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Everything posted by hemingway

  1. Was there last year. Very similar to his high end DC experience for the food. It is more personal because the area is totally shut off from the regular restaurant. The circular bar seating gives a good view of preparing or plating the food and is created for your experience. The staff makes it totally enjoyable. You will get some of the el bulli techniques throughout the evening. The beverage paring includes other beverages than just wine. It is worthwhile for the extra planning it takes (only 8 seats per sitting) and different enough from the other high end choices that food lovers should try it.
  2. I have a reservation Thursday July 7 at 645 pm at Jose's new restaurant which opened this week. If someone wants to join me feel free to call me at 817 939-8627.-Mark
  3. Was in Cleveland last week end enjoyed Lola, Lolita and Baricelli Inn. Even on a Saturday night Baricelli had tables available. A group of us ate out in the gardens which is something I suggest if the weather is nice. Coming from Dallas it was nice to have 70 degrees at night. The food was outstanding as well.
  4. In the article ,one night Leslie was doing the tasting menu, there were no other people eating in the tasting room. If more people would show up, they probably would not be closing. I am surprised they would stick through the slow summer months and then close when thing usually are picking up. I agree it is a place I would hate to see closed
  5. Thanks for the tireless work. It takes time organizing all that infomation that was extremely helpful in anyone eating in Paris. I used your favorites for two trips to Paris this year and liked them all. Will still look for your posts here on on your blog
  6. I was there with a party of four the last Sunday night in May. It is just three blocks from the Gare de Lyon. There are a total of seven tables in the entire place however you do not feel crowded like in many other places, It is a nice modern place to enjoy a dinner. The good news was it was open on Sunday night. The bad news was that they were out of all fish and had very little meat and we were the first persons there at 730 pm. The dining room was completely filled within 30 minutes. Service was prompt and not lagging so it looks like they have figured that part of it out. The menu does have photos of many of the main dishes. There was a very pretty friendly server but her French was weak. Many times she had to ask the cooks about things. We made do with spare ribs, two different shrimp dishes and a chicken dish. We had the dumplings and a couple of vegatable dishes for first courses. All were very tasty. The prices are reasonable but the portions small so we ordered another order of ribs and shrimp to share among us. It was a plesant experience after eating bistro food for five days. I would again if I knew they had the full menu available. I really wanted to try some fish dishes.
  7. Our next trip is May 26-June 2. I guess I will have to look for places open 31-1.
  8. I also go to Vegas to eat and for the shows. Have been over 20 times. Robuchon at MGM and Savoy are top notch and three star all the way. Joel's is different than anything he has done but it is like eating in a jewel box with high quality food. Savoy has most of the things on the Paris menu. Alex is behind them but at a two star level Daniel, Ducasse and others do not capture the experience of their main restaurants but are still pretty good. I have been reading here for my trip to London and Paris and May and appreciate all the reviews here
  9. I had the ones there with mayo as well plus had the fried ones in pastry. The portion size of the ones you had to pick apart was much more than the fried version. I loved every minute it took to get all the meat out. I just see three star places with 130 euro version for one dish and figured a few board readers might have some info on other places
  10. I would like to know a list of a few places to try. I will be in Paris again in May for five nights. I especially would like places that are more affordable than the three star places. In January I tried both versions at La Fables des Fontaine which at 33 and 38 euros which made me want to look for more. I live in Dallas and can not find them. Anyone in the states know where they can be shipped in?
  11. Thanks to the info here I was at the TVH Sunday night for the first time. I get to Chicago about 4-5 times a year from Dallas and needed a good lounge to go with the great restaurants around. So after a meal at Bristol we went the five blocks South and secured a parking place out front. The place was only half full when we arrived at nine but was packed when we left at 10:30. It is like a very cool night club where you can actually have a conversation without the noise level you encounter in most places. I was in the mood for a more intimate conversation so took a seat in the front room but still had a view of the bartenders in action. I also like the fact that they control the crowd level there. I had the Juliet and Romeo made with Hendricks gin and then went to the Velvet Fog. I think I will try that little trick with lighting the orange at home. All in all, a very enjoyable visit which I will return to each time I am in town.
