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Mrs. B

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  1. Just another country and another continent where the Michelin list isn't my list. The interesting thing is to realize just how much perhaps we've let Michelin influence our thinking about French cuisine and choice of restaurants in France. Our opinions have, I suspect, always been tempered by knowing the star level in advance of a meal. Based on our tastes and experiences, I find a good part of this list to be rather bizarre, but no more out of kilter with our experience in Spain or more recently in Italy. My guess is that Daniel was hurt by the sheer number of covers they serve an evening. Whether the numbers alone prejudiced the inspectors into believing they couldn't maintain consistency, whether they found inconsistency or were simply offended by the number of times a new table was seated are things we can only speculate about. The one stars seem a particular hodge podge of choices. Blue Hill, one of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan along with Daniel, Cafe Boulud and WD-50, is most conspicuous by its absence, imho. We took vserna, a member here and a Spanish critic and journalist on food and wine, to Blue Hill when he was in NY promoting his own wine. (He's also a winemaker.) He went to Craft on his own. He wrote about the restaurants he visited in the US in an El Mundo (Madrid) travel supplement. His comments on Blue Hill couldn't have been more glowingly positive. I suspect he won't be disappointed given what he's had to say about Michelin in the Spain forum.
  2. For perhaps sentimental reasons, as perhaps sentimental reasons are as good a way to pick among brasseries, or among the Flo brasseries, we like Vaudeville. Balzar didn't seem worth a return and Lipp never really appealed to us. La Coupole was a hangout for us some forty years ago and it's changed enough not to return on the basis of sentimentality. La Coupole is just no longer there in that context.
  3. It did for me at Pierre Gagnaire as well. Fortunately, I made up for it with some stellar meals at less "stellar" restaurants. ← The problem with life on the cutting edge is that one can be left bleeding.
  4. ← Quite a departure in format.
  5. Mrs. B

    Barça 18

    They hold a number of covers open for walk-ins, but I'd suggest arriving early to count on a table, so it may not be any better than arriving ten minutes late for a 6:45 reservation. It would be interesting to hear about the wait for a table at various times on various days. We were there the other night and here's what Bux posted, or at least as much as is reasonable to repost here.
  6. http://www.uvm.edu/vtquarterly/vqfall05/shaw.html Better information on this site in the France forum. The wine is much appreciated for drinking, but also for cooking morels, chicked and even lobster. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1036405 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=60211 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=787416
  7. Mrs. B

    Le Meurice

    As far as we know, vin jaune is made entirely from savagnin grapes. It's not a grape grown much in France and it's cultivation is probably restricted to the Jura region. Bux knows more about this stuff than I do and I think he's already posted about the first time we had chicken and morels in vine jaune. Anyway, it's a great wine with an unsual flavor akin to sherry in a way (resulting from the "flor" that develops in the cask) and it may take something of an educated palate to appreciate. http://www.chambres-hotes-jura.com/gite_de...a.html#vinjaune
  8. Since I too was one of the "lurkers" who did not post a question, I'd like to thank Chef Adria for his time, effort and interest he took to communicate with us. It is rare to find a famous chef give so much of himself.
  9. Several of the Relais et Chateaux hotels in the area offer one and more days of cuisine. If you don't have their book, check the website, I believe they list cooking courses.
  10. Mrs. B


    The pass is the area in the kitchen where the plates get their final touches, plate cleaning and inspection by the chef and where they are "passed" to the waiters. Hearth has three stools on the side of the counter where the plates wait for the waiters. You can watch some of the cooking in the kitchen from those seats. It is sort of cool because you get to see what the offerings are before you decide what to order.
  11. Mrs. B


