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fergal

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About fergal

  • Birthday 12/02/1976

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    London, UK
  1. Les Pres D'Eugenie

    We spent the Xmas period in the South West of France & San Sebastian. On our way to the Basque counry we were fortunate to discover that Les Pres D'Eugenie was open. It's had fine reviews from Andy Hayler and the Wandering Epicures, but I can't find a single mention of meal there on eGullet. Being Michel Guerard is one the fathers of modern day gastronomy, his lack of profile is puzzling (refreshing?!) Hardly on the beaten track, Michel Guerard has held 3 stars for circa 30 years and it is really worth the effort to venture to Eugenie Les Bains. It's the most chi-chi of spa towns with the restaurant part of a gorgeous old school spa hotel, run by the couple. So you will see the chef in the restaurant most days. All the trappings of luxury are evident - huge open rooms, big fires, quality ingredients, generous service, no sense of hurry Our meal consisted of: - the finest mushroom soup - silky smooth with submerged ravioli. Seconds were offered! - wood roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras & cottage cheese - pigs trotter, duck liver and prawns 'on toast' with an eel salad. The desserts did not hit the same heights, but it was one of the most pleasant dining experiences I've had. Has anybody been of late? Photos & full review here: http://foodmiles.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/les-pres-deugenie-michel-guerard/
  2. Claude Darroze, Langon

    We were in France & Spain between Xmas and New Year. Flying into Bordeaux early evening, we intended to spend only one evening in the vicinity and I couldn't really face the aggro of navigating Bordeaux for only one night. It was also a Monday and I'd heard mixed reports on eGullet about La Tupina on these pages. Checking out ViaMichelin (a rather good site) we discovered Claude Darroze, only about 20kms east of Bordeaux. Michelin Starred with rooms. It looked ideal. The hotel is in the centre of a perfectly pleasant French town with small if well decorated modern rooms. It had been about 18 months since my last visit to France and it was a lovely reintroduction to the charms of French cooking. It's good hearty south west food with a bit of finesse, but not detracting from solid and careful cooking. The amuses were a pleasure to see - foie gras with champagne jelly, salmon tartare and mushroom soup. No intricacies, just great flavours. It's not often one can get excited by amuses, but I was giddy with delight, having been starved of decent Foie living in Australia. I followed this up with a leak and foie terrine - again good solid cooking. My wife opted for a ceviche of scallops on a bed of fennel with truffled cream sauce. What's not to like? Main courses were hake cooked basque style & wild boar with venison sauce. They also went down well. Continuing the full-on reintroduction in to France, there was the obligatory cheese course, baba rhum with delicious Canneles to finish. There are photos and more commentary on my blog, but suffice to say this was a thoroughly decent meal and well worth checking out if anybody is the vicinity. Prices are fair with menus starting at 40 euros. enjoy The next day we ventured to Michel Guerard's restaurant which was extremely memorable. Watch this space for a write up. Fergal www.foodmiles.wordpress.com
  3. I'm going to be back in the UK over Xmas (weather permitting). I'll be staying just round the corner and Koffmanns looks like an ideal lunch spot. There's no sense of what the lunch menu contains, but I guess it's terrines and long braises. Is this a fair assumption? Although Bar Bould has a more American focus, would you recommend Koffmanns over it? thanks Fergal (www.foodmiles.wordpress.com)
  4. Hi, Tupina is on the cards. But I have read mixed reviews (I think Andy Hayler, hammered it). I also came across Claude Darozze in Langon. Any recent reports? Also a turn up for the books is that Michel Guerard @ Eugénie-les-Bains is opening on the 28th, so I've booked a table there for lunch. It seems odd that he appears not to get much press or comment, despite holding 3 michelin stars for many years and being a greater innovator in food. Any must try dishes? Am very much looking forward to my trip. Will report back when dined there. fergal www.foodmiles.wordpress.com
  5. thank you for the suggestions. Very helpful. Chez Ruffet & Chez Margot both look a possibility, with the others appearing closed for the season. I'm also open to suggestions with a place to stay/eat around Bordeaux on Monday 27th Clearly timing is not on my side and it means we'll need to forget the michelin stars and go where the locals go. No bad thing and probably more memorable. Thanks Parigi for the suggestion regarding transport. I did check out both options in terms of car & train and with the Australian Dollar (where I currently reside) being so strong, hiring a car is not so uneconomical. fergal
  6. Hi, My wife and I are meeting friends in San Sebastian for New Years. We'll be flying into Bordeaux on the evening of the 27th December (a Monday) and then driving down to San Sebastian on Tuesday. We're finding a lot of the good places - Relais de la Poste & Michel Guerard are frustratingly closed during that time. Would any fellow knowledgeable people have any suggestions on where else we should be trying that will be open around that time? Dinner in Bordeaux and then a nice leisurely lunch down south the next day? thank you Fergal (www.foodmiles.wordpress.com)
  7. I didn't know eGullet was accepting advertising/media plugs now....
  8. Chili – Cook-Off 15

