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Everything posted by mdibiaso

  1. mdibiaso


    Was this "bonbon anglais" in the original? How lovely! I do like the way those peculiar varietals (marsanne, viognier, roussane, savagnin, etc.) age. ← Don't know. I got the email in English.
  2. mdibiaso


    Here is some info I got 3 years back from Chapoutier on the life cycle of Hermitage blanc. As you will note oxidation is normal with these wines. Maybe you needed to wait 5 years not 15 minutes, and with an unopened bottle. Why not take something positive from this and go out and buy a good bottle of Hermitage blanc and let it cellar for 15 years. I am going to let my Le Meal go until at least 2020. "For Le Meal 1997 blanc in magnum is a very oustanding wine. You can drink it today but you can wait some more years. In 1 or 2 years it will be more spicy than now, again more complex .... And after it will go into a oxydation phase during a few years. De L'Orée 1991 is in this phase. That a typic reaction for Marsanne wines. But this oxydation phase will disappear after some more years and let place to a flavour of English sweet .... Best regards, DIDIER Yohan Tasting room M.CHAPOUTIER"
  3. mdibiaso


    One can also not expect every server to be a wine expert. Nor can smaller restaurants take the time to discuss wine choices with every client. I think some responsibility is up to the customer when choosing an unusual wine (any white wine that is 15 years old qualifies as unusual in my opinion) to either know upfront what to expect or ask about the wine. PS you should give the Arboir a try again, this time with some creamed morels and asparagus. In my opinion it reminds me a bit of good dry sherry. Arboir can also age 15-20 years like white Hermitage.
  4. mdibiaso


