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Everything posted by PaulaJK

  1. Re: 'Stars' ----One of the oft debated restaurants is EMP. I had dined there several times prior to last year's Michelin Guide's release and strongly felt that EMP deserved a star. However, I returned there last week and my opinion has changed. The flowers remain beautiful. The reception was gracious and the service was very good. We had the Autumn Tasting Menu. It was a series of decently prepared but rather uninteresting dishes. There was no zip...nothing exciting or enthralling. I do not have an enormous appetite but I found the portions rather tiny for $125. I don't have the menu but the dinner began with the same bites offered last year. Then a mini parsnip quenelle...lightly smoked salmon with various tiny potatoes.... foie gras terrine w. brioche [the best course] ...one scallop...two finger sized slices of lamb and two desserts. It didn't rise to star level...just my opinion, of course.
  2. After enjoying Broadway's newly opened A Tale of Two Cities, we were off to Bouley's Secession. Also newly opened, it occupies the former site of Danube. The decor has been lightened and brightened resulting in a more casual feel but any former visitor to Danube will recognize the basic bones. We were stopping only for a libation but read their menu. It is impressively extensive with sections for charcuterie, grilled items, roasted items, pastas, salads,etc. Several Asian fusion items were included. It struck me as 'bistro plus Bouley' and I look forward to dining there. David Bouley was present and when we inquired about the progress of his new endeavor, he graciously offered to take us on a tour. The new property occupies two floors of a building on the corner of Duane & Hudson, across from Secession. Chef Bouley delivered a detailed explanation of every item now in place...3,900 apples will reside in the foyer..as you enter there will be a lounge, sans bar...everything was shipped in from France in four huge containers...the stone floors arrived from Burgundy in large pieces & were cut and placed on site...the stone of the walls is identical to that being used at Versailles. The wall and hanging oil paintings were done by the same artist as in the original restaurant. The tables & chairs are in place. The accessory furniture again is of French woods and made to order here in the USA. Beyond the main dining is the 'library' whose floor is beautifully patterned with thousands of pieces of wood and whose ceiling has a kitchy feel that makes you smile. There are beautiful antique chandeliers throughout..some represent the work of a brief liason between Italian and French craftsmen....another, on the stairs leading to the lower level, looks Venetian but is actually French with what looked like glass to me, really made of polished stones. The lower level has an enormous wine celler, the bathrooms and a room for private parties w. its separate entrance. On both levels of the restaurant there are vaulted celings, artfully painted and truly exquisite. And most beautiful of all, are the many ancient wood doors. The kitchen is huge and shiney and magnificent! I'm repeating only what I can recall so please cut me a little slack here for I was truly overwhelemed by the breath and depth of the information. Chef's Bouley's obsessive attention to detail, intensity and passion were palpable! I asked about the new menu and Chef Bouley said that it will emphasize produce, have some known and some new items and have "his hands on it". No opening date yet...but "soon". We then dined at Bouley. We admire Bouley's approach to a tasting menu because it offers approx. 3 choices in most categories, a flexibility not offered at many other venues. But we were in a special mood and opted for the 'surprise' tasting menu. The waiter would give no hints, implying that surprises were to come. He asked only about any food restrictions; Ours was ltd to goat cheese. We were excited by the surprise element .....but ultimately disappointed because there really is very little surprise. Essentially they delivered the regular tasting menu [the one we decided not to have...and now you don't even get to make that choice!], supplemented with lobster & foie gras courses. I had anticipated something a bit more unique, including at dessert time when the two offerings were those of the reg tasting menu. No original thinking here! Nonetheless the dishes were delicious with a toss up for favorite between the cod with a truffle sauce and the excellent lobster. I must admit that that when the lamb [an item on the reg tasting menu...and now since it was a surprise they hadn't asked how we would like it cooked] arrived with the goat cheese gnocchi. I lost my respect for all of this implied specialness. Either deliver a special menu or don;t offer this option at all.
