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AlexForbes

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Everything posted by AlexForbes

  1. Hi everyone, perhaps we should leave the underground city talk to other topics - not that there's anything more to say about it! - and get back to talking about l`Orignal? I'd like to say that I doubt very much that a server there didn't speak French. I've never seen such a thing happen in Montreal. Also, I'd love to hear more comments from those who might have tried the food. I LOVE Garde Manger, so is the food just as good? Similar style? Anyone? And don't you think that the name will be confusing for English-speaking tourists? Won't they find it puzzling and hard to pronnounce? And should
  2. Sorry, Wesza, but what you´re describing is NOT a feijoada! Chicken? Peas? Wine? Paprika? No way, that's heresy! One more thing: there is no such thing as a traditional Portuguese recipe for feijoada. The dish is Brazilian, and it was not brought over from Portugal. If you want to know what a real feijoada is, I think Le Peche gave a pretty good description.
  3. It's funny, today I wrote down some restaurant recommendations for a friend of my brother's who's coming to MTL for New Year's, and then I reviewed my 6 choices: APC, Liverpool House, Joe Beef, Club C&P, Garde Manger, l'Express. All of them are pretty casual, 4 of them specialize in big-plate no-fuss food, served informally to dressed-down customers. None of that stuff we usually associate with fine dining, such as a relatively hushed ambiance, discreet and fine-tuned service, careful dish presentation. I agree with many that have posted here and elsewhere: Montreal is more and more a cit
  4. And here is a photo of the entrance - by the way, what's with the no sign policy? It's almost like it's become very uncool to put up a sign when you open a restaurant... I don't usually care, except this time it took me a couple of minutes to figure out where the restaurant was, as I walked to and fro searching for the right number...
  5. Funny how things are relative... many of you have posted that you loved the char poached in passion fruit. Well, I'm Brazilian, and for some reason fish with passion fruit sauce has become a cliché there, done with varying degrees of efficacy everywhere - so I've gotten sick and tired of it. I did like Tailor's version, obviously more subtle and refined and tender and delicate than your average salmon with passion fruit sauce served at the beach near Sao Paulo, but still - it didn't excite me. The snapper, however, which failed to wow some of you, was my favourite. I liked the strangeness of t
  6. I am a sushi fanatic who is often disappointed when trying to find in Montreal Japanese restaurants that compare to those, say, in New York. I don't know Billy, but I do know that Sho-dan serves the least authentic sushi I've ever had, heavy on sauces, spicy this, spicy that, lots of things masking the fish. Laughable sashimi. Theirs is not the kind of sushi I usually like to eat, although this is very personal (my husband actually likes these kamikaze rolls where the fish is totally irrelevant, and also likes cream cheese and rice puffs in his rolls). That being said, I don't know why peop
  7. I see so many wrong things with the statement above, I hardly know where to begin. So maybe I won't begin. This specific post opened a huge can of worms and suddenly this specific topic - the 2007 edition of the Madrid Fusión - has veered off topic. Shouldn't this discussion of whether Ferran, Heston et al. deserve all their accolades or whether they've been "raised to genius status by a hungry media with nobody better to praise", doesn't this argument belong somewhere else? By the way, Zoticus, keep in mind that long before it was hard to book a table at El Bulli or at TFD these two guys wer
  8. Exactly, Docsconz. Ferran does want to source top products, except his idea of a top product is very different than Santi's. While a more traditional chef, like Santi, relies heavily on haute cuisine standards like caviar, truffles and foie gras and often gives priority to products from his own terroir, paying a premium, for instance, for the finest young vegetables grown organically as close to his restaurant as possible, Ferran tries to find gold in unexpected places, cooking with ingredients not usually associated with haute cuisine, such as the examples I heard he gave at this year's Madr
  9. Great report, Culinista, thanks. Coincidentally, I just interviewed chef Santi Santamaria for a piece on the Madrid Fusion to be published in Gula, a Brazilian magazine, and since I'll only use a very short excerpt in the magazine, I thought I should post the whole thing here, as it is quite provocative and interesting. Food for thought... "There are two kinds of experiments: good ones and stupid ones. I think we’ve entered a phase of theatre, searching for scientific explanations for all we eat. I don’t get it. I don’t ask myself, every time I eat, how that was made. This scientific cuisine
  10. How odd.... I was sure there were many egulleters at the Madrid Fusión and figured they'd have lots to tell the rest of us who couldn't make it... Well, while I wait for them to post something, here is a VERY loose translation of a short part of a story that ran yesterday in El País... The story opened saying the theme this year is "back to nature", with plently of demos with edible flowers, vegetables, herbs, etc. The featured country is China. "(On the first day of the event) the international flavour was brought by French chef Pascal Barbot, passionate about vegetables, plants and travelli
  11. This year I won't be able to attend, but I'd love to hear news from those who are in Madrid this week. Today Pascal Barbot is doing his presentation. Big names in attendance this year: Ferran, Heston, Arzak, Tetsuya, Trotter, Achatz. I'd LOVE to hear what they had to say! here's the link, for those who might not have it yet, Madrid Fusion thanks!
