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Burgundy on a Budget

Hi there, we just left Beaune. It really did get pretty expensive at times. Our best meal was lunch at Ciboulette. I believe it was 20 euros per person for a three course meal. And I had the most amazing duck pot-au-feu ever. Chocolate plate for dessert was heaven. Husband had pork cheeks and poached pear. The starters were great too. Pumpkin soup (you're gonna see lots of pumpkin soup if you are going this time of year) and I had a chicken terrine. I ate a lot of chicken around here and I'm usually not that girl. But their quality of chicken is heaven. And if you see a Charolais steak, it's really worth the money to have.

Pepita's was a little more expensive, I think 35 euros for 2 courses. But the meal was truly memorable also. Organic, first off. And a veal carpaccio over grilled sun chokes that I'll never forget. I also had a capon that was ridiculous. Yes. Poultry again. :p

Good luck!!! Their bakeries all do 9 euro-ish breakfasts that includes a hot drink, pastry of choice and a hunk of baguette. That should save you in the morning. :)

Jan 01, 2015
bou in France

Town or Restaurant to recommend between Frankfurt Airport to Colmar?

Thank you so much! That is a much smarter idea!

Sep 13, 2014
bou in Europe

Town or Restaurant to recommend between Frankfurt Airport to Colmar?

Hello fellow Chowhounders,
In December, we are taking a red-eye flight and will be at Frankfurt at noon.
From there, we will drive into Alsace region. Are there any towns or restaurants that anyone has to recommend during for two sleepy travelers to stop in for a bite?

It looks like we are taking the A5. Appreciate any advice!

Sep 08, 2014
bou in Europe

O-Mei or Brilliant?

I agree w/ Charles. Their stir-fried dishes are really well executed. I LOVED their XO sauce sauteed pork neck meat with mushrooms dish. And even the simple Bitter melon with eggs and shrimp was delish. We opted for the glutinous rice and that was masterful as well. The sticky rice were all separate little pieces of rice! Not clumped together! Perfection.

Jul 04, 2011
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

O-Mei or Brilliant?

Thank you, everyone! We gave O-Mei a try and did the King Crab. What a treat indeed!! No regrets.

Judy's will be tonight!

Is Tanchikee still good?

Tanchikee Restaurant
360 Hwy 7 E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

Jul 03, 2011
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

O-Mei or Brilliant?

Reading back and forth down the board, it seems Brilliant is the better find? Or is just becaus O-Mei has been around? In town for a day or two more, and can probably only go to one. O-Mei's Alaskan King Crab 4-ways calls out to me... but if the preparation of everything else at Brilliant is that great, I think I can be swayed. Anyone who has been recently to both who can vouch?

Thanks, fellow hounders!

Jul 02, 2011
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

If I only had two meals in Vienna (end of March), where should I go?

Doing the one day excursion by train from Prague to Vienna. I am an avid eater. :) No restrictions except for perhaps the dollar.. or the euro in this case. But if it's worth it, I'll splurge. I love all things food -- butter, foie, pasta, meat (bone-in, please), innards, bread, you name it... and am a wine-lover. Oooo the famous asparagus season too, isn't it?

I appreciate all help. :)

Jan 22, 2009
bou in International Archive

Top Notch Chinese Food in the GTA

I really LOVED Spring Villa when I was there about a year ago in the Markham area. Just very authentic and heart-warming. everything dim sum should be. Lai Wah Heen on the other hand just really fell apart with its quiet, cold, formal structure. the tea-washing was great. but my foie tart that taste nothing of foie...the roast pork pie inside essentially an almond cookie and the mozzarella turnip cake ...all failed to impress. the rest, simply forgettable.

Sep 22, 2008
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Malaysia Kopitiam - I don't get the attraction

i could forgive a lot if the place didn't have the dank basement smell.. their po pia is better than penang, along with the curried ribs.

i think the main reason is the lack of good malaysian. i've resorted to the Bethesda Penang... but it's really just nothing authentic either.

Sep 08, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Japanese Okanomiyaki and Chawanmushi in DC/VA area?

it's really too bad. we could do well w/ a yakitori joint. and takoyaki!!! then i can stop taking day trips to new york. hehehe

Sep 08, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Japanese Food in NoVa/DC

i actually LIKE Temari! their katsu curry is my favorite comfort food. and the grilled mackerel or smelt... with a side of their potato salad (yes, pathetic, i know.)... makes a great meal.

but man-oh-man...i would KILL for some takoyaki right nowl

Mar 05, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

PS7 - a review

oh crap, i keep forgetting about Colvin Run closing. *sigh*

reiflame, i don't know if i liked the place or not. i was happy with the ambiance and vibe. and none of the food was bad. but it didn't grab me like some places have (Vidalia, for example)...

also, their tasting menu didn't seem like the best deal. the table next to us got it. and it is $65 for four courses, I believe. 2 small plates, 1 big, and dessert. but that is kind of at that price range anyway! AND i noticed the portions of the small plates (at least) seemed smaller.

i am rather confused about PS7 myself. perhaps i will give them another try. the menu is new. they changed it on Valentine's day. so i'll give them another chance.

