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dallardice

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  1. Impressed to see Carluccio's Islington score a big fat zero: http://www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk/business/carluccio-s-islington-london-272350.html Particularly impressive when their training academy is upstairs from the restaurant: http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/People/Carluccio-s-opens-in-house-training-academy-above-Islington-restaurant (Inspection from March this year)
  2. Domaine de Durban in Beaumes de Venise has an incredible setting with stunning views. Their Muscat is excellent, but I think their vielles vignes red is underrated and very good value. If you're more interested in tasting than the vineyeard itself, and you like rose, there's a wonderful co-operative in the centre of Tavel which will let you taste from all the local Tavel and Lirac producers.
  3. Shame, because it was great when it was in Upper Street. ← I got the impression that Alan and Olga were only ever brought in for marketing purposes - it was never their restaurant, Alan occasionally did some frying and Olga did some front of house, but I don't think they were involved for long, and weren't involved in the design of the kitchens or the menu.
  4. Based on my experience, I'd add Seafish, on Upper St, N1. I'd also take off The Fish Shop on St John St, but it's a while since I've been there since I had several bad experiences...
  5. I was ok with Murano getting a star, but I was disappointed that L'Anima, which I found more interesting and exciting in almost every way, did not get a star as well. Having very easily resisted Ducasse up until now, I am taking advantage over the 20% off your complete bill offer at Toptable to give it a try in a couple of weeks... after all, if it's going to be London's next 3-star...
  6. Hmmm... I'm going this Saturday. Booked on Nov 14. I make that three and I was given a choice of times...
  7. Yep we were there last night. Nice place but it is a short menu for evening meals - good to know it's open out of regular hours - could certainly see me popping in for a quick bite late or early. I was in a comfort food frame of mind - eggs mayonnaise was a retro eggs salad cream, mac & cheese was tasty but not very exciting compared to some of the great versions I've had in similar US places; the rice pudding was excellent.
  8. Had a fantastic tasting menu there a couple of months ago. Ranked as one of the best I've had in recent years; great and interesting wine matches too.
  9. Just as an aside for any City types, Paul now has another shop in the Royal Exchange at Bank.
  10. No tricks - I did call two months to the day and got through in the first few minutes. My partner was trying from the UK too and got 20 minutes of busy tones. I think the restaurant gods just smile on me for special occasions - we got into El Bulli for his 40th a couple of years ago. Makes up for my lack of luck in other aspects of life I suppose...
  11. Sunday night, which certainly is the quietest night for dining in London, so I'm guessing it would be easier than Fri/Sat. Still don't think the restaurant will be empty though!
  12. Don't know what all the row is about reservations for this place. Travelling to CA for a week in late April, we thought we'd try calling this week on the offchance that we might score a table. Called at 6pm UK time, on my third call, I got ringing, selected 3 for reservations, waited a while... (thinking "I'm sure they're going to cut me off")... got through and was offered a choice of three slots for a table for two. So we are off to the French Laundry on the night of my 40th birthday... after only 10 minutes of effort! I realise I was incredibly lucky, but it is worth saying that it's not impossible to get a reservation. Good luck if you're trying, and less than 2 months to wait for me...
  13. Toptable are currently offering 3 courses "plus a sweet gift" for £35 Mon-Fri lunchtimes, until 24 Feb.
  14. Yes, Chris also says that "Alan has a long history in the restaurant business". It definitely looks like Chris might be very good friends with Alan! My main course was good when we ate there but having seen the mussels and lobster in the programme I think we were lucky...
  15. Well I'm saying nothing... it was I reckon about 6 months before filming on tonight's programme...
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