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Everything posted by violetfox

  1. That's exactly what I'm finding so far. I just received my copy yesterday and in flipping through it I come across so many items that I just wasn't thinking of at that moment. Then I run off on another tangent and am amazed at where I ended up from the original search. One thing I find though is the pointing out of what to avoid makes me want to try those combinations to see for myself! (the contrarian in me I suppose...) ← Well, as was pointed out further upthread, some things are considered very differently by some of the chefs consulted in the book, highlighting the fascinating fact that we experience taste VERY differently! Yeah, trying combinations that it says to avoid could be interesting (in a good way, even). Some of the recommended combinations sound unlikely to me, but yeah, I'll probably try at least some of them out of curiosity. Good fun, anyway!
  2. Why do you feel it's something less? I think discussing the potential impact on the business from a server confronting a customer over the size of the tip is part and parcel to the topic. The point is that there is more at stake than the server feeling better by getting it off his/her chest. It's not as simple as "I felt stiffed so I asked". If I tell servers "well if you think the tip is too small, go confront the customer" and the customer is offended and never comes back, it's business as usual for the server but (at least) one less customer for the business. I support my servers completely when it comes to inappropriate or abusive behavior from customers and I don't completely subscribe to "the customer is always right", their money doesn't buy them a license to be an ass, but I'm not going to lose customers because a server expected more money than they got on a tip and wants to try to embarrass the customer into giving more. It's completely relevant to the discussion. ← Why do I feel it's "something less"? Fair question. As much as anything, it's the tone. This is the hospitality industry (funny phrase!), and carries an understanding by both provider and recipient of a degree of trust, and that's what I see slipping in some of this discussion. To read "a happy customer tells 3 people, an unhappy customer tells everyone" reveals an attidue about me as a customer that doesn't add to my experience of "hospitality." I immediately feel (wrongly) lumped in with all those imaginary (or not), ungrateful customers who don't appreciate an commend good service. On the other hand, too, the attitude that "I pay my check, it's up to me IF I tip...I don't believe in tipping, so I don't leave much/anything" is not very kind or hospitable. I see going to a restaurant as a pleasant, relaxing experience (unless proven otherwise), and I guess that I'm a little disappointed to see it regarded on both sides, by some, as nothing more than a transaction, or worse, a power play. Just my opinion.
  3. if things are a little off resulting in a tip of less than my usual 15-20%+ then no I feel no need to speak to the manager. If service was so awry as to result in *no* tip (once in a blue moon for me) then I've probably already spoken to the manager about the abyssal service. ← This is helpful to me. I think 15-20% is reasonable - 20% if everything is OK, 15% or whatever in between if things are "a little off." I've done this myself, but I always wonder if I should say something. I mean, it's nothing huge, and if it wasn't clearly the server's fault, I would neither leave a lower tip nor speak to someone. If it WAS the server's fault, yeah, I'd leave closer to 15% and not say anything. I guess one thing I'm wondering about is the idea of leaving a tip of between, say, 0 and 15% - where something is clearly pretty wrong. You say yes, you would have already spoken to someone, and I agree. I'm wondering about leaving a 10% tip for a meal and not saying anything - it just seems wrong to me. Anyway, thanks.
  4. I'm a happy customer who will tell EVERYONE. It's interesting to me that this topic, which has at times been a helpful and interesting discussion of tipping practices, has in my opinion descended into something...less. I return to my previous question: is it more informative and useful for everyone if you give a decent tip most of the time, and if you leave one that's less generous, you speak to the manager about the reason for it? I didn't think that that was a complicated question.
  5. Did you go in the morning? We were at the bar starting at 11:30. It was a lot of food for two and I really enjoyed the experience as a whole. Anyway, photos are up! http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/sets/72157615955150180/ ... almost done them all. Just need to finish with Jean-Talon and post-trip sugar. ← I was there at 1, and also sat at the bar. I did pretty well until the feves with duck magret and the quail - overwhelmed! Everything was wonderful. Thanks for the pictures.
