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Gargle's Profile

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Japanese Food in Paris?

That's right, it's a Teppan-kaiseki kind of place, and a good one at that.

As opposed to Toyo, which is more Teppan-centric and not particularly good.

about 2 hours ago
Gargle in France

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

Actually her description seems entirely in line with NDP's complaints (poor seating, food not served warm, etc.), and she didn't have any of the proper food, rather some rice and miso soup.

Dec 19, 2014
Gargle in France

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

Quintessence has a fairly realistic wait list (meaning I put myself on it a few times and got about 50% hits) and occasionally they don't even manage to find someone on the list to fill a seat and then they'll make it available to some concierge services (this seems to happen about once a months). I believe Ishikawa also has a wait list and given their size and that they do two and a half seatings that's probably realistic as well (I always book my next meal there so I don't know how long the list is, but more than once they told me I could come earlier as someone's canceled). Saito... probably more of a long shot.

Kyo Aji has seen many changes these past few years, all I can tell you is that you can in fact book a lunch there.

Dec 18, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

I think it's an original. I'm going to charge 50 oil barrels, no, 100 oil barrels per use!

DreamCatcher - you can most certainly get lunch reservations for four at Kyo Aji. I've paid multiple visits to all the restaurants I've listed with the exception of Kurogi (who only seems to have openings when I'm not in town), and Ryugin is the one I'd least recommend.

I'm not sure about sushi, I'd do one of the Sho places and one of the Jiro/Harutaka/Mizutani school, but it's hard for me to think who'll best deal with a group of four non-speakers. Haven't been to Sushi-ya.

Dec 18, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

Well, depending on the producer and the vintage, that's a case where readers could think that merde is a statement of fact, rather than figurative speech.

Dec 17, 2014
Gargle in France
1

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

Maybe it's worthwhile pointing out again that the chef is threatening the journalist (self appointed though he might be) with violence, and he's not doing so in a heat-of-the-moment, late-night-drunk rant (not justified but at least understandable), but rather a month and a half after the review was published.

I don't see this as "fighting back" - more as a case for the police.

Dec 17, 2014
Gargle in France
1

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

Always.

Dec 17, 2014
Gargle in France

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

France has very strict defamation laws that could in some cases cover even the former, but I assume it also has laws against threatening a person by phone or writing that you'll break all his teeth :)

Dec 17, 2014
Gargle in France

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

I'm not mad at you at all, I just think your approach to dining in a city that has over 100,000 restaurants is misguided. For example, why Ryugin and not Matsukawa, Ishikawa, Yukimura, Kyo Aji, Kurogi, Seizan, Ginza Okamoto, Higuchi, Kohaku, or one of many others that outrank, or are at about the same rank as Ryugin on tabelog? I can see no reason except you think you're getting better results by focusing on michelin *** places, and you're not.

eta: also, if you would indicate what other places you like, it would make it possible to guess your preferences - for example if you like places that appeal to BRICsters then by all means go to Robuchon's, but if you like l'Astrance then maybe not.

Dec 16, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

That was the constructive thing I had to add. While you may make all sort of claims, your list happens to coincide greatly with Michelin three stars and with impenetrable places.

Dec 16, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

So you've got places that you can't get into, places that are grumpy and overpriced, and places that are considered "best" Japanese except not by the Japanese :)

Following Michelin is really not a recipe for having a good time.

Dec 16, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Saturne

I've been in touch with the chef and I'm convinced that you are right and he is genuinely upset about cases like this, and not in any way encouraging them. I hope they figure out how to avoid this sort of thing in the future (a confirmation link for another reservation I made no longer contains the option to confirm online, so that's better already if that method doesn't work)

Dec 15, 2014
Gargle in France

Anyone else bummed out by the butter shortage in Japan?

We usually make the other kind of Christmas Cake - the nutty kind that you start well in advance and ends up drinking about a whole bottle of rum by the time it's aged.

