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Everything posted by bethala

  1. mzimbeck, thanks for the beautiful photos. now that you've "re-learned" how to eat, do you find it to be so much easier to decide what to prepare for meals -- i mean, no more tyranny of choice, right?
  2. all the previous sunday ideas are excellent. i will only add that le flore en l'île on île st. louis (not to be confused with café de flore) provides a glorious view of the back side of notre dame and is a nice place for breakfast, coffee, and hot chocolate with a view. as i remember, the breakfast wasn't anything special, but this is another one of those view places where coffee is the cost of admission, and for your first trip, especially, i think places like this are important. perhaps you could go to one of the marchés early and then stop here for a break. this is a great spot for reading the paper. a quick google sweep reveals that they also serve berthillon ice cream but does not reveal whether they are open on sundays. can anyone weigh in on whether le flore en l'île is open sundays? Le Flore en l'Île 42 quai d'Orléans (at rue jean de bellay) Ile St-Louis M: Pont Marie as for wine, what's great about paris is that you can often enjoy "house" wines that are of excellent quality and usually very fresh. i especially appreciate all the reasonably-priced rosés from provence and the southwest that seem to be everywhere in the summer but do not make it to our shores. not complex, but flavorful and very fresh. for reds and whites, again wines from the southwest shine (if you see an irouléguy of any color, try it), as well as those from the loire valley (red and white anjous, red and rosé chinons and sancerres, etc.). you will not have the same experience that you often have here, where you order the house wine and get swill. the house wines are served either by the glass (un verre), half carafe (un demi), or full carafe (une carafe). just fill in the color you'd like to order -- "un demi de vin rouge/rosé/blanc, s'il vous plait " -- and you're in business. but of course if you'd like to splurge, don't hesitate to ask for assistance with the wine, giving the server an idea of how much you'd like to spend by pointing to a wine of that price on the list. and please forgive me if you already know this, but i say this only because you say you don't know too much about wines: french rosés are dry and crisp, often smelling of fresh fruit, cream, flowers, and herbs, and are different from the sweet rosés you sometimes still encounter here in the states (we've gotten a lot better about that lately, though). enjoy them where you can!
  3. No, it started with Rosa Mexicana. ← i've always found the tableside guac ceremony to be an annoying, unnecessarily showy, ny "upscale" mexican thing. it kills me how many people are impressed by it and cite it as a reason to appreciate a place. as a former texan who believes that good tex-mex can be as tasty as (or even more so than) "upscale", "real", interior mexican food, i find guacamole needs to sit for at least a few hours to allow the flavors to brighten and coalesce.
  4. OK, so I finally figured out from old notes that the name of the wonderful river- and people-watching café I wanted to recommend to you: it is Brasserie L’Lutétia on Île St.-Louis. I was driving myself crazy, because my notes say “Brasserie Le Lutetia”, which is the name of a resto in the Hôtel Lutétia and a completely different place. I view this spot as a calm café with a superb view of the Hôtel de Ville and the Seine, where I can enjoy a good noisette and sit and relax, watch the world go by, and dream about living in Paris. But according to some, L’Lutétia is actually a decent place to have a meal or a glass of wine. In fact, the Paris Voice website listed it as a “wine bar winner” of 2002: “There is a large, if sometimes pricey, selection of wines, notably from the Bordeaux and the Loire regions.” I was not aware of that during my visits. But knowing that now, I might just stick to coffee or wine and go with the other restaurants already recommended in this thread for a true meal. But you can’t beat L’Lutétia after an afternoon in the Marais or on Île St.-Louis for just sitting, watching, plotting your next trip to Paris. Equally enjoyable after spending time in the Marais, but without the view, is La Belle Hortense, a literary wine bar in the heart of the Marais. Although none of the bottles is particularly exciting, Hortense's list is perfectly respectable. The vibe in this tiny spot (with a bookstore in the back) is completely relaxed. You decide whether to sip a glass alone or engage in a political discussion with one of the patrons. Enjoy! Brasserie L’Lutétia 33 quai de Bourbon (corner of rue de Bellay), 4e, M° Hôtel de Ville open until 2 AM, closed Sunday evening and all day Monday La Belle Hortense 31, Rue Vieille du Temple (not to be confused with Rue du Temple) 4e M° Hôtel de Ville or St.-Paul open 5 PM - 2 AM
  5. not to take away from everyone's recommendations for a fourth dinner spot, but you might want to switch things up a little bit and give yourself a one-night break from restaurants, say, maybe, on your second or third night. call me a wimp, but i have to say that during my three nights in montréal, i felt like it was almost a job to go out to eat on the third night, albeit a fabulous one. perhaps you could do a huge lunch -- i regret not having made it to schwartz's (noticeably absent from this thread) for smoke meat. but i wonder if i could have comfortably stomached a full restaurant dinner after having had lunch there. for dinner you could then just do takeout from a traiteur, such as pâtisserie de gascogne, chez l'épicier, or the like, or eat cheeses from qui lait cru in the jean talon market with a bottle of wine that night. maybe head out to a bar. then you can reenter the resto world, refreshed, for your last big night. just a thought. but hey, if you're up to it, i say eat at montréal's restos four nights in a row! i definitely want to return to visit many of the most recent recommendations, particularly la montée de lait and anise, on my next visit. have fun!