  6. Hey, I was at the Cabane on Sunday, too! Good heavens, that was a LOT of food, and utterly delicious. Loved the soupe au pois, now need to add foie gras when I make it! The tourtiere was great and I really loved the homemade ketchup. Cretons and ployes, too. OK, I loved everything. Really, really fun atmosphere. I'm very glad that I went. It took me about a day to recover and be able to eat again.
  7. ps - do I get a prize or something for the largest number of adjectives and adverbs used in a single post?
  8. Reporting back on the tasting menu with foie gras at Toque! WOW! Easily the best meal of my life! I had this with the premier wine selection, because I thought it a unique opportuniy to experience some wines that would be really prohibitively expensive by the bottle. This is a seriously pricey experience, but absolutely extraordinary. From the first amuse - crispy bread chips with cream and scallions, a sort of sublime chips and dip - through the amazing scallop seviche, cured salmon skewered on a crispy noodle, the truly "hallucinant" foie gras with brioche, ground cherries (I keep neglecting to preserve these when they spring up in my garden), hazelnut dust, the single best dish I've EVER eaten, a deconstructed rabbit ravioli, duck magret, Charelvoix blue cheese and chocolate feullite (sp? sorry) - oh yes, and the fir-flavored truffle! - truly astonishing, and totally specific to Quebec. If you're looking in a dictionary for "peak experience" - this menu is the definition. Montreal continues to astound me with a level of cuisine that I beleive is unparalleled, period. And today, the APdC cabane...whoa. By the way, the poutine I had earlier yesterday at La Banquaise was swell, too! :-) tres heureux!!!
  9. Thanks for the update! I'd say that I was dieting in preparation, but since I'm out the door just now for poutine, I guess not... :-)
  10. Someone on "another forum" just said that the Cabane did not open today? Is that correct? I've got a reservation on Sunday, so I'm a little concerned.
  11. I'm about a third of the way through Michael Pollan's "A Place of My Own" - not about food, but very interesting and well-written.
  12. Which isn't what I said. Straw man arguments are becoming a bit of a sport around here. This particular tempest is all about a second hand quotation. Even if the words were ever said, we have no context. As far as we know (and this strikes me as likely, considering everything else we know about Ripert), he was mocking some old French folk wisdom. ← That's not my concern. My concern is that IF a woman in a kitchen can be discriminated against for something this stupid, that's a situation which demands legal attention. That's ALL that I said. I am not even saying that it's been established AT ALL that it does happen. Please note that I said specifically that I believe that Ripert respects women and that the comment - even if accurately attributed to him - itself is not my problem.
  13. I think that if there's any actress around who can capture Julia's enormous personality and charisma, it is Meryl Streep. I'm looking forward to it, too. Honestly, I'd watch any movie with Meryl Streep and the great Stanley Tucci.
  14. I'm sorry, but "we all can agree that it's wrong and stupid, but that's just the way it is" is really not good enough. I'm not questioning that Ripert is respectful to women, because I believe that he generally is - but this fallacy is indeed disresepctful and should be eliminated. "The heirarchy of the kitchen" is NO justification. I was willing to let this go as mere nonsense, but the idea that a woman could be ordered out the kitchen because it's "that time of month" without recourse - at least in this country, I can't and won't speak for France -is a much more serious matter.
  15. Ah, my first smile since near the beginning of this, er, interesting thread! Yes, I can conclusively state that I have heard from friends who heard from friends that they know several women who have successfully made mayonnaise BY HAND!!! at *THAT TIME OF THE MONTH*
  16. This is a great topic. Thank you, snowangel! Here's my list: CLARITY. All else can be forgiven. Pictures, excellent quality photography, preferably not too "styled. Nice art, in addition, is a plus - I'm thinking of Jacques Pepin's beautiful book, Chez Jacques. Pleasant typeface. In a functional cookbook, manageable heft. A coffeetable book can weigh as much as necessary. Page numbers that are large, easy to read and to find. An excellent, useful index. I'm a huge fan of cookbooks which are clearly designed to be read, and have a nice narrative style.
  17. I'm curious about your apparent feeling that there would be something wrong with "appealing to housewives" - am I reading that correctly?