  12. hemingway


    four of us went two weeks ago on Saturday at 6pm and the place was already slammed. At 8:30 they moved us to the couches in the lounge for dessert and coffee as they needed the table. That was ok because we had the enire area to ourselves. The food was excellent and the $59 pre fix is a very good deal. I wanted upscale Italian at a good price and this fit the bill. I would go back again. The wine prices also are fair.
  13. hemingway

    Per Se

    I was the fourth member of the Sunday lunch group and have been on a plane back to Dallas so it is my first chance to add my two cents worth. I will add my comments without repeating about the individual details of the food which has been well documented by my fellow diners. I had always wanted to experience Per Se but with my unpredictable schedule and the difficulty of obtaining a reservation, it had never happened. You have read the events that got the four of us together and I am glad everyone was willing to go for it. I really did not have too many fears about not getting along with my fellow egullet because I knew we all would be focused on the food and three of us were excited because it was our first time there. I have been to over a dozen three star places in four different countries and want to say I have never had a better experience in dining. There have been just a few that were right up there with it but none that could go past it. It was made clear at the beginning of the meal that we were introduced to each other by egullet and we were there for the food. I also thought the view was fantastic but purposely sat with my back to that view so I could concentrate on the plate. Since sickchangeup had been there five times he got us friendly with the captain. I think all the extra courses flowed by their knowledge that we were serious about the food. Each one was a technical perfection and the testes just exploded in your mouth. We also let the captain choose the wines and we benefited greatly from his choices. I wish they had given us a summary of what we drank as well. We had head about the Brooklyn beer which and had two wine size bottles of it between the four of but then they brought the rare Italian beer with the Chinese Heritage without asking afterward for us to compare. We were told the Chinese were the first recorded as making beer 5500 BC and this was the old, traditional recipe. There were little stories like that one about many of the food courses and beverages that we sampled. It was mentioned about the six kinds of salt on the table. Three of them were the rarest in the world So I had to experience some of that during the meal. The pacing of everything was perfect as well. The detailed tour of the operations and kitchen was very much appreciated. I have been in other three star kitchens and this one is the largest and most organized of any I have seen. As an fyi for my fellow diners, the other couple taking the kitchen tour right after we did was someone who worked for Ducasse at ADNY. This meal was special because per se made it that way for us but all four of us added to that experience as well. It would be rare to dine at a place like this where all the dining companions were so appreciative of the food and experience and I ant to thank them for contributing to my experience as well. I can understand more now what UE experienced with his friends dining in Europe.
  14. hemingway

    Per Se

    Just used open table to get a reservation for one this Sunday at 11:30. Looks like Ochowie will be there then as well. Am taking my son to Jean Georges tomorrow night but he has to work Sunday.
  15. I ate at Jadis on a Saturday night just before Christmas. It was OK, with some potential, but at the moment it is the sort of restaurant I would visit if it was around the corner not in the depths of the 15eme. I started with a rabbit pate en croute which was quite good although quite a thin slice, my partner had a mushroom and snail vol-a-vont which was a good size and she really enjoyed. For mains I had the blanquet of veal served in the Jadis way - a plate of boiled vegetables with the veal and sauce on the side. A good depth of flavour in the veal, but with really boring vegetables - reminded me of school dinners. My partner had trout on a bed of green mashed potatoes (cresson?) which was OK. Desserts were the real low point, I had a riz-au-lait which had a very sweet coulis on the top - reminiscent of a pre-made rice dessert from the supermarket. My partner had a radical ile flottante which was like a green muffin in custard - weird. I think he needs a pastry chef. Service was perfunctory, we seemed to be the only tourists in a packed restaurant that turned the tables once, probably 40+ covers. The bill was €94 including an €18 burgundy (they had run out of the Givry and it was OK) and Evian. I used to love Guillaume's food at Gaya which used to be our local when we lived in Paris. Were my expectations too high? Or maybe we hit too early in its evolution, or bracketed it with some unfair competition (Spring and Le Cinq the previous days). In fact our lunch at Le Comptoir the next days was far better and more enjoyable. ← Phil-That is an interesting report since you knew his cooking from Gaya and had those expectations. Our two starters were the vol-a-vont and the truffled rissoto and I can not see improving those combo of choices without some three star magic. We both had excellent fish but it did not blow us away. I agree the desserts were the weak point of the meal. But for less than 100 Euros for two I was pretty happy. And I am jealous. I wish I had Spring and LeCinq to "cloud" my judgement Fresh--We had five large pieces of truffle in the dish. They were bigger than a quarter and not quiet as large as a half dollar. They also were about as thick as one of those coins. I never have see such a generous amount, especially for 18 euros.
