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Everything posted by PaulaJK

  1. We returned last week from a week in Paris. This trip, we decided to try all new-to-us restaurants. This didn't particularly work for us, whether due to our choices or to an here-to-fore unidentified need to return. I have noted our dinner at Jamin under Lunch at Jamin... and added on to the Comptoir de Relais topic. Our two upscale choices were Pre Catalan & Le Bristol, neither of which did we enjoy with the pleasure of Carre des F. and Guy Savoy or the rapture & excitement of Le Meurice and Le Grand Vefour. Nor did we leave appreciating the solidly gracious service and traditional cuisine of a Taillevent. We took no notes & have no copies of menus....so this is mostly imprecise description & limitied detail...and of course, only our opinions. Le Bristol; We 'knew' that we had chosen the 'right' spot when we opened the hotel door...a wonderfully pretty & gracious lobby.... onto the bar, a very pretty room, where my FLAT kir royale was replaced by a bubbling one and my husband's vermouth laden martini replaced by one closer to his request. A plate of four interesting mini amuses accompanied our drinks. About halfway through these drinks, we decided to move to the diningroom. The bar staff stated that they would send the drinks immediately. The Bristol winter diningroom is lovely...warm woods, crystal chandeliers, beautiful flowers & table settings......We waited quite a while for our drinks...which apparently had been discarded because after consultation w. the maitre d' who 'looked into' this, we were told that they were on the way...when in fact we rec'd new ones. Life could be worse, of course. During this 15 minute interlude no water was offered because the order is taken w. the wine order. An attempt to get some seemed to irritate our sullen sommelier. Eventually---and still in a quite positive mood--we began the menu degustation. The amuse was a small pot of cockles covered w. artichoke puree and a creamy froth..not bad but a bit unusual. The 1st course was the signature mini [think thumb nail] truffled baba & the stuffed chicken wing tip. Hot broth is poured into this dish,melting the reblochon cheese which floats about. Also in the dish is a small pine branch/ inedible I assume. We did not like this dish & left most of it . Next, a large, warmed oyster in its shell w. top replaced on one dish and a large portion of raw/marinated scallops topped w. oyster sorbet in another...delivered w. the advice to lift the shell top and taste the warm w. the cold. I who like oysters & [hot] scallops just couldn't embrace this dish.....the maitre d' expressed his sorrow that I wasn't enjoying my meal!.. but didn't offer more than regrets. The turbot fillet had mussel broth poured on it...and was quite delicious . I have forgotten the meat course. The cheese cart is marvellously grand but the slices are tres petite. The desserts were the most interesting part of the meal. First there was a mango sorbet w. diced pineapple served in clio martini glass w. dry ice smoking below. Kind of catering hall presentation, but delicious. A decadent chocolate mousse like cake w. candy disk top was accompanied by a cup of what I will call hot chocolate. A waiter appeared in white gloves to shave a chocolate truffle over its surface! I found this affected for a starred restaurant. One wonders why they bother they bother rolling over a candy cart ...From the 6 or 8 jars I requested only the caramels...they placed 2 on my plate. Lest I be paranoid, a man at the next table selected some small chocolate [?covered coffee bean] and they placed two of these petite creatures on his plate. The room was crowded w. service personnel....but service was not of the finest. They seemed to be so busy pouring broths and lifting lids.....bread service lagged. The sommelier [not the only one in the room] dud not keep up with either water or wine. When my husband finally poured the water, the sommelier appeared and asked sourly if he wanted his pin, tugging at it in his lapel! Actually, my husband could have done a better job........ BIG tariff for a poor service and cuisine that I didn't find memorable. Tomorrow./..Pre Catalan
  2. I am not aspiring to work in Robuchon's kitchen.....but would love to make a 'kind-of batch' in advance for a dinner party. Will I run into major problems if I peel the potatoes first? Then break them up w. a hand held mixer as I dry them over a low flame..i.e. no ricer? I read above about holding after the butter process...but would it be possible to hold butter/milk completed recipe in a bain marie for 3 hours?
  3. Apparently there is an HUGE difference between lunch & dinner...so much so [per reflected above] that I must inquire whether dinner takes place in the front bistro room??? [i saw no other, but may have missed it.] Wiht different accoutrements of dining?? We were in a tiny room...perhaps 12 cafe size tables..squished here & there...no tablecloths or even sheet of paper. ..a juggling act when wine or bread arrived...Since there were a few diners seated outside, beneath a heated awning, the door opened about every 1/2 minute or less, sending in gusts of Paris's damp,cold air. So some patron sats w. their coats around their shoulders, this in preference to the blankets they supplied for the outside diners! But after some wine, it was hardly noticeable! The menu was chalked on the board but I think I recall a printed menualso....with a few offerings in each category. The entrees inc an individual pots of terrine of foie gras, encased in its fat & juices & a lobster bisque. We chose the creme legere of cepes which was delicious. Thin slices of browned garlic floated on top and cepe ravioli sat at the bottom of large lion head bowl. My husband could not be talked out of the salade nicose which was, as noted above, banal. My joue de boeuf was served in a cassarole w. baby onions and carrots and some petite macaroni. It had a dense, dark sauce which rendered it both very tasty and very salty. Desserts ran to the 'regular'--creme bruleee, a pot of soft chocolate, & a cheese plate. We were pleased w. our apple-mango tart tatin, served warm w. vanilla ice cream. The restaurant was bustling..tables changing...people unable to be accomodated...service was casual....and towards the end of service, the chef walked among the tables greeting all.
  4. PaulaJK