    I had the sweetbreads wrapped in cabbage leaves floating on a beautifully clear and flavorful beef consome with a brunoise of carrots. It was really good. I ordered the duck which was a combination of a small breast roasted rare and a confit drumstick. The confit was very tasty, just right. The breast was cooked at the proper rareness (as I asked) but it was chewy, tough and tasteless. I have bought tastier duck breasts from d' Artagnan in Gourmet Garage. I was a bit surprised and dissappointed. At $90 pp incl wine and tip I expect better. We had a Wolffer Reserve Merlot, NY State wine. I guess Stan liked it because it was smoother than the wines we usually get which are heavier and tannic.
  12. I agree with Bux, but if you insist on staying at the Tryp hotel near the airport they supposedly offer a free shuttle as mentioned in the information page in the airline's computer: "FREE SHUTTLE FROM THE HOTEL TO THE AIRPORT WHERE YOU CAN CONECT THE TRAIN AND BUS. " You can take the shuttle back to the airport after you've checked into the hotel and take the metro into the city. I don't know how late the shuttle works so you might end up having to take a taxi from the city center to the airport hotel.
  13. Menu translation, (with Pedro's assistance): - Córdoba's salmorejo with iberico ham and quail egg. - Maple smoked foie gras over vanilla bread and rose chutney - Morels au gratin with white shrimp and green asparagus - Cold potato salad with chicharro (trachurus picturatus) - Snails in two different recipes: - - Stewed with Saracen wheat - - A la llauna (see the thread "On snails" for more info) - Grilled large red prawns (carabinero in Spanish, aristeus antennatus) with Iberic pork jowl - Fried egg over a boletus edulis (king mushroom, cep) mousse with fresh truffles [not listed on the handwritten menu] - Iberico pork with sauted season greens, mole poblano and wheat tortillas Unfortunately, by the time the rest of the meal came along, we were too engrossed in the conversation and too many wines to take more pictures. - Assortment of cheeses - Sorbets and ice creams - Sheep milk flan with pacharán (Navarrian's liquor made with sloes) - Light cake of chocolate stuffed with chile chipotle - Moroccan tea (with mint, leaves from the lemon tree, etc)
  14. "critters" -- perhaps the added protein in your mushrooms was the cause of your side-effects We purchased some cepes in a market in France this past month and when cleaning them found some had little holes indicating the possibility of little worms. We were told by a chef to cut the cepes up, blanch them in boiling water with vinegar (the vinegar kills any worms or parasites), dry them and sautee them.
  15. This is the first chance I get to read this thread (Bux tends to hog the computer when we are on vacation ) Thank you Lucyand Loic for such a wonderful evening. And you certainly guessed right about our meal the previous evening. Light it was not, it was a typical Lyonnaise meal. Bux had the "tablier de sapeur" for those not in the know it is basically a slab from the stomach (tripe) breaded and fried. I had my favorite, "pied de cochon" boned (thank god or we would have spent three hours for lunch on one dish) repacked with some breadcrumbs and fried, served with a side of potatoes gratin. If I had walked ten hours after I might have digested that lunch in time for dinner. Light it was not. What Bux neglected to mention (you blinded him with such a magnificent tray of cheese) was the wonderful octopus dish and the incredibly velvety, mushroomy soup. The wines were wonderful too, I can't believe we went through four bottles, but this was also a very rich meal and one needed all that wine to help with digestion, no ? It was all wonderful, thank you again.
  16. Galicia happens to be the land of my paternal grandfather so I have a soft spot for it. We were last there in the middle of winter, January, but the weather was beautiful, sunny and crisp. When we reached Pontevedra, the main square had trees with orange blossoms! The restaurants were so inexpensive compared to the rest of Spain. We concentrated on eating seafood. We had the best codfish I've ever had. Unfortunately it jaded me so, that I don't order codfish anymore anywhere else.
  17. Bayonne is certainly an improvement over Montpellier, it has a fabulous outdoor/indoor market. I prefer Avignon over Aix-en-Provence. There are a lot of restaurants and it has a neat square near the Palais du Pape which gets full of cafes and people. You can also use it as a base to do day trips to other interesting cities, after all, man or woman does not live by bread alone.
  18. Here is the menu as hand written by the chef during our eGullet dinner. One or two dishes are listed out of order:
  19. In the early sixties, when I was a young bride, my father in law brought us a basket full of snails. I think he said they were Moroccan. They were brown and white about the size of a 25cent piece (that is american money, bigger than an Euro). The only way we had eaten snails were cooked like the French do in a lot of NY restaurants - in their shells with garlic butter. There were about 300 of these little snails. We washed them and put them in a pot with a cover on them. The next morning the snails had popped the top open, and were crawling all over the kitchen and parts of the house. After recovering most of them (we did find some weeks later around the house) we proceeded to boil, take out of the shells, cut off the cloaca (intestines and junk like that), restuff into the little shells and cover the openings with garlic butter. It took us ten hours! We swore never to do them like that again. The next time we knew better and put a weight on top of the pot cover. We also decided to cook them sort of like coq au vin with bacon and mushrooms and red wine. We served them that evening but did not mention what it was until someone who said they loved it asked if it was a mushroom stew. When we mentioned there were snails, everybody started picking out the mushrooms and leaving the snails hiding them under the rice
  20. In Puerto Rico, rice dishes whether soupy or dry are cooked in a cast iron or cast aluminum "caldero". The dry rice is usually fluffy on top and the very bottom is usually a bit stuck "pegao". I was reminded of that "pegao" when we ate paella at Casa Paco. Now THAT was an incredible paella, after that one, nothing else came close. If Can Majo is known for the "caldoso" rice, then that would be the dish to order. "An informed consumer is the best client"
  21. I don't understand why is it that people think that if you are in Spain every restaurant, in any region, makes a good paella. If I am correct, Can Majo's specialty is "arroz caldoso" and if you looked around at the locals having lunch I bet not one was having paella.
  22. Make sure you hang out until sunset, it is incredible (if it is not raining, of course) how the setting sun colors the building.
  23. Mrs. B


    How was the foie gras prepared? I can't imagine someone who does not like red meat accepting foie gras as a replacement?
  24. FIVE HOURS!!!! Your wife must have had the emergency brake on
  25. Ok, then your wine comments for last night's wine will be taken with a grain of salt I will admit that the anchovies were very, very salty. I think the problem was that the batter was also salted so it did not help tame the saltiness of the fish. I didn't find anything else salty, but then, I need a lot of salt in the summertime and seem to have a great deal of tolerance for it. I forgot to mention in my first post that the mussels with chorizo did not work as well as when he was serving the chorizo with big scallops in their shells. I found the mussels too small and sort of dried out like they had been steamed sometime before combining them with the chorizo, et al. and serving them. Unfortunately, the bread was miserable, stale, it should have been crisped in the oven before serving and it might have helped. We could have used some bread to soak up the wonderful mussel/chorizo juices which was the best part of that dish.
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