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Everything posted by fortedei

  1. fortedei


    French chef or Italian making the pasta and saucing it? ← Multiple French Chefs. I have even had wonderful pasta made by American chefs in French Restaurants.; ← I make wonderful pasta at home. I am not Italian. ← How much time have you spent in Italy?
  2. fortedei


    French chef or Italian making the pasta and saucing it? ← Multiple French Chefs. I have even had wonderful pasta made by American chefs in French Restaurants.; ← No kidding. where?
  3. fortedei


    French chef or Italian making the pasta and saucing it?
  4. fortedei


    It's amazing what The French sometimes do with Italian food. "The pastas (sic) were cut very precisely at the same size... "spaghetti castles"...spaghettis (sic)." That dish looks not only contrived but also looks vile. And wasting good mozzarella (I presume good) on a small bit of liquid mozzarella & basil. Liquid mozzerella? What's the matter... mozzarella in it's natural state is not good enough? It's like when the Italians (foolishly) try to copy the French. They never get it right. I've said it many times on this site. French cooking is unparalled in so many ways. Two of the ways it's not is when French chefs (try to) make risotto or pasta. Then it's just a very very poor imitation.
  5. fruits de mer go to L'Ecailler du Bistro
  6. Are they superior in flavor? What does superior mean? Have you ever tasted culatello from Miriam's at La Buca?
  7. Why would a Roman food shop sell jamon iberico? Because even an Italian can admit that its better than prosciutto. ← Jamon iberico is not better than prosciutto. It's different, just as culatello is different from prosciutto (and of course then we get into which prosciutto) and different from jamon.
  8. At Volpetti... why would you eat "Iberico Jamon of Beef" in Rome? What makes "Iberico Jambon" so sexy? I don't associate sexy with a dish of ham.
  9. Question. Why do you think Lopriore is doing it this way? What do you think goes through his mind when he serves food like this? Is it Adia' envy?
  10. Not only did the food sound less than appealing (vile?), but aside from the 120 for the tasting menu which is reasonable (if only it were edible), the prices are outrageous. 25 Euros each for cheese. What a rip-off. That is simply unheard of. The wine prices for the Bollinger and particularly the very ordinary 2001 Sono Montenidoli show a markup of close to four times. For a restaurant in Italy that is simply outrageous. Outside of Rome and Milan, places like this do not last long in Italy. This place would fold in a second if not for the subsidy of the hotel. Even there, I wouldn’t be surprised if this place doesn’t exist in a few years. There are only so many Americans, Japanese and Brits who would go there. Very few Italians will.
  11. Funny you should ask that. The bill came to 666€. Coincidence? I understand trying to shock the diner; but you have a good point ... at what cost ?? Shock is good, if the dish still tastes good. You're absolutely right. I mean, if the dish doesn't taste good, there at least has to be some kind of consistency or flavor railing so it's clear what the chef is trying to do. Otherwise I'm lost, the flavor isn't appealing, and I'm unhappy. ← Did that number include wine? If so what?
  12. Molto Italiano, not. Just another joker trying to shock rather than please. What did this disaster cost? Did you have wine or did he have a substitute that contained pepper? BTW, we hear that one of the big ten of Italian molecular/ experimentation/ foam dish restaurants is in big financial trouble because no one goes there anymore.
  13. Second the enthusiasm about L'Ecaille. First time there a few weeks ago; won't be the last. Emphasis on (plateau) fruits de mer. Oysters that were wonderfully fresh (ten different kinds the night we were there). Had the Belon Speciales #5 and my wife the fine de Claire no. 3. Very good, half a dozen simple main fish courses. Wine list was better than just fine and priced well. Great service (how the three of them serve 50 is beyond me, but they do, do it well, and with a smile). Decent bread and great butter. Moderate check. 9 oysters each, two main courses (barbue with girolles and a St. Pierre), two desserts that were also very good, and a bottle of 2004 Zind Humbrecht Riesling for a total of 156 Euros. Exactly what a place like this should be. They stay within their sphere of competence and that makes it a delight to eat there.
  14. Went to Le Duc for dinner a few weeks ago. This is among the best fish restaurants in Paris? We were expecting the freshest fish, simply prepared. That’s what we were told Le Duc served and that’s what we wanted. Couldn't even get that. In a nutshell: mediocre menu which quite clearly rarely or ever changes even if the fish listed aren't available. A wine list that could charitably be described as mediocre. Have they never heard of Rhone Valley reds? Isn't there anything decent from Provence or The Languedoc to be put on a wine list... you bet there is. In whites, if you're going to concentrate on Burgundy at least have a decent selection (no off years, no long over the hill oxidized wines). The service was inept. Is it possible to get a bottle of water in under 20 minutes, even if the restaurant is only a quarter filled at 8:30? How many times does one have to ask for a bottle of water before it comes; two, three, four times? Is it possible for the sommelier (at least he pretended to be one) to pour the bottle of red wine into the empty wine glass that he set out for the red, rather than into the half filled glass of white wine? Is it possible for the sommelier to pour the wine into the glass rather than on the table cloth? The service was without any smile whatsoever; nothing, blank! Just going through the motions. The soupe de poisson looked like dirty water and tasted not much better. Once again, even with this dish, inept service; here's why. The waiter comes and laddles half the tureen into my bowl. Beside the bowl, he sets down the croutons (actually small tasteless pieces of bread) and something that looked like some form of rouille, but didn't resemble any that I'd ever had before. The tureen was then removed. After finishing the bowl, I didn't want any more soupe, but even if I had wanted it, no one was going to offer it because the tureen simply disappeared after ten minutes and the other half was never offered. First time that's ever happened. The turbotin was tasteless. The vegetables were a mass of brown rice and a puree of parsnips, neither having much flavor. The bread is a disgrace (the butter was good). The oysters were wonderful. Didn't stay for dessert. Four of us: four first courses (two of oysters) four second courses, two mediocre bottles of wine and two bottles of water. Check, close to 475 Euros. What a ripoff. Go at your own risk.