    I've got a chilli on the go at the moment: pork shoulder, chorizo sausage + beef mince paprika, rehydrated whole chilli, cumin & coriander seed ground a bit of beer, beef stock & tinned tomatoes. We're going to be eating it in 24 hours time. It's in the fridge after a couple of hours of simmering. but at the moment it's lacking depth of flavour. Any suggestions to add a bit of gravitas to it? (NB. I have chocolate & kidney beans to add later) Any help appreciated. thanks
  9. What's more a little puzzling is that she doesn't really acknowledge the choice that is available to people in terms of eating out. The choice & type of meals are so much greater than they used to be - not only in styles but types of cuisine. But I guess the Daily Mail doesn't really want to talk about 'immigrant cuisine' as a good thing... Just like watching a film, we have so many options available to us. No-one chooses to Mulholland Drive every single night. They'd go nuts. She needs to get out more & see what life is like in the real world
  10. What's more a little puzzling is that she doesn't really acknowledge the choice that is available to people in terms of eating out. The choice & type of meals are so much greater than they used to be - not only in styles but types of cuisine. But I guess the Daily Mail doesn't really want to talk about 'immigrant cuisine' as a good thing... Just like watching a film, we have so many options available to us. No-one chooses to Mulholland Drive every single night. They'd go nuts. She needs to get out more.
  11. Racine

    I've always thought this to be one of the best brasseries in London. If you have a hankering for steak tartare, frites and a bottle of brouilly, this is the place to go. However it also features a broad spectrum of interesting regional dishes, moving away from the dreary duck confit. I've been going on & off for several years and in my mind it's has always had good consistency. Though a couple of years ago it changed the baguette to a softer, blander, clearly shop-bought variety and I remember get a little angry about it. I still think it's unforgivable. Decent bread & wine can maketh the meal. (and relax.....) fergal
  12. All helpful suggestions. I thinking I'm still erring towards Yorkshire. The lure of the dales is too great. thanks fergal
  13. Hi all, I'll be spending 3 days up north at Easter, catching up with some mates and do some walking. Exact destination has yet to be determined, but thinking about Yorkshire, but happy to consider elsewhere. Clearly I don't want to miss an opportunity to eat well, so I was wondering If anyone could suggest great dining experiences which could coincide with some dramatic walking. We will be without car, so places in the thick of great scenery would be ideal. (though don't mind taking the odd taxi) I did go to Lake District last year and ate at L'enclume. Maybe there are other good options.... thanks for any views (no pun intended) regards Fergal
  14. The Ledbury

    I'm back in the UK for a couple of weeks at end of March. Along with a return visit to The Sportsman, it seems that the Ledbury is a must go to place. It's on the list.
  15. I've just checked L'Arpege's website and there looks to be special offer advertised - 6 courses & 3 glasses of wine for 100 euros - from 25th Nov to 3rd December. Wow.... http://www.alain-passard.com/ I had lunch there last year and it was one of the best and most memorable meals I've had. Can't recommend it highly enough. Speaking of Paris, I'm probably going to be back in Europe next Easter and am thinking of booking a couple of 3 stars for lunch. From the discussion here it seems like Guy Savoy & Le Cinq are the ones to try?!
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