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Everything posted by kai-m

  1. Hello all, a friend of mine, who is a chef, will be in Florida for his honeymoon. They will be in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Key West (maybe Orlando as well). Some friends want to present them with great night at a great restaurant. Can anyone give some recommendations? "Problem" is: the 2 are head chefs in a european 2-michelin-star-restaurant that serves a pretty modern cuisine. So their standards are kind of high... But something with a "unique" concept would be great as well. (Or a really great steakhouse) Thanks alot! Greetings k.
  2. Reassuring to hear that Iam not the only one who felt a bit disappointed by the Osteria. But Iam not sure about Combal.zero either - from what I saw and read the cuisine there seems to rely very much on culinary jokes and silly gimmicks. Having eaten at 3 of italys most renowned restaurants by now (and some regular 1*-places), all of them very different (La Pergola in Rome, Il Duomo in Sicily, La Francescana) and all of them kind of disappointing, Iam not sure anymore if italian high end cuisine is really worth the time/journey/money... greetings kai
  3. Glad that you had a great meal, FDE! Some of those dishes look interesting indeed. Maybe I have to go back there - but I have to say that our first dinner at La Francescana in June 2009 was rather disappointing, all in all. The foie gras with 40-year old balsamic vinegar, coated with crushed hazelnut and almond was amazing - one of the best foie gras dishes I have ever had. The "5 different versions of parmeggiano reggiano" was very good as well. But the rest of our 9 course meal was rather mediocre in hindsight - especially when compared to other top end avant garde restaurants, such as Amador in Langen/Germany or Alinea in Chicago. (I see you had the same pasta dish that we had - and I don't know how many other, more traditional restaurants you visited, but had way more interestng pasta dishes in some simple trattorias around Modena and Bolona.) Service was extremely stiff, the manager being pretty arrogant (especially when talking about "all those stupid bloggers"...). How long was your evening there? We were in and out in about 2 hours... it seemed like Mr. Bottura was not present that night and the staff wnated to get home early... (some diners arrived after us and even left before us). Not what you would expect in one of the worlds top 10 restaurants Pictures (not very good at all) can be found here: http://sternefresser.de/index.php?id=143 But maybe the only had a bad night and we need to go back there. Greetings kai PS: regarding he different menus: we had the "classic's" menu. And it seems that the best dishes of that one (foie gras, parmegginao) are also part of the "Contemporary" menu.
  4. Hi all, today I had dinner at a nice thai restaurant with some friends. Some of us had roasted duck, but one person in our group who travels to thailand almost every year claimed that duck actually is not really thai food and that even in thailand they only do it for the tourists - if they serve it at all... I was (am I still am) skeptical about this remark, since I seem to remember roasted duck from Bangkok food markets. So I asked the young waitress - who confirmed what my friend said: duck ist not really a "thai ingredient". When I asked her why they serve it then, she said something like "because you people love it". I still cannot believe this. Maybe she grew up over here and doesn't have a clue. Or she is too young to know. But maybe she is right. So: is there anyone here who can clarify this? Maybe even a someone from thailand? Thanks! Greetings kai
  5. Thanks for the report! It's been a while since we have been to Il Duomo. We found the food very good and the restaurant itself lovely (even though we were seated at the "worst table" in the tiny wine-room next to the kitchen), but the service was way too formal, for our taste (a general problem in italy, I think). The full bearded maitre had a kind of "arrogant joviality" to him, while the unsmiling sommelier was rather "distanced". Not so nice. And I wonder how you managed to eat around 15 courses...we had a 6 course menu and could barely eat it all... Got to go there again on our next sicily-trip. Do you havee more pictures you could post? Iam very curious! Thanks! best kai
  6. kai-m

    Bologna Dining

    Yes, the lightning was not so good - and I don't like to use flash in a restaurant. Regarding the dishes: the foie gras doesn't look very appealing but was absolutely amazing tastewise. One of the best foie dishes I ever had. The parmeggiano-dish, the pasta e fagoli and the bollito/non bollito were very interesting in conception and very good in taste as well. The rest, unfortunately, was rather mediocre. So was the very stiff service.
  7. kai-m

    Bologna Dining

    For anyone who is interested, here is our report about Osteria Francescana, with lots of pictures: http://www.sternefresser.de/index.php?id=143 regards kai
  8. kai-m

