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Everything posted by HOLLY_L

  1. Everyone, thanks much for the input. I am still dithering somewhat about my reservations. I called Per Se, and they did not have any openings at any point during my trip, although I am now on a waitlist – I did not think to ask, but I suppose that to the extent that opens up, it may often not be until they make their confirmations? I may also try for Momofuku Ko when those reservations open up. So I have made a lunch reservation for Le Bernardin. My schedule is close to full now, although I have no bookings on the day I arrive (in the morning) or the day I leave (at night) or on one day in the middle (when I will do something more casual), so I still might book a dinner the day I arrive or a lunch the day I leave. Am I making a big mistake at Le B, EMP, or the Modern by having lunch rather than dinner? (J-G’s lunch, although more expensive than the last time I went, is still a good enough deal that I want to keep that as a lunch.) The reasons I generally prefer lunch to dinner is that it is often just a tad less formal (although it’s not that I really mind formal, but lunch just has a different feel), I like the natural light (EMP and the Modern, both of which I previously had dinner at, seem like their dining rooms would be lovely, especially if it turns out to be sunny), and I like to be able to take a nice walk afterwards. Also, to the extent lunch is less expensive, that’s also nice, of course, but not necessarily the deciding factor. But if any of these restaurants’ lunch experience pales significantly in comparison to dinner, I might rethink.
  2. Hi NY Board, I’m looking to fill up 1 or 2 empty lunch and/or dinner slots for a mid-October trip to NYC. Restaurants I’m considering are Le Bernardin, Corton, SHO, Tocqueville, L’Adour, Craft (none of which I've been to previously), or any others that people might recommend. Currently leaning towards Corton for one slot. I have a weak preference for lunch, but I know a lot of these restaurants are only open for dinner. I will be having meals (all lunches) on other days at Jean Georges, EMP, and the Modern Dining Room (all of which I have been to once previously and enjoyed greatly about 3 years ago). Also have a dinner reservation at L’Atelier Joel Robuchon (never been, but have been to the Paris one). Other restaurants I’m considering and/or will likely include: I would love to eat at Per Se if getting reservations wasn’t such an issue, but I’d probably rather have my plans settled than try to go on a wait list or call for last minute cancellations. I will probably also try for a reservation at Momofuku Ko when the time is right. I had a weekend lunch during my last trip at Momofuku Noodle Bar (I think – whichever one at the time was recommended here for weekend lunch) and was just able to walk in and get a seat. If one goes at a non-prime time, can one basically still walk into Noodle Bar or Saam Bar and get seated relatively quickly? Thanks - any advice greatly appreciated!
  3. I just spent the weekend in Half Moon Bay and had an excellent dinner at Cafe Gibraltar. I chose an option where you choose five courses for a tasting menu priced at $60. All the dishes I had were tasty: MAR Y MUNTANYA (Ugalde) Cubes of sashimi grade ahi tuna and filet mignon, pan seared with shaved onions, green peppercorns, tomatoes, chives and a balsamic jus, served atop spiced greens. • CERVOL ROSTIT (Catalan) Wood roasted venison loin, cubed and sauteed with baby onions, green peppercorns, tomatoes and roasted garlic in a spiced sour cherry-red wine glaze. • CARNE DI COSTATA DI BOVINO CON UVA (Italian) Wagyu beef short rib meat, slow braised with pearl onions, seasonal root vegetables and rosemary, served atop soft polenta and finished with a red wine-syrah grape glaze. plus a sole dish stuffed with crab that I don't see on the online menu and a chocolate dessert whose exact nature I am blanking on. Nice quality fresh ingredients and well-prepared. Service was both friendly and pretty well-timed. I didn't take notes, and it was too dark for my pictures to be at all useful unfortunately. Also had a lunch at Sam's Chowder House, and although I don't really recommend it for the food, it was a _great_ view. The chowder was fine though.
