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AGM Cape Cod

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  1. As there will be plenty of solid texture in the artichokes, you could probably do something like an eggplant "tapenade." Prick the eggplant and brush with olive oil. Bake in oven until very soft. Cut in half and scoop out the contents. Season. For the tatin, put down the layer of artichokes and then layer of tomatoes. Spread the eggplant mix over the pastry and place eggplant side down on the other ingredients. Bake and serve as normal.

    edited to take out quote of post above.

    Thanks for the idea. My memory is that the texture or the eggplant was meatier than a tapenade.

  2. "We went for the set menu, which was a lot more economical than the a la carte, but mainly because we didn't understand all the dishes (my french is decent, but not great). "

    We have eaten several times at Chez L'Ami Jean and the menu is always a problem. The dishes are not traditional so the menu is more a list of ingredients. I do not speak French very well but it is my impression that some of the menu names and descriptions might be French "play on words". Once you get past the difficulty with the menu (which is exacerbated by the quick pace of the place) you are rewarded because the food is fabulous.

  3. John,

    Thanks for the suggestion of Les Papilles' basement room. Since we aren't sure how many will want to dine together we are more looking for a place large enough for a group that big to gather and mingle. I guess at this point I will look for a wine bar and deal with the dinner part later.

    Ptipois, I will keep Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, near the Panthéon in mind. Thanks.

  4. We will be in Paris at the end of March and are arranging a get together for about 10-12 people. Do you have any suggestions for a place which would allow for this sort of 'meet and greet'? We are staying in the 6th but are willing to travel. A plus would be a decent (~30Euro pre fixe) restaurant in the neighborhood for some of the group to adjourn to for dinner. TIA.

  5. The first time we dined at Taillevent was in 2001. After 9/11 we received a condolence card from M. Vrinat. We have dined there several times since and always enjoyed it. Over the years there have been other cards from M. Vrinat-the latest arriving a week ago wishing us a Happy New Year. He was a very special man.

  6. It is great to see so many people involved with canning. People always look at me strangely when I say I can. Though my friends and family (beneficiaries of said canning hobby) are thrilled with the results. I usually send out a list of products for people to choose and pick up at Thanksgiving. I have almost trained all of them to return the jars!!

    Since I have a pressure canning pot as well as a water bath I do a wide range of things:

    Tomato based sauce-marinara, spaghetti (meat), tomato porcini, tomato chipolte, Syracuse (with eggplant and olives)

    dilly beans


    BBQ Sauce

    Rib Sauce

    Sweet Hot Pickle Relish

    Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

    Pickled Peach Relish

    Pickled Beets

    Pickled Red Cabbage

    apple sauce

    cranberry sauce, cranberry chipolte chutney, cranberry raspberry preserves

    raspberry preserves

    raspberry rhubarb jam

    Wimpy's Hamburger Relish and its spicier version-Senor Wimpy

    Chinese Duck Sauce

    Chicken & Corn Stew



    watermelon rind pickle.

    Viva-could you post the recipe for the peach salsa? Thanks

  7. Funny you should ask. I just dragged out a recipe for Sweet Hot Pickle Relish which I got from Jeanne Lesem's Preserving Today.

    Here are the ingredients:

    ¾ pound bell peppers, Preferably half red and half green

    2 hot Chile peppers (each 5 to 6 India long)

    ¾ pound onions

    2 ½ pounds unwaxed cucumbers

    3 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt, or 2 tablespoons uniodized table salt or pickling salt

    3 cups cider vinegar

    1 ¼ cups sugar

    1 ½ teaspoons mustard seed

    ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

    1 tablespoon each of whole cloves and broken stick cinnamon

    1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice

    ¾ teaspoon cracked nutmeg*

    You stem and see the peppers. Pulse to chop the peppers, onions and cukes in a food processor. Should have a coarse texture. The amount should be about 8 cups.

    Transfer to a large bowl, salt the veggies and weigh with a plate and then let stand for 12 hours or overnight.