    Bologna Dining

    Yes, sure, "Meloncello" is not "bad", the service is friendly - and certainly for lunchtime it is quite alright, if you are in the neighbourhood. I just wouldn't bother to walk out there again (or take the bus) specifically to eat at this place. There are other, equally good or better ("Montanara") options that are closer to the centre. That's all I wanted to say. But as you say: to each his own. Greetings kai
  9. kai-m

    Bologna Dining

    I cannot really second "Meloncello" - the food was just okay, and given the fact that it's rather far from the city-centre, it is not worth the ride, imho. Our favorite in Bologna was Trattoria La Montanara, via Righi 15: Cozy restaurant, many local diners, friendly young staff and very good traditional food at decent prices. @tupac17616: our dinner at Osteria Francescana was a rather mixed experience. We had some of the dishes that you had as well and while some were great (the parmeggiano for example) I have to say that for a 2*-restaurant the "ordinariness" of some dishes was a bit of a letdown. Also, I found it interesting that the (pretty self-satisfied) maitre was very dismissive about "stupid bloggers", as he called them. The style of the service and the ambiance reminded me a bit of Alinea - too bad the food was not half as good. Since you mention it in your article: we were there on a saturday night and the restaurant was only half full...maybe that's why Bottura didn't bother to make a round in the restaurant. But maybe he wasn't there that night... greetings kai
  10. kai-m


    Any new reccomendations for the island? We will be in the region between Bastia, L'Ile Rousse, Lumio and Calvi in june. There are some michelin-*-places (or hopefuls für a *) in that area. Anyone been there? Thanks! Greetings kai
  11. kai-m

    La Pergola, Rome

    The view is really nice, indeed. When were there, there was even a huge fireworks right in front of the terrace, due to a wedding in the house...gorgeous! Can't wait to read your update! (Speaking of a nice view: a friend of mine raves about the restaurant in the hotel hassler: great view of the spanish steps and fantastic food) greetings kai
  12. Yeah, I had seen your review in that other thread, fortedei. It was strange to read about your extremely negative experience, though, since I only know people who love the place and have gone there every year on their holiday, for years... Italian diners, on the other hand, didn't seem to love it that much, either.
  13. Yes, tupac, but this was an old rumor. The article from the italian wine magazine is brand new, though, and seems to be well founded, especially since they cite an italian restaurant critic and the owner of the nearby restaurant "La Pineta"... http://www.winenews.it/index.php?c=detail&id=15745&dc=15
  14. Hello, as far as I could see Fulvio Pierangelinis very famous restaurant doesn't have it's own topic... ...and maybe it doesn't need one anymore, because I have read on an italian website (dated april 13, 2009) that the restaurant has been closed indefintely since october 08. Can anyone confirm this? Maybe some of the italy-specialists here? Thank you! regards kai
  15. kai-m

