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Everything posted by menton1

  1. Looks like you like Asian, have you been to Saigon R in Englewood? This is a special place. Pan-Asian. Small and cozy, res are a must. Food is really fabulous, the chef here really cares. Our faves include the Pho, the Mussel Appetizer, and the Basa Fish and Pork Chop main dishes. But everything on the menu is great. A unique place, if you haven't been, go. Saigon R 58 W Palisade Ave Englewood 201-871-4777
  2. We have had extensive discussions about this section of the Riviera, I think John Talbott made a compendium of them on a single thread recently. I will just say here that for me, the most fun places here are the middle-of-the-road family places rather than the Michelin starred ones. Nice is loaded with these. Also, consider taking a 40 minute drive to Bordighera, Italy for a complete shift in culture and food. Even the terrain changes, just a look at the scenery tells you that you are in Italy. The Ligurian regional cuisine here is awesome. We love a place called Magiarge WebSite But many many good restos in Bordighera. Not really thrilled with the waterfront restos in Villefranche; for the most part they are touristy, mediocre, and overpriced. All for the view! Try an off-the-beaten-track place called Le Cabanon in Cap D'Ail for a great view, right smack on the beach, and some terrific fun food!
  3. Adding a couple more terrific restaurant guides. (All in Italian): la Guida Critica Golosa guida Il Secolo la Gola in Tasca la guide de Veronelli Duemilavini Buon appetito!
  4. Most of the Kosher and kosher-style delis have it. It is quite unique, but I never cared for it.
  5. Even worse, up to about 8-9 years ago, Route 19 was called Route 20. That made TWO different "Route 20's" within 3 miles of each other! Talk about confusion! Great news about Papaya King. Grilled dogs are my favorite.
  6. I've also heard "bon appétit" used many times by French people. As a matter of fact, it was just used in a French movie that we watched at home last night. ("Ce jour-la"). As far as the use of les "toilettes", Polly Platt, author of books devoted to an American understanding of French culture ("Savoir Flair" and others) has mentioned the French disinclination to get up in the middle of the meal to use them. The French must have terrific bladder control in their genes!
  7. Does this mean that Lucy won't be posting at all? Not sure what "stepping down" actually means. Edited to fix typos.
  8. Sounds like an interesting trip. The drive from the Loire Valley to Bordeaux is a good 6-7 hours, though. Uses up most of a day (each way). I'm a big fan of Chambres d'hote, and in general, I stay away from the Relais et Chateax properties; although high end, they tend to be too snooty, too enclosed, and very very overpriced for the value. But that's just my IMHO. I think with a little research there are much better choices. Gites de France has some terrific properties but they are mixed in with some mediocre ones, you have to sort them out. Usually the "4 épis" ratings are excellent. Don't miss the Vouvray in the Touraine! Love the stuff!
  9. Thanks, John; thought I'd give this thread it's own bump, in light of the upcoming 2 great festivals on the Riviera. The Nice Carnaval, the biggest "Carnival" celebration in Europe, and perhaps 2nd only to Rio in pomp and celebration. The Nice theme this year is the "Roi de la Grand Mélee" , or, King of the Grand Free-for All. It is a 10 day event with parades, food, and lots of activities. The Menton Fete du Citron this year is celebrating India. Giant floats made out of lemons and oranges, just an unbelievable sight, in 6 venues all over town, including some glorious gardens. Menton has a warm micro-climate from its protected bay that keeps it several degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. One of these years I will get to these two great festivals. In the meantime, anybody planning on going to either of these?
  10. Hmmm. This usually means these places have better food and are more authentic. Who needs the "outside world"?
  11. The New Zealand Mussels dish at Saigon R in Englewood. Absolutely awesome.
  12. Funny, I've rarely encountered a Brit in this area, even though it is on their "favorites" list. I love the village of Sarlat-le-Caneda, and also love the quietude of the Lot-et-Garonne. Haven't been to Tarn-et-Garonne yet, but will get there one of these trips for sure. It's France, what could be bad?