    Lunch at Jamin

    We have very fond memories of meals enjoyed at Jamin during the past few years. But I wish that I had read this series of posts and not visited there on Thursday last. We changed our reservation for Table de Robuchon in favor of Jamin. Only 4 tables were occupied, making a too- quiet atmosphere. The room is beautiful as always...and the service staff was professional but [perhaps] dispirited. Guichard was still listed as chef although he did not make an appearance. The menu degustation was merely a combination of an entree, fish,meat,cheese & dessert. The amuse was an uninviting chewy baked clam topped w. herbs. Creme legere w. cepes & langoustines --mild broth, sweet langoutines, segments of cepes which may have been pan sauteed first. A too large portion [2 fillets] of John Dory, nicely cooked but without interest. Roast pigeon,rosy as requested ..tasty..foie gras in savoy cabbage Slivers of cheese from a chariot A chariot of uninteresting desserts...2 cakes and a few tarts. I chose the passion fruit tart which really was tasty but the stubby wedge [the tarts seemed to be 6" diameter and 1-1.5 " high] would have been preferred as plated full wedge w. fruits,creme,etc. In today's world of variously shaped & textured plates, all of these courses were served on the same round white china plate w. a thin turquoise line of the rim. So no passion in the staff, cooking or presentation. Per another post re; Michelin 2006, I don't think Jamin will garner any....and I don't expect it to be in existence if our night was a typical one.
  5. GL was bustling when we visited this past Friday afternoon. Since our visit a year ago, the oriental section appears to have expanded somewhat, the coffee section/counter is new [i think] and there now is an Antilles/caribbean counter. On the outer rim they have barrels and baskets of loose teas and spices, reminding me a bit of Fauchon. We bought macarons at Dallayou which were either stale or otherwise awful. We did collect a few items for our flight home...our last bites of Paris! We had added dessert from Laduree, so we were very happy flyers!
  6. Rosie, We must having been composing our posts simultaneously. I couldn't remember your entrees.... but my crabcake was unforgettable! With a little lobster bisque sauce and some rice, it could be an entree. I couldn't even recall other dessert offerings although I do recall a 'hot fudge sundae'.
  7. Nestled in Eagle Rock Reservation, Highlawn Pavilion derives its name from both its design & location. Wending your way through the woodsy reservation, you first see it at a distance, its shimmering lights, appearing slightly mysterious but inviting entry. We dined there this past Friday evening. We didn't visit the bar [w. tables] but walked past the glass enclosed kitchen [always fun to see!] , directly into the main diningroom. The podium/restaurant is under the management of Jan Zimmerman, a charming man who exudes calmness and experience. The dingingroom is a long--or wide---room which allows as many window tables as possible. Be sure to request one. Last Friday was a clear, crisp night and the combination of the lighted NYC skyline and our starry Monclair sky made a very romantic setting. The tables are widely spaced and nicely appointed, lacking only floral arrangements which would have added both color and warmth to the room [and to the entry also]. I hadn't visited Highlawn a few times in the past, had never enjoyed the cuisine and couldn't be convinced to return. This has changed with the advent of Mitchell Altholz, former owner and starred chef of Jocelyne's...and now chief toque at Highlawn. My what wonderful changes he has wrought! For those familiar w. Jocelyne's, many menu items will remind ...[the shimp ravioli w. 2 caviars, some of the salad, the duck breast & confit,the scallops & shrimp w. risotto among them] although there are also other choices [succulent grilled veal chop]. We were a party of four and all very much enjoyed their selections...an enormous salad, gratineed bowl of onion soup, icy,briney oysters w. migonnette & the piece de resistence, an enormous jumbo lump crab cake.Dinner included some of the items noted above. We were so sated that we couldn't do justic to the dessert menu. Service throughout the evening was very good. I was particularly impressed by the memorized, slowly & clearly articulated specials of the evening, recited w. prices and by the sincere attempt to please. Our waiters name was Tony and I would request to be seated in his section.
  8. Seeking a very special dessert for Christmas Eve Dinner [about 20 people] .... Parameters: rich & lovely make ahead [freeze would be even better] minimal last minute attention Past endeavors included a puff pastry napoleon w. rum cream & fresh fruits, a very rich chocolate cake, white chocolate cheesecake w. rasp.
  9. Docsconz, I agree w. you. We haven't dined at Per Se or Ducasse but would agree w. Jean George as being 3* [when 'on']. Don't feel that Le Bernardin or Daniel offer a 3* experience. If Bouley returned to a bit more precise cutting edge [rather than the mostly unchanging tasting menu] & slowed down the service to provide a more gracious experience, think he would merit 3*. Glad to see some famous restaurants which we found less than riveting, were not overly starred. For us, this would include Aureole, Gramercy, Gptham, March. From my post just a week ago, I cannot even imagine how La Goulue ever made the list...on any level and see no comparisons between it and Fleur de Sel which has fine cuisine. Perhaps the 'diverstiy' of 1* choices reflects coming to the 'new world' which presents rather varied cuisine. Can you imagine the howl, if the list tilted towards french? And Michelin never really embraces Italian cuisine. Corrected myself;meant Gotham, not Union Sq
  10. PaulaJK