  3. Bernard Morillon [beaune] has closed and Loiseau des Vignes now resides in this location. This restaurant is a simply decorated pleasant room with tables rather closely spaced...in fact, we struck up a conversation with our French neighbors. Service is good enough. Again, we ordered the set menu --59E if I correctly recall. Gougeres were offered. We both chose a first course of cocotte [?sp] of foie gras. They presented the pot and its contents prior to dishing out an enormous serving of white beans and a very generous portion of foie gras. Unfortunately for me, it was very, very raw and I couldn't eat most of it. I owned the issue and when offered a substitute, demurred. We also both chose the veal, requesting it medium rare to rare. It arrived barely pink, was dry and generally quite uninteresting. The cheeses were in prime condition. The dessert selection included the signature dense chocolate fanned with sable cookies...I think it bears 'rose' somewhere in its name. We weren't particularly enthused about this meal and probably wouldn't return there. As the restaurant was quite full, we realize that we may represent a minority.
  4. Approaching Jardin des Remparts is a fabulous experience in itself. It is a stunning stone edifice, enchantingly illuminated. Within, the tables are widely spaced. Service is efficient but with a regional feel. The cuisine is a bit unusual and I'm not certain how I feel about it. Two butters are presented on an irregularly shaped piece of slate. I didn't 'get' the slate and I didn't get that one was "seaweed butter". Perhaps if we were in Brittany?? A basket of three warmed rolls is set beside each diner. The amuses included cones of diced tomatoes w. mustard ice cream, curry covered hazelnuts, a lollipop of crisped pigs foot and a sesame wafer. The next offering was a glass a pumpkin soup w. bacon foam--good. We ordered the 70 E menu. Since there were 2 selections in most categories, we ordered both and shared 1st--an excellent mille feuille of Foie gras pate in which mushroom slices substituted for the pastry. Mine was tartare of Charolias beef surrounded by raw oysters. They forgot to mention that the oysters were in a gelee and that the beef tartare was covered by a thick seafoam mousse! 2nd --a tough,stringly piece of lotte surrounded by seaweed and with a seaweed disk--not enjoyed 2 scallops on a bed of warmed celeriac puree and quite tasty 3rd Magret, quite stringy and without interest Agneau--dry, tough and not tasty Both entreees were very disappointing. 4th-nice cheese cart and some superb grapes 5th-Shards of white and dark chocolate shooting out of whipped cream w. foie gras and pumpkin ice creams !!!!??? A chestnut melange where I couldn't discern the marron, accompanied by irish coffee ice cream. To each his own, but I thought that these concepts were way off...the menu too inconsistent...and overall, not a fabulous experience. They were less than half occupied so perhaps some others agree.
  5. We returned to the Hotel Montrachet to recapture the warm, homey feeling and pleasant lunch we had enjoyed there a few years ago. Alas, the hotel--or at least the restaurant-- has a new owner. The cozy room with its charming lamps of grape clusters have disappeared. Two months ago the diningroom changed. It has been enlarged and markedly upgraded...is pretty..but a completely different experience as is the menu. The traditional gougeres were followed by a glass of something green. We couldn't identify the taste--which wasn't pleasant--plus it contained grit or sand. We left it but were not asked why. We chose the Bresse chicken in 2 courses [76 E]. It was presented whole tableside. A pleasant but not special chicken breast was followed by the legs in a pot au feu style. They were tough. The servings were surprisingly small, especially considering the price. It is always difficult when you return and find changes. I imagine that they are trying to shoot for the stars with this new approach...but on this single sample, it may be a long journey. For those seeking a regional experience, don't add this to your list.
