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  1. Coming to Paris on Sunday Feb 28. Looking for some lunch recommendations (two people). Ideally hoping for creative bistrot food. Anything open where we can get a table more or less last minute? Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. Not at all, unless you want a specific side dish. The food is not served strictly 'a la carte.' Each plate includes a protein and garnishes. Given our appetites, it was plenty.
  3. My girlfriend and I ate here on a recent two day trip to London with no prior knowledge of the restaurant (it was recommended by our concierge). We were both quite pleased with the experience. The decor, while it won't be for everyone, is fun and different. At times it might border on overly hip, but the food and service prevent it from fallling into the category of lackluster trendy restaurant. Service was friendly and professional. We felt a bit rushed at the beginning, but when we slowed down the pace of the service followed suit to a T. As for the food, it was simple, but very well thought out and skillfully executed. Ingredient quality was, as one would expect, quite high and the kitchen thankfully showed the restraint that one should with such products. Minimalist carpaccio (large plate of beef and drizzle of mustardy vinaigrette). Perfectly fried soft-shell crabs with tarragon mayo and lemon. Satisfying duck ragu and fresh pappardelle. Top-notch mackerel with little more than olive, tomato and crushed potatoes. Like I said, simple, but the preparations were exact and the seasoning was just on. The wine list was good, not great. All in for two glasses of champagne, two entrees, two mains, two glasses of wine, one dessert and two coffees I think the total came to 130 pounds. Cheap dinner? No. But for food and service of that quality in London it seemed quite reasonable.
  4. Made it in on Saturday (first table) for the first "Thank You" night. I'm always hesitant about being over zealous on an inaugural visit, but Tailor has me really excited. REALLY excited. The space is nicely thought out. Well designed, cool, comfortable, but not overdone. Interesting details throughout. Once I saw the menu I was curious to try everything offered, alas it was one salty and one sweet plate per. Had the duck tartare and snapper (believe it's listed as mackerel above) for salty. Both spot on dishes. Great balances of flavor, color and texture. Everything that should have been there was. For sweet had the tomato, peach, ricotta and the blueberry, black olive, yogurt. Again, perfectly thought out and expertly executed. Truly enjoyable to eat. Cocktails sounded slightly bizarre/esoteric on paper, but once they hit the palate they seemed rather classic in nature; classic with tiny little twists. They were, of course, delicious as well. Amuse bouche of shiso gaspacho was clean, bright and refreshing. Petit four of yellow plum tomato gelee was outstanding (especially enjoyed the arugula garnish, nice little touch). Service was warm, helpful, and friendly, albeit slightly green (obviously forgiven given the unofficial nature of the meal). Overall the staff seems well-informed and well-intentioned. Very excited to come back for a more thorough taste of the menu. Just worried it won't be so easy once the good word gets out. It was a long wait, but I think it should take off. Good luck to the whole team.
  5. The review was indeed positive and the staff at ssam bar should be quite pleased. They are putting out great food at the moment.
  6. here's one vote for echire butter. also, torchon is the french word for (kitchen) towel and in regards to foie gras torchon it refers to the item in which the foie gras is wrapped thus resulting in the cylindrical shape.
  7. 'Unwritten rules in the restaurant industry.' Slippery slope Holly. As I stated WAY up-post an 'unwritten rule' of the industry applies to the sentence 'we'd like to cook for you.' It means, 'we're going to give you the soigne treatment and you aren't going to pay full price for it.' As soon as they take choice out of your hands with no mention to price there are certain reasonable expectations on the part of the diner. What happened at James consitutes a grave violation of this rule. It's true that a new restaurant deserves a little slack, but as soon as you start charging huge prices you kind of become fair game. Just because I pay x dollars now and not three months from now does not mean that I am not entitled to a quality meal.
  8. I see you have been spoiled by Mr Robuchon..... ← Very true. Very true indeed. That said, one of the first dishes I learned to make in a competent fashion was a more traditional (ie, more potato than butter) potato puree, courtesy of none other than bigboss.
  9. Frankly, the best way for friends to stay on 'good terms' is to not rip them off.
  10. well to my eye it simply seems a bit more meat and potatoes and a little less abstract. food that sounds slightly more recognizable and approachable on paper to the average philly diner.