    We dined at Bouley last evening and were 'wowed' by the medalklion of yellowfin on cantalope w. a ginger infused cappucino of sorts and a few micro greens on top. It, more than anything, reminded me of early Bouley.
  11. Fabulous review & photos. We went to Montreal on 10/7 and I think if we had seen your review, we might have changed our reservations! These items look scrumptious as well as very interesting. As it was, we dined at l"Autre Saison and Les Caprices de Nicholas and were very pleased.
  12. We spent last weekend in Montreal and had two excellent meals which I would be happy to rate as stellar... -Les Caprices de Nicholas..While there is a small menu here, every choice was excellent. Foie gras w. crumble & figs Guinea hen --I eat this everywhere & with its crisp, lacquered skin and moist meat, this was the best I've experienced! Piglet, rack & ? belly -L"Autre Saison Crisp asparagus w. hollandaise Moist, flavorful Confit of duck, w. raspberry sauce & greens Veal mignon w. morel sauce Fabulous stuffed quail w. raspberry sauce [blueberry tart was dense..didn't care for it] A bistro lunch on a Sunday afternoon at l'Express was also enjoyable.
  13. Highlawn Pavillion's new web page presents pix & bio of their new executive chef, Mitchell Altholz. As you may recall, he was the previous owner & chef at the star studded Restaurant Jocelyne in Maplewood. Highlawn's 'menu selections' brought fond memories of meals at that restaurant and we look forward to once again enjoying Mitchell Altholz's cuisine there.
  14. PaulaJK


