Rio Yeti's Profile

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Ice cream

The high-tech system is not mine, it's dietndesire's !

When Amorino first came to Paris I liked it, but soon I preferred the other unnameable, so I haven't tried it for a few years... If I remember correctly the texture of their ice cream was incredibly smooth, but kind of too sweet... but again, it's been a while.

Jul 21, 2015
Rio Yeti in France
1

Ice cream

So... after checking his website and Google, to be sure it was open, I shlepped all the way to Christian Constant to find a closed shop. No sign, no nothing... just closed. So I don't know if their closed for the summer (which would be weird since there was no sign), or just today...

Having crossed half Paris for ice cream, I walked to another contender in this thread : Le Bac à Glace, on rue du Bac.

I hate comparing things, but since this was specifically a comparison trek, I only took flavors I had before at Grom (with my sister helping me out).

- Strawberry
Pretty good. Good texture, but very sweet. Miles... no Kilometers away from the strawberry at Grom (which is in my opinion their star).
- Vanilla
This was plain meh. The vanilla was very mild, nothing to do with the intense spice of the one at Grom, and the flavor was altogether boring.
- Caramel beurre salé
This flavor was ok, while a bit weird. It was very milky but not necessarily in a good way (like powdered milk).
- Hazelnut
The only flavor I never had at Grom, was one of the best today. Again it was very sweet, but the hazelnut flavor was intense and addictive.
- Pistachio
The other star of the day, and the only thing I tasted that came close to the flavor at Grom, although, again, sweeter (which makes me baffled that some people think Grom is overly sweet...). But pretty great.
- Whipped cream
I'm a sucker for whipped cream, so I had some also (which was kindly comped because I didn't have enough change). Very thick, but not as thick and rich as the one at the ice cream shop that must not be named (but which I've already named 6 times), and most importantly, lacking the small matured taste which I like.

Now before I wrap up this post, I'd like to point out that unlike previous posts where I fully admit to hair-splitting, it is not the case here. In fact I would say that if I had eaten at this shop by chance, I would probably have thought "Oh, this is pretty good ice cream" and then never think about it again or wish to come back.
This was good, this was artisanal, but this was nothing special.

If I was to take the rating system by dietndesire, I would say :
BR = 20
Grom = 60
Bac à glaces = 45

(this is purposely tongue in cheek, but you get the point).

I'm still really looking forward to tasting Christian Constant, as well as the other contenders in this list (maybe I'll phone them before, just to make sure they are open).

Jul 21, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

Well... I'm trekking today, so we'll see!

Jul 21, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Wild Goose chases wanted...

Reminds me of a "yuba" soft serve ice cream I had in Kyoto. I didn't expect to like it, but was curious. Mrs. Yeti was sure she wouldn't like it so she passed... then stole a lick, and bought another one for herself.

Jul 20, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

True, it probably has to do with my upbringing. For me ice cream was never something you would go out of your way to get, it was just a nice treat in the hot summer (and more often than not, in other countries). Whereas in my family you would go out of your way for a dessert or pastry !

Obviously I'm trying to change that, hence the posts in this thread !

Jul 20, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

Wow, here I go watch a movie and when I come back this happened ! I thought my ears were ringing at some point...

@Ptipois
Ok, next time I go to Bordeaux I'll come back for advices (except I don't know when that will be, because my bordelaise friend now lives in Paris...).

@mikey8811
Thanks for the input. If everything goes to plan (busy week), I'm meeting my sister at Constant's in a couple of days.

@dietndesire
I live in Paris and always have. Part of my family moved to the USA, so I visited since I was a child. But as Ptipois said, there once was a Baskin-Robbins near Mabillon (in fact I just realized it changed to Ben & Jerry's, although I probably passed in front of it a bunch of times... but never paid attention to the difference).
I never was an ice-cream kind of guy, which may explain my lack of Parisian ice-cream knowledge... So we'll see if an epiphany awaits...
As for the question about air conditioning, I'm not sure where you're going with it... but right now I'd love to have it in my apartment !

@JohnTalbott
That is very kind of you to say, but I'm afraid it's not true. I'm just the rookie here.

