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AdamLawrence

Le Champignon Sauvage

403 posts in this topic

Well at least David it made a change for you to be talking about a restaurant instead of all the crap on GBM. I find it very sad that good chefs get stars in their eyes and want to go on TV. The chefs get so far up their own arses they forget what good cooking is all about and never return to being the craftsmen they were.

We love CS but have found them to be inconsistant occasionally. But Madam, a lovely lady, does not take criticism kindly.

Hey Sid, your right they are inconsistent, and Madam is unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

Did you try Lumiere, best in Cheltenham, and far more pleasant in many ways.

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until Michelin deem it otherwise, it deserves the star(s).

Absolute nonsense.

It might continue to hold a star but whether it deserves to is in the gift of its customers. We are not sheep.


Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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Surely it was a two star experience as it is a two star restaurant deemed as such by Michelin.

That's certainly not how I would evaluate a dining experience. Like David, I am more than happy to go somewhere and feel that the experience matched the star level, wasnt up to it, or was better. Please, let us not behave like sheep being herded around by Michelin - to suggest, as you seem to be doing, that we put to one side faults in an experience simply because of a star level might be OK for you, but I'd find it plain silly to do.

Good reply John.

We have been to four English Michelin two star restaurants this year and this is not up to the standard of the others.

Its ok for others on here to make vapid comments without backup. At the very least we get about and try these places out.

That alone puts us in a far better position to pass judgement, being able to make meaningful recent comparison.

At the end of the day though I really wish some others on here would share their dining credentials with us. In that way we may all be able to evaluate their true credibility or otherwise.

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Well at least David it made a change for you to be talking about a restaurant instead of all the crap on GBM. I find it very sad that good chefs get stars in their eyes and want to go on TV. The chefs get so far up their own arses they forget what good cooking is all about and never return to being the craftsmen they were.

We love CS but have found them to be inconsistant occasionally. But Madam, a lovely lady, does not take criticism kindly.

Hey Sid, your right they are inconsistent, and Madam is unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

Did you try Lumiere, best in Cheltenham, and far more pleasant in many ways.

I would be intrigued to know your definition and criteria whereby you draw the conclusion of inconsistency?

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until Michelin deem it otherwise, it deserves the star(s).

Absolute nonsense.

It might continue to hold a star but whether it deserves to is in the gift of its customers. We are not sheep.

Again I am unsure why you believe that a customer has any bearing on whether Michelin decides if a restaurant deserves a star? Where in the inspection criteria does it state this? Please direct me to such information?

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Well at least David it made a change for you to be talking about a restaurant instead of all the crap on GBM. I find it very sad that good chefs get stars in their eyes and want to go on TV. The chefs get so far up their own arses they forget what good cooking is all about and never return to being the craftsmen they were.

We love CS but have found them to be inconsistant occasionally. But Madam, a lovely lady, does not take criticism kindly.

Hey Sid, your right they are inconsistent, and Madam is unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

Did you try Lumiere, best in Cheltenham, and far more pleasant in many ways.

I would be intrigued to know your definition and criteria whereby you draw the conclusion of inconsistency?

Wait until you read my review, it will be up shortly.

Who knows you may just have a eureka moment.

You need one :laugh:

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I think we may be at cross purposes here, RDB. You seem to be trying to discuss Michelin's award criteria. I am try to discuss the validity of customers expressing a view about that award, based on their own experiences - I'd refer you back to post #322. I really have nothing to add to that and, I regret to say, you are starting to make me think you are simply trolling on this thread.

Other than that, I'd be happy to discuss with you Michelin's award criteria as you wish, but suggest it may be better for you to start another thread so that this one isn't further clogged up. However, before you do, you may wish to re-read an ealrier thread, to which you contributed, where we all had good fun speculating about whether particular places might gain, retain or lose stars this year. Of course, that was just expressing an opinion on your part as it was on everyone else's part. http://forums.egulle...-guide-2012-uk/


Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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The point I am making is how can anyone make such claim

that a restaurant is not two star and on what criteria is this based? Yes base your

Opinion on your own criteria but very difficult to make that judgement on an elusive criteria such

as Michelin.

You make a good point about predicting stars as this shows year after year

That nobody can or does accurately predict what Michelin decide.

As for " trolling" I am only engaging in discussion.

