g

gowest's Profile

Title Last Reply

Rome report - Gina, Roscoli, L'Asino d'Oro, La Gensola and Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi

I can't take credit for stumbling upon Gina. A friend of mine who rents an apartment in Rome every year told me about it.

Beppe, was truly one of those moments where we were just desperately searching for something decent and walked by it.

The other places I need to thank the group of "Rome regulars" who post here on the board. Otherwise I would have never found them.

I do think it needs to be pointed out that Rome is a big city that despite its antiquities can be quite modern. It seems to me that so many people are looking for some type of "traditional experience" that doesn't exist - or at least not quite the way people imagine it.

I think if you really want to eat well there may need to be some concessions on the part of tourists that either the atmosphere or the food will not match their fantasy. Just my take on the situation after doing research and walking around various neighborhoods for a long weekend.

Sep 26, 2011
gowest in Italy

Rome report - Gina, Roscoli, L'Asino d'Oro, La Gensola and Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi

Hi All,

Just a quick report back on the couple of meals I had in Rome. Please excuse any spelling mistakes, I'm just too lazy to look it up. I ate very very well, was treated wonderfully by wait staff and barely saw another tourist at any of our meals. I do need to qualify that I speak Italian.

Gina: for those who aren't familiar with it, a tiny restaurant with a modern "ladies who lunch" vibe nestled next to the Spanish steps. (On the 2nd street to the left if you are facing them). They will also make picnic baskets to take to the park. I was by myself and had a delicious salad of roast beef, tomatoes and arugula. A perfect stop when you want something light and it is an off hour and you are in that location.

Roscoli: I had truly wonderful experience her for lunch by myself. Lovely waiter, incredible bread basket (6 types of bread), burrata with pomodori, crudo of shrimp, and two different glasses of white wine. It was expensive (the shrimp) but worth it. I highly recommend it. I was surrounded by Italians except for one group of Japanese women in the other room. I received a "starter" of fresh cheese and a desert of cookies with melted chocolate "on the house".

Roscoli forno: around the corner. Stopped in twice when we were in the neighborhood for snack. Once for a porchetta sandwich - divine on their focaccia not too salty and various breads.

L'Asino d"Oro - All I can say is RUN don't walk to the 12 Euro lunch deal at this restaurant. For 12 Euros a person you get: a bottle of water (each), a glass of wine each(red or white), an amuse bouche, a starter, pasta, and main. Deserts are extra and worth it!! There is NO CHOICE on the menu but the food is prepared so well. Even if you hated one of the courses it would be wort it.

We had: amuse of cheese of crostini with lemon oil. starter of soup with beans and greens, pasta arrabiata with fish in the sauce - fantastic -, and a main of braised octopus and a broccoli but not the normal type (the kind that is "pointy") which was sublime. Dessert was a sage and lemon infused tart (not the right word) with dark chocolate - exceptional. It was recommended to us by the couple at the next table who were regulars. I reserved by email. Everybody in the restaurant was Italian. Very modern in feel. If you are looking for "grandma" she is not here unless she is a sophisticated Roman "nonna" eating out with her friends. Perfect place to end up after a morning spent at the forum.

La Gensola - We had a truly marvelous time at this restaurant for dinner. Restaurant had an "old fashioned feel" with windows open and ceiling fans blowing. Clientele were mid-thirties and up, well dressed and in sizes from couples to groups of 6.

Friday night reservation 9:45 (we had been to the evening hours at the Vatican museum first) - restaurant was packed. We were seated in the first dining room next to 4 tables of regulars. Two of tables became "our friends" during the meal. On older gentleman "Il dottore", took us under his wing and gave us advice on what to order as well as let me place my purse on the extra chair at his table. The younger couple next to us who were one course ahead explained what they were eating, who to order the wine from, etc. Staff was BUSY but very friendly. The meal was delicious but do not expect white glove service/atmosphere. Even their regulars waited a loooooong time for the check and were joking about it.

