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Suggestions for Lunch or Dinner - Cobble Hill or Brooklyn Heights

Thanks so much for the suggestions. My friend really wants to have brunch at Teresa's in Brookly Heights. Doesn't sound great from the reviews, but we will compromise by having after museum drinks and snacks at either La Vara or Colonie. thanks!

Mar 06, 2013
evansaunt in Outer Boroughs

Suggestions for Lunch or Dinner - Cobble Hill or Brooklyn Heights

Sorry - I should have posted these requirements.

Our budget is very flexible - we enjoy fine dining. We also definitely want a bar as we will order bottles of wine. As for likes/dislikes, we are also really open; however, we do want something a bit more upscale.

Not sure about our schedule yet which is why I don't know if it's lunch or dinner. thanks!

Mar 04, 2013
evansaunt in Outer Boroughs

Suggestions for Lunch or Dinner - Cobble Hill or Brooklyn Heights

Foodies from Philly going to NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights this Saturday. We are going to have either lunch before or an early dinner after. We'd love to experience Brooklyn these days as I've never been. Help?!

Mar 04, 2013
evansaunt in Outer Boroughs

Just Back From Napa

I just spent a wonderful four days in Napa. Having been to Paris just last month, I can say without equivocation that the food in the Vally overall surpassed what we've had in Europe. The freshness of the ingredients and the innovative use are astounding!

The highlights were a peach, grilled vidalia onion, proscuitto appetizer at Solbar along with a flatiron steak that was the best beef I have ever eaten. We had been to Viader that afternoon and opened a gorgeous cab blend that got better and better in the glass. Service at the lounge for a pre-dinner drink was terrible - poor management of staff - but once we were seated at dinner, it was delightful.

The Grill at Meadowood was also stunning. We didn't have reservations in The Restaurant but were more than satisfied with the Grill. The heirloom tomatoes tasted like candy and the halibut with chorizo was sensational.

I think the food at Meadowood trumps the food at Auberge. We had a lunch and a dinner at the Bistro. While nothing competes with that view, I thought the food was just good, not great - didn't compare to some of the other food we had in the Valley.

A picnic at Pride Mountain was a highlight, and the sweet corn soup with tortilla dust at CIA was glorious! I'm thinking about making Napa my annual vacation spot.

Jul 23, 2012
evansaunt in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa - Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain

I have a Thurs to Sunday trip planned in two weeks. I have been to Napa several times, but my boyfriend has not.

We are staying at Meadowood and don't really want to spend too much time driving up and down the Valley. As of now, we have a driver for two days. My plan was to avoid the Valley floor and do Cade, Viader and Ladera on Howell and on the next day do Pride and perhaps Cain on Spring Mountain. I've made dinner reservations at Solbar in Calistoga and at Press in St. Helena. The other two nights I think we'll wing it at the more casual Bistro outside at Auberge and the Grill at Meadowood. We also really just would like to spend a day relaxing and enjoying the Meadowood pool and property.

My question is: am I or we really missing something by skipping the Valley floor? I'm not into the crowded roads, but I'm afraid my boyfriend will miss the Napa experience if we just do Spring and Howell Moutains. We also just intend to picnic both of those days at Viader and at Pride.

I've been too many times to be objective about what a "newbie" might enjoy and if the itinerary will maximize the trip.

Jul 05, 2012
evansaunt in San Francisco Bay Area

I'm New to Philly Dining Scene!

I'd skip Chifa for sure. I'm also not a fan of Distrito. I think Zahav is the best restaurant in town right now. For French, Bistrot La Minette (not stuffy). The original Dimitri's in Queen Village still has the best grilled octopus.

Jul 05, 2012
evansaunt in Philadelphia

A. Kitchen/rouge

I also like Rouge a lot. In my opinion, the only reason it lost luster in reputation was because the nightlife scene had become cheesey. But the food (and the burger) have always been great.

But I have to day - I love A.Kitchen! I'm sorry that CSS had a mediocre experience.

Jul 05, 2012
evansaunt in Philadelphia

Return from 4 day trip to Paris - Thoughts

ChefJune - I skipped lunch on Saturday just to to eat chocolate, macarons, pastry...and more chocolate. It was decadent and lovely and something I never do at home.

Jun 19, 2012
evansaunt in France

Return from 4 day trip to Paris - Thoughts

Just returned last nite from a fantastic four day trip to Paris. USAirways lost my luggage and was not found until 8 hours before we were to leave! But even that couldn't dampen my spirits in what I think is the most beautiful city in the world.

Like most people on this board, I had done exhaustive research on where to eat. For the most part, I was thrilled with the reservations I had made. But after our first day, I realized that we couldn't possible eat full lunches and dinners on the same day and gave up on that idea. I also came to the realization that it's ok to have a misstep here and there and to give up worrying about whether every snack, drink, lunch is perfect and in the perfect spot. We were just as happy stopping when we felt tired from walking to eat at a cafe that was loaded with tourists and did not have the best food. It's still Paris, and it's glorious sitting and enjoying wine with a view wherever you are.