    Bologna Dining

    We'll be in the area in june - great to find so many nice recommendations here! Any more recent visits to other places? @tupac17616: We want to go to Osteria Francescana as well, especially after reading your report... Could you tell me about their prices? I figure that the tasting menus are quite expensive, but usually italian restaurants have very reasonable wine prices... Is it true what I read somewhere, in a blog, that they don't serve wine by the bottle?? Do they have a dress code? And some people (italians especially) complain about the place being very "stiff" with the waiters hardly cracking a smile. Is that so? Because such an atmosphere would be a reason for us not to go - that is not what I need on my vacation Italy seems to be a bit behind in that regard - everywhere else the staff at top restaurants loosens up more an more, giving the whole thing a relaxed atmosphere. But in italian michelin-starred-restaurants (or wannabes) they still walk around in bow-ties with buster-keaton-like stone-faces... At least that is my experience. greetings kai
  16. Actually, on my one visit (so far) it didn't seem like "that kind of place" either (my remark was supposed to be a tad provocative). As I stated above I found the service terrific. But obviously the have a certain policy regarding the splitting - or maybe it just depends on the given waiter's mood...(by the way: when we were there, they kind of did a splitting, but were a bit reluctant at first, too. And there certainly was no "miscommunication". I wonder how there could be...). Anyway: I love the place and I wouldn't bother about that matter for a second - if the policy would be clear. greetings k.
  17. mbernstein: Iam not sure I (and UE) got you right - did you have this marvellous truffle dessert at Providence or at Patina? greetings
  18. san: I don't think that this a question of "before they didn't do it and now they might". I think they always did it and always will - depending on who you are... greetings
  19. Re: Splitting wine pairings - I have the impression that they don't do the splitting for everyone. With a friend of mine, who was there in late 2008, they were very reluctant to do it. And he even had the upgraded pairing.
  20. Again, to answer my own question... We didn't try much in Flagstaff (a really nice town, by the way!): --Karma Sushi & Tapas - nice atmosphere, but he the food was just not good. The miso soup had no taste; the fried rice with chicken was oily and overcooked; the rolls were "alright" at best. --Macy's: Really good and tasty sandwiches with good side salads that are not only your regular "iceberg and tomato" stuff. I liked this place alot! Lots of "european looking" students (meaning: no quarterbacks and no fraternity guys...). Really nice, european atmosphere. Very friendly service. ("hippie dippie" it is not imho - but conservative people might see this differently). --Beaver Street Brewery: We were in the (sports?) bar area only. Not nice. The exact opposite of Macy's. Lots of half drunken fraternity guys and young, thick shouldered football fans. The bartender hardly speaks and never smiles. The tap beers/ales taste horrible, just horrible... --Charlys Grill (in the Weatherford hotel): Bad, bad, bad. I had the worst steak of my life at this place, seriously. And we have lots of bad steaks in europe... The spare ribs that my fiancee ordered were only slightly better. The sides are a joke. Service is friendly but slow. --Late For The Train Coffee: really nice. It is just a coffee bar, nothing more. But the coffee is really good - and they serve it in real cups!!! greetings k.
  21. Okay, that is something different...and they didn't take the kid out? For a walk or to feed it or something? That is bad, indeed. No, I meant the occasional "quieking" or something like that, which can be quite funny and loosen the atmosphere in all too uptight restaurants...
  22. As I said in my review above Iam very familiar with "avant garde" or so called "molecular" techniques - and Iam a big fan of it (with Juan Amador in Langen/Germany I have one of europes leading 3*-avant-garde-chefs right around the corner - and it is my favorite restaurant; 2 Nights before Moto we had dinner at Alinea and loved it.). But with Cantu's creations I just don't think that they work - my very personal impression, of course! But I will not cancel out the possibility that the circumstances were a factor in the negative impression of the food as well. greetings kai PS: I don't have such a big problem with babies, because as opposed to adults they just don't know better...
  23. As you say: such a small "first class" restaurant should not accept such large groups in the first place. And if a group, no matter how large or small, is noisy, they should ask them to be a little more quiet. I think it is better to "upset" one group than to upset all the other guests whose (pretty damn expensive) dinner gets disturbed... Regarding the cole slaw: alright, no ice cream. It kind of had the texture of ice cream. I love cole slaw salad. In what way does this preparation enhance the experience? Anyway, apart from the preparation/presentation this one was simply oversalted.
  24. Well put, docsonz. Regarding the almost comical service glitches - there is no other way than to attribute this to a "bad night", maybe due to the described circumstances with that large group - which, on the other hand, should not happen at such a restaurant anyway. Regarding the food: I thought the exact same thing about "takes on american comfort food" etc, while we were there (even for a foreigner this is not that hard to see). Still, I don't think that this is enough as a concept. After (!) our visit I read a review on chuckeats.com - and I think he nails it pretty good. (Even though his experience was still better than ours). greetings
