There is nothing like it in the world. When the client enters, 2 plasma screens show images and words about the wine he's thinking of ordering." Apparently, they go even further, getting clients to dip hands in a tub of steel mini-spheres to evoke the sensation of the bubbles in champagne, for example. When I ate there, the 3 brothers were still at the old address, but now they've moved to this swanky new space where they've got this wine cellar set-up. I'm sure e-gulleters have been there, so... Has anyone experienced this in person? I'd love to know more. Also, it seems Ferran has an interactive wine list too. Is anyone able to describe it? thanks so much!
  23. Nickloman, what a pity that you had a bad meal - I am guessing it was a very busy night and, being relatively new, they were ill-equipped to handle the big crowd, both servers and cooks. Too bad, really too bad, especially considering how I'd raved about my experience. I can only hope they get their act together so that the food is as good as I had it on every other night. Maybe they read egullet?
  24. I was there recently and also had dinner. the dining room is beautiful. Thought it was good but not great, some dishes were badly executed. Highlight of the evening was the cheese cart, with several choices from the region, although a dish of rabbit in many different preparations was interesting and tasty.
  25. Just thought I'd let you all know, even though nobody really seems too interested in what happens in Sherbrooke, judging by the lack of response... Auguste is now open for business, I went to opening night. Open kitchen, bright yellow walls, huge terasse, friendly-looking. And they have poutine inversée on the menu, although I have no clue what that means! a few pics:
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