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Everything posted by cabrales

  1. cabrales


    Cherries are my favorite fruit (together with blood orange and peeled green grapes). Do members utilize cherries in non-dessert recipes? What types of cherries do members prefer?
  2. I am about to cancel lunch reservations on Friday, July 5 at Pierre Gagnaire. If any member is interested in taking over the reservation (which could likely accommodate two through four persons), please Messenger me before noontime tomorrow.
  3. cabrales


    I had a meal at Ledoyen recently. How could I resist visiting Paris' newest three-star? (I had visited the other newly annointed restaurant, Guy Savoy, several times) L’Araignee de Mer – Araignee decortiquee en carapace a l’ecume de mer (Spider crab removed from its shell, placed inside the shell, with foam of the sea) ½ Les Crustaces – Craquelin de crustaces, morilles et suc d’asperges (Shellfish with a cracker-type item, morels and asparagus-based sauce) Les Abattis de Volaille – Timbale de macaroni, fricassee de cretes, sot l’y laisse et quenelles de volaille de Bresse (The Inner Organs of Chicken – Macaronis and a fricassee of crest, “oyster” sections –see La Mere Brazier thread for this chicken part -- and quenelles of Bresse chicken meat) Les Fraises des Bois – Tapioca et fraises des bois au zeste de citron vert, feuilles de basilic en sorbet (Tapioca and wild strawberries with green lemon skin, basil leaves in a sorbet) Glass of Gosset (?) Grand Reserve ½ Laville Haut-Brion, 1994 (90 euros) -- happy, happy Glass of Puligny-Montrachet (between 15 and 20) A radiant, warm day for this time of the year was the backdrop of my visit to this beautiful restaurant located in a woody area adjacent to the Champs Elysees. The main dining room is on the first floor, after one ascends a wide central staircase, and looks onto significant greenery. A nice environment for a spring or summer lunch, in particular. The decor is a bit old-fashioned, but not in an ugly way. I was comfortably positioned; most tables had a view of the greenery. The selection of champagnes is presented on a trolley featuring several buckets. The champagne selection is average by the glass, and also by the bottle. However, the selection of white Burgundies was strong. The Laville Haut Brion I selected was rather developed (unusual for its kind on the nose), and a very good choice on my part in hindsight. The color was more developed than I had expected. (I will order this wine again when the occasion arises.) The sommelier appeared genuinely enthusiastic about my selection of this wine, and of the alternative proposal on my part of a Chassagne Montrachet. The white Burgundies were generally reasonably priced for certain bottles, at least. The amuses were nice : (1) foie gras on a small piece of toast, (2) a freshly deep fried mini spring roll with certain vegetables inside, (3) a small reddish raddish with a green (possibly horseradish) puree inside, and (4) a little pastry item that was so-so. Then, a gelee of red pepper (on top) and cucumber (the bulk of the item), with a grainy sauce of parmesan on top. The sauce was developed, but the gelee was nothing special. In particular, the cucumber gelee lacked refinement. The spider crab appetizer was good. Presented inside the hollowed shell of the crab, there were (1) a significant amount, at the bottom, of puree of feves or green peas, which was wonderful in texture (smooth, but with some “vegetable” sensations and a certain refreshing quality), (2) a nicely dark-tasting gelee with strands of spider crab, tiny bits of zucchini and red pepper and individual suspended grains of caviar, and (3) a white nage that did not offer much taste on a standalone basis. I liked this dish; the gelee had sensations of the ocean, and the caviar bits were utilized in an unusual manner just as a small side player in the dish. The zucchini and red pepper bits were a bit too crunchy for me. Note I do not generally like red pepper. The next appetizer was an excellent size for a half order. I liked this dish considerably. Three fat lengths of langoustines were well-prepared and attractively paired with a pigeon-stock-based, medium consistency sauce that had depth and tonality. An accomplished dish, although the langoustines were ever-so-slightly softer than that I would have subjectively preferred. There was a circular sesame wafer, which I considered unnecessary and which reminded me slightly of Pacaud’s langoustines with curry and sesame wafer appetizer (there, the wafer is not circular, if memories serves me correctly). Christian Le Squer is from Brittany, like Pacaud and others. Ledoyen is known for, among other things, seafood. By this time in the meal, I was already rather happy. The wine was drinking wonderfully. The arrival of my Bresse chicken inner organs entree continued this positive trend. The dish’s macaroni component was average, formed in the shape of a column. There were many parts of Bresse chicken included, all draped in a dark, intense, truffle sauce: (1) two crests, which were smaller than I have had before and which had a relatively soft texture that resembled that of the crests taken at La Mere Brazier in Lyons, (2) a small piece of sausage made with inner parts, which was appealing, (3) two little kidney-bean like items that must have been the kidneys of the Bresse chicken – not particularly strong in flavor, (4) various other inner parts, (5) two small quenelles of a mousse of white meat from Bresse chicken, which were nice and different from usual preparations, and (6) many sot-d’y-laisse or oyster pieces. The sot-d’y laisse were smaller than I had expected, but had a nice dark meat flavor and strong textural components. Another well-conceptualized and -executed dish. Very subjectively appealing in concept and in outcoe. The only weakness was the dominance of the truffle sauce, which is a comment I have on many dishes with sauces containing black truffle. The maitre d’ indicated that the dish is rarely ordered by diners, an observation that was interesting in view of the obvious appeal of the dish to me. The dessert was average to good, although beautifully presented. A large pool of tapioca, in a white sauce that augmented its vanilla flavor components, formed the bottom part of the dish. Delicious fraises des bois (one of my favorite fruits) had been studded into the tapioca at regular intervals, to form a pattern. On top of this was a thin, translucent, beautiful disc of sugary substance. Then, a wonderfully flavored basil sorbet that was a lovely greenish, graphite greyish color. Finally, a smaller translucent sugar disc sat on top of the basil sorbet. The tapioca was unnecessary in the dish, and its texture was too starchy for my liking (recognizing the tendencies for that sensation inhering in tapioca, which I do not generally like). The mignardises were nice. Overall, based on only one visit (and therefore premature), a good to very good showing, bordering on very good. This is among the better three-star restaurants in Paris cuisine-wine, although the service (with respect to food, although not for wine) was average for a three-star. One of the appealing aspects about Le Squer’s cuisine is its creative aspects within a framework of a traditional French cuisine. In this way, it (like the cuisine of Guy Savoy, to a much more limited extent) straddles the intellectual divide between the Guy Martin/Taillevent/Lucas Carton/L’Ambroisie-type more traditional cuisine and the other three stars in Paris. Ledoyen deserved its 2002 promotion by Michelin.
  4. cabrales

