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ajay

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    Charlottesville, VA
  1. So I am heading up to the Inn at Perry Cabin this weekend for a special occasion, and am having second thoughts about having dinner at the restaurant. I was told that the food is comproable to 208 Talbot or the Bistro, but on reading this thread, I'm not so sure. I was wondering if anyone has any recent experiences... Thanks!
  2. My girlfriend and I are going to be in Washington DC for a househunting trip on Sunday August 12, which happens to be our one year anniversary. I would like to have a great meal. Price is not necessarily an object for such a momentous occassion, but the meal need not be expensive. Indeed, the two high end restaurants in DC that I am most hoping to try are closed on Sunday: Komi and Palena. If anyone else has other recommendations that would be comparable to these two, we would appreciate them. But, I am assuming that these two restaurants may not be rivaled in Washington. Therefore, if you can suggest a place that has solid, well-executed food, a reasonable wine list and a romantic atmosphere that I have a chance of reserving between now and the 12th, I would be very much obliged. I look forward to meeting fellow DC egulleteers once I move down to the District. Thanks so much for your input.
  3. ajay

    Babbo

    My recollection is that tasting menus are only available for 2 or more people, though it's been a few years since I've been there. I don't remember a we need your seat atmosphere--the bar tenders were quite amiable and proved to be knowledgable about the food and drink. My only complaint about eating at the bar is that Babbo is such a popular restaurant that one runs the risk of of being jostled by thirsty patrons getting drinks while waiting for their tables. Arriving early has the advantage of allowing one to get a seat that's out of the direct line of fire. Hope that helps.
  4. I think that it's perfectly appropriate for Masa (or any other restaurant) to refuse to accomodate a diner with special needs. Indeed, if Masa believed that shellfish pervades their menu and it would be impossible for them to provide a meal that is free from contamination, they are obliged to inform you of this fact. However, assuming that you detailed the sensitivity of your allergy, and the restaurant agrees to accomodate you, it has the obligation to do so. I think serving you the scallop sushi is a major service lapse that is completley unacceptable. I think a particularly perceptive server would have offered to take back the sushi touching the scallop on his own accord. That said, I think with regard to the contaminated scallop a little bit of self-help might have preserved more of your dinning experience. You obviously know more about your allergy than the restaurant, and asking for a new piece of sushi due to contamination fears might have done a lot to keep the staff especially vigilant for the rest of the evening. I think it would be incredibly poor form for the restaurant to refuse to accomodate a request for new sushi based on the contamination, or indeed even to charge extra for doing so. I understand the desire to avoid having to remind a restaurant (particularly at that caliber) of one's special needs over and over, but if it appears as though they don't understand the scope and nature of one's needs, providing additional communication is probably the surest route to an enjoyable dinning experience. Thanks for the report.
  5. I think that I am going to wait for Cafe Grey to get it's feet on the ground. While I don't know what Chef Kunz's long-term vision is, I suspect that once he realizes that there is such a high demand for tasting his eclectic talent applied to luxe ingredients, he may turn CG into something akin to Joel Rubochon's Atelier in Paris, which reprises many favorites and has plenty of ultra luxe ingredients--price wise, it was quite expensive but not approaching Michelin 2-3 star prices. I'd really hate to miss my last chance in a while to have a haute cuisine meal on a restaurant that isn't quite capable of producing what I'm looking for. In the alternative, given that it now appears possible to charge comparatively higher prices than during Lespinasse's prime, I would not be surprised to see, as other people suggest, a fine dining restaurant from Chef Kunz. In the meantime, I might as well go to Cafe Boloud. I've never been showered with luxe ingredients, but chef C rivals Mssr. Boloud's deftness in the art of creating successful, integrated tasting menus. WHile CB's service doesn't rise to 4 star levels, they've been around for a while and the ship is pretty tightly run. I think it's just going to be a lower risk proposition at about the same price point. It's a shame though; CG sounds like it has a lot of potential.
  6. I plan on dining at Cafe Grey soon, and I was wondering if anyone has gotten any closer to cracking the code on how to get the most Lespinasse like experience out of Cafe Grey? The only two signatures that I know about are the risoto and the short ribs, but since I don't eat beef for religuous reasons, I was wondering if anyone could recommend another Grey Kunz classics or dishes with the complexity and intricate flavors that one would have found at Lespinasse. I have a bias towards substantial portions, but am willing to consider smaller sized dishes that are particularly worthy. I have only experienced Lespinasse with Chef Delouvrier at the helm, so this would be my first introduction to Chef Kunz's cokking. If I made it into New York more oftem, I think would hold off on the visit as the restaurant still appears to be working out a lot of its kinks. But unless the lawfirm gods smile very brightly and grant me a job this summer, I will not have another opportunity to visit Cafe Grey in the near future, so any advice or recommendations would be most welcome.
  7. ajay