    Drain, rinse the veggies a couple of times. Transfer to a 4 Qt saucepan, add everything else but the spices. Create a spice bag for the seasonings and add to the pan. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour, stir occasionally.

    Discard the spice bag before canning.

  8. Thanks so much for your report.  It is very timely for me.  We will be staying at Relais in September and have dinner reservations the first night at Le Comptoir.  Obviously, you like the hotel since you've gone back several times.  I have had such a hard time finding a place to eat on Sunday night that I just emailed the hotel and asked them to make a reservation for us.  They have been so helpful and since the list that they gave us of recommended restaurants was excellent, I decided to stop agonizing over where to go and just let them choose.

    I hope you enjoy the Relais and Le Comptoir as much as we do. Our usual Sunday evening has been l'Ardoise in the 1st. It can get very crowded though so reserve. On Sunday morning we always go to the market on Blvd Raspail and have galettes.

  9. Just a quick report... We had lunch today at Pramil and it was delicious. The restaurant was very cool with a huge window where you can see into the kitchen, although you have to go to the back to see it. The food was very well prepared, simple and tasty. I started with a cold soup of fresh almonds, then monkfish with fennel and fava beans. My copain started with a cauliflower cake accompanied by a nice spicy jelly, and then veal with chantrelles and potato puree. I couldn't resist dessert, because they had such interesting flavors of ice cream (my single favorite thing). We opted for the figs with Schezuan pepper ice cream and it was the perfect way to end a lovely meal.  19 € at lunch (entree/plat, our plat/dessert) and 29€ for dinner (entree, plat, dessert). I would definitely go back.

    I am glad you enjoy Pramil. It was so empty on the Sunday evening we were there I worried about their viability. Though the chef said Sunday was a slow day. Was it busy?

  10. Thanks for all your suggestions. I have been lurking on the board and adding to our file. Here is my payback.

    We spent a week in Paris celebrating our 25th anniversary. We stayed at the Relais St Germain in the 6th but traveled all over for our meals.

    Sunday- It is difficult night to dine out in Paris which seems so strange to our American sensibilities. In past years we have relied upon L’Ardoise in the 1st which is very good. It was a time for a change though and we were very pleased to have found Pramil. It is a small chef owned bistro in the 3rd. It was a slow night which the chef said was usual. The menu was 29€ for Entrée, Plat et Dessert.

    Entrées- Omelette aux asperges sauvages (Wild Asparagus Omelet)

    Foie gras mi-cuit avec oreille de porc (A foie gras terrine with pork ears in a sweet sour sauce) with a 3€ supplement

    Plat- Gigot de Sept Heures (lamb cooked for seven hours served with braised vegetables)

    Onglet de veau poêlé aux girolles et purée à l’huile d’olive (veal steak with sautéed mushrooms and potato puree

    Dessert- Délice au chocolat tiède aux zestes d’orange confits (warm chocolate cake with orange zest)

    Figues Blanches fraîches avec glace au poivre de Sichuan (fresh white figs with Sichuan peppercorn ice cream)

    We spent more on wine than we did on dinner which was par for the course. We had a wonderful Riesling to start (Vendanges Tardives Riesling 1997 Domaine Julien Meyur) and a Pommard 2005 Les Cras with the plats. We had a lovely meal at Pramil and were lucky enough to talk to the chef afterwards.

    Pramil Restarurant 30 rue Gay-Lussac 01 43 25 20 79 M- Arts & Métier

    Monday- We traveled back to the 3rd to go to Au Fil des Saisons. It was a rainy evening and we were lucky we brought along the address because there was no sign on the place. While we were eating the waiter put the menu board in the window which has the name on it. I don’t remember what the pre fixe was here but dinner including the wine was 103€.