    Dumaine's Coq Au Vin

    James Villas furnishes a wonderful description of his visit to Dumaine's La Cote d'Or in his youth, in Best Food Writing 2002. At the time described, Villas is on a budget and knows little about French gastronomy. He orders the Le Coq au Vin a l'Ancienne, and a half-bottle of Beaujolais. "[T]he waiter then rolled over a handsome wodden cart on top of which rested a large, shiny copper pot, two covered copper containers, and a plate of what appeared to be heart-shaped pieces of bread. . . . served a first portion topped with the beautiful fried croutons rubbed with garlic, and spooned a few buttered green peas and parsleyed boiled potatoes from the otehr containers into seaprate china bowls. The stew, which also contained tiny onions and mushrooms, was almost black, and . . . . I knew the second I took my first bite of this robustly rich, smooth, incredibly sapid chicken that I'd really never eaten coq au vin. What I was also certain of was that while I ate, the same pudgy man in the white uniform [this is Dumaine] would crack open the kitchen door and glance in my direction. For maybe forty-five minutes, I slowly relished my meal . . ." Dumaine later explains the dark color of the stew: "'Blood', he almost boomed. 'Chicken blood -- plus pureed livers. It's the only way.'" Interestingly, this was also Villas' first sampling of Bresse chicken (poularde).
  5. I'd appreciate members' input on what restaurant in or around San Sebastian might be interesting, when combined with 2 meals at Arzak, one meal at Berasategui and one at Akelare. I am looking for a restaurant at the level of the other ones. Perhaps I might end up choosing another meal at Berasategui (?).
  6. cabrales