Oh, wait.

Dec 15, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Paris: Cave a manger / Bar a vins

I believe you it's a problem, I just wasn't aware that foodborne bacteria readily makes its way to the urinary tract (of course tasting from the barrel would make it worse as most of these would have died off by the time the wine is bottled). Live and learn.

Dec 14, 2014
Gargle in France

Paris: Cave a manger / Bar a vins

That's very interesting.

I've learned to both believe and distrust any claims made regarding wine headaches (the most astounding of all, someone who claimed she got headaches shortly after drinking Spanish wines, and only Spanish wines, and was able to demonstrate that), but while it's not surprising that someone would suffer bladder inflammation from wine consumption, it is surprising that this would depend on the addition of SO2 in the wine production process.

Dec 14, 2014
Gargle in France

Paris: Cave a manger / Bar a vins

What percentage of natural wines are orange wines? I dare say less than 1%, so let's forget about those (including the very good ones)

Dard & Ribo are well known, somewhat polarizing, natural winemakers - please buy a cross section of their wines and let me know if you still think they're following a process where many things go wrong (I'm not asking you to like them, just to see if you fail to notice a persistent style across vintages and bottlings)

Ganevat, similarly, try his Grands Teppes, for instance and let me know what you think is wrong with it.

Or Les Baltailles.

Or the Vin Jaune from Bornard.

Or any of the highly regarded, traditional Burgs that actually have always followed natural winemaking.

Or anything from eminently respectable Lopez de Heredia.

And if you need several hundred more examples let me know. ;)

Dec 13, 2014
Gargle in France
1

Anyone else bummed out by the butter shortage in Japan?

Well, you can buy it on rakuten by the kilo :)

Also, you can make your own. The price works out to about twice the price of heavy cream, and you get free buttermilk and a chance to splatter your kitchen with fermented milk product!

Dec 13, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Saturne

Of course I checked before posting - I couldn't find similar reports about NYT darlings cancelling reservations.

And again, except for Fridays and holidays, which they block, the restaurants indicates availability on La Fourchette every day (including this evening) and any time, so if we believe them that they respect these reservations, it doesn't seem like they're exactly overwhelmed with NYT readers.

Dec 12, 2014
Gargle in France

Saturne

As I've indicated, the email they send offers to call *or* to click on a link, which I did, and that in turn brings up a very clear page:

VOUS AVEZ DÉJÀ VALIDÉ CETTE RÉSERVATION.
jeudi 11 décembre 2014 à 21h00
2 personnes
Saturne
17, rue Notre-Dame des Victoires 75002 Paris
33-142603190
MERCI !

I hope that clarifies the situation.

Dec 12, 2014
Gargle in France

Saturne

It is 19:20 and the phone rings.

Saturne: "Hello, Mr. Gargle?"

Gargle: "Yes."

Saturne: "I am calling to let you know that your reservation for 21:00 has been cancelled."

Gargle: "Really? Why?"

Saturne: "You didn't call before 12:00 to confirm."

Gargle: "But the email said:

"Merci de nous confirmer votre réservation le jour même avant 12h00 par téléphone ou en cliquant sur ce lien: [link redacted]"

And I clicked on the link."

Saturne: "You didn't call before 12:00 to confirm."

Gargle: "Yes, but the email said confirm by phone *or* click the link."

Saturne: "You didn't call before 12:00 to confirm. All I can do is offer you a small table on the terrace." (and if you've been to Saturne you know that's Siberia both metaphorically and temperature wise)

Gargle: "So you didn't call me before noon, you didn't email me, you didn't do anything until now at 19:20 when someone more important wanted the table?"

Saturne: "All I can do is offer you a small table on the terrace."

Gargle: "No, no, all you *want* to do is that. All you *can* do is give me the table I have booked. But since you're obviously not interested in this, never mind. Goodbye."

