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From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Talloires is indeed on our itinerary. Sounds like a beautiful place indeed. Btw, any thoughts on Yvoire?

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Thanks for this report - I'm glad to hear that the town relaxes in the evening. Clos de Sens is on the shortlist!

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Great to know that the standard continues even after Pere Bise's passing.

Ferme Lormay looks amazing! If not this time, definitely on next trip.

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Thanks to all the suggestions in this thread! Looks like Annecy is high up on everyone's list, crowds or not.

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Thanks for this, Parnassien!This is super helpful to know. We're not usually summer travelers (no kiddies on the distendedbelly front.. well maybe food babies).. but Annecy is rainy in the fall, so we thought June/July would be a better time. We're there on a weekday, so hopefully the town won't be mobbed.

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Very high praise for this ferme auberge! Thanks for sharing this recommendation. Love your description of the cheese drip-drip-dripping!

Mar 14, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Hotels & Restaurants in Bordeaux

I don't have much to add to this discussion, as I've never been, but Bordeaux has been hovering near the top of our To Visit list for the past few years. I've gathered a ton of information just from this thread alone! Merci for everyone's very nice snapshot of Bordeaux.

Mar 12, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

From Bourg en Bresse to Annecy, Talloires, or .. Chambéry?

Thanks to to the helpful recs we received in the thread re: Valence to Laguiole, I'm now wondering if I could reach out for some additional advice just north east of Valence:

Driving from Bourg en Bresse (which I also found very few recs on this board for - reports recommend Mâcon and Cluny instead?), we're looking to bunk down in Annecy. As everyone agrees, it's a very beautiful spot. There are a few nice restaurants to choose from in the area, namely: Clos des Sens, Ciboulette, and across the lake: Pere Bise, Marc Veyrat, etc

As we're going in early summer, I'm guessing the town will likely be super busy (mobbed?), with crowds and conga lines galore. Is this true, or am I totally off? Is visiting Annecy in July the French equivalent of visiting Lake Como in the summer? (for reference, our past visits incl Sarlat & Carcassonne.. both lovely, but are mobbed and insanely touristy - not what we're looking for)

At the moment, I'm looking at Chambéry - which looks like a pleasant town, with minimal crowds. However, there seems to be a dearth of notable restaurants in Chambéry .. and I couldn't find any mention of the town on this board. Has anyone been?

What lovely towns would you recommend to eat/stay outside Annecy (en route to Grenoble, as that's our next stop) with noteworthy restaurants? Side note: Megeve would have been another option, but Flocons de Sel is closed on the days we're there (sad face). Or - is Annecy relatively mob free in June/July - in which case, we'll just stick with it?

(if pointers veer off the topic of food, please feel free to drop a line via email)

ETA: For reference, we're seasoned travelers to Italy, and know which areas to avoid during peak season (eg Como, Cinque Terre, Amalfi etc - visited on early trips, and not what we're looking for these days anyways). It's not our first time to France, but admittedly we're new to some regions, and have not traveled to France during this time period.

Thanks again!

Mar 12, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

Thanks for this. This is a very nice write up of what there is to do in the Massif Central.. appreciate your detailed response.

As mentioned before, we are primarily food travelers. If the town or scenery is breathtaking or charming, but without some great dining options, we would likely drive further to the next stop for some good meals ..

Mar 10, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

Thank you everyone that contributed to this thread!

This is a nice list to go through. We're researching each suggestion. Haven't made a final decision yet - but we are glad that to have these recommendations to help us make that decision.

Here is a summary of the hotel-restaurants mentioned in this thread:

* Phillippe Brun in Alleyras
http://www.hotel-lehautallier.com/

* La Bougnate in Blesle
http://www.labougnate.fr/

* Sergie Vieira in Chaude Aigues
http://www.sergevieira.com/restaurant-serge-vieira-iphone/serge-vieira-pages-fr/serge-vieira-restaurant-hotel-01.htm

* Le Pre Bossu in Moudeyres
http://www.auberge-pre-bossu.com/activites.php

* Hotel Radio in Chamaliere
http://www.hotel-radio.fr/

* Hotel Remise in St. Urcize
http://www.hotel-restaurant-aubrac.fr/

Mar 10, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

At this point, we're now willing to drive a bit longer to reach somewhere with a worthy restaurant (we are food travelers first & foremost afterall) - let's say up to 3 hours from Valence.. and hopefully within 2 hours to Laguiole.

From this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896960#7998155 Ptipois had mentioned some restaurants in Vichy and environs (like this one http://www.castel-hotel-1904.com/ ). It's a 2.5 hr drive from Valence, but if someone has tried and/or highly recommends somewhere to eat & stay in this area, we'll probably bring that into consideration as well. Claremont-Ferrand sounds like an interesting town..