    Le Meurice

    I had a good, but again uninspired, lunch at Le Meurice, in the hotel of the same name in Paris. This one-starred restaurant is ornate and formal, and offered food that left me wondering whether I am becoming jaded of late or whether so many restaurants in France actually are so similar. To be clear, the dishes were well-designed and appropriately executed; there were no obviously flaws with the meal. Yet I left feeling somewhat dissatisfied. In fact, I am becoming even indiffernent to my choice of restaurants in Paris because I am resting up for a visit to Michel Bras and have visited all the restaurants about which I could potentially truly care in Paris. I was originally going to explore Chiberta, because the chef there was a sous-chef of Lucas Carton's Alain Senderens at one point in time, a chef whose progeny rather intrigues me. But that being said, I could not find the address of also-one-starred Chiberta when I got into a taxi, and decided to sample the cuisine at Le Meurice for the first time instead. No big deal either way. Les Morilles Blondes: Les tetes farcies a la morille, reduction de vin d'Arbois (Blond morels -- the heads of the morels stuffed with morels, reduction of a wine from Arbois) (26 euros) Le Bar de Petite Peche: Le filet transparent, chou tendre et tourteau, releve au sevruga (Bass from small boats: The filet in a "transparent" presentation, tender cabbage and a special type of French crab, with sevruga caviar) (43) Le Citron de Menton: Decline au mille feuille craquant, une fine gelee et coulis au miel (15) (Lemons of Menton: In a crunchy millefeuille, a fine gelee and a coulis with honey) 1/2 Mersault, Boillot 1998 (60) Glass of Muscat Rivesalte (13) The meal unfolded with an average gelee containing small lobster chunks. On top of that, a veloute-like item flavored again with lobster and containing certain, limited creamy elements. Then, the appetizer of blond morels. There were three large morels that appeared a medium brown color. Each was at least 4 cm in length, and looked bulbous and "full". I did not particularly appreciate the grainy, bread-like texture (for some reason) of the diced morels inside the three large morels, but their inclusion could not be said to have been misguided. The morels themselves were delicious, although I could not tell how blonde morels tasted markedly different from regular morels. The reduction of the described wine from the Jura tasted like an overly salty red wine reduction. There were meat-like aspects of the saucing that added to the intensity of the morels, although I have generally, and subjectively, always preferred sauces with weaker meat connotations with these mushrooms (unlike, for example, porcini). The bass was presented in two circular-shaped thick pieces, which appeared to have been cut from yet larger pieces. The flesh was appropriately prepared, and the fish was of appropriate quality. However, not an inspired dish despite the nice touches of (1) a large square-shaped "package" of green cabbage (nicely between crunchy and soggy) around shreds of torteau crab meat, (2) a small quenelle of sevruga caviar (this reminded me very slightly of Pic's infamous bass with caviar dish, in which the caviar was directly on top of the bass and for various reasons more interesting) served on the side, and (3) a blanc-manger of bass with slight hints of sweetness in the mouth afterwards. The white-colored sauce for the bass was attractive, being a light, cream-based sauce utilizing the same torteau crab. Overall, a good bass preparation. Finally, the best part of the meal for me. Menton lemons. These had been the subject of discussion between Susan Brown and me when Robert, Susan, Steve P and I had dined at Beacon at Cap d'Antibes. The discussion had ben spurred by the lemon tree right on the other side of the glass window next to our table. When I saw the Menton lemon dessert, I had to order it. It did not disappoint at all, even relative to my anticipation of this dish. The coulis of lemon had a nice, medium consistency and honey to augment the naturally sweet tones in the Menton lemon. The main part of the dessert, a long, rectangular single piece of thin pastry (not necessarily a classical millefeuille), sat atop two quenelles of Menton lemon sorbet that pleased me. Tart, but still lingeringly sweet. Below that, another piece of thin pastry and lemon-taste-infused, soft, cake-like portions. Surrounding this rectangular item was a ring of small Menton lemon pieces in a light syrup. The Menton lemon gelee was not particularly noticeable in the dish. I enjoyed this dessert tremendously. The dessert wine recommended by the sommelier was not overly thick in the mouth, and went very well with this dish. Overall, a good meal at a relatively strong one-star restaurant. However, not a restaurant I feel I need to visit again any time soon. Background The food service was very good, although, admittedly, the ratio of dining room staff members on the food service side to the diners during lunch exceeded 1:1. The sommelier team was a bit weak, and the wine list of the restaurant lacked the depth I would have expected at a hotel (although it was above-average for a one-star Michelin restaurant). Water is expensive at 7 euros for a 1/2 bottle of Chateldon, and at 7 euros for an espresso. The decor was stunning, if one likes formalism, large areas of black and white marble, old paintings, and a medium pink/yellow color scheme for the curtains. More seriously, the decor was very ornate and classical, and conveyed a sense of opulence. This was enhanced by the fact that I was the sole diner in the room for at least 1/2 of my meal experience. The ceiling contained beautiful artwork that has faded over the years, but that was more attractive without refurbishment. Certain parts of the room were cateogorized as a historical monument or similar type of facility. The Meurice hotel is, of course, very conveniently locted close to the Louvre in the 1st arrondisement. Next to the restaurant is a nice area for afternoon tea (reportedly) called the Jardin d'Hivers (the Winter Garden), although the facility is not inexpensive.
  7. Waterside Inn furnished me with a list of special events planned to commemorate 30 years of the restaurant's opening. The Pounds 400/couple "A Taste of Spring" package (with room) and the Pounds 350/couple "Sunday nights" package described on the website linked at the end of this post are included in the materials from WI, but the more interesting offers are as follows: (1) "Thirty Pounds for Thirty Years" -- The Lunch Menu Gastronomique (choice of 2 starters, fish or meat as a main course, cheese or a choice of two desserts, and coffee) will be Pounds 30 from Wednesday through Saturday during September, October and November. (2) "Menu of Reflection" (this sounds promising) The six-course Menu Exceptionel typically offered by WI will be replaced with Roux's favorite dishes from the past, from mid-August until October 1. Cost is Pounds 76. (3) September 25, 2002 -- Highlight of 30th Birthday Year -- Evening of Food, Dom Perignon and Jazz (no name specified), at Pounds 700 (!) per couple. "After dinner and five vintages of delicious DP sit back and enjoy the musical talents of Marion Montgomery and Laurie Holloway. . . . Wedgewood have designed a one-off plate for this occasion and you will receive a hand painted enamel box, depicting The Waterside Inn [this is not one-off] as a momento of your participation in this celebration." Dress is "Black Tie and Pearls". I am uncertain the three offers detailed above are on the website. http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk/specialoffer_frameset.htm
  8. Basildog welcomed me to his Padstow restaurant for lunch today. I had a good-to-very good meal, on which I will provide details over the weekend when I can. Below are the dishes Basildog prepared: -- Scallops with Capers and Bacon -- Stir-Fried "Thai" Squid -- Pan-Fried Turbot with Asparagus, New Potatoes and Chive Butter Sauce -- Rack of Lamb with Spring Onion Mash and Red Wine and Rosemary Sauce -- Saffron Poached Pears with Strawberry Salsa and Clotted Cream; Caramelised Lemon Tart Basildog and I also had some time to chat. He was thoughtful even from the beginning of the meal. From my posts, he remembered I liked Pellegrino, and purchased and chilled two bottles for me. My posts had further revealed I dislike background music, and that was taken into consideration as well.
  9. An "10z Beef Burger, Cheese and Old Spot Bacon" was available at the "Second Floor" dining area of Smith's of Smithfield this past Tuesday night. (See "Rare UK Pig Breeds" thread, once the pre-crash data is reinstated) Despite the Old Spot bacon, I did not order the dish, and had an average meal. This was my first meal taken at Smith's. Consistent with Wilfrid's indications in a post under "St John", I have no plan to return. 1. Lucky Squid, Chili Jam & Chinese Brocoli -- This appetizer was not bad, with squid slices having been cut with criss-cross markings and stir-fried. There were Chinese connotations to this dish, which was appropriately accompanied by a thin sauce appearing to contain soy sauce (or a similar seasoning), chili, sugar, garlic and very limited amounts of ginger. The dining room staff member described nam jim paste (sic), palm sugar and galagal as having been utilized. Here's an excerpt on "lucky squid" from the chef's book, called "Relax. It's Only Food" (which I, of course, did not buy): "In the opening sequence of the wonderful Ang Lee film Eat Drink Man Woman, the old chef Mr. Chu is preparing one of his extraordinary elaborate Sunday lunches. In the middle of all the steaming and hanging of ducks and deep-frying of pork, he scores a sheet of pearly squid on a wooden block, using his cleaver in close lines with devastating speed and accuracy -- chok, chok, chok . . . It's all over in a minute, but it is beautiful to watch. That scene changed forever the way I prepare the squid for this dish [with a different sauce than I sampled]. I used to make the diagonal cuts quite far apart, but old Mr. Chu's technique of fine criss-crossing helps the pieces of squid to curl themselves up quite dramatically, like little fir cones, when they are put into sizzling oil. In Thailand, when the squid curls like that, it is supposed to be lucky". 2. Crisp Belly of Pork, Mashed Potatoes and Green Sauce -- The predominant portion of the pork was tough and dense. There was no meaningful section that had the softness and comfort I associate with pork belly. Fattiness, critical to the effect of pork belly, was missing from much of the pork. A pesto- or "salsa verde"-like paste (with, among other things, pine nuts, parsley, mint, basil and olive oil) had been added to the crackling attached to the pork. The crackling was crunchy and abundant, but slightly more "burnt" than I deem appropriate. The pork was presented on top of a large serving of mediocre mashed potatoes, which in turn were surrounded by a flavored olive oil. 3. Cassis Sorbet with Strawberries and Blackberries (off-menu item) -- The sorbet tasted artificial and harsh. I took in no more than a bite. I had the above with Viognier (3.95 pounds/glass). I would characterize this restaurant as British/Asian fusion, with certain traditional British dishes being served. For example, fusion-type appetizers included "Spiced Duck and Green Papaya Salad, Thai Herbs, Chilli Dressing" and "Chicken, Prawn and Coriander Spring Roll, Cucumber and Peanuts"; entrees of that type included "Five Spiced Duck, Pak Coy and Oyster Sauce" and "Marinated Lamb Rump, Butter Beans, Cumin and Lemon." John Torode is from Australia, and had stints in the UK at Sydney Street, Pont de la Tour, Quaglino's, Mezzo and Bluebird. The atmosphere, at least in the "Second Floor" dining area if not on the Top Floor, was noisy, lively and reflective of a predominantly young crowd (twenties?). The dining area was full on a Tuesday night. The service was appropriate for the restaurant's style, and dining room team members were able to meaningfully discuss dishes. Appetizers are generally 4.75 pounds; non-grilled entrees 10.50 pounds. Grilled items are 11.50 pounds; side orders of vegetables are extra. Desserts are 4 pounds, and included "Hot Waffles, Banana, Toffee and Double Cream". There are Daily Market Specials offered at 9.50 pounds, including pie (Monday -- Cottage Pie; Thursday -- Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie)!! The Friday special is another British dish -- Fish & Chips with Tartar Sauce. It's possible Daily Market Specials differ from week to week (?; Please call before relying on the described dishes) John Whiting -- Smith's offered organic chicken. The menu notes that it "endeavor to use organic or additive-free produce whenever possible", and named South Tofrey Farm as the restaurant's supplier of organic chicken. I was tempted to sample the "Breast of Chicken, Tarragon, Mustard and Champ Potatoes" entree, but chose pork (even though the latter was not of a rare breed) in view of my recent interest in breeds.
  10. cabrales

    Tour d'Argent

    Zagat's December 2002 newsletter reported the following: "Roast duck number one million will be served at a gala dinner on April 29, 2003. Since 1880, every duck served in this famous dining room has been numbered, with King Edward VII of England eating duck No. 328, and his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II tucking into No. 185,387. Owner Claude Terrail will select the 110 guests who will see this tradition into seven digits." I have my certificate in a photo album.
  11. cabrales

