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Special/unusual, but not loud or too creative (!) for Sunday lunch anniversary celebration

Thanks! Looks interesting. Not keen on the man's persona but suppose shldnt let that get in the way.

Any other suggestions or Gilbert Scott feedback, please?

Aug 22, 2012
lapengia in U.K./Ireland

Special/unusual, but not loud or too creative (!) for Sunday lunch anniversary celebration

Hi

We've booked Gilbert Scott for this Sunday lunch as anniversary treat for my in-laws. But I'm having doubts. Reports seem mixed - one friend said the room didn't feel very special, though the photos look fairly grand. I've been in the cocktail bar, which I love.

Can anyone share their experiences of the Gilbert Scott, particularly for Sunday lunch?

Can anyone suggest an alternative:

Criteria:
Not too noisy a room
Preferably a good view or grand-feeling dining room
Good but more importantly, friendly, service
Reliable and consistently good cooking more important than flash and surprising.
Prefer traditional-ish British or French cuisine
Open for Sun Lunch!
Likely to have a table for this Sun!
Something that feels a bit special but prob not trendy!
Price less important than value

Otherwise, I'm open to suggestions of wild cards - somewhere they would never go themselves in a million years and may be completely non-fancy but would be a real experience - a rooftop popup, say or something like Ben Spalding's Stripped Back.

Thank you all!

Aug 22, 2012
lapengia in U.K./Ireland

late lunch on a thursday in july: la regalade?

Gare de Lyon is quite near the Place Aligre in the 12th, so maybe you could walk briskly over there. If you're looking for something similar to La Regalade I'm not sure what to suggest, but if you're open to something different, I know people on this board seem to like La Gazzetta www.lagazzetta.fr. And there's Szechuan at Shan Gout 22 (rue Hector Malot, 12th, Tel. 01-43-40-62-14. Metro: Gare de Lyon. Closed Monday.)

May 29, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Ha ha! you're right! (I just mistyped that as 'tight'. Call Dr Freud!). It wasn't as boozy as I expected. It was very restrained of us. The other two were feeling a bit under the weather, but I have no excuse. We stay with them in London and then we're usually at least a bottle each a night-ers. I think we were just too busy chowing to drink!

May 29, 2010
lapengia in France

Any more recent Corsica reports? Comments on these places.....

Hi All

Yes, I've read all the Corsican threads. Most are a few years old now, so I was wondering if anyone had been more recently and would care to offer up any comments/reports/tips?

The following places sounded interesting in previous threads. If anyone has any updates, or any comments at all, on them, they'd be gratefully received.

Flora or Chez Flora, on the D82 or D2 (anyone got more precise info on this?)

Le Pirate (http://www.restaurantlepirate.com/

)

Ferme d'Urbino, Ghisonnaccia (Haute-Corse),

Ferme Auberge Mare e Monti, Murato. I wonder if the poster got the name wrong, I can find mention of similarle named places online, but not this. Do you mean Ferme Auberge de Campo di Monte, Murato? Any more accurate details?

Auberge Santa Barbara

A Stella di Rustino, 0495387709 in vilage of Valle-di-Rostino,

Plus these from an old NYT article

Le Pain de Sucre on the packed Plage de Sainte-Restitude

Ustaria A Stonda, Sagone

A Pasturella Place du Village, Monticello

I'd also be delighted to hear any other suggestions. I'd probably favour rustic, auberge-y type places, traditional cooking showing sympathetic use of good local ingredients and friendly receptions. But we're open to anything and as there are so few recommendations on this thread, respond with any recommendations you have for the benefit of others.

We're camping in our VW van. so any food-shopping tips are welcome too - great weekly food markets, particular producers (a previous poster mentioned a cured sausage maker) for example.

We're planning on concentrating on the northern half of the island, but if there's somewhere in the south you love, throw it in. You never know!

Thanks all!