@mangeur
Again, thank you for those kind words... but I'm only beginning. It's easy to post about what I know and have seen and make it seem like it's a lot, but really my passion for food is relatively new, and I'm sure even by living here I haven't been to half the restaurants you did... (and being a broke artist doesn't help) !

The ice cream adventures continue... with this heat, it won't be hard to try all the recs on this post pretty fast !

Jul 19, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

Ok, actually I also like Grom's sorbets better than their ice creams, so I guess my brain dials will be properly calibrated !

Jul 19, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

Ouch... Ok, duly noted. I will go have some Constant ice cream soon. Better be good !

P.S.: I'm a Parisian born, Parisian raised fellow. Not saying this to amp up my street cred, just to answer your question.

Jul 19, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

Ok, I am not an ice-cream specialist, and I've yet to taste most of the recommendations on this thread. But I just can't watch my beloved Grom getting a beat down and not do anything.
So here goes.

I only tried the Grom on rue de Seine in Paris, so I don't know if all Groms are created equal or not.
The strawberry ice-cream that is only available in the summer, is in my opinion totally amazing. I tastes like the purest essence of the best strawberries you could have. I really don't see where it would be overly sweet, unless you think good strawberries are overly sweet. When they have it and I get some with another flavor I always regret not getting only the strawberry, because nothing beats it.
The pistachio ice-cream also changed my perception of pistachio ice-cream. No fake green, no almond extract which gives all pistachio desserts this artificial taste... just pure pistachios. I've tried the pistachio ice-cream at "Gelato del Marchese" which was lauded on a french radio show. It was really good, but didn't even come close to the intensity of Grom. Overly-sweet ? This flavor is almost savory, that's how little sweet it is.
The liquorice ice-cream, again not overly-sweet, and it doesn't taste like liquorice candy, it taste like you're chewing on liquorice wood, but just in ice-cream form.
The vanilla also is spicy as hell, nothing to do with what people assume when hearing vanilla ice-cream.

And I know that this is an ice-cream thread, but how can one pass on the awesome whipped cream at Grom ? Thick and rich, with an intense milky taste with just enough of a barnyard-y after taste, it's the best whipped cream I've ever had.

Is Grom industrial ? Maybe, who cares ? If I could go to the supermarket and buy ice-cream as good as Grom sold by Coca-Cola, I would. And frankly, industrial vs. artisanal is a false battle... how many times did I have icy and 'meh' ice-cream from supposedly artisanal shops in small places...?
Industrial, artisanal, traditional... this is so boring... just give me good ice-cream and I won't ask for your birth certificate.

So I never tried Constant, and I haven't been to Berthillon for at least five years (because I was fed up of thinking "I don't see what all the fuss is about" every single time I went, so I stopped).
Never tried Le Bac à Glaces, nor Sébastien Dégardin, nor Une glace à Paris.

So maybe I will have epiphanies once I try them... But this thread is making it seem like Grom is just another Baskin-Robbins, and that is so wrong I couldn't just stay there and watch.

Jul 19, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ice cream

"Far better than Grom though that is not saying much."

An arrow through my heart...

Jul 18, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Les Chouettes, Paris - report

I guess 'irresistible' must have a touch more... for instance I find the éclairs at Eclair de Génie irresistible. They're not only good versions of what an exemplary éclair should be, they bring it to the next level.

Now don't get me wrong, this Paris-Brest was great, delicious, and I would love to be having one right now, and if my local boulangerie had anything close to it, I would probably get fat very fast... But in my opinion it didn't elevate the dessert, it just made it pretty darn well. (which is already way more than a lot of desserts... hence the "hair-splitting").

Jul 17, 2015
Rio Yeti in France
1

Les Chouettes, Paris - report

Thanks Parnassien.

You're right I should have mentioned the beautiful space. We were seated at the big table right under the glass roof. There was light, and the acoustic wasn't too bad (but we were the pesky ones this day, so maybe our neighbors would disagree...). Unlike some places that have a particular ambiance that would clash with certain situations, I had the feeling that this place could suit many : group of friends, business meal, romantic (some tables on the sides felt more intimate).