  15. No, you've confused two people. The guy on Carson was Antinio Santoni
  16. A very close friend of mine, Antonio Santini, once told me (not in this exact phrase of course) that he and Nadia had to go 4 for 4 every night. That's what people expected. This by the way was when he had only one star.
  17. In Paris right now and I couldn't agree with you more. Yes, I miss certain places that I went to 35 years ago and many that have disappeared over all the ensuing years that I have eaten here. However, so what. Paris still remains the quintessential food city, with so many restaurateurs (and traiteurs, in the broadest sense) who, for the most part, are not jaded and who really care about (a precis of what you said) " to offer .. the best ... of our view of food as part of culture, not fashion." May it always remain this way.
  18. And on an average day? And on a not good day?
  19. Didn't know there was a version in English.
  20. The 2009 Osterie D'Italia from Slow Food is available in the bookstore on via Mazzini in Forte dei Marmi. All the copies you want for 20 Euros each.
  21. It's not only an unfashionable hour, but the grandchild who doesn't want to go to a place where he hears English spoken, is not going to be happy. Go to Vecchia Bettola and have a meal that is as close as one gets to what Florence was in the sixties and seventies (last century). Loredana is as humble (despite his great success) as he was 30 plus years ago when we first met him. Good (true) Florentine food, nice surroundings, very little English spoken, fun experience, takes reservations at night.
  22. We went down to Montalcino yesterday to buy some wine. Usually we stay overnight in the town. This time we decided to try Il Silene (ilsilene.it) about about 15 miles south of Montalcino in Seggiano, near Monte Amiata. This place is everything Carlo Cracco (see topic Cracco Milano) is not. Actually. this is not quite true. This place is very similar to what Carlo Cracco had when, several years ago, he was in his locanda between Alba and Bra. A few comfortable rooms and very good food. A talented, extremely nice owner/chef (Roberto Rossi) and his wife. A good, very reasonably priced wine list with oodles and oodles of Brunellos (but you won’t find Cracco’s Gyokuro green tea on the list). There wasn’t any foam in sight. No sous-vide, no molecular food, no food in Mason jars, no fusion. The usual sign vietato fumare could have been replaced by vietato Adria’. Carlo Cracco would have recognized all the food; he once cooked this way. I started with the zuppetta di piccione and my wife had the zuppa di scottiglia. Then for primi piatti, raviolini ripieni al piccione; tagliatelle con asparagina selatica di macchia. Some other choices for primi: tagliatelline con ragu di coniglio and risotto al lampredotto (Rossi’s version of Cracco’s risotto con olio d’acciuga, limone e cacao). For main courses we had rognone di vitella and wonderful agnello alla brace. Also available last night was animelle di agnello, tagliata di petto d’anatra, composizione vegetale di verdure miste in varie cotture. and three or four other main dishes. The menu changes often (Roberto is a whiz with a Mac and so it doesn’t faze him to print out a different menu every day depending on what he wants to cook and what is in the market; would that all restaurants did this). Dessert was a delicious zuccoto (and two dessert wines). Da bere: 1995 Brunello Il Poggione (100 euros). Finished off the bottle and so had a glass of 1995 Brunello Fanti as well. The food cost was 103 euros. Great meal? No. Very good. Yes. Wonderful flavors, excellent cooking skill, friendly service, very reasonable check, don’t have to drive anywhere after the meal (just walk upstairs). You’ll recognize everything on your plate (and the plating was good). It’s a very good place to go if you’re in Montalcino.
  23. Ah, that border... so ephemeral today. However, what a difference it makes when eating Italian food. So good on the eastern side, so poor on the western. Am sure there is an anthropology thesis lurking out there somewhere, to be read by very few
  24. We got to know Carlo a number of years ago when he had a charming country restaurant between Alba and Bra. He was everything you could hope for in an Italian restaurant owner... a great menu, dishes well prepared, of course a wonderful wine list, and humility. We were probably there four or five times. Carlo swore he would never fall for "Adrianess." It just wasn't the nature of Italian cuisine. Clearly that has changed and the lure of the Gambero Rosso, the Michelin and L'Espresso turned his head. When I read the description of some of the dishes, I felt a tear. What an abomination.
  25. In Zurich I would be hapy to get an omelette for $11. Prices here are very high and modestly priced food is often depressing. I had understood from Ptipois that the problem was the traditional food is gone. Expensive food is everywhere in Europe now. Prices in Italy have more than doubled since the Euro came to town and it is very difficult for the locals to eat out. It sounds like the US may be the best place to dine out, from a value perspective. ← I live in one of the most expensive towns in Italy with regard to real estate. The very good trattorie within a 30 km. radius are still reasonably priced and have certainly not doubled in price (real terms) since the Euro replaced the lira.
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