What we ate: fried baby octopus, tuna meatballs in tomatoes, spaghetti al vongole, a pasta with squid, and a piece of chocolate cake with whipped cream. Everything was incredibly delicious. My only sadness was that we weren't a group of 4 people to order more items. I was dying to try a main fish but I was so stuffed I couldn't eat one more morsel. Our pastas were perfectly cooked and we couldn't help but remark that they tasted so incredibly different (as they should).
They called us a taxi as our hotel was on the opposite side of town and we didn't finish dinner until after midnight.

Beppe: charming cheese and wine shop located right at the entrance to the ghetto. We were starving, it was a weird hour and the only open places did not look good. Again lovely modern setting with fabulous wines by the glass. My boy friend had several glasses of a fantastic Barbaresco and I stayed to the whites as it was still so hot. A phenomenal cheese plate (all being perfectly ripe and some very interesting selections) and a large salad and we were full. this again was expensive but a really nice way to eat.

Please feel free to ask any questions.
We had a great time.

-----
La Gensola
Piazza della Gensola, 15, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

L'Asino d'Oro
Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

Sep 25, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

I found Da Michele when I was traveling with a friend. I was 18 and we were starving even though it was technically too early for dinner.

It was November, there was a mix of "guys" and a couple of ladies in fur coats and I thought how could we go wrong. No line, no Americans but this was in the days before the internet!

I will never forget 10 years later when it showed up on the front page of the dining/or travel section of the NYtimes.

Made me laugh.
It is delicious.
Not enough time on this trip to go back.

-----
Da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1, Naples, Campania 80139, IT

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

Great so we will eat where I want and try not to be worried that we are breaking dress code.

I always travelled with my grandmother who was very correct/old school in terms of dress. It is something that has just stuck with me all these years later.

Old habits are hard to break.

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

Well my boyfriend will be pleased to hear it!
He is very handsome in my eyes, but I still think Italian men in shorts vs. American men in shorts is a whole different ball game.
Don't even get me started on the loafer vs. teva shoes :)

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

I know, that is the problem.

I'm trying to weigh my eating experience vs. keeping him happy.

I would NEVER walk around any European city in shorts. Ever. I am not even remotely a fashionista either. It just isn't "done".

I have family in the restaurant business and completely understand the showing respect to both other diners and the establishment aspect of it.

Maybe I will just try to look extra fabulous, and joke with the waiters in Italian about it.

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

Thanks.
He is really a terrific guy but this issue is non-negotiable for him.
I don't care about it from a fashion perspective but when it interferes with my eating it is a whole other story!

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

An attire question for Rome - please don't laugh too hard!

The good: My wonderful, charming, handsome and sweet boyfriend (we are in our 40s) is taking me to Rome for a long weekend on Tuesday. I feel very very lucky.

The problem: It is going to be HOT.

He likes to wear shorts. Not "gym" shorts, but grown-up man shorts and teva sandals. I want to be able to eat lunches some where decent, but there is no way I am going to convince him not to wear shorts. Other than that he comes off as well "polished". He refuses to wear sneakers in Europe, "too American", but will wear shorts. I give up!

The question: How far can I push it with our restaurant choices given his attire?
He will wear pants to dinner but lunch it will be shorts every day.

I have lived in Italy. When I travel to Europe I am always "dressed" and often mistaken for a local in any city I am in be it Paris, Florence, Rome, etc. In hot weather I will be wearing a dress or a skirt during the day and cute flats. The last time I was in Munich three different people assumed I was Italian and started speaking to me in Italian first.

I have this vision of walking by some fabulous restaurant and not feeling dressed enough to go in. We have 4 dinners and 3 lunches.
Some of the places on my list are listed below. Any that I absolutely can not go into for lunch if he is wearing shorts? Any other suggestions?
Pierluigi
La Gensola
L'Asino d'Oro - lunch only
Tuna
Checchino dal 1887 - dinner only
Giggetto
Piperno
Roscoli

I'm not eating Pizza except al taglio. (I discovered Da Michele in Naples over 25 years ago and it ruined me for life)

-----
Checchino dal 1887
Via di Monte Testaccio, 30, Rome 00153, IT

Giggetto
Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A/22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

Piperno
Monte de' Cenci, 9, Rome, Lazio , IT

Pierluigi
Piazza Dè Ricci, 144, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

La Gensola
Piazza della Gensola, 15, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

L'Asino d'Oro
Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

Seeking name of restaurant in which I ate in or near Campo Stefano in Venice. Please help.