    Clio, Boston

    I recently had dinner at Ken Oringer's Clio. The appetizers were good-plus-plus, but the entrees were poor. Overall, the meal was good-minus. As described below, I had my first fresh white truffles of the season during this meal -- that helped the meal to some extent. My dining companion advised me that she had been denied access to Clio sushi bar dishes in the main restaurant previously. Hence, we arrived about 1/2 hour earlier than our reservation at the main restaurant, to see if we could grab a seat at the no-reservations sushi bar. There is a separate bar area for drinks, but, if there is room at the sushi bar, the receptionists did not appear to object to guests spending time there. The sushi bar is to the right, after a couple of steps along a downward staircase, when one enters the restaurant. There were perhaps less than eight sushi bar seats, and less than seven tables. The three "sushi chefs" (with all respect; it was somewhat unclear whether the men had been trained as traditional sushi chefs) were busying themselves behind a small counter that did not offer a full range of ingredients. Two of the three were not Japanese in ethnicity, not that that is relevant. The sushi bar menu had some plated/constructed Nobu-type sushi dishes, including O'Toro tartare that my dining companion pronounced to be as good as that at Nobu NY. (1) Santa Barbara Sea Urchin with Hamachi, Yuzu Vinaigrette, Radishes and Onion Seeds" ($15). My order of this dish reflected the inclusion of this dish among the appetizers offered by the main restaurant, and my liking sea urchins. This dish was good-to-very-good, with three to four relatively thick, fresh and rather fatty (as far as yellowtail goes) hamachi sitting in a slightly citrus-y (from the yuzu) vinaigrette. The fattiness of the yellowtail was noteworthy. On top of the hamachi slices were perhaps 3-4 boxed sea urchins -- although boxed, they were nice. The Aji Amarillo aspect of the dish was appropriately limited. At the sushi bar, I drank a "Silk Kimono" (Momokawa Asian-pear-infused sake, midori and orange juice). This drink appeared in a large martini glass, with a bit of reddish color at the bottom "tip", and was a light green color. A nice concoction that I would order again as an aperatif, with hints of apple-ly and perfumed flavors). (2) Ragout of Calamari with grains of paradise, Argan oil and carrot emulsion ($14). An interesting dish, and one that transformed the intrinsic taste of carrots (in a good way). The carrot puree had been integrated into a broth containing coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper. The argan oil was, thankfully, appropriate limited in quantity. (When I last encountered argan oil in a dish, it was at Gagnaire recently -- problematic) The overall saucing effects were rather interesting. The calamari had been fashioned into long, tagliatelli-like strands. They were presented in a mound, with strands a bit like pasta strands. Appropriately cooked. Also, the pasta-like effects helped the calamari absorb the saucing. I liked this version better than the calamari-or-squid-like-seafood pasta item at Nobu. (3) 1/2 Tagliatelli with Fresh White Truffle Shavings ($60 for shared single order; we did not inquire as to the price prior to ordering, but when our dining room team member described it as "very expensive", even though less so than prior years, I was picturing $100. My dining companion and I agreed that, had we known it was $60, we would have each ordered a full serving) This was the only daily special in place on the night in question. Our dining room team member (whose service was good, until the pitfall regarding the mignardises described below; also an effective French-speaking maitre d') recounted in some detail (in a good way) how Clio always orders white truffles when they become available. He noted that the white truffles in question were from Italy (no kidding!) and that they were fresh and had not been frozen. I observed it seemed just slightly early for white truffles, but ordered the dish with relish. These would indeed be my first white truffles for this season! The dish arrived at the table -- quite aromatic, with truffle shavings that were nice in quantity, and from a reasonably large white truffle. The pasta had been wound into a coiled mound that was a long rectangular in shape. The saucing had been tossed into the pasta already, being butter-based, bearing diced chives and also having nicely integrated Parmesan (likely) components. This was a good base for the truffles. Also, the amount of pasta and white truffles was rather large. Even with 1/2 helping, I felt the tagliatelle quantity was fine. (4) Sweet Butter Basted Maine Lobster with Chanterelles, Fava Beans and Vin Jaune 'Arboir ($36). This dish was fundamentally flawed, and an assessment of poor (instead of poor-minus or very poor) might have been unduly generous. I ordered this dish because the butter basting reference brought to mind T Keller's butter poaching of lobsters (I think the poaching method is essentially used by Orringer for this dish) and because the combination of vin jaune (yellow wine from the South of France) with lobster is a signature dish at a Parisian three-star. However, Clio's lobster dish was unappealing. First, the Maine lobster utilized lacked the delicacy and flavor in its flesh of Brittany lobsters. While the Clio lobster had an acceptable texture (slightly "crisp", in an appropriate way), the flesh lacked a true lobster flavor. Second, the lobster was presented deshelled and whole (or cut into no more than two pieces for the whole lobster). Third, and crucially, the kitchen had cooked the yellow wine to the point where its predominant mark on the lobster dish was its sour and acidic aftertaste in the saucing. This was a fundamental flaw in the dish. The fava beans were limp and unattractive looking, and the chanterelles fared little better. For some reason, they seemed to be stubby, very short-stalked chanterelles that were not particularly tasty to begin with, and that had in addition been overcooked. A dish that, through its pure misguided effects, highlighted how wonderful the dishes on which it may have been predicated actually are. I sampled meaningful amounts of my dining companion's Roasted Suckling Pig and Spareribs with Young Turnips, Kohlrabi and Honshimiji Mushrooms. This dish was not particularly good either because (1) the significant amount of crackling included had literally no fat associated with it and seemed to lack lusciousness, (2) the suckling pig (belly?) meat was too soft and lacked real flavor, and (3) star anise had been utilized with too severe a hand by the kitchen. (5) Mignardises. We were too full for dessert, and ordered only espresso. Plus, I have been attempting to diet for several weeks now (unsuccessfully). When the four small pieces of mignardises arrived, our dining room team member literally indicated the following (or something very similar): "Our pastry chef didn't want you to go without anything, and is offering these mignardises for your sampling". Perhaps those were not the words, because the clear implication of the normal reading of the member's literal words would have been that the items offered were being offered *unusually* and free of charge. I replied, amusedly: "I was hoping to receive mignardises, as they are routinely offered here and at comparable establishments." The dining room team member was a bit taken aback (by the substance, although not the method of expression, of my remark), and muttered something to the effect that at Clio, people sometimes send back the mignardises on account of not having ordered them. What sort of guests is this restaurant attracting, I asked myself? Clio is one of the more high-end restaurants in Boston, and caters to what I believe would be a reasonably informed crowd. Interestingly, the table next to me did not seem particularly informed. Immediately upon being seated, the man at that table asked our dining room team member whether Clio offered wines by the glass?! First, I wouldn't have asked that as my first question to a dining room team. Second, there are always wine by the glass at restaurants like Clio (query depth and quality -- but they are always available). Interestingly, that table ordered a la carte like we did, and received a complimentary appetizer when it did not order one. Generous of the chef, but perhaps rewarding the non-ordering of appetizers by that table, relative to our table, which, with the sushi bar orders, had ordered 2.5 or 3.5 appetizers per diner. Note I am not unhappy with the free appetizers received by the other table (they were actual appetizers from the menu, in full size, as my dining companion had ordered the same thing). I am merely observing that the restaurant, despite solicitous treatment of us by the maitre d' and dining room team member, was perhaps more generous to diners who were evidently budget-conscious. That could be taken as a positive for a restaurant, I suppose. The mignardises were appropriate, particularly the small kiwi gelee cube. However, there were a total of four pieces for two people. As always, I note our bill. It was $340-375 after tax and before tip, with a $85 bottle of 1998 Chassagne Montrachet, Chateau de la Maltraye included. The bottle of Chassagne Montrachet, Ramonet, and the white Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape on which I had my eye from the restaurant's indicative wine list on its website were not available. A final note. Orringer uses more Asian spicing and other ingredients than I had previously thought (yuzu; radishes; sea urchin -- which also appears in the appetizer of Cassolette of Lobster and Sea Urchin with Yuzu and Japanese Pepper; lychee -- which accompany a roasted Muscovy duck, etc.)
  12. cabrales

