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Brittany (Dinard) and Swiss Normandy suggestions

Hi, my family and I are staying in Dinard for a week this summer, followed by a week near Clecy in Swiss Normandy, close to the Orne/Calvados border. We're looking for any good restaurant ideas - from formal to more casual, as we'll be eating lots of meals with small kids and would welcome some inspiration. Notable shops and bakeries also good to know about. Thanks in advance.

May 11, 2012
Yankunian in France

Good eats around Ramsbottom...

I have moved to rammy now and can report that this area has seen an uptick in new openings. The chocolate cafe is ace (though they need to cut their bread a bit thinner - each sarnie is like half a loaf or something) .

The Lounge, The First Chop on Bolton Street and the Buddha Lounge near the train station have all recently arrived on the scene. I thought the Chop was brilliant at first - small menu, mainly locally-reared meat - but they have changed their tack and are now doing ONLY "Lancashire tapas" not dinner, which is a bit of a disappointment to my mind. Great beer selection though - as a bar its a sure winner.

Buddha Lounge I wasn't too impressed with. The food was pretty mediocre I thought but the venue is sleek looking and replete with overpriced cocktails so will doubtless attract plenty of folks.

Ramsons, however, has fallen very far in my estimation. The first and only time I ate there - about a year ago, we had a wonderful meal, and we have been dying to get back. But I tried to make a dinner booking there the other night and it was made quite clear to me that my husband and I would be welcome on our own but not if we brought our well-behaved 9-month-old baby. I don't care how good the food is - I don't think I'll be hurrying back there to give them my custom.

Feb 25, 2009
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Visiting Vermont for a week...

Just as close as Hen of the Wood, on the other side of Waterbury is Michael's on the Hill - for a fine dining place I think it's even better than Hen, which is very good.

I'd avoid the sushi at Rhapsody at all costs, unless you're into the sort of worthy hippy stuff that tastes like a burlap bag - I don't think they use much if any actual fish, and last time I was there they used brown rice in the rolls.

Nov 27, 2008
Yankunian in All New England Archive

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

Well, we're back. Had a great time and ate plenty of wonderful food. We followed souphie's reccomendation and hit L'Entredgeu, rue Laugier for lunch as soon as we got in. What a wonderful introduction to Paris. I had some of the best foie gras I;ve ever eaten and a divine piece of beef that had been braised to within an inch of its life and fell apart when you nudged it with a fork. My husband had something with veal sweetbreads which he liked a lot. The staff were very friendly and accomodating, even though the place was the size of a teapot they cheerfully made a space for our pram - it helped that we came early.

For dinner that night we walked around the neighbourhood and found a place that looked promising (lots of newspaper articles in the windows:) L'Accolade on Rue Heliopolis/Guilliame Tell. This turned out to be our favourite. the atmosphere was young and stylish, upscale but also down-home, like eating at a friend's house. We came right when they opened at 7 and again they were lovely with the baby (we had the back room all to ourselves at that hour) and gave us hot water to warm a bottle.

We ate a wonderful squid dish with an herb risotto, tenderly fried langoustines, a terrific salad of pig's ears with a grainy mustard sauce, and lovely moist slices of duck with pumpkin. The cooking felt fresh and exciting, very well excecuted - a real find!

The next day we were awful and touristy and succumbed to lunch at Cafe de la Paix because we were right there and hungry. It is pretty over the top. Had some great oysters, but my piece of beef was dried out and served with undercooked vegetables that were very poorly seasoned. Ah well.

For dinner, though, we had another winner in Bistrot Niel on Avenue Niel in the 17th. The interior was intimate and sophisticated, with some great jazz playing, and the food was wonderful all around. I had a terrific little casserole with beef and mushrooms, though I can't remember what else we had besides a delicious half-baked chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. They were also very nice about our pram/baby here, but again we arrived promptly at their opening time 7:30, and took the baby for a little walk the one time she got fussy so we didn't disturb other diners. Perhaps we were just lucky, but I felt that people were much less bothered about us dining out with a baby than I had been led to expect by friends.

I can't wait until we come again... though I may have to go on a diet first!

Oct 27, 2008
Yankunian in France

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

Oh, that sounds promising. thanks!

Oct 13, 2008
Yankunian in France

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

That is a very smart suggestion, Cookingthebooks... many thanks for your sage advice. We will definitely report back.