I ate at Acqua Pazza years ago and like you loved it.

Went back last spring for lunch and thought it was just "ok" at best.
Fine for location and we were starving but noting even remotely special.
I wouldn't bother.

We had a phenomenal meal at Gatto Nero on Burano on the Saturday before Easter with no reservation. I begged in my best Italian, told them I was an idiot for not reserving and they told me to come back in 45 minutes after which they seated my daughter and I outside. (It was not really an "outside" eating day but beggars cant be choosy!)

Service started out lukewarm until they realized I was going to order like an Italian and not like a tourist. Fabulous meal. Expensive, but not terrible considering what we ate. I think it was 90 Euros but the portions were tremendous and our server decided to love us. We had the baby shrimp from the lagoon over polenta, mussels and vongole, the crab in the shell (grancio? maybe, -need to brush up on my seafood italian), I had grilled sardines for a main (why can they not do this in ny?!) and my daughter had the largest plate of grilled langoustine I have ever seen. Maybe there were 12/14 on her plate.

Had a half a carafe of house white too.

Whole thing was superb and the place was packed with more Italians than not.

Sep 11, 2011
gowest in Italy

Rome in September what to do about carciofi

Thanks mbfant

I've already printed out your list :)

I will probably be back with a coupe of specific questions in another post.

Sep 01, 2011
gowest in Italy

Rome in September what to do about carciofi

Thanks.

I have mixed feelings about the "out of season" aspect.
When I lived in Italy one of the things I so enjoyed was the "arrival" of any produce at the market because it was suddenly "in season".

In NY real june strawberries are a treat, even though I find them to be a sensitive berry, so dependent on the proper amount of sun -(too rainy and they taste watered down) They taste nothing like the boxed kind you find during the rest of the year,

So I completely understand those who won't order items that aren't in season. As a traveller though I will have to bend my standards, although I will miss the alla romana style.

I will keep an eye out for porcini which I adore. Many years ago I went porcini hunting with Italian friends from Padua. It was so much fun and a delicious breakfast of porcini and chanterelles was had after hours of searching in the early hours of the morning!

Aug 31, 2011
gowest in Italy

Rome in September what to do about carciofi

I was last in Rome about 5 or 6 years ago around Easter.

I remember eating very very well.
Interestingly, I have a strong suspicion that I ate artichokes for every meal.

I don't mean as a part of every meal but literally as the "main" for almost all of them :)
I exaggerate a little but not completely - as I can remember only 2 meals that didn't "feature" artichokes.

I speak Italian, and would regale the waiters with tales of my love of artichokes and was given them in every available style. The rest of my family would order "proper meals".

Can I eat them in September when they are not in season? Will I see them on the menus and will they be as delicious as I remember?

Are there some other specialities that I will see mid-September that I will enjoy?
Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Aug 31, 2011
gowest in Italy

In praise of Bouley - large group celebratory lunch

I felt the need to write in about a lunch I had at Bouley this past week.

My family had a special occasion to celebrate and I earnestly searched for a "fine dining" restaurant that would seat up to 14 people for lunch in their main dining room. In general I feel that the "special" rooms various restaurants have end up feeling too corporate, or they charge you extra for a "special menu" which is not special or they just don't want the business.

I have family in the restaurant business and I understand that groups can be a problem. I specifically called for mid-week lunch in an effort to find somewhere that could accommodate us.

THANK YOU BOULEY!

The only top rated restaurant in Manhattan that was willing to seat us in the main dining room with the normal tasting menu. We had two tables right next to each other as they did not have one that was large enough for all of us.

Secondly, they could not have been more gracious to our two tables. Now I know people are going to cringe, but I brought 11 seventeen year old girls to lunch with me. Yes you heard me. :)

Granted they are polite, considerate - no loud voices, no cell phones, and appropriately attired, young ladies but even so, I wasn't sure how we would be received. Remember I was the only one able to drink so they were making no money on alcohol, usually a big help to the restaurants bottom line. We had two tables right in the front of the main dining room. Two of the girls were late, as they got lost downtown. and still we received excellent treatment ect ....

