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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Posts posted by Felice

  1. The answer to your question will also vary depending on the country the restaurant is in, as tipping systems vary. As stated, in the US 15-20 % would be expected on the price of the bill.

    I don't want to get off topic but wanted to clarify the question

    is 200$ plenty of dough for an waiter who probably hasn't graduated from college?
    In any good restaurant I have worked in (in a major US city that is), the waiters are quite educated. I have worked with many waiters who have a masters and even higher degrees, so I would be careful to assume that waiters are uneducated.

  2. Which to get back to Al's challenge, brings up all the other Generation "C"/Omnivore/Le Fooding favorites; eg David Zuddas, Iñaki Aizpitarte, Thierry Marx, etc.  They're all supposed to be creative and not available in New York.


    Actually, I didn't realise that Chateaubriand was not mentionned, that would be one of my first choices for creative on the non-star end. And Gazetta as well, despite the mixed reviews.

  3. I wanted to add my two cents because I am in the unique position of having worked under both systems ; first in the US--specifically in Philadelphia where servers are paid 2.01 USD per hour plus tips, and also in Paris where the service is « compris » which only means that your server is being paid a wage like any other job. In Paris I had health insurance (as I did in Philadelphia, although it was voluntary and I paid into the system) and 5 weeks of paid vacation and sick days if I had ever needed one. So which system do I prefer? The US system hands down, and not just because money was better--which it was. I just liked that feeling that if I worked a little harder, picked up a few more tables, gave better service, went out of my way for a table, that I could influence the amount of money I made. There is something highly motivating about being about to control the amount of money you make. In Paris, there was really no chance of that. Of course, I love restaurants and so being a good server was still important, but unfortunately money is still a big motivator, no matter how much you love your job.

    And to get back to the original poster, in any place I have ever worked in the US, it was strictly against policy to question a table about their tipping habits, and I have seen waiters get suspended for this. Thankfully, at least in my experience, those who don’t tip are the overwhelming minority. It was very rare when I got less than 15%, and if I did, there was always someone else who tipped 30% to make up for it. I honestly think in ten years of waiting tables, I could probably count the times I was stiffed on two hands. Of course when it happens, it’s infuriating, but now looking back, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t worth getting upset over.

  4. This isn't exactly a new a place, but Gazetta is a place that doesn't get mentioned often for some reason.   I had an amazing meal there in July and thought at the time that it wouldn't be surprising if it was awarded a star.

    Hi. We're visiting Paris in February and Felice's write up of La Gazzetta definitely makes it sound worth visiting. However, after doing a search, I found several less than flattering reports (some using words like "inedible" about certain dishes). Obviously, I take everything I read with a grain of salt, but I would love to hear any other recent comments from other gulleteers.

    Hugh, in case your trip is not yet complete, Francois Simon raves about La Gazetta in today's Figaro and calls it "sans-faute". You can read the full review (at least for now) here

  5. I'm looking for a coffee bean purveyor in the 10th or nearabouts. We're on the Canal St Martin near Hotel Du Nord. I've seen recs for Amazone, Verlet and Comptoir Richard, but is there nothing in my neck of the woods?



    Even if there isn't, a few of the above can't be more than 20 or 30 minutes by metro or even walking.

    Yes, yes, but what you're forgetting is I'm the laziest person in the world...

    It's not exactly next door, but I stopped by Goumanyat, which is near Republique, on a walk from the Canal and while they are not a coffee roaster, they do sell whole beans and will grind them for you. This is a store definitely worth visiting, from any arrondissement. They have an amazing array of interesting spices, sugars, salts, oils, vinegars and other things cooking related. They had many things I have never seen in any other store. Definitely worth the walk, even for the laziest person in the world :smile:

  6. Let's remember, it is not France who made this ruling but rather the EU. The EU banned growth hormones from its own beef and therefore refused to import beef with synthetic growth hormones. The WTO found that the EU did not provide enough scientific evidence that the hormones were a risk and therefore could not ban US beef. When the EU did not comply the US and Canada were permitted to slap retaliatory tariffs.

    But Fat Guy has a point, why not let EU consumers decide if they want beef with synthetic hormones?

    I know the Ptipois recently posted about buying US beef, so evidently US beef is allowed, as long as it adheres to the same standards set for EU beef.

    My problem with this tariff is that it seems to penalise Roquefort farmers in particular for some reason.

    In tribute to the Roquefort cheese makers I bought this AOC raw milk Roquefort on my way home last night.


    In light of all this, how much does it cost to buy Roquefort in the US?

  7. The US Government recently announced that it will triple the already high 100% duty applied to the import of Roquefort cheese in retaliation for the European Union's refusal to import hormone-fed beef.

    Is it fair to tax one particular product--although high taxes were levied on hundreds of other products as well, but from what I have read, the famous bleu is the only one with a 300% tariff--in order to punish Europe for not wanting hormone-fed beef?

    An Article from the Times

    And another from Time

  8. Thanks for this Marianne. I am glad to hear that you really liked Gazetta because I did as well, and from the meal I had would highly recommend it. It seems to receive mixed reports though, especially from when they first opened.

    And I am also happy to hear about La Fidélité because I tried to book last night and they were complet, unless you wanted to give up your table by 21h, which I didn't. I was very lucky to get in to La Baratin instead, which was flawless, so it sounds like the gods were on my side.

  9. I recently made red beans with turmeric, tomatoes and coconut milk that was delicious, inexpensive and quite easy to do. I just sauteed onions and garlic in my cocotte, added turmeric, a bit of chili, cooked good quality red beans, a can of tomatos with juice and the coconut milk, let it all simmer and served with basmati rice. We had enough for a few meals and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry but I would imagine the cost was no more than 5 dollars so less than one dollar per serving.