  25. Well, so we have been to Moto, when we visited Chicago in september. I was very eager to try this place since I have read so many great things about the place here and on the LTH-forum as well. But boy, oh boy, what a huge disappointment in every regard. Looking back I should have seen it coming, because in a way it already started when I called to reconfirm my reservation and the lady checked back on the 2-3 (!) dietary restrictions (apple, wal- and hazelnuts) I gave them via e-mail, saying something like "Oh, as I see I have a whole list (...?!?) of restrictions here, that I have to give to the kitchen " in a repoachful tone as if she wanted to say "man, it might be difficult to cook for you since can virtually eat nothing...". Anyway. The restaurant itself is a nice place, intimate, yet the tables have enough distance, decor is nicely reduced and modern. But the small size of he dining room was a huge problem that night, because there was a group of 12-14 people at one table, that was so extremely loud and vulgar (skrieking laughs and "conversations" from end of the table to another - all at once) that it was virtually impossible to have a decent conversation without shouting at one another. As a result all other diners (mostly couples obviously looking for a "romantic" dinner) looked pretty pissed. I mean: If I go to a restaurant of that category I don't expect something like that. And I expect a restaurant to avoid such situations (by not taking groups that size) or to take care of the problem right away. I thought about telling one of the waiters - but they were so into this group, even pushing their "party"-feeling with jokes and quips, that it seemed like they were friends of the house or something. As a result, service for the other diners was non-existent at times...but I'll get to that later. The noise didn't really bother us (3 diners) at first, because after all, we told ourselves, we were there "for the food". But unfortunately the food was just not good. (We had the 10-course-menu.) The problems were quite simple: apart from the desserts and one savory course, every dish was either over- or underseasoned. Some preparations seemed to have no salt at all, others way too much. Many dishes tasted either "mexican" in some way or downright artificial. The "gags" didn't make any sense, either. Iam definitely familiar with and a friend of "avant garde" techniques and "decontsructed" dishes etc. But at Moto it just didn't make culinary sense - and that is, in my opinion, the worst you can say about an "avant garde" restaurant. Where is, for example, the sense in serving the diner ordinary pig's belly with ordinary baked beans and, oh wow!, shaved ice cream that is supposed to taste like coleslaw salad ? Presented as "our take on a barbecue dinner", the pig and beans weren't any better than at any given barbecue (in fact, I had way better barbecued suckling pig in sardegna, where this is the traditional specialty). And the (very salty) ice cream didn't add any complexity either. A total miss. Moto's main goal seems to be to take traditional dishes and "transform" them in some way: turning coleslaw into ice; turning greek salad into some crunchy chip and some liquid; turning the seasoning for the squab (I think it was) into some powder that the diner has to lick from a tiny sheet of paper... But where is the sense in doing that if you have nothing to add? It is just showing off some "new techniques". Triviality on a plate. The one good tasting dish was the "roadkill" - Iam a huge friend of "dark" humor, but nevertheless I have to ask: why this silly presentation, which is just a wannabe provocative, juvenile and tasteless joke for it's own sake. From a culinary perspectve it doesn't add the slightest bit. But the lack of thoughtfulness at Moto maybe shows best in those silly forks that have some herbs attached to them: in our case it was (not-so-fresh) cilantro - cilantro!! A herb that hardly has any smell to it, even when you hold it right to your nose (you have to rub it to ge a nice smell). This shows very well that at Moto they just don't really think about what they are doing - the just do something, anything, whatever... To make the disappointing experience complete, the service was probably the worst I have ever had in such a "high class" restaurant. First, it took endlessly until we got the (oversalted) edible menu (admittedly a nice joke!). Then it took endlessly (even for european standards) until someone came to take our order. I had the wine pairing - but the 2nd pairing was already forgotten. As was the one glass of wine that my fiancee had ordered at the beginning. When I told a waiter about the forgotten pairing (in a very friendly way!), he apologized and said that as a compensation he would pour a pairing for my fiancee on the next course, as well - which, of course, did not happen. On several occasions our waters glasses were empty for quite some time - and no waiter in sight; on one course we had no silverware when the dishes were served; on one course the sommelier started saying something about the wine, but then the dishes arrived and he just disappeared, leaving it unknown to me what wine I was having in my glass; and then they had one waiter who had some kind of "homeboy" attitude when explaining the dishes, gesticulating with his hands like a rapper, thereby getting so extremely close to the plates with his fingers that he almost touched our food (in some cases we were really not sure) - but after a while this was just funny. In fact we tried to take the whole mess with humor. Oh, and: When they finally realized that they kind of "owed" me one more wine, I was told that they had "of course" not fogotten it. And then, with the last dessert, I was suddenly presented with two different dessert-wines at once (?!?)...one of which, according to the menu, would actually have been the pairing for my first dessert, if I had taken the Grand Tour Moto with wine pairing. This mistake showed one more time how little care they actually take in the stuff they serve, despite all the pretense (waiters running around with headsets...). Usually, despite my european descent, Iam a quite decent tipper (20% at least, mostly more). This time I wanted to give 15%, not a cent more. But guess what: they added an 18%-tip to the bill themselves... greetings kai PS: On the positive side I have to say: I left some critical notes on the survey you can fill ot at the end of your meal - and one day later I got an e-mail, where they apologized for the disappointing perfomance and invited me to come back any time for the GTM. I doubt I will be able to make this, nor am I very eager to. But I appreciate the gesture.
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