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lucas thomas

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    Western Massachusetts
  1. Jeffrey Madura took over the kitchen when John Ash proved uninterested in properly running a business. He held the post for twenty years with a steady hand. Does anyone have the scoop on why he left? He could have ditched in 2000 when the wretched Carano family started dismantling the work he'd done to make the place approachable but still interesting. I wonder what he is doing. I read a so-so review of the new guy. Any opinions?
  2. Thank you for the link. It is outstanding to see the flurry of passion regarding Rome. If only it were the case for where I live in Switzerland...
  3. Thank you, Dale. Might you have ideas for suppy stores?
  4. I'm on parole for four days in Rome. I'll try to cadge restaurant names off the boards and rely on pluck for the rest. I am looking for exceptional food locations in the area-I even have two days entirely to myself. Whether it be bread, charcuterie, supplies, etc., I'd love to have some addresses that inspire. Thank you.
  5. It so happens that I was in Luzern yesterday on a very quick day trip with my parents. Because my son was in a near crisis of hunger, we stopped at a place on the Rathausquai that I had assumed to be a tourist clipjoint but turned out to be good, honest italian food and friendly and efficient service. It is located on the Old City side of the wooden bridge and has riverside seating and it was warm enough in the sunshine to sit outdoors. So, I can recommend to you the Restaurant Montrose/Da Ernesto as having food with some integrity in a terrific spot, which you might not expect to find in that part of the city. Enjoy your trip.
  6. I'm having difficulty tracking it down now, but an acquaintance took a series of courses with Pierre-Jean Garbin at the Atelier du cuisine du 18ème and had a wonderful experience. His day job is as the chef de cuisine, I think, for the Prime Minister.
  7. There are three kitchen supply stores on rue Montmartre(metro Les Halles, not Châtelet unless you want to walk a while) as you walk past St. Eustache to the north(on your way to the Librairie Gourmande). Mora seems to me the most expensive with the most off-putting service. E. Simon is a little further along and has better service, better prices. Or, go to E. Dehillerin at 18, rue Coquillère for good prices and wow factor. It is perhaps five minutes walk from Les Halles(walking west from St. Eustache towards the old Bourse). If you are in the area, it might be a good idea to take a walk up rue de Montorgueil(which also has its beginning at St. Eustache--NYT article on churches identifies a Keith Haring tryptich inside) which is a fun walk for its pedestrian, foodie vibe.
  8. Speaking of eel-I once had a delicious dish served to me by a bordelais which was wild caught eel and ramps braised in bordeaux. It had an intense iodine/iron flavor, something like liver or bear meat. It was also explained to me that it was critical to have wine with every bite. It was an excellent meal and may explain why I bummed a cigarette, after abstaining for three months, from a beautiful stranger on my way to the metro.
  9. Druckenbrodt, Clearly there are an embarassing number of great markets in Paris. I think that choosing a neighborhood that pleases you and has excellent access to transport should be first priorities. I spent last year, as some other responders, going from market to market. There are a great number of markets, most of which have already been covered, that are clearly fine for the on the go, gotta have salad greens kind of shopping, and there are lots, like President Wilson, which take your breath away(and which is surprisingly inexpensive if you're shopping intelligently). I second the recommendation that you find a copy of 'Paris in a Basket' or 'Paris dans un panier' which was an excellent resource for me, in particular the indexes that list markets by arrondissement, by the days they take place, and by a rating from one to five stars. Cheers.
  10. VivreManger, Firsts included -Mille feuille d'espadon aux aubergines -Veloute d'asperges, mousse haddock -Salade de langoustines aux oranges Main Course, -Cotriade bretonne(white fish stew) -Trio de tartare: saumon/wasabi,dorade/mangue,fletan/olives noires Dessert, -Fromage blanc de St. Malo facon tatin -Paris Brest -Poire tatin glace au caramel It looks as though we chose from the Summer menu. Everyone was content with their food-raves for the cotriade and the paris brest. Cheers.
  11. There were four of us for dinner. We were all a bit tired, it being a Sunday evening and the inevitability of a Monday looming. We were lucky and happy to have landed at the Winch. It is difficult in a major market to find a restaurant which is quiet, spacious, well-lit and comfortably modern without spending a respectable amount of money. Our dinner worked out to 75 euros for two and included three courses with a well chosen and affordable Macon Villages. The restaurant is tastefully done in wood tones and white with colorful large format photographs of the Cotes d'Armor in Brittany. I would go back if only to have a cocktail in the cozy lounge and bar. The food was casually but thoughtfully well-plated and the dishes reflect a restraint of seasoning which may be the intelligent course to follow with a menu focused on fish. I am thinking here of mache dressed barely and with only oil, or of a lightly creamed fish broth that, to my taste, wanted a little salt and pepper. How do you tactfully object to service which is warm without being overly personal but could be a little tighter? It is unacceptable to auction plates--'who had the tartare'--even in a restaurant that is casual. These observations didn't take up much of my thinking however. We had a very pleasant and relaxed dinner with good friends and what more can one ask for on a Sunday evening?
  12. John, We've reserved at Winch which sounds about perfect--the couple we're meeting is from Bretagne/Loire--and she made us a perfect and true beurre blanc for dinner once. I am sure they'll love it. Lucasthomas
  13. John, Thanks for the response. I don't know exactly where and my wife is telling me to get dresses but I have taken winch and truc+ 2 pieces with me. I'll let you know where the night takes us. I also read the compendiums on Sundays and it almost seems better to be in town on Sundays, but we're often running around in those parts of town so perhaps we'll get a chance to try them out--particularly Le Reminet. Lucasthomas
  14. I have been cooking in corporate dining rooms all year but have not been able to dine out really with a son at home. My son is on vacation with his grandparents for the next two weeks so it is time to make up for lost time. Since he's been gone we've eaten at higuma(rue st. anne) for good ramen, and had excellent ethiopian(kifto) at godjo(rue de l'ecole polythechnique). We will eat La Cerisiaie since it is across the street and I haven't seen the same restaurant named more consistently on all lists. My wife had booked a night and a lunch at Michel Bras but I cancelled it when I realized how much money it was going to cost, not to mention the bill sur place, just to get there. I am thinking of replacing that with Senderens... anyway... We're meeting friends in Montmartre this afternoon and would like to eat a decent meal. As you can see from my ethnic zeal cited above I am not necessarily looking for the typique or the perfect bistro, etc., but for excellent meals at small, not terribly serious restaurants. I've got two weeks and you all know more about the scene than I do. I must say that I am proud that this board exists at all, and that what one reads here is evidence of deep commitment. Thanks to all. lucasthomas
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