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Everything posted by JJS

  1. Despite my best plans and the efforts of my concierge. My attempts to get in to Guy Savoy for early December have come to nought. Pierre Gagnaire might still happen, but I am looking for alternative suggestions for my two dinners. Ideally I would like to try somewhere new, which means Ledoyen, Michel Rostang, Laurent, the Bristol, and Pre Catalan are ruled out. The Grand Vefour is not open on Friday or Saturday which further reduces my choices. What I would prefer is places where the seasonal choice is strong - such as Guy Savoy where I would go back if I could - so I can indulge in a good choice of game and black and white truffle dishes. At the moment I am thinking about Carre des Feuillants and Alain Ducasse, and L'Ambroisie (although this also only operates a one month booking policy and I want to have some guaranteed back-ups in case this and Pierre Gagnaire also fall through) although I am also considering Pre Catalan as I have only been there once and it is open on Saturdays. Really looking for the best alternatives and would appreciate any advice. I have heard positive things about Le Meurice and some people seem not keen on Pre Catalan. All suggestions very very gratefully recieved.
  2. Hi! I have just booked Boyer ‘Les Crayeres’ for mid-October but have recently read reports that Gerard Boyer is not actually cooking anymore, having handed control of the kitchens to someone else. Is this true? Should I reconsider my booking? I am going in mid-October to get the game, mushrooms and truffles from Italy but would not want to feel that I am eating somewhere where the name is now just a name. Georges Blanc for example is a restaurant which although good is not that special anymore and its reputation seems to rest on past achievements. Any help and advice would be much appreciated.
  3. Maybe I should post this in the France board, but I am thinking of going to Robuchon in Paris in December and was interested in whether you can book if you agree to come at 11.30 (I am thinking about lunch)? Also this would be lunch before a proper 3* meal, so do people think this might be too much? What is the format? Can you just have a two or three dishes each? Or is there a lot more pressure to order more? Thanks for all the help.
  5. It opens at 9 yes? In the morning? What are the varieties reccomended by the experts?
  6. I was thinking of going to ADPA in early December, but maybe I should rethink my plans? Any ideas? If he is not leaving til February then maybe it will be ok, but have had experience of chefs taking their eyes of the ball and don't want to pay over the odds if people think this could cause a difference. All opinions much appreciated!
  7. Oh well. Will just have to wait til October. It would have been great to get some early samples though. Thanks for the quick reply though Andy
  8. Where exactly were they handing out the doughnuts and what time? I might go and hang around to see if I can grab some!
  9. Al Covo is to be avoided. Arrogant, overpriced, and rather dull. Try Corte Sconta or Testierre instead.
  10. JJS

    Le Cinq in the George Cinq

    Gavin That was great report and things certainly seem better than when I was there. Looks like you caught the tail end of the truffle season which is always a plus! In terms of prices, it seems like it was the wine which moved you up on price so severely. I usually end up paying about 600 Euros altogether at these places, but usually just have a glass of champagne and then a pretty nice bottle of something. How did the a la carte prices at the Cinq compare to simialr places in Paris? Has the third star pushed things even higher? It would be good to one day do one of these tasting menus but you need a willing partner!
  11. Definitely report back! It would be great to hear about your trip! Meanwhile, on fresh_a's advice, or my strange interpretation of his advice, I have managed to change my dinner to the Grand Vefour, leaving the Bristol or le Cinq as the options for lunch. One more question though fresh_a, is there a specific room or table I should be asking for? I don't want to get into a L'Ambroisie situation where they put all the tourists in a back room. Thanks for the help!
  12. Thanks for the heads-up on the Grand Vefour. I was trying to say that the dessert was particularly important to the woman in this case, but in my experience women are far more interested in desserts than men. In some cases I have seen a bad pudding ruin a whole meal. For me it is the least important of the courses, but that it is a relative judgement not absolute
  13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fresh_a, I have to take a friend to lunch in Paris in May and I was wondering where you would suggest? I would go to the Bristol, but am having to take a business colleague there the night before. You seem to be quite keen on Le Cinq and maybe I should give it another go, as the room is at least quite airy. Early May is probably too early to be thinking of eating outside for lunch do you think? So maybe I should just focus on somewhere with views - perhaps Ledoyen? It is a Friday lunchtime, so I think the Grand Vefour is not an option. My criteria are obviously great food, with perhaps particularly memorable dessets (for the woman of course), central location as I should like to walk from my hotel, quite a light and quiet room, and no relaxing of standards at lunch! What do you think? Le Cinq? By the way I find that I can only take the meals in quick succession with long breaks - ie perhaps two or three in four days or so. That said the richest meal that I ever had, or at least the one which wiped me out for the longest was lunch at the Voltarie once, and I was trying to order lightly having been to Le Crayeres the night before! Perhaps that was the problem...
  14. Well I have eaten at the Bristol under Frechon about four times and enjoyed it immensely on each occassion. On one visit it outshone both Guy Savoy and Ledoyen for my liking. Le Cinq for me was a bit touristy and highly classical, with a distinct lack of balance in some of the dishes. It was certainly not bad, very good in fact, but the room is not my favourite, whereas the rooms at the Bristol, both summer and winter, are wonderful. Frechon's food is hard not to enjoy. In some areas you do not get the cerebral pyrotechnics of Savoy or even of LeSquer, and the cheese selection is perhaps not the best, but he has a way with robust flavours that some of his rivals do not. That all said, I went to the Cinq only very shortly after it had opened, and it may well have improved quite considerably since then. A friend of mine went recently and said it was fantastic, and it is always enjoyable to eat a restaurant which is about to recieve three stars as there is a real buzz about the place, as with Savoy last year!
  15. The Bristol is great - definitely one of the stronger two stars and would be my choice over Le Cinq. But would be very interested in hearing your views on Le Cinq. Thinking of going there again in May and would appreciate some updated advice.
  16. Would vote for GBK myself, not a fan of the Prospect Grill's version - too heavy on the onions and the bun is not as good.
  17. Personally, I have always found Spiga's pizzas decidedly average and certainly nowhere near comparable to PM. However, the pizza chef at PM has changed relatively recently and I have noticed a decline in the overall standards of the pizza since. The different types seem to merge into one and the toppings have become a little bit more spartan. The dough is still great, as is the sauce and even this decline does not prevent them remaining number one in London by my books, but I do think they might be need to address some of the new chef's shortcomings if they want to maintain their extraordinary popularity.
  18. JJS

