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Gordon Ramsay au Trianon & La Veranda


PhilD
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Has anyone tried it yet...?

I have not but a March 22nd article in the Times Online titled “French reviewers give Gordon Ramsay a taste of his own medicine” quotes everyone from Simon to Pudlo and the press is rather bad.

It omits the slightly better review given by Ribault in Le Monde yesterday:

http://www.lemonde.fr/aujourd-hui/article/...30060_3238.html

Still, not enough to make me want to try it!

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I have not but a March 22nd  article in the Times Online titled “French reviewers give Gordon Ramsay a taste of his own medicine” quotes everyone from Simon to Pudlo and the press is rather bad.

...and most without having actually eaten there (the critic from Liberation being the only exception that I can see).

I know it's dangerous to question some of the reviewers mentioned, but does nobody think that you should actually eat in a restaurant before you review it?

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I have not but a March 22nd  article in the Times Online titled “French reviewers give Gordon Ramsay a taste of his own medicine” quotes everyone from Simon to Pudlo and the press is rather bad.

...and most without having actually eaten there (the critic from Liberation being the only exception that I can see).

I know it's dangerous to question some of the reviewers mentioned, but does nobody think that you should actually eat in a restaurant before you review it?

Fully agree. My understanding is that it was open to the press for several days, perhaps even a week, before it was open to the public, so some of them had to have gone. I know that one reviewer even interviewed him outside both the UK and France in preparation for his piece.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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And here is another witty and charming review, from Monday's Le Fooding, where Trish Deseine, the Irish cookbook author, wrote about taking her kids to Gordon Ramsay’s second resto in Versailles – the Veranda. It was a most mixed review, easily read because they switch between English and French.

PS I'll thus change the title of this topic to include La Veranda.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I doubt Ramsay will be successful in Paris, but I still respected his guts

I think it's most challenging thing that a foreign chef can do - open a gastronomy restaurant in France, in particular Paris and become successful (as in often full house and receive the 3-star Michelin or Gault Millau's 19/20)

Is it supposed to be a high-end restaurant?

Even if per se or Robuchon Mansion LV opened in Paris, they probably would not be as successful as where they're right now

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I am a little confused. Where exactly is this restaurant? I get the impression at or near Versailles - although my French is really awful and I could be 25 miles off base. If at/near Versailles - might be a very nice place for lunch when visiting Versailles. Although I haven't been to France for a really long time - I was at Gordon Ramsay RHR in 2004 for lunch - and he (actually his kitchen because he was filming a TV show and no where near the restaurant) did an amazing job with a Bresse pigeon. Was the food trendy - no. Was it delicious - yes. Robyn

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I am a little confused.  Where exactly is this restaurant?  I get the impression at or near Versailles - although my French is really awful and I could be 25 miles off base.  If at/near Versailles - might be a very nice place for lunch when visiting Versailles.  Although I haven't been to France for a really long time - I was at Gordon Ramsay RHR in 2004 for lunch - and he (actually his kitchen because he was filming a TV show and no where near the restaurant) did an amazing job with a Bresse pigeon.  Was the food trendy - no.  Was it delicious - yes.  Robyn

Sorry, one of us should have given the coordinates - it's the Trianon Palace + Brasserie La Véranda, in the hotel of the same name, 1 bd de la Reine, 78000 Versailles, 01.30.84.50.00 for #1 and 01.30.84.55.56 for the 2nd. They were previously Les Trois Marches + Cafe Trianon I believe. If you look on your Michelin Red Guide map of Versailles, it/they are almost directly North of where it reads Jardins (of the Chateau). The hotel is now a Starwood/Westin property.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I know it's dangerous to question some of the reviewers mentioned, but does nobody think that you should actually eat in a restaurant before you review it?

I have a rule about that: never trust a review whose content you can guess in advance. I also have lots of respect for Ramsay, and I really appreciate the human dimension of his shows as well as how serious he is about food (and I don't mind bad language, at all). Francois Simon keeps saying that this is Savoy in the 90s, but Savoy in the 90s was damn good and impressive (much more so than today).

Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)
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Don't tell anyone, but quality at Guy Savoy (inventivity, precision of cooking in particular) never recovered from their third star/new setting. It used to be a real top table, back in the days when they had two stars and nobody knew why not the third. Then there was a fortunate fire that burnt the restaurant in late June so that it was entirely renovated by late August and got the third star in February.

Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Has anyone tried it yet...?

Yes. Reports to follow.

Bottom line: if you go expecting the worst (ie what the French critics, who, as Julot pointed out upthread, hadn't gone but had written about authoritatively and most negatively, like the Benelux Michelin Red Guide, it was surprisingly good. But I'll let my comrades reveal their responses - mine will come in my April report in 5-6 days.

However, I will say, it's one beautiful place, much better than I recall from days past.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I'll report in more detail too, but I basically loved it and I'll be back. Pics here: http://picasaweb.google.fr/jultort/LaVeranda

Like Pti and John, I reviewed the meal on my blog. That would be here.

What I found most admirable is the simplicity and perfection of the meal. This is a cooking that does not try to impress at any cost, to reinvent the wheel. Can you do a veal T-Bone in a better way than perfectly roasted with potatoes, salad and béarnaise? Probably not, and they don't try -- not being original here is not an issue. At the same time, this is cooking that is personal,singular. But not for the sake of building its signature. My lobster pasta had nothing noteworthy as a recipe. They relied on a fine tuning of sage, parmesan, saffron, tomato, and on great prefectly cooked fresh pasta (I suspect the saffron is in the pasta, btw). Doing the crême brulée with a granny smith is not changing the face of the earth. But executing with such finesse and sensitivity is what having a chef in the kitchen is all about.

All in all, my point is simple: this is a very good restaurant.

Edited by John Talbott at Julot's request.

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I presume, from the dishes julot mentions, that you guys went to the bistro not the fine dining restaurant?

Anyone been to the actual restaurant? Any reviews on it yet (written by people who've actually eaten there)?

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I presume, from the dishes julot mentions, that you guys went to the bistro not the fine dining restaurant?
Correct, the Veranda facing the gardens and sheep fields to the West.
Anyone been to the actual restaurant?  Any reviews on it yet (written by people who've actually eaten there)?

Pas que je sache. Actually while quite posh, it's between the Veranda and the courtyard set of bar tables facing East and must be like sitting in a windowless office. But no, I know no one who's eaten there yet.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Just as a point of information - how do you get from Versailles proper to the restaurant? I am thinking of making a day of it - a bit of Versailles in the morning (stately home and/or gardens) - then this restaurant - then back to Versailles. My husband has a bad leg - he's good for walking about an hour or so - then he needs to rest. So I thought sightseeing/lunch/sightseeing would really work out nicely. FWIW - we had a wonderful day a few years back doing the Chelsea Flower Show and Gordon Ramday RHR for lunch in London - and a similar day at Versailles and Gordon Ramsay sounds like it might be wonderful too. BTW - the Chelsea Flower Show this year is May 20-24. I won't be in the neighborhood but - if you are - it's a lovely place to spend a day - and a lunch at GR RHR puts it over the top IMO. Robyn

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