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Meilleurs Ouvriers?

Thanks, VaPaula - that's the guy I was thinking of. He did a Top 10 list for Paris last year, if anybody's interested in learning some catchy phrases about crumbs, crevices, etc.
www.evous.fr/Top-10-des-meilleures-bo...

Dec 18, 2014
manouche in France

Meilleurs Ouvriers?

Wasn't there a guy who went around Paris judging baguettes - maybe a New Yorker? It seems to me that it was just a couple of years ago, maybe for a book or blog... I believe that he had taken baking classes etc, so had the chops to really investigate things properly. As I recall, he ended up with a pretty good bunch of boulangeries, and not just the usual suspects.

Anyone know who I'm referring to? I can't seem to find the information anywhere.

Dec 18, 2014
manouche in France

Meilleur Ouvrier de France

Ptitpois - thanks for the detailed response. That explains things much better than I ever could.
Funny that Larnicol is really famous for his kouignettes and chocolate moulages. I think David Lebovitz had a lot to do with popularizing his kouign-amann. Never tried his macarons, but will do so on your recommendation.

We went on to try a few of the meilleure baguettes of the past few years - same story. Great baguettes, nothing else was interesting.

I personally think that Jacques Genin qualifies for Master of the Universe.

Dec 08, 2014
manouche in France

Meilleur Ouvrier de France

This weekend, a few friends wanted to explore a list of the MOF's - specifically patissiers and chocolatiers. So we wandered all over town, trying different things. My friends were puzzled, because they expected that an MOF would do everything exceedingly well - which was not the case.
I explained that someone could be an MOF in caramel, but that didn't mean that he would necessarily excel in macarons, for example. And so forth.
Nobody was happy with this explanation - the consensus was that an MOF should be held to a higher standard, and that all products should be excellent, period.
Anybody have any thoughts about MOF status? Does it really mean anything, or is it more along the lines of the "meilleure baguette" - where the winner gets the contract to supply the President for a year...
Anyone know an MOF who really is good at everything?

Dec 08, 2014
manouche in France

Suggestions of where to purchase "picnic" items near Gare de l'Est?

I would stick with MSQ if you are pressed for time, but if you don't find what you want, Julhes will be open - tons of good stuff here, about 10 mins walk from the station.
I was going to suggest Du Pain et des Idees, also about 10 mins walk, but the website says they will be closed at 16h00...

Dec 07, 2014
manouche in France

YIKES-Another thread on tipping in france

Well, I've seen Wendy and her clients in action at a few of my local hangouts - and I've about had it with her. She should really leave at least 25%, for all the trouble they cause the staff - and it wouldn't hurt to buy all the other patrons a round or two, as well.

I often wondered how much of a kickback she was giving the owner of these places - surely they aren't putting up with her nonsense for just the price of a few meals? Even with all the bells and whistles and "best bottles" and so on, they don't spend that much money, and they get freebies, etc. Wendy doesn't have that much media presence or advertising influence, either...

Nov 23, 2014
manouche in France
1

Paris - further questions

Just a thought about trying "restaurants" and not breaking the bank...
Many places are much more affordable for lunch, so if you wanted to try one of the grand institutions, it might be worth looking into that.

I think everyone should go to Le Grand Vefour at least once, since there just aren't many places this beautiful in Paris. Forget the decor (and crummy food and service) at Bofinger. Go here, instead - the decor is stupendous, the service very attentive, and if the food doesn't knock your socks off, you won't care because you'll still be happy. Lunch special is currently 98 EU, not including beverages. Can't beat that with a stick.

Sep 15, 2014
manouche in France

Need help with bistro selections

Can't speak to the other choices, but have been to Moissonnier recently and had a great time - oeufs en meurette (quali eggs!) and lievre a la royale. No room for dessert, but the apple tarte looked good at the next table. This is dense, full-throttle cooking - no "orgasms", but I could very happily have drowned in those sauces...

Feb 05, 2014
manouche in France

Helping in narrowing down the Paris list

Just one -
I hate to be negative - especially when it concerns my beloved neighborhood "cantine" of the last 5 years - but things are not as they once were at Cafe des Musees.

Too much success, way too many tourists who don't appreciate or understand the place (which really messes up the works), food and service have steadily slipped - and very noticeably so. Sincerest apologies received from the management, but a couple of comp'd drinks doesn't make up for the fact that things are out of control. If I wanted drinks, I would have gone to a bar.