K

May 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Sorry for not reporting back - had a slew of visitors and we're prepping for leaving Paris, sob.

In the end we went to La Regalade de St Honore, which we all enjoyed and certainly fitted the bill as relaxed place for long lunch. We were the last to leave and the lovely waitress (in whom I thought I detected a Spanish or South American accent - she had that kind of warmth, too!) really made us feel as though we could linger as long as we liked. Service, though, did have the odd glitch: some things had to be asked for a couple (or more) times. One waitress was not exactly rude, but was a bit brusque with plate delivery, but overall nothing majorly wrong.

Yeah, but what about the food?

The food? First, the famous terrine amuse bouche. Yes it's kind of fun to have a big hunking great slab of pate as an 'amuse' (we also had some ham - bayonne I think, fine) but it wasn't the best terrine I've ever had and I'd personally prefer something more 'amusing' but it is what it is and I would neither want nor expect La Regalade to change something that is now so them. But I would echo the plea for bread plates - I'm afraid we made rather a mess of our table that had the waitress smearing pate all over it as she tried to wipe the table with her fingers!

I think I won the battle of the starters with scallops and wild asparagus. V tasty scallops in buttery sauce, though they were rather stuck to the half-shell. One friend had the roast foie - a lightish serving of thin slices of foie- their peppery/lightly crisped edges made a good contrast to foie's buttery texture. Birthday girl had a tuna and roast onion tart which I thought was superb (guiltily, we shouldn't be eating tuna) and she was a bit underwhelmed by. But ignore her.
Mains were pork belly on lentils - my friend was disturbed by the presence of what he described as a 'strong tasting sausage' (he only mentioned this after we'd left) but I thought the bite he gave me was good if a bit one-note. Birthday girl had a beautifully cooked bit of bream and my chicken stuffed with foie (could have been more tender and was a bit overwhelming in size) was blown out of the dish by its bed of risotto: fluffy, creamy, deeply flavoured and pearled with the most delicious peas. Desserts were all very good - a pair of mousses (meeses?) chocolate and vanilla; the famous Grand Marnier souffle ("like eating a cloud") and a raspberry compote, cream and strawberry concoction which was my favourite. Simple, classic, well executed stuff.
Overall: Rich, hearty, unpretentious, good cooking in smart but not flashy surroundings with mostly kind and efficient service, all at a good price (about 150e for 3x3 courses, 1 bottle water, 1 bottle wine, 3 glasses dessert wine, no coffees). Not a wow place - more of a contented sigh.

May 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Brunch in the Marais

There are loads of Sunday (and now Saturday) brunch places - especially in the Marais and also around Montmartre and the 9th. Prices seem generally to hover around the 20 euro mark for a wide variety of offerings in terms of substance, quality and quantity. From walking past, Cafe Charlot on the corner of rue Bretagne and rue Charlot in the Marais seems exceedingly popular for brunch. I've had an enormous and pretty good brunch (pastries, tartines, eggs benedict, pain perdu, fresh squeezed juice, endless coffee) at Cafe Rouge on rue de picardie in the 3rd. Another cheap casual option is the Enfants Rouges market 39 rue de Bretagne, which has a variety of food stalls, mostly serving up 'ethnic' stuff: moroccan, japanese, asian, lebanese.. etc and a place that does veggy gallettes.

May 14, 2010
lapengia in France

La Régalade opens a central location on Saint-Honoré

No, I am talking about the same place - I know it's near the Louvre, but I quite like that walk through the Louvre into the Tuileries (I like taking photos of tourists taking photos), then we might go to jeu de paume or the orangerie. Not that you need to know any of that.

But with regard to second sitting, you're probably right. I've got a vague inkling of having to give up a table at lunch before but I can't say where or when, so maybe it's a memory leak from dinner sittings.

Hmmm, so it seems they're both wonderful, though reports from La Regalade seem to be more recent. Now I'm even more undecided. Never leave a decision to a Libran.