Also, we had two with serious nut allergies. The restaurant took it very seriously and they were able to enjoy the meal with us.

This was the first "tasting menu" many of the girls had experienced and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Everybody seemed happy and interested in the various courses, swapping plates and trying each others meals which liked to see.

The food, to be honest, I wasn't that focused on the food. I was concentrating on the girls. My food was very good. Some courses better than others. I hadn't eaten at Bouley in years and years so I can't even compare it to the "old" Bouley. They gave me a free second glass of wine, (different than the rhone white I ordered and very very good) and each table a free "extra" desert which as you can imagine was a big hit with the teenagers.

One thing I did notice was that during bread service they gave us at least 4 different types of bread. Everyone had a different favorite. I did read somewhere that they serve the butter too cold and hard which was true but not something that ruins a lunch for me. I loved the asparagus and one of my fish courses was a real standout. The beef cheeks got raves too. I've learned that for me great food is only part of the equation and that being treated well, good service and a beautiful room do make a difference.

The room is stunning. the pictures do not do it justice. Also, the chairs are very comfortable. Great for men, people who need back support, etc

For the record the girls loved the downstairs red rooms, which they had scoped out while visiting the bathroom, and they thought it would be the perfect place for a rehearsal dinner or special celebration. I concurred. I actually think you could use their "party room" and still have a lovely experience.

-----
Bouley
163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

May 27, 2011
gowest in Manhattan

Proposal trip (!!!)

Congrats I'm sure you will have a great trip.

I just ate at Cocottes and that is definitely NOT the atmosphere that you want to top off a day of romance and the food was mediocre.

I thought La Fontaine de Mars looked charming but didn't eat the food there so I can't tell you about that part but it was really atmospheric outside. Bon Accueil was on a nice street (again didn't eat there but walked by to check it out. Both had outdoor seating which if it is a nice night would be a must in my opinion.

Romantic tip: there is a very quiet bench you can sit on to watch the tower sparkle over the roof tops at night away from the crowds. It is on the avenue de la Bourdonnais btw Rue St. Domnique and Rue de Monttessuy -- you can see the sparkling tower away from the remainder of "bus load" tourists as it turns to dusk. I just did it and it was incredibly relaxing and romantic. I like that view of the tower much better than standing right underneath it, which you can walk and do for a minute or two but the bench is better.

May 02, 2011
gowest in France

uhockey's thoughts on Paris Restaurants - Part 1 - La Bigarrade, Le Chateaubriand, Le Cinq, Chez L'Ami Jean, Pierre Gagnaire

Just an FYI to those who are interested, our deserts for the lunch special the week of April 18th were the same minus the soufflé. As far as I can tell from the descriptions and pictures on the blog almost exactly the same from the petit fours to the chocolates.

Obviously the rest of the meal wasn't but I thought I'd mention it in case people were interested in the comparison.

You dinner looked delicious and the room seems much more appealing when lit for the evening.

May 02, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

It was a really nice evening.

I'd say what I was trying to express is that if you compared it to some of my other meals -- for example did a pure taste test in sterile environment with no "atmosphere" - the food wasn't as "good" all on its own.

The vegetables that accompanied my boyfriends fish were really pedestrian/cafeteria pedestrian. They weren't however part of my meal, and he didn't seem bothered by it.

So depending on who you are and what you are looking for - a beautiful evening vs. truly stellar food where every morsel is perfect the restaurant may or may not be for you.

Would I have enjoyed it as much if I had been with my mother vs. my boyfriend? Maybe not! Since romance was on our list the evening was influenced in a positive way because of the general ambience.

Apr 27, 2011
gowest in France

Returning to my beautiful, beloved Paris...

Contact George V and give them a list of your restaurants. Include which ones you'd like lunch vs. dinner and let them call for you. Also list them in order of priority of where you'd most like to eat. Give them times too: lunch 12:30 and dinner 9:30 etc. We found after big lunches we were not even remotely interested in food until 9:30pm at the earliest.

We didn't stay somewhere that upscale but our concierge made all of our reservations for us.
Also, I would suggest that you "over reserve" and then cancel with notice.

