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gruyere

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  1. gruyere

    West Island

    le Gourmand in the Pointe Claire village is a good bet. Good food with a good wine list including quite a few private imports as well as a very nice bar. If it's warm enough ask for the terrace which is the best in that area and one of the best in the city. 514-695-9077
  2. So I'm confused that your saying that Chris Leahy from BLT Prime is 2nd tier. we all know that big chef's come down with there brigade, and he was part of that team nes pas, while M. Tourondel was in the dining room mingeling with the guests , i presume that Mr. Leahy was in the back dishing out Plates from the amazing amuse bouche to the Dessert. Wednesday, February 28: BLT meets Globe http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/stor...c4-806a322e4cee ← Aren't you really reinforcing the previously made point. The boss is in the dining room while the second in command is following orders and getting the head chef's product on the plate in a fashion that will please him. It happen's all the time doesn't it? All of the greats have a wonderful team. But that doesn't make the number two guy Martin Picard or Normand Laprise or ??? I think the point is that there may be a little too much hype when compared to what is already available.... but hey why not? Let's wait and see. Who knows; maybe Mr. Leahy will w-o-w.
  3. gruyere

    Liverpool

    I have thought about entering this discussion for some time. However, I felt that I should eat at Liverpool House before doing so. I have enjoyed many great meals at Joe Beef and was anxious to try LH but on the two previous occasions when I tried to make a rez, I was too late and the place was full. Last Thursday was my first meal there. I don’t agree with many of the points made in this discussion. Firstly, who deemed Liverpool House an Italian Restaurant? Dishes that may support such a theory include gnocchi as a starter and a lobster/pasta dish and risotto on the mains. A lobster/pasta dish has been on the Joe Beef menu for as long as I can remember, risotto is on many non-Italian restaurant menus and for my money I’ll take Claude Pelletier’s version over those of most of our Italian restaurants. Thursday, I perused a starter menu with a beet salad, Boston lettuce salad, charcuterie plate, smoked salmon, foie gras and I’m forgetting others, to go along with the sole Italian entry, the gnocchi. Mains included braised beef, Canard de Peking (Oh my god, are they going Chinese next time??), two steak options, liver and onions and a salmon and chicken dish that were decidedly non-Italian. Frankly, given all the discussion, I was surprised by the degree to which LH is similar to JB. One of the greatest gifts that a nation can give to the world is to share its cuisine. No nation has done a better job than Italy….. what a blessing and hats off to those who do it well. The dishes of Italian influence at Liverpool House are very well done (our table of five included a lobster/pasta dish and rabbit risotto) but these menu items are dwarfed in numbers by other dishes. Anyone heading to Liverpool House in search of an extensive Italian menu would be quite disappointed. However, they are highly unlikely to be disappointed if they are seeking great food in a lively, convivial atmosphere. This team of Montrealers has a great business model going. Who would have thought that you could open a restaurant (JB) in this area of town, spend minimally on décor in a way that redefines the term 'shabby chic' and draw full-house crowds based on great food and an atmosphere that is created as much by the patrons as by the operators and then on top of that add another popular venue virtually next door, creating your own competition before someone else does. I don’t know if that was the well thought out strategy, but it sure looks like a good one. It seems somehow out of order that some people are so focused on the negative. I travel a lot and I believe Montrealers are well informed, knowledgeable restaurant goers; certainly more so than the average North American. We walked by JB at about 7:45 and later at 10:45. It was full and almost full at the two respective times. LH was almost full when we arrived and full by about 8:15. I don’t believe customers are flocking to this somewhat obscure part of the city to simply receive a warm welcome from David M. and company. Lesley C’s review of LH was positive and this can cause a 'blip' in business for a period of time, but it was busy before the review and I suspect it will be busy long after. What is it that causes locals to disproportionately heap criticism on local enterprises that do well? This phenomenon is not unique to Montreal, although it does, in my experience, tend to be more prevalent in smaller towns. Is it possible that there is some jealousy going on here? Is it possible that the restaurant business model that dictates huge reno budgets in the high rent part of town, to go with long legs and ample boobs, cannot fathom that such a simple strategy based on great food and fun can really be a more successful formula; not that the two are mutually exclusive in any way. For the record I am a great fan of Cavalli and its ‘scene’ of great food and ‘beautiful people’ in a fun, well designed space. BTW, having prepared this reply on Friday, I was feeling rather like it was time for a good old Italian meal. On the recommendation of a friend we ended up at da Emma. I hadn’t been there in years. What a pleasant surprise – great service, great food, just the way momma used to make it!!
  4. I believe you will find pink salt at les Douceurs du Marche, Atwater Market, first floor, north end. You can check with them at 514-939-3902.
  5. gruyere

    Toque

    You are right Joey. Lesley C. like most major N.American newspaper reviewers (NY Times for example) uses a four star system. The reference to "almost giving my first 4 1/2 star review" (not a direct quote but this was the drift I believe) may have caused ArtistSeries to think otherwise. However, it was my interpretation that this was more of an analogy similar to "I almost gave it 11 out of 10." CAA/AAA have a 5 star system and Mobil has a five diamond one. These I believe are more skewed to large hotels and highly visible operations such as Nuance at the Casino. Michelin as most people are aware judges on a three star system.
  6. gruyere

    Taro Sushi.