  16. I agree about Jadis. I had the same truffled risotto there last month which was great. I could not believe the amount of truffle in the dish. I had scallops but my firend had fish which was wonderful.
  17. Paris Eating My latest trip to Paris was Jan 11-15. My goal was to get good value for the money. I wanted fantastic food but the bulk of my research was bistros where you would get great food including wine and service for around 100 euros for two. I considered using price line for a hotel where I knew I could get a four star hotel for $150 per night around the Defense area or the far 15th. However, I noticed an expedia offer for Prince de Galles that was 40% off if you stayed four nights or more so I jumped on that and had a superior room for $303 per night. The hotel was on Avenue George V and next door to the Four Seasons. It couldn’t have been a better location and this size room had a hallway, marble bathroom and extra room for your luggage. Many thanks to those here who responded to my request for suggestions before the trip on places to eat. I would go again to all of them. Le Devez, 5 pl de l’Alma. 8th. 53-67-97-53 We ate here on our first night in Paris when were still jet lagged but it was just a three minute walk from the Four Seasons and you got to see a nice view of the Eiffel Tower twinkling at night. We both ordered the onion soup to start which was full of gruyere cheese and sweet onions which was the best onion soup I have had. This restaurant is known for the Aubrac beef, made from one of the finest races of French cattle. My friend ordered the Aubrac burger, which is considered the best hamburger in Paris and I had the Aubrau steak. We shared the aligot (creamy mashed potatoes with garlic and cantal cheese) and had the green beans on the side, washed down by a bold red wine. Instead of dessert we had the cheese tray. It was an excellent start to the trip. Laduree, 75 Ave Champs-Elysees. Many other locations This institution dates back to 1862 as a coffee shop-tea room. Zagat calls it “refined but not snooty” and that pretty much sums it up. We ate at the Champs-Elysees location for breakfast one morning and had perfect omelets, croissants and fresh fruit. If you are at this location make sure to take a peek at the jewel box bar located at the far end of the take out counter. One afternoon after shopping in 25-degree weather we stopped in for a coffee at the Rue Royal location. All locations have take out counter for desserts and drinks. They are known for their macaroons and sell dozens to locals and tourists to take home. They are pretty good but as a foodie the best I have had is at L20 in Chicago. Some tourist places are worth going to and in January when there was no line at the door it was an enjoyable experience. Ze Kitchen Gallerie, 4 rue des Grands-Augustins, 6th, The restaurant was just across the Seine from the Louvre and was next door to Guy Savoy’s bistro. On a 25-degree day there was only one empty table during lunch. My first course was one of the highlights of the trip. It was foie gras ravioli in some kind of a Thai broth made with lime leaves, ginger and lemongrass. It was totally delicious. My main dish of St. Jacques and octopus was also good. My friend had seafood gnocchi in a broth to start and a Sea Bass that was perfectly cooked. The mashed potatoes brought to the table echoed the famous ones by Joel Robuchon. Desserts were good but the dishes before dazzled. Chef William Ledeuil is clearly influenced by the flavors of Southeast Asia. His other two cooks on the main line were Thai women. This food is the best French meets Asian experience I have seen yet. The bill for two including a glass of wine each was just 80 euros, clearly the best value of the trip. If you don’t eat here on a trip to Paris you are missing a great treat. Jadis, 208 rue de la Croix-Nivert, 15th. 45-57-73-20. A bistro that opened in 2008 that has generated a lot of word of mouth and some praise in the press was a two minute walk from the Metro stop at the Port de Versailles. Chef Guillaome Delage experiences have included the kitchen at three star Pierre Gagnaire. You can have a set menu at dinner for just 32 euros. However, when we looked at the menu we were excited about different options. The truffle Risotto was a starter that was 18 euros, which we both wanted to order, but since we like trying