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MichaelCE

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  1. We also have a thunderstorm story. We were sitting outside on the terrace at Bruno in perfect weather when an unexpected black cloud came over and started dumping rain. Everyone picked up the plate for whatever course they were on and calmly went inside and finished. Then there was the time my wife had gone to the ladies room when Bruno came around to take our order. He was so miffed he wouldn't come back and the maître d'hôtel had to take care of us. I recommend going to the restaurant of Bruno's youngest son, Benjamin, in Nice: Le Diamant Noir.
  2. I think you would enjoy staying and eating at Le Montrachet in Puligny-Montrachet.
  3. Even if it is a lesser AOC, like Loué, it is treated with respect. Usually it is roasted; the crispy skin is one of the main points. It is a specialty at famous restaurants like Arpège and L'Ami Louis in Paris or La Petite Maison in Nice. It is ubiquitous around Bresse. There are also very upscale specialties with truffles under the skin. You will find less of it in restaurants affecting a Provençale theme where fish and lamb predominate. Pigeon and pintade also seem more local there.
  4. My two dinners at Jean Georges were very disappointing. I have never done the bargain lunch. Per Se is wonderful and I echo the thought that you don't want to give up a hard to get reservaton. I also think it would be a great experience for the right kind of kids. To me Le Bernardin and EMP are the only two restaurants in NY in the niche below Per Se (although we are going to try the renewed Daniel tomorrow night.)
  5. Paul, La Table du Cap is closed, unfortunately. Laurent Poulet is looking for a new location, but has not yet found one. Le Mayssa has an interesting setting and is okay. We have had a lovely dinner out on the lawn of La Voile d'Or. It is a luxury hotel, but without the glitz of La Réserve.
  6. I had the impression that the whole thing was designed by the effiency expert of The Charlie Palmer Group. The lack of real division between the Bar Room and the Dining Room saves space and steps, but ruins the ambience of the Dining Room. But the real howler is the Parallel Tasting Menu which the website explains is to serve an eight-course tasting menu in the time it takes to serve four courses. The cuisine is okay, but has an assembly line feel to it. I loved the old Aureole, but the wine cellar is all they brought from it.
  7. "Four stars?!" You must be joking. We dined at Marea last night and it was quite ordinary. The famous octopus, bone marrow sauce on the fusilli is basically tomato. There was no evident sea urchin in the crab sea urchin spaghetti. Marea seems to be a comfort food restaurant, like Convivio, but better located. The clientele reflected that also.
  8. While I eat out in upscale restaurants a fair amount, I'm not a regular anywhere. But I see a big difference in our treatment between those places who recognize a knowledgable diner in the first few minutes and those who don't, such as Daniel (not recent) or Jean Georges. Two questions: Is there some cross referencing of people on Open Table shared by restaurants? Do those of you who have dined many times at Momofuku Ko expect us to believe that you are not getting preference in reservations?
  9. We dined at Mathias Dahlgren last August and loved it. It was not just that the food was so imaginative and well executed. There was a joie de vivre about it which didn't fit the Swedish stereotype. We also liked Leijontornet.
  10. I think you should check out the private room at Aquavit.
  11. Going from East to West: Mirazur on the Italian border above Menton is a must. From Beaulieu it is a bit far to drive back in the evening, at least for us. Lunch might be better. L'Hostellerie Jérôme in La Turbie is very good. La Chevre d'Or is a pretentious, overpriced tourist trap. La Reserve de Beaulieu has excellent cuisine. In September reserve for a table on the edge of the terrace. But it is a fancy hotel. If you like the ambience at the Louis XV, you'll like it there. Les Agaves in Beaulieu is ok. It is not open for lunch now. The new thing in Beaulieu is Les Vents d'Anges, just opened by Christian who used to run Le Catalan. He was at Les Santons in La Turbie and has returned to Beaulieu. The pizzas are great and the Catalan Mixed Grill is sensational, but you might need a certificate from your cardiologist to have it. In Nice I am recommending Millésime 82, which opened three months ago. I don't think that hautey places turn their noses up too much at very rusty French speakers, but if you are not coping, they will speak English to you. They do turn their noses up if you dress badly, speak loudly, complain unduly etc. Less hauty places will tolerate your French if you speak softly, smile etc. Have a good time.
  12. I ate at L'Atelier for the first time two weeks ago. I sat at the counter and had the Menu “Découverte” at $190, plus $125 for the wine pairings. I'm glad I went, but the price is not justified except by its location in The Four Seasons. The foie gras course was particulalrly ordinary and disappointing; I understand that it had just replaced a terrific foie gras course. For a full report see the last post on my blog.
  13. Le Montrachet in Puligny-Montrachet is a good spot.
  14. I agree about L'Aromate. I also like Dom Camillo Creations and Le Diamant Noir.
  15. Today I read that Sébastien Chambru, MOF 2007, a young Burgundian chef from the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva is taking on the mission of putting the Moulin de Mougins back on track. Stéphane Arnal, who has filled in since the Llorcas left will go to Les Vieux Murs in Antibes.
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