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  1. have you ever had a burger at the Corner Bistro? some might suggest that "a mess" is exactly what a burger *should* turn into. no -- that would be meatloaf Of all the over-hyped, over-rated things in NYC, the Corner Bistro burger has got to be pretty close to the top of the list. Right up there with John's pizza, S&W steak, Carnegie Deli pastrami, and Aureole. CB uses crap meat, and crap in means crap out. The burgers at Wollensky's Grill are very good. Elyse reminds me that Landmark Tavern is also good, as is McHales. I love JG Melon, but perhaps I am too lost in memories of my youth to judge it objectively. 21 is expense-account, but fun.
  2. Can one of you locals please inform me of the distinction between "high" and "gamey"?
  3. You can't compare Astrance to Pre Catalan. It's like comparing the Musée Jacquemart-Andre to the Marmottan. Yes, they are both museums and they both have fab art collections, but they are entirely different from each other (and DO see both). I like Pre Catalan. There was a time a few years back that some thought it would get its third star. That never happened. The room itself is lovely -- one of the best, if not THE best, in Paris. That said, it is dull to the extreme -- no buzz, no excitement, no nothing. The food, as many have said is good, but nothing I've ate there really stands out in my mind at present. That said, if you want a grand dining experience, you can get that a Pre Catalan. You can't at Astrance.
  4. I passed by both Julien (which is being renovated) and Vielle Enseigne this weekend. Both looked very nice and the menu at Vieele Enseigne looked fab. I heartily recommend Au Fer Rouge (in Colmar), where I ate one of the great meals of my life last Sunday.
  5. Perfectly put. KK is exactly like Starbuck -- commerically reliable mediocrity, wrapped in attractive packaging.
  6. I ate a rather nice lunch at Perseverance, a gastropub on Lamb's Conduit Street -- perhaps a 10 minute walk away. The Sutton Arms is around the corner from the Barbican tube stop -- 20 minutes from Bloomsbury if you time it right!
  7. My Chinese friends say Mr. Peng reminds them of their mothers. That can only be a good thing -- I suspect it is a cultural difference that rubs some the wrong way (different notions of hospitality). A good Hunan story: I love to tell the story about the second time I went to Hunan. The first time I went, the table next to me had this amazing (looking and smelling) noodle dish (no puns, Simon ). So the next time we went back, I asked Mr. Peng for a noodle dish. "Spaghetti?" he asked. "No, noodles." I replied. "OK, spaghetti!" he said as he walked off. Halfway through our meal, he stops by and says: "Don't worry. Spaghetti on its way. Tomato sauce, right?" Needless to say, we got neither the spaghetti nor the noodle dish. Well, I told that story to some friends, who decided to have a bit of fun with Mr. Peng, and asked him for "spaghetti." They got the noodle dish. And they said it was fantastic.
  8. Ah, Mr. Peng. He must like me; last time, we got a whole duck and a whole fish on top of the usual 10-15 course parade.
  9. I have to try and grit my teeth as Mogsob constantly sings the praises of Hunan as I realize I am in a minority of one in disliking this restaurant. But WONG KEI? I'm sorry. The place is crap. It serves relentlessly perfunctory food on plastic plates delivered by bad tempered and downright rude waiters in cramped and uncomfortable surroundings. The only good thing you can say about it is its cheap. If you're a student, or the sort of person who enjoys queuing up to be told to piss off by bouncers at nightclubs you might enjoy it. Went to Wong Kei once with a Chinese friend . . . we got a different menu and good food. Not great, but very good value for the money. Went back myself, and it was crap.
  10. Rather an extreme claim, but actually, not unreasonable. Dinner there is an annual event I share with an American friend when he comes over. With their superb tea, wine is quite superfluous. Do you think that 35 pounds isn't accurante? Seriously, for the price I can't think of a better restaurant in London than Hunan. BTW, John I owe you big time for the Chez Gramond recommendation on your site. We've been several times now -- truly one of the last of a dying breed.
  11. Oh, god. NO!! I'm not sure what you call "moderate", but you should at least get some good food for your money. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Try some of the better gastropubs around. The Perseverance is in Bloomsbury and is pretty good. You can find a list of those on the Square Meal website. The Havelock Tavern, The Anglesea Arms, The Stutton Arms are some of the better known joints. 2. Hunan. Without wine, you will spend about 35 pounds per person. It will be your best meal in London. 3. Made in Italy/Pizza Metro. Either will do. Best pizza outside of Italy. 4. Avoid Harrods. If you must do tea, pony up and go to Brown's Hotel. 5. Wong Kei is good, but make sure you go with someone who speaks Chinese! 6. Hakkasan is very good, but also trendy and loud. Go for early dim sum.
  12. mogsob

    Tomoe sushi

    Whatever Tomoe serves, it's not sushi. First of all, their fish is poorly cut. Their selection stinks. And their rice is pedestrian. If all sushi took was to slap a huge piece of incredibly fresh fish on some sticky rice, then there would be no art involved. A waste of time, in my book.
  13. Ironic that Ramsay's cuisine is so unlike Ramsay the man.
  14. For a chain, KK is pretty good, but nowhere near great. I prefer cake donuts to these glazed sugary things (but not DD's version - ugh), so that may be part of it. The best donuts I've had are at the Doughnut Plant in NYC (Grand St on the LES) -- now those are truly great! Besides, I can't believe that HOT NOW thing will make it here, as Londoners can't even be bothered to wait to have a sandwich made to order.
  15. mogsob

    Guinness on tap

    I think the point was quite clearly explained in the first post. It obviously has little interest for those who don't enjoy Guinness, so what is the point of your interruption? The point is -- Guinness is pretty easy to find. It's pretty hard to find a bar that doesn't serve it. More to the point, you can just look for the nearest Irish place, which is a bit easier than pulling up a page in eGullet. Now if you created a list of where to get real Engish cask ales or great Belgian beers in the States, that would be very useful.
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