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Everything posted by kai-m

  1. Moto seems to be an amazing place. Just one short question regarding one presentation: On several pictures I have seen a "battleship style" metal plate on which dishes were served. What exactly is the culinary sense of this sort of presentation? Are they doing something special with those plates that you don't see on the pictures?
  2. Of course, docsonz. I just wanted to express that in fact, when it comes to the seemingly incredible number of courses, Alinea is not as different from "regular" *-restaurants, as it seems. On the one hand I find it really appropriate that they grant a tiny bite as much "attention" as a larger plate. On the other hand, I don't know, it feels a bit...pretentious (?). But maybe I have to experience it to fully understand it. (Can't wait...)
  3. I have been following all those great reports about Alinea and if all works out I will make it there this coming september. There is just one thing I would like to say and which I hope does not seem "heretical": The "Tour" consists of, like, 24 courses. Sounds amazing - thus the price. But as it seems to me, many of those "courses" are just one small bite or one tiny praline or something like that. Isn't it a bit, well, how shall I say - silly to count that a "course"? It's as if a "classic" restaurant would count every single element of the numerous amuses bouches & the sorbet between f
  4. kai-m

    La Pergola, Rome

    So finally, here is a short summary of our visit to La Pergola on april 5th 2008 (@mbernstein: we had to cancel our trip last year): We went for a 6-course-menu. 1. Carpaccio of scallops on amaranth grain and black corn with ginger oil 2. Cylinder of scampi with olive oil powder and tapioca vinaigrette 3. Fagotelli "La Pergola" 4.1. Crispy red mullet with spring herbs 4.2. Amberjack with cime de rape sauce and salt cod snow 5. Duck liver and lobster medaillons with lime-"air" and raw pea-sprouts. 6. Grand dessert Well, what can I say: All in all it was a very disappointing meal. Okay, the ingr
  5. Okay, thank you all so far... It was just that I thought Alinea is as difficult to book as Per Se in NYC - where, as far as I've heard, you have to hit re-dial for, like, 2 hours - just to get a dinner-table for 5:30...
  6. @pennylane: I think that is because many americans hear or read somewhere (in their travel guides?) that service in german/european restaurants is "included" - that's probably why they don't tip or don't tip well. But as I said: tipping is not as "obligatory" as in the US (which I think is good), but most people just do it anyway, ironically even if the service was not good - which is stupid, of course. On the other hand, my experience is that you will hardly get the same level of hyper-friendliness in europe as in the US, anyway... And it is only my personal impression/experience that france
  7. Hey Julien, we have been to Bau 2 weeks ago and had almost the exact same menu as you had... To us it was among the most refined meals we ever had - classical but in the best sense... Best kai
  8. Hi all, I have sort of a tricky problem and need advice: We intend to fly to Chicago especially for a "foodie trip". Of course we have to plan the trip and book our flights way earlier than we can reserve tables at restaurants like Alinea (and Moto and the hopefully re-opened Schwa etc.). But, as everybody can imagine, it would be extremely frustrating to have a costly flight from germany to chicago - and then not get a table at the restaurant(s) we came to visit... So, is there any way to avoid such a situation? Any advice for the reservation process? Thanks best kai
  9. I know, this is the forum for france - but Iam from germany and I don't think that tipping habits are so different...so here's my 2 cents: Yes, tipping definitely *is* expected (my wife worked as a waitress for years...). To give less than 50 cents (for any check of 3 euros or more) is regarded as an insult. With higher checks the minimum is 5%. The max would be 10% (ironically, in top-notch places it rather goes towards 5%). But if you have a check of 4,50 you give 5, of course, even though it is a tad more than 10%. But there are always cases when a customer or a group are so happy with his/
  10. Couldn't find anything about this on your blog...or did I miss something? Anyway, could you elaborate on that, please? (Via PM if you prefer) I have been to Il Duomo only once - and I think I might know what you mean... Best kai
  11. Since Iam not even american I can not come up with any suggestions - but still I want to mention that our dinner at Ame (in early summer 2006) was one of our most disappointing dining experiences *ever*, not only regarding most of the dishes, but also in terms of service and atmosphere...(but I know that many experienced egulleters would disagree, that's why we went...). Best kai
  12. Well, personally I try to avoid the Weihnachtsmarkt as good as I can...but for someone who is not from europe this is of course something to see... For "german specialtys" I would go to "Leib & Seele" in the city center: they have schnitzel, gulasch and schweinebraten at decent prices. At "Riz" they serve excellent "Käsespätzle" (egg-noodles with cheese and roasted onions). And Amador is always the best place in the frankfurt area -of course with the current dollar/euro-rate it is pretty expensive (160€ or more than 200$ for the 7-course-tasting-menu...). Have fun! best kai
  13. Michelin has released its first guide for Tokio...and with a sum of 191 stars the japanese city has more stars than paris which has, all in all, 97... All 150 featured restaurants in the guide received at least 1* - a first for a michelin guide! There are 8 3*** 25 2*** 117 1* amazing!