    Joe's Shanghai

    I really like Joe Shanghai's soup dumplings with crabmeat and pork. What are members' views on such dumplings, and on the differences in quality (if any) between the Manhattan Chinatown and West 56th locations? Note that, to the best of my recollection, the same price per order buys 8 dumplings in Chinatown and 6 on the Upper West Side. I find that Joe Shanghai's other dishes are not as delicious (except for the meat-only soup dumplings). I have tried the tofu (medium soft) dish with the same crabmeat as the dumplings at the West 56th location, and found it average. I have heard one recommendation of the braised pork meatball dish ("Lion's Head" -- that's not necessarily its name on the menu) at the restaurant.
  13. Out of curiosity, are there well-regarded cooking schools in Canada? If members have the available information, what chefs are among such schools' alums? Is there a concern in Canada that promising trainees may leave for the US?
  14. Do members have input as to whether the following is an exhaustive, current list of the three stars in Germany? Helmut Thieltges of the Waldhotel Sonnora in Dreis. Harald Wohlfahrt of the Schwarzwaldstube restaurant in Baden-Wurttemberg. Dieter Mueller of the Chateau-Hotel Lerbach near Cologne. Frenchman Jean-Claude Bourgueil at Duesseldorf-Kaiserswerth's Schiffchen restaurant. Do members know which restaurant above is closest to Frankfurt? I'd appreciate members' input on any of the above.
  15. cabrales

    Les Ambassadeurs

    Gayot reports the following on the two-starred Les Ambassadeurs: "Chef Dominique Bouchet, of Paris' Les Ambassadeurs in the Hôtel de Crillon, has tailored lunch service to fit business schedules by installing 'un dejeuner rapide,' guaranteeing a three-course lunch served **in approximately 75 minutes,** Monday through Friday at €57 per person. The meal includes a green salad with tomato preserve, asparagus and Ventresca de Bonito; pan-seared red mullet on stewed vegetables; chicken fricassee in morel mushroom cream sauce, tagliatelle with butter; and strawberries au gratin in lemon zabaglione cream. Les Ambassadeurs, Hôtel de Crillon, 10, place de la Concorde, Paris, 01 44 71 16 16." This might be appropriate if one were attempting to take a flight home after lunch.
  16. The November 2002 edition of Food Arts confirms a previously-described (by Girardet) sense of dissatisfaction on the part of Girardet with respect to his former sous-chef and his chosen successor, P Rochat. The general complaint on the part of Girardet is that Rochat pushed him out of the kitchen in a manner Girardet had not anticipated.
  17. cabrales

    Marc Veyrat

    Figaro Magazine recently reported that Veyrat is *considering* opening a restaurant in Paris. M Haeberlin is expected to supervise a restaurant to be opened around 2Q 2003 in the Europa Hotel in St. Petersburg. Apparently, P Haeberlin apprenticed with the chef who was the last to prepare cuisine for the Romanovs.
  18. cabrales

    Whale Meat

    I read an article in International Courier, Hors Series, on Chef Mutsuko Ohnishi of the whale meat specialty restaurant Tokuya in Osaka. Have any members visited Tokuya or otherwise taken in whale meat? The chef is active in Japanese associations advocating the use of whale meat in cuisine. She has also written a book entitled "The Whale Cuisine of Mrs. Ohnishi". One of the specialties is whale stew (hari hari nabe) -- thinly sliced whale meat simmered in a vegetable bouillon with shitake mushrooms and chilli. Also potentially available are: whale carpaccio; small pieces of raw meat; raw liver; raw heart; fried whale intestines; whale steak. The Courrier International article describes the taste of whale meat as resembling beef, but with a pronounced game taste, rather than fish. Mrs. Ohnishi noted: "The meat is not of the same taste as beef; it's more tender and more easily digestible." The article indicated that Japan is not the only country in which whale is served (e.g., Alaska, Indonesia, Norway, Korea, Iceland and Saint-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines (?) in the Caribbean). In this post, no attempt has been made to address considerations relating to marine life depletion, the differences across countries in products that are viewed as food, the international politics of Japan's efforts to lift certain bans on whale hunting, any cultural significance Japan may attach to whale meat, etc.
  19. cabrales