Validation granted !

Jul 17, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Les Chouettes, Paris - report

As they say in those parts of the interwebs : "blush blush".

Jul 16, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Les Chouettes, Paris - report

If we were living in another era, my doorbell would have rung surprising me at a late hour, I would have stood up, leaving behind my typewriter, and then, with a suspicious step, my mouth would have opened : "Who is it ?"... No answer...

In front of my doorstep an envelope, a telegram, a message, a place, a timetable, a signature : John.

But we live in our era - at least I think so - and it's Parigi who sent me an email to setup a meeting with John Talbott and mikey8811. In other words, a good old fashion food-nuts meeting (the significant others being welcome at their own risk)...

The place ? Les Chouettes, in Paris.

---

- Cockles and marinated squid, artichoke and speck -
One tiptoes over this dish, a little bite here, a little peck there. It's soft, it's fresh, one doesn't get bored a second. A dash of acidity could have added a small lyrical phrasing to this discreet but complex dish.

- Guinea Fowl, fava beans, duxelles and offal -
Contrary to what was written on the menu, there was no rabbit today. But I'm not complaining, because this guinea fowl was a competitive waltz dancer. Tender and juicy, with a crackling skin only 15% too elastic, the bird had as dancing partners a "mushroomy" and "springful" herd which knew how to anchor itself on the ground for a clear tempo, all the while keeping it's lightness and grace needed for the ternary rhythm.

- Paris-Brest the irresistible... -
The chou dough was slightly crunchy, the cream was rich enough for it not to have to worry for its future, and the praline taste was intense and balanced. But, served on a plate, with a fork... I was expecting more. If I had bought this Paris-Brest in a bakery, I would have found it perfect. It's stupid, I know. I'm often the first in line to criticize desserts that want to show off, that stray from the original, that challenge our childlike gluttony with their snob reinterpretations. But in this case, I wish it was just a tad more... irresistible...

If you've read other reports of mine, you start to get it with my micro-cellular hair-splittings, and I hope you read between the lines of my "buts" (with only one "t" please !), and therefore understood that this lunch was a frank success. And I have to say, the company of joyful taste-buds-buddies only made things better.
On my blog I didn't dare finish my article by writing "Les Chouettes c'est chouette !", which means "Les Chouettes it's swell !", because it's too obvious a wordplay ("chouette" can mean "owl" our "swell"). But in english, there is no wordplay, just the use of an old fashioned word that tickles my beard and just happens to describe this place very well, so here it is again : Les Chouettes it's swell !

---

If you hate words but love colors, or if you prefer french words to their english translation, this is where it's at : http://www.chezfood.com/2015/07/11/le...

Jul 16, 2015
Rio Yeti in France
1

Michelin Starred in Paris with a 12 year old?

I will never forget when I was about 14 and tasted some beer from the glass of my grandmother at a Chinese restaurant in the US... It was so natural to me, not a big deal: "Yeah let me have a sip, ok now let's get on with our meal"... and suddenly the manager came and told us that if I tasted the beer again I would have to leave the restaurant... I'm still shocked to this day.

I've been tasting a little sip of wine or beer for as long as I can remember, it's part of the education of the palate, and nobody ever tried to get me drunk (although I have to admit those couple of sips of "Peach Champagne" when I was 6 got me pretty goofy). If a so called "manager" witnesses a child drinking like Hemingway, yeah, sure, go over and tell the family it's not appropriate, but being that uptight about a sip is beyond me...

So in short, yes, if your children want to taste a bit of wine, you shouldn't worry about the manager coming by.

Jul 16, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Le Dome for Boullibase?

Actually "boullibase" is a new one, and it could mean "basic porridge" (bouillie de base...).

We should hold a contest of how many names derived of bouillabaisse we can come up with !

Jul 14, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

Yes, yes... I know... but to be fair, I did my best to convey my own awareness of my overfussiness in the article ;)

I will try to translate it in english for Chowhound today.

Jul 14, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

Thanks PhilD.

