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Everything posted by babern38

  1. Perhaps someone could help me out with this question. I seem to recall reading in the Relais & Chateau guide last year that TRU was one of the Relais Gourmands wherein you could spend an afternoon/evening working/observing in the kitchen. Is this true? If so, I was hoping that I could arrange for my wife (an avid baker) to spend some time learning in the TRU kitchen. I had sent an e-mail to them last week, but still have not heard from them. My wife is not professional by any means, but I have yet to be disappointed yet and I know she would love to be surprised by me arranging some time in such a fabulous pastry kitchen.
  2. First, regarding wine. I would definitely recommend letting the sommelier choose for you a glass for each dish. This is what we did and it was one of the first times the harmony between food and wine became apparent. To me, food and wine have always gone well together, but never like the pairings at TRU. The wines we had had various flavors that echoed/continued the taste of the food exceptionally well. Its fun to try so many different wines as well and it is also a lot cheaper than ordering several bottles. Second, here is what I thought about the service. The entire housestaff is very formal and reserved, but they don't hesitate to return a smile, a nod, or a "hello" They are very unobtrusive, but always present as part of the entire "show". It wasn't really until the second course that I started to pick up on the synchronized pouring of water glasses, the eye contact between servers and barely imperceptible communication as when to rotate clockwise one seat to pour the next set of glasses. I also noted how, each time the basket of various breads was brought to the table, there were exactly four pieces of each type (the same number of pieces for the number of people at the table). I also remember the sommelier being excited that he was going to be able to offer us a pour of some rarer wines. I'm not really sure of the story, but he apparently worked some sort of magic and was able to give us a free upgrade or two on our pairings. The service at TRU is honestly one of the most fascinating, coordinated operations of human beings I have ever witnessed. I only wish I could have sat in the kitchen for a couple hours to see how they communicated with each other as well as the housestaff. I hope this is what you were looking for.
  3. When I went with my family last year, my dad and I both had Chef Tramonto's collection. This was $135 9-10 course meal that included the caviar staircase, cheese cart, foie, salad, soup, amuse, appetizers, fish dishes, meat dishes, dessert, mignardises, more chocolates, parting dessert, the works. My mother had the grande collection (possible the summer menu you mentioned) for $110 and included the staircase, although I believe she had a lower grade caviar at the top (not the beluga or sevruga my dad and I had). Hers did not include the cheese cart, but my dad and I shared. My fiancee had the $100 vegetable menu. If its your first time and can swing the extra $20-30 bucks, I definitely recommend the blowout Tramonto collection. Another upside to this is that others dining at your table will get a completley different menu (for most courses) so if your companions are nice you can share. If I remember we started with 4 glasses of $22 Rose champagnes, 2 tramonto's, 1 Grand, 1 vegetarian, 3 wine pairings, and perhaps coffee that i think came to $800-875 without tip. A relative bargain considering the 30+ different dishes we recieved, not including all the mignardises, etc. and some of the best service I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. Enjoy
  4. Two things, One, I'd love to hear which menus you had (grand, vegetable, or kitchen table) two, I was looking at CT's website and am a bit confused about the seating times. The website says SeatingsTuesday through Thursday 6:00 p.m. & 9:00 pm Friday - Saturday from 5:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. To me this implies that Tues-Thurs you can only come into the restaurant and be seated at either 6 or 9 and that on Fri-sat you can be seated anytime you wish(w/ reservation) between 5:30 and 9:00? Is this how it works? I would be interested in hearing why such a restaurant would require a specific time to be seated on the weekdays as opposed to the weekends. I would think the weekends would be busier and it would be easier if they only had to prepare one course for the restaurant at a time. Any thoughts?
