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Posts posted by Winot

  1. Can I suggest another reason why people might be avoiding Le Gavroche?  As someone who is (very) attracted by the food, I am equally repulsed by the dress code.

    I wore jeans (but with a dress over the top, because I work in meejah), and was a fraction worried that I would be turned away.

    Right - I'll dig out my dress.

  2. Yes it's annoying but consistent with the no reservations policy - otherwise they'd get people occupying tables for half an hour before they ordered just waiting for their friend to turn up.

    They will let you sit if you order for the missing person.

    As I say, annoying, but the food's worth it.

  3. The problem in Newcastle is not how to eat on a tight budget -- there's plenty of cheap food about. The problem is that most of it is utter crap.

    Having visited a number of times I have only eaten well once -- there's a great cafe/restaurant in a converted sweet factory up the hill from the Quay, if I remember right. Other than that in my experience it's either average and overpriced or cheap and dire.

  4. Well only three years too late, but had an excellent first visit to Racine this lunchtime with Mrs and Baby Winot.

    I started with the special of sauteed monk fish liver on toast which were cooked perfectly pink inside and crisp outside and drizzled with that sweet brown reduced sauce that finds its way onto too many restaurant plates but worked perfectly here. Mrs. W had a plate of cold eel with beetroot jelly, cod's roe and some other bits and bobs.

    Mains were tete de veau for me (ruling out calf's brain for starter yer see) which was meltingly soft with a good portion of brain and the tangy caper sauce described above. It came with new pots but would have been better with mash imho. Mrs W had sweetbreads with broad beans and artichoke - so much better than my effort at this a few weeks back -- must crisp them up more next time. However they had done something odd to the artichoke (frying it?) which apparently gave it the consistency of paper.

    Puds were excellent -- pot au vanille with prunes in armagnac and lemon pud with cherries -- short and (not too) sweet -- just how we like them. Good coffee too, although like so many places they failed to bring it at the same time as the puds as requested -- why is this so difficult? (particularly here where the puds were cold).

    Other than that the service was good -- they coped particularly well with our SUV pram (try getting that through the curtained door), rearranging a table for us and not blinking at breastfeeding at the table and a bit of crying (although it was quite noisy anyway). And I liked the continual replenishment of iced tap water.

    Pretty pricey I thought at a shade under £100 for two for three courses, two glasses of wine (though we went for an eight quid bordeaux), two coffees and service, but I haven't found a bourgeois French restaurant this good in London, and certainly not one with the range of solid cooking on offer at Racine.

  5. Just a follow up on this -- unfortunately BBR's web site couldn't keep up with demand, and they rang me the next morning to say that the 2002 Meursault was sold out. So I went for this instead:

    1999 Meursault Village, Les Grands Charrons, Domaine Michelot (a case at GBP 12.95/bottle reduced from GBP 22.45).

    The tragedy is I'll have to drink it up all the quicker.

  6. I was thinking about ordering some white burgundy en primeur from the UK Wine Society, and before doing so took a look at the BBR web site to see what they thought of that vintage.

    Lo and behold they are having a Burgundy sale with discounts up to 50% when wines are ordered by the case. If you are tempted here is the link.

    From a basis of almost zero knowledge, this is what I ordered:

    12x 2002 Meursault L'Ormeau, Domaine Yves Boyer-Martenot at 12.95 GBP each

    12x 1999 Pommard, Les Croix Noires, Domaine L. Boillot at 14.95 GBP each

    Your thoughts on these wines (including how long they will keep) would be much appreciated.


  7. Andy - those prices seem pretty keen. How long's it been open? Might they rise d'you think?

    This point may have been made before on one of the numerous gastropub threads, but it occurs to me that one economic benefit of the gastropub model (compared to a restaurant) is that the pub customers provide a turnover at times at which a restaurant would normally be quiet.

  8. Just wanted to add a bit more feedback, in case anyone reads this in future to make a decision. DO NOT USE FARMAROUND.

    I'd agree with this -- we had similar problems with their administration - forgetting to deliver, offering discount in recompense then forgetting to discount etc.

    Have switched to Abel & Cole and been generally happy with quality, though fruit isn't very exciting and it takes a bit of tweaking of the regular order to avoid suffocating under the weight of pots and cabbage (thank goodness for Moro II with its cabbage recipes).

    Having dipped our toes in the organic box water Iget the impression the companies started out as small concerns delivering to a few well-meaning "knit your own muesli" types and are now struggling to develop a business model that can cope with a larger number of customers that see them as a greener alternative to the supermarket, but nevertheless expect a slick retail experience.

  9. I watched it the other night an assumed the owner came up with it, as she was sat at at table and said something like i need to find a word for soul tapas

    Yes I thought that too.

    I thought it was a good episode but the problems and trouble shooting were pretty classic people-management not restaurant specific.

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