Mar 08, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

Thanks for this rec - logistically Alleyras would kinda work (2.5 hours from Valence, 2 hours to Laguiole). We'll look into the town and restaurant.

Mar 08, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

Thanks for the recommendation! However, St Bonnet le Froid is a 3 hour drive to Laguiole.. pushing it just a bit!

Our schedule is such that we can't press on to Laguiole from Valence. Mainly because the drive from Grenoble to Valence to Laguiole is really too long.

Sorry, I must clarify that I'd prefer not to do back to back 3 star dinners - nothing to do with heavy food (looking forward to having the gargouillou at Bras), would just prefer to spread the experiences out.

Sounds like you enjoyed your meal at Bras. Should also note that Michel is not in the kitchen anymore, it's mainly Sebastien during dinner service, with Michel possibly checking in the mornings..

Le Puy (from street view anyhow) doesn't look all that bad.. lots of narrow cobbled streets, looks somewhat charming. Just wondering if Tournayre is worthy of a stop or not..

And speaking of PG - we thought his dishes were (for lack of a better word) interesting. Mostly bitter notes in our tasting menu when we had dinner here. The most memorable part of the dinner were the little dessert bites.. which turned out to be savory.

Mar 07, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Driving from Valence to Laguiole - suggestions for overnight inbetween?

Good day fellow CHers:

I'm wondering if anyone could help:

We are looking for a town to stay between Valence and Laguiole. We will be driving from Grenoble to Valence (lunch at Le 7), and then from there we're kinda stuck wondering where to stay the night to break up the drive en route to Laguiole.

I've considered Roanne for Troisgros, but as we will be dining at Bras, it's not an ideal situation doing back to back heavy hitter dining in such a short period of time.

I have also considered Le Puy, but eating options seem a bit slim there, and some reports here suggest the town is a bit too foreboding. Also, the restaurant mentioned in several search results on this board, Francois Gagnaire, is closing at the end of this month (there is one other restaurant, Tournayre - mixed reviews). Le Puy woudl have been the best logistical stop, as it's 2 hours from Valence, then 2 hours to Laguiole.

Is there a lovely town between Valence and Laguiole, with a recommended restaurant? Past searches have also suggested Faurie.. but it's a long drive the next day to Laguiole. Looking for something less than 2.5 hours to Laguiole. Ideally: Valence to (proposed town) - less than 2 hours, and then proposed town to Bras, less than 2 hours.

(Side note: we've done Lyon twice before, so we are looking for something new to visit this time, hence not bringing up Lyon on this stretch)

Appreciate any guidance!

Thanks in advance,
db

Mar 07, 2014
DistendedBelly in France

Seeking Advice for Parma and Environs

Re: Caffe La Crepa, Osteria della Villetta, dal Pescatore

We managed to eat at all 3 places last October. It's been so long now, but here's what I can remember of the 3:

* Caffe La Crepa: Family run, locally sourced ingredients, charming establishment. The restaurant started off as a gelataria - infact, you can still see the ancient equipment in the property. Tbh, I can't quite remember what we ate (dishes were fine, but not incredible). IIRC I had a lake fish pasta (ok, nothing spectacular). But I do recall having a fantastic gelato based dessert at the end, which we learned was made by the father.

Bonus: If your Italian is shaky, the son speaks almost perfect English (better than our menu-based Italian anyway!). Through him, we learned all about the restaurant's history, and were given a tour of the restaurant and cellar. All in all, it was a good meal. If you are in the area, it's worth a stop (but not a detour).

* Osteria della Villetta in Palazzolo sull'Oglio
Now this is a destination osteria. It was our favourite from our trip 2 years ago, so we decided to return last year since we were in the area (well, we were staying in Brescia). The first time we went, it was nothing short of a revelation. Chef Maurizio chose all our dishes for us, and we were given a quick snapshot of what the area had to offer - notably beautiful pours of franciacorta, delightful secondi of lake fish (iirc perch), and a lovely parcel of cabbage and meat (sorry, this description is vague, but this was already a few years back, and I don't have my notes with me). To end, we had the most intense and creamiest gelato (only nitro ice cream rivalled its creaminess) that we still talk about to this day (it was also served in conjunction with Pistoletto's colour wheel graphic card attached to the serving bowl - nice touch, juxtaposing modern artist with such a traditional restaurant).

The second time we visited (last year), the food was still good.. but seemed to be a notch down from the first experience. We'd later find out that Chef Maurizio was not in the kitchen that night (the kitchen was also slammed too - every single seat was filled on this Thurs evening). Still, I would recommend this restaurant in a heartbeat. The restaurant's interior is charming, the food delicious, and the service was graceful (nobody spoke English btw).