  10. That said, for quite good sushi at a reasonable price, your best bet is probably to go in the 2nd arrondissement, rue Ste Anne where there are a lot of japanese restaurants (not everyone does sushi). To be honest, I don't know really know these, and some are obviously bound to be better than others. Korin was hyped by François Simon (french food critic "guru") last year, for example...

    You can also check here for a list of "authentic" and recommended japanese restaurants. I know only a few of them, which are all good, so I'd say the list is quite solid.

    The link Olivier gives is great and I use it all of the time for finding authentic Japanese. I have been to Korin a few times (although it is now called Michi) and it is good for authentic inexpensive sushi. I first went with a Japanese friend a few years ago who introduced me to a few of her favorite places (we also went to Hyotan in the 8th and comme des poissons in the 16th) . Also on rue Saint Anne, but for a higher price tag is Bizan, which was quite good. I was speaking to another Japanese colleague the other day who said that the best sushi is in NY, not even Japan and his favorite in Paris is Isami, which is also quite expensive. I have also heard Kaiseki is very good, but have not been.

    Rue Sainte Anne has a lot of great places as Olivier said, although more for udon, ramen, katsudon and yakatori.

  11. I have worked in many restaurants and definitely think it is bad form to serve the food before the wine arrives, unless you ordered your food long before ordering the wine, sending the waiter away while deciding and then took a long time to decide what you wanted, which led the waiter to believe that the wine was an after thought. However, in most cases I think this is a poor timing issue on the part of the waiter. They probably put both orders in at once (which they shouldn't have if they know how things are running in the BOH and FOH) and the bar was backed up.

  12. Thanks, Felice. Lazy off-topic question: on the Fooding web site, is there a list of restaurants by "rating" category - as in Trop Bon? As we're usually in Paris for only a few days a year and the rest of France for only a few more days than that at most, I've never really used Fooding (whose name gives me the willies almost as much as the English "foodie").

    Yes, you can go to http://www.lefooding.com/guide.htm and then choose "trop bon" under catergory (you need to pick Paris for the department) and you will get their favorite restaurants in each arrondissement, in all price ranges. It doesn't list all of the best restaurants and most are non-starred, but if a resto is on their "trop bon" list, chances are it's good. They are definitely not the Michelin guide or Pudlo and target a different audience (mostly bobos), so this is not a guide that will appeal to everyone here. The site is great because it is more current and lists new places each week. And if your French isn't up to speed, John always sums up their "bonne nouvelle" in his digest.

  13. Let me revive this thread to ask if anyone has been to 21 rue Mazarine recently.

    I have not, but it is one of the only restos in the Fooding's "Trop Bon" category that I have not tried and none of them have let me down so far, so I would not hesitate to go and it is certainly on my list to try.

  14. I think you must mean Le Comptoir, and not the Competitor, unfortunately it is pretty difficult to get a reservation, but if you can get one by all means go. You could always go for lunch, when the menu changes to bistro cuisine and there are no reservations taken, although you may have a wait. I think your other choices are goods ones. If I had to choose only four from the list I think I would go with La Regalade, L’Ami Jean, Le Baratin and Chateaubriand. Cul de Poule, is fine if you live in the neighbourhood and want something casual but I wouldn’t travel the Atlantic for it. In the past, I have loved Aux Lyonnais and the setting is beautiful but I was less thrilled the last time; it is a place I have taken visitors many times, but more for the setting. You might want one brasserie as well, perhaps for lunch.

    Most of the wine bars I go to in Paris are places where you are expected to eat something and depending may even be expected to reserve. But you can always grab a glass of wine at the Rubis in the 1st, which is less about the wine and more about the atmosphere, which is very old school. There’s La Cremerie in the 6th for natural wines and a beautiful setting (you will be required to eat at least a small plate of charcuterie or cheese), I adore le Verre Volé in the 10th which would be nice after strolling along the Canal. Racines, is located in the picturesque Passage des Panormas, but for both I would reserve, as they are tiny. Le Grand Pere et fils wine shop, in the 2nd has a lovely wine bar and you can just drop in for a glass.

  15. I have a friend, who I love dearly, but is very difficult to eat with. First off, she doesn’t really eat very much and will agree to go out but then will just want a small green salad or a side of vegetables or even just a glass of wine and then will ask to try something of mine and will eat the things that the rest of us don't finish! The other night we went for Thai and she wasn't really hungry and wanted a green salad (not on the menu at all) and ate the left over shrimp tails from my soup :blink:

  16. When I first moved here 7 years ago, if I am remembering correctly, I can remember someone coming around to my neighborhood and ringing a bell or something in the street and my French teacher told us it was someone coming around to sharpen knives. I don't remember ever seeing it again though. I am crazy, or did this exist? I think the kitchen supply stores are definitely a good place to look. If you have a restaurant that you go to often close by, you could ask them what they do. I am sure they have a service.

  17. Too far! They make a big deal out of exploring the "real Paris", but it really is in the boondocks..that said, I myself will be sleeping there and testing it soon..

    I was hoping you would chime in FreshA. I would love to know your impressions. I agree that it is "too far", I lived near Alexandre Dumas and can't say that it was my favorite neighborhood. That said, there are intersting pockets and the hotel is pretty cool. It will not be a place for everyone.

  18. Thanks for the great rundown, Felice!  I've been thinking of heading over there to explore their drinks on offer and will probably do so next week....so, I'll be checking out that circular bar!

    I was actually thinking of you for this, defintely let us know how the drinks are as it seems like it should be a cool spot. They also have a DJ on certain nights, but we left before the music started.

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