  4. I had been curious to try this dish since the thread started, but this is my first time in Paris in the fall. I saw it on the menu at Le Pre Catelan (a la facon du Senateur Couteaux), but didn't want to order it for 99 euros. But I did order it the other night at Les Saveurs de Flora. Having never had the dish before, I have nothing to compare it too really. But I thought it was quite delicious, although too rich for me to finish. Here is a link to the picture I took (out of focus - sorry!).
  5. You may want to consider Le Pre Catelan. It is open on Saturday, and from my somewhat limited experience there, the desserts from Crystelle Brua seem quite impressive.
  6. Hey all, My eGullet dining companion unfortunately had to cancel for dinner at Le Comptoir tomorrow night. If anyone would like to step in, please pm me. My reservation is for 2, not sure if I could add any extra at this late date, but I can always ask.
  7. HOLLY_L

    Le Meurice

    I was just looking at the current menu for Le Meurice online, and I noticed there are no less than five dishes the feature seaweed in one form or another. menu This is the September menu, so not positive how long the link will work. This is strange to me, because at my meal there, I had found the seaweed portion of the foie gras dish decided unsuccessful, although others might disagree, of course. Not to suggest that all seaweed is necessarily the same or anything either, but it seems like rather an odd ingredient to pop up so many times. To me, it almost seems like it might be a case of innovation or incorporation of Eastern influences or whatever that is done more for its own sake rather than for the food. Or maybe Alleno is just very inspired by seaweed.
  8. Hello everyone, I am considering some restaurants for about a week in Paris. My dining companions are reasonably sophisticated but perhaps not very adventurous. Liver might be okay, but other offal probably not; likewise, at least some shellfish also out. And ideally I wouldn’t want them choosing from just one option or something, even if the menu is not exclusively offal, so I have eliminated certain restaurants where I fear the choices might be too limited. Here is what I’ve come up with (list may lean towards the 7th , where I’ll be staying, but I’m certainly willing to travel on at least some occasions): L’Ami Jean Au Bon Accuil Christophe Le Clos de Gourmets D’Chez Eux Fables de Fontaine Le Florimond Josephine La Regalade Le Souffle I also guess that if it comes down to a choice between someplace that is consistently very good (but maybe not excellent) and someplace occasionally excellent, but more inconsistent, I’d rather choose consistency. I know there are dissenting opinions about just about every place. I’m not particularly fussy about atmosphere/comfort (although I wouldn’t want every meal to be at a place like, for example, L’Ami Jean), and if someplace is touristy (in the sense that lots of tourists go, not in the sense that it’s a rip-off, obviously), I’m okay with that too. After all, I’m not going to kid myself that I am not a tourist. Any comments where I’m way off base or any wonderful places I’m missing? My apologies if this is too much like many other threads, but I have been reading as widely as possible and trying to digest everything, and I just wondered if anyone had specific input on what I’ve come up with. You guys always have great advice!
  9. HOLLY_L

    Jules Verne

    I'm also wondering if anyone has been in the last couple years. I don't think there's any way it would be on the top of my list food-wise, but the view is appealing to others in my party (and to me as well certainly, although it still wouldn't be at the top of my list). I'm particularly interested to hear if anyone has had the 85 Euro lunch menu?
  10. I know the reviews for dinner are somewhat mixed, but I have procured a reservation for Friday, October 9. It is for 2 people, not sure how much leeway I have to add more, but maybe one or two (I am a guest at the hotel, that's how I have the reservation). Anyone (or maybe two or three) people want to join me? If so, PM me, and I will take the first responder (or additional, if it ends up I can add guests).
  11. Yeah, I had lunch at L'Elysees in April 08 and it was awesome. I would like to check Le Cinq out, even though I understand that it may suffer in some ways in comparison to L'Elysees. Glad I at least made it to L'Elysees before Briffard left. Pirate, did you have one of the menus at Le Cinq or order a la carte?
