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Saison - worth it? Have read mixed reviews, plus restaurant does not provide some basic information. [San Francisco]

Yeah, I can't figure out how to contact them to ask them these questions. The old phone number is disconnected.

Dec 18, 2012
pierrex in San Francisco Bay Area

Saison - worth it? Have read mixed reviews, plus restaurant does not provide some basic information. [San Francisco]

I'm considering going there over the holidays. Previous reviews have mentioned its high cost and sometimes rude service. Would really like to hear people's thoughts:

- What is a ballpark cost for just food per person? Previous posts claim it could even be more expensive on the weekends, but the website doesn't give any sort of idea about this - $100? $200? Higher?

- How is the service? We prefer an unpretentious but precise style.

- The menu claims no substitutions. Is this true for all food allergies - shellfish or nuts for example? If they do not substitute, can they simply omit minor ingredients?

- We have been to TFL, Alinea, Fat Duck, etc. Saison seems to be around the same price point, how does it compare in terms of overall experience?

Dec 15, 2012
pierrex in San Francisco Bay Area

Foodie trip to London, can you give me your best suggestions?

Thanks for the info -

Re 1) Any price is fine. It can be very casual or more upscale. Taking the tube a max of 30 minutes is probably reasonable for us. British, French, Spanish, other types of ethnic food would work, although we don't prefer traditionally spicy cuisines like Indian or Thai.

Re 4) What are the best West End food halls?

Thanks!

Nov 26, 2012
pierrex in U.K./Ireland

Foodie trip to London, can you give me your best suggestions?

I'll be in London for ten days starting next week. We're staying in Whitehall and will be getting around on the tube. Half the time I'll be with 3 family members who are adventurous, the other half by myself. We tend to avoid really noisy pubs or sketchy hole-in-the-wall ethnic places, but maybe one place like that during the trip would be ok. So far we only have a reso at the Fat Duck, and also plan on St John. We're from the US and are visiting London for the first time.

I'm looking for:
1. general suggestions ranging from casual to upscale
2. pre-theater dinner place in West End near Queen's Theatre
3. bakeries
4. unique specialty shops
5. is it worth going to Dinner by Heston if we're already going to Fat Duck?
6. anything to avoid

Thanks, will report back after the trip.

Nov 25, 2012
pierrex in U.K./Ireland

Best to-go lunch and dinner places near the loop?

I'm working at the NW corner of Millennium Park at Michigan and Randolph. Looking to find the best (high-quality) casual lunch and dinner places near there, with option to get food to-go. For dinner, places that are open late (10pm or later) a plus. Any price, any cuisine ok. Organic/farm-to-table options a huge plus. Would like to avoid fast food places like Chipotle and Qdoba. Thanks!

Aug 21, 2012
pierrex in Chicago Area

Need help planning week of foodie trip

i've been to manhattan several times and this time looking to try a variety of exceptional places that are new to me, starting in a couple weeks. to give a sense of what i like, a big range of places i've loved in the past include mile end, shake shack, porchetta, bouchon bakery, sakagura, ko, per se, just to name a few. thinking about kyo ya, momofuku noodle bar, or any place on the 101 nymag best sandwich list...

i'll list a few categories of places i need to fill, as well as places i already have plans for, to balance out variety:

already planned:
- dinner at EMP
- lunch at 15 east. Q: in a 3-top, is it possible for two people to order omakase and another person who doesn't eat raw fish to order a la carte?
- shake shack
- lunch at ippudo

looking to get recs for:
1 - a nice lounge or bar, well lit, cocktails, good food a plus, where i can arrange to meet a bunch of people coming and going throughout the evening, probably 7-11pm ish
2 - two or three lunches anywhere in manhattan, dining by myself, price no object, prefer not-formal, not-uptight place that i can feel comfortable going solo in. i'll travel around just to go to the place.
3 - same thing as above (1), but for breakfast instead of lunch
4 - dinner at any place, <$20 per person, in a 4-top, no further up than midtown.
5 - best breakfast near times square, upscale ok but not necessary
6 - pre-theater quick bite near 50th/8th, 4-top
7 - post-theater dinner starting around 11pm, 4-top, upscale ok but not super formal
8 - lunch on the upper east side near guggenheim, 4-top, upscale ok

thanks everyone!

Mar 08, 2012
pierrex in Manhattan

EMP - anything I should know for the best experience?

Also just to clarify, regarding the clambake, did you mean that if it's on the menu then it's available and we'll definitely get it, or that it's always served even if it's not listed on the menu? Or is it on the menu and you have to express a preference for that as one of your menu choices? Thanks!

Mar 03, 2012
pierrex in Manhattan

EMP - anything I should know for the best experience?

Thanks! Just to follow up on the menu choices, out of the 16 ingredients listed, about how many end up on the tasting menu? Just to get a sense of how that works, do people whittle it down a lot to exactly the ingredients they want, or is it more typical to just state a preference for one or two / ask not to get one or two?

Mar 03, 2012
pierrex in Manhattan

EMP - anything I should know for the best experience?

Heading to EMP in a couple weeks in a small party, from out of town celebrating a birthday. We've been fortunate enough to go to places like PS, FL, Alinea, etc, and so we're looking forward to an experience on a similar level. We're going to be doing the tasting menu. I've read many threads already about various people's experiences, but still had a few questions:

- my understanding is that there are no choices to be made if going for the tasting menu. is this actually the case - if not, aside from personal preference are there any decisions that are especially popular?

- are there things off-menu we should specifically ask for? several people have mentioned the duck or clambake as something you may have to specially request.

- if we want a kitchen tour, should we request it? or accept that they might invite us if it's convenient for them? several posters have alluded to their meal concluding during the crush and didn't get an invitation. we don't want to inconvenience the kitchen.

- one person in our party doesn't drink alcohol. do they offer a non-alcoholic beverage pairing? or can they put that together if you request it? we had something like this at Alinea.

- for those people who are going for the wine pairing but don't want to drink quite so much, is it acceptable to ask for short pours?

- when i made the reso, they didn't ask for food allergies. later i was surprised by this because usually this is requested by the reservationist. should i call back and let them know of any dietary restrictions?

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Mar 03, 2012
pierrex in Manhattan