    It seems obvious that you didn't have very good service, but maybe you should have given this hermitage a second chance, for the girl was probably right. That's the way some white hermitages do age and it's not necessarily considered bad. I do like a very aged, oxidized hermitage. It's like fine jerez. Once I had an ancient, slightly oxidized chevalier-de-sterimberg (a fine hermitage blanc), and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was wonderful with seafood. How much were you supposed to pay for that bottle? If they still have some, I'm interested. ← I have heard the same about older white hermitages. This is supposed to happen after a while and when I recently had a bottle that was 10 years old I noticed the process was beginning. White hermitage is a rather unusually wine, and white wines that are 16 years old are even more unusual. Why did you order this wine to begin with? If you were trying to be adventurous to try something you had never had that seemed exotic maybe you should have been more open to the opinion of the staff. It is probably the case that the server brought the bottle back to someone else who knew a lot about wine to get their opinion before she came back and said there was no problem. When ordering unusual and older wines the customer can really only return the wine if it is defective. Not if they do not like the style or think it has aged too much. Even for many red wines 16 years of age is considerable and brings with it risks that the wine is over the hill. It is hard to say without having been there, or knowing your experience with white hermitage, but you may want to rethink what happened.
  5. Les Crayeres has a great and extremely reasonably priced champagne list with all the big houses and lots of small houses. Eating there is not cheap, but the setting and food are fabulous.
  6. I used my MBNA credit card in Finland last summer, after everyone started saying they were now charging fees, and I did not see any fees on the bill and the exchange rate used seemed correct. And with the cash back they offer of a 1/2% it stills seems like a great card to used overseas for me. I also have a Chase One Pass card simply because it offers what I think is a great insurance coverage when renting cars. Even though there is a pretty high annual fees and I only rent cars about once every two years (for about 1 month) I think it saves me about 500 USD everytime I have that long rental.
  7. If you are willing to sacrifice and take the risk of having one of the grownups taking them outside the second they start to melt melt down, then take them. It is a great experience. The staff will treat them well if they are well behaved. And when I took my 7 year old to a three star I just had a hand held gameboy (with the sound turned off!) for her to play if she got bored. I think she played about 15 minutes of a 4 hour meal! And she did NOT have much restaurant experience. Trust me your kids will remember. I remember special meals from that age. In fact, it is about all I remember from that age. And it DID effect my future appreciation and love of cooking and food. And if you cannot find a way to talk to your children for 4 hours during such a wonderful new experience then you have more serious problems than deciding were to dine.
  8. when I went with my 7 year old daughter the treated her like a queen and even helped with some special food requests and a visit to the kitchen. This was before the switch in style but since much of the staff is the same I do not think you will have any problems
  9. My understanding is that there are only two bavettes, the ones described above. In all there are 33 cuts of beef. For a map on them go to Centre d'Information des Viandes. Klick on each part and the name of it in French will be displayed. ← Great site. Know of something similar in Swedish?
  10. I have always been of a different opinion. If I really love a place I want to try to go back and if I keep loving it I want to try to get to be a bit of a regular. That allows me to just sit back and enjoy the food rather than concentrating to much on the "experience".
  11. Jerome works lunch and dinner Monday-Friday.
  12. Feel free to ask för Jerome Moreau, the head sommelier at Le Bristol. Tell him the Marc from Sweden suggested you speak to him about wine selection and eventually food choices as well if you want to discuss. His English is perfect and after many years at Lucas Carton he probably knows more about matching food and wine than 99 out of 100 sommeliers in France.
  13. How crucial is it to speak French (and how much French) in order to get and actually perform the stage? I have just started cooking school and have some friends that could help me get a stage when I have more experience but my French is limited to what I have learned via cassettes. IE I have no real life experiences with the language and my vocabulary is tourist centric not kitchen.
  14. This morning in the Wall Street Journal's first weekend edition in over two decades, Stan Sesser announced that the new version of Lucas Carton will open Monday Sept 19. Here's a picture from a menu during the heydays! ← Judging by the new website (still at old address www.lucascarton.com) the restaurant will no longer be called Lucas Carton, it will instead be named Senderens.
  15. Just to keep things clear both Le Bristol and Le Meurice are ** aspiring to become ***. It is just that they are aspiring in different manners, classical vs modern, as far as I can tell.
  16. I love the little cotton candy you get when you order the "variations" of some flavor dessert. Have had both the strawberry you show and pineapple. Regarding wine, Le Bristol will soon have one of the best cellars in France. Head Sommelier Jerome Moreau is one of France's best and was at Lucas Carton for many years where he developed an expertise in matching food/wine and lots of important contacts in Burgundy and even lesser known areas of France like Condrieau and Languedoc. Unfortunately he does not work on Saturdays, but he staff is very well trained, so do ask them to suggest something a little different. They can usually offer several wines by the glass as well.
  17. I have dined serveral times at Le Bristol. It is very classical in style with very classical cooking. Le Meurice I have not been to, but write up I have read seem to place it a bit more experimental in the food. People tend to either love or hate it. So I would say the safe bet is Le Bristol, while Le Meurice is throwing the dice, you could win big, you could lose. Hope that helps give you parameters for you personal decision.
  18. Why is everyone trying to make excuses for this guy. Everywhere in the world there are good servers and bad servers. This guy was just plain bad and rude. And he was the first I have encountered in Paris in many years. Yes, we were first time visitors, but he should have mistaken us for American tourists that WILL leave good tips for good service. And judging by all his smiling at the end of the meal when he brought the bill he probably did and was hoping then to "earn" that extra money. Well he did not get it of course. It was not the fact that we did not get vegetables that is the problem. It was the attitude he gave us as reaction to the question. Even my 7 year old daughter caught on to how rude he was and wanted to leave. A nice smile and a "of course I will check" lie and then coming back without asking anyone and saying "I am so sorry but the kitchen is too busy" would have solved the problem. I am not trying to make any judgement on French service here. In fact my experience is that service in France is quite good and often more genuine than in the US. I am just warning people that may want to take smaller children to Au Bon Accueil, because they have seen it recommended as child friendly, that there is one server that does not have any consideration of small children. And that could well ruin your experience.
  19. Not sure I buy this explanation. We had arrived very early and made the request as soon as we ordered. At this point there was max 2-3 other tables that were seated. So there was no pressure on the kitchen. And the attitude was not sorry we can't do it, it was down right rude "how dare you ask". I have been to several places in Paris, both starred and not and this was the first time I had seen such rude service in many years. For an example of how well a starred restaurant handled the request click on the link below. The next night we were at Lucas Carton, and asked for the raw carrots and cukes in the middle of the meal as we had more courses than our daugther and she was still hungry after her main. The restaurant was full at the time and the kitchen was probably swamped. But they still brought out the work of art you will see in the picture, and there was no charge. There is no reason the waiter at Au Bon Accueil could not have gone in the kitchen as ask for a couple of slices of cucumber. I am convinced that if I had asked the young lady who was also serving she would have at least tried. And again, I had been told that Au Bon Accueil was a good place to go with small children who are picky eaters. And it may well be, but NOT if served by this guy. Link to picture. picture of raw veggies from Lucas Carton.
  20. Restaurangan @ Fredsgatan 12, Bon Lloc. Try good Swedish food in the old city. ← Be careful with these names. The same owner has several places. One is called "Restaurangen". It is NOT at Fredsgatan 12 and while it is good it is not at the same level of food or prices as F12, which is at Fredsgatan 12. F12 has a website, this may get you to the English part. http://www.f12.se/generellt/index2.asp?lang=eng Bon Lloc is run by a different person then the other two above. It is less avant garde and I actually prefer it. But both are in the top 10 in Stockholm. Bon Lloc is modern Latino cooking. They also have a website with an English section. http://www.bonlloc.rgsth.com If you want something more traditional Swedish in style and are willing to travel outside the city (about half way between Stockholm and airport) and don't mind the extra expense of the taxis (do not even try to drink and drive in Sweden) Edsbacka Krog has a very Swedish atmosphere, uses a lot of traditional Swedish ingredients and prepares them in French inspired manners. It is the only 2 starred restaurant in Sweden. Their website http://www.edsbackakrog.se/english/index.html Enjoy your trip.
  21. Went to Au Bon Accueil while in Paris with my wife and 7 year old daughter. We sat outside so our daughter could see the Eiffel Tower while eating but it turned out to be a bad decision as it got cold and rainy during the meal and by then our table inside had been given to someone else. Country bread and sausage was served first. I had a grilled mackerel starter that was good but somewhat bland and then a very nice sea bass. Remember that our daughter had an extremely good suckling pig. Desserts, chocolate for the ladies, peach for me we also light and fresh. In general all the dishes were light and fresh. My wife and I had a present menu for about 35 euro for 3 courses. My daugther ordered from the ala carte as she is a little picky and her main and dessert ran about 40 Euro. Reasonable prices all around. Only complaint is service from one member of the staff (unfortunately he seemed to be the senior member). We asked if our daughter could have some raw veggies, carrots or cucumbers, with her meat instead of the normal sides. He just blew us of with that old French shoulder shrug saying if it is not on the menu we could not have it. Now I know if he wanted to try to help he could have gone to the kitchen and asked what raw veggies they had, but he just did not want to help, even though it was for a little 7 year old girl. This despite suggestions that this place would be good for kids. So the food is good and well prices if you order the preset menu. Portions are somewhat small and all the dishes we had were light in style (ie no heavy sauces) but you feel comfortably fed by the end of the meal. But do not take kids if you think you will have any special requests.
  22. mdibiaso