Oct 10, 2008
Yankunian in France

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

Thanks Loveling. Sounds very similar to here in the UK... obviously, we're not going to walk into a restaurant with a screaming baby or eat a nine-course meal ending at midnight! I think we'll try to do what you did... scope out some good places in neighbourhoods we're likely to be in and then play it by ear.

And thanks for your tip on the metro. I think we'll definitely be taking the bus whenever possible - or walking. And it looks like we should avoid Montmartre, with all those stairs!

Oct 08, 2008
Yankunian in France

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

Thanks for that info, Sophie, it's very helpful. If dining at 6:30 is impossible, then at what time could we expect to dine the earliest? And are there any particularly good brasseries you'd reccommend -doesn't have to be in the 17th, just an easy metro ride away...

Oct 06, 2008
Yankunian in France

Manchester - lunch

The Market restaurant would be my pick. It's a quick walk from Piccadilly, on High Street in the Northern Quarter. Sophisticated but relaxed, very European, small menu but excellent, eclectic food. http://www.market-restaurant.com/

Another option would be the new restaurant at the top of Urbis, The Modern. I haven't been there but have heard good things. Not too far from Piccadilly either, at Cathedral Square. http://www.themodernmcr.co.uk/

Oct 03, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Foodies in Paris 17th w/ baby...reccs?

Hi, last-minute weekend trip to Paris on the cards (my first time!) and I'm throwing myself on your mercy for reccs. Here's the deal... will be staying in the 17e near Porte de Champenet metro stop with our very chilled out 4-month old daughter. She'll be riding in her buggy and is not big enough for a high chair, so we'll need places where we can roll in and roll out.

We love food and restaurants, but are not into formal Michelin-starred places with a stilted atmos. We're looking for authentic places we can eat wonderful French food and enjoy a relaxed and welcoming vibe - bistro type places for dinner, good lunch places in interesting neighbourhoods (prepared to go far on the metro, but would prefer not to have to change trains multiple times...) Also any good places to get some pastries for breakfast near our hotel on Boulevard Berthier.

We've got some ££ socked away to spend on eating so not too worried about ferreting out super budget places; however, in my experience some of the best places aren't the most expensive. Any ideas for us?

And a few general questions: We'll be hoping to eat earlyish, like maybe 6:30 or 7 - is this do-able in Paris and do we have to book? And how are they on breastfeeding in restaurants over there? Many thanks, Paris hounds!

Oct 03, 2008
Yankunian in France

Liverpool recs for Liverpool people ?

I've been. I went the first week it was open, to be fair, but I wasn't impressed. The view is a jaw-dropper - go for a drink in the bar and you'll get the best of the place. I expected the food to be much, much better than it was. Not bad, exactly, but not amazing (and it was certainly going for "amazing.". Extremely fussy food with a lot going on that didn't all add up to tasting good. One for the dudes in suits and expense accounts more into impressing each other with the size of their bill than having a satisfying meal.

Sep 01, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Good eats around Ramsbottom...

Ooh, my husband will be delighted to hear about that chippy, it sounds fantastic.... fingers crossed that it hasn't gone downhill. The butcher I saw looked very good, and there was also a lovely greengrocers with all sorts of local and organic produce and ethnic foods. We'll have to try the Dining Room; there is another restaurant/fine dining place called Geese near the market in Ramsbottom that has gotten good reports but haven't been myself. All in all, looks to be a good nabe for eaters.

May 23, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester] Lunch in the Northern Quarter

I think Hunters BBQ does the nicest kebabs in that part of Manc - their naans and meat are consistently great, and I love the mango sauce. I have tried a couple of the game curries (venison and some kind of bird, maybe partridge??) but thought they were OK not amazing - a bit of a gimmick that but admittedly a good one.

I don't know what's going on with the Arndale food court either, but I agree that it was a little better when they first opened. I had heard that a NY style bagel place was opening there, and I keep hoping to see it when I go, but no dice so far. Would be nice to have some more bagels in the city centre, and an alternative to Barbakans.

May 15, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Good eats around Ramsbottom...

... besides Ramsons? We are going to be spending quite a lot of time in this area this summer as we look for a house to buy in Rambo. So I'm wondering if there are any hidden gems around here folks can recommend. Apart from hearing amazing things about Bury market and the aforementioned Ramsons, where we had a great lunch last week, I know nothing about the chow in this neck of the woods.

many thanks...