  12. I can't tell whether there's any sort of clear consensus yet about the best way to try Chef Briffard's cooking? 85 lunch menu, in-between menu, expensive dinner menu, a la carte? I generally prefer lunch, at least in dining rooms with nice natural light. Is Le Cinq good in that regard?
  13. Felice, thank you so much for everything you did in hosting the France board and helping to make all the posters feel welcome. You (and John Talbott) did so much to make those boards a useful and friendly place, and we are really going to miss your contributions to that end.
  14. John, Your work as a host in the French forum was such a huge help to me in planning my trips to France. Thanks so much for all you've done!
  15. I was lucky enough to eat at Alinea for the first time last night (finally!) and although I forgot my camera and therefore have no pictures, I thought I’d set out a just few thoughts. I was worried that my anticipation might be too high and that I would be let down, but the whole evening was absolutely perfect, except that I spilled a tiny bit of my Hot Potato Cold Potato because I am clumsy. I don’t believe anyone has discussed the silicone table sheets discussed by Chef Achatz here: Silicone plating but I thought it was pretty neat, especially because Grant did the presentation at my table, and I am nothing if not a silly fangirl. But see also Grant’s entry on diner envy: envy and on being a celebrity chef: celebrity chef And although I recognize that envy is a petty useless emotion, I have occasionally felt it as a diner, if another table seems to receive special attention or off-menu courses. Also, I have been at restaurants and felt somewhat slighted if a chef comes out and stops only to check in at certain tables, and I have thought that chefs who stop at each table, however briefly, to say hello are much more gracious. (I understand that chefs may have limited time, but particularly if the chef is making the rounds at or near the end of a service, I personally find it poor business sense, and a bit rude, if the chef does not at least acknowledge each table). Anyway, in my particular case, I have no such complaints about Alinea, but reading Grant's thoughts, I could see how it would be a restaurant that could easily fall prey to such diner feelings.
  16. Yeah, that seemed a bit uncharitable of her, I thought. I don't know how much of Jaime's sort of complaints about feeling that Lo wasn't really taking charge and leading (I forget exactly what she said) were valid, but it did seem like Lo may not have used her team as well as Bayless and Keller, so even if Jaime's work ended up being technically inept or slow or whatever the problem was, I don't know that all of the blame should be laid at Jaime's feet and none at Anita Lo's.
  17. All the chefs were under basically the same constraints in interviewing the former cheftestants (although some may have had more knowledge of a particular chef or another if they had judged a previous episode of Top Chef, for example, Bayless and Blais, if I recall correctly), and Michael was the only one who used those sorts of interviewing techniques. He also had the advantage of picking first each round because he had won the quickfire. Nonetheless, through whatever confluence of circumstances, it appears that Bayless and Keller (who picked last each round) ended up having much more successful output from their sous-chefs. And I have to think that Michael's approach, first in interviewing, then in managing, was part of the end result of Michael being in the bottom two. To me, it seemed like Bayless and Keller were really able to motivate their chefs to rally around them in a way Michael was not able to.
  18. I am planning a visit to Paris in October (approx. 8-24 or so), and somewhat related to this topic, are there recommendations for restaurants with nice views of fall foliage (assuming that there will be fall foliage during this period in October)? I am probably interested in indoor dining, unless it ends up being unseasonably warm or the terrace is heated. Would any of the Bois de Boulogne restaurants be a good choice?
  19. With respect to Jeff, I thought that after the first judge's table, he said something to the effect of "they only had positive things to say about my food" or some such. Am I misremembering? If that was really the case, and if Jeff's oysters really tasted like sterno, that seems more like the judges were being more disingenuous/playing to the camera/game rather than gracious to me.
  20. I'm not exactly an expert on Lyon, but I would check out a bouchon for local cuisine there. Of those you list, I believe Le Garet is a bouchon and therefore would be the best for local cuisine. I have to run, so can't research more thoroughly, but I'm not sure that the other 2 are particularly Lyonnaise (sp?). I ate at La Voûte Chez Léa, a traditional bouchon in Lyon, and would also recommend for the Bouchon-experience. Mostly locals when I was there.