We got our reservation at Spring for a fabulous lunch with out much notice. Maybe 2 weeks and if your concierge has the freedom to say "hi they really want to eat at your restaurant here are all the possible free days" you have a better shot at it.

Also, don't bother with Les Cocottes, I really didn't think the food was worth it even though the atmosphere was fun and our waitress was lovely

Apr 27, 2011
gowest in France

Bakeries, Patisseries, etc open bright and early.

I swear I saw a Paul at CDG on Friday.
I don't think I was hallucinating although I was exhausted since I had only slept a little the night before - all the way at one end of the international Delta terminal.

Apr 24, 2011
gowest in France

uhockey's thoughts on Paris Restaurants - Part 1 - La Bigarrade, Le Chateaubriand, Le Cinq, Chez L'Ami Jean, Pierre Gagnaire

Ok so I went to the blog and looked at the photos too - thanks for being such a diligent record keeper.
Looks absolutely amazing, and I'd go tomorrow if I could, especially for the soft shell crab. I love that kind of dish!

Apr 24, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

I hear you, but compared to so many on this board I really don't qualify even a little. I went to at least a museum a day, sometimes two, but I think you aren't really supposed to talk about that stuff on this board and I'm not a big shopper.

Also, I was traveling with a new companion and didn't want him standing on a street corner furious with me because he was hungry and I wanted to walk another 3 miles to get to the perfect spot which may or may not be open. :0 My children will vouch that this experience is not fun!

Really compared to so many people my knowledge is not that deep. I also really used this board to pick my restaurants and I wanted to share back because we ate incredibly well AND had a very good "mix" of traditional, modern, casual, fancy, no-name, well-known etc and that was a key to us enjoying our experiences.

As a "tourist" the mix is what made our time so special. We had meals in many different parts of the city even though we were staying in the 1rst arr. and the walks home after those meals were really nice.

The wine bars we stumbled upon, Rubis at least, I had read about Baron Rouge and was standing at the Bastille market googling it to see if that was the market it was near.

Also, there are certain cities like Paris (and New York) where I think it can really make a difference to have some of your eating planned out ahead of time - otherwise restaurants can be completely booked. There is nothing worse to be standing on a busy block where 3 of the restaurants are packed with no tables available and the other 5 are vacant. You don't have to be a world traveler to understand where you should be eating!

There are other cities like Venice, that I know very very well and can go to with no reservations and no plans and not have problems or a bad meal.

I only had 4 reservations before I left, everything else was left up to chance. 1 dinner and 3 lunches - I've been working really hard all year and we literally slept in everyday until 10:45, got up, had coffee and went to lunch. I didn't have a single croissant the entire time I was there - that fact alone disqualifies me from true "foodie-hood"

I actually liked that schedule - we would lunch 12:30, museum, rest, museum, dinner 9:30pm, walk the streets of Paris until 1:00am and do it all again.

Apr 24, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

My experience was that the kitchen is "upstairs" .
I did not go "downstairs" so I don't know what the restaurant is like on that level or if it will change your experience dramatically.

If you are desperate for a view of the kitchen I can only offer up our experience, the reservation was for 12:30 at lunch and we were the first to arrive so we were able to pick any two top.

I don't think that the atmosphere of this restaurant is ruined by sitting next to other Americans. :)

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

i can see what you are driving at because some of what was going on in the dishes served was so subtle and nuanced and plain old "cool" that I didn't even bother to write about it. It is the "bubble gum" effect I referred to in the original post.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your meal when you do the report.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

uhockey's long-winded report on Boulangeries, Bakeries, Epiceries, etc.

I completely understand.
If I could fit it all in I would, I literally get to a point where I can't eat one more thing and I AM jealous.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

I didn't order ALC so I can't compare but I didn't notice that the meal was dumbed down at all. I think the most important part of any lunch special is that you don't "feel" as if you've "cheated" and I really didn't on any level - in fact quite the opposite. Some of the dishes were unbelievably good and the staff certainly treated us as if we had ordered a $1000 bottle of wine!

I'm glad I was able to experience the meal without breaking my bank account.

