Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  1. Thank for the feedback! I'll keep Astier on the list but I definitely don't want Disneyland. I'm thinking about another one of John's picks - Le Gaigne - although from their website it looks like prices have gone up considerably from the 22/menu days. Is that still a good bet? Overall, we are interested in what I think is being called bistronomique places but also traditional good value bistros.
  2. My wife and I are coming to Paris from 25 February through 3 March. Several friends have recommended that we try Astier, but in reading about the place, the comments are decidedly mixed. It seems it can be a bit overrun and that also the celebrated cheese platter may not contain such excellent specimens. But some people still have great experiences, especially when they sit downstairs. I would like to go there as it's been so talked about among my colleagues and I would hate to spurn their recommendations, but I also don't want to squander any precious meals. Has anyone been recently? As an aside, we are planning on visiting what seem to be some consistent moderately priced bistro favorites, including: La Regalade Racine Chez L'Ami Jean Itinéraires le Jeu de Quilles [lunch only I understand] la Fontaine de Mars [for Sunday dinner] Chez Denise Ledoyen Le Pamphlet Any reason not to visit these places, or any clear better alternatives? Thanks! Michael
  3. Hello, I will be spending the night of June 1 in Paris at the Hotel de la Porte Doree - located SE of Gare de Lyon. I am hoping to find a restaurant suitable for a solo diner - i.e. a bar area - somewhere not too far away, although I could also take a cab. Ideally, the restaurant would be a modern casual bistro with a total bill somewhere below 50 euro. Otherwise I am very flexible on cuisine and atmosphere. Thanks!
  4. My wife and I were in Spain in late September and early October. On the recommendations from egullet, we chose to have our one splurge meal at Ca Sento. It was one of the best meals I've ever had, with the caveat that the farther your stray from seafood, the less spectacular the results. Here's the meal: We began with a caprese salad - of sorts. Mostly it was an ethereal mozzarella mouse with some kind of salty cured tomato on the bottom and a basil oil on top. I'd never had anything like this and the tomatoes were spectacular The bread was also terrific - a rarity in Spain, it seems Then moving on to two different clams and the most surprising element of the meal - a mild liquid lemon drop encased in some kind of membrane. The Denia prawns, as others have noted, are so simple yet of a truly astonishing quality. I had no idea they were going to taste so good. This next course did not photograph well but if they have it you should get it. Some kind of deep fried foie gras pudding. You wait about 30 seconds and then pop the whole thing in your mouth - an explosion of liquid foie gras. The bit on top was a bit of tomato jelly - I think. Oh my goodness this was tasty - squid stock, perfectly scored and grilled squid, a potato puree and a very tiny poached egg. I greedily swabbed up every speck of the sauce. I'm drooling on my keyboard. Seared monkfish (or possibly sea bass - can't recall) with more clams. Skin was perfectly crisp, slightly rare in the middle. Really perfect. I even got to finish half of my wife's portion as she was filling up by now. Yes! This looks similar to other Ca Sento photos, although here with rice not vermicelli (as an aside I had cuttlefish & vermicelli paella at Monastrell in Alicante and I didn't care for it at all - really overseasoned, and I like salt, and just not well conceived or executed. bummer). They get a shatteringly crisp crust on the rice. The pigeon with pumpkin puree was merely good. Cooked rare, with an excellent sauce, but the pigeon we had at Hisop (www.hisop.com) was far better. As another aside, while not at the same heights as Ca Sento, Hisop is also far, far cheaper. And they'll do a wine pairing with the tasting menu for a measly 12 euro. Deserts at Ca Sento - at least the ones we had - are merely so so. This pear & puff pastry dish was underbaked and contained some slightly gummy layers. Not at all flaky and a bit chewy. This little cake looked terrific and had three different chocolate flavors but it didn't come together in terms of taste of texture. We spent about $375 for two. My wife drank cava the whole time and I had several different wines, all of which were excellent. I would say that it was a good value, despite the jaw dropping cost (at least for me). If I go back, I will not get the tasting menu. The non-fish item (pigeon for us) and the desserts are not world class - but every one of the fish items was the best I'd ever had. I would look for the prawns, a rice based fish dish, and anything to do with squid. The service is quite professional but also very reserved. Decor is great - especially the brown shag carpet on the ceiling. Also photos of other meals and the rest of our trip are available at http://picasaweb.google.com/unagrua/Spain0...key=cyKCoypnRVo We saw a lot of Santiago Calatrava buildings. Other short notes: Cal Pep - very good, expensive, overrun by tourists Quimet et Quiment - great, go for the sardine items
  5. Hello, My wife and I will be going to Spain from Sept 27 to Oct 10, mostly to check out Barcelona as a possible sabbatical location. I'm pretty sure that we can only afford one splurge dinner. I've been reading the Barcelona and Valencia posts (we'll be there for a few days too) and I'm trying to decide between Ca Sento and Abac. We'll be staying in the Park Hotel so Abac would be very easy. But here's the kicker - my wife is a serious dining liability. She doesn't drink wine. At all. And she's not really into long tasting dinners. She does, however, really like shellfish, beer, and chocolate. So given these constraints and the relative merits of the two restaurants, which one would be a better pick? Thanks!
  • Create New...