  21. By sheer coincidence, I made ossobuco on NYE, following Hazan's recipe. I was unable to obtain the shanks from Whole Foods (not sure why - they originally took my order, than canceled), and ended up paying about $20/pound at my local butcher. Anyway, none of my guests would have gone for the marrow, so I did scoop out some part way through the cooking process to use in the risotto. At any rate, the dish turned out great, and the risotto milanese was a nice accompaniment, but definitely boring on its own (we had more leftover risotto than leftover ossobuco. I used a dry pinot grigio in the recipe, and served the ossocbuco with a Barolo and a Barberesco.
  22. It has always fascinated me about the phenomena of posters, here and in other threads, who like to be judgmental about other people’s dining/vacation habits. And how these posters also purport to be able to read those people’s minds and ascribe motivations and thoughts to them that those people have not expressed; if someone eats in several starred restaurants during their vacation, it can’t possibly be that they appreciate good cuisine. No, they must be brainwashed by Michelin or are crossing restaurants off their lists or just want to have nice stories to put on their blogs. Different people have different tastes and different ways they want to spend their time on vacation or elsewhere. It doesn't mean that their way is wrong. I don't insult people who have different priorities when they travel than I do.
  23. All this activity in the PG thread has spurred me to (finally!) add captions to my lunch there in April. Here are the pictures: Pictures Unfortunately, I have little memory of the amuses at this point. Notes would have been a good idea. I had a starter called “Le Printemps” which consisted of the following: Rouelles de langouste royale à la citronelle, eau de fenouil au citron de Menton, artichaut poivrade Morilles fraîches, culatello, choux couer de boeuf et foie gras rôti; velouté de salade nouvelle Marinière de fèves, nèfles et petits navets au sirop de petals de coquelicot; bavaroise de chèvre frais And the Poulard de Bresse as my main: Blanc de poularde, poivre vert, pistache et mélisse, cuit au sautoir à la graisse d'oie raviole de foie blond à l'amontillado. Crème de champignons sauvages au fenugrec. Gras de cuisse, oignons nouveaux, truffes noires et céleris dorés liés d'une gelée naturelle. Petit Jardin du cure My dessert was Le Soufflé Gingembre aux Chocolats d’Origine The starter was excellent, although somewhat surprisingly I remember the “Marinière” (pic) part of the dishes with the most fondness – it really was wonderfully evocative of spring in its freshness. But I enjoyed all the dishes and the way they went together as well. The first two chicken dishes listed (pic and pic) were somewhat surprising to me (and pleasing) in their richness. It’s not a style I would tend to attribute to PG; not that I would necessarily say that his food is minimalist or austere or anything like that. . . but these dishes, particularly the raviole, were quite luscious. I wouldn’t say that the dishes were traditional exactly, but more so than other PG dishes I have had or read about. Although that does generally seem more true of his mains than his starters, I suppose. That being said, the third chicken dish (pic) was one of the only things I tasted on the whole trip that I actively disliked. Partly the aspic/gelatin consistency, because I’m never a huge fan of that- but there was something else that was just off about the flavor. I couldn’t even identify exactly what, and I was only willing to have two bites of the dish. I possibly thought it was something about the onions, but not sure. I agree with the generosity of the portions, for sure; I was not, unfortunately, able to eat all (or even most) of the dessert (which was itself very generous). I’m a fan of the service, which is obviously very good, but also friendly, at least in my limited experience. I especially liked that the captain either remembered, or pretended to remember, or had good records to simulate remembering, my only previous visit, about a year prior. Also, PG was in the kitchen the day I was there, and came around to the tables at one point.
  24. I could actually bring my charcoal Weber, but not sure if people indicated a preference for gas? ETA: Also, when will people need it by? Not sure if I will be there promptly by 1:00 or whenever it is on Saturday that the event starts because may have to get some work done in the morning / early afternoon.
  25. I could bring some chicken liver paté (prepared in advance, of course).
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