It is a shame that this has happened, but I would give CDM a pass for awhile, until they decide how they are going to handle what has become a very unfortunate situation.

Feb 05, 2014
manouche in France

Food shopping for Christmas day on Rue Saint-Antoine?

Trotte's sign is still up, but it's a Laurent Dubois shop, now. The cheese is even better, though it's lost that old ambiance.

Dalloyau and Le Notre are near Bastille, and ususally have very "designer" buches. It's getting harder to find the traditional sponge roll versions. Mulot has individual serving sizes, if you want to try different flavors.

Nov 13, 2013
manouche in France

Help Needed--I need the name of a buttery and sugary rectangular cake that is served at Christmas

kouign amann, by any chance?

Oct 25, 2013
manouche in France

Birthday Chocolate Mousse and more

Well, I don't know where you can get oysters, champagne, cheese and chocolate mousse in one fell swoop...
but, in the Marais, you could have a very nice time indeed at Ambassade d'Auvergne, which has the best chocolate mousse in town, besides what comes out of my kitchen. There is good cheese here, and also very nice "digestifs", such as Vieille Prune, etc. Sit upstairs, which is much nicer.

Oct 19, 2013
manouche in France

Good, moderately priced Le Marais and beyond

Second the opinion for Cafe des Musees, and also the negative one for Chez Janou - whose quality has decreased as the "m'as-tu vu?" factor has increased (ie, rapidly and apparently irrevocably).
Ambassade d'Auvergne was good the other night, and is a reliable go-to spot.

Sep 23, 2013
manouche in France

A la Biche au Bois - near Opera Bastille, monday night

Le Bistrot du Dome is no more. It's gone Italian - "Something-de-Venise". Completely re-done, re-opened early this year. Have never been to either, but live nearby.

I would definitely book for La Biche - September is a busy month.

Aug 27, 2013
manouche in France

French-English Menu/Carte Translations

sunshine - loved the "sans arrete" story...

Ma Bourgogne lists the foie gras entree as "liverwurst" - but the price is definitely "gras"!

Aug 27, 2013
manouche in France

Vandermeersch- is it worth another try?

We made the trek to Vandermeersch last October, during the week - I forget which day, but by the time we arrived, it was early afternoon. By that time, only a few of each size kouglhoffs were left. We got a small one and a few different breads.

To answer your question: The kouglhoff was OK, but far from being the nec plus ultra we expected. It was just OK, the crumb was far too dry to be interesting.
The breads were better - but not worth a trip across town - and the very nice shopping bag is very handy.
Would we do it again? No.
Best kouglhoff in Paris: Pierre Herme, hands down.

Aug 27, 2013
manouche in France

Help- Restaurants in Paris- end of August

Had lunch at Cafe des Musees yesterday - they will be closed the first 3 weeks in August.

Jul 24, 2013
manouche in France

Pradier

Stumbled on the new Pradier boutique, on ave FDR near Champs-Elysees. Was voted Best Religeuse au chocolat - with good reason! Dark chocolate, with a good touch of salt...I am spoiled for life. Good thing they're about 1/3 the size you find everywhere else.

Jul 21, 2013
manouche in France

Marais recommendations (with kids)

The Bastille market has a good crepe stand - both sweet crepes and savory buckwheat galettes. The paella guy is pretty decent, for street food...not crazy about the other ethnic offerings here, though. Note: the hours John posted are "correct", however, the market really starts to wind down around 13h30, so it's best to go before then.

Le Moulin de Rosa, corner rue de Turenne and rue du Foin, has very good butter croissants - better than Mulot's - as well as good breads and other deliciousness...

May 25, 2013
manouche in France

Poilâne bread

dlc- agree with "sliced is death", but you must admit that even dead Poilane from either brother is far superior to the bread many non-Parisians can find at home, non?

May 20, 2013
manouche in France

Moissonnier in the 5th? Rendezvous aux Camionneurs in the 4th...

Thanks for the really great news!

May 19, 2013
manouche in France

Poilâne bread

Many Monoprix stores sell sliced Poilane bread. You might also find it in G7 groceries. Unsliced loaves are available in Poilane shops. Just so you know, there are two "versions", made by two brothers: Poilane and Max Poilane. I can't find any real difference between the two.

May 19, 2013
manouche in France

Moissonnier in the 5th? Rendezvous aux Camionneurs in the 4th...

Wondering if anyone has been to Moissonnier lately, and what's the current state of affairs? We both remember liking it very much indeed, when we ate here about 20-some-odd years ago...Hoping for a decent meal, elbow-to-elbow with other appreciative diners.

