s

shakti2's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

'Getting a sense of place is part of the reason to visit a wine area.'

'Best approach is to hire a car, go for a drive, explore for a day, understand to layout [sic] of the wineries in the area, get a sense of placer [sic], and don't drink a lot. Then the next day spend the day in town drinking your fill with the geographic knowledge and understanding of the area to know which wines come from which area.'

These 2 sentences are not equivalent. I can't argue with the first one. The second one may be best for you but isn't helpful for others who may have practical restrictions or different preferences to yours.

about 5 hours ago
shakti2 in France

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

Yes, I'm afraid you'll need to plan around closures. I suspect the important sights will be open and busy (the hospice in Beaune, the ducal palace in Dijon) but at least some smaller businesses will make an entire long weekend of it.

Heading into the country may be a nice back-up plan after all - I'd discuss what's open with a tour operator and if it doesn't sound promising, you may want to forget about tasting and consider cycling instead. The Grands Crus route is 60 km of dedicated cycle paths passing through the classiest vineyards and prettiest villages from Dijon to south of Beaune - you could assemble picnic supplies the day before to avoid being hostage to unforeseen closures. Friends of mine have used these folks to rent bikes and organise tours :

http://www.bourgogne-evasion.fr/

about 5 hours ago
shakti2 in France

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

'Best approach is to hire a car etc etc'

Phil, here's the problem with 'best' - yours is fine for you.

NOT best for me - I love to drink, but shop talk about wine bores me and one sunny hillside with vines looks exactly the same to me as the next.

And probably not best for OP who's said her interest is tasting reds in a specific zone characterised by small production and high prices, and for which she does not have a friendly merchant to set up introductions. We've not even raised potential practical aggravations like 'can you drive manual ?'

A wine tour may well be best for her and I'm glad someone was able to provide a personal rec above (rather than our not-so-helpful sidebar).

about 11 hours ago
shakti2 in France

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

'Staying in town and sampling in what is basically a shop seems to mess [sic] the point of travel to a wine region.'

Actually, this seems to be missing the point of OP's circumstances, which are that she is spending 2 days in the region, out of a 7-day first-time visit to the country, doesn't speak French, doesn't want to drink and drive.

1 day ago
shakti2 in France
1

Please help finalize food itinerary (researched)

For those folks who find Clamato un-French, Mary Celeste is also going to be a problem.

In the gentlest possible way, you've probably reached the limit of useful research if you are second-guessing your own preferences on the basis of reviews by internet strangers ...

1 day ago
shakti2 in France
2

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

You'll need a car to get to and fro dinner at Auberge de la Charme in Prenois (you may be able to futz around with bus + walk at lunch time). I would characterise both restaurants as provincial gastronomique - classic cooking techniques, trendy garnishes and plating, elaborate service, good value compared to Paris for a labour-intensive effort. I myself prefer the informal bistros in the market area of Dijon - there are 2 which have a connection to Charme, DZ'Envies whose chef first came to fame at Charme and bistro des Halles, a old-time spot currently managed by the Charme team.

On wine, I find buying a better approach than tasting in tourist-oriented Beaune. The light cool-weather reds are a very specific style - wonderful with food, maybe a little acidic to be immediately impressive on their own, many similar-tasting products at the region/ village level, getting more interesting only if you are being carefully advised or paying up for the right combination of maker and vintage (preferably both).

Bar du Square mentioned below and Comptoir des Tontons are restos/ bars with well-connected cavistes attached - I would buy a bottle to enjoy on the spot and as Parn suggests, get the benefit of their advice on what and how.

1 day ago
shakti2 in France

Jardin des Plumes, Giverny -- tranquility after the crowds in Monet's Gardens

You and I both re: upstairs rooms. I'm already plotting a late-afternoon train ride, overnight stay, then an early-morning visit to the waterlily gardens. Might even be back at work by afternoon if need.

Thank you Jake, a lovely read. Not surprised you were so well looked after in person if you muster this much charm in print.

Apr 19, 2015
shakti2 in France

Please help plan trip to Burgundy

Agree with Phil that Beaune is the right bet for a wine geek (albeit a well-funded one).

Also reckon Beaune is right for first-time visitors looking for a well-groomed picture-perfect tourist-friendly small town. Pretty much all of it is walkable from the station, the hospice is a very worthwhile visit (12 min on foot from the station according to Google maps) and I imagine a tasting at the in-town négociants like Jadot provide an overview of the area's production (try Bouchard or Drouhin if Jadot doesn't come through).

Trains run regularly between Dijon and Beaune, at least hourly during the day, probably more at peak hour, 25 - 30 min ride. Regardless of which one you stay in, the other is an easy and enjoyable side-trip.

Apr 19, 2015
shakti2 in France

It's Here! Latest NY Times Reccos for the Hordes of Tourists This Spring/Summer/Fall

It seems like a perfectly reasonable list for a conservative Anglophone visitor (presumably NYT's core readership) - many of the spots named are used to dealing with tourists and like Pti says, steady values which will be recognisable when folks get home and compare notes with their friends.