* dal Pescatore
The dishes were fine: mostly classics of the area: (again) lake fish, ravioli, risotto (best dish of the tasting menu). The setting is in the Santini house (the entire family was there the night we dined: daughter at the front, Chef Nadia in the kitchen, sons manning the floor. The setting is very formal. Everyone was a gracious host, and chef Nadia personally came out to bid everyone buona notte when service wrapped up.

I'd recommend if you're feeling like something more upscale. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a Michelin 3 * restaurant - clean plating, serene and upscale room, choreographed service, beautifully plated food.

*** Also in Brescia: we had the most AMAZING pastries from Pasticceria Veneto. Tbh, there have only been a few pasticcerias in Italy that have won us over (guess we're more fond of butter & French pastries.. ), and this was one of them (the others being Andreotti in Rome, Perbellini in Bovolone, la Bottega del Cioccolato in Florence, and Pasticceria Torino in Parma - yes, we are sweet tooths!). It is *truly* worth seeking out. We had a nice selection of small pastries, and they were all fantastic and skillfully made. If you're there Oct or later in the year, would also suggest picking up the signature panettone that they (pastry chef Massari) make - it's totally worth making the space in your luggage for!

Aug 21, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Rome dinner advice sought

Hostaria Glass in Trastevere

http://www.glass-restaurant.it/

In a nutshell:

- Not far off, easy to walk / cab to if you are staying within the ring

- Sleek, serene, understated room.

- Rated 1 *

- Pricepoint: 2 tasting menus to choose from: €70/€90 - which, given the level of cooking, imho is a bargain

- No jacket required - we were dressed in smart casual, but did see people in flip flops

- Food is fantastic (Chef Bowerman does the fresh/seasonal/regional well), with modern touches.

Jul 27, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Amatrice for Amatriciana

This is good to know.

It's all about the sourcing of ingredients when trying to recreate these iconic dishes at home, so we'll definitely pick up some vac packed guanciale to bring back with us.

Jul 26, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Amatrice for Amatriciana

Thanks for the rec, LifeItalianStyle (nice blog btw)! I have read (an oooold article) about Hotel Roma's amatriciana, so it's good to hear another recommendation for it.

We'll be passing through on a Friday. I'm guessing reservations are advised?

Jul 26, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Amatrice for Amatriciana

Thanks for the pointers, Maureen! As crickets chirp in this thread, I guess no one else (at least on CH) has driven through this small town. No worries, I'll either book Lo Scoiattolo or see what looks good as we're walking through the town (mental note to look for the trattoria on the corner of the main drag!).

Alas, we're not there when the amatricana festival happens.. may I ask you how that went? I am a HUGE amatriciana nut (it's my go to pasta whenever I'm in Rome) - the sagra dell' amatriciana may be something to do on our future trips.

Cordiali,
db

Jul 25, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Amatrice for Amatriciana

Trying to research a place for lunch in Amatrice, since we're driving through the area, and we love amatriciana.

Not many restaurant reviews online however, so I'm not sure where would serve a good one?

So far, 2 places:

* Plotkin recommends La Conca
* My old (2011) Osterie guide recommends Lo Scoiattolo

Would love some other recommendations.. or if you've tried the above restaurant(s), are they decent?

Much thanks in advance!

Jul 24, 2013
DistendedBelly in Italy

Cronuts that good???

.. just like the DKA, let the hype die, then go try.

May 29, 2013
DistendedBelly in Manhattan

According to Gawker, Robert Sietsema has been laid off from the Voice

May 29, 2013
DistendedBelly in Manhattan

"___ (insert restaurant, deli, eatery etc)___ has an outpost in NYC."

@GoodGravy: Is the Priestly *really* available!? Nice!

@kathryn: link doesn't work

Feb 22, 2013
DistendedBelly in Manhattan

"___ (insert restaurant, deli, eatery etc)___ has an outpost in NYC."

Adding to the list:

* Obikà - Rome

Feb 21, 2013
DistendedBelly in Manhattan

"___ (insert restaurant, deli, eatery etc)___ has an outpost in NYC."

A visit to NYC is like a million visits in one - you get the classic NYC items, the hot new places.. and not to mention the mini trips to other parts of the world, via the various outposts that NYC has.

Thought I'd start a thread detailing the outposts that NYC has of various popular and/or famous eateries (restaurants, delis, cafes, food shoppes, etc). It's quite often I learn of an outpost that has opened, or has been around for a while, but doesn't get much mention here. Should be interesting to see just how many one didn't know existed til mentioned now.