May 05, 2010
lapengia in France

La Régalade opens a central location on Saint-Honoré

I'm trying to decide between this and Au Gourmand for a friend's birthday lunch - which I've posted about elsewhere. Comparisons?

Really just looking for somewhere reliable, that feels a bit special and does a set 3-course menu for under around 40 euros. Friend's only request was for a 'long, boozy lunch'. Are these places that will let us linger (though we've booked for 1.30 so I'm presuming we're second sitting anyway). Are there enough wines under 40 euros a bottle? Any under 30?

Also liked these two because they're not too far from the Tuileries for a post-prandial stroll.

Any more comments from recent visits to both La Regalade and Au Gourmand gratefully received.

May 01, 2010
lapengia in France

10 year Anniversary Trip to Italy, Need suggestions

Can you give more details on Pistoia - why you recommend it as a place to visit - and can you give specific recs for places to stay and/or eat?

We're driving from Livorno (getting the ferry from Corsica) to Bologna. The ferry arrives lateish (7pm) so we're looking for somewhere to stay not too far away. We'll have spent 2 weeks walking and beachbumming, so we want somewhere with a bit of life, where we can do a wee bit of sight-seeing or perhaps an activity such as a cooking class, gastro tour etc and most importantly somewhere with good food. But, it would be nice to avoid tourist hordes. So we were thinking Lucca rather than Pisa but perhaps that's the wrong assumption. Would Pistoia be a good alternative? We're thinking of staying 2 nights, then driving on and spending 2 nights in Bologna.

Any recs for Bologna eating also greatly appreciated. Though that's probably another thread.

Thanks for any tips!

May 01, 2010
lapengia in Italy

Steak tartare - Le Severo (or Bis?) or Cafe des Musees - or elsewhere?

Thanks. Yes, saw that thread, but it didn't really help me to any definitive conclusion. Though La Rotonde did seem to come out well.

Apr 29, 2010
lapengia in France

Steak tartare - Le Severo (or Bis?) or Cafe des Musees - or elsewhere?

Yes, I've read other threads on the best steak tartare but it seems inconclusive - perhaps I should take that hint and just make my own mind up, but I wouldn't mind comments on the above from anyone who's been recently.

I've only had coffee (and amazing slice of chocolate terrine) at Cafe des Musees, but I've found the staff always lovely. But my husband has a weird prejudice against it. So I need some reinforcement from you guys - should we go?

I like the sound of the carefully sourced beef at Severo, though I've read it's cramped and service might be slow? And is Le Bis better/worse/same?

And please do throw in any other suggestions for best steak tartare joint - we don't mind travelling out of the way - in fact we'd quite like to explore a bit. We're in the far reaches of the 18th.

Thanks as ever

Apr 29, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Thoughts on Le Restaurant, rue d'Assas?

Apr 28, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

What about l'agrume, and then jardin des plantes? Or is it not a place for long lunches?

Apr 28, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Thanks both of you. Love the sound of La Ferrandaise's dishes but the room doesn't do it for me (from photos). Ditto L'Ardoise (though also less excited by the carte there). Not sure about souffles, so perhaps not La Cigale. La Mediterranee has a very enticing carte but the menu seemed a bit of a disappointment in comparison and the room seems, erm, a but fusty. God I'm picky! I think I just want La Table d'Eugene to move near the Luxembourg gardens for one day.

What do y'all think about Au Gourmand?

Apr 28, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Not Le Point. Much as I love it I'm not sure it's more than a very good value 'we're in the neighbourhood and want something cheap, good and filling for lunch in a nice friendly atmosphere' place. And I've never eaten there at night - it might be just couscous for dinner? Anyway, I want to hear what you think of l'Aromatik for dinner.

Apr 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Thanks

They're coming around the end of May so should be time to get a reservation, hopefully.