  6. salut, grace! you will indeed have a wonderful time in paris. i am jalouse! please excuse me if you already know this, but one of the best ways to enhance your trip is to remember to say "Bonjour, monsieur" or "Bonjour, madame" any and everywhere you go and then "Merci, au revoir" when you leave a place. makes a huge difference in how you are perceived and treated by the french. also, try to remember not to touch the fruit at the marchés, beautiful though it may be. i always forget the first few times. just say hello, point, and ask. they will try to give you the best, not the worst, pieces, for the most part. it's great that you're losing weight before going to paris, but think of it more as a compensation for when you get back than for when you're over there. the last time i was there (for 4 days/3 nights), i ate anything and everything i wanted. when i got back, i found i had lost 3 pounds! it was only when i got back to the us and continued to eat in a similar fashion that i gained back that weight (and then some!). if you must, you can eat a balanced diet in paris, too. salads and veggies are often prepared just deliciously as the pastries, pork and pâté. here are just a few of my favorite spots to add to the legions of recs you have/will receive. all are pretty reasonably priced: octave: ice cream from a toulouse ice cream maker. i think it is better than the much more famous berthillon. my favorite flavor is reglisse, a licorice-y flavor. 138 rue Mouffetard, 5e, M° Censier Daubenton, tel: 01 45 35 20 56 pierre hermé: for macarons. now, there are many other sources, and you can visit the macaron thread to see impassioned (and informative) debate about who has the best. i like the pierre herme ones for the exotic flavors, especially olive oil and saffron. 185, rue de vaugirard, 15th (your hood!) tel: 01 47 83 89 96 72, rue bonaparte, 6th tel: 01 43 54 47 77 au gamin de paris: nothing fancy, but vibrant atmosphere, in a cozy room in one of my favorite neighborhoods, the marais. here you can eat soup to nuts with wine for under €60. the menu is typical bistro, including steaks prepared in several ways (au poîvre, roquefort, etc.) sweetbreads, and rich, not to be missed versions of tarte tatin and chocolate cake. also, i ate here alone two nights in a row and was welcomed and treated graciously both times. although it's sometimes charactarized as touristy, i felt it had a very middle class parisian vibe when i visited a couple of years ago. jadis et gourmande: for chocolate covered orange peels and other chocolate-mixed-with-stuff treats. 49 bis av Franklin D. Roosevelt, 8e, tel: 01 42 25 06 04 88 blvd de Port Royal, 5e, tel: 01 43 26 17 75 27 rue Boissy d'Anglais, 8e, tel: 01 42 65 23 23 39, rue des Archives, 4e, tel: 01 48 04 08 03 la maison du chocolat: i've tried many other chocolatiers in the city and always come back to la maison for its chocolats. no, the flavors aren't as exciting as some of the others' but you cannot beat linxe's gift for creating some of the most beautifully textured ganache in the world. la maison du chocolat locations la grande épicerie de paris: as john talbott mentioned earilier. not cheap, but even just looking (especially on one of your first days in paris) is an event in itself. the vareity and beauty is overwhelming. once you get over that, you can try to shop. it's great for gifts and for yourself. for myself i always pick up a few boxes of bouillon cubes (they are flavored diffrerently 'round the world and are an inexpensive way to enhance your kitchen when you get back home) and canned cassoulet, which can also be doctored up when you return. while in paris, select a couple of pieces of their fruit and cheese. the selection and quality is incredible. so are the prices, though. that's why i said just a couple of pieces. go to your local marche for more everyday stuff. 38, rue de sevres, 7e marie-anne cantin cheese: ok, this not cheap, but if you need to bring back some cheese, get it here and have them pack it in the smell-proof packaging. (other eGulleters, please pitch in with any better value/comparable quality shops you might know of.). the selection at this lovely shop is incredible and the freshness of the cheeses impeccable. 12, rue du Champ de Mars, 7e, www.cantin.fr la dernière goutte: there are tons of great wine shops in paris. but i like this one for its reasonably-priced boutique wines that are hand selected by owner juan sanchez. i regret not bringing home a set of wine glasses etched with the store's name from my last trip. 6, rue de Bourbon le Chateau, 6e, tel : 01 43 29 11 62 cremerie caves miard: another niche-y wine shop specializing in biodynamic wines from france. there is also a cafe with sandwiches and the like right there in the middle of the floor. among the last bottles i bought here was a loire valley sparkler that was capped with a beer cap! it was outrageous and delicious! and cheap. 9, rue des Quatre-Vents, 6e, tel: 01 43 54 99 30 le confiturier: a little mom and pop neighborhood resto near the hôtel lutetia, specializing in tartines, salads, and dessert crumbles. i ate here alone for lunch, was treated in a most friendly manner by the proprietess, and all i can say is don't miss the rhubarb crumble -- or any crumble; they probably change with the seasons -- served with a little pot of crème anglaise, if it is available. 20, rue du cherche-midi, 6e, tel: 01 45 49 33 64 i could go on, but i don't want to bombard you. i do want to come back with the name of a great people-watching café near pont louis-phillipe , but i have to figure out the name. also, i always check out chocolate & zucchini for parisian recommendations. always reliable for thoughtfully written, spot on recommendations and lovely writing about paris as a food town.
  7. bethala