  14. Nice article - for a start. Because Lohninger, Raue and Grossfeld might be sort of "prime examples" of different approaches towards a "new german" cuisine. But at least Lohninger and Raue (good as they are!) are kind of "trite" examples, because they are "oh-so-fancy" and always make for a "good story". Seems like the author took a flight to Frankfurt, then went to Berlin an Munich and just took what was there to be found. But as I said - nice start. Keep it coming... Could you elaborate on that? I don't understand what you mean. best kai
  15. I see what you mean, julot. Funny thing is: especially paris, where I've been living for a while, feels like a conglomerate of numerous little villages to me - where each little quarter has its neighbourhood stores/bakerys/butchers etc and and everybody knows everybody...so by your definition paris is no big city? I had the same impression of Madrid, by the way. And of "small" Lyon (which I adore) and "small" Marseille, too. But we are getting off topic here... I have been to Amador last week (2nd time) and it was marvellous - one can argue about the cuisine (it was downgraded by the german
  16. With "new" I meant that it has been a while since there was a 2* place in berlin ("Rockendorff's", as far as I remember). Actually Berlin ain't the "richest" city in germany - there are (by %tage at least) more millionaires in hamburg and münchen, and the city itself is as broke as can be... best kai
  17. Berlin has one new 2* restaurant: Fischer's Fritz (located in some big hotel). Julot: not that I care much about such things, but what do you mean by "Germany has no real large city -- save Berlin"?? Hamburg for example is the 7th big city in all of europe. München with 1.3 million people is no. 12. Köln still has 1 million. And so on... best kai
  18. That is, with all due respect, a pretty shortsighted remark. Because then you could also ask: why write/read about art? literature? film? music? I'll give you an answer: to understand it better! But pictures, in most cases, are taken for a different reason, anyway: we take them as sort of a"souvenir", just as we take a picture of the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State or of a friend while sharing a great time...years later we may browse through them and say "hey, remember...!". Same with great dishes. Not so hard to understand, is it? By the way: In germany it is virtually unknown to photograph
  19. Not many choices around the fair... A place called "Orfeo's Erben" is pretty close, it is a small arthouse movie theater with a nice restaurant in the house - quite okay, but not "michelin"-food...they have a website, too. There is an okay restaurant in the intimate, elegant 5-star-hotel "Hessischer Hof" right opposite the fair. The dining room is very pompous (reminded me of an ancient luxus-liner...). They have a legendary cocktail bar as well. But both places are rather expensive (as is *anything* in frankfurt...). As far as I can think of it, that is basically it around the fair...sorry...
  20. Funny article, thanks. But even though I believe the writer that "To the dismay of Parisians, some of these (Bistros) now impose two sittings, one at 7.30pm (which mostly attracts foreigners) and the other at 9.30pm.", the formulation alone implies that it is far from common. Furthermore the author contradicts herself when, one paragraph later, she writes that "After all, you are here for the long haul (probably two to three hours with an aperitif, three courses and coffee and/or a digestif after the pudding). (...) it’s considered scandalously rude (with rare exceptions) for the waiter to rus
  21. In upscale restaurants? Not that I know...hmm...okay, in London they do it, you are right. But in the other major "gourmet countries", such as France, Italy and Germany, I have never encountered multiple sittings. It may happen of course, if someone comes early, leaves early and there is a walk-in - but there is no "schedule" they work with. Same goes for diners, cafes and bistros - you can have a cake&coffee or a meal and sit there for hours, and no waiter would ever dare to signal you to leave; walk-ins would be turned away. But I stand corrected and maybe you can name an example. Of c
  22. Thanks for all the replys and advice! Fat Guy: I didn't mean to "badmouth" (or whatever the right expression might be) multiple seatings, if this is how it seemed. I was just unsure about how it works, especially in NYC, since for europeans this is totally unknown...but your explanation makes perfect sense (of course). My experience with "simpler" places like diners/breakfast cafes etc in the US is just that the waiter gets to your table after you're finished with your meal and asks if you need anything else - and if you say "not, not right now" you find the check on your table 2 minutes later
  23. Just took the advice and checked on open table: within a week (or even earlier!!) you can get 8:30-reservations at WD and EMP (for weekends it seems like 2 weeks; same for MOTO in chicago). So I guess there ain't no big problem. Will have to ckeck Alinea though. One last question: how is it with the double seatings if you go for 8:30? I hope they leave you alone?!? thanks best kai
  24. O.K. - that means,for example, that even though I have to pay like 140$ for a menu at EMP it is probable that I have to get there between 6.30 and 7.30pm and will be done with my 10 courses by 9 or 9.30pm to make way for the next seating???? Can hardly believe that... In any case I suppose that with a 8:30 or 8:45 reservation (in case you get one...) you have the table for the rest of the evening?!
  25. How long in advance does one need to place a reservation in upscale restaurants like THE MODERN or ELEVEN MADISON PARK or WD-50? And is it tough to get one at all (for a "normal" dinner time like 8 or 8.30pm)? Are there multiple seatings in restaurants of this calibre? I have the same questions for restaurants in Chicago like ALINEA and MOTO (should I open a separate thread in the "Heartland"-thread?) Thanks best kai
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