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Everything posted by chrisp

  1. This place is either great or awful. I have a feeling it depends on the presence of Paul Askew in the kitchen. When he's there, it's good, I mean
  2. chrisp

    Bologna Dining

    Well, I'm back, and we managed to visit both of your excellent recommendations. It wasn't as cold as we'd feared and we had a lovely long weekend pottering around such a beautiful city. In fact the only disappointment was the Botanic Gardens, which was a bit decrepit. Anyway, reports on the food are here: Trattoria Meloncello: http://cheesenbiscuits.blogspot.com/2009/0...-trattoria.html Drogheria della Rosa: http://cheesenbiscuits.blogspot.com/2009/0...-drogheria.html Other Bologna: http://cheesenbiscuits.blogspot.com/2009/0...ur-best-of.html Many thanks again for your suggestions, and if you're ever in Liverpool maybe I can return the favour
  3. I don't know if this is going to sound a bit pretentious, in fact I know it probably is, but I've always considered MPW as the Van Morrison of cooking. Both genuises in their own fields, their best work created at a precociously young age (Van Morrison wrote Astral Weeks when he was 22) and paid for with massive personal sacrifice. Also both seem to now regard their earlier (best) work with an outward disdain, but which is probably something more like fear. Fear that they'll probably never be that good again, but also that they'll be reminded of the terrible pain it took to achieve. MPW on his more recent TV show kept saying how simple everything he did was, using stock cubes etc. which I'm sure is just a coping mechanism. And similarly Van Morrison has never revisited the dark personal themes of Astral Weeks, retreating instead into either MOR pop or Jazz-lite. I suppose if you don't like Van Morrison then none of the above will make any sense at all, it's just something I've been thinking about.
  4. Maybe we're all still struck speechless by the rising 3* for that bloody Ducasse place....
  5. no i didnt know to be honest i thought it wouldnt happen here ← Congratulations! ← many thanks ← Many many congrats Mark - long overdue. I'll be making a booking next time I'm up in Liverpool, hopefully March-ish. Chris
  6. I sound like a proper old fuddy-duddy, but they really do not make them like this any more.
  7. Ducasse are now doing a 20% off the food bill deal with Toptable. Including Saturday, and in the evening ALC. Either a reality check or a sign of quiet desperation... or even both... http://www.toptable.co.uk/venues/restauran.../21862663/false
  8. Andy Hayler (Michelin-bagger extraordinaire) has a useful analogy - that Michelin stars are "sticky". Very difficult to get, and almost as difficult to lose. RHR has been running at 2* level MAX for a number of years now as far as I can tell, but the outcry and controversy involved in stripping them away has meant they've long outstayed their welcome. Same can be said of the Waterside Inn apparently, though I've never been myself.
  9. chrisp

    Bologna Dining

    Oh, and according to Via Michelin, the Meloncello place is closed from 14th-22nd January: http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/viamichelin/g...41102&id=127016 So looks like that one's off the list. EDIT: Michelin was wrong! I'm booked in on Friday 16th at Meloncello and the 17th at Della Rosa. Will write back here of my experiences at both! Thanks again for the tips, Chris
  10. chrisp

    Bologna Dining

    Brilliant - thanks all for your help. I can't find anything called Trattoria Della Rosa exactly from Google, but is this it: http://www.drogheriadellarosa.it/ ?
  11. chrisp

    Bologna Dining

    I'm off to Bologna on the 16th and some of these recommendations sounds great. I'm much more in favour of turning up at a little Trattoria than booking a Michelin star place for Saturday night. How busy are these places and how likely would we be to be able to just turn up and get a table - there are 5 of us?
  12. That's what happened to me Sister's boyfriend received an acceptance but kept it secret until today - we're in (table of 4) for 23rd September 2009! Hooray!!
  13. Is anyone still getting acceptances? I'm afraid my hopes of getting any reply are dwindling the closer we get to Christmas...
  14. You think that's bad? There are a few hotels in London (Connaught for one) which not put a service charge on drinks in the bar (fine by me due to the excellent staff) but then the credit card machine makes you add an extra gratuity before you can process the payment!! Obviously each time I have just added a penny but still... I haven't made a fuss because of the type of place it is and I'm always with guests or the good lady and obviously don't want to make a tit of myself. Also The Connaught Bar at the moment is the nicest bar and the nicest room in the whole of London. Anyhow would be interested if anyone knows of any laws against this as am planning an e-mail to the manager regarding this. ← Paul - is it that the staff are pressing the "yes" for gratuity button before they give the machine to you? Because surely that is illegal.
  15. I still haven't had a reply, positive or negative. I imagine the email has probably just been lost somewhere, but it would be nice to hear something...
  16. La Giaconda have a cover charge, too.
  17. So this is the reason why my site is suddenly inexplicably popular with the eGullet crowd Thanks for the mention FS - and my comments about Mirch Masala still stand. I have heard (very) mixed reports about the other branches in Tooting and elsewhere, but I am a dedicated Mirch Masala Whitechapel fan. Tandoori chicken wings, jeera chicken and the Shammi kebab are particularly good. Of course, Tayyabs is still slightly ahead in terms of the standard of cooking overall, but with the effort and pain required to get a seat, I am a far more regular visitor to MM these days. Chris
  18. I can only deduce that it must be an acquired taste. I can't actually ever remember going to a restaurant of this calibre and ever having something that was so vile, to the extent of being almost literally stomach churning. OK, sea urchins inside are a bit like oysters. But then to be stirred up in a (sea) watery scrambled egg, well I'll leave that to your own imaginations. Cheers, Howard ← I tried a very similar dish in Paris, and had the same reaction- glad its not just me!! ← Very interesting, these comments. I can hardly think of a foodstuff more polarising than sea urchin. I love them, as does my dad, but my sister and mum can't stand them. That's just one family!
  19. Panoramic Liverpool better than Atelier, Sketch, the Oak Room, Gidleigh Park, Sat Bains, Villandry, L'Enclume, St. John, Launceston Place, River Cafe, Galvin@Windows, One-O-One and the Sportsman? What the eff are they on??
  20. So naebody, you think that all those restaurants doing special offes will go bust? Including places like pearl?! ← I bloody well hope not - I've got Pearl booked for my birthday next month.
  21. Oh Bonds too There's a level of haute restaurants cooking at the * level, particularly ones in corporate/hotel backgrounds, where whether you get a * is basically a bit of a lottery - Bonds and Pearl def fall into this category. 1-0-1 too. J ← Definitely 2nd Pearl. Had a stunning meal there last October and I'm going back for my birthday this year. The best truffle and gnocci main course ever.
  22. I reckon we'll have a few closures, some welcome some not. My tip is for Ducasse at the Dorchester to shut up shop before too long, and (unfortunately) the new Bacchus Bar & Kitchen, which has been totally empty every time I've been.
  23. The Clapham Picturehouse is the cinema closest to my house, and I never go for that reason. They won't even let me bring my own
  24. I agree, but at least they didn't talk them up as '"it doesn't get much better than this". ← The presenters didn't, but that bloody voiceover still did. They were pants last night. Looking forward to tonights quarter final though!
  25. That was very bolshy of you, if I may say so! Glad it turned out well - and yes this does suggest a kitchen very much in control.
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