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Well at least David it made a change for you to be talking about a restaurant instead of all the crap on GBM. I find it very sad that good chefs get stars in their eyes and want to go on TV. The chefs get so far up their own arses they forget what good cooking is all about and never return to being the craftsmen they were.

We love CS but have found them to be inconsistant occasionally. But Madam, a lovely lady, does not take criticism kindly.

I indeed look forward to an "eureka moment"

Hey Sid, your right they are inconsistent, and Madam is unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

Did you try Lumiere, best in Cheltenham, and far more pleasant in many ways.

I would be intrigued to know your definition and criteria whereby you draw the conclusion of inconsistency?

Wait until you read my review, it will be up shortly.

Who knows you may just have a eureka moment.

You need one :laugh:

I indeed am looking forward to an Eureka moment.


Edited by RDB (log)

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The point I am making is how can anyone make such claim

that a restaurant is not two star and on what criteria is this based? Yes base your

Opinion on your own criteria but very difficult to make that judgement on an elusive criteria such

as Michelin.

If it was me, then I'd be basing my comment about any place by way of comparison with other similar places. It is irrelevent what Michelin's criteria might be (or any other award, such as the GFG, might be). I am not an Michelin inspector, just a customer eating and paying for dinner., and discussing on an internet discussion board my opinion with others who have similar interests. My reading of David's post is that he was doing exactly the same.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect you would not have been critical of his statement if his opinion had been that the meal was of 2* standard. It would still have been his opinion based on his experience.


John Hartley

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I have never seen the Michelin criteria so I judge things on my views and a comparision with other restaurants I have been to. In the last year that has ranged from 'locals' all the wall through to 3 Star 'celebrity' chefs.

Everywhere can have an off day, it is disappointing for the customers on that day but these things happen. Some restaurants regularly get good feedback from a range of people, guides and blogs others seem to recieve a mixed reception. I have been CS twice, once I had a very good meal and one it was average and certainly not up to the standard I have had in far cheaper and restaurants with less awards. I'm not an inspector but it is clear there is real ability and real talent in the team here, it just doesn't deliver all the time.

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The point I am making is how can anyone make such claim

that a restaurant is not two star and on what criteria is this based? Yes base your

Opinion on your own criteria but very difficult to make that judgement on an elusive criteria such

as Michelin.

If it was me, then I'd be basing my comment about any place by way of comparison with other similar places. It is irrelevent what Michelin's criteria might be (or any other award, such as the GFG, might be). I am not an Michelin inspector, just a customer eating and paying for dinner., and discussing on an internet discussion board my opinion with others who have similar interests. My reading of David's post is that he was doing exactly the same.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect you would not have been critical of his statement if his opinion had been that the meal was of 2* standard. It would still have been his opinion based on his experience.

It is not irrelevant what Michelins criteria is when you state, "No way was this a two star experience. No way at all" because you are either stating that Michelin have got it wrong or the restaurant is not fulfilling Michelin's two star criteria. I jjust find it hard to justify such claims without backing it up with appropriate substantiation, by all means report how you feel but claiming a place does not deserve such an award after how many years of maintaining it is somewhat naive, particularly after one visit in six years.

Whether he reports that it deserves the stars is as irrelevant unless of course he is using the criteria to make the claims. Now if he reports whether he enjoys the meal or not is well worth hearing.

My wife and I had some seed cake and maderia with Fergus Henderson last week and I asked him how he managed to get his star and he reported " no idea, ..the finger of fate maybe....". Says it all!

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Well, if we take the summary criteria for Michelin to award two stars - "excellent cuisine, worth a detour" - then I think anyone having a meal can confidently assess whether it was worth the detour.


John Hartley

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Well, if we take the summary criteria for Michelin to award two stars - "excellent cuisine, worth a detour" - then I think anyone having a meal can confidently assess whether it was worth the detour.

Sorry again you miss the point, Michelin decide whether it is worth a detour or not. Not you, me or Escoffier.

You can have an opinion whether it was worth the detour but have no influence

or say on whether it should or should not have a star. Again you provide the summary not the criterion on which the summary is arrived at. I believe the food I cook in my house is excellent and well worth a detour

as do many people who come, yet I have never been awaded those elusive two stars :-)

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No. You are simply wrong.

Michelin may decide whether a place is worth a detour. And so do customers - it is called "expressing an opnion".


Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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No. You are simply wrong.

Michelin may decide whether a place is worth a detour. And so do customers - it is called "expressing an opnion".