Feb 17, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

PS7 - a review

sweetbreads are not all that.

i used to serve it at Ten-O-Six back in my college days. and i always wanted to taste it. Tom would serve it with demiglace...and it would look so wonderfully fluffy and crispy on the outside.

as it turns out. it's way denser than i thought. i imagined it would break apart like scrambled eggs. and here is where the confusion starts. sweetbreads can be the pancreas or the thymus gland. which i imagine is somewhere near the throat. i imagine a pancreas would be denser than a thymus gland, no? so how to tell? 'excuse me, waiter, is your sweetbread today of the pancreas or of the thymus gland'?

anyway back to PS7. one of our folks ran late so we went to the bar for a drink. sb had a snow queen vodka infused with beets that actually was quite nice. the beets cut through the vodka very nicely. i had a gruner veltliner that was quite pleasant and jae had the sidecar. he kept saying it tasted like a yummy long island. i didn't agree...

we got hungry while waiting for 1 member of the party and ordered fried risotto balls. it is of my opinion that fried risotto balls can't be small. because it is already dense. i think bigger will retain moisture. actually bigger because of a hunk of gouda stuffed into it, would be better. these were large marble-sized with a cube of genoa salami inside and a soft gouda cheese dip on the side. the dip was ridiculously good. runny like brie and fragrant.

once our complete party sits, we share 3 apps. braised short rib studded with foie and enclosed in a phyllo dough. it was EXCELLENT with a beef jus and sweet potato puree accompanying it. but i saw no hints of foie WHATSOEVER. we also got a mushroom terrine that was thin mushrooms wrapped around an herb goat or chevre. wonderful and rich for vegetarians. and creamed oysters over leeks (i think)... also a nice touch. all of this was served with 3 little buns per person. i can't tell you how good they were. parker house rolls, i think. there was an amazing biscuit, a wheat-like roll (my fav) and a white roll. served piping hot with a soft sweet butter, and although i generally prefer cold butter myself, i was very happy to slab the butter on and then dip the bread into the various sauces of the apps.

main entrees. i had a veal scallopini stuffed with chestnuts (supposedly) and something with sweetbreads. the veal was nice. but again, this whole not noticing a main ingredient bothers me. sb's scallops were excellent. perfectly cooked as in a crust on the outside but translucent in the center with a grapefruit butter. jae's monkfish was well cooked, but i felt needed more sauce or a heavier one. and chow's pork loin and belly was pork loin and a slab of bacon. both were forgettable compared to sb's and mine. then again, i do have a talent for ordering the best dish on the menu. hehehehehe...

let me say something here for all the restaurateurs and chefs of the world. if you say belly? it should be a chunk. not a slice of bacon. otherwise, just say bacon. it's very misleading and just plain rude. i am a belly fanatic. and had i ordered that....i actually sensed that i'd be disappointed...i would've been pissed.

for the best pork dish ever, btw? if you happen to be in atlanta.. go to south city kitchen for the Pan-Fried Pork Chop crisp smoked kurobuta pork belly, local field peas, green tomato piccalilli, fried rosemary ...

it is my most favorite dish of the last few years. most memorable definitely.

our desert was an apple crisp with brown butter ice cream.

what we got was a deconstructed dessert, which i have no problem with. but for a crisp, it needed more crisp. it was a big scoop of brown butter ice cream (very nice) over tiny diced apples that had been perhaps a quick braise... with walnut cookies (sable), a geleed drop of what looks like candy but is actually a very fresh apple sauce. though golden yellow in color. quite amazing really... and the crisp was tiny dried nuts. THAT'S NOT A CRISP...

all in all, i am quite glad for this meal. i had a good time, and i ate well. and the portions are actually quite fair. in the sense that you will be full.

missing crucial ingredients aside, nothing tasted bad.

but would i return to PS7? i'm not sure. though i notice i am far more reluctant to try new places. if i want to celebrate these days, i go to Wine Market in Baltimore or Colvin Run in Virginia. kinda a shame...i should be more open-minded.... hehe.

777 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 742-8550

Feb 16, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

homemade ice cream Bmore

Dunno if they're still open, but Beach Bums in Fed Hill is INCREDIBLE.

1038 Light St. Federal Hill Baltimore, MD 21230 410-528-8300

Jan 01, 2008
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont Circle

their braised short ribs... are AMAZING....