    right, glad to hear you confirm that, too. and that wine list is really good, isn't it?
  8. bethala


    sneakeater, so glad to hear such a strong report. now i'm starting to feel really bad about not having gone back in so long.
  9. bethala


    tempo is indeed a neighborhood place with a neighborhood vibe that nonetheless feels a bit different from the other local spots in park slope - perhaps a bit more "adult"? while i think the food could be considered "destination"-quality, i think the bland decor and atmosphere hold it back from attaining the come-to-brooklyn status that places like al di la have. but i live in park slope, so that's just fine with me.
  10. perhaps it's not fair to post this on a fairway thread, but once i overheard a funny conversation at zabar's: a grandmother pushed someone with her shopping cart and her adult granddaughter told her, "grandma, that's not polite!" the grandmother snapped back, "i don't have to be polite; i'm in zabar's!" i suspect some fairway shoppers might also have this attitude.
  11. i did see david mcmillan shaking some martinis at joe beef, but i didn't have any cocktails while in montréal. i'll just say, though, that the wine selection is excellent at montréal restos, if you love french wines, as i do. props to montréal restos for placing plenty of loire valley wines on their lists, something you don't always see even in french restaurants here in ny.
  12. i'm from brooklyn, not montréal, but i visited montréal for the first time last may, and in brief, i will say joe beef. book now. ask to sit at the bar. eat light during the day. i'll then add au pied de cochon. book now. again, eat light during the day. after that, perhaps brunoise and le club chasse et pêche, which i'm mentioning based on recommendations by other trusty egulleters rather than my own experience. be sure to visit the jean-talon market if you have the time. if you love eating in brooklyn, you will adore eating in montréal. bob tenaglio is right, if you enjoy life, you will no doubt enjoy au pied (and joe beef). i am jalouse. (edited to properly accent "montréal" and try to do a couple of other french things right.)
  13. bethala


    just had lunch at goodburger. it's a good burger, not a great one, but for the price, it is a burger that's just fine. it's just fine in terms of flavor, which is just softly beefy (and needed salt, for me), and lightly charred in a way that reminded me of sonic burger in texas. just fine in the way it comes on a small, toasted bun that can handle drippings and condiments, and the way it's dressed in "the works", which consist of onions, pickles, tomatoes, a slice of lettuce and a mustard that has a zingy horseradish bite. it's just fine in with respect to fries, which are fresh, hot, and plentiful. just fine if you don't think of your shake in the classic way but as a glass of softened-and-stirred good quality ice cream: my chocolate shake didn't seem to contain any added milk, but i did drink the whole thing, now didn't i? the atmosphere is a bit odd: a clean, sparsely decorated lunch room filled with midtown office workers and probably a few UN staff -- a pretty "hi, bob" crowd. but then there's techno-y music playing loudly in the background. but it's perfectly comfortable. i suppose it's also pleasant to take out and sit outside at Daj Hammarskjold Plaza up the road. i cannot compare it to its reference burger at burger joint, as i've never been there.
  14. looks incredible. reminds me of schaller & weber in manhattan.
  15. bethala


    now i feel like i should go back to tempo soon. Sneakeater, as i’m sure you realize by now, tempo’s food is so not cucina-like, but the renovated decor is definitely not far enough removed from its past life. much as i respect their wine list, sounds like a cocktail and an appetizer at the bar might be a very nice way to go.
  16. bethala