Here are a few (very obvious ones) off the top of my head (please correct city of origin if I am incorrect):

* Laduree - Paris
* Aamans - Copenhagen
* Eataly - Torino
* Hospoda - branch from Ambiente Group, Prague
* Antica Pesa - Rome
* Blue Bottle Coffee - SF
* Stumptown - Portland
* Brasserie Pushkin - Moscow
* Eric Kayser - Paris
* Japadog - Vancouver
* La Maison du Chocolat - Paris
* Hakkasan - London
* Grom - Torino
* Ippudo - Fukuoka
* Mission Chinese - SF
* Pok Pok - Portland

Feb 20, 2013
DistendedBelly in Manhattan

Like to confirm Cafe Briezh opening time for Saturday afternoon

Went on a Sat afternoon around 330, 4pm. The place was empty.

If in doubt or if you don't want to arrive disappointed, just ask your concierge to make a reso for you.

May 31, 2012
DistendedBelly in France

A week in HK ~ Please critique my dining plans [1st draft]

@TomEats: Thanks for your detailed response! No disjointed mutterings at all! Appreciate your input.

Does Tasty IFC have a line up as soon as lunch service starts? We are early risers, and are ok with getting there before the place opens (hate lining up!).

Good to know about Lei Garden. Cuisine Cuisine may fill that slot instead.

Will add the Chairman to the list. Going to make reservations for these.. assuming there are still spots left for the CNY Day 1, 2, or 3 days.

Re TLH - agreed that it looks a bit spacey in there. Reminds me of something from Firefly..

Cheers!

db

Dec 07, 2011
DistendedBelly in China & Southeast Asia

A week in HK ~ Please critique my dining plans [1st draft]

ETA:

AYCE dimsum lunch @ Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira is not on offer for the time we are there. They said it would start up again in February 2012.

Dec 06, 2011
DistendedBelly in China & Southeast Asia

A week in HK ~ Please critique my dining plans [1st draft]

It's been a while, but we're heading back to HK this Chinese New Year. I've gleaned some helpful pointers from this forum, but am also including some old favourites in the mix.

We are mainly looking for fabulous (can be either traditional or innovative) dimsum, one non Chinese dinner (Amber seems to fit the bill), and restaurants that are worth the plane ticket (mixture of $-$$$$).

Sidenotes:
-- Having traveled Italy extensively, I'm not all that interested in any Italian (eg 8 1/2)
-- Have done Yung Kee many times in the past, so am omitting for this itinerary
-- Used to also visit Sun Tung Lok frequently, but saw they dropped a star, so also omitting this time

So far it looks like

Lunches:
* Lung King Heen
* Tin Lung Heen (the room alone looks amazing)
* Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira - is the ayce dimsum in a different league than the dinner? (unless it's a beautiful Asian hotel buffet, we're not normally ayce ppl, but this sounds like fun.. and very cheap @ $198pp) - Would you recommend dinner vs lunch @ Cuisine Cuisine?
* Tim Ho Wan (no reservations?) - Mong Kok - Crispy buns, 正!!!
* Mak's Noodles - (which one though?)
* Australia Dairy (salivating at the thought of cold butter bor lor bao and milk tea)
* Yan Toh Heen @ the Intercon? (Not decided.. perused on openrice, and it looks good)

Dinners:
* DTF - TST branch
* Amber
* Arirang (love Korean bbq)
* Tasty .. IFC, Hung Hom, or Kln Bay? Reservations accepted?

At a standstill at the moment.. still have a few days and a few dinners to fill in.

Some questions Im hoping someone could please help:

* Looking for a good hotel dinner buffet. Can anyone recommend a good one? Used to enjoy the Sheraton, New World Hotel (yes, it's been that long, even the name has changed), Kimberly Hotel, Spice Market etc

* Is Ming Court (Langham) better for lunch or dinner?

* Tim's Kitchen for dinner - I couldn't find on Openrice (maybe I wasn't looking hard enough)..has anyone been recently, and is the clientele mainly locals or tourists?

* Lei Garden for dinner - which one is the most highly recommended location?

* I like what I've read about Yan Toh Heen and Cuisine Cuisine - any other similar recommendations?

* Any recs for tong sui, bakeries (for classics such as bor lor bau, gai may bau, daahn taht), desserts, hole in the walls, etc?

Much thanks in advance for any help/hints/pointers!

Dec 05, 2011
DistendedBelly in China & Southeast Asia

Arpege?

To add to that, I was also asked at Les Creations de Narisawa earlier this year.

I don't think it's an unreasonable request. If you can't make it, the least you can do is let the restaurant know.

Dec 01, 2011
DistendedBelly in France