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Everything posted by ameiden

  1. Should anyone be interested in almost a decade of culinary history, I am currently offering my collection of more than 100 Observer Food Monthly issues on Ebay
  2. And all this for a tasting menu that hardly ever changes. Maybe in the mean time try Little Chef, Cineworld or the NHS.
  3. It probably did not go wrong, Corrigan at the Grosvenor House only opened in early November which will have given Michelin no more than a good month for their assessments before the guide went off to print. I could well imagine that they want to err on the side of cautiousness on this one.
  4. Had a very good meal here yesterday and it soon became apparent why - Pierre Gagnaire, the great master himself, is in town and currently heading up the kitchen at the Lecture Room and Library. He made his round through the restaurant after the desserts were served. His aim seems obvious. How come Ducasse at Dorchester is a rising three star after a couple of years and Sketch has only a single star after four years. He is trying hard to get a better rating in a competition among other French chefs with London outlets. Was my meal three stars worth? No. But it was definitely better than its current one star rating. Service very friendly and highly motivated (although I only got the wine list once the starters had been served).
  5. ameiden


    I happen to be in Lyon on Friday 1st January 2010 and have discovered that most restaurants I tried to book are closed in the evening: Chapel, La Rotonde, Auberge de l'Ile, Mere Brazier, Nicolas Le Bec, Tetedoie are all closed. On the bouchon side, Le Garet and Cafe des Federations will be shut too. After trying all of these, it looks like the city will be pretty dead on that Friday night. What is my best bet for this evening? (besides Bocuse and Lyon de Lyon who are always open, I know) It could be anything from a brasserie to a bouchon or even a starred restaurant.
  6. Strange. I have been there on my own and there was no problem at all. Wonder why this approach would have changed. Dining on my own, based on my wine choice I tend to have a higher bill than the couple next to me who just drink wines by the glass. Reminds me of a restaurant in Germany where a few years ago I wanted to book a table for 3. I was told that they would only accept bookings in increments of 2, so either 2 or 4. Booking for 3 would mean that with their square tables one seat would remain empty.
  7. Thanks FoodSnob for this very comprehensive review. I am looking forward to trying the Entdeckungsreise myself in a few weeks time. How long did the whole experience last? You are mentioning a few similarities to Alinea in Chicago. Did you also notice that the bubble design of the menu card is copied from the one that Alinea are using? Bensberg may be far away from the windy city but Wissler should be aware that there is a cross section of his guests who will also be familiar with Alinea. A few small corrections though, Bergisch Gladbach is not in Westphalia but in the Rhineland, a significant difference for locals although the county is called "North Rhine-Westphalia" and combines both areas. The maître d', Miguel Angel Calero Novillo, is Spanish, not Italian. (He grew up in Germany though and speaks German fluently and without any accent.) Not sure who Joanna would be. Do you perhaps mean Romana (Echensperger), the sommeliere who also serves dishes? From my experience, her wine pairings can be extremely well chosen, as she tends to combine proven classics with interesting recent finds, always of an excellent quality and usually very well matched to each individual course. Appreciate your scepticism but very much hope that Vendome will yet again live up to my sky-high expectations that have never been disappointed so far. Since after the refurbishment and the radical modernisation of the cooking style I have always left this place in culinary heaven, a feeling I have been missing in a few other three star places recently.
  8. Agree that it makes perfect sense from a business perspective to turn tables if your prices have to be market-right and if your restaurant would be struggling otherwise. (And as we all know, Ramsay Holdings are struggling big time at the moment!) But I strongly disagree that this could or should still be called a three star experience, especially if one has to rush through a multi-course tasting menu. I would rather have everything wrapped up as a takeaway and eat it on a park bench in my own time! Went to GR Claridge's once and only got a table for 10pm. When we arrived, the large dining room was full of people and almost steamy as the aircon could probably not cope with that amount of diners, all crammed into the small gaps between the densely placed tables. During the first 15 minutes we had to witness how the waiters were asking various tables to leave against their will to make room for the next lot. Then of course they started clearing tables, putting new cloths on in a hurry and so on and so on ... All in all, my normally healthy appetite can suffer from unrest like this. It should make a difference if one sits in a luxury restaurant or in the middle of Kings Cross Station.
  9. Ramsay's website has now introduced online bookings, which I find a really convenient way to reserve a table. But when you arrive on the relevant landing page and click on the RHR logo, they ask you to phone for a reservation. Of course, online booking works for all the other places! I find it strange and greedy if restaurants of this caliber run the system of allocating slots. When I went there for lunch many years ago, we got a table for 12 o'clock but were asked at the time of booking to leave at 2 pm as this was when the next guests would be seated at our table. In the end, this was exactly what happened, and we had to have our coffee in the bar area.
  10. Le Chantecler in Nice (at the Negresco Hotel) is also worth considering. Had a faboulous lunch there not too long ago.
  11. Hambleton Hall should also be a consideration, particularly because of the beautiful terrace overlooking Rutland Water where one can have aperitif or digestif in summer. Went there last week for a Sunday lunch, salmon/caviar starter, local beef and chocolate tart all brilliantly executed. Good wine selection, very old school atmosphere, high prices (as if they were in the middle of London, they put 12.5% service on everything, our bill came to almost 300 pounds for two).
