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Posts posted by chopper

  1. Is the communal table outside Toqué! used for food service or is it reserved for other purposes (Drinks before, or after dinner and so on...) ?

    Isn't everything for sale, if the price is right ?

  2. La Bastide have a good corner terrace, very secluded once the foliage as taken root.

    A bit outside of the city, Derrière les Fagôts (in Ste.Rose, Laval) also have a nice suburban al fresco set-up...

  3. Cafe Melies have a second floor that is often used for your type of function, very interesting location, maybe Alex could help you out.

    Rosalie also have a second floor space that maybe used it the same way, I'm sure Dave will log in eventually...

    Nice space at California Dream, in Old Montréal, sleek design and good food.

  4. Several Chefs I have worked with in the past told me that once an item is put on a menu, any claim of ownership is void. That's why in their words, they were only as good as what they were working on at the time, because anything they had served previously was for anyone to take.

  5. But isn't Michel Bras's "Biscuit de chocolat coulant" (whatever year's version we are talking about) comprised of a properly cooked chocolat "biscuit" that, when broken, let's escape a liquid chocolate ganache (wich is flavored any way he chooses).

    I quote:"Ce biscuit au chocolat moelleux enserre un noyau de chocolat coulant...Les carnets de Michel Bras p.116"

    Nowhere does he mention the notion of "mi-cuit" or half cooked. The "mi-cuit" becomes a totally different dessert creature.

  6. There is no question in my mind that Chefs cannot "reinvent the wheel", the bases for experimentation then becomes solid technique and ingredient sourcing. When someone uses deconstruction as a tool, they have to insure that it doesn't become simply a different way to plate a dish.

    Chefs also need to be aware that, eventually, certain trends become recognizable and can be associated with this or that Chef. It is a sign, maybe, that things have become formulaic. But isn't that how certain Carême, Escoffier, Dugléré even Bocuse dishes or techniques became part of the modern culinary lexicon. Only time will tell.

    As far as working for a certain Chef legitimizing the use of their trade mark techniques or dishes, I wonder.

    What is working for a Chef ? Does a short "stage" count, observation for a couple of weeks, 6 months, a year, two and so on. The claim to have been at the side of so and so does not guarantee a full comprehension of what was going on in said kitchen; it takes a very long time, in my humble opinion, to grasp what a Chef is trying to achieve, before they are willing to let go of their vision or direction. And only solid training and search for knowledge can assist anyone in reaching another level of culinary creativity.

  7. I can't help but notice that Lesley's more than extensive list does not include Toqué's, that's an interesting MIA. Any particular reason...and no one else has mentioned it as one of their fav's either, myself included.

    The lists of places like Les Chenets, L'Express, Chez Queux and Bistro à Champlain and even Continental have been built up over 15-20-25 years of solid operation and wine program management. Hopefully, the more recent additions to the city scene (Chronique, L'Épicier, P de C & others) will continue the trend, as well as other rookies and up-and-comers...

  8. Steve and John at the Monkland Tavern often have interesting products to suggest. Always reasonnably priced.

    Alex, at Cafe Méliès, seems to try hard to offer "something else" as well; in an other sphere, Cube (all this geometry talk is making me weak) seemed to be into "Bio" wines recently, I don't know if the maintained their interest...they also carried some nice Dagueneau and Scavino stuff a while back.

    But we can't all be Nuances (talk about ressources...).

  9. But is it not the restaurateur's, sommelier's, even waiter's responsability to sell and make these exciting wine lists work.

    I am all for exciting this and that, and I agree that french wine "labelling" is not the most user friendly, but I also don't think that most diners have Robert Parker's "Wine Advocate" as bed side reading. That's possibly why certain restaurants have put forward what is refered to as "progressive" wine lists, whatever those are worth...

    It's all about being true to your concept or vision or epiphany, but it's also about "servicing" your clients, creating an atmosphere where different wine labels and food stuffs should not be working against you...

  10. After reading the W.Grimes article in this wednesday's NY Times, I was wondering how Montrealers feel about the total smoking ban (in restaurants) that is sweeping through North America and other parts of the globe.

    I know that several establishments in the city offer a non smoking environement, but does smoking still have it's place in dinning rooms; I'm not taking about bars or lounges, but should the city follow suit in it's restaurants, big or small.

    Or should we become a destination for smoking diners from around the world ?

    anyone ....

  11. I have not yet had the opportunity to experience St.John's, but am still familiar with your work; I was wondering how much convincing your front of the house staff has to do in order to insure that diners explore "what lies beyond the filet", or do your clients arrive in your establishment with an already opened mind towards your "nose to tail" approach to cooking.

    Thank you for your time

  12. "Pied de cochon" and "Réservoir" have quickly become local haunts for people in the restaurant trade in and around Montréal; it's nice to see such recent additions to the city scene (specially réservoir) getting such a good response especially from a slightly younger crowd.

    It all makes for an exciting spring and summer season in the city... dining and drinking wise anyway.

  13. The mark-up policies applied by some "restaurateurs" on certain easily available wines seems to be cause for some heated debate here in Canada and I am sure in the U.S. .

    As a former beverage manager, how would you describe a "reasonnable" wine pricing system, applicable to readily available products ?

    This pricing scheme would not apply to exclusive products or rareties of course; but how much becomes to much in your opinion ?

    Thank you

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