  5. just a reminder that Tramonto/Gand are battling on Iron Chef America tonight at 8pm central on food network
  6. I have been doing some research and have just read this entire thread and have a few questions. I am a bit confused on the menu options at Avenues. It seems that everyone on this board has pretty much dined at the Chef's Bar and they mention eating the Chef's Palate menu. Is this the $188 ($288 w/ wine) 20 course menu I remember reading about somewhere in the past or have you been doing the 12 course menu that is also listed on the Avenues website and simply eating it at the bar? Everything in the pictures posted looks amazing and I am dying to try them, but I know my family would much rather eat at a table than the bar. Can this same menu (the menu seen in the pictures on this thread) be served at a table? Also, could someone please enlighten me on the prices for all available menus and if there is a set price for wine pairings? Thanks
  7. what are these vague rumors about these new Tramonto venture's you are discussing?
  8. Every once in awhile my family will take the 30minute drive from columbi to Jeff to eat at Das Steing Haus and get some decent german food. Das Stein Haus is a great little family restaurant right off of highway 64, owned by a man named Helmut, I believe. Great schnitzel and rouladen. as far as steaks go in Jeff City, I've always heard that the Capital Grille is pretty decent, but I've never learned first hand if this is true.
  9. this may have been discussed earlier in this thread, but I didn't have time to look back through all nine pages. I was just wondering if anyone knows if the kitchen could create a menu prestige for my wife who is a vegetarian? Their website menu doesn't mention any vegetarian dishes. I'd hate to think I'd have to miss out of eating here next time we get to London. Thanks. P.S. I'm also cusious about Petrus' ability to do the same.
  10. while everything described here makes my mouth water, I'm wondering if my vegetarian wife would starve here? Their website doesn't seem to list many vegetarian items, let alone enough to make menu exceptional to pair with mine. Would this be a poor choice for us? Thank you.
  11. As mentioned by an earlier poster, the reservation confirmation e-mail asked them to list any foods they could not eat or were allergic to. I'm just curious if anyone has ever heard of a vegetarian eating at El Bulli? I can see from this post that they have several vegetarian dishes, but could they expand that number to a full menu? I ask because my wife is a vegetarian (no fish either) and I hate to think I may never be able to experience el Bulli because of this. As I would probably not go alone. Thanks.
  12. I was just curious what was going on with Moto? There hasn't been a post for sometime, especially one with any sort of review/details. Has anyone been recently and experienced any new inventions or cool creations? I still have not been able to make it to moto, but that may not be so for long and I'm curious if I should still consider it to be on my high priority list for my next chicago visit. Thanks.
  13. Does anyone know the current prices for Trotter's menus, especially the kitchen table? The only price I can find on the website is for the $85 wine flight with meals. Thanks.
  14. Here in the united states, it seems that many finer restaurants who offer multi-course tasting menus have one that caters to a vegetarian's needs. I have very little french fine dining experience and wonder if french, or other european country restaurants in general take vegetarian needs into account. Its my general impression that many european countries, especially france, find a vegetarian's willing choice to not eat meat of fish to be strange. Is this correct? I ask because my fiancee is a vegetarian (no fish either) and wonder what difficulty she might have if we go to high michelin starred restaurants. Thanks
  15. babern38

