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Just heard that Pat McDonald's Paris restaurant in Birmingham closed yesterday. I don't have any further details but with a triple 5 rating in the Harden's guide (the worst possible) and a write up that includes the description "sterile" and "up itself" , perhaps it was only a matter of time.

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Sterile and up itself could be an apt description of....a lot of posters on this site.

:raz: Very good and very true! :laugh:

David and I ate there just before Xmas last year and it was a truly memorable meal. No recollection of details, other than excellent food and service. Shame about it closing. :sad:

Edited by Emma M (log)
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with a triple 5 rating in the Harden's guide (the worst possible)

What's one of those? I'm sitting with Harden's 2006 by my side (we are very close) and can find nothing to suggest their rating scheme is changed from

X Disappointing (The Paris rating)

* Very Good

** Exceptional

with some not getting a rating and by implication at least being OK

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Harden's rate restaurants 1 to 5 (where 1 is exceptional and 5 is poor) on Food, Service and Ambience; they're the three numbers at the top righthand corner of every entry. Paris scored 5 (poor) for Food, 5 for Service and 5 for Ambience.

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A triple 5 ! Not many of those in the Guide ( I looked :laugh: )

Andy is quoting from the Reporters Edition, given out to those who give feedback to Hardens, or restaurants who are listed.(Go on ask me what we scored!!!)The other edition is the one on sale to Joe Public.

Edited by Basildog (log)
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Apologies, I had no idea those marks only appeared in the reporters edition. For the benefit of those who don't have access to a copy, Margot's scored 1 for food, 1 for service and a measly 2 for ambience. I'm not a betting man, but I'd happily wager that Adrian won't be suddenly closing his doors under mysterious circumstances anytime soon...

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..all depends on the Tax Man ,Andy. :shock:

:blink:

Oh no!! don't mention he who's name cannot be spoken!!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Apologies, I had no idea those marks only appeared in the reporters edition. For the benefit of those who don't have access to a copy, Margot's scored 1 for food, 1 for service and a measly 2 for ambience. I'm not a betting man, but I'd happily wager that Adrian won't be suddenly closing his doors under mysterious circumstances anytime soon...

To clarify, 'mysterious' only to the author. A number of outlets, including our own have given the reasons as offered by the owner for the closure (see news item) and though one might speculate 'what is The Real Story?' (actually it's the first part of five in Stephen Donaldson's excellent Gap Series, sci-fi as unwashed and gnarly as it gets, but I digress) I'm happy to accept it and move on. New incumbents Signature Restaurants seem to be planning a Strada for the space but I don't think anything is confirmed as yet.

On the issue of Harden's producing two versions of their guide, what are they playing at? As my good lady pointed out elsewhere, they proudly proclaim at the head of the page explaining their rating system that "We see little point in traditional rating systems", should that be followed with the qualification "for the rest of you"? God knows the book that us mere mortals are offered could do with a bit of rigour in terms of its delineation of restaurants and effectively providing a rating system as Andy outlines would be a big step in this direction. The failure to include it in the plebian version leads me to speculate that it either undermines the value placed on the reader reports or acknowledges that the stars and black cross method coupled with a rag-bag of pull quotes is a bit lacking in terms of evaluating a restaurant. I would have thought reporters had highly developed skills in the art of discerning meaning from an assemblage of comments and therefore be less likely to require what is in effect an enhanced version of the guide.

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To clarify, 'mysterious' only to the author.

Here's McDonald's version of events as reported on Birmingham Plus-

"After two and a half years in Birmingham Mr McDonald feels that his other business interests (he was speaking from Dubai and has ongoing consultancy projects in Russia and Italy as well as a number of recent and forthcoming London openings) do not allow him to continue to run an operation with his name over the door to the extent that he would like."

I don't think that really explains anything, do you?

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Well obviously I do, as stated in my last post. The following line, stating that a prospective occupier is in the wings, may or may not have hastened the decision to close - that and the imminent re-opening of Epicurean may both be contributory factors - neither of them clouded in mystery but we just reported on Mr McDonald's comments. Speculate (with a whiff of schadenfreude?) away, but to first suggest that it closed because it was rubbish and then, in the face of correspondents who challenged this, imply that there was something 'mysterious' about the closure does little to dispel the suspicion that you have some dislike of the place or its owner.

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I have never met Pat MacDonald, or spoken to him or eaten in any of his restaurants and have no strong feelings one way or the other about him, although I wish him the best of luck in his future ventures. I did email his office once for a photo of Paris for a alittle item on restaurants in shopping malls that never saw the light of day, but that's the extent of it. I also enjoyed his Kitchen Nightmares-protoype TV series a few years back.

As you've spoken to him on the phone and obviously liked the restaurant, I can see why you might be a bit touchy about this (although that doesn't excuse the appalling behaviour of others posters on the Birmingham Plus forum). But I must reiterate that I was simply reporting the facts - Paris closed and it got the worst write up imaginable in a national guide. I speculated that the two might be connected in some way, which is not an unreasonable thing to do in my opinion. Those sort of things can be damaging to a restaurant's reputation, even if you believe them to be inaccurate and that the 30 positive reports on your site and 4 AA rosettes are much closer to the truth.

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Fair enough. I prefer 'passionate' to 'a bit touchy' (and who knows, such attention to semantics may one day earn me a Reporter's Edition of Harden's :hmmm: ). As to the BP forum, one poster behaved in an appalling manner and he was first advised to desist and then his wholly unwarranted attack removed and reprimanded. It is not behaviour I (as Admin) either condone or encourage and doesn't reflect well on the forum or make the best use of my limited time. I believe I apologised to you at the time and am happy to do so again. No wish to clash swords with anyone here or elsewhere but if I took umbrage against a slight peceived or otherwise it is simply indicative of the regard in which I held the now departed restaurant. I have a lot of time for the concept of Harden's (it is hardly dissimilar to that of BP, though in a different medium) but I do take issue with its execution.

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Fair enough. I prefer 'passionate' to 'a bit touchy' (and who knows, such attention to semantics may one day earn me a Reporter's Edition of Harden's  :hmmm: ).

Passionate it is, and a public thanks for your swift action on "the other side".

You get the Harden's reporters edition simply by filing around 20 short reports to the guide which you can do online. I take all guides with a large pinch of salt but I do find Harden's a handy format and mostly reliable i.e. I can often agree with its findings.

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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