    THE BEST: Fries

    F+B had great fries (that, I believe, utilized the double frying technique), but i haven't been there recently and fat guy's report suggested that they have gone down hill.
  8. ajay

    Rochester, NY

    There's nothing great in Niagara Falls proper but I think you'll be well rewarded if you go to the Niagara on the Lake region, which is close by. There are some interesting winery restaurants in that region. See the Canada boards where I believe there was some discussion of these places. Also, consider Ming Teh, a pretty good chinese place in Fort Erie (also close to but not in Niagara Falls).
  9. ajay

    Durham, NC

    Zeb A, Can you provide a little more info on Enoteca Vin?? [Nothing came up on the search function.] I'm always pressed to find new and exciting things when I'm in the triangle area, though I am so all Scott Howell's new bbq place.
  10. ajay

    Atelier

    I too recently asked the kitchen to cook for me and the sommelier to pair wines with my courses...I didn't think to give him any parameters though I don't recall any chardonay. The dessert wine, Ron mentioned is one of the best I've had in quite some time. I love sweet wine so for me this was a real treat. [The wine was initially paired with foie gras but i enjoyed it so much that I asked for a second pour in addition to my escellent solera sherry ximinez during dessert.] The sommelier said something about using condensed grape must to acheive the flavor...any comments, Ron? I'm not a sommelier and I've only had d'yquem once so in my book this wine still acheives an A+
  11. I have always been a big fan of Barolo da Enzo--it's an above average Italian place in SW just past the Library of Congress buildings (don't remember the exact address though, it's been a while). They had a fairly strong pasta selection and excellent tiramisu.
  12. I know the request specifically disclaimed the desire for a michelin star, but given the itenerary, I think a visit to Astrance may be in order (if they are open and a table can be procured of course). It sounds to me like most of the dinning on the trip will consist of food without a tremendous amount of innovation. It might not be a bad idea to conclude the trip in Paris with a meal that is on the cutting edge. I have only been to Astrance once but enjoyed it immensely (not to mention the fact that it is fairly well priced for the value). Members with excellent palates (Lizziee and Robert Brown) have come out against Astrance and I haven't heard much since, but I was thrilled. I wish Cabrales would consider extending self-imposed posting guidelines to advising people on Astrance (and updating us on all dinning in France) because even when our palates don't agree, Cabrales's posts are the closest I come to taking in cuisine without actually being physically present
  13. How many respectable restauarnts does that leave in the LA area?
  14. ajay

    Nana's

    Rather than edit my post above, I will retract my claims that Nana's is new and substitute a paraphrase from NBC promos--Nana's was new to me. Thanks for Chef Howell's name by the way, he seems like a nice guy...he came out to the table to discuss the tasting menu with us, was very accommodating of my sister's vegetarianism (lacto-ovo and now apparently tiny amounts of stock--she's beginning to see the light). But, seeing as we had one of the later sittings (8:00 PM), he did not come back out to chat with us during the meal or afterwards. I would have liked to discuss the source of the pork and understand better what he was trying to accomplish with the smoked salmon dish. Anyway, this is a strong restaurant and I hope it's around for many years to come. What do other egulleteers think?? Varmint, do you have any experiences??
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