If you feel like taking me to PG for dinner ALC I'd be happy to do a taste test :)

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

uhockey's long-winded report on Boulangeries, Bakeries, Epiceries, etc.

So ..... I just don't understand how you can eat it all, physically :)
I'm jealous.
I will save all the info for the next trip!

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

Loved the atmosphere in part because it was light and bright and cool inside. It was unseasonably warm while we were in Paris.

Also I had our hotel make the reservation. I gave up making so many phone calls :)
The concierge even said that they have a hard time getting through too.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

Wednesday dinner: We ate at a charming Parisian apartment for one of those "supper club" dinners, (not hidden kitchen) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'm unsure if I am supposed to put the web-site up here so I will contact them first.

All I can say is that we had a truly unique evening and that I would do it again in a heartbeat. The people we met were an interesting group of British, French and Americans. It was really neat to be in a "real" apartment and a nice change not to head out to a restaurant for dinner.

Food was delicious but not all of it was "super gourmet". A casual style of dinner party rather than a showcase for gourmet cooking. I'm not sure what it is about the chicken but really it is so different in France. I asked the hostess and she said it was "free-range" but really it is more than that as I've had plenty of "free-range" chickens here and they don't taste anything like the one I had that night for dinner.

I found it on the internet, no reviews, no nothing and gave it a whirl. All I can say to others is that hidden kitchen is not the only game out there and I don't think it necessarily has to be the most "exciting meal" ever to have an experience that you will never forget.

It was a really a special evening. I encourage others to investigate and see what happens. There are a couple of lunch versions of this type of event too. Just google it :)

Thursday was our last full day in Paris.
Honestly we were stuffed.
I was not sure I could eat any more.
I had wanted to eat a special "cheese meal" but really just ended up way to full to eat another "real" meal again. Next trip :)

We headed to the 8th arrondissement, which seemed like the upper east side of Paris to me.

There are two really wonderful "house museums" there for anyone who is interested the museum jacquemart andre which has a great Caillebotte exhibit on right now (you should book a ticket on line) it is worth skipping the long line and also the Musée Nissim de Camondo.

We "winged it" food wise and ended up at Le Grand Cafe de la Poste. It is on bd Malesherbes
It was busy, very busy and as far as I could tell with locals. It is just one of the gazillions of cafes that you see every where in Paris. I had duck confit and my partner had salmon tartare and salad. We shared a small carafe of white - there were actually a fair amount to chose from on the list. The french father and son next to us both had hamburger and french fries with cokes. We had a to laugh at that scene - they were having an "American" meal and we ere having the "French" one. The restaurant was situated on a really lovely corner and was completely open, the perfect spot to sit given the great weather we had all week. Again friendly service and a nice meal was enjoyed. Honestly I really can't tell you how the food compared to other cafes as we didn't eat in any on this trip. It was good. We had fun. Everybody all around us seemed to be members of the "clean plate club"

Huitrerie Regis: we went here at about 9:45 for dinner - no reservation
Really some of the best oysters I've ever had anywhere. We also ordered a dozen shrimp, the only kind on the menu, and they were cooked and chilled perfectly.
We had a carafe of white (can't remember if it was a muscadet or chablis) and enjoyed our meal.
A perfect place to go when you have eaten too much for days but still want to head out for the evening. Our waitress was charming and really tried hard to explain the different choices of oysters to us.
A little place with adorable decor in a very busy section of St. Germain.
If you like oysters this is really a place that is worth a special trip. Quality was obviously better than the place we ate on Sunday for lunch. It was also a more limited menu and not the place for anyone who doesn't like oysters. It is really the only option.

So I think that is it.
I believe I've described everything we ate and drank on our trip.

We had a wonderful time. There were so many things I didn't get to eat and museums I didn't go into but hopefully I will be back again some day.

A big thanks to all who helped me to initially narrow my choices before I left.
Feel free to post any questions, I will try to answer them as honestly as possible.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

Wednesday:

Lunch at Spring in a word PERFECT.
If I had to pick I'd say it was my favorite. Remember the menu below is just what you are given there are no choices. Pretty extraordinary for 32 Euros. (cheese was extra but worth it - all perfectly ripe and they could tell you what each one was)

First of all my boyfriend really enjoyed watching the open kitchen. It was a new experience for him. If you get there early you get to pick your seat and not all seats have a great view of the kitchen which really added to the meal.