and sharing different dishes we had just one order. In the USA, truffle specs are included in dishes or shaved on the top of a dish and the prices are sky high. This dish contained six pieces, each about the size of a half dollar. But it was large enough for two to share and was the highlight of the meal. The other starter was a vol-au-vent which was an earthy dish combining snails and mushrooms and very tasty. We both ordered fish and my Bar roti was excellent. The John Dory my friend ordered came with vegetables. The wine list had several very good choices in the 20-25 euro range. We opted for cheese for dessert. This entire experience was just 102 euros. Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon 44-71-15-00 I enjoy luxe three star places as much as anyone and can appreciate the setting, service and food. I have experienced six of them in Paris and have enjoyed them all. What I do not enjoy is the $1,000 and up tabs for two that is the going rate now at dinner. And when you can get amazing food elsewhere for 100 euros for two I had decided to go to just one splurge per Paris trip and to do it at lunch. Many top end places have set menus for lunch for under 100 euros per person and the one at Les Ambassadeurs currently is at 88 euros. There are only two starters and two main choices to choose from but all were excellent. You still get all the amuse beginnings, extras during the meal and at least three rounds of dessert so the experience I had is nearly the same as if I had been at dinner. My starter was foie gras de canard des Landes that were in the shape of cubes and came in a bowl of broth. The other starter ordered was Oeuf coque “sans coque”, which was a soft boiled egg “without the shell” which had an egg yoke foam surrounding a beignet with a runny yolk with crayfish and griolles, which are small trumpet like mushrooms. My friend and I both ordered the same second course, a bar de ligne that came in layers on a plate about 4x12 inches that was extremely tasty. The other choice was sweetbreads. I had the selections from the cheese trolley for desert and my friend had the Chocolate “Alpaco” which was a terrine with mandarine. A good value here was the tea service that only added eight euros to the bill. I had two glasses of wine and my friend one and the bill with all the extras came to 251 euros. You can get individual items or tasting menus at lunch but the tasting menu is 330 euros just for the food. One of chef Jean-Francois Piege’s most famous dishes is a starter of langoustines and caviar which would set you back 130 euros just for that one item. If you have never been or seen photos of the dinning room, it is like eating in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, only better. For me it is among the most romantic rooms in the world. There are only 15 tables and the service is exquisite as well. It is not at all stuffy and the staff makes sure you enjoy yourself at a non-hurried pace. LeBaratin, 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 20th. 43-49-39-70 Most visitors to Paris who are food lovers are looking for that perfect little bistro that is bohemian and unpretentious, has great food and frequented by a smart locals only crowd. You can still get all of those at LeBaratin that is in the Belleville district. Word of mouth has gotten around that this IS the place to go but it is so far out, that you have to be serious about food and wine to make the trip. We took the Metro to the Pyrenees stop and only had a five-minute walk to the bistro that is on a steep cobble stone side street. It only took a half hour from our hotel. Inside are two small cramped rooms with cracked tile floors and bare wood tables. The owner reserves the red carpet treatment only for regulars but we were seated at a table near the bar which gave us a good view of all dishes coming out of the kitchen. We were the only Americans in the place that evening. Our waiter doubled as the bartender and spoke perfect English and was glad to go over every item on the chalkboard menu. My starter was seared foie gras on top of a hearty dark lentil dish. This was a perfect dish for the 28-degree January evening. My friend ordered bouillon de lotte au galanga that was a monkfish broth with galangal root. My main dish was brill with various vegetables.. The other main dish ordered was a piece of roast beef