Dec 18, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Wine and Cheese Bar in NoVA?

if you happen to be in Maryland, there are 2 great wine bars. One is Iron Bridge in Columbia. Walls of wine for you to perouse. This is where I first discovered Pontet-Canet years ago. And great tapas. Not much for cheese. But good tapas. Prosciutto wrapped Scallop with Fennel Reduction and such.

In Baltimore, there is the Wine Market. More a restaurant. But the bar is always tended by wonderful and knowledgeable folks. They turned me onto Mollydooker and much more. Amazing food. Good cheese. And damn good brandade. Also, housemade Rice Crispie Treat w/ panna cotta in the center. Need I say more.

Dec 18, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

H Mart Happy Hour

take note when you're in there... they'll randomly announce over the PA system that pineapples will be half off for the next 10 minutes... or whatever produce. it strikes me as odd...since the lines are often longer than 10 minutes. but yea. keep your ears open.

Dec 18, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Spot for group near Penn Ave. please!

for the area, and for their quaility. Tenpenh is actually really great. not condescending either. they're on 10th and Penn. :) a little Asian-inspired, but hardly what peeps call fusion. Great lamb potstickers for starters. but really, i haven't had a bad meal yet. sake mojito is amazing as well.

Dec 18, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

Atwater's, Belvedere Square

Don't hesitate to nab some food from Ceriello's counter as well! Their eggplant parmigiana is the BEST I've had in a long time. And if you're lucky enough to catch their chicken sausage. *slurp*

Dec 18, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

DC Hound just moved to Baltimore (Fed Hill) - Questions

i'm too lazy to read thru the posts. but here are my votes. i used to live on Fort Ave. until 2 years ago. i noticed someone mentioning Pazza Luna. It's new owners though, right? so i imagine the shrimp scampi and clam apps are no longer as divine? how is it?

my picks:
Best Thai: Thai Arroy
Best Sushi: Kiku for low-key night... their spicy tuna is heaven.
Best Fine Dining: Corks
Best Night Out: The Wine Market (for extra fun, sit at the bar when Kelli is working)

outside of Fed Hill, you should go to Belvedere Square... Ceriello's for great italian grocery shopping (have some Eggplant Parmigiana while you're there)... Atwater's connected for good soup/sandwiches and local produce. and next door is Greg's Bagels. Their everything bagels are to DIE for. There's CUMIN in them!!!!!!

other fun joints:
Pazo for tapas
Petit Louis (sister restaurant to Pazo and Charleston) for good bistro fare...
Holy Frijoles for seriously good refried bean taquitos

Mt. Vernon is a fun place to explore too!!!!

Aug 28, 2007
bou in Washington DC & Baltimore

my trip thru Ontario - reviews

So we started driving at 1am from Baltimore. Arrived at Niagara Falls around 8ish and had enough time to walk around and take some token photos. Promptly decided, despite having driven all night and being QUITE hungry… that there was nothing around worth eating. So we headed off to our second destination. Inniskillin!!! I adore their ice-wine and was happy to pop in. Just 20 minutes away from the Falls. We took the $5 tour, which is so worth it even if you don’t care about the making. You get a tasting w/ the tour. Although I’m sad to say they only gave one of the ice-wines to taste. The $5 also goes back to your purchase. Our salesgirl was nice though…and let us taste the rest of the ice-wines as well as the sparkling. After we bought 16 bottles, no wonder! The Pinot Noir and the Riesling were okay. Nothing memorable. Everything pales in comparison to their ice-wines though. The Vidal is the best buy. At about $50/bottle. We also got some of the Aged Oak one, which has huge butterscotch flavors. It’s golden and richer; liquid gold, for real. The higher end one and probably my least favorite is the Cabernet Franc. It’s good, but in my opinion, carries less finesse. We got a bottle anyway. I’ll be interested to pair it with some chocolate truffles. Report back later. Ok. By now it’s 11:30am. We’re drunk, sleep-deprived and hungry. Inniskillin does not have food. We came to Ontario to eat. So we decided to stay the course.

We drove almost two hours to downtown Toronto to the Metropolitan Hotel for dim sum at the Lai Wah Heen (108 Chestnut St, Toronto). I HAD a clue of what I was in for: Westernized form of dim sum in a classy setting. I had looked at their menu online and was excited by the idea of ‘foie gras and minced chicken on a soft shell’. It was a beautiful restaurant and the service was excellent. She had enough personality to caution us on items that were just so-so. But handled much of our meal with class. Our teas are individually served complete with the tea-washing ritual. We chose the ‘Monkey-picked’ tea, which was always a favorite of my mom’s. The food was fine. But it didn’t blow me away. The foie gras tart for example, was a mish-mash of meat filling. I couldn’t taste or see the foie. The golden tart that everyone raves about was an almond cookie stuffed w/ ham. Everything was well crafted, but it lacked the soul of dim sum to me. To me, dim sum represents sitting around with family and comfortably picking at things. Here, pieces were individually ordered. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t stuffy. I had a good time. But it wasn’t what I was looking for. Turnip cakes topped w/ mozzarella had very little turnip taste, and the mozzarella – unnecessary. Dim Sum, as it turns out… should not become fusion.