Apr 19, 2015
shakti2 in France

Old (very old) wine bars

Jacques Melac on rue Leon Frot in the 11th - I don't know if it's unchanged for a few hundred years but little changed for the last 20 or so, for sure.

Apr 11, 2015
shakti2 in France

Sandwiches

You could try here, squarely in Parn's recommended part of the Marais :

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caract...
http://parisbymouth.com/caractere-de-...

I'll caveat by saying I've never had the sandwich myself and wasn't particularly inspired by the shop the one time I've been there. It looked adorable and the proprietor was genial enough, but the tiny space was stuffed with foodie tourists escorted by their guide and in my haste to exit these trying conditions, I didn't spot that my 50-odd euro worth of Bigorre ham had been incorrectly sliced.

Apr 10, 2015
shakti2 in France

Please critique this itinerary - a week in Paris, restaurants in the 6th

I don't really eat sweets myself but have friends who do and who've really liked the menu at Dessance which they report as modern French with the sweetness coming through in some of the garnishes, followed by a couple of dessert courses.

Apr 07, 2015
shakti2 in France

Please critique our list of chosen places in Paris

If already on rue de Bretagne, I'd go straight to 134 RDT for bread, no further futzing required.

Apr 07, 2015
shakti2 in France

Traveling to Paris with child, and question about Frenchie

Well, the thing is Frenchie is NOT handy to your hotel - no direct metro and maybe a 30-min walk with a child in hand. L'Ami Jean would be a similar-ish walk albeit with much better scenery.

Apr 07, 2015
shakti2 in France

Traveling to Paris with child, and question about Frenchie

The hop-on hop-off Batobus is another nice alternative for moving around between sights in the central districts - it was a raging success for a good friend sight-seeing in Paris with her tots last year. For OP, it also obviates the need to fit in a separate river cruise when jet-lagged.

http://www.batobus.com/Batobus-navett...

Apr 07, 2015
shakti2 in France

Traveling to Paris with child, and question about Frenchie

You seem to be crossing town a lot for a short stay plus a child in hand. Some of the places you could look at in your more immediate neighbourhood : Bistro Volnay for modern French; Bistrot Capucine for more trad; Café des Abbattoirs for an updated take on trad meat-oriented cuisine; le Rubis, Au Petit Bar and Au Petit Vendome for an old-school take on the same (and at the latter two, acceptable-to-good sandwiches to take away, jambon-beurre and variations). There will be other food-to-go options around place du Marche St.-Honore as well.

Without commenting on Frenchie to which I’ve never been, the first three of the above are alternatives in terms of price-point and expectations that you will be sitting down for a couple of courses. The others are alternatives to getting on the metro for sandwiches/ crepes/ falafel.

Apr 06, 2015
shakti2 in France

SF hound to KL, Penang, then Singapore

I *know* the inspection function *exists* at the local city hall because I know someone who actually used to *work* as one, but that's not to say that policing *actually* takes place.

That's a lot of **** I know :)

Restaurants open May 1

Hm. I may indeed find myself in Paris on one of these difficult days this year. Wonder if anyone can confirm if the non-French places which typically open daily are a reasonable bet ? I've had Pti's recs Hamadi in the 5th and the pho places in the 13th on my radar for a long time, maybe how's the time to give them a go ...

Apr 02, 2015
shakti2 in France

Marks & Sparks Food Emporium at 6 Rue de la Pepiniere in the 8th.

Oh didn't get the rage-yness above was about levity and humour. Carry on then.

Apr 02, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Marks & Sparks Food Emporium at 6 Rue de la Pepiniere in the 8th.

'but who would go into a store labeled M&S Food in search of unmentionables?'

Possibly the same person who talks about knickers on a food forum where people are talking about crumpets and ready-made Indian dinners ?

Apr 01, 2015
shakti2 in France

SF hound to KL, Penang, then Singapore

Bumping this old thread to say that I passed by earlier this week and Vishalatchi had a big notice up indicating that it has been closed by the local authorities for failure to comply with food hygiene regulations.

I will confess to schadenfreunde :)

Marks & Sparks Food Emporium at 6 Rue de la Pepiniere in the 8th.

Wish someone would return the favour and open some Picards in London.

Apr 01, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Am I achieving my goals? Quick trip to Paris!

Actually, l'Ami Jean's top-of-the-pops dishes do strike me as riffs on the crowd favourites of those San Sebastien bars which do small plates of cooked food to order (Cuchara San Telmo, Borda Berri etc). I'm thinking of the rich (cheese-y?) orzo, the slow-cooked beef cheeks and variants thereof, the crowd-pleasing additions of bacon and foie gras where none existed before. Or maybe it seems that way because they ring all the same fatty salty bells with l'Ami Jean's having the complexity and precision you'd expect for a 40 euro plat instead of a 4 euro snack.

Noaagirl, you mention mellow and high-energy in different parts of your post, so it's hard to say where the perfect balance is but for my money, the long Disneyland-type morning queues at the Louvre and the tight dinner conditions with over-anxious visiting foodies at l'Ami Jean are both situations at high-risk of being hateful.