We were graciously attended to from the moment we walked in to the moment we left. No formality just a professional but casual attitude.

Menu:
white wine - nice and dry for my other half - he wrote it down so I don't remember what it was.
bread: a brown crusty roll (I ate 2!)
foie gras with citron marmalade and toast. Best I've ever had. Period.
first course: langoustine in white gazpacho with a piece of prosciutto or Iberian ham.
main course: duck breast (a whole breast deboned but with the skin still on and crispy) in jus with white asparagus, carrots, radishes and morelles. divine - really simple and perfect
cheese: we tried all the cheeses on the board. 2 blues - one english - goat - reblochon - brillat savarin - some other more aged goat in herbs - and at least 5 others which are escaping me. Sorry if I butchered the spelling of the cheeses.
desert: strawberries in "jus" with creme fraiche and a second of chocolate gelato

Truly a wonderful meal and a bargain
Lots of tourists for a small restaurant but not all Americans; a mix of nationalities and a table of "regulars" in the back.
I would say that if I lived in Paris it would be somewhere I would go (or at least want to go) frequently.
The flavors did not have the layers that exist in the food at Pierre Gagnaire but I did not feel that was what he was trying to accomplish - two very different styles of restaurants.

What I liked most about all the restaurants we ate ate was the sheer diversity of styles we experienced while still having excellent meals.

I have a couple more write ups to do but have to start my day. Sadly no excellent food on the agenda for me today just whatever I have lying around in my nyc refrigerator. And it is pouring and cold here :(

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Paris Trip Report: including Pierre Gagnaire, Chez Josephine Dumonet, Spring, Le Baron Rouge, Rubis, Huitrerie Regis, Les Coccottes, Le Tastevin and others

Tuesday night: Hadn't made any type of reservation because I wasn't sure that we'd be hungry after PG.

We came home after lunch and took a nap :)
Headed back out around 7:30pm. Beautiful evening for a stroll from our hotel near the Louvre towards the eiffel tower.

Walked and walked and then sat on a bench with a view of the tower. My boyfriend was getting hungry around 9:30-45.

We walked by the group of Christian Constant restaurants and settled on Les Cocottes. It seemed a good place because I wasn't hungry but he was and I saw people sharing dishes.
Very local crowd. Food was adequate. Atmosphere was great. Waitress was super charming and lovely despite the fact that I only ate an appetizer and a glass of wine.
My boyfriend had a salad and the scallops and I had white asparagus special. I thought mine was better than his.

If you are in the neighborhood fine, but don't make a special trip.
There are many charming looking restaurants all along Rue St dominique and near La Fontaine de Mars - I can't vouch for the food at any of these places but they had outdoor tables and great atmosphere. Just more of a meal than we were willing to eat that night.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France

Josephine Chez Dumonet Report

I saved the label - fished it out of the bucket and stuck it in my guide book :)
1983 Chateau La Tour Blanche 1er Cru Classe
It was almost double the price of the Barzac. Now I'm curious to try one of those too. You just don't see a big variety and scope of these wines in NYC. I will call around to some of the Boloud/Jean Georges restaurants and see what they have on the desert menu. If they have any I will try to run by one of them to have a glass at the bar and see if it seems like a similar taste experience.

The reason I was a tiny bit suspicious is that I wasn't sure it tasted "different" enough. I supposedly have a pretty refined palate (according to others in the business) just not a lot of knowledge for what it is worth. When you say totally different in exactly what way? That was the part that I wasn't sure I was experiencing but it is possible that I just needed a young wine next to it for comparison. I thought it was good, but in general I like "sweeter" wines. Have always been a huge fan of Rieslings, etc. Can't stand any wine that tastes like I am sucking on a plank of wood.

Loved all the whites I was offered in Paris. I found them in general to be "sweeter and less dry" than whites American's normally serve which was a huge bonus for me.

Apr 23, 2011
gowest in France