in a really good wine sauce. They feature natural, small production wines here that are around five-eight euros a glass. We opted to have different glasses instead of just one bottle. So LeBaratin is the perfect place to do the wine bar experience with great food. Even with coffee and bottled water it was 80 euros for two at dinner. La Fables des Fontaine, 131 rue Saint-Dominique, 7th. 44-18-37-55 I love all things seafood so this was the place to go for my final evening in Paris. I first encountered chef Christian Constant at the Crillon on my first visit to Paris in 1982. Later he was among the first starred chefs to open the smaller bistros with reasonable prices and wonderful food. He has four different restaurants on the same block, just a three-minute stroll from the Eiffel Tour. I had never had Gillardeau oysters and was anxious to try them and did for my first course. It was a treat to have what many consider the finest oysters in the world. I am a huge fan of langoustines and my friend and I ordered both kinds that were on the menu. The hot dish had the langoustines fried in a phyllo pastry with basil leaves that came with a citrus dipping sauce that was very tasty. I preferred the langoustines in their shells with the mayonnaise dipping sauce. It was some work to get the meat out of the shell but there was about three or four times as much to eat than in the other dish. I love stone crab in a mustard sauce but this dish beats it. My main course was scallops that were large and sweet. My friend had the John Dory with vegetables and morel mushrooms. After a nice bottle of white wine that was 49 euros and desserts and coffee the bill came to 199 euros. It was really a fine meal, one that I am anxious to repeat.
  18. Was there last month and did the tasting menu with the wine paring which was really good. The even did a substitute on a course I did not want to have. The service was excellent. We had about six people serving us at different times so you never just had to wait on "your waiter" for anything. We also sat near the fireplace in the rear which was a very nice romantic meal. There really is no bar so don't get there too early. They also wine storage units near the entrance which where you can look at over 200 of the high end bottles if you have to wait on your table. I have been to plenty of three star places and while not on that quality is very high and will return again.
  19. I have only been to Paris twice and will be there again in a couple of weeks (Jan. 11-15). The purpose of my trip is to eat well for the four days I am there sprinkled in with museums and a few sites in Paris. The last two trips I have tried L'Ambroise, L'Arpege, Tallivent, Robuchon. Ducasse, Jules Verene. This time I want to try more authentic places. I would like mainly small places with good food. Decor is not important. Most places in the 125-150 euro per couple or less are ok and maybe a three star splurge for lunch. My research has been here and Alexander Lobrano's book. Many of the 25-50 per person euro places look very appealing. Seafood is my favorite food. Under consideration are Christophe,Competitor, Les Papilles, Chez Michel, LeVillaret , LeBaratin, Itinaries, L'Entredeu, Chez Georges, Fables de la Fontaine, Servo, La Regalde and Aux Lyonais. Many of the new places interest me as well. I want to lean towards "old authentic Paris" but like many people am anxious to try the hot new chefs. These include Spring (any suggestions on how to get a reservation?), Jadis, Cul de Poule, LeGaigne, Chateaubriand. So I would like to narrow this to the eight places I will try to book. I have spent over 30 hours reading up and it gets to be a little confusing. So many places sound great. I just need a little help focusing and I value opinions from fellow eG members. For a romantic lunch in a great setting I am thinking the Crillon unless anyone else wants to throw around a different idea. I also am looking for a couple of wine bars for hanging out and drinking and not eating dinner. If anyone wants to give an opinion on a hotel for $250 or less per night I would be interested. I think the second week of January would be a slow time and some higher priced places might have a lower rate at that time. Thanks for any opinions I may receive. This forum has been very helpful and I thank the mods who keep posting the great information.