Walking around playing tourist the other day, and stumbled on RDVC on Quai des Orfevres. Tiny little place, turning out high-class dishes with very good service. A perfectly cooked slab of Bar, fresh spinach with pine nuts, grapefruit beurre blanc; Noix de Saint Jacques baked in the shell with just a touch of cumin cream, under a very clever pastry cap; dense, dark, deconstructed tarte au chocolat with orange marmalade and Grand Marnier ice cream; a pichet of the house red; a couple of digestives - Vieille Prune and Bas Armagnac - then two coffees, because it was still raining - and the total for 2 very happy people was 125EU. I might just stop cooking on Sundays and go here, instead...

May 17, 2013
manouche in France

August ................... urgh!!!

lafourchette is going to be getting interesting, according to today's paper...seems the site will now require that the restauranteurs give a discount of between 30 to 50%, instead of the usual 20% - with no possibility of down-sizing portions! I would venture a guess that many places may choose to opt out of this reservation system...stay tuned!

May 12, 2013
manouche in France

Solo Female Diner- need help!

ChefJune,
I would certainly not stand for a table that didn't suit me, whether alone or otherwise - am completely with you on that. However, it has happened recently in Paris, in two instances to solo diners we know. The woman speaks OK French, the man none at all; one was at a well-known wine bar, the other was at a touristy bistro. Each person was pointed to a table in a corner - though not behind the kitchen - and promptly left for dead. It can happen.

Another reason to reserve 2 for 1 is if one is making an on-line reservation. Many times, entering 2 will get you a table, whereas 1 will come up "nothing available".

May 11, 2013
manouche in France

Solo Female Diner- need help!

Philou is terrific for a solo diner - the space is small, and you won't feel alone or ignored.
Cafe des Musees is also a great choice, for the reasons listed above - plus, if you are seated in "le coin des voisins" up front, you get to watch all the action in the tiny kitchen.
Goes without saying: reserve, reserve, reserve.

A good tip for solo diners, who might fear being seated in some forgotten left-over corner of a restaurant, is to reserve for 2 people. When you arrive, simply explain that your companion couldn't make it, and dine happily and well.
No harm done to the resto, since the table is the same size, especially if you order a sufficient amount to eat and drink.

May 10, 2013
manouche in France

Sunday Brunch (Mother's Day)

What about Elizabeth's, in Bywater? Don't know if they are doing a Mother's Day brunch, but the normal breakfasts there are extravagant and wonderfully tasty. Never have room for desserts, though the Red Velvet Cake always looked good. We love this little place - so does everybody else - so go early.

Apr 09, 2013
manouche in New Orleans

Trying new restaurants this visit. Am I making a mistake???

Hey topeater - if you are still looking, you might have a look at Boucherie on Jeanette St, just off Carrollton Ave. We got sidelined there and never made it to Freret St!
Mussels with Collard Greens in cider vinegar/duck reduction, Shrimp with grit Cake in some sort of unholy - but in a good way - light tasso gravy, Duck Confit with hyper-crisp skin. Cafe au Lait ice cream was very good, but they had run out of the chocolate-Thai chili pie...thank goodness.
Just way too much good food in this town!

Apr 09, 2013
manouche in New Orleans

Trying new restaurants this visit. Am I making a mistake???

We were at La Petite Grocery last Wednesday for lunch. Here's what we had - mostly a bunch of appetizers, since we're light eaters - and liked a lot:
cream of celeriac and shrimp soup, marinated anchovies, mixed greens salad, celeriac and apple salad, beet and crayfish salad (the only "meh" dish of the bunch), roasted cauliflower with fried capers, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, baked oysters in cornmeal. Decent bread, and a good but price-y wine list.

I can see why some might not find this exciting, but if you are into quality vegetables - they grow much of their own produce - and trying to avoid that good New Orleans gravy, this is a great restaurant. For dessert, we split a cornmeal cake, which was delicate and not too sweet. And also the cayenne ice cream, with dark chocolate sauce and praline'd peanuts - this was sublime!

Sylvain is pretty good, but I just can't deal with the bar atmosphere when I'm trying to eat, so have not really enjoyed this place.

Have been hearing good things about Wayfare, and are planning to try it this weekend during Freret St Festival.

Apr 05, 2013
manouche in New Orleans

How far in advance can I reserve?

Yesterday would have been good... Really, the sooner the better, and bon appetit!

Nov 15, 2012
manouche in France