  6. We had an absolutely fabulous experience at Lameloise. The greeting was warm & gracious, the service exceptionally fine. We had the menu degustation which began with a trio of munchies: sardine canape in the style of herring, a spoon of tuna tartare & a cheese puff pastry. [sorry, no menu..and no foodies vocab] The amuse was a glass with layers of celeriac, then poitrine mousse topped with smoked bacon foam. My first course was exquisite. ..a soup dish with a tepid celeriac puree topped with a green apple gelee upon which was placed tartare of raw langoustine topped w. slightly warm langoustine crowned w. slices of apple. 2nd--sous vide St Pierre in a nage containing moules & girolles 3rd--blue lobster pieces on top of pureed artichoke + stuffed small ? purple atrichoke, finished tableside w. a shellfish sabayon 4th-pigeon lightly breaded w pain d'espice 5th- lovely cheese cart 6th-a pre dessert glass layered w. raspberry coulis, a cream mousse of some sort and topped w sliced strawberries Dessert was a superb ultra thin and carmelized apple tart w. green apple sorbet on the side The mignardises were marvelous....and I deeply regretted being until to sample each and everyone one of them. A lovely evening in every way.
  7. We had ordered the menu degustation on which neither the cheeses nor dessert were specifically titled. I was quite surprised at the lack of a cheese cart and even more so by the lack of a choice of desserts. At this high tariff, who expects a coupe to be plunked in front of them? We were disappointed with this experience [which we had approached very enthusiastically] . I suspect that Gerard Besson is en route to a lower rating.
  8. We dined here on Friday evening, One is pleasantly greeted into this attractive room, The entire front room was occupied by a business group and there even was a short speech during the evening, something I found very odd for an upscale dining experience, This group may have drained the attention of the waitstaff for although our waiter had the presence of a professional, there were shortfalls, We repeatedly had to request that our water qnd wine be served, And the second tier staff tended to serve food without stating what it was e,g, the amuse ,the cheese plate,etc Amuse: cream of cauliflower,, room temp, delicious Starter: poached lobster claw on chilled minted green pea puree Fish: bass covered w its mousse in a dark sauce Entree; canette w poached peach, This was delicious, My husband,s veal was not special and was fuklly cooked when ordered medium rare Cheese was a plate of 3 items placed on the table without explanation, no fruit, nuts or special breads Dessert: again, no choice,,a coupe of lychee with frais de bois and ice cream, I felt that the menu caved with the cheese and dessert and that servuce was below expectations, However, both the lobster and duck were delicious,
  9. Citrus Etoile is nestled on a corner not far from Etoile, Its frosted windows invite curiosity but upon entering, the decor can only be described be drab, this even despite its Hermes orqnge seats, Jars of tall cacti and goldfish bowls on a tqble here and there are the decorative elements; they do not speak to me, The menu is rather limited in choices, with about 4 in each category, Prices appoach 40E' for starters and high 40 for entrees, 20E for desserts, The service is not in line with these prices, For example, water and wine are unattnded and you pour your own, The signature foie gras beignet is very good, My pigeon wrqpped in cabbqge is perfectly pink but the sauce so insignificant that the dish lacked zip ('49E) My husband 's duck had a dark, muiddy looking sauce (perhaps compounded w liver) which made it unattractive, The petit fours were unremarkqble, Decor D Service C Menu C Cuisine Bminus I apologize for the spelling of the above entry. It was my first experieince trying to type on a French keyboard.
  10. Wow! I think that the kitchen was really 'off' on our visit..or we were. The only intensely flavored item on my plate was the sorbet which sounds to have scored the lowest on yours.
