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Everything posted by PaulaJK

  1. Thanks for sharing your Taillevent experience,Steve. I'll vote w. Cabrales on Gagnaire! ...but will be very interested to read your [next] review.
  2. PaulaJK

    Fleur De Sel

    If you are interested in a more leisurely dinner or if you had planned to enjoy the tasting menu, please be advised that Fleur de Sel 'decides' not to offer it on Fridays and Saturdays when they have a lot of reservations!!
  3. I'm was interested and surprised to read these posts. We usually travel on AA or CO and have never noticed this kind of hopping around when taking orders in BC. Has anyone else? Since this is a food board, I will note that for our recent return from Paris, we visited a traiteur pre- departure for airport. Using only the dishes and [awful plastic] utensils offered by the airline, we had a most satisfactory 'repast' on our return flight.
  4. Mrsgft...I want to offer some words of encouragement. While we all accumulate expereinces/stories along the road of life, I've really had very nice experiences dining ALONE or with a lady friend in Paris [& outskirts]. And certainly, it's not based on my age or language skills. I've enjoyed Violin d'Ingres as well as Relais d'Auteuil [charming, english fluent maitre d'] , Astrance [the same], Gerard Besson, Guy Savoy [ever so solicitous], Le Bellecour, Michel Rostang, Chez George and L'Angle de Faubourg/ ?sp and L'Astor. I'm sorry for your negative experience because it lingers.........but try, try again. I find dining alone here in NYC much more of a problem!
  5. JAMIN 's decor was understated elegance...with walls, banquettes and table cloths in shades of rose, cream and spring green. The china, silver and crystal sparkled. The greeting was warm and gracious. Service was superb and unobtrusive. Aperitifs were accompanied by warm toasts w. melting leeks & cheese. We chose the menu degustation which was 80E. Mis en place--a demitasse cup w. tomato confit or thick gazpacho on top, covering layers of avocado mousse and lastly, tomato water. Very good Cappuccino-style frothy cepe soup w. 2 langoustines encased in a sheer noodle wrap---heavenly Tart --thin puff pastry base filled w warm eggplant puree and topped w. roasted green, yellow & red tomatoes..garnished w fried basil leaf and thin eggplant round...superb I'm a little vague on the fish course...but think it was a pan sauteed white fish surrounded by individual spring veggies Quail--while the breats were a bit dry, the leg was crisp and delicious & both were accompanied by a luxurious dark pan sauce w. sauteed girolles. Cheese; prime condition--Epoisse, camembert, reblochon and brin d'amour A chocolate tart & frais de bois plus warm pistachio & hazelnut madeleines RELAIS D'AUTEUIL..Chef Patrick Pignol We had 'discovered' this restaurant 2 years ago and were very excited by it.... for its attention to decor[beautiful, I thought] , service and cuisine. We were enthused when they received a second M* this year and returned eagerly. My beautiful restaurant has been re-decorated along sleek, contemporary lines. "Oh, we change it every 3 years!" ...It seemed more masculine; has madame disappeared from the scene? The service remained excellent. The sommelier is well informed and enthusiastic but we disliked his recommendation [Maranges] as it had very musky tones. The cuisine remained very good......but what surprised me was that it seemed to have changed little. I droned on re; Taillevent...but shouldn't even a good restaurant vary its offerings? All of the dishes are artistically presented, on plates of varying sizes, shapes & colors. Aperitifs of 1 champagne and 1 gin =33euros Menu degustation 98 euros Mis en place; 3 items, a quail leg, a warm carrot coated w sesame seeds and a slightly warm cherry tomato w basil --a fabulous cream-emulsified gazpacho w. 'critters' [? moules] at the bottom --2 large langoustine tails, lightly coated ? in breadcrumbs & lime --oysters wrapped in spinach. slightly warmed in a frothy sauce w. garnish of carmelized shallots & peppercorns. We weren't so enthused about this dish but suspect that it was us, not the dish. -- a superb veal steak, rendered very salty due to the pan sauce w. very good pureed potatoes and petite oignons. --an entensive offering of cheeses, all appearing to be in prime condition --sl warmed frais de bois w. creme chantilly --chocolate beignets The mignardises included a raw hazelnet, half-shelled w. its leaf still attached We would recommend both of these restaurtants. Has anyone else dined there recently? oi
  6. Bux, I had been pondering the very issues you raised about memories, expectations and slippage. I think that my memories [of the overall experience] supported my expectations. I found no slippage in service or ambiance but found the menu limited and lack luster. Should even successful restaurants have a fixed menu? Most other three stars modify menus with the seasons and market and offer new dishes over time. We were last there in the months of February and May, different seasons albeit a year apart. However, I didn't notice any significant change in offerings. My final conclusion was that the cuisine had slipped somewhat. At approx. 105 euros for the chicken, it needs to be delicious! It wasn't.
