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3 star bias... ?


roosterchef21
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Robyn, you raise a good point about the cost of wine (not to speak of the price). However, in reality, I doubt one can expect that the two will ever be rated separately by Michelin. Reason being, as one of Paul Theroux's characters always said, that for most people (at least the French), wine and food are inextricably linked and form an accord that equals the Great Experience. I form half of a couple in which one of us (me) adores wine and the other couldn't care less about it. However, neither of us can bring ourselves to drink great wines in great restaurants, because their price is so prohibitive. I'm thinking of the cheese course chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle. I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

FWIW - I might have mentioned here or in another thread that I found the current format of the Michelin Guide to Paris (which has dozens of listings) much less useful than the old format (which had hundreds).  I liked Zagat's a lot better in terms of finding places to eat (mostly lunch) when we were out and about sightseeing and didn't have reservations.  Simply because it had a lot more listings.

Barbara W - I didn't mind the spartan rooms at L'Esperance.  I mentioned them only to indicate that they weren't quite what one would expect in a 3 star place - at least not these days.  Of course - back then - a lot of high end restaurants with rooms had somewhat strange rooms.  Our room at Troisgros was a hoot.  Think slightly run down 1970's Playboy style in purple.  The room even had a spiral staircase - not a great feature after a night when one has had perhaps a bit too much wine.

BTW - one of the problems with Michelin and 2-3 star restaurants these days is wine.  I don't know how much emphasis Michelin puts on wine - but wine is certainly part of its equation.  Great restaurants in the past had been around for a long time - accumulating wine at fairly reasonable prices over the course of many years/decades - and winding up with great cellars.  It is almost impossible to put together such a cellar today without spending a large fortune (I seem to recall that was one of the problems Loiseau ran into - going heavily into debt to put together a "3 star" wine cellar).  Prices of even the nicest dishes and flatware are peanuts compared to the cost of a wine cellar.  Since I don't drink wine - except for champagne once in a while - perhaps some of the Michelin "stress" problems could be solved by rating food and wine separately.  Robyn

bwilde, gardening and cooking my way through France at L'Atelier Vert

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chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

What was the wine? ITs an atrocious sum.By the way,next time, you may try white wine with cheese .Usually it goes better with most fromages

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chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

What was the wine? ITs an atrocious sum.By the way,next time, you may try white wine with cheese .Usually it goes better with most fromages

As usual, I can rebut any story. How about this: In 1984, at Pere Bise, I knew he was out of the kitchen, but Colette and I were still enchanted by the place (ever since "Claire's Knee") and stayed there two days. The first night, we'd had finished our requisite bottle with dinner so when I wanted cheese I stammered to the waiter, "Do you have a glass of wine" - "Sorry, Monsieur, only by the bottle." Gulp. Cheese board arrives along with 1/2 a bottle of a very, very good Rhone red - waiter says - "M. Bise (beckoning to a table 10 feet away) wanted you to have it." Bless you, François. That's class (especially after the loss of a star).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Robyn, you raise a good point about the cost of wine (not to speak of the price).  However, in reality, I doubt one can expect that the two will ever be rated separately by Michelin.  Reason being, as one of Paul Theroux's characters always said, that for most people (at least the French), wine and food are inextricably linked and form an accord that equals the Great Experience.  I form half of a couple in which one of us (me) adores wine and the other couldn't care less about it.  However, neither of us can bring ourselves to drink great wines in great restaurants, because their price is so prohibitive.  I'm thinking of the cheese course chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

Barbara - You and your husband are the opposite of me and my husband (he's the wine drinker in the family). He has usually had good luck at all kinds of places ordering wine by the glass simply by indicating what he is eating - what kinds of wines he usually likes - and about what he would like to spend. He was pretty happy with the wines he had in France - especially considering that he knows almost zero about French wine (most of the wines he drinks at home come from south America or "down under"). Robyn

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I can't remember what it was. Perhaps the shock of the price wiped it from my memory board. I still prefer reds with most cheeses--excepting some chèvres, very old Comté, and vacherin of course.

chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

What was the wine? ITs an atrocious sum.By the way,next time, you may try white wine with cheese .Usually it goes better with most fromages

bwilde, gardening and cooking my way through France at L'Atelier Vert

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I too am happy--oh so happy!--with the wines in France. I find that to get an "equivalent" American wine (meaning "good" as there are no equivalents), one must spend so much more. I know much more about our wines now than when I arrived in France 8 years ago, but still consider that I know relatively nothing. As long as the traditional vinification methods can hold out here against the onslaught of quick and dirty (as in, aged with oak sawdust South African reds) wines from outre mer , I consider that I have a lifetime of discovery and learning in front of me, of delightful wandering among infinite subtleties...

Robyn, you raise a good point about the cost of wine (not to speak of the price).  However, in reality, I doubt one can expect that the two will ever be rated separately by Michelin.  Reason being, as one of Paul Theroux's characters always said, that for most people (at least the French), wine and food are inextricably linked and form an accord that equals the Great Experience.  I form half of a couple in which one of us (me) adores wine and the other couldn't care less about it.  However, neither of us can bring ourselves to drink great wines in great restaurants, because their price is so prohibitive.  I'm thinking of the cheese course chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

Barbara - You and your husband are the opposite of me and my husband (he's the wine drinker in the family). He has usually had good luck at all kinds of places ordering wine by the glass simply by indicating what he is eating - what kinds of wines he usually likes - and about what he would like to spend. He was pretty happy with the wines he had in France - especially considering that he knows almost zero about French wine (most of the wines he drinks at home come from south America or "down under"). Robyn

bwilde, gardening and cooking my way through France at L'Atelier Vert

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*Sigh!* That was back in the day, as they say. What a difference 24 years makes! Sadly, that kind of selfless devotion to the art of restauration now seems to exist mostly in the pages of memoirs...

chez Marc Veyrat, when the waiter proposed (to me, the drinker) a glass of red to accompany it as we had already finished our bottle.  I agreed, never imagining I should have enquired after its price first, which turned out to be around €80 (as we discovered to our chagrin when we got the check)!

What was the wine? ITs an atrocious sum.By the way,next time, you may try white wine with cheese .Usually it goes better with most fromages

As usual, I can rebut any story. How about this: In 1984, at Pere Bise, I knew he was out of the kitchen, but Colette and I were still enchanted by the place (ever since "Claire's Knee") and stayed there two days. The first night, we'd had finished our requisite bottle with dinner so when I wanted cheese I stammered to the waiter, "Do you have a glass of wine" - "Sorry, Monsieur, only by the bottle." Gulp. Cheese board arrives along with 1/2 a bottle of a very, very good Rhone red - waiter says - "M. Bise (beckoning to a table 10 feet away) wanted you to have it." Bless you, François. That's class (especially after the loss of a star).

bwilde, gardening and cooking my way through France at L'Atelier Vert

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*Sigh!*  That was back in the day, as they say. What a difference 24 years makes!  Sadly, that kind of selfless devotion to the art of restauration now seems to exist mostly in the pages of memoirs...

I wish that's true .whether its in yesteryears or today, You always have people who take advantage of a given situation.That was the case when someone charged you 80 euros /glass of wine.Its not proper.In JOhn's case the owner was gracious and and he placed a high value on his reputation , which is an important ingredient as a business man.

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