    It's not sushi, but I think Milo's patrons would disagree with this statement.
  7. Dave McMillan, owner of Joe Beef and a member of this forum, could very easily take this discussion out of the realm of the hypothetical and possibly even end it, by telling his side of the story, or apologizing. As for davecap, I'll take his word until I have a reason not to. ← Dave M has not been an active eG forum participant for some time. The last time I was at JB, I spoke to Dave about this incident and there are indeed extenuating circumstances. However it would be a no win situation for him to engage in this incessant debate. You should remember that he left the multi-establishment corporate restaurant scene in order to concentrate on his own place and to report to himself. It is his business and within the laws of the land he can conduct himself as he sees fit. Is it smart to be rude or treat a potential customer with disdain? Probably not. Would he do the same thing again? I'm not sure; we'll have to ask him. Let us not forget that there is not but one set of rules for how you run a business; service or otherwise. Marco Pierre White who became the first English born chef to garner 3 Michelin stars (he remains the youngest to do so) would, on occasion, literally throw customers out the door if they pissed him off. He became revered throughout England as the Bad Boy Chef and his multi-starred establishments were extremely successful. Is that what we know as Joe Beef? Not at all. Those of us who patronise the restaurant see it as a wonderful little oasis where the service is great, the decor unpretentious, the food fabulous and the overall experience one of the very best in our city of great restaurants.
  8. gruyere

    Poulet de Bresse

    Cricklewood, Do you know where the Giannone bird is available in Montreal? TKS
  9. Admittedly few establishments have the drawing power to maintain this sort of cancellation policy. Nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to look at how some of the ‘best of class’ restaurants are coping with cancellations. This was copied from Heston Bumenthal’s Fat Duck website: CANCELLATION POLICY Regrettably our experience dictates this precaution. For parties of five and six people we ask that our customers give at least 5 working days notice. In the event this is not honoured we will charge £100.00 per person. For parties of four we ask that customers give at least 72 hours notice. In the event this in not honoured we will charge £80.00 per person. For parties of three and below we ask that customers give at least 48 hours notice. In the event this is not honoured we will charge £80.00 per person. That's some pretty serious damage!! The original poster would have been out 240 GBP or in the order of $480 US. Under these circumstances somehow I think there may have been an afternoon nap (for the young child) pro-actively inserted into the program. BTW, I know there are few restaurants in the world like Fat Duck and I'm not suggesting in any way that this policy makes sense for other than a handful of operators.
  10. gruyere