    Not sure if Senderens stole his langoustine from chinese cooking. He claims himself he was trying to recreate the shell, and in its first version it was served with a chopped egg sauce and not to be eaten with one's fingers. IE it was much more classic French in style. Using the lemon grass stick as a skewer for sweetbreads is also an idea Senderens started. But the fact that Ledoyen is borrowing some ideas for a great chefs like Senderens, and even seem to have borrowed the wine service (match glasses to each course that are immediately refilled) is in my eye a plus. Great chefs all borrow and rework ideas, and now that Lucas Carton will change direction Ledoyen can help fill the gap it will leave. Thanks for a great write up that has put Ledoyen on my radar for a future visit.
  23. Yes, I was not planning to be in Paris for a while but when I heard Lucas Carton would be changing direction I both needed to get back for one last meal and to bring my daughter with me for her first 3 star meal. We only have two nights and have to think about our daughter, only 7 and rather picky, for all the other meals. Had heard that Au Bon Accueil was good for kids and had a view that would keep her occupied while we ate. That's why we chose it. We will be there from July 5th thru 7th. Could not make it for the 9th for the last night Lucas Carton is open unfortunately. But that may be for the best since that will probably be too late a night for my 7 year old.
  24. I just called to make a dinner reservation at Au Bon Accueil and asked in my very poor French a table with a view of the Eiffel Tower. I think the answer back was there was no such tables or that the only tables with view were on the sides walk for drinks only. Does any of this make sense to anyone who has been there?
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