    Payard Patisserie & Bistro

    I had dinner at Payard Patisserie & Bistro recently. The food was poor, and the desserts offered by the bistro were not sufficiently appealing-sounding for me to order that course. This visit was my second, with my initial visit a number of months ago having been disappointing. I doubt I will need to visit again. :confused: Warm Crispy Pig's Feet, Haricots Verts and Frisee Salad with Shallots ($11.00) Traditional Bouillabaisse of Chilean Sea Bass, Mussels, Clam and Squid (25.00) 1/2 Mersault, Moill____ (or similar name) late 90s (35.00) The pig's feet were prepared somewhat unusually. The gelatinous portions of the feet had been separated from the bones (not included), and formed into a somehwat flat circular-shaped disc (like the shape of a medium-sized scallop). The disc had then been deep-fried. Three discs surrounded a large salad of decent haricots verts and frisee. There was appropriate acidity to the salad. The pig's feet discs were so-so, although they were aided by the shallots (mixed with a bit of vinegar and utilized almost as a sauce). It was the bouillabaisse that convinced me that Payard's executive chef, Philippe Bertineau (formerly of Daniel), needs to improve his cuisine. The liquid base was fine -- an orangish color that had graininess (not in a bad way) and reminded me of a cross between fish stock and shellfish stock. However, the pieces of fish included inside this moderately thick base did not taste particularly fresh (not that they were stale) and had been overcooked by some margin. The taste of Chilean Sea Bass could not be discerned, and my assessment of the imposter-like (in taste; not an allegation the fish was not utilized) pieces in the bouillabaisse was rendered more harsh by my recollection of the bordering-on-very good Chilean Sea Bass taken at Cello recently. In addition, there were pieces of a bland white fish and mediocre salmon in the bouillabaisse, as well as small mussels that tasted fishy (in a bad way) and a single passable clam. The squid were in tiny rings, and had no meaningful taste. The aioli was not noteworthy. I left over 1/2 of the dish uneaten. The dish lacked many of the ingredients deemed a component of "traditional" bouillabaisse, as its name touted, including rascasse (scorpion-fish) in the case of the traditional Marseilles example. I was not tempted by the desserts (which included a warm banana tart with white chocolate mousse, upside down bittersweet dark chocolate souffle pistachio ice cream, kafir lime leaves and blueberry creme brulee, and macarons). It was a reflection of the poor quality of the savory dishes that I had no desire to sample dessert at the bistro of a reknown (at least in New York) patissier. However, a review of the names of the desserts made clear that Payard's creations are not "pushing the envelope" in the way that Herme's are. Overall, a poor meal. The prices, while not expensive, could buy better food elsewhere (including at db bistro moderne, where there is also a less formal atmosphere). Background The bistro is lodged on two floors behind a large entryway that houses the patisserie/chocolate shop. There are little round tables in the middle of such shop for clients to sample patisseries or drink coffee. The patisseries in the glass cases looked decent, but their descriptions also seemed less compelling than Herme's offerings. (I appreciate that Herme is a very high standard.) The chocolates were named after artists (in the conventional sense of the term, to be clear) and were as follows: Picasso: Early Grey Ganache Gaughin: Kirsch and Grand Marnier Matisse: Peanut Praline Orange Fragonard: Chocolate Orange Peel Bonnard: Caramel Ganache Rocher Noir Chagall: Praline Wafer Van Gogh: Almond Paste Pistachio Renoir: Cinnamon Ganache Rodin: Rasberry Ganache Degas: Coffee Ganache Mediant Blanc, Mediant Noir Muscadine Chocolate Truffles More of the described chocolates were based on milk chocolate than is customary for a top chocolatier in France. I bought the Picasso and another dark chocolate-based variety to include in Sunday's chocolate degustation. That degustation now will include (1) Payard, (2) Pierre Herme -- Wegman's, (3) Martine's, and (4) La Maison du Chocolate, and will focus largely on dark chocolate. I also sampled the blueberry macaron (a pale lavendar/blue color that was beautiful, but with an artificial-tasting jam in between the halves instead of a creamier mixture) and the coffee macaron (not poor, but no Herme!). The macarons were approximately $1-1.50 each. Other flavors included chocolate, pistachio and coconut. The Payard macarons were a bit better than the macarons at Fauchon -- NY, but were not appealing in taste. Decor and Service Except for the maitre d's assitance, the service was mediocre. When I called for a reservation, the friendly reception spoke French and French was also spoken by the maitre d' upon my arrival. It appeared promising. However, while certain waiters were fluent in French, others only pretended to be fluent. For example, one pretended to understand what water I was ordering, but did not know that my question regarding the availability of Badoit (which is almost never offered in NYC restaurants) referred to a brand of water. He said "gazeuse?" (sparkling?), and I thought he was asking about the version of Badoit I had ordered, and said yes. Imagine my amusement when the individual brought Pellegrino. When I asked a different waiter if the bouillabaisse had scorpion fish, it was clear he did not understand the context of my question. He said, "no -- it's bouillabaisse"! (By this time, I had switched to speaking English). The decor is average, for a bistro-like restaurant. The wine list was below-average for a non-bistro restaurant.
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    La Regalade, Paris