    Per Se

    did the $150 price tag include gratuity? If not, that still seems a bit pricey. When we went to TRU and Alinea in Chicago, the wine pairings were about 2/3 the menu price (so they were closer to $80-100). At Tru, we were given a different pour with each of the 9 courses as well. Do you think Per Se could do a tasting closer to the $100 range?
  16. Does anyone have any news on when Chef Blais' battle on Iron Chef America might finally air? I can't find any mention of the battle on the official website or anywhere else. I know its been filmed, but when will it be shown. Thanks.
  17. babern38

    Per Se

    I have a question about the pricing at per se. I know that gratuitiy is included in the $210 per person price, but how when one adds the wine pairing option, how does this work? Do they automatically apply gratuity to the wine flight price for the sommelier or what? Thanks.
  18. I quickly read through this thread and perhaps I missed the explanation, but I'm intrigued with all the infused drinks/juices etc. you were given with the meal. Was this instead of a wine pairing or were they mere accompaniments to the dishes? Is this the standard things one should expect to receive at Avenues? Thanks
  19. What brand of stemware do they have at Alinea? I've been looking to purchase some good stemware and really liked what they had. I'm thinking it was Riedel, but ALinea is not listed as a restaurant on Riedel's website I guess I'll have to go back and find out.
  20. Just ate their for dinner tonight. It was our second time there, the first being 10 months ago right after they opened. The service and food has definitely been kicked up a notch and things are looking good. I'm glad there is finally a place in Columbia where I can get awesome short ribs. The Roasted lamb and apple hash with mediterranean spices on polenta was a very satisfying appetizer and probably the only dish worth the $7-9 appetizer prices there. The rest of the party had a thai shish kabob (good, but small portion for price), quarter pound of shrimp with mango salsa ($8 for 5 shrimp and cocktail sauce?), and potato gnocchi with spinach (very good, but would be better off as a main course instead of a plate with 12 gnocchi on it). My mother had a dish of scallops with shiitakes and lo mein that she said was wonderful. I agree with the first poster that the desserts do leave a bit to be desired. I'd like to see something more original than two types of chocolate cake, a carrot cake, and a creme brullee. This place is definitely on my "eat at more often" list. I'm glad this forum brought it back to my attention and got me interested in deserving another try.
  21. I remember there being little green dollops around the plate which was the avocado flavoring. I was really surprised to find that the avocado had a slighlt minty flavor. It was mint without the "burning" or tingling. very cool to the palate and amazingly paired with the chocolate. I think the little green leaves are just mint leaves. We were told that the chocolate merely had "thickeners" added to it so that they could bend it into the shape you see. This was one dish that, when viewing the photos before eating there, I didn't see how it could be that original, but it was extremely tasty. I hope this helps and is accurate. I could be wrong. Guess I just have to go back
  22. We did several menus. My father and I did the 9 course so all of our courses were different except for the amuse and caviar staircase. my mother had the 8 course grand tasting menu and my fiancee had the vegetarian tasting menu. It was wonderful with everyone having different courses so we could pass plates around and try nearly 4 times as many courses than if we had just eaten our own. food consisted of everything from kobe beef tartare, duck, tuna, pasta, mushroom soup, foie gras, caviar...........pretty much anything (thats luxurious) on the air, earth, and sea. No complaints were heard about anything, merely lots of ooooohs and "oh my gods!" and "you have to taste this" I also thought the individual wine pairings with each course were some of the best I've ever had. While the wines at Alinea were also exceptional, pairings are a bit trickier in that some wines are meant for multiple courses as so many of the courses are only a single bite. My family and I spent about 4-5 hours at each place doing either the 9 courses at TRU or the 12 course (which became 17 course) menu at Alinea. My father sounds a bit like yours in that he did enjoy the creativity of Alinea, but I think he really appreciated the more "tradtional" approaches used at TRU.
  23. not to make the decision any harder, but have you thought about going to TRU? I had never really done a multi course tasting menu until eating at TRU last march and I have since fallen in love with doing such menus. The grand tasting menu had numerous things that were all excellent with many familiar, but still quite different touches. Just a though. I also loved Alinea just as much, although it is extremely different. I think I appreciated Alinea much more having been to TRU first and experience cuisine and service at that level one time before.
  24. I have just come across this place and am dying to visit, but have a few questions? Does anyone know if the Minibar would be able to cater to/accomodate my vegetarian fiancee? Second, we recently ate at Alinea in Chicago and was wondering if anyone could compare and contrast. Thanks Also, while we were all stuffed after Alinea, many of Alinea's portions are larger than what I am seeing from the Minibar pictures posted. Do most people here feel that you get enough food for the evening or is this more of a fun place to be wowed, drink, and have lots of fun snacks before a late dinner?
  25. I don't suppose any one has been holding out on giving us updates about new menu items and other changes to Alinea?
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