I totally agree that customers are indeed entitled to express an opinion on whether a place is worth a detour or not, but they cannot make a definitive claim that a place does not deserve two stars based on one recent experience and based upon personal beliefs that have no bearing on Miichelins decisions.

So let me summarise for you. Yes it is ok to express an opinion on one meal but to claim the LCS is not two star based on personal opinion is both innaccurate and reactive.

Again if you need further clarification pm me.

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No, I don't need further clarification of your opinion, thanks. Suffice to say that I disagree with you.


Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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Well at least David it made a change for you to be talking about a restaurant instead of all the crap on GBM. I find it very sad that good chefs get stars in their eyes and want to go on TV. The chefs get so far up their own arses they forget what good cooking is all about and never return to being the craftsmen they were.

We love CS but have found them to be inconsistant occasionally. But Madam, a lovely lady, does not take criticism kindly.

Hey Sid, your right they are inconsistent, and Madam is unable to accept any criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

Did you try Lumiere, best in Cheltenham, and far more pleasant in many ways.

I would be intrigued to know your definition and criteria whereby you draw the conclusion of inconsistency?

Wait until you read my review, it will be up shortly.

Who knows you may just have a eureka moment.

You need one :laugh:

I think inconsistency is when one course is rubbish in an otherwise wonderful meal but don't let madam hear your comments or you will be turned to stone.

Will certainly try Lumiere next time we are up that way. I see they have a top rating in Hardens, that is our food bible these days since we were kicked out of the reporters at the GFG because we complained that their offical reviewers were telling restaurants when they were visiting.


Sid the Pig

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We have been to four English Michelin two star restaurants this year and this is not up to the standard of the others.

Its ok for others on here to make vapid comments without backup. At the very least we get about and try these places out.

That alone puts us in a far better position to pass judgement, being able to make meaningful recent comparison.

At the end of the day though I really wish some others on here would share their dining credentials with us. In that way we may all be able to evaluate their true credibility or otherwise.

This is rather the problem with internet forums and blogs - regularly eating out does not establish "dining credentials" sufficient to pass declarative judgments on restaurants at this level. This is not a food specific issue, no doubt the same thing manifests itself on boards debating wine, classical music, art etc.

Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion (opinions are like...) and its fun to discuss and debate them. Indeed, that's what internet forums are for. My issue is with posters of (with respect) relatively little knowledge holding themselves out as experts and offering definitive views slating something they barely understand. Even more so when there's something such as a perceived slight, a preference for a style of food/ingredient or some other prejudice influencing the view.

I suspect the "dining credentials" comment was aimed at me so, just to clarify, I've eaten at the 4 UK 3* restaurants, 11 of the 2* restaurants and approx. 40 of the 1* restaurants. Perhaps more importantly at this level, I've also eaten at most of the best 3* restaurants across Europe and indeed many other 3* restaurants around the world. I'm still far from an expert and would never hold myself out as one.

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We have been to four English Michelin two star restaurants this year and this is not up to the standard of the others.

Its ok for others on here to make vapid comments without backup. At the very least we get about and try these places out.

That alone puts us in a far better position to pass judgement, being able to make meaningful recent comparison.

At the end of the day though I really wish some others on here would share their dining credentials with us. In that way we may all be able to evaluate their true credibility or otherwise.

This is rather the problem with internet forums and blogs - regularly eating out does not establish "dining credentials" sufficient to pass declarative judgments on restaurants at this level. This is not a food specific issue, no doubt the same thing manifests itself on boards debating wine, classical music, art etc.

Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion (opinions are like...) and its fun to discuss and debate them. Indeed, that's what internet forums are for. My issue is with posters of (with respect) relatively little knowledge holding themselves out as experts and offering definitive views slating something they barely understand. Even more so when there's something such as a perceived slight, a preference for a style of food/ingredient or some other prejudice influencing the view.

I suspect the "dining credentials" comment was aimed at me so, just to clarify, I've eaten at the 4 UK 3* restaurants, 11 of the 2* restaurants and approx. 40 of the 1* restaurants. Perhaps more importantly at this level, I've also eaten at most of the best 3* restaurants across Europe and indeed many other 3* restaurants around the world. I'm still far from an expert and would never hold myself out as one.

Ah Sweetie, touched a nerve have we, so sorry :shock:

Btw it was not four but five two star places for us this year.

Pretty impressive credentials you display there. I cannot argue with that, but you are wrong on at least two points.