    Paris next month

    The best two star in Paris at the moment is the Bristol, I have eaten there three times in the last six months and it was better, significantly better, for me than Ledoyen which I actually think is not as exciting as it was a year or 18 months ago. Having said that Ledoyen was very good too, it was just that I thought the Bristol was phenomenal. I was at Carre des Feuillants in November and it was good, sometimes very good, but it was only a standard two star for me, and I would probably give it 17 not 18 in the Gault Millau. Michel Rostang is a step up and is great if you like game - but expensive and probably not worth it if you do not. Whatever you do, do not go to Laurent which, although pretty as Robert mentions, is without doubt the most arrogant and almost racist restaurant I have been to in Paris. The food is good, but I have been there three times, the first my own decision, the others forced on me, and each time they have put the Americans and English in tables that even McDonalds would describe as cramped. The service is wretched, there was a fifteen minute gap between my pigeon arriving once and the sauce being served, I ended up having to pour the wine myself, and when a Texan couple, extremely nice and mild-mannered, complained about being less than a couple of inches away from my table and another table (it was basically a table for six on which they place three couples), the manager just shrugged and said they were welcome to try and find another restaurant with places free on a Saturday night. Ledoyen is very good, I have been so many times however, and always found the menu very similar, but if you have not been before then it may be the best bet. Robert is spot on about the room and location which I love, and I have always found the service to be very good. The wine list is also very reasonable compared to other three-stars.
  19. JJS

    Time Out guide to Paris

    I certainly agree with you that the best step is simply to cross-reference between the guides. A bad meal at an 18 is unforgiveable though. In Paris though, for example, Michelin does not list La Voltaire a very good restaurant of the 15 standard in GM, and it is these oversights that make me prefer GM.
  20. JJS

    Time Out guide to Paris

    For me Gault Millau has always been incredibly reliable. One can extrapolate more information, the ratings change more quickly to reflect the fortunes of different restaurants, and the emphasis is far more on food than Michelin which also places considerable weight on other aspects. Particularly in the mid-ranking restaurants, say from the rating of 14 to 16, I find it to be the most reliable. I have eaten far more simply bad meals at a Michelin one star restaurant than at a 15 or 16 Gault Millau restaurant. Note that Gault Millau also allows one to discover chefs that little bit earlier than Michelin. It was thanks to Gault Millau that I visited the Opera restaurant at the Grand Hotel Intercontinental and Ledoyen when Le Squer first arrived, allowing me to sample his food on his way to the three stars at much cheaper rates than are possible now. Michelin is a symbol of prestige, and undeniably the standard to which all chefs aspire, but Gault Millau is the better actual guide.
  21. Wilfrid, I think that you will find the reference to 28,000 in your link refers to the total amount of acreage in the entire city. To claim that my figures are around 40% away from yours means that you are implying that 28,000 is just over half the total acreage in the entire city, something which is not implied at all in my reading of your statistic: 'And with New York City's green space now totaling over 28,000 acres' No mention is made of different bodies here, the statistic does not refer to the amount of acreage that is the responsibility of one body, but to a total acreage in the city. It says the word total. I think it is fair to say that this can interpreted as the total amount of acreage in the city. This is also roughly in line with the estimate I found. So unless everybody is wrong. Your website. My website. Then it seems fair to conclude that NY has less acreage than London. It is what anyone would guess, it is what the statistics prove, and it is a fact. I
  22. Wilfrid Kikujiro might be comparing one NY park with five London parks, but I was directly responding to your claim that NY has far more square mileage of parkland than London. This is not true, even with your figures. So why quibble over where one makes the comparisons? In total NY has less parkland. Fact.
  23. For the record. NY has approximately 26,138 hectares of parkland, London has 30,205. These are official figures.
  24. Is that actually true? Where do you get your information from? I find that very hard to believe.
  25. Not that I want to bring things back to a completely non-food topic, but I have to say that event to attempt to argue that NY can match London in terms of parks is faintly nonsensical. Both cities have different visions of urban planning which in themselves have brought distinct characters, and thus distinct strengths and weaknesses. The very essence of NY compared to London is a slightly more raw urban edge in feel and look. If you want to pick a city to stroll in a relaxed manner through a myriad of beautiful parks you simply will not choose NY. Whether we talk about Central Park or those further afield, the whole point is that wherever you set your boundaries and whatever your definitions, NY has far less variety both in the type of park that it can offer and the experiences that these spaces can provide. NY has many advantages over London, some that come principally throught the difference in its growth and history, yet these came at a cost of a plentiful supply of green open spaces. How anyone can argue differently I do not know.