We had lunch at L'Ami Jean on our first day. Perhaps it was because we had just arrived and hadn't been able to check in yet and were tired. It was fun and enjoyable but not quite the experience I had thought it would be. Worth the trip there, however, for the much talked about and much touted rice pudding. Incredible!

Our dinner the next evening was at Les Ambassadeurs in the Hotel de Crillon. It was glorious. From the minute we walked into the room, we felt like royalty, and the food matched the ambience. We had the tasting menu that included a pot roasted foie gras - a texture unlike seared foie gras and was amazing. The meat course was a breast of chicken with morels and preserved leg. I was not immediately thrilled with the choice, but it was perhaps my favorite dish of the evening. Incredibly moist and juicy and bursting with flavors that worked in tandem with the crispy potatoes. Cheese course. two desserts - all of which defied any description worthy, one of them being a strawberry rhubarb tart that made me cry. We put ourselves in the hands of the sommelier and asked him to pair wine with each course. It was the smartest decision we could have made. It seemed silly to be eating that food and not have the perfect wine pairings. The experience was one my boyfriend and I will never forget. Once the bill is paid, we'll forget about the expense, but not about our four hour evening.

Dinner the next evening was at Les Papilles. I had high expectations based on these boards. This was one of most delightful and fun experiences I have ever had travelling. Bertrand, the properietor, is delightful and chose amazing, well priced wine. The first course of green pea soup with radishes tasted like the garden, the braised lamb shank was tender and flavorful, the blue cheese with wine poached prune made made me see stars, and the apricot pudding was so rich we thought we couldn't consider finishing and yet couldn't stop eating. I'm not sure if this was truly the best food I've eaten in Paris, but the combination of the atmosphere, the service and the food was glorious.

We wandered all day Sunday - our final day and gave up on sticking to any plans. We spent two hours drinking wine at Deux Maggots. Yes, it's touristy, but I think the worry about being surrounded by tourists can really impede on the enjoyment of your trip. I don't care what the wine cost - again, the experience was one of building memories. There were certainly French people scattered amongst the "tourists", and the tourists were international and fairly fabulous to look at . The church bells of St. Germain de Pres were ringing. The skies were blue, and there was a procession of children making Holy Communion coming from the church. It felt great to relax and give it all up about whether we were in the "right" place.

In our vein of not caring anymore about having the best reservations, we decided to forego our dinner res at Terroir Parisienne and just stroll around the corner to Relais de L'Entrecote. What fun having your server approach you with nothing more than "how would you like it cooked". It was not the best steak I have ever had - but again, the whole picture of the experience was marvelous. Reallly fun to have her come around with seconds and a platter of more frites. We are foodies who eat well daily, and the bigger picture was more fun than worrying about whether each piece of food was the best. I loved the sauce that the Frenchman sitting next to me said is "secret' - was apparently heavy on tarragon. Don't know whether it was marvelous wine, the great day or what - but once the beef, fries and sauce became like one, we were swooning. Topped off with profiteroles.....hate to keep repeating myself, but we were too high on life at that point to analyze them. We just loved them.

So my advice is: make some great ressies. Lose the pressure of it all being fabulous and give in to not caring. Lose all caring about being around tourists - people watching and speaking with travellers from all over the world is just as much fun as being proud of being the only non-French speaking person.

Yes, I bought a fabulous outfit for my blowout dinner at Les Ambassadeurs. The rest? I just laundered my pants and shirt every day and refused to spend one more minute worrying about it or one less minute sitting in a cafe.

Jun 19, 2012
evansaunt in France

Le Pergolese - Paris - 16th eme (and other restos)

I have booked Terroir Parisiene for Sunday nite.

Jun 07, 2012
evansaunt in France

Le Pergolese - Paris - 16th eme (and other restos)

Delucacheessemonger - yes, it was Pierre Calmels! Wow - how did you know that? And Bibou is one of those places, as I said above, that a tourist might not find even after doing extensive research. Only thing is he hasn't been to Le Pergolese - he cooked with the chef at three different restaurants. Thanks again for Benoit. One of the reasons I booked was the Sunday nite thing. But I'll switch it out.

Jun 07, 2012
evansaunt in France

Le Pergolese - Paris - 16th eme (and other restos)

Thank you. I will cancel my res. Honestly, I live in a big east coast city with great food, and I know that nobody would be able to find the greatest restaurants. So I'm going to try to stop agonizing and stumble across my own finds. That being said....I will book at Caius on your recommendation.

Jun 06, 2012
evansaunt in France

Le Pergolese - Paris - 16th eme (and other restos)

Hi all - I'm new to the board so appreciate your help.

I swore I wasn't going to join the legions asking advice on where to eat in Paris but here goes:

I am staying in the 16th eme from June 14-18. A wonderful French Philadelphia chef recommended Le Pergolese for a fine dining experience not as well known as the other Michelin stars. Does anybody know this restaurant?

I have res at Chez L'Ami Jean for lunch, at Les Papilles on Saturday (unfortunately only for the 7:30 seating) and at Benoit on Sunday evening. I have done way too much research and am now,of course, unable to make a decision this late in the game.

I am also considering Ze Kitchen Galerie. And then of course, there's the factor of allowing wonderful serendipity enter the equation.

Thanks so much!

Jun 06, 2012
evansaunt in France