    I had lunch at La Regelade during 2Q 2002. Pomme macaire de boudin noir bernais (Boudin noir with potatoes) Poelee de calamars facon piballes, riz cremeux a l’encre (Pan-fried squid prepared in the style used for little eels sometimes available in Southern France, creamy rice with ink) Fraises gariguettes d’Aquitaine refraichies au vin rouge (Gariguette strawberries from Acquitaine with a red wine sauce) Pessac Leognan, Le Sillage de Malartic, Malartic-Lagraviere-Leognan-Gironde, 1998 (39 euros) A first visit to a restaurant about which I was admittedly a bit intererested in because of discussion on the board. A good meal at very reasonable prices, in a venue that was welcoming and efficient. Granted, the restaurant has tables that are closely spaced, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of a fairly good meal. The ordering proceeded smoothly. The menu is a prix-fixe only version at 30 euros for 3 courses (the last being cheese or dessert). Certain dishes with supplements were offered, and there were also daily special appetizers and entrees described on various blackboards in the restaurant. To begin, a pork terrine was brought to me in its ceramic cooking container, together with a glass jar of ghuerkins. I liked the country-like, fatty feel of the terrine, and the little bit of solidified fat on top of it. One was allowed effectively as much of this item as one wanted. The appetizer of blood sausage slices placed on top of supple pureed potatoes was the best dish of the meal. The sausage was dark and imbued with blood taste, and the slices had been well-prepared. The potatoes provided a soft background that augmented the intensity of the blood sausage. The edges of the potato area had been rendered gently crunchy, and the sauce for the appetizer was a cooking jus with elements of apple for acidity. I liked that, but considered the little cubes of green apple unnecessary. The main course of squid was fair. The squid had been sliced into longish sections, and was tender and appropriately prepared. It had a fairly good aroma. Interestingly, there were fried parsley (adding a slight crunchiness) and fried garlic slices accompanying it. The underlying risotto with ink was average. The dessert was good. I like the greater sweetness inhering in Gariguettes strawberries, and here they did not disappoint. There was a good amount, in halves, served in a cup. The red wine syrup accompanying the berries was of a light consistency (in a good way), and perfumed appropriately. Overall, based on only one visit, I liked La Regalade, for its well-prepared food.
  21. I had pleasing dinner at Westermann's Buerehiesel recently. This is an interesting meal experience when taken on the same day as lunch at Auberge de L’Ill (not loaded onto board). Both restaurants seek to showcase, among other things, certain aspects of Alsatian cuisine and both are relatively traditional in cuisine style conception. However, while Auberge was unappealing to me, Buerehiesel offered a traditional cuisine that was attractive and authentic. The differences were cumulative, with many aspects of Buerehiesel pleasing me (despite the kitschy, tasteless decor of the restaurant). Another raining, slightly cold evening – as I like it. And it turned out I liked this restaurant as well, based on my first visit. The more traditional style of Buerehiesel is not my preferred French cuisine approach, but I was suitably impressed by the flavors. Obviously, Buerehiesel’s cuisine is more along the lines of that of Loiseau (La Cote d’Or) or Lameloise than the cuisine of Bras. However, the allowance of the flavors of the products to show through, with appropriately balanced, pleased. – ½ Schniederspaetle et cuisses de Grenouille poelees, au Cerfeuil (25 euros) (½ portion of special ravioli-like pasta and pan-fried frogs’ legs, with chervil) – Poularde de Bresse cuite entiere comme un Baeckeoffe, aux Pommes de terre, Artichauts, Citron confit et au Romarin (106 euros for 2 persons) (Bresse chicken cooked whole in a Baeckeoffe vessel, with potatoes, artichokes, confit lemon and rosemary) – Chariot de Fruits, Glaces et Entremets (17); Glace a la Biere et Glace Verveine (Cart of Fruits, Ice creams and Entremets) Glass of House aperitif, champagne flavored with certain red fruits ½ bottle of Batard Montrachet, Louis Jadot 1994 (less than 80 euros) Carola Red, French sparkling water It was evident from the amuses that this restaurant was different from Auberge de L’Ill. A well-seasoned piece of lisette (young mackerel with tenderness in the meat) on a little piece of toast was good. The greenish skin of the lisette was attractive-looking as well, with strips of darkened color that ran through the greenish glean of the fish – I had seen gleaming fresh mackerel delivered to Basildog’s restaurant recently. Also, a small piece of deep-fried aubergine – coated with just the right amount of batter and having been fried at the last minute to render it crisp in the way I prefer. Then, a cup of green pea soup – appealing because it was not particularly hot (a slightly warm temperature), and had only a tiny little crouton. The pea flavor was delicate, and enhanced by small slivers of a blush-colored shellfish gelee. The gelee had appropriately limited flavors, but it added texture and I appreciated the slight extent to which it changed the taste of the soup. There were small amounts of the gelee still attached to the bowl towards the bottom of the soup. The final amuse was an unusually (in a good way) flavored rolled strip of zucchini. I sampled the beer-flavored bread, described as being a specialty of the region, and thought it was nothing special. Like the Bresse chicken entree, the ½ portion of frogs’ legs is a dish for which Buerehiesel is known. Even the ½ portion offered a good sampling of 6-8 little legs, and 2 medium-sized ravioli-like pasta items with curvy rounded edges. (I do not generally order frogs’ legs unless they are a specialty dish, like Loiseau’s jambonettes with garlic and with parsley puree. The Buerehiesel frogs’ legs were much better.) The meat had been scraped from the portion of the frogs’ legs near the feet (which, of course, were not included) so that it was next to the larger piece of meat from the thigh. This not only facilitated the eating of the item, but also concentrated the meat and facilitated its retention of moisture during cooking, I speculated. The meat was flavorful, moist and was the fattiest (inherent in the meat and not at all separate) frogs’ flesh I remember having eaten. Very high quality frogs’ meat had been used, and the dining room team indicated that it had not been subjected to freezing. A very attractive sauce based on a little bit of cream, but mainly featuring the cooking jus and nicely seasoned. The two pasta-like items were good, without meaningful amounts of accompanying sauce (one had a bit of butter-based reduction, but there was possibly butter utilized for the pasta skin itself). Good use of vinegar seasoning in the inside of the pasta, which contained soft julienne of a vegetable, to confer acidity. A dish in equilibrium, as was the Bresse chicken dish to come. The chicken was brought to the table sealed in a large oval ceramic cooking vessel, with dough having been placed around the lid to seal the vessel. The little metallic red/white/blue tag from the Bresse AOC poularde was embedded in the resulting bread-like sealing ring, as was the case for Loraine’s Bresse chicken in champagne sauce. When the vessel was unsealed, Westermann’s resulting chicken dish was glorious-smelling. The first serving was of the breast, with generous amounts of potatoes (cut into longish pieces), softened small onions, very tender artichoked hearts and, wonderfully, tomatoes. The cooking jus of the chicken had infused itself thoroughly in the described vegetables, and the effect was enhanced by the presence of significant amounts of oil from the chicken in the cooking jus. This fatty chicken oil (naturally produced from the cooking) elevated the dish, because it added to the depth of chicken flavor of the dish and rendered the chicken flesh slippery. The cooking jus resembled what might expect from roast chicken or one’s Thanksgiving turkey, with deeper and more developed flavors. I particularly liked the use of tomatoes, which were not over-cooked, for an unknown reason (e.g., placement inside the chicken during cooking, placement on top of the chicken during cooking such that the tomatoes did not touch the sides or bottom of the cooking vessel). The lemon confit was not particularly apparent in the dish, although it likely contributed to the general flavor of the dish. The Bresse chicken was smooth and delicious. The second serving of the chicken consisted of the thighs and wings and other dark meat areas. The vegetable helpings continued to be generous. This was excellent again. The restaurant insisted on my taking the remaining half of the chicken (which is generally served to two people) with me in a vacuum pack. I initially declined, as appeared appropriate, but the continued insistence of the restaurant was nice. (The next day, I sampled the chicken after placing the pack in hot water. The potatoes had even more flavor, including lemon confit flavor, although the chicken was not as interesting as the night it had been cooked.) The restaurant offered me both the large dessert trolley and two scoops of ice cream from different menu desserts for the price of the trolley. The trolley had 4-5 different types of fruit (strawberries that looked good, mixed fruit, fresh rhubarb that was an herb green), a tall-looking Alsatian brioche-like item called the Kugelhopf, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and many other items. I took the baba au rhum. It was good – and infused everywhere with alcohol. The best part of the dessert was the beer ice cream, which utilized Kronenberg beer and released a beguiling sweetness that blossomed into the persistence of the effects of the beer. I liked the ice cream very much, including relative to the verbena ice cream (heavier in a bad way and somewhat run-of-the-mill in flavor). Overall, an appealing meal that left me slightly more upbeat about traditional-style French cuisine. Decor and Service There are three dining rooms, with the principal dining room being in a white color theme, with many large plants, significant expanses of glass and an Alsatian country feel. There were dark wood beams featured, and hanging from the ceiling of this unusually shaped room were many pieces of glass (apparently) with unusual curved scrawly lines on them. This was an unattractive aspect, together with overly bright lighting, ugly light fixtures, ugly art work and horrific-looking chairs that had silver-colored, metallic curvy legs. I was seated in this main dining room, albeit not in the “outer” section that was closest to the glass-dominated area looking out onto greenery. In this room, there were two tables, each located underneath a sloping edge (akin to an under-the-stairway nook, although no stairway was involved), that offered limited (but more) privacy. The other two dining rooms are smaller, and on the right-hand-side when one enters the restaurant. Both had woodwork on the ceilings; one had a dark rose color scheme, the other featured a color between light and medium blue. The serving plates were ugly, with swipes of gold color featured prominently on most of the plates (some had a white background, others a midnight blue). An excellently priced wine list (as good as the Georges Blanc level) with respect to old champagnes and white Burgundies. For example, a Bollinger 1982 R.D. and a Salon 1985 were each priced at under 1000 FF, which, in the case of the Salon, is just very slightly above or below the Fauchon retail price in Paris. Good representation of regional wines. Reds not checked (I am also in a poorer position to evaluate the quality of red wines). The service was very good, including with respect to the food and the wine. The sommelier was knowledgeable, and, when I asked about the two more expensive bottles of old champagne relative to the ½ bottle of Batard Montrachet, he urged the ½ bottle. Viviane Westermann, the chef’s wife, was continually in the main dining room. She also contributed to the service of the Bresse chicken. At one point in time, there were two people helping to serve and cut the chicken. Antoine Westermann was on hand to greet selected diners after the service. He was very humble, and personable. Other Menu Items (Rough Translations) – Foie gras d’oie frais des Landes fait maison, compote de figue aux epices, gellee au porto, et pain de campagne grille (43 euros) (Fresh goose liver from the Landes region in Southern France, spiced fig compote, port gelee and grilled country bread) – Pate en croute de Pigeon et Poularde au foie gras de Canard truffee (49) (Pigeon and Bresse chicken in pastry with truffled duck foie gras) – Legumes printaniers en vinaigrette a l’huile de Truffe, sandwich de boudin blanc truffe (45) (Vegetables with vinegarette of truffle oil, sandwich of boudin blanc with truffles) – Le filet de brochet aux aromates, poireaux vinaigrette et oeuf poche (44) (Pike filet with various herbs?, leeks vinaigrette with poached egg) – Grosses langoustines poelees, gelee de crustace, asperges vertes et creme d’asperge froide (49) (Pan-fried large langoustines, shellfish gelee, green asparagus and cold cream of asparagus) – Turbot poele aux artichauts poivrade, feves et fenouil, jus de legumes acidules (57) (Pan-fried turbot with artichokes, broad beans and fennel, vegetable jus) –Anguille rotie, jus de volaille a la coriandre fraiche, gateau de pomme de terre au chou blanc (49) (Roasted eel, poultry jus with fresh coriander, potato cake with white cabbage) – Escalope de bar rotie, asperges vertes et gnocchis, coulis d’asperges (54) (Roasted escalope of bass, green asparagus and gnocchis, a coulis of asparagus) – Troncon de sole aux morilles fraiches et petits-pois (52) (Sole with fresh morels and peas) – Homard bleu rotie, pates fraiches a la poudre d’orange, asperges vertes et jus de crustace (67) (Roasted lobster, green asparagus and shellfish jus) – Carre et plate de cote de cochon fermie eleve en plein air roties, blettes et morilles fraiches, gnocchis a la ciboulette (98 euros for 2 persons) (Rack and [side] of farm-raised pig, fresh morels, gnocchis with chives) – Poitrine de pigeon d’alsace rotie, cuisses et ailes farcies, migotee de legumes (52) (Roasted breast of Alsatian pigeon, thighs and another part stuffed, with vegetables) – Foie de veau de lait fermier poele, oignons caramelises au vieux vinaigre et frites de celeri-rave (49) (Pan-fried liver of milk-fed veal, caramelised onions with old vinegar and celeriac fries) – Agneau des Pyrenees roti aux feves et a la tomate confite, hachis parmentier d’agneau au fenouil (49) (Roasted lamb from the Pyrenees with broad beans and confit tomatoes, parmentier of lamb with fennel) – Fraises au jus de fraise reduit, creme battue et glace verveine (Strasberries with reduced strawberry jus, whipped cream? and verbena ice cream) – Pomme confite au four, creme legere au romarin et sorbet Granny Smith (Oven-confit apple, light cream with rosemary and a Granny Smith sorbet) – Creme renversee a la Chicoree, fruits aux epices et granite au café (Reversed cream? with chicory, fruits with spices and with a coffee granite) – Ananas frais roti a la vanille, jus au gingembre, sorbet a l’ananas et sables au citron (Roasted fresh pineapple with vanilla, ginger jus and a pineapple sorbet with lemon sables) – Tarte fine a la rhubarbe, confiture de fraise et glace vanille (Rhubarb tart, strawberry jam and vanilla ice cream) – Brioche caramelisee a la Biere, glace a la Biere et poire rotie (Caramelised brioche with beer, beer ice cream and roasted pear)
  22. cabrales


