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Gavin Convery

Choose a two star in London

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Just looking for a quick straw poll as to which 2 michelin starred restaurant egulleteers would go to given the choice.

I'm particularly interested in the choice between the Square, the Capital and Tante Claire, having been to le Gavroche recently and not fancying JBR.


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I've not been to The Square or Tante Claire :sad: , so you may want to discard my recommendation but I've been to The Capital pretty regularly over the last 18mths and have thoroughly enjoyed it every time.

My wife was at JBR a couple of weeks ago and nearly fell off her chair when I told her it had 2 stars. I think her comment was something about minus stars...........

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I've been to JBR twice recently - I'll never go back.

Gavroche - a bit stuffy & expensive but worth a visit.

The Square - loved it

Capital - my favourite restaurant just now - food is argguably better than Ramsay @ RHR. Desserts a bit of a let down - but I'm not too bothered by puds.

Tante C - not been yet.

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Another question...are there any one stars which you feel match up to or are approaching two star territory. It would be nice to get two star food for one star money and it's always fun watching rising stars (and sometimes declining stars :raz: )


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Petrus, Chez Bruce & Putney Bridge are worth a look

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Gavin -- I agree with BLH. In particular, Putney Bridge might be interesting, although I have not eaten there in a while and the prices there are not necessarily low. :wink:

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Have any of you eaten at La Tante Claire recently?

I only ever ate there once at its previous location over 10 years ago.

However it was outstanding.

As I am considering upping my eating out activity (not uncorrelated with my virtual activity) I would be interested to hear of recent experiences here.

In particular, Cabrales, you appear to suggest that in your highly calibrated view you view it as at the 3* level.


Wilma squawks no more

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Gavin J -- While I don't know about the calibration of my views relative to shared norms, below is a description of a meal in 1Q 2002 at La Tante Claire:

http://forums.egullet.org/ibf/index.php?s=...la+tante+claire

Despite the thread initiated regarding why Koffmann has not regained his third star, I do not believe that his current two-star status is necessarily inappropriate. LTC is the strongest UK two-star in my mind, and it would not be inappropriate to elevate it to three-star status. However, for me, it would be a "marginal" case that could be studied over time. :wink:

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Thankyou Cabrales, and my apologies for wasting your time instead of going and finding it for myself.

It was however a great review.


Wilma squawks no more

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You really thought Tante Claire was better than The Capital, Cabby? I haven't been in ages, but perhaps I should go back.

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Have any of you eaten at La Tante Claire recently?

Gavin J -- Here is an indicative menu for La Tante Claire from the Berkeley Hotel's website (query whether it might be dated):

http://www.savoy-group.com/berkeley/dining...laire_menu.html

If the menu is significant to you, I likely have a menu from 2001 or 2002 (exact date unclear as I did not used to pencil in dates on collected menus) for the restaurant. Please indicate whether you would like me to type the menu in over the weekend. :wink:

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No Cabrales, please not. The listed menu is strongly indicative (- probably that I should stick to the set lunch...).

That I should even potentially arrest your mythical quest would be distressing.


Wilma squawks no more

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The strong contenders seem to be the Capital and Tante Claire - I wonder how the Square fits into this. I did go there last year and enjoyed it without feeling any wow factor (but there are only a handful of restaurants I have ever been to that have given me the wow factor).

In the interests of economy I am currently favouring the Capital, hence also my question about one-stars at the top of the tree. Are there also any new restaurants that people feel may get a star(s) next time round that are worth investigating?

On a slightly different tack, no-one seems to mention the non french starred restaurants e.g. zaika - is this because people haven't been, aren't interested in non-french restaurants or because they're crap?


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Gavin

If you haven't been to La Trompette yet, although no stars at present, I think a lot were surprised it didn't get one in last years guide.

I'm going to Pied a Terre tonight and I'll let you know how that fits in with the other starred restaurants I've been to recently.

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The Square and The Capital are two of my favourite restaurants, although they are quite different in what they deliver. I can understand people who do not feel the Square has a 'wow' factor. The cooking is simpler and less 'flashy' than The Capital or many other restaurants. However a recent meal of Red mullet with fennel, Roast Wild Salmon with asparagus risotto and Apple Tart with Rosemary ice cream was fantastic, as good as anything I have had at The Capital. The service at The Square is very variable, a couple of weeks ago it was OK, they appeared to have a lot of new staff, before Xmas in December the service was awful. It appears to deteriorate as the evening progresses.

Regarding non-French starred restaurants, I think one reason for the lack of comments is that there are not very many of them. Zafferano is an excellent Italian restaurant albeit very expensive for what is delivered (but then so is Locanda Locatelli). Zaika I thought was OK but have never managed to go back there, which perhaps suggests that I did not really think it was that good. (The River Cafe has a star of course, but I am not going to get started on that one).

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The strong contenders seem to be the Capital and Tante Claire - I wonder how the Square fits into this. I did go there last year and enjoyed it without feeling any wow factor (but there are only a handful of restaurants I have ever been to that have given me the wow factor).

Gavin C -- For me, The Square is probably stronger than the Capital, but that is not a view shared by many others on the board. Note I have only taken in lunches at the Capital; never dinner. I sometimes went to The Square for dinner on Sundays.

Based on two dinners, each over six months ago, John-Burton Race does not make the grade relative to the other two-stars. I did not have a chance to sample JBR's cuisine at The Ortolan, but his London restaurant did not present appealing cuisine (no notes available). One of the sommeliers conveyed a pick-up line to me :hmmm:

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One of the sommeliers conveyed a pick-up line to me  :hmmm:

Cabrales

Please share how you reacted to this :wink:

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Scott -- The pick-up line related to his having moved to London (with the restaurant), and wanting to meet new friends. He suggested a drink sometime. Prior to this, he had furnished some goodies (dessert wine, etc.), but that is not unusual for me (so I had not gleaned the undercurrents of the situation prior to the pick-up). I just switched the topic to the dessert wine.

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I was given dessert wines at both GT and Union Pacific recently by male staff. I wonder if they were trying to tell me something....................

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If you were dining with Samantha, that would be rather brash of the dining room team members, no? :laugh:

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If you were dining with Samantha, that would be rather brash of the dining room team members, no?  :laugh:

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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La Trompette is just outside my geographical limits as my gourmand mate lives in Essex and so we rarely go further west than Knightsbridge due to us both usually overindulging in the brandies and him having to get the train back from Liverpool street. However, I would like to try there one day as I have heard such good things.

In terms of the wow factor - this is purely on a taste basis rather than the flashiness of the cooking and usually relates to some unexpected taste combination - it is as Simon M. has said 'revelatory'

I concur about the service at the Square as I recall it being less than perfect when I went and although service doesn't affect the quality of the food the irritation of bad service can affect your enjoyment of the meal


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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