Firstly my criticizm was not directed at you at all, but nevertheless it stung you into making a reply.

Secondly I have never ever stated that I was any expert. In fact I always lay claim otherwise, please read my reviews carefully in future.

Like em or not I post my reviews based on an average punters dining experience, warts and all. If service is rubbish you will be told about it. If I don't like the food (which is very rare indeed) you will hear about it. Expert? Pa, point me to one of my reviews which i have stated so.

Whist we are on the subject I don't see any of your meals up here at all. Why not? That's the idea of a forum.

Sacred cows like Le Champignon Sauvage are far from perfect. How dare anyone have a go at a two Michelin star restaurant. Well, you did not eat the food or suffer the service, so how can you comment? Witness comments on here and comments on my twitter account, including one from a respected chef. Bad service really pisses me off, face pulling especially. The meal here, and by that I mean the whole experience, in comparison to the very excellent Ledbury was at the very least well below standard.

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So, RDB - If you had a terrible experience at a 3* restaurant which was more the kind of experience you might expect at Nandos, you wouldn't be tempted to question whether it was worthy of 3 stars?

Yes, Michelin are the only ones who really know the criteria, but if you're comparing it to other restaurants in that category and it failed to meet the expectations in food and service (which are surely the primary judging criteria for any restaurant) then is it really that bad to question the rating? Have you never questioned a restaurants credentials for x number of rosettes, or a particular GFG rating?

Anyway, back on topic, I still want to go here, shame I've never found an excuse to get to that part of the country :(

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Rubbish meal here today. Venison rump tougher than my well aged arse. Dry chewy tasteless Cod cheeks which were left uneaten on the plate.

Service was all the way from Siberia. Truly shocking.

This is the only place in the last decade that I was desperate to leave.

Two Michelin stars?

Your having a laugh.

Was this set lunch ?

I know others will disagree but this is often not a great barometer of what a place has to offer.

I think you have to respect that lcs has held 2* for an age and david e-v is held with enourmous respect in the industry, one lunch doesn't make it a bad restaurant.

Prices were always good for 2* also, espec wine list.


you don't win friends with salad

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le+chanmpignon+sauvage+005.JPG

I'm not really sure where to start this review, as my last two visits here have not been too pleasant.

Ah well, I had best start at the beginning then.

David Everitt- Mathias and his wife Helen have been running this highly respected restaurant for what seems an age. During that time they have achieved stardom from the Michelin guide with two stars no less. A rarefied achievement indeed. It is also widely noted that Mr EM has never missed a service at his restaurant. A fact that I am unable to verify. Having said that though, if that is the case, consistency should certainly be to the fore. Which has not always been the case in my experience. We have had some truly wonderful meals here and some not so good.

We used to be regular diners here, A two hundred mile, round trip journey twice a year for quite a number of years and then ?......... Well, I happened to comment on a fish dish that was not to my taste and Madam blanked me for the rest of the evening, even choosing not to say goodnight after we waited for a good fifteen minutes. This, after much much previous praise on our other visits did not go down well at all. So we were reluctant to return.

Yes. Time is a great healer. We are six years on, and genuinely looking forward to eating here again, As I have stated we have had some very good food here.

When I booked the table I asked for 1 or 1.30. I was offered 12.30. We arrived at 12.15 but were locked out. I knocked. No reply. We browsed the menu in the glass case and lo and behold they don't open until 12.30? Eventually at 12.25 the door opened.

The initial greeting seemed pleasant enough from one of the servers, the other one looked a bit sullen and unfriendly. Helen was in the background.

The room is exactly as it was six years ago, formal, with brightly coloured summery prints covering the walls. The lighting however is poor and needs attention. The tables on the far wall, away from the windows are too dark. I think that I would struggle to see the food at its best. As the only diners, we were seated in the far right hand corner away from the entrance door, next to a venetian blind covered window which did not let an awful lot of light in to the room. Given a choice, this table would have been no where near the top of my list.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+007.JPG

Food wise things started off fine. A couple of tasty blue cheese and walnut cookies, and rye bread, horseradish cream and ? Well I could not understand what our Eastern European server said, and that was to be a regular occurrence throughout the meal, as one of our other servers was Polish.