  7. Could you give us an idea of some towns you might be staying in/ looking to dine in?
  8. Being received at Taillevent is akin to being enfolded in a silky cocoon of gentle, gracious, attentive,solicitious service. M. Vrintat & his staff are omnipresent. Care is exercised to present the aperitif glass w. the "T" facing the diner. The room is elegant and restful, traditionally decorated, with tables elegantly appointed with linens, china & crystal and small, elegant flower arrangements here and there. Unfortunately, the menu is not exciting. To clarify my biases, I am not a fan of Gagnaire and enjoyed Astrance but found it a little too avant garde for my palate. Taillevent's menu is in the traditional mode[ i.e. one I usually like] but nothing about it invites, excites, or seduces. We kept reading it and reading it, as though that would somehow add options! The tasting menu for the evening seemed mostly unchanged from the one we had shared two years ago so we decided to create our own. We each began with the ravioli [thin noodles stuffed w. morel laced mushrooms] in a frothy creamy sauce, generously garnished w. minced black truffle......good, not great. We then shared an order of bass w. violet artichokes. While the bass was perfectly cooked, the sauce [which we had failed to notice] was also mushroom based. In addition to not needing the repetition in taste, I did not care for the darkness of the sauce. The whole chicken, roasted w truffles under the skin and en cocoltte followed......it was served in 2 courses...the first, the breast, was a little dry while the 2nd, the thigh,leg and oyster were tastier and more moist. A few pan veggies accompanied this dish as well as a pot of pureed potatoes [far from the best I've ever had]. One of our desserts was the chocolate T. dish of fondant w. pistachio creme anglais. I have forgotten the other. The mignardises were pleasant. I found the mis en place/ amuse bouche to be quite awful....a tall shotglass shaped dish with beef gelee at the base, topped off w. chilled creme of carrot and an unidentified oil floating on top. I noted more Americans there than ever before.......and other diners were returning these glasses empyt, so I assume they liked the item. Elegant surroundings and service are wonderful.......but we also wish to enjoy the cuisine. We did not ---especially not in view of the expense of such an evening---and will not return.
  9. Oh what savory items you recall. When I was there in June, all of the items you mentionned where on the menu. I totally agree about the lobster. Seeing it prepared everyday, I still don't understand what made it so delicious! The lightly smoked salmon is special...and since I am a great fan of pigeon, I enjoyed the 'summer preparation' which was sans cabbage and foie gras but included the pigeon leg surrounded by couscous and wrapped in a phyllo pouch/a very attractive presentation. There also were some wonderful veal tenderloin nuggets/medallions topped w a sage leaf, au jus....and a similar lamb medallion offering. There was an excellent fish dish with a herbacious sauce/ sorrel based. By all means, enjoy a half order of this fish or the lobster before your main course. In addition to the Pere Maurice salade, there was a green & white [poached] asparagus first course, served w. asparagus sorbet --both of which were excellent. I agree about the variety and pricing of the champagnes but simply don't know about a meal pairing them. I don't know the precise gentleman to whom you refer but there are mature gentlemen servers--attentive and gracious to the max-- and maitre d's who discuss the menu with you as you sip your aperitif, answer questions and take your order. I think Boyer is a fabulous class establishment and "inn".