I usually wouldn't report on incidents like this because (1) they can be honest mistakes (2) who cares. But then I googled "Saturne canceled our reservation" and found this:

http://notdrinkingpoison.blogspot.fr/...

"worst hospitality in solar system: saturne, 75002"

". To my totally incredulous dismay, Saturne had botched the reservation in a laughably amateur manner, and instead of apologizing for the restaurant's error - it was without a doubt their error, for several reasons to follow - the Lemoigne fellow instead refused to seat us and, with such unquestioning emotionless self-certitude that I began to suspect he was developmentally challenged in some way,** proceeded to insist it was my own fault."

And this:
------------------------------------------------------------------
“No reservation!?!?!?”
1 of 5 starsReviewed March 14, 2014
I made a reservation on wednesday for friday evening; upon arriving i was told i did not pick up my mobile, hence i did not reconfirm, hence the reservation was cancelled!
And that all in a snotty tone... Wow... Even for Paris I did not expect such unbelievable behaviour! They did not even try to find a table!
------------------------------------------------------------------

And this:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Reservation Cancelled”
2 of 5 starsReviewed October 28, 2014 NEW
I made a reservation here using both Fourchette and through their web site. I received acknowledgements of the receiptof the reservations. When we arrived we were told that they had cancelled our reservation because we had not re-confirmed it. Evidently you must respond to an email request to re-confirm your reservation. The problem is that those types of emails get stuck in my spam filter so I did not see it. (And even if I had, it was in French so I may not have understood it) In the end, they did us a favor as we went to one of our favorite restaurants instead.

In 5 months I have never had a problem with a reservation at any other restaurant in Paris. Be warned that if you really want to go here to re-confirm any reservation! I, for one, will not be making another.
------------------------------------------------------------------

So this seems like long standing policy rather than a fluke - if you make a reservation at Saturne and you're not a vip, make sure you have a backup because they think nothing of canceling it at the last moment.

It is even more bizarre given that there are tables available there on lafourchette almost any day and time (even today), so it looks like they simply overbook and then cancel on whoever they deem the least important.

Dec 12, 2014
Gargle in France

Anyone else bummed out by the butter shortage in Japan?

I'm sure they are churning away as fast as they can!

Dec 11, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Anyone else bummed out by the butter shortage in Japan?

There's no shortage of Bordier.

Dec 11, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

Actually I saw a bottle of rose des riceys at Crush Wine in nyc. ;)

Dec 10, 2014
Gargle in France

Japanese Sushi Chef

Is this Xavier Pensec at Hinoki? I already have a trip planned to Honfleur, maybe we'll keep on going west. :)

Dec 10, 2014
Gargle in Japan

Japanese Sushi Chef

For example, if a foreign national is attending school in Japan, they can generally work up to 28 hours a week (without a working visa showing they hold special skills). So it's not an unreasonable plan to study at Tsuji and then to figure out a combination of language school and a sushi place that'll take on a part time assistant. (and Tsuji is a good idea as they have had many people on the line to and from nyc over the years)

Dec 09, 2014
Gargle in Japan

fine dinning with kids

La baby-sitter is terrific.

Dec 09, 2014
Gargle in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

Yup.

By the way, other than Salon Saveurs, there's NOËL GOURMAND AU PALAIS BRONGNIART - I haven't been before, but Arnabar - my favorite foie producer - is going to be there, so I guess I'll go.

Dec 07, 2014
Gargle in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

If you declare you don't get fined. The US is all about integrity :rotfl:

Those Ducasse chocolates are really something, worth bringing both the bars and the pralines if it's not going to be too warm outside.

Dec 07, 2014
Gargle in France

Aoki Nishi Azabu vs Kanesaka Palace Hotel

I haven't been to either, but Tsukiji will have been closed for five straight days at that point, so you'd have to question where the fish is from (assuming it's not going to be a full meal of very aged tuna, buri, etc.)

Dec 07, 2014
Gargle in Japan

New Years Eve Dress Code in Paris