  12. Stelio, I agree with Lesley on this one (please read her quote above): eGullet is not a magazine or a newspaper, it is a forum where people interested in food discuss ideas, restaurants and yes, rumours. I've read a million things here that given me ideas for my articles - but before publishing anything, I went to the source, I interviewed the chef in question, did research. When I sign an article, I am "putting out news", as you say. When I share with fellow foodies some information on a food forum, I am not "putting out news", I am just chatting online with people that are as interested as
  13. Well, I was in New York recently, and heard from two chefs who are actually coming to the Highlights festival (prefer not to name them) that Les Chèvres is indeed closing. So... if this is a false rumor, why do I keep hearing it wherever I go? I even heard the place is for sale and will be closed by March. Puzzling...
  14. Yes, Doc, El Celler should have a new home by then, in downtown Girona - that's what I've heard, too. A good thing, too! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful meal, so the wait is well worth it. The photo of Joan and Ferran was taken in October at the Spain's 10 event in New York, although I took lots of other ones at the Madrid Fusion.
  15. I've been wanting to try El Celler de Can Roca for a long, long time, and finally got to eat there in early November. The food matched my very high expectations - especially Jordi's outstanding desserts - though the setting did not - couldn't help finding the room a bit too bright and colourful. I had the surprise menu, and I've written a dish-by-dish report, with photos of all but one of the dishes, which I've posted here: Celler de Can Roca report
  16. I think that when you want to spend extra to have truffles you must read the "truffle menu" carefully - I think very few restaurants would do a menu featuring truffles from beginning to end, first because it would be overkill and none of the dishes could be too flavourful, so they wouldn't mask the truffles, and second because it's too costly. They'd have to charge a fortune. So maybe this was a case of expectations running too high? IMHO, 75 dollars would have been too low for a real truffle menu with truffles galore. I feel you got what you paid for, overall, excluding of course the limp gre
  17. ASM, I don't blame you for not getting it - it was hard to get all of what they were saying. When they spoke clearly, I listened to the chefs directly. But when those with thicker accents were on stage (Quique daCosta, Dani Garcia), I had to listen to the translator. So I went back and forth from Spanish to English, and missed quite a lot. Sound quality and simultaneous translation were much better at the last Madrid Fusion. Oh well... I haven't given up, and am still trying to make sense of my notes and the bits and pieces I got on my digital recorder! by the way, Ferran told me at the even
  18. The most recent posts have been very interesting, etc., but WOW - very philosophical! So I'll keep my post simple and reiterate Akwa's question, above, and add something to it. Do you agree with those that say that New York is not nearly as receptive than, say, Chicago or San Sebastian to chefs like you, who explore the boundaries of taste and texture, take sound and smell into consideration when creating a dish, etc (the so-called hypermodernists)? Even though you do say that the food you were serving at Gilt "was not strange or weird in any way", do you fear that, when you open your own pla
  19. oh, and one last thing: Paolo is not listed in the phone book. Who can give me his number, pleeeeeeease? thanks again!
  20. Thank you thank you thank you to all of you. You've been EXTREMELY helpful! And Lesley, you guessed right: Moreno does not mind sharing. And he gets it straight from the source !
  21. Of course I know risottos are not the only way that rice is cooked in Europe!!! I was trying to translate the word arroces, and thought that "rices" might give an incorrect connotation, that's all.
  22. These 2 girls in a booth translated for everyone, and you could hear them giggling sometimes. They were totally lost when Ferran started to go into the details of spherification. Annoying, really. I have a different view of Ferran's "speech" - I loved it. He always makes me think. He was saying that if we had never seen water, we'd find it insane: transparent, tasteless, hard to define, and that we must approach everything with open minds, eyes, noses, palates, be always curious. And, most importantly, he cautioned younger chefs when using techniques such as spherification. He says before you
  23. I attended a press conference at NY's French Culinary Institute this week for the event Spain's 10, and, behind a row of seated chefs, which included Ferran, Arzak and Joan Roca, I spotted, through a glass wall, Paul "spherifying" something in the kitchen. I went to talk to him and he said he was helping the Spanish guys with prep (they were feeding some American journalists and VIPs the next day, at the school). He's going to Montreal this winter to participate in the city's Highlights festival, which means cooking for one night at a restaurant as guest chef, and he's looking into opening his
  24. I had dinner at the Atelier with a friend last Thursday, and have posted a lengthy report - with photos of every dish on the tasting menu - on my site, l'Atelier report I loved most of it and had a wonderful, wonderful time - worth every dollar. I've re-read some posts on this forum, and I confess I'm puzzled by some of them, especially those criticizing the service, which in my case was impeccable. Also, the noisy bar IS NOT part of the restaurant, it is completely independent and run by the hotel. I asked them.
  25. I was there, too, and was a bit overwhelmed, as were others, by the speed with which all the information was being thrown at us. The pace was much faster than at the Madrid Fusion, on which this event was based, since they had to cram 10 chef demos into one day. The bad translation didn't help matters. I'll soon post a full report, but here's how I would sum it up: 1- Arzak, as funny and cheery as usual, showed a neat sauce he made with carbonized (very burnt) leeks, which he whipped up with blood orange juice, and extra-virgin. Also showed a neat dessert of pineaple with a side of strawberry
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