It's true that when you read something like "sesame vinaigrette" or "lemongrass", which are usually bold tastes (sometimes too much), it accentuates the disappointment of not tasting the sesame or the lemongrass at all.

I think they were well executed dishes with lack of seasoning. Obviously we all have different palates and tastes, but the more one eats the food of various chefs, cooks, home-cooks, the more one tones his palate to understand what's going on in there. I don't doubt that one could have enjoyed the dishes I ate (although for the record, my friend didn't order the same food as I did), in fact I can't say I didn't enjoy them, but I think any Chowhound that would have been with me that day would have agreed with me (I know, it's a ballsy statement).

For instance, when we ate at Les Chouettes, I noted to mikey8811 that the appetizer could have been better with a little more acidity. He rightly noted that maybe I was expecting something akin to a ceviche, which the dish wasn't. He was right, and I didn't find that the dish "lacked" seasoning or acidity, I thought as a personal taste that it could have made it better, in my opinion. Here the issue is a bit different, as I am willing to state (ballsy again), that the dishes were "objectively" under-seasoned, and really that lemongrass was nowhere to be found.

But your point just makes me realize how subtle the difference can be between "dish A lacked B" and "dish A could have been improved with a little more B". I need to better focus my attention on those differences when I write in the future.

Jul 11, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

Thank you mikey8811.

I'm almost done writing the review of our lunch together ! (and I'm particularly proud of the pictures, especially the appetizer and dessert)...

To be continued...

Jul 10, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

Thank you Parnassien.
You are right about the fleur de sel, it was probably as simple as that.
One thing I didn't mention, and that may also have tarnished slightly the experience, is that I didn't find the waiter charming at all... in fact he kept pushing us the whole dinner to order "at least a glass of wine" which we weren't in the mood for. He did so with good humor of course, and made tons of jokes and little "winks winks"... but I found him pushy.
I don't expect a restaurant to match my own tastes, in fact I expect a restaurant to broaden my tastes by making me like things I wasn't expecting I would... In a sense that's even rarer and definitely needs some serious star alignment for it to happen.

I tried to be cautious with my critics, because it is a place with good quality food, and with clearly passionate people running it. And as you often say, each experience is set in stone to one particular time and place, and I am 100% sure that Ober-salé has all the potential to deliver a perfect dinner. But this night it really wasn't.

Jul 10, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

Thanks. I totally agree with you and Pti... It's hard not to sound pretentious sometimes, but when I once ate at Fuxia a "mushroom risotto" and said I could have made this risotto with my eyes closed... well... of course, I didn't have to add the "with my eyes closed" bit if I didn't want everyone to look at me like I was the biggest ass... But I suppose it just illustrates the frustration you're describing of eating out expecting something more, and being "denied" that.
Obviously I'm not comparing Ober-salé with Fuxia, and I'm pretty sure I don't have the skills of the chef, but there was still something lacking that night.

Jul 09, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Ober-salé - Rio Yeti report

I already talked about it on a few posts, but since I recently wrote the article about Ober-Salé on my blog, I thought I'd translate it for the good folks at Chowhound.

---

I said it, and I'm saying it again, it doesn't give me pleasure to pull a face while talking about a restaurant of this quality. There is no doubt that the chef has talent and is sincere, and the maitre d' and sommelier is passionate. There is no doubt that a meal like this, at this gentle price, is a rare thing.

But...

- Amuse-bouche -
Everything started well with the parsnip cream. Velvety and fragrant in its vegetable kind of way, it invited to the party without the froufrou some amuse-bouches tend to bring to the table.

- Erquy Scallops lasagna, celeriac, Guéméné andouille and sesame vinaigrette -
The scallops were mild and plump, the celeriac was mild and crisp, the andouille was mild and barely ballsy, and the vinaigrette was... mild and absent. The architecture of the dish made sense, the contrasts of the textures worked, but there was no boost, no zing, no electricity to brighten things up.

- Crunchy piglet belly with lemongrass infused jus and braised celeriac -
I'm not going to beat around the bush, the statement is the same. The meat was incredible, perfectly melting and crunchy as its name implied. But where was the lemongrass ? Where was the acidity ? And especially... where was the salt ?