  13. Well, I think that the excursion from the Loire Valley to Bordeaux will consume the better part of a day. A pretty good distance. Perhaps an alternative might be the TGV from Paris-Bordeaux, just under 3 hours. IMHO Bordeaux is lovely, but a bit staid. My favorite départements in the Southwest are Dordogne and Lot. Literally hundreds of castles (the fortified type, not the luxurious Loire Valley type) also ancient caves with paintings literally 15-17,000 years old! Staggering, make reservations. Grotte de Font de Gaume in Les Eyzies, and Grotte de Peche Merle in the Lot are the best of the bunch for me. The food also excels, and some of the Chambres d'hote in this area offer a Table d'Hote, which means dinner at a community table with the other guests and the hosts. An unforgettable experience. Also the "bastide" fortified villages are quite fascinating. And although its a popular area, the Dordogne doesn't have the touristy-ness of Provence, and is much more down-to earth. Enjoy!
  14. This is a most difficult request to answer, France is so big and so varied, and there are so many endless things to do, I would not know where to start with you. You might be able to narrow down the field a bit by starting with some general interests that you have, and just how much time you want to spend driving. France may look small on a map, but driving all over can be quite time-consuming and if you are like myself you may prefer stayovers of at least 3-4 nights on your expeditions. YOu could also have a look at the different Regions first (there are 21) and see if some have more or less appeal to you. After you have narrowed your lists down, let us know and perhaps we could be of better assistance. You might also find that you will, like us, have to return to France over and over again to see all that you want to in this great country. Bon voyage!
  15. The best way to tip in France is in cash. 5% is considered a large gratuity. If you tip with a credit card many times this will NOT be passed along to the waiter, because the house will keep the money, as per arrangement with the waiters and the waiters' syndicat. At some less pricey places other than Taillevent, just some monnaie (coins) left on the table will suffice.
  16. Gee, haven't been in a few months, but am quite surprised at the negative comments. Yes, it's only one corner of the warehouse, and yes, it's early to eat this stuff, but it's been a big, fresh spread of lots and lots of delicious items. Serrano ham, Spanish sausage, famous borquerones(white anchovies), belly tuna pate, lots of different kinds of olives, bread with olive oil dips, spanish cheeses, cookies and sweets, and it's all washed down with complimentary Rioja. What could be bad? The products were always fresh and of very high quality. Perhaps it was an off day?
  17. Big Warehouse sale, Saturday, Jan 12, 10-2. Be sure to come hungry!!
  18. Based on a survey of its culinary experts, Le Figaro has issued its short list of the best croissants in Paris. On one day, they gave tastings of 64 croissants to the team of experts. the top 4 were as follows: 1. Pierre Hermé. Top honors. 2. Le Triomphe, 95 rue d'Avron, 20e. 3. Laurent Duchène, 2 rue Wurtz, 13e. 4. Gérard Mulot, 76 rue de Seine, 6e. Poilane finished 10th. What's your favorite in Paris?
  19. Should be able to find them at Balthazar on Dean St in Englewood. Best bakery on this side of the Hudson.
  20. Yes, I suppose "small" and "intimate" don't always go together. I'm reminded of La Merenda in Nice, which is only about 16 seats but is hardly qualified as "intimate". I can think of a lot of candidates in the countryside and other parts of France, but I'll await others' suggestions for Paris.
  21. I can't say it's non-Commercial, but it's all hand made, and it's absolute heaven: Neuhaus. The shop is on the fashionable upscale shopping street, Avenue Louise.
  22. I know that in France, unlike in the States, most restaurants only have one seating per night, without "turning over" the tables; but these are just too big for my taste!! Even Figaroscope's intro warns that the food quality is not as grand as the space! Now, John, you need a post on the smallest and most intimate restos in Paris...
  23. Well, this balsamico labeling subterfuge led me right into thoughts of its partner, Olive oil. About 95% of the olive oil that is labeled "Italy" is only put in the bottles in Italy, after it is shipped in drums from where it is grown and pressed, which is Spain!! I once met the Spanish Ambassador at a film festival and he was rather miffed at the short shrift Spain gets for producing all this oil!! So maybe an "Italy" olive oil goes well with a 100 year old Balsamico??
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