May 15, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Mai Bai in Manchester shut

Oh, Rice. Rice has been at Piccadilly gardens for a couple of years now - in that weird concrete bit opposite caffe nero. I've eaten there a few times but found that no matter what you order, it generally tastes pretty much the same.

May 09, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Mai Bai in Manchester shut

That's weird - we just ate at that Tampopo a couple of weeks ago (my daughter loves it, but I'm not that keen myself.) Had it just moved there next to Barburrito? There are a couple of noodle places in the city centre but neither of them are very high-profile...

May 08, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Most Unusual Chow Upper Valley Hanover/Lebanon

Found it. The place is called Yama - hope its still there. As I remember it the bibimbop and chap'che were very good, and they had excellent kimchee that you could buy tubs of to take home.

May 06, 2008
Yankunian in All New England Archive

Most Unusual Chow Upper Valley Hanover/Lebanon

There used to be a great Korean place in a shopping center in West Lebanon, right off the interstate. Tiny and no-frills, but the food was amazing and I always wondered what it was doing there. It was just past the powerhouse mall on the same side of the road as you're heading to Hanover, but the name escapes me, if it is even still there (I don't live in the Upper Valley anymore). I bet a local will know...

May 06, 2008
Yankunian in All New England Archive

Mai Bai in Manchester shut

Hey, just noticed that this cute little sushi and noodle joint near the town hall is not open anymore. Anyone know if they moved, or have just shut down?

May 04, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Vacation in Ireland

Linnane's in New Quay, Galway Bay near Ballyvuaghan has wonderful seafood and live music some nights.

We also had an excellent meal at 3Q's in Greystones, Co. Wicklow - about 25 km from Dublin, though there is nothing traditional about the place - it's just good. This area was beautiful, and we also enjoyed a visit to Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry. The Avoca handweavers cfae is amazing!

Apr 14, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester] the Market Restaurant. not convinced at all.

Wow, that's really disappointing. I am one of those people who raves about The Market. I have eaten there maybe 25-30 times for lunch and dinner over the past few years, and not once have I been majorly disappointed. Individual dishes have failed to impress on occasion, but overall the experience has been consistently very happy... in fact, I would call it the most consistently good restaurant in Manchester, for me.

However, one or two of the people I have recommended it to have been unhappy with their meal. Maybe they expected something more? Despite its accolades, the place is resolutely old-fashioned, even a bit scruffy, and serves fairly simple food that may not be to every foodie's taste. For me, these are all big pluses, but Juniper it is not, if you know what I mean, and I think people sometimes have outsize expectations based on how fervently people like myself rave about it.

Apr 14, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Honeymoon Dinner Options in Vermont

I'm from Waterbury. Hen of the Wood is very good, but Michael's on the Hill is even better in our experience. Both are special, though, as is the Kitchen Table in Richmond. The restaurant at Topnotch was surprisingly nice when we stayed there last year, but I wouldn't recommend the Blue Moon Bistro in Stowe, we were underwhelmed. In the Mad River Valley, we had our wedding at 1824 House Inn in Waitsfield, which is open for dinner some nights and the food and atmosphere was outstanding.

For casual eats, the Alchemist brewpub in Waterbury is great but get there early as its gets mobbed - and they only do dinner. The Cider House down the road does pretty good BBQ, but avoid it if you're really picky about your 'cue.

Mar 26, 2008
Yankunian in All New England Archive

Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham areas: any chow places?

I second The Market in Manchester - IMHO it's the best restaurant in town, eccentric, friendly, loveable and very chowish, but only open wed-sat. Definitely book. They also do a cracking lunch there. On the other end of the scale, there's a great little hole in the wall "rice and three" curry place called This n' That on Soap Street, just across from the Chinese Arts Centre. This place is an institution, and serves up delicious plates of food for under a fiver, very no-frills decor.

Other good places in the city centre: If you're into wine/tapas, I really like Evuna on Deansgate though its on the pricey side. Also on Deansgate is a great deli for lunch - Katsouris. Wonderful sandwiches. If you want to try Traditional British Fare Sam's Chop House is a good choice. For great Chinese, go to Red Chilli on Portland Street. For Thai, Chaophraya on Chapel Street. I'd say both Chinatown and the Curry Mile are overrated foodwise.

