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ajgnet

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  1. Thank you. By chance any interesting espresso in Little Italy?
  2. Hi -- I'm spending a week in San Diego, and would like to explore some of the coffee options this city has to offer. Are there any places for a great espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, etc ..? Thanks in advance.
  3. I'm passing through Mexico City this weekend on my way to Puebla and wanted to explore some of the city's cafés. I'm looking for traditional Italian-style espresso that perhaps contains Mexican beans. Are there any espresso houses in the city that warrant a visit? Thanks so much!
  4. It used to be that Monday was his out-of-town day, but on recent visits, I'd say his schedule is getting a little less predictable. In total he's been there about 40-50% of the time that I've dined not including Mondays. The only way to be sure is to call and ask if he'll be in the kitchen the day that you're eating. The reservationist has that information.
  5. Post some pictures, please . I'm dying in anticipation.
  6. Your photos are really nice. It's not an easy space to photograph. Thanks for sharing. As for not having a menu, I would shoot them an e-mail or call. I've been able to retroactively request menus in the past for extended tastings. I believe they keep them on file. Sooner is better than later.
  7. Nice review, foodsnob! Makes me want to go back this weekend.
  8. ajgnet

    Ledoyen

    I had a meal at Ledoyen a few months ago, and was really impressed with Le Squer's ability to meld French tradition with more modern preparations, particularly with his turbot and ris de veau. For me the best part of the turbot were the chewy potatoes that lie hidden underneath. You can check out the pictures here if you're interested. Some of the dishes were really creative, like the scallop medallions with ossetra caviar ... the frozen sea water shell melted into what seemed like sea foam !
  9. ajgnet

    Le Bristol

    And I walked by the summer room, it was full of light and overlooked the beautiful courtyard of the hotel. That could have made the ambiance much more enjoyable as it was such a beautiful day.
  10. ajgnet

    Le Bristol

    Hi Seth -- Thanks! That's a good point actually. I don't think classical and exciting are mutually exclusive. I would not call some of the dishes at L'Arpège, for example, new (onion gratinée, vegetable garden salad, etc ...) but the simplicity and quality of ingredients makes them exciting. Each dish has a very clear focus and concept. At Le Bristol the vision wasn't as clear; 2 of our consecutive dishes were sauced nearly identically, and the dominant flavors of the meal were nothing I hadn't tasted before: vinegar and salt. It seems like Le Bristol is awkwardly placed between trying to keep to Frechon's classic style and and trying maintain its 3rd Michelin star by making dishes unnaturally "innovative" (lots of gelées, plays on textures, etc ...).
  11. I had a wonderful spring lunch at La Bigarrade a few days ago. I took pictures and videos of my meal, in case you want a visual, and my full writeup is here. This was a light meal taken straight from northern Italy exemplifying what it means to cook with seasonal ingredients. Our tasting menu of 12-courses was full of peas, wild onions, and asparagus in different forms, with very airy and fresh flavors. There was no meat, only white fish. The total came to 45€ (!!). Here's what the menu looked like during my visit: 1. Oyster in bonito bouillon gelée with lime and wild pepper. Lightly poached clam in wild sorrel with grapefruit bouillon and olive oil. 2. Soup of petits pois, sepia, and black garlic. 3. Yellowtail belly with jamón ibérico de bellota, small wild onions garnished with lemon zest 4. Line caught mackerel, caramelized and acidulated onion, garden herbs, fresh watercress 5. Pollock with wild red sorrel, small shrimp, wild onion leaves 6. Cheese course of Reblochon and Crottin with prune reduction. 7. Fava bean soup with nèfle broth 8. Lemon pot de crème, saffron gelée, rosemary flowers 9. Pistachio crème anglaise, mango reduction, pimpinelle leaves 10. Tobacco-infused oatmeal mousse garnished with cocoa powder 11. Chocolate mousse with coffee reduction and melted chocolate from Domori, Genova. 12. Petits Bavarois with thyme and candied almond. I went ahead and made a second reservation to return essentially as soon as I could get a table. Really fabulous meal that truly makes use of cooking with market fresh ingredients.
  12. ajgnet

    Le Bristol

    Just had lunch at Le Bristol yesterday, and was disappointed. My full thoughts with photos and videos are available here. I left the restaurant confident that Le Bristrol had rightfully earned its three stars for its refinement of dishes, service, and ambiance. I just felt like they just lacked the inspirational spark that some of the other Parisian 3* restaurants, like L'Arpège and L'Astrance, have ... most of the flavors were boring. In a way I wish I had gone last year before the third star was awarded. Some of the dishes seemed to have unnecessary plays on texture making them really gelatinous, which make me question if this was artificially done to make some of Frechon’s more classical cooking seem more modern and innovative. Perhaps this is his way of keeping things “new” to hold on to his third star. Leaving out this play on textures could have made the first three courses even more appealing and seem more natural. The other thing I noticed was what seemed to be a tremendous discrepancy between the main courses ordered from the lunch menu, and from the à la carte menu. It was like two different restaurants, and made me wonder if there was a separate lunch menu chef who was preparing those items. The majority of the courses for which I had qualms came from the lunch menu. Could be a coincidence,and maybe I’m just too idealistic, but I feel like a three star restaurant should have consistency between the two menus. At least that’s been my experience.
  13. ajgnet

    Il Canto (Siena)

    Good question. I don't think it's Adria envy. I was wondering what Lopriore would say had I asked him if these dishes tasted good. I'm not sure. My guess is he would say they're to invoke a strong emotional response rather than to simply please the palate. But then again, he may think they actually taste good in which case he has a very different palate from mine.
  14. ajgnet

    Il Canto (Siena)

    Well said. What kills me is that chef Lopriore is so skilled and creative. In addition, he came across as very kind and genuinely interested in our experience. (We caught him peeking in through the window, or from the doorway, a few times.) Aside from the service problems and hefty price markups, my hope is that with some significant menu revisions and a more channeled vision, he'll be able to create truly innovative, and delicious, dishes. Hopefully sooner than later.
  15. ajgnet

    Il Canto (Siena)

    Funny you should ask that. The bill came to 666€. Coincidence? I understand trying to shock the diner; but you have a good point ... at what cost ?? Shock is good, if the dish still tastes good. You're absolutely right. I mean, if the dish doesn't taste good, there at least has to be some kind of consistency or flavor railing so it's clear what the chef is trying to do. Otherwise I'm lost, the flavor isn't appealing, and I'm unhappy.
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