    Entrées-Ravioli avec crème du voillaile et magret fumet (ravioli with a reduced chicken stock and cream sauce with smoked duck breast)

    Foie gras de canard with lentils and apples (different with the sautéed foie gras atop a bed of lentils and apples in a broth-very good)

    Wine-Saint Veran 2001 Les Sablons Domaine Jean-Luc Tissier

    Plats- Entrecote (steak)

    Magret of duck with spices of Colombo (the waiter said the spices would be like a curry but it wasn’t very assertive-yummy though)

    Wine-Cahors Chateau Seret Monpezat 2002

    Dessert- Sautee of bananas, pineapple and apricot with rum

    Millefeuille de Framboise et rhubarbe

    Au Fil des Saisons- 6 rue des Fontaines du Temple 01 42 74 16 60 M- Arts & Métier

    Tuesday- This was our anniversary and we chose to stay and eat at the hotel. This was our third stay at the Relais since the new ownership and we have become known in the restaurant. It made for a very nice evening sort of among friends. The menu at le Comptoir is a 5 course fixed menu that they serve to everyone. It is 45€ and well worth it. We have never been disappointed.

    First course- Crémeux d’œuf de poule, parmesan, jambon de Bayonne, Asperge verte et girolles de France (A custard with parmesan topped with the ham, asparagus and mushrooms)

    Second course-Filet de rouget de méditerranée juste rôti Vinaigrette de calamars a l’encre Jeune poireau (a filet of red mullet which is a white fish with a vinaigrette of squid ink garnished with several rounds of squid and young leeks-it turned everyone’s lips black)

    Plat-Tranche de gigot d’agneau de lait béarnais rôti Pomme ratte en purée à l’olive noire, jus pistou (Slice of roast lamb on a bed of pureed potatoes with a basil sauce)

    Plateau de fromage affiné par la maison Boursault (a wonderful cheese platter that they just sit on your table and you can eat to your heart’s content)

    Dessert-Coupe de gelée a la verveine et fruits rouges Lait de vache cuit à la cardamome (a verbena jelly with red fruits with a cardamon flavored baked cream)

    Le bonbon du fondeur en chocolat Jacques Genin- the most amazing mango caramels!

    We were served champagne when we were seated and congratulated by Livia the waitress. We drank a Côte du Rhone with dinner.

    This was a very pleasant evening. Le Comptoir is tiny so you sit near your neighbor. Next to us was an American woman married to a Frenchman so we chatted with them. It was fun.

    Wednesday- I was a little worried about this reservation. Spring is a small (16-17) seat restaurant run by an American. It is also a fixed menu served to everyone at the same time. We had heard wonderful things about it but one of the last things we read wasn’t that good. It was fabulous though and we had a great time. The kitchen is open so you can see the chef, Daniel Rose, make and serve your dinner. If you are very interested in watching I would suggest you ask for what is known as ‘the ledge’ table. Also since it is very small please be considerate if you can’t make the reservation call and cancel. The menu is 28.50€

    First course-Velouté of carrot with a garnish of fresh mint, paprika and a piece of toast with foie gras

    Second course- Rouget on a bed of diced cucumbers, lardons of bacon and olives in vinaigrette with a side salad of a variety of tomatoes

    Plat- Pintade (guinea hen) with artichoke hearts, peaches and chips of potato

    Dessert- A scoop of chocolate fondant, raspberries with a cantaloupe sauce, and a small spoon of lime curd with sugar toasted pistachios

    Wine- Quincy Domaine Mardon 2005 Gerwurztraiminer Aimé Stechtz 2005

    Coteaux de Aix en Provence Domaine de la Brillane (Rupert Birch) 2006

    Don’t worry if this menu doesn’t interest you. Each meal is a different menu and even each dish will change with the chef’s whim. He admitted to us that he had been planning on using the peaches with the dessert but at the last minute put it into the pintade sauce. It was wonderful.

    Spring- 28 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne 01 45 96 05 72 Metro-Pigalle

    Thursday- Since we got up very early in the morning to go to Giverny we changed our reservation for this evening to eat in the hotel. When we arrived the chef said the ‘votre table’ was waiting.

    The menu only changed in the first course and dessert. Everything else was the same.

