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  1. 42390 -- For 70 euros before wine, you could lunch at almost all the two-stars. I lunched at Le Cinq for exactly 70 euros recently (before wine). I agree the pricing at L'Angle is good. It is good for dinner too. There is a wide selection of wine, and the examples I gave were not intended to suggest an inflation of the overall bill, but they were the bottles I marked in my notes for personal reference. On Hiramatsu, does that still have the menu d'affaires, and how much was the menu d'affaires (as opposed to the tasting menu)? Was the Hiramatsu price for two or for one person? If for one, what did you order for wine?
  2. Freedom: 1. The condition of being free of restraints. 2. Liberty of the person from ... detention or oppression. 3a. Political independence. b. Possession of civil rights; immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. 4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition. 5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will. 6. Ease or facility of movement. 7. Frankness and boldness; lack of modesty or reserve. 8.a. The right to unrestricted use; full access. b. The right of enjoying all the privileges of membership or citizenship. Syns: freedom, liberty, license. These nouns refer to the power to act, speak or think without externally imposed restraints... The American Heritage College Dictionary
  3. Only for those diners whose integrity is worth less than the cost/effort of locating a similar eggholder themselves and purchasing it (or of asking the restaurant where the egg-holder can be procured).
  4. Steven -- Attempting to focus on an example is not going to relieve you of the necessity of defining what is the 'presentation' that you believe is irrelevant to taste.
  5. The wines are well-priced too, for what they are and for a starred restaurant. Haut-Brion Blanc 1984 at 180 euros, Salon 1985 at 150 euros.
  6. For a number of alternative, potential reasons. Examples: (1) to preserve any temperature effects, including during a lengthier walk from the kitchen to the dining room in some places or in connection with dishes being ready at slightly different times (in lieu of salamander, spelling), (2) the simultaneous serving might facilitate diners finishing together and reduce the change of a diner having to wait for another diner (although that happens anyhow), (3) historical habit, in connection with certain types of service, and (4) to concentrate any aroma effects, depending on the dish. Lack of experience/appreciation with respect to cuisine can lead people to accept the response of other diners, but that's as much a social/socio-cultural phenomenon (e.g., group dynamics, concern about humiliation) than a visual-effects-related one, no?
  7. Well, if presentation doesn't include whether something is placed on top of another thing, or beside it, then what does it refer to? Whether a piece of steak has charred criss-cross markings on it or not (that obviously extends beyond visual effects)? If the relative placement of food products is not presentation, then what is presentation -- whether the sauce is wiped from the edge of the plate? whether the garnishings look pristine? whether the plate is clean? Those are baseline physical attributes without which one does not have a serious restaurant. They are not presentation aspects, in my eyes. In some egg amuses, the inside of the egg is actually cooked in the shell and there the shell typically has to be served. In others, they spoon scrambled or similar eggs (oeufs brouilles) into a cleaned out shell and add other things. The latter presentation is used by Veyrat in some dish where nutmeg is infused table-side, and also by Boyer in his oeufs brouilles avec caviar. The presentation does affect the taste -- the shape of the container (the shell) affects the relative proportion of egg vs. other ingredients that a diner could choose to take in. It also affects how much of material can be taken in in any one spoonful. A good example of an excellent presentation is the Blue Hill use of a ceramic egg holder depciting spring colors and a little yellow chick. That enhanced the taste of the dish for me, because taste has intellectual components to me and complementary flavors and visual effects appeal.
  8. You mention a 35 euro prix fixe lunch as a good deal. The same price (no choice) prix fixe meal is available as dinner, at least as of last year. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...=7970&hl=vrinat
  9. fresh_a: Are you so sure the L'Astrance surprise menu still includes wine? Note I have ordered wine separately each time I have gone recently, but you might want to check on the wine being included. I'm just not sure, as I wanted to order wine from the wine list.