Apr 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris: Long boozy birthday lunch near a park. Set menu up to 35e pp for 3 courses, not inc wine, coffee

Hi everyone

A friend is coming to visit for her birthday and wants a "long boozy lunch". Ahem. They're not particularly (look away JT) "foodies", but I am. What does that mean? I suppose I'm looking for somewhere with that is based on traditional French cuisine, but the odd creative flourish would be nice.

As it's a 'special'-ish occasion, attractive surroundings would be nice. Leaning more towards the antique poster, well-chosen knick-knack, mismatched furniture, shabby cool antique end, or even textbook bistro shiny brass and polished wood, rather than the chic, slick, minimalist side of the spectrum. Somewhere with a terrace or garden would be lovely!

Service - impeccable would be nice! Would settle for friendly and relatively efficient. Or at least interested! Long aprons also good.

Atmosphere: Would prefer somewhere not too busy (this will be a Thursday lunchtime) and not too knocking-elbows-with-the-neighbours. Though people-watching opportunities would also be preferred (I know! I'm just a big bag of contradictions!)

Location - I'd like to take them for a post-prandial stroll so I was thinking somewhere near Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Tuileries.

Price - would like set menu with some choice, up to about 35e pp for 3 courses not inc wine or coffee. A good selection of wines under 25e also welcome.

Summary: A pleasant place for a relaxed enjoyable lunch near a park, with a set menu under 35 euros. Too much to ask?

Apr 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Sorry if I'm getting boring on this, but Le Point pulled it back at lunch the other day. Sticky, juicy boeuf bourguignon, moist roast chicken leg, fabulous hand-cut chips. Plus they had great jazz on last Sat night. And warm welcome from owner. Sigh.

Apr 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Frenchie reservation??!!

So one should ring up and say "Alright geezer, wanna come round your gaff for a nosh wiv a few mates, giza table, willya? Lovely jubbly!" in Jamie-ese?

Apr 06, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Sorry for the late reply! On their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paris-F...) they weirdly claim to be open Mon - Sat: 06:30 - 02:00 Sun: 07:00 - 02:00, which I know isn't true because I've seen their shutters down on Sundays. For your purposes you probably just need to know they're open for lunch every day, except I think Sunday. Mind you, the last lunch I had there was a real disappontment, .... sigh. Will probably try them again, though as they're so near and cheap!

Apr 06, 2010
lapengia in France

Dinner before/after cinema near Gds Boulevards/Opera

Thanks John, a star, as always. Sometimes I think I should just email you direct....

Mar 24, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Just had another lunch at le Point (Le Point Bar, 99 rue Championnet (corner Rue Ruisseau) 75018, Plat 8.50 euros). Great pot au feu, with fine variety of perfectly cooked veg, and a richly stewed paleron de boeuf.

Great bistro stuff as I see it - dishes that aren't complicated but need good handling to get the best out of the ingredients and that need a lot of time over the stove. Stuff you could do at home but don't have the time or attention span!

Feb 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Dinner before/after cinema near Gds Boulevards/Opera

Hi

Looking for suggestions for dinner before or after the cinema around Grands Boulevards/Opera metro areas. Been in this position a couple of times. First time we went for a Thai and ended up missing the film. The last time I found a very welcoming piadina place. Not somewhere you might come to Paris for, obviously, but very good for light, quick, reasonably priced meal and open in the evenings from 7-11pm so handy for before or after an 8-ishpm showing. Details:

Piadineria artigianale Riccione
7 rue Geoffroy Marie, 75009, 0147702961, www.riccione.fr

Most piadinas priced around 5-9 euros, also do plates or charcuterie, cheese, to share.

I can highly recommend the porchetta, squaquerone and roquette piadina. All the ingredients are good quality, sourced from Italy.

Any other suggestions for places open early and/or late, and/or quick eats around the cinemas, gratefully received.

Cheers all

Kirsten

Feb 27, 2010
lapengia in France

Dining along the Canal St Martin?