This meant that I had to ask repeatedly for both servers to state again what they were saying. Inevitably this led to frustration and the service descended into a poor state with very frosty, unfriendly attitude from both of them. It has to be said that there was no feeling of warmth from the moment that we arrived. Not good at all for anyone in the hospitality industry.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+008.JPG

I only had to ask a couple of times what was in this little appetiser. Parsley? panna cotta white onion puree and bacon foam. This was extremely nice. Different layers and textures. Good.

The set lunch menu that I chose from had only one course that we both liked the look of, Cinderford Lamb Fillet. So my wife chose from the carte which was a lot more appealing.

Cannelloni of Kid, roasted onion puree, peas and wilted lettuce. (from the carte)

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+011.JPG

Not my dish, but I/we have eaten it before, in one form or another. I don't think its ever been off the menu. Yes, I enjoyed it back then and enjoyed what I tasted this time. My wife cleared her plate.

My dish next from the lunch menu (two courses £26 three courses £32)

Seared Cod cheeks, smoked eel, pear, horseradish and potato salad.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+012.JPG

Well. What can I say about this dish except massive fail.If this had of been on GBM the judges would have ripped it apart. Cod? The cheeks had the texture of overcooked chicken. I raise my hat to KFC.

Apart from the texture they failed miserably on the flavour front. A bit of moisture in them would not have gone a miss too.

Note the dry stringy nature of the beasts in the photo

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+013.JPG

Bread was a game of two halves as well. Some delicious bacon brioche and some rubbery seed crusted white that was below standard at this level. We did not try the granary.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+010.JPG

At this point I was beginning to get annoyed with the face pulling antics of our server especially when I asked her to hold the bread basket so that I could take a photograph. I was starting to regret our return visit.

From the carte (two courses £48. Three courses £59) my wife went for the Winchcombe Venison, morels, smoked almonds, wild garlic pesto. nasturtium millet.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+014.JPG

In the main my wife enjoyed this dish except that that the venison was "slightly" chewy. My taste from the smaller piece to the rear of the photo made me think that my wife was being far too kind.

My main course next up. Cinderford Lamb Fillet, bolognaise of shank, carrot cream, heritage carrots.

le+chanmpignon+sauvage+016.JPG

A hunky plate of food which reminded me very slightly of a dish that we ate at Pollen Street Social earlier this year. This was not as good though.The fail on this plate was a large chunk of minced flank that had not been broken up, so it did not take on any of the rather nice sauce. Having said that perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if the service had not grated on me so much.

By this time there were six other tables of two in the restaurant, everything was hushed and low key with little or no atmosphere.

We skipped dessert, unusually so for us. Truth be told I could not wait to get the bill and get back home. We waited five minutes and in the end made the journey to the desk to get the bill and to pay. This helped speed things up.

Naturally, there are those who love this place, and so did we, for many years, but?

Would we ever go back?

Did not Charles Dickin's famously state? " Never say never"

Well.

NEVER.

EVER.

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At this point I was beginning to get annoyed with the face pulling antics of our server especially when I asked her to hold the bread basket so that I could take a photograph. I was starting to regret our return visit.

Sorry but I find this potentially hilarious. Can I ask, were you the only diners in the room at this point or did she have other people to serve, or perhaps even unattended tables to prepare for imminent diners? I guess we can't possibly know. I empathise completely with you that they are in the service industry and shouldn't be pulling faces but you seem to push that expectation to the extreme. Offering good service is one thing, having the whole rythym of service disrupted so a blogger can conduct his personal photo-shoot is another.

The communication problem is unforgiveable though - can I ask, did you try the fail safe approach to all 'foreigners' of shouting slowly?

Did you read my review? :laugh:

We were first in. First out.

All tables were laid. No one else was in when the bread was served. Three people on service for a total of 14 covers over the whole lunch? Do me a favour.

My point and shoot was on auto. One photo (I'm good) :wink: 15/20 seconds max, if that.

End of.

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Judging from the photos and knowledge of the dishes the rather sensational pre-post wasn't quite backed up , it's all going a little bit critical couple.

The set lunch cod cheeks not good and a split on whether some venison was chewy or not, and not opening on your cue, If they open at 12.30, they open at 12.30, not 12.15, doesn't quite devolve a restaurant of two stars imho.

I think though David that you must be able see that using the camera and /or tape recorder will put people's backs up, in our food geek world no one bats an eyelid, but not everyone, or member of staff is the same.

Always happy to read your reports, you should come out with bapi , thom and i, when you see how he gets treated, then you'll *really* know what service is ;)*


you don't win friends with salad

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