  11. We began with great enthusiasm and ended with marked ambivalence. First the positve..The reception was polished. We enjoyed the ambiance and gracious service at the bar..although one wonders whether a glass of rose champagne should bear a $29 tariff. The usually breath taking floral arrangments were rather bland; Could the florist be away for Labor Day? The day had turned overcast and was threatening rain so perhaps it was this outdoor weather which made the indoor diningroom seem rather dim and bland. Petite bunches of undistinguished flowers added nothing to the table. But our enthusiasm still reigned. And we were receiving excellent service from our 'team'.. polished, attentive, unobtrusive and correct. Unfortunately it was the food that failed us. We chose the [$148] seasonal tasting menu. It began well with 'Egg Toast'....not 'The Egg', a personal favorite... but a very tasty presentation of coddled yolks between buttered, toasted brioche, topped w. American sturgeon caviar. The dill came in the form of sprigs which tested the technique of getting food neatly into your mouth. Pristine tuna tatare followed, made spicey by a chili emulsion and bland by avocade cubes..one thumb in each direction. Petite ravioli filled w charred corn and herbs in a rather strong basil broth w. cherry tomatoes also received one thumb in each direction. The bass was bland and undistinguished,garnering two thumbs down. The gently cooked lobster was overwhelmed by its heavy perfuming by cardamon and star anise although the coconut-kaffir lime broth was surprisingly gentle. Slices of tender, rosy veal tenderloin sat atop atrichoke and white beans but were so very, very salty that they had to be returned to the kitchen as inedible; not so tender pieces replaced them. This dish was a major disappointment. Four dessert platters were offered...one seasonal [laste summer] and 3 flavors[strawberry, cherry & chocolate]. Each platter had 4 offerings. Both were extremely disappointing. On the chocolate, only the petite molten cake was tasty. The strawberry plate had a non-tasty snow cone, a wrethced strawberry cake surrounded by gluey chocolate w. "pop rocks", inedible strawberry cheesecake logs..only the intense strawberr sorbet was worth finishing. Perhaps the pastry staff was off for Labor Day? The apricot marshmallows struck the right cord while the mini macarons were all crust, no soft center. With the modest wine chosen, this was a $500 dinner. We left feeling that it certainly hadn't been worth this. Ironically, pre theatre matinee we had shared a hot pastrami sandwich at Maxie's. It was fabulous!
  12. Ouch!! In view of the dollar's weakness we were attempting to stay away from citadels....but we still wish to dine well. Could you say why Auguste was a disaster...and does Citrus have good cuisine, even in the midst of Yanks. I must say that I was thrown off by Toi's web site, so that is no loss. Perhaps more importantly, could you make some other recomendations.. Much thnaks Paula
  13. In late September we will be visiting Paris and have reservations at the following restaurants. Any comments, pro or con, would be appreciated. Auguste Gerard Besson Le Gaigne Pinxo Citrus Etoile Dominique Bouchet Toi Thanks Paula
  14. I apologize if my spelling is off......but has anyone dined here? It has taken over the former location of Bernard Morillon in Beaune.
  15. PaulaJK

    Au Trou Gascon

    Tupac, Thanks for that great review. You make me want to visit this restaurant, sooner rather than later. We will be in Paris in late September. Do you have any other recommendations? Paula
  16. We enjyed a very pleasant lunch today at Cafe Boulud. Salmon Tatare Lamb Duo [braised + leg grilled to order] Apricot Creme Brulee [to dream about!] All delicious. All for $24.07. A white and a red wine were also offered at this price. Service was excellent and the same as on previous visits. Hats off to Boulud and staff for delivering an excellent menu & experience for Restaurant Week. It would be so easy to dismissive!
  17. This Jersey City branch disappoints both in service & cuisine. The food is oily and heavy on chilis and the dishes tend to blend one into another both in appearance and taste. Entrees are served in small bowls, without garnishes. Also, no rice is offered w. entrees [Jasmine rice $4]. The Singapore noodles, while yellow in color, lack any curry [or other taste]. We ordered them w. chicken but they arrived w. veggies. When we pointed this out to the waitress, she stirred the bowl to peek under the noodles...took it back to the kitchen..and about 5 thin chicken strips were added on top. My husband ordered a gin [standard] gibson martini, "straight up" .The waitress took the order and repeated it...then returned to ask about the gin and repeated the order agin. She then brought a small, short glass with gin, no ice. When he repeated martini, she remained insistent that he asked for it straight up!...so no gracious servic ehere either. So he went to the bar and instructed the bartender [also inept] on how to make it. When it came to the onion garnish, they went into the kitchen and brought out 2 slices of raw onion! This restaurant is significantly over priced for its service and cuisine and we will not be returning.