I haven't eaten there (but have had a nice glass of rosé on the terrace - with friendly service) but my ceramics teacher recommended Les Enfants Perdus http://www.les-enfants-perdus.com/ on rue des recollets, and I've seen positive reviews of it elsewhere.

Feb 23, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Thanks everyone. I think we will try Chateaubriand at some point. It's been on the list for a while and I am prepared to risk disappointment in the cause of exploration, but wanted something more reliable for our occasion dinner. We went to La Table d'Eugene and loved it - thanks John! I'll post a more detailed review when I'm a little less sleep deprived, but basically it hit the spot in terms of balancing comfort and creativity food-wise and efficient, friendly service, where the waiters enthusiastically share childhood food memories. Not the cheapest but good value IMO - about 120 euros for 3 courses each for 2 people, 1 bottle of wine (one of their cheapest at about 25 euros) and a bottle of sparkling water. They even managed to break me out of my foam fatigue!

Feb 04, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

I've just (re)read your archival post on Ze Kitchen Galerie (I think from 2006) and it really sounds like just the thing - creative passionate cooking, carefully sourced ingredients and attentive service. I believe it's still one of your favourites. Is it?

Jan 30, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Hi John

The link to the article and the couple of lines underneath relate to Le Point. Or do you mean that's not enough? There's not much more to say. I wouldn't say it was a destination place but a decent spot for lunch if you live nearby or are in the area. Reliable 'home cooking'. The jarret de boeuf had tender meat and the lentils were perfumed with cloves; the crumble was a good balance of chew and crunch and came with an over generous helping of fresh whipped cream. Portions are generally good and service is friendly. It's a real neighbourhood place, where they seem to care about the general experience of their customers and that's the sort of place I like to support. (They also claim to have the best ladies toilets in Paris - you have to ask for a key, that's one thing I don't like - but I haven't tried them yet!)

Jan 30, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Thanks PhilD. Why do you think Chateaubriand isn't right? Is it because the food doesn't just push the boundaries (I like to be challenged) but breaks through them into unpleasantness of some kind? Or do you think the fashionableness might put me off (it might) - but then you say we don't need to be cool, so maybe it's ok?

Jan 30, 2010
lapengia in France

Paris suggestions for dinner - special but not necessarily starred! Chateaubriand?

Hi

I'm looking for ideas for an anniversary dinner on a Wednesday evening. Would like somewhere warm and friendly rather than stylish or stuffy, market style cooking but perhaps taken to a higher, more creative level, where well-sourced ingredients are allowed to shine and sometimes there's an odd surprise to freshen the tastebuds.

Or just traditional stuff done very well time and again - somewhere reliable. Surroundings that are pleasing to the eye, not too crowded or noisy, with friendly, efficient service.

We particularly like fish and seafood (sustainably sourced, even better!), so suggestions leaning that way are welcome.

Price isn't so much an issue, but if we do splash out we want to feel like it's been worth it.

Previously we've enjoyed Spring, L'Ecailler du Bistrot, Le Baratin, Le Square Trousseau, La Cagouille, Pramil... I'm not saying these necessarily fit my description above, I just mention them to give you an idea of my 'restaurant personality profile' !

We're thinking of Chateaubriand, but I'm worried it may have suffered from the hype and have a 'you must be this cool to eat here' rule.

In return, here's a decent formule place if you're ever stuck for lunch near Port Clignancourt (sorry it's not more exciting but we haven't been in town long. Promise to post more soon!):
Le Point Bar, 99 rue Championnet (corner Rue Ruisseau)

http://www.dixhuitin....php?article170 - in French

plat 8,50e, 2 courses 10,50e. Simple but well cooked dishes like jarret de boeuf and lentils, starters such as pates and homemade soups. Had a fab apple crumble. Very friendly staff, always with a smile.

Thanks all
Kirsten

Jan 28, 2010
lapengia in France