  10. I will write a more extensive post in a few days...but we have just returned from Paris and Provence. We returned to Taillevent....and were very disappointed by our unexciting meal....whether the chef is disheartened or our palate was unappreciative, I do not know....but I am most interested in this note re: his departure. Interestingly, we fell across [no prior knowledge] Bastide de Gordes and enjoyed an absolutely fabulous lunch there.
  11. We both stayed and dined at Loiseau's about 2 years ago. I did not consider it worth the detour. Once checked in, my desire to walk around the 'grounds' found me on a narrow sidewalk, cars whizzing precariously close...and no interesting sights, boutiques,etc. The room itself was large, nicely appointed and with a large modern bath...but forgettable. Cocktails/aperitifs were taken in an ante chamber which I think I recall as having a fireplace. The diningroom and its staff were 'fine' but nothing memorable...same for the meal. His prices were very high. There was nothing that would make me wish to return, even if in the neighborhood.....but it certainly was quite acceptable. I had expected more. Did I read recently that he spends more time in Paris?
  12. Salade Pere Maurice w. champagne half order of Lobster the pigeon cheese cart skip dessert
  13. PaulaJK


    We enjoyed a most pleasant dining experience at Pierre Orsi's. The room is pretty, the service excellent, the chef gracious. The cuisine is traditional and well prepared---not cutting edge.
  14. -I did a quite similar oyster prep and served it in a shot glass. This allowed a one swallow approach for both flavors. -Upmarket around here might include -any of the rare seared or tartares [tuna,etc] w. pickled ginger -something beef w. a marmelade [eg red onion] -blini or small potatoes w caviar -a chinese dumpling w. sauce/on spoon -corn fritters w. caviar or smoked salmon -peking duck pancakes -something with a tropical fruit salsa or dip -duck confit quesadilla -ale battered shrimp w. an interesting sauce -Am inspired to find the Indian Forum after reading all of these ideas. Let us know what you choose to do.
  15. Chop......... You ask this question after cooking at the Ryland Inn????????????
  16. We enjoyed a pleasant dinner and stay at Bardet 2 years ago. I recall w. particular fondness a cepe tartlette, & pigeon entree---sorry, no notes. Pleasant diningroom & nice presentation, china,etc. Sunday's NYTimes had an article on dining [not necessarily starred] in easy reach of Paris. Perhaps it is available on the web. If not and you are interested, I may be able to locate the article. The destinations appeared to range from 20-45 minutes by RER.
  17. Bux, If you recall my recent experience with H. des Frenes and --to my mind/ eye---an unarticulated cancellation policy that resulted in a 31 E charge when I cancelled 3 months in advance, you have the right person re: cancellation fees!!! I have become much more alert to same and am finding a plethora of them in Provence! No, the night that M de Lourmarin fit into our 'stay' schedule, the restaurant is closed .....so we booked dinner for a night when we are in Chateauneuf-de-Pape. BB notes and a map suggest that it is too far to drive.....so we may cancel. Their cancellation policy is at least 48 hours in advance you are charged 182E for the table. Since I don't cancel without calling this would not present a problem except if ill struck. I emphathize with late cancellations but I would mind paying 182E in such a case! We did reserve Sunday lunch [after the antique market] at Mas de Cure-Bourse. In their reply they req'd cancellation by fax, apologizing for a 10E charge if none is rec'd. They explained that they have been experiencing a lot of no-shows and that this was a problem for them. L'Oustau e Baumaniere...no cancellation fee in DR Augerbe la Regilado...no refunds within 21 days of check-in Le Prieure--116E with 2 weeks notice and one night's charge for 3 days Crillon le Brave--I don't see any comment re: cancellation
  18. Gary's post reminds me of Le Vigneron. This restaurant is located centrally...small, decorated with old posters and wine barrels....has a small 'wine musuem'. We met another couple there for lunch on a previous visit to the region and all of us very much enjoyed our lunch. I would place it [roughly] as more restaurant than L"Aposthrope and less than Le Vgineraie. Along the rte from Reims to Epernay, set off to the right was a marvelous restaurant whose named I can't recall.... perhaps it was Gary's suggestion. Anyway, the food was lovely ...although more elaborate than the above choices.
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