Why not have lunch at l'Ami Jean, then the Louvre (strong coffee administered as often as necessary), then a twilight stroll to a nice wine bar ? I think you get the benefit of a lower-pressure experience at both, bearing in mind that there's a lot of flexibility at the museum to slip off and enjoy less-crowded galleries but none at l'Ami Jean once you are pinned into its extremely tight seats for a big feed.

Lucky partner btw !

Apr 01, 2015
shakti2 in France

A 3rd Paris Itinerary Post For Solo Dining

Mikey, here's a review in English in case you're still reading and Dr. T has one up too. I think someone - Parn perhaps - expressed concerns about the dire dullness of the old room which I consider entirely fair (I would have gone more often otherwise), but many of the reviews now refer to an effective and experienced gentleman looking after the front of the house at the new place.

http://www.alexanderlobrano.com/resta...

Apr 01, 2015
shakti2 in France

Rome, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Milan- Thoughts? Recommendations?

My tip for Roscioli is to walk in for a late lunch when the pressure is off the service. They do serve till quite late but if it doesn't work out, I'd be prepared to pick up something at their forno outlet and walk on to piazza Farnese to picnic on the benches in front of the palazzo.

I've had good experiences with the less-trad food on their menu - special memory of a salad with very lightly-cooked squid and pickles that I've copied at home. The burrata on the other hand, is just too much of a good thing unless shared with a bigger group.

Same experience with il Convivio as OP except even my (super-hip) mother didn't love stuffiness.

Mar 30, 2015
shakti2 in Italy

Paris Food Tour

Aah I hadn't read OP's list as intending ALL the coffee and sweets to be addressed before lunch. Interestingly single-minded if that is indeed the case.

I like to think of croissants and their relations as walkabout food (gives the flakes a chance to fall off rather than adhere to a person's torso).

Mar 30, 2015
shakti2 in France

Paris, Change of Pace Meals

Actually Ptipois, in both Thailand and Singapore 'food court' has the exact same connotations of sanitized dumbed-down mall-located convenience food as Parn envisages. 'Hawker centre' in Singapore describes the places which house small food businesses which would have operated as stand-alone street stalls a generation ago. In Thailand, a person can still eat well at street stalls and ungentrified storefronts, thank heaven.

Mar 30, 2015
shakti2 in France

Paris Food Tour

Hope this doesn't come across as snarky but your itinerary gives the impression of a lot of crossing town to buy pastries (and presumably eating them on the street outside since most of the places you mention don't provide eat-in options - a single bench outside maybe). Even without a kid in tow and without making assumptions about whether you'll be relying on public transport and good weather, this would make me tired and cranky.

A couple of suggestions

: Try some of the tea-rooms that which serve their own well-regarded pastries - on the left bank, Cafe Pouchkine, Une Dimanche a Paris and Mamie Gateaux come to mind; on the right, Carette and Jacques Genin.

: Consolidate your itinerary to reduce transit, incorporate visits to play/ picnic areas and maybe some back-up ideas for poor weather. Holy Belly and du Pain et des Idees can be done while strolling Canal St.-Martin; Eclair de Genie, Pain de Sucre, Broken Arm and Jacques Genin can be done while your child enjoys Square du Temple or the small gardens of the Marais (the one behind the Maison de l'Europe on rue des Francs Bourgeois gets lots of tots similar in age to yours in the afternoon); the Luxembourg is handy to the St.-Sulpice shopping area where a lot of high-end patisseries have branches. The pedestrianized left bank near the d'Orsay museum is a great play area. You can also look up the Paris Respire programme - many parts of the city close down to vehicle traffic on weekends and are great for strolling and people-watching.

Or else Parnassien provides terrific guides to his favourite neighbourhoods on this board, if you care to search. Or else try this website : http://parisbymouth.com/

Of your restaurants, I think le Servan is actually quite nice for a family at lunch since you don't have to accommodate a fussy eater - it is not quite as cramped as some of the others you mention. In the 11th, there are a lot of options in the Aligre neighbourhood where you're already going to Boucherie les Provinces, and along rue Paul Bert - the Paris by Mouth website will provide more details and just about all will be fine for families at lunch time. I agree with all the other comments about the desirability of making reservations.

Mar 29, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Trip report: A. Noste, Les Déserteurs, Bistrot des Capucines, Le Lulli, Mangetout, La Vache et le Cuisiner, Le Pramil, Stéphane Martin

Here's an easy option : http://lazare-paris.fr

You should be able to make the regular lunch service but otherwise I think there's a plat du jour on offer at the bar at all hours.

Mar 21, 2015
shakti2 in France

A 3rd Paris Itinerary Post For Solo Dining

Actually what's x-rated is Christophe's duck preparation - my companion had a confit-ed thigh with a seemingly barely-done breast, which looked like it would be too raw to be enjoyable but turned out to be silkily tender in the mouth.

Mar 20, 2015
shakti2 in France