Rustic Bakery (310 Rustic Rd) Early in the morning, we detoured an extra 20 minutes out of the way to a little suburban part of outer Toronto. My mom started to get alarmed…thinking we were way off-rack. And then lo and behold, between blocks of homes, were 3 stores. Rustic Bakery itself, resembled more of a taken over High’s had it not been for the gelato and dessert case on the left, and the coffee bar on the side. I had discovered them through some random post on and heard about their Nutella Croissants *bites knuckle* So my dad makes a beeline for the coffee, and I, for the pastries. Dad asks the man behind the espresso bar for a cup of coffee. With a great big smile, “We don’t do that here. You must have espresso.” And so we all got our lattes (mine, soy.)… and I got my croissants. I don’t know what was better in hindsight. The croissant will perhaps take a slight edge in the moment of it all. It was crunch at first bite, and then as your teeth sank deeper, you hit an unbelievably chewy (in the good way) dough, followed by a Nutella center. The presence of butter is soooooooooooo lovely and joyful. I could have cried. This was the kind of croissant that you dream of. It’s a croissant that you tear into. And then you lick all the crumbs off of your fingers, and possibly your shirt too. And then you’d smell your shirt all day hoping for a scent of the holy croissant.

Now. Onto their espresso – I have not had espresso taste that good in my life. It was so rich and strong and creamy on its own. Couple with my soymilk, it tasted like chocolate, really. The taste is still strong in my memory and nothing will ever compare, I’m sure. This cup of latte will go down in history as the best latte I ever had… in all its $2.00 generic paper cup glory. It was perfection. I never loved a cup of caffeine as I did this.

Le Select Bistro
432 Wellington St. W
Best bistro fare I’ve had in a very, very long time. Terrine of Foie Gras with surprisingly well-matched kumquat chutney, even though I’m not a fan of kumquat ordinarily. It was perfection. Escargot enclosed in puff pastry topped w/ a mushroom cream sauce was just what I expected. A weakness of mine, salad Frisee Lardons was heavenly. Sherry vinaigrette, avocado, poached egg on top of frisee. Dad had a roast lamb shank that was tender and flavorful with all that roastiness embedded deep. My cassoulet (first cassoulet in my life! All this reading, I finally got to eat one!!) was really good and as I thought it should taste. Sam had a bouillabaisse that was as good as a bouillabaisse can get. And I can’t remember what my mom had. It was a Pork Porterhouse, I think. All I remembered was the amazing potatoes au gratin. Hahahaha… We couldn’t fit dessert afterwards, much as we tried….

Spring Villa (7301 Woodbine Ave, Markham)
HANDS DOWN – best dim sum EVER…the 5-spice squid tentacles were unbelievable. Every dish was just comforting and well crafted at the same time. There was the greasy comfort w/o the heavy feeling. I ate until I burst and I keep dreaming of coming back. THIS is a place to drive 10 hours for. EXACTLY what you want when you think dim sum. MUST check out.

And for a supermarket that blows away Whole Foods/Wegman’s… T&T (7070 Warden, Markham) is amazing. Great food court… great finds. And amazing quality. I wish so badly that I had a kitchen in my hotel!!!! The meat and seafood positively GLISTENED….

And speaking of markets… St. Lawrence Market blew my mind as well. The mustard lady? Her Bordeaux mustard is heaven. Great on lamb… The general quality and cleanliness here is very refreshing. Between the 2 markets, I’d have no problem finding dinner everyday. And it’d be a joy.

You lucky Torontonians…. pout

Aug 28, 2007
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Just back from Quebec weekend. Other than Clafouti, who elsa in the G.T.A. has a great crossiant, Quality, Flakiness and Great Quality Butter as an ingredient.

I was visiting for a few days and got to try Rustic Bakery!!! YUMMY, oh lordie... it was that perfect balance of crispy/chewy/buttery... the gnutella one was goooood.... and what an amazing latte.

oh sigh... i'm gonna miss 'em.

Jul 15, 2007
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Malaysian between Toronto & Markham, Food at Inniskillin?


Jul 11, 2007
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Malaysian between Toronto & Markham, Food at Inniskillin?

Hello, just doing a 3 day stroll thru your lovely area... I've been mad craving authentic Malaysian as I'm seriously lacking in that department in Washington DC. Is this something I can find here?

And I'm definitely hitting up Inniskillin. I know it's a more touristy area. Wondering if you guys know if there's a restaurant attached or what I could otherwise hit up. Breakfast/brunch-y. THANKS!

Jul 11, 2007
bou in Ontario (inc. Toronto)