  18. I figure that I might as well hop into this topic, since I'm also going to Montreal this month. I have my reservation made for the Cabane APdC. Whee! I also have a reservation at Toque! - my first visit. I'm considering the tasting menu with foie gras. Any thoughts about that? Also, if I'm able to eat anything else at all after those two experiences, I'm thinking about other possibilities. I have already tried and enjoyed La Banquaise, Maestro SVP, L'Anecdote, various goodies at Jean-Talon, les Chocolats de Chloe, and of course APdC. What do I need to try next? I'm especially considering Joe Beef, something wonderful in Chinatown, other great ethnic food of most any kind. Thanks!
  19. "happyhoarfrost, good for you for disciplining your sauce. i know for a fact it is all but impossible to cook thoughtfully when there's a four year old in the room. and you need to pay attention when you're making a mayonnaise; this is part of the pleasure. "also, and i should have put this in the post, it is common knowledge in France, according both to Eric Ripert and Becks & Posh, that women who are menstruating cannot make mayonnnaise. It always breaks. Always. Posted by: ruhlman | May 21, 2008 at 02:08 PM" on Ruhlman's blog
  20. Anyone within driving (or flying) distance of Montreal, or anyone in the Northeast, even, should be reading an endless banquet - an invaluable guide to the amazing food world of Montreal. Lots of fine travel information about other places, too.
  21. OK, now - being an artist, and generally terrified of numbers - I'm getting confused. I want to be a good customer. Is 20% a still decent tip, or are customers being expected to enter into some algebraic equation to determine an adequate or exceptional or punitive tip? I guess my next question would be where, exactly, these sorts of computations are being expected, because I'll be sure to stay away. I respect and appreciate waitstaff tremendously, but if a good tip in my opinion is going to be resented because I haven't properly crunched the numbers, the heck with that.
  22. I love the book, too, but I agree, Chufi, this is one of the coolest aspects of it. It really challenges me to try different flavors and combinations to see how I perceive them. The idea that the way an individual's palate perceives a flavor can vary so widely is pretty mindblowing in a wonderful way. No food nerd should be without this book.
  23. I'm fascinated by your comment. Ripert has always seemed like a nice, personable fellow and a wonderful cook. I love "A Return to Cooking" and "On the Line." I've never seen or heard nim make any comments that exhibit "offensive points of view." Care to elaborate?
  24. I was under the impression that a commercial is supposed to make you buy the product. Then again, the number of times that I've actually bought a productbased on a commercial is so small as to be statistically insignificant. At any rate, we're not talking about Diet Coke very much - we're talking about Colicchio. Oh yeah, I can't stand and wouldn't ever drink Diet Coke - even with a big hunk of lime and Captain Morgan. MAYBE with a LOT of Captain Morgan, if truly desperate.
  25. I completely agree, Chris. I'm getting more than a little tired of cheap shots aimed mainly at Achatz by people who have elsewhere pandered to the practice of "molecular gastronomy." The ad implies that this sort of presentation is preposterously theatrical - surely nothing of which Top Chef could ever be accused! I'm not very fond of Top Chef, but I've always had respect for Colicchio, and this is disappointing. As far as the argument that "well, he didn't write the ad" - I'm sure that he didn't, but no one held a gun to his head to make him appear in it, either. If anyone doesn't want to eat or do this style of cooking, that's fine - but to disrespect another chef's creativity and vision is beyond tacky. ← Why would you be all burned up if Achatz isn't? ← " If anyone doesn't want to eat or do this style of cooking, that's fine - but to disrespect another chef's creativity and vision is beyond tacky." In case that didn't say why it bothers me clearly enough, I am not a food professional, but I am an artist and a student of creative process, and it bothers me a lot when anyone, chef or any other creative person, is mocked for doing something new or different. As I've said often elsewhere, I was initially as surprised and suspicious of "molecular gastronomy" as anyone - until I had some good and surprising food. The bottom line obviously is "does it taste good?" - if the answer is yes, the approach doesn't mean a thing.
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