    I'd appreciate members' input on Maxim's in Paris. While I appreciate that the level of the cuisine there today may not be particularly attractive, the restaurant has so much history that I am contemplating a visit sooner or later. Insight into what dishes are relatively acceptable would be appreciated.
  23. Agence France Presse noted mid last month the following: "Rene Lasserre . . . celebrated his 90th birthday this week with some of the country's top chefs . . . [C]hef Gerard Boyer [of Boyer Les Crayeres, Rheims], a former trainee now named a three-star chef ..., described the nonagenarian as 'our spiritual father.' Among diners tucking into macaroni stuffed with black truffles topped with pieces of lobster, or foie gras with truffle juice and pumpkin soup, were more former staff turned three-star chefs, Guy Savoy [Paris], Jacques Lameloise [at Chagny] and Marc Haeberlin [of Auberge de L'Ill, Illhaesern, spelling] [This is not necessarily as impressive as it sounds; Lameloise and Haeberline returned to family establishments] . . . . At this week's celebration, Paul Bocuse . . . described Lasserre as 'a genius and a forerunner of current marketing.' Alain Ducasse [of Plaza Athenee, Paris, and Louis XV, Monaco]. . . lauded his forebear's 'rigour and unbending demand for quality regarding hospitality, service and the arts of the table.' . . . Lasserre, who founded the restaurant 60 years ago, also had chefs Pierre Troisgros [at Roanne], Freddy Girardet [formerly at Crissier], Alain Senderens [of Lucas-Carton, Paris] and Michel Guerard [of Pres d'Eugenie, Eugenie Les Bains] at the party, along with Jean-Claude Vrinat, owner of Taillevent, and Claude Terrail, owner of the Tour d'Argent."
  24. Patricia Wells reports on the new, still reasonably-priced restaurant created by the former chef at Les Olivades. The restaurant is called Flora. http://www.patriciawells.com/reviews/iht/iht.htm (see the bottom of the article)
  25. I'd appreciate input from members who have recently visited any of the following Hong Kong restaurants: (1) Petrus Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel, Pacific Place, (2) Amigo in Happy Valley, and (3) Alibi.