  18. Poppy..I don't think that you sound crazy at all. We always wondered why this restaurant was so well received since we had the worst [up end/scale] dining experience there. Unforgettably awful.
  19. BryanZ Like yourselves, we enjoyed our lunch at JG two weeks ago. The sunny day warmed the room, but still left me fondly remembering older French style restaurants w. colorful banquettes & murals. Service was very good although we found our head waiter a bit 'pontifical'. Same amuses...and same reaction to the edame soup...pretty though,with its foam top. We began w. 'The Egg' which never disappoints. Someday [post lottery] I am simply going t order three of these gems! We also shared the same fish courses, loving the artic char. We appreciated the balanced but huge flavors of the avocado-shrimp dish but probably would not select it again. We had both enthusiastically selected the braised short ribs..but simultaneous first bites had us looking at each other. They tasted of flour or cornstarch or something in that vein. We spoke to our waiter who announced that this could not be as they were only cooked in vinegar. Our determination did not break and we selected substitutes. I forget what my companion ordered [the choices are not many at lunch...one disappointment] and I suspect it was forgettable. I selected the smoked squab. Fortunately for me---a lover of squab but not of smoking---mine was lightly smoked and delicious...not at all too firm. We ordered different desserts, both tasty but not stellar....finished our wine...nibbled on marshmallows and left two very satisfied ladies.
  20. Recently recommended by friends and via John Mariani's newsletter,we approached dinner at Arabelle, the Plaza Athenee's restaurant, with enthusiasm. The room is attractive post its redecoration. The tables are nicely spaced and nicely appointed. The service staff, some retainers, are efficient and solicitous but not stuffy. The only down note was that someone from catering was standing with a young couple in the middle of the diningroom describing what color linens,etc. that they could opt for. Unthinkable during dinner service! The menu is somewhat limited and appears to favor American fare. I ordered the tuna trio which had a tasteless tuna tatare topped w. a pasty avocado mash, one piece of sashimi w. yuzu dressing and lightly seared tuna. My friend had the foie gras which he described as good. Both of these carried supplemental charges on the $74 prix fixe. Entrees were the sliced duck breast and sirloin steak. In both cases the portion were good but the overall dishes and specifically the sauces were bland and uninteresting. Desserts included a molten chocolate cake which was good,if common and the pear tatin which was with soggy crust and cloyingly sweet. I consider this a disappointing meal and see no promise in this cusine.
  21. PaulaJK


    I'm obviously not 'courant'! Thanks for the info
  22. PaulaJK


    Has anyone dined here recently?
  23. We had loved the spring & summer Gourmand/tasting menu at EMP, the same one described above. However, last evening we tried the fall Gourmand and found it disappointing. It's not that anything was awful...there just wasn't anything exciting or terribly interesting or delicious. I had loved the foie gras - cherry dish described above. Last night the foie gras was presented as three very thin cold slices, each on a lollipop stick [embedded in lucite ] and covered w. a beet glaze. The desserts seemed particularly shallow....a cassis sorbet under meringue and the traditional chocolate- caramel-salt disk. The beignets were cold whereas formerly they were warm. I agree w. the above poster that the presentations also seemed less interesting or special than those of our previous experiences. The 'ladies' at the podium are excellent and the waitstaff very good EXCEPT that our waiter kept clearing our courses while we were still chewing!...and on more than one occasion we had to shoo him away as we still had our forks in hand. They were not turning tables ...nor were we the last table there.........so this was rather alienating. Based on last night's experience, I will be more reserved about sending people there. Perhaps Michelin had an experience similar to ours!
  24. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I am certain that it will be a lovely event in every way. I hope that 'the garden' @ Highlawn/Pleasantdale is still in season as wonderful tasting produce from it is presenting on the Highlawn menu. Last night we had a simple & simply delicious fresh tomato salad as an app. , the tomatoes home grown.
  25. I apologize for the above format. No matter what I did under 'editing', it posted differently from how it was spaced in the original. Any suggestions as how to avoid this?
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