    We dined there this week.....NY sleek decor...pleasant & competent serving staff........interesting menu........We enjoyed the crabcakes, served w. a mustard based sauce. They are succulently composed of jumbo lump crabmeat lightly bound w. mayo....a crab lovers treat... although some might miss the seasoning often influencing crabcakes. My skirt steak was cooked as ordered & had excellent flavor as did the accompanying fries. Bread basket was interesting. The 'shrimp cocktail 2 ways' was an interesting presentation and generous portion although mared by an iodine taste in the shrimp. After dinner cappucchino [weak] and dessert [chocolate brioche pudding of a dense, pureed consistency] fell below the mark.
  15. I would choose Taillevant and Le Grand Vefour and substitute Le Meurice for T. if you wished something a little more cutting edge. I am not a fan of Pierre Gagnaire [personal choice] nor Ambroisie and had an uninteresting meal at Le Cinq [which included pretentious service]. Enjoy your celebration!
  16. -Where is Grande Rue? I haven't been able to locate it. Thanks for the lead on Reminet. -Funny, 'Le Comptoir Paris' keeps coming up on the web w. Marakkesh along side of it! Do they serve only a set meal or is there an a la carte menu? -Temp au Temp sounds interesting & we will try to add it on. -No, we are not huge eaters....but it is so difficult to resist trying the restaurants I read about on egullet & in various magazines. Obviously, I need more time in Paris! -Has anyone visited Auguste?
  17. I've reviewed John Talbot's marvelous summaries and read the posts re: recent travels. I'm at the point of more is less re: ideas of where to dine. We want to try places new to us. What a temptation to revisit pleasurable experiences!! We need 4 lunch and 5 dinner venues, the former lighter and most likely a bistro type establishment. For Lunch we were thinking of Chez Savy, La Braisiere, Train Bleu and ?? For dinner, Les Ormes .Dominique Bouchet, The Bristol, and ? ? Would Le Regalade be better for L or D? Am I correct that Le Comptoir is Moroccan influenced? Has anyone tried C'amelot, Astier, la Chamarre or Le Temps au Temps? Thanks Edited to mention that we have a Sat & Sun in these days which is making choosing more difficult.
  18. We will be in Montreal on Fri 10/7 & Sat 10/8.... and although our buying opportunities would be limited by travel---we would enjoy strolling around. Is there market open on these days and if yes, where is it located? Sorry for such basic questions. Thanks
  19. I'm somewhat surprised re: doutournier [if leak is accurate]. We had more very enjoyable dinner there but a mediocre one about 6 months later. Even the better one did not reach the heights viewed above and experienced in Savoy, and Le Meurice.
  20. Setting, service, cusine and photo enhanced review----all marvelous! Thank you
  21. Scarlet...Restaurant was only open 2 weeks...uncomfortably warm.... Service was below acceptable [5 requests for water] although not mean spirited. Very slow. Next table repeatedly tried to order, finally walking out. Out of a few items on this short enough menu. Cuisine was ok Woman at next table sent back 'mussels' as they weren't "as fresh as they need to be" It will be good news if all of this is merely a reflection of starting up. We could use a nice continental restaurant in the area.
  22. BBDan We have been thinking about returning to France...and possibly Les Crayeres but are ambivalent. I pulled up their web site and saw Elena's menu. It seems v. limited and indeed, sounds "simple" in contrast to the former offerings. Have you seen it?
  23. Fiftydollars...I wish that I had read your post earlier. I just burnt through my 2nd Cuisinart blender. Both burn outs occurred in the same manner, viz the two black rubber parts shredding & smoking. I made an error in re-buying this brand item because I thought that perhaps I had somehow contributed to the first go-round. Now I'm on KA for belnding! I've enjoyed my Cuisinart FP for years.... and was both surprised & disappointed by the blender.
  24. PaulaJK

    Fleur De Sel

    We dined here recently...two ladies,typically, given table by door to kitchen even though other more desirable tables remained empty during service.....charming room....service is efficient and quiet but lacking any warmth or graciousness...piped in music is too advant garde for setting... menu selections are interesting.. tasting menu $82, prix fixe 3 course $62. Companion elected prix fixe. NO amuse App Napoleon of sardine rillette Lobster w. asian pear [petite serving of tender lobster,slightly sweet] Ent Braised veal breast Crisp poussin [salt crusted skin] on ragout of chanterelles & asparagus Dessert: Chocolate gaufrette w. chocolate ice cream....two chocolate covered gaufrette wafers w. very sweet caramel gluing them...left this as it was just too sweet. House burgundy wine $10 for small glass Our net bill was over $100 each and for this dinner and I thought that we left a little hungry and less than overwhelmed even though @ item was tasty enough.
  25. We had a rather negative dining experience at this restaurant.....although, in all fairness, it has been open less than a month. I hope it gets its act together as it would be a lovely addition to Millburn center.
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