  20. What a great thread. Since stumbling across this site about a month ago, I have spent many nights reading it and related links till 2am. I also appreciate the time and effort it takes to write posts like the ones in this thread by Eliot and David. They are thoughtful and through. How can you not want to eat at Wing Lei after reading about it here? And like David, I do not mind dining alone to try an exceptional place. The food and staff are almost always enough to keep my mind busy. I would much rather eat alone at Alinea in Chicago than go with business associates for the 12th time to Gibson's. I knew a very high up executive at Caesars that admitted he was dead set against the Forum shops and high end restaurants coming in. He did not think it would work at all but now admits he was totally wrong there. But Caesars recognized early they had to cater to the Japanese and had the "high end" Empress Court which has had more face lifts than a 70 year old society queen. Wing Lei is light years past that. I can not imagine a better restaurant at Wynn than Alex, but I will give Wing Lei a try next time I am in Vegas.
  21. We just returned from a stay at the Venetian and had one of our better meals in Vegas at David Burke. I don't really watch food TV so wasn't really aware of who Burke is and what his food is all about. But in deciding where to eat before my trip I looked at his menu and read up on him and decided it was somewhere I just had to try. My Burke experience came after meals at Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy so I was ready for something a little different. The dining room is a visual delight. The centerpiece is a red hand blown glass sculpture with a water feature done by Dale Chihuly, who also did the lobby ceiling at the Bellagio. The tables are spaced far enough apart so things are comfortable and you can have private conversation. We were treated very well by Leslie, who guided us through the menu and made excellent suggestions for a good David Burke experience. The executive chef is Troy Thompson and there was a tasting menu available with a wine paring. However there were none of the Burke signature items at all on the tasting menu so we opted to try a few from the menu. I tried the crisp and angry lobster to start and followed that with the duck. I enjoyed both dishes. I think the lobster would be perfect if it was a little less spicy but still liked it My companion had a good salad and sea bass selection. Several of the deserts looked appealing but since we were Burke virgins we had to try the cheesecake lollipop tree. I wondered beforehand if it was just a cute gimmick but it really was tasty and enjoyable and a visible treat. I found that to be consistent with other dishes I saw coming out of the kitchen. Burke has a different take on tastes and presentations but his concepts are pleasing to the eye and the taste buds. I would have liked to try the lobster steak or the pretzel crusted crab cake, but there is always next time. The bar and lounge area seats 50 and is a good place to hang out just for drinks of if you want to try some of the starter courses. So for me it was a relaxing, excellent meal in a beautiful setting. Many people have to be foodies to enjoy Savoy or Robuchon but I can not think of anyone who would not enjoy the experience at David Burke. I will make it back each time I am in Vegas. DaivdBurkelasvegas.net phone: 702-414-7111
  22. I use the ratings as a consumer to get a relative value, especially when you are comparing the cost of a bottle. If a bottle is under $20 and it rated in the high 80's or over 90 it is likely I will try it. Because I do like to support places that can deliver high quality at affordable prices.
  23. My wife and I dined at L'Atelier last week and both really enjoyed it. I have been to Joel's formal restaurant next door and while the dining room settings are very different , I could not tell a big difference in the food. It was excellent in both spots. My wife likes nice restaurants but is no foodie like I am so she judges places different than I do. I ordered the 10 course tasting menu which is still $135. My wife is not as adventurous so ordered two regular portion dishes, the lobster and lamb. She enjoyed both and I got several bites of each dish. I really enjoyed the 10 course menu. It was an opportunity to taste many dishes and I recommend that menu to anyone. They handled the pacing well and it was no problem to order that way. I added the langoustine course as it was not on the tasting menu and I had always wanted to try that. We did get an extra desert for free and it was a great meal that we both enjoyed. The bill still came to $430 plus tip but that is still less than the $1100 (with tip) average bill for two at the more formal restaurant. The L'Atelier experience is generally two hours or less while next door will take three to four hours. I still would encourage you to try both places if you can afford it because they both are "worth it" for the experience. I may not try the formal restaurant every trip to Vegas but I will go back to L'Atelier every time now. The $135 menu is a bargain in my eyes.
  24. $900 for two at Guy Savoy Las Vegas wife was on meds and did not drink wine. I had five glasses. The food alone was $600 until recently you could get three star places for $200-250 each including wine and service. Now it seems like it is 400-500 each..Ouch!!
  25. Been there at in and out in a limo after some late night partying. It is great to soak up the booze....also to satisfy your burger craving
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