  10. Fat Guy -- I might differ with that assessment. If a dish is delicious to begin with, visual elegance and beauty can affect a diner's experience from a dish. I don't believe one's senses are divorced from another; they might be generally distinct, but the interrelationships are more complex, for me at least, than a "presentation does not affect taste" analysis. Secondarily, presentation can affect taste if the placement of different components of a plate causes negative or positive effects (i.e., externalities in economic parlance), or affects the temperature of adjacent components. Presentation can also affect whether the diner *is likely* to take in this part of the dish with that, or take different parts separately. For example, if a piece of fish is served on pureed potatoes, I am more likely to take a bit of the potatoes in my third or fourth bite of the dish. However, if the potatoes are on the side, I might wait a bit longer. Obviously, there is input and decision-making by the diner, but the presentation (i.e., physical arrangement) of a dish can increase the odds one way or the other. Stacking different components of a dish has different communicated aspects to a diner than a more "spread out, horizontal-plane" presentation. Third, presentation can add intellectual components to a dish. In Laurent Gras' foie gras with licorice dish, the raw lettuce is served on the side. This has two functions at least -- it highlights the Vietnamese-spring-roll wrap-type underpinnings of the dish, and it prevents the saucing in the foie from tainting the crispness and refreshing aspects of the lettuce. In M Bras' "ombre et lumiere" dish, the monkfish and its pearly tones are set against a very dark-colored sauce. He intends the presentation to remind people of the starkness and beauty of his native landscape, the Aubrac region of France. Of course, the sauce could have been spooned only on top of the monkfish, but the "filling of more of the plate" with the intensity of the sauce has intellectual dimensions for the chef and for the informed diner. For each of the above reasons, I believe presentation is highly significant to a dish
  11. cabrales


    Claude -- If you are comfortable discussing it, could you provide a bit of description on The Fine Wine Review reference in your username? Are you a wine writer and have you tasted the wines about which you express dissatisfaction? Have you reviewed the Ledoyen wine list, and are there better wines in the 1/2 bottle, in the same price range listed on that list? (Apologies for my ignorance, as I do not have knowledge on wine.)
  12. Eric -- I'd have to respectfully disagree with more than one of the statements you made, understanding that we are still addressing generalities. Presentation is the most important part of a dish? Like Fat Guy, I strongly disagree with that. Unless the taste of a dish is very good, presentation cannot salvage it, for me. In other words, presentation might be helpful if the dish is delicious-taking, but not before that point. Obviously, if a dish is burnt, one has to start over. What is one going to do? Scrape the burnt bits off and try to overwhelm the residual effects of the charring? Try to pass the dish off as having been intended to be smoked? That's a natural point, without which I am not sure one can say one operates a passable kitchen. As for leaning on the side of undersalting, that depends on how ambitious you want to be and how confident you are in your ability to correctly season something in the kitchen, among other things. I suppose it depends in part on your clients too. Note that many restaurants in France at a certain level do not offer salt and pepper shakers. Potentially key aspects to a meal, among others, that you have not mentioned are below. Note I do not believe percentages are necessarily the best way to communicate relative significance. -- Conception: A significant aspect of the dish occurs before it is prepared for the client in larger quantities. What products are brought together in a dish, and what is the dish and its method of production? Does the dish fit within a larger framework for the restaurant's style, if there is one? -- Aroma: Perhaps you intended this to be included in taste. However, if you did not, the aroma of certain dishes can be important to them. In my mind, aroma is an underexploited part of a dish. -- Progression of meal: The way different dishes in a given meal flow/otherwise interact with one another. Obviously, it is wrong to serve a truffe en croute with a robust sauce before a delicate turbot dish in a meal, in most cases. I appreciate this aspect of the meal is not necessarily within the kitchen's control (e.g., due to taking of orders), but it could be if more communications were put in place with the dining room team and if there are tasting or similar menus being offered by the kitchen.
  13. cabrales


    A number of veggie dishes had been mentioned in the review. They were not included in my edited text, as marked by "..."
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