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Everything posted by beepop

  1. You wouldn't go out of your way to eat at thestaratharome? You're mad sir/madam. For a start, you'd never get there if you didn't go out of your way. ← Sorry, I did not mean to include the Star in that bracket as I think they are closer to the Sportsman, I was meaning more Ramsey/Gun/Rosendale. I have not been to the Star for about 10 years where as the others are more recent.
  2. The food at the Sportsman is far more enticing and their whole approach is far from the above named gastropubs. I would go out of my way, and do, to eat at the Sportsman, I would not to eat at the others.........as good as they may be.
  3. About two years ago we stay at a hotle just outside Syracuse caolishka which was very hip hotles cool. We ate once but quite expensive and international. In Syracyse we ate at a great place twice - lunch and dinner. I can not remember name or exact location. It was just on a large sqaure/car park on the water front. If you stood in the square and looked at the restaurant, the main market street was just on the left. Had wonderful linguine with clams, proscecco, and orange and many other fish.
  4. Here is Mr Ramsey's take on the matter in this Saturday FT Magazine; “I had a letter from a customer, I read it literally about three hours ago. He booked a table for his mother’s 80th birthday for lunch at The Narrow [Ramsay’s gastropub in Limehouse]. Very nice. He said the service was friendly, the atmosphere was nice. But he was bitterly disappointed that I wasn’t in the kitchen.” He pauses ominously. “Are they seriously f**king stupid? Did they think I would be there on a Sunday lunchtime, cooking monkfish and chips for them?” and that he only cooks 'about two-and-a half days a week, splitting his time between Royal Hospital Road, Claridge’s and Maze'
  5. Makes no difference to me as long as everything is as I would have experienced with the owner present. One person can not be expected to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year and do every element (cooking or otherwise) of the restaurant by themselves. As long as they ensure that everything is done to a standard that they the owner is happy with then I judge it on that basis - if not I won't go back and in time I am sure this will tell on the establishments balance sheet which will either make the owner think about the amount of time they have off or who they employ.
  6. beepop

    Wine Pairing

    For me something rich and oily but with good acidity - a sauvignon blanc from Insonzo or a light unoaked chardonnay.
  7. I read about it two weeks ago in the FT weekend. It sounded like it has rekindled a passion in him more at Paris, Bayswater
  8. Slicing it thinly and dressing it with oil and basamic, some warmed pinenuts is good. Or wilting it with some proscuitto and garlic and having it with fettuccine balances it. I have heard of some flouring it with icing sugar before basting it with balsamic before roasting but to me part of its joy is the bitterness - it shouldn't be too bitter, it may have been hanging around too long. there is also an excellent red wine and radicchio risotto with some blue cheese to be done.
  9. Adlards unfortunately does not live up to what it could. Tracey McLeod reviewed it a couple of months ago for the Independent on Saturday magazine. Expensive and the food just does not deliver. Shame really because it is a nice place. If you could be bothered go as far as Morston Hall on the North Norfolk Coast but I suspect that is too far.
  10. Apples are not in season until later this month and chicory in Cambridge......I'd love to know who grows it at this time of year. Suckling pig.............
  11. beepop


    ← Planeta winery is not in Noto, planeta is on the western part of the island, near Marsala. ← http://www.planeta.it/ENG/cantine_home.php
  12. beepop