    H. du Bois - sorry i read your post pre-coffee and completely missed your tempo presto comments - didn't mean to be redundant in my post. i agree, tempo should be approached on its many merits, and i really hope it gets the accolades it deserves.
  17. bethala


    i love the food and wine at tempo. it did garner one star from frank bruni. i believe the owners are babbo alumni. they are very passionate about what they are doing food and wine-wise. they do things like have fresh mozzarella di bufala flown in every friday for a special preparation that changes each week. the last time i was there (almost a year ago), i enjoyed a white rioja with a meal that included that week's mozzarella preparation (i forget exactly what it was, but it was extremely fresh), pasta and fish. although i really no longer remember the dishes i had, i found the preparations to be a bit more mannered than those at nearby al di la but just as lusty at their core. as good as all that is, the problem is that although they changed the space, they still somehow retained that corporate dining room feel that cucina had. that might have been good enough for cucina when they were practically the only game in town, but with fifth avenue and park slope having bloomed so dramatically over the last couple of years, that's no longer the case, and the restaurant often seems only half full. i know that, on a subconscious level, the decor, as well as a kind of stiff mood, are what have kept me from returning to tempo over the last year, because i thoroughly enjoyed the food, wine and service. tempo has opened a sandwich shop next door called tempo presto. the sandwiches feature delicious, thoughtful combinations like proscuitto cotto, fontina, and white truffle béchamel in the "mr. crunch", my favorite. the gelatos are reportedly top notch as well, though i haven't tried them. tempo presto seems much more popular than tempo, so i'm hoping that perhaps it will help the owners raise the cash to at least subsidize the restaurant and perhaps even to do something about the decor and feel so that it stays afloat. tempo 256 fifth avenue (btwn carroll and garfield sts.) brooklyn, new york 11215 718-636-8899
  18. can creole cream cheese be used in conventional cheesecake recipes, or is it best reserved for things like the ice cream, or, perhaps, the traditional cream cheese with jezebel sauce?
  19. when i went to joe beef in may, they served a ballotin of rabbit that was quite tasty.
  20. although i agree with dressing the part and going with a restaurant's flow, i don’t think anyone can deny the fact that there are sometimes things that cannot be controlled by a guest that can make some servers have preconceived notions about that guest, including sex, race, perceived age, perceived sexual orientation, attractiveness, kids in tow -- i could go on. in fact, i know someone who worked at a manhattan restaurant where management told her in a roundabout way to seat guests not of a certain race at the worst tables. some foh staff might indeed have preconceived notions about how much a guest is going to spend, tip, etc., based on that guest’s race, gender, age, etc. but unless that staff member explicitly states that he is operating under those prejudices (and when does that happen?), it's impossible for you as the guest to determine what's going on and whether that person is just a horrible/snobby person to begin with, having a bad day, or what. over the years, when confronted with snobby service, i’ve come to realize that it’s not my job to figure out what the problem is, but simply to remain polite and civil and try to have the best time i can have and then take the appropriate steps (outlined earlier in this thread) to air my grievance with management. and, once again, the importance of becoming a regular can’t be overstated. if you become a regular at a place where you really enjoy all other aspects of a place except the service, the service often improves as you become more familiar to the staff, even staff who might have been snobby or rude to you in the beginning. it’s just human nature. and of course, wearing a cape always ensures excellent service.
  21. bethala


    a japanese friend was telling me the other night that the reason she loves minca is because of the thick shoyu broth. i'd love to try this evening, but with this weather, i've got to get my hands on some cold noodles. also, has anyone checked out this ramen-rating website, oyahiLife.com? interesting commentary on the city's noodle shops.
  22. I beg to differ. If handled properly they ship quite well. Frog Hollow does it properly, albeit at a significant premium. I did not order them this year so I cannot attest to their quality this season. I love good eastern peaches and get them from the source when i can. I still have not had better ones than the ones I have received from Frog Hollow, though some have come awfully close and are a much better value when they do. ← again, i am talking nectarines and not peaches, but i must also say that my perfectly ripe nectarines arrived with lots of cushioning and no bruises. are peaches different from nectarines in terms of harvest? i think i've come to prefer nectarines, because it's easier to get a good one than to get a good peach. do peaches fare worse than nectarines when shipped? also, i don't want to give the impression that i get all my fruit by mail. i more often enjoy farmers market fruit, which is indeed often delicious and often grown with care, and carries much less of a premium than mail order fruit. and NY offers good fruit at certain supermarkets, too. for me, though, frog hollow has been a true treat.
  23. i always forget that it's an italian resto. the name makes me think it's a kugel joint, which wouldn't be so bad, either. i do plan on visiting one of these days, despite the funny name.
  24. thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! with any luck, my friend won't have to use too many of them. raji, i agree, about popeye's being a guilty pleasure, but must admit i've never had a wendy's burger. the square shape scares me! it is really too bad that brooklyn doesn't have the solid jury duty lunch tradition that manhattan does.
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