- Crunchy praline and Alpaco black chocolate cream with Bahibé milk chocolate cappuccino -
Thankfully, the night ended well with this beautiful dessert which combined the right dose of gluttony, tenderness and just enough of the little finger raised towards the sky.

This report would probably surprise my fork partner who was more optimistic about the dinner. And don't get me wrong, Ober-salé is a respectable place which is well above average, and with a prix-fixe of 34€ for appetizer-entree-dessert, it's a great price-quality deal.
But how is it possible, with a name like Ober-"salé" ("salé" meaning "salted" or "salty"), to showcase such half-mast seasoning ? Maybe this evening, Guérande was on strike...

---

As always, if you want to check out what the dishes actually looked like, you can check the article in french at http://www.chezfood.com/2015/07/02/ob...

Jul 09, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Soup in a box, in a can, in foil?

I'm not a purist, but never liked box soups... they all tend to have a similar background taste that I can only describe as "fake onion taste mixed with cardboard"...

However I'm with you on the Alvalle gazpacho ! (and I live with a Spanish woman !). All the other "cold soups" they have are not great, but the basic gazpacho is really good.

Jul 07, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

Need help narrowing/expanding paris restaurant choices

Your choices seem fine, and I will let others with more specific knowledge on those places chime in.

But just a quick note : most if not all "no choice menus" restaurants will ask for preferences and allergies. Most of these restaurants will probably not even have brains or raw meat in the first place, and with foie gras being a known touchy subject, all of them will be able to replace the dish if you say you don't want foie gras. I would say that, maybe except a few very adventurous places like "Chateaubriand", you could do fine in almost all no-choice restaurants.

I'm just stating this so that you don't leave out a place that appeals to you just because you are afraid it's a no choice. If you prefer having a choice for other reasons, then there is absolutely no problem just choosing places with regular menus of course.

Jul 07, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

I hate to be *that* person...

If you are in the art business you should know what you like, and what you want to see... It should be more about the actual art than the place around it.

If I had to choose I would also probably choose the Musée d'Orsay because they tend to have the best temporary exhibitions in my view... and yeah the Louvre is huge, it's touristy, but it's still the m***a-f***ing Louvre.

Jun 30, 2015
Rio Yeti in France
1

I hate to be *that* person...

Interesting choices, most of them I've never heard about, and never seen mentioned on Chowhound, so if you go please report back, as it's always interesting to read about new places.

From your list, I take it you like very modern food and have no problem with molecular gastronomy.

If that's the case I suggest you read a few reviews about Toutain (which I personally love), Akrame (where I've never been but Parnassien is a fan, and he knows stuff) and of course Pierre Gagnaire if you're willing to spend the big bucks (but apparently you are) for a 3* experience.

Jun 30, 2015
Rio Yeti in France
1

Best pizza and pasta in Paris

Yes, that's the one I'm familiar with also...

Jun 27, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

crazy questions

I second what everyone has said. I will only add (to give you an idea), that almost every place in Paris is reachable by metro in about 35 minutes... If you're particularly unlucky with your destination, it could take up to a small hour to get there (if you need to change three metro lines and go to the opposite of town), but that's fairly uncommon.

Recommendation for Wine bars/restaurants in Belleville

Good to know that the food is surprisingly good ! I recently discovered Le Bar Fleuri for a wine glass before a concert, and loved both the place and the owner who insisted that everyone ordered a wine he would like (when I arrived he made me taste 3 different wines before choosing, and then when my friends arrived and said the usual "I'll have the same thing", he would say "No, what do you like." and would give information on a few bottles). He would also fill each glass to the very top, which may not be the best way to serve wine, but speaks of the generosity of the guy.

Jun 18, 2015
Rio Yeti in France

La Mare aux Oiseaux [Pays de la Loire] - Rio Yeti report

Haha thank you Parnassien, I've always wanted to be a pornographer !

Unfortunately I "miscalculated" the time it would take for us to get there, so everything was a bit rushed and we couldn't take the time to walk around or try the chalands... It's definitely worth going back and staying a few days in the area.

Jun 18, 2015
Rio Yeti in France