    First Course- Jus de tomate cœur de bœuf rafraîchi, homard Canadien, Crudités de légumes d’été Chilled cubes of vegetables and lobster in a tomato broth (The first course came up out of the basement kitchen in silver soup bowls with the vegetables and lobster in it. There were little cocktail shakers with the tomato juice/soup in it. The chef came by and shook them vigorously. It was funny but a wonderful dish)

    Dessert- Crémeux de riz caramélisé, amandes grilles Fruit rouges de France (a caramelized rice pudding with almonds and red fruits)

    Wine-we drank a Volnay this evening but that is all I know about the wine.

    Friday- I am not sure how I heard about Le Baratin but I had heard it was a place that people don’t want to become known. It is also a small place which was full. It also was one of the few places that turned the tables. When we left at 10:30 people were waiting to be seated. The menu is written on a chalk board. Entrées were around 12€ and plats were around 20 €. Everything we saw go by looked wonderful. It isn’t a fancy place-more a down home kind of restaurant with a resident cat twining around your legs

    Entrées-Artichaut poivrade en ragoût au citron (artichoke hearts in a lemon sauce)

    Tartare de thon à la cerise (tuna tartare with fresh cherries-I have cherries in my fridge to try and recreate this dish.)

    Plats- Palette de porc rôti aux épices et légumes sauté (pork shoulder roasted with spices and served with sautéed vegetables-very good)

    Guinea hen de Rouen roasted with mushrooms and sour cherries

    Desserts- Marc de bois avec double crème (a kind of wild strawberry with a sour cream)

    Fresh apricots poached in a vanilla syrup-fabulous!!

    Wine- Domaine Gramenon Côtes-du-Rhone 2005

    Le Baratin 3 rue Jouye Rouve 01 43 49 39 70 Metro-Pyrénées or Belleville (I had heard that this place was halfway up Belleville hill. So we took the metro to Pyrénées and walked down the hill to dinner and then after dinner walked the rest of the way down the hill to the Belleville stop.)

    Saturday- A few of the places we were interested in trying were closed on Saturday so we tried Les Papilles. It is a wine store which serves a fixed menu dinner. It was good but not a favorite of ours. It might have been the menu or just that we were sad to be leaving Paris the next day. Also we thought that Spring was much better for the same price.

    Entrée- Cold cucumber gazpacho- croutons, red onions, bacon, cucumber and goat cheese with a cucumber cream

    Plat- Shoulder of Lamb Provençal- It came to the table in a little casserole which was still boiling when the waitress opened it. The chef had thrown in some snow peas just before it was served because they were vivid green and still crunchy. It was too bad that it had too much oil in it.

    Cheese course- a small, blue-veined wedge of artisanal Fourme d'Ambert cheese from the Auvergne was brought to the table with a poached prune dipped in sesame seeds. It was fine for me but my husband doesn’t like blue cheese.

    Dessert- A lemon cream- a lemon mousse topped with a lemon gelatin

    Wine- Since this is a wine store you get to pick your wine off the shelf and then pay a 6€ corkage fee. Unfortunately they don’t carry any half bottles or have wines by the glass. We tried a wine my husband hadn’t heard of which is unusual. Faugéres Domaine Leon Barral 2004

    I think the pre fixe cost was 28.50€ each and the total bill was 89€

    Les Pailles- 30 rue Gay-Lussac Metro-Luxembourg

  11. The fruit purees are added right at the start.

    Ok, I'll start playing around with this and see what I can do.  I have some passion fruit I've been saving in the freezer.

    When you figure it out can you post some directions? I would like to try making them as well.

  12. It was 50 Euros for the kilo. We kept it taped up until we reached home and then took a count- 107 of caramels. We returned on March 24th and we still have 58 left. The debate is now whether to score another kilo when we go in June for our anniversary.