    Poulet de Bresse

    Where would you shop for the very best chicken for roasting? I currently go to Boucherie Charcuterie de Tours and look for a free range, biologique alternative. However we know that these terms are bandied about in a manner that does not necessarily instill confidence that the real thing is actually being purchased (this is not in any way a reflection on Boucherie de Tours but anyone who has read The Omnivores' Dilemma will be familiar with my point that organic and other such terms are used without much regulatory obligation to ensure that producers comply with strict adherance to conditions that the terms imply). Do you look for a particular producers bird? Is there any product that you would say is Quebec's Poulet de Bresse? I know that there are very strict French AOC regulations defining the minimum amount of space per bird (10 m2 I believe) etc. and that no such grand bird exists here, but is there a recognized 'best bird' out there?
  11. I couldn't agree more Lesley. I'm heading there on Saturday. Do you think I would endure any bodily harm if I called to cancel my reservation at the last minute and then entered the restaurant with a "Just kidding!!!"? Probably a tad dangerous I suppose.
  12. gee, overreact much? ← Let me try to put my position in perspective. First of all Davecap, the original poster, has reacted to criticism in this thread in a very honourable way. I felt he was wrong in how he handled the situation and I let him know. At some point up-thread he said “point well taken.” His situation is one that is probably in the grey area of what is acceptable. My point in further highlighting his situation was to illustrate that we should consider our making a reservation as a sort of moral contract and govern ourselves accordingly. I know several people in the business, many of whom struggle every day to make ends meet and who work hard to pay their staff a reasonable wage with at least some sort of meagre benefits. It pisses me off when people treat them and their businesses with servitude and consider their station in life to be at or near the bottom rung of the ladder. By way of example I would like to detail an experience that I had about a year ago: My wife and I were meeting another couple for drinks and dinner. We had agreed to meet at a certain bar and go to the restaurant from there. I had previously suggested to ‘Bill’ that he make the reservation and that his choice would be fine. “Just tell us where to meet and we’ll be there.” After arriving at the bar I asked him where we were going to eat. He said “I know you’re into the food side of life so I made a reservation at restaurant X and restaurant Y. Let’s decide where to go. I replied “Our reservation is in less than an hour which one did you cancel?” He said “Oh don’t worry. I didn’t cancel either; people do this all the time; they’re used to it.” I pulled out my phone and said “It’s Friday night; both of these places are probably fully booked. Where are we going, I’m cancelling one of these reservations.” He said “I wouldn’t call now they’re not going to be very happy with us.” I said “You know Bill you’re an inconsiderate, self centred f#^king prick.” I meant it then and I mean it now. If it’s overreaction from some points of view so be it. No apologies from here!
  13. I’m not in the business but I am a frequent client. Is it wise to aggressively put down a customer who cancels at the last minute? No, it’s not good business. The bite your tongue, “Thanks for calling, we hope to see you again soon.” approach is the smarter one. Yes cancellations are part of the game, but as far as I am concerned a potential customer who makes a reservation enters into a contract with the establishment. The empty table and loss of business caused by late cancellations drives up an operator’s cost; a cost that he has to recover by charging me more. Anybody who casually makes a restaurant reservation and then cancels for no good reason especially at the last minute or worse still, doesn’t bother to call, is an inconsiderate, self centered, prick! This subject began debate as a result of a couple whose child was tired and not up to going out to the restaurant after a day of fun outdoors; pretty innocent really. However if that same person had tickets to a kids’ show where the tickets were purchased in advance the approach at some point in the day would likely have been “We’d better get back to the hotel for some quiet time; we’ve got a show tonight.” Instead, with the rules of engagement skewed squarely in favour of the customer the attitude is more of a “No skin off our ass, screw the restaurant.” I would frankly be in favour of a ‘refundable deposit per head’. Even at say $10/head people would take their obligation more seriously. It won’t happen, as there is too much competition and the industry so fragmented that it would be virtually impossible to develop a consistent approach. Joe Beef though might be one of the few Montreal restos that could pull it off.
  14. gruyere

    Kitchen Hustle

    I finished this book yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it gripping and emotional. Will it win a Pulitzer? No! Was it fun and entertaining to read? Absolutely! The last four food related books that I have read are Wrestling with Gravy (Reynolds), White Slave (Marco Pierre White), Omnivores Dilemma (Pollen) and Cooked (Henderson). If I was an English Lit professor I would have given the highest grade to Reynolds and Pollen. However on the enjoyment scale my vote would go to Henderson and White. Pollen’s work was the most important of the four and it changed my eating habits, so it had a dramatic effect on me. But I like my recreational reading to be a little lighter. I like it to be hectic; somewhat chaotic is also good. Omnivore’s Dilemma was almost professorial. Cooked was definitely not. It has been criticized in this thread as lacking in passion and devoid of original recipes and tricks. If I was reading a memoir or autobiography of Boulud or Keller or such chefs who have owned their own restaurants and made their mark in a very individual way, I might expect them to tell us about their signature dishes. On the contrary though, I do not recall Marco Pierre White, the first English born chef to garner 3 Michelin stars, supplying recipes in his autobiography White Slave. Although Henderson did some personal catering and Gadsby was a small restaurant, I felt his strength was to take big number venues and improve the quality. His first Vegas award was for Buffet Chef of the Year. Even his position as Executive Chef at Bellagio Café is related to putting out thousands of covers. Nevertheless, there is an element of detail in his descriptions of certain tasting menus he prepares, often in the interest of seeking employment. Cooked was uneven in places and I sometimes found the segue from one topic or situation to another, to be poorly structured. But the story line was so damn heroic that I read it in two sittings. That food could have such a profound effect on an individual is entirely uplifting. I must say I found Henderson full or passion and emotion. What a study of contrasts – cooking for the lowest on society’s hierarchy and then the highest; turning intense anger into an ability to love one’s family (sounds straightforward to many, but I think if you have lived your life on the street and then been incarcerated for 10 years it may have been the struggle of a lifetime); racism versus reverse racism; hardened criminal to volunteer social worker; life destroying freedom, life saving incarceration and the list goes on. The comment up thread from Matcha Eyes probably speaks to the value of this work better than any other. A bumpy life may have lead to an, at times uneven style, but if the mainstream food media does not give this work due consideration they are doing many people a huge disservice. It is unfortunate when the rules of the game get in the way of the spirit of the game.
  15. gruyere

    2007 High Lights Festival

    Did anybody attend the Gray Kunz dinner at Nuance last night?
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