  11. I need to chime in on this experience (of which I was a part). As a member of the party that shared bigboss' meal I too have some opinions on the matter, both relating to the food and the dining experience in general. First and foremost I would like to say, that based on my first impressions of the space, I was excited. By no means is it a fine-dining establishment, but it feels like more thought and effort has been put into the space than the majority of philly eateries. It's a comfortable space and I love to think about the potential that their big bar/lounge offers. The private dining area, where we ate, is a nice secluded room which would be great for bigger parties (8-12) out to celebrate. The decor and design, while simple, are pleasant. Like I said before, it looks thought out. We were presented with menus which seemed interesting enough. Progression of dishes from smaller plates to pastas and mains. Rather routine in format. None of the food really jumped off the page, but the prices seemed about what one would expect. Firsts from $8-$14. Pastas from $14-$18 and mains from $22-$28. More or less standard pricing for this type of philly restaurant. We were informed that they offered three tasting menus as well (five, seven and nine courses), but no further details were volunteered. Our server told us that a tasting menu had been prepared for us (as mentioned by bigboss members of our party friends with the owners and cooks) with no mention of scope or price. He simply asked if we had any restrictions or allergies. Now, this was a table of five industry professionals who were here because of close relationships with the management. Granted, there are no hard and fast rules that apply in these situations, but there are certain reasonable expectations that one can have. This is not to say that we came in thinking the meal was going to be free. Far from it. But to tell a party of professionals/friends that they are cooking for you and to then charge them for every single dish (including coffee) of a tasting menu is amateurish. I understand this is a business. I understand the economics of restaurants. But $90 for a mediocre tasting menu at a new (certainly not fine-dining) restaurant in philly is absolutely absurd. ABSURD. Now, I don't think the food was awful, but it was mediocre. Perhaps it's due to the young nature of the restaurant. Perhaps their concept of cooking is different from mine. Whatever. Some dishes certainly showed potential. Some elements were well executed. The proteins were all well cooked and well seasoned. Other components, though, were dreadful. The risotto was par-cooked (and nothing more). The smoked potato puree was coarse, chunky and somehow watery. It tasted as if someone roughly mashed potatoes and doused them with water from a hookah. No trace of dairy. No hint of butter. No tease of smoothness. In general every dish lacked a necessary element of acidity. Oh, and nothing seemed to be served hot (or cold). Each dish hovered in some strange range between room temp and warm. All in all it was not what were expecting. Desserts were, overall, quite good, with the exception of some strange overly intense chocolate pate served on fried bread. Again, I'm not ready to say the situation is hopeless. I think with some changes the majority of dishes that we had could have been quite good. The ingredients were of good quality and some of the techniques used seemed sound. The space is pleasant. The china is interesting. The service was attentive and efficient. There are people in the kitchen who have a clue. Whether their advice is being followed, that's another story. Based on my meal, I would say no. At the end of the day it was simply a disappointing meal. I don't really know what else to say.
  12. Was in town yesterday and stopped by snackbar again. The menu has changed a bit since I first went. Apparently now it more accurately represents what the crowd wants. Regardless, everything is good. Cheese-fry soup was new. Nice comforting (albeit slightly unexpected) take on a downmarket favorite. Really liked the escargot cassoulet. The maitakes with verjus were great. Good texture. Solid flavor. Wasabi-pea caramel apples are always good. Had all of this plus a refreshing glass of riesling at 4:00. Sometimes you're hungry and it's not time for lunch or dinner. Glad that someone out there understands that people want to eat when they want to eat. I wish the whole crew continued success and they can be sure that I'll pop in for a drink and food any time I'm in the area.
  13. I made it into Death & Co. last night around 9:00 and was pleasantly surprised to find it sparsely occupied. Maybe two or three people at the bar and seven or eight more at the tables. Personally, I liked the decor. It just seemed to work. The wood, dark accents and New Orleans-esque candelabras go well with good cocktails (then again, what doesn't go well with good cocktails?). I was expecting a slightly more extensive drink list, but I imagine they are in the process of finalizing their menu for the official opening. Then again, like any good purveyors of quality cocktails they were more than willing to take special requests off the menu. I sampled the Devil in Dress: rye, now ubiquitous home-made ginger beer, lemon, mint and raspberry and the Sipping Seasons: Laird's Bonded, VSOP Cognac, Vt. Pure Maple Syrup, bitters and a cinnamon swizzle. Both were very well executed. Great balance of flavors. Nicely thought out drinks. I was pleased with the service. Staff was friendly, knowledgable, approachable and accommodating. Based on previous posts and the press this place is getting online I see it blowing up and becoming an absolute nightmare (in terms of crowds and waits) Weds-Sat. Fortunately for me, I'm off on Mondays and Tuesdays so I have a chance. It's also nice to have another complement to Pegu. Congrats to the owners on their venture. It's a well conceived idea and I wish them much success.
  14. Oh so true. Even more so given the fact that it is, to my understanding, a union hotel. French kitchens in Europe and Asia are a far cry from those here. American cooks, especially in the eyes of our foreign colleagues, are soft, weak, lazy and spoiled.
  15. The rumor mill is churning and if there is any truth to what I am hearing then we are all in for a BIG surprise...cue suspense building music.
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