    There are two places I remember as being better than the usual touristy fayre. The first is in Taormina of the corso umberto in the centre of the town. It is called Vicole Stre and is on the right heading west. You have to squeeze through a gap between two buildings and go up stairs. It was excellent on two visits. The other place I can't remember the town or restaurant. We took the road to Letojani and headed up into the hills. It was opposite the village square which was deserted. The restaurant was full of locals. We were not given a menu but presented with campari the about four courses followed by lots of eau de vie. All for about 35euros. There were a couple of places further south in Siracusu which were excellent. I know of Planeta winery in Noto (whose wines you will see throughout Sicily) are worth a visit as well as some from Mt Etna. There is an excellent light shop in Ragusa.
  13. serious is an understatment. I couldn't get the image out of my head of patrick's 2 kilo truffle stuffed inside a chicken. Great topic & pretty hard to beat a present of a 2kg truffle but for what its worth its between my sisters squash chutney and my lemon marmalde. It reinforces my view that natural home grown/produced produce is infinitely better than anything manufactured - truffle oil included!
  14. He had considerable out of hours coaching and worked in a * restaurant to improve. Nothing wrong if you can get it but not as natural as it seemed.
  15. I had my first taste of burrata on friday. Sublime. Herb notes of sweet thyme, buttery obviously, silky smooth texutre. Unbeliveable. Ate it with some first of the season asparagus, lemon, a light fruity olive oil and salt. Taleggio has always been a favourite but I have recently come across a cheesmaker from Dorset in Southern England who makes a cheese called Alderwood to a similar meathod of taleggio and is exceptional. Finally some quote decent provolo? a hard mature cows milk cheese which a shaved over some broad beans.
  16. Patisserie Valerie. Couple of days notice should surfice. For £35 we got a cake for 15 that was beyond belief. One guest got such a rush from it they were transported to a higher state of........chocolate rush land. http://www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk/
  17. You have already....in all the postings on this thred and Alexanders of Limpsfield thred......you just have to take it on the chin as you did ask for it....the review that is......
  18. chefsimon As I have said elsewhere, tone and intimation are difficult to convey on this format of communication. Maybe the debate we are having deserves to be on your original thred 'Critics and Food Writers' or given the responses I have drawn from some, a new thred altogther. I do not wish to be negative or aggressive and I am sorry if what I say is coming accross as that. Posting after a busy day is probably a bad idea! I respect what you are doing and trying to achieve and the effort and skill that goes into it. You clearly have an impressive track record. There is nothing wrong with drawing attention to your establishment in any medium. There is nothing wrong with charging £17 for a scallop starter if its great and you can get it and get it again and again. I noted some of your previous posts on threds - the bath priory? and some other topics - and you clearly have a high and exacting standard for restaurants and food. You also hinted before your Critics and Food Writers thred of having a new place but not wanting to draw attention to it until you had it right......which is compltely fair given what you are pitching. You make it clear you're seeking to widen your customer base through posting, reviews and maybe Michelin and again, I don't see anything wrong with that. As Matthew's posting proved, you clearly have something worth shouting about which made me think the Food Critics and Writers thred was about something else. .......and I thought thinking was what this forum was intended for. Peace
  19. And so they should, what you are doing, where you are doing it is going to get people talking. And it is going to take time for people to venture out for it other than Friday or Saturday night. You are nowhere near comparable with pub/old style restaurants. A dining experience with you is going to cost a certain amount whatever you have as there are obviously a lot of people involved in getting it right. The bog standard punter does not take this into account. They just look at one thing and thing ' £33-£65 to eat in this place, bloody hell.' Yes I have and three courses (salmon, steak, side of brocoli & salad and pud is £41 - Tasting menu £65, a la carte £64 (scallops, beef, pud, cheese) obviously you hope that is going to help with cashflow in delivery the 2* dishes Matthew mentioned accross the whole menu. I wish....I am simply saying that with the obvious high start up costs and ongoing costs, why was there not an amount allocated to PR. In your original thred you said, Yet you are now using one, you have done a deal to get Matthew to post about you and the original thred of yours got Jay down there quicker than a scallop diver on a comission of £1.60 a scallop. See above You and your food are your best PR, I just don't think you needed to get them talking with the thred you did. I have not been negative about Matthew's review, I am simply pointing out that thre two negative points he did mention were potentially enough to get Jay lighting his barbaque given what he said in your original thred.....IF i was to come to your place and, at those prices, found a single fault, I would put you over the spit and bbq you. To the average punter, those two minor minor minor points are hardley going to be a reason for them not to return or reccomend. But for a food critic of a national, and not one that rewrites the menu, we'll see. Maybe it is the wrong word, but something does not add up given the weight of posting you are generating about everything other than the food. I look forward to dining at Alexanders, wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading the Observer Magainze.
  20. Nice review....all in the line of duty. So do you think Matthew, that this establishment can make it without a national review? Or is its concept, cooking and overal appeal not enough to stand out enough to get people talking about it in the area, which is where their cashflow is going to come from? Did you feel all your attention was on the food and expection? Do you think the reviewers will be unfairly harsh given the high prices which are obviously there to cover the high cost of delivering something of this nature as well as the whole conceptualisation of what they are doing? I mean, Jay is already lighting his barbaque because of the extra rock salt on the ham hock, cheesy muzik and original thred. I don't mean to be an asshole chefSimon, but with the high start-up cost, the salaries that are being paid, the track record you have and the obvious belief in what you are doing why a) did you not wish to use a PR agncey as it could have been factored in to cost and b) why did you feel the need to pose the question you did on the original thred? I get the feeling you are seeking more than the adualtion that will come from locals - sorry, I don't mean to be an asshole.
  21. Charlie Hicks, I think if it is the same one, is the former business partner of Greg Wallace (Masterchef & Secretts Farm Surrey). They ran George Allen's out of Covent Market and I used to work somewhere that bought from them daily for about 5 years. Top quality produce, quite abit imported from Italy. Charlie definitely knows his stuff. Screttes Farm (near Goldaming) sell wonderful leaves and herbs, picked at dawn and delivered into London that day.
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