  12. paulbrussel, I would be interested in how your food was at Bruneau this time. I know that a rude waitress, supported by a rude patron, can spoil a visit. But if you would simply judge what arrived on your plate, was the food you got just as bad? I have only been to Bruneau twice, once in the three-star, once in the two-star era. I have fond memories of both visits but can well imagine that they are struggling under the current climate.
  13. On our most recent visit, I got exactly the same confirmation as you - non-smoking section full, table is in smoking area. We were seated upstairs and a few of the surrounding tables were indeed smoking but it was no problem at all as the spacing is relatively generous and the aircondition works a treat. Had I been blindfolded, I wouldn't even have known that anyone was smoking. I still would have wanted to sit in the downstairs non-smoking room as it is the more modern, most recently refurbished one. In comparison to the downstairs showroom, upstairs looks a bit like the "next project on the list".
  14. Yes, I have noticed a price increase on my most recent visit but found it totally justified. Germany does indeed find itself in an economic downturn but this restaurant plays in a different league - not only in the German, but in the world-championship. In my opinion, food, service, atmosphere are nothing short of spectacular, very few restaurants can compete on the same level of perfection. And I haven't even tried the 24 course menu yet.
  15. I would like to draw the forum's attention to one aspect that seems to be overlooked so far. My suspicion is that implicitly the Restaurant Magazine's list wants to be some kind of alternative draft to the Michelin 3 star system. Currently I believe there are 72 three-star restaurants around the globe. Although some of them are better than others, and some of them perhaps no longer deserve this title, overall they seem to be a far more reliable selection than the 50-list, at least based on my experience. I know one can be critical of Ramsay and his business empire but compared to St John, Nobu and Hakkasan, Royal Hospital Road is clearly the better restaurant.
  16. If money was no object, it would be the following dozen for me - L'Ambroisie Ledoyen Guy Savoy Le Meurice Arpège Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée Bristol Pierre Gagnaire Astrance Pré Catelan Taillevent La Tour d'Argent
  17. My favourite place is Grashoff's Bistro, Contrescarpe 80, within the famous Delikatessen store. Excellent food, good atmosphere, great wine list and the opportunity to shop for goodies after your meal. The only downside - the Bistro is only open during store hours which means no dinner. Enjoy!
  18. I find it strange that Marc Veyrat is still listed as *** although an article that I read about the closure of his restaurant had mentioned that the decision had been made in time not to appear in the guide. Now Michelin for an entire year will list a *** restaurant that no longer exists, very unfortunate in my view.
  19. I was surprised to see Chez Ruffet on the list for deleted 1 stars, as I had a fantastic meal there in Summer 2007 when it was a 2 star. However, checking the link it is the one restaurant to fall from 2 star to 1. Anyone know if the deletion reflects a real fall in quality? ← I do not understand the demotion. Had an excellent all-asparagus menu there in May 08, fully worth two stars in my opinion.
  20. With this whole debate around the closing of the Fat Duck my wife and I remembered an incident that we observed following our (otherwise perfect) experience at this restaurant about two years ago. It was lunchtime and after our meal we decided to walk a few steps down to the Waterside Inn and back, before entering our car. On our return, we saw a group of four coming out of the Fat Duck restaurant who had been having lunch at a neighboring table. One lady was in obvious discomfort and had to be supported by two others. They crossed the busy high street where she threw up her entire lunch into a bush as we were approaching. Not for a moment do I believe that this was a case of poisoning - all the rest of us were fine. My suspicion is that it can cost some unexperienced (and perhaps involuntary) diners quite an effort to eat and enjoy what is put in front of them at the Fat Duck. Somebody who grew up on baked beans, fish and chips, roast chicken and the like, and then only gets into Heston's place as part of a group, may struggle to suddenly eat snail porridge and sardine ice cream, just to name a few examples. What I am trying to say is - next to the food hygiene risks that may or may not come with avant-garde cooking techniques, there can also be the psychological problem of occasional non-foodies who are completely overburdened by the whole experience and have to fight their potential disgust during the entire mealtime.
  21. Went to L'Atelier Joel Robuchon a few weeks ago and don't get the rise to a two-star. Even the a la carte (!) portion sizes were so TINY (especially compared to Le Gavroche the night before) that I wouldn't really be able to award anything based on the taste of just a mouthful. The perfect place for people who are on a diet - and there seemed to be lots of slim fashionistas around us - but I wouldn't really recommend this to anybody who loves food. You don't get much of it.
  22. That would mean that the only "real" three star restaurant in this country is the Fat Duck. Vice versa, have we got places that SHOULD have *** but have not? I feel it would be time for Le Gavroche to step up to that level again.
  23. Quaglino's used to be good in doing those but haven't been there for some time now.
  24. Very sad about the news. As Roellinger's style and perfection are positively unique, I decided to post a few impressions from a truly spectacular tasting menu I had there last month. Very rare that menus like this consist of highlights only -
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