  13. I am doing research for an upcoming trip to Paris and found this thread. When we were in Paris in March we went to see Jacque Genin. All we had was an address from the hotel and a map. There is no listing on the outside of what looked like a low residential building so we pushed the bells with no names on them. Someone buzzed us in and we went up the stairs to an apartment with an open door. It turned out to be Jacque Genin's residence and luckily his daughter was home with him. Jacque speaks little English and our French is fine for ordering in restaurants but little else. We were able to score a kilo of mango caramels which we are hoarding. He was very nice especially since we just appeared with no warning. What he did mention is that he was thinking of opening a shop in the US-either in LA or NY. We spoke up in favor of NY. I think this will be within the next year.

  14. Here is a report from our trip in March. It was a very good meal though it could be in any city and for that reason we probably wouldn't return. I wondered what the previous incarnation was like when it was more casual. Also I hadn't noticed any mention of Keisuke Matsushima on any of the boards.

    Keisuke Matsushima- Nice

    We had a chat with the maitre d’ at Le Comptoir and told him we were going to Villefranche-sur-mer and ask for restaurant suggestions. The next day the desk had a card from this place and said the chef recommended. Well, what would you do? It was a very good meal. It seems to be that Keisuke is trying for a Michelin star.

    Our meal:

    Pre amuse bouche- 4 little items- a cherry tomato incased in a hard caramel coating (really good), red pepper mousse with anchovies, magret fume wrapped around some scallions, a piece of sushi with wasabi wrapped in a paper

    First Amuse Bouche- A sort of deconstructed pissaladière served cold with a small pile of caramelized onions and olives, chopped sardines and a thin piece of pastry

    Second Amuse Bouche- Warm with a bottom layer of pureed scallops and topped with a potato mousse-very good

    Entrées- Poutine de Mediterranee (fish alevins is the translation on Wikipedia) fried with risotto a la courgette trompette écrasée and clams

    Gamberonis de la peche de San Remo with a risotto with baby broccoli and a citrus sauce

    Plats- Lamb with caramelized salsify with a bay jus

    Roast Veal Filet with the ris with black truffles, asparagus and a jus de veau with truffles (one of the few times I have had too much ris de veau which I adore)

    Desserts- Moulleux aux chocolat with pain d’epice sorbet and raspberries

    Selection of Sorbets-lichi, clementine, pain d’epice, and pineapple basil (Wow !)

    Half bottles of Condrieu Vernay (34€) and Côte-Rotie Ogier (38€)

    With wine, aperitifs, water and after dinner drinks the total bill came to 329€

  15. La Reserve de Nice- The recommendation was to go for the 30€ lunch but as usual we didn’t like what it was so ended up with the a la carte menu. The room is very modern but overlooks Nice Harbor and has outside decks.

    Apperitif- Kir Royale with Mure

    Amusee Bouche- Fresh Pea Veloute

    Entrée- Pasta with artichokes and black truffles

    Langoustines with sauce Maltaise (an orange hollandaise) and asparagus-great sauce

    Plat- Calamari with artichokes and salade

    Sea bass with gnocchi, peas and broccoli

    We split with one of us getting Fromage and the other the Douceur Mandarine-Chocolat which was a chocolate cake, a mousse in a rolled piece of chocolate and a pretty amazing mandarine sorbet


    Total for the meal 130.00€; 89€ for the Meursault

  16. One of the things we always bring back is the 3 bottle carryon from the Moulin Jean Cornille in Maussane. Now with the liquid restrictions, what do you suggest is the best way to carry it home. I dread the thought of clothes soaked in olive oil.

    Mimi, last year we brought back a litre box from Moulin Jean Cornille. It is a plastic bag inside a sturdy cardboard box. When you get it home you pull out and cut off the end of the spigot.

    I am wondering if vendors such as these who deal with international customers might start packaging for check-in baggage. I usually bring the crock back to Maille in Paris to have it refilled but since they advise that you carry it on the crock will stay home. C'est domage.

  17. Ludja, that is a good idea. My brother's girl friend was incensed because she had a case of peaches confiscated because the agent said they were citrus fruit. Having the regulations didn't help in that case. Because she lived so close to the border she went back the next day with proof in hand. The agents accepted her proof but the peaches were long gone.


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