In Liverpool, I'd second London Carriage Works and 60 Hope Street for fine dining. And if you're going to have a car, there are some wonderful places in the surrounding Lancashire countryside that are well worth a trip, including (fancy) the Inn at Whitewell, Northcote Manor in Langho, Nutters in Rochdale (and not so fancy) The Three Fishes pub at Mitton. A visit to all could be combined with a lovely walk or drive.

Mar 17, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Liverpool or Manchester area authentic/good Japanese food ?

So I ate at Etsu a few days ago. It was an unhappy experience. Bad, dried out sushi, horrible salmon teriyaki, soggy tonkatsu, zero atmosphere. It pretty much failed dismally on all fronts. And did I mention it's scandalously overpriced? £14.95 for a poor cut of salmon in tasteless teriyaki sauce, a bowl of white rice and a salad that was no better than a garnish. Avoid at all costs.

Mar 02, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Manchester - Suggest somewhere near Piccadilly Station

Umm... that area isn't great for restaurants. The simplest option is to walk out of the station and go right across the street to the restaurant at the Malmaison. Haven't eaten there in ages but it isn't bad. Oh - just remembered City Cafe at City Inn hotel is also nearby and people rave about the food there, though I have never been. If either of these is too corporate, you're a short and fairly direct walk from the Northern Quarter, where the ever reliable (and lots of personality) Market Restaurant does a wonderful lunch, but is only open Weds - Sat I think.

Mar 02, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester area] Farmers Markets - post your reccs

A bit further afield, but the one at Hoghton Tower in Lancs (near Chorley) on the third Sunday is amazing. It has really come on in the last couple of years. Last week I noticed a few new vendors:

Port of Lancaster smokehouse, selling basically anything you can smoke, from cheese to seafood to whole birds. Got some great smoked eel from them, and have had their kippers and mackerel before.

The Long Causeway Trading Company were there selling the most wonderful homemade sweet and savoury tarts. Turns out its the folks who run That Cafe in Levenshulme, selling stuff made from the produce of their smallholding in Cliviger. Apparently they also sell at Ashton.

And Mrs. Kirkhams - selling their lancs. cheese. Not totally convinced by the blue lancs I got there, seems a bit grainy, but everyone raves about them.

Feb 20, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Liverpool or Manchester area authentic/good Japanese food ?

Ooh! Thanks for posting that Theresa. I'll definitely hurry over there and report back.

Oonth, the place in Sheffield sounds great - If I am ever in the steel city I'll check it out.

Feb 18, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Liverpool or Manchester area authentic/good Japanese food ?

I love Japanese food (am a displaced New Yorker, and there are so many great restaurants there...) But the Northwest offers pretty slim pickings for authentic Japanese food, as harters says... mostly "sushi" places selling totally bogus smoked-salmon and tuna salad rolls.

I have been to New Samsi in Manchester many times. It's probably the closest you're going to get in the region, and they don't just do sushi. I'd say it's pretty good but not outstanding - and it ain't that cheap either. They have some good lunch deals if you work in the city.

Sapporo Teppanyaki (there are outlets in Manchester and Liverpool) isn't too bad either. More food-as-theater entertainment than a serious restaurant, as it's all built around watching the chefs perform, but I did have some nice sushi there as well as the grilled teppanyaki stuff. Again, can be pricey.

There's also a noodle and sushi bar in Manchester worth mentioning: Mai Bai on Princess Street, just across from the town hall. They do fall victim to the westernised sushi trap, but if you ask they can often make rolls with eel and other good things. I'd try to get whatever you have made fresh instead of buying it out of the case and stick with the fish. The noodles aren't bad.

Yo Sushi should be avoided like the plague.

Feb 17, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Is Rayner right about Manc restaurants?

I'd say the food at Blakes was much better than I'd expected. Of course, being the restaurant attached to a slightly naff-sounding beatles-themed hotel expectations were low. But the space is lovely - v.understated and airy, and the whole beatles theme thing is handled in such a low-key way you don't really notice it (apart from the music, which could have used some more, ah, variety.)

The menu was the usual suspects of mod brit meat and fish grills, but well exceuted and with interesting accompaniments. I had steak with foie gras, bubble and squeak and mushrooms which was very good and cooked just the way I had asked - husband had pork with applesauce and tasty mash, also v. good. My favourite thing though was a crab salad starter that I could have eaten three of quite happily - tons of crabmeat very fresh. Interesting wine list too. Not going to knock anyone's socks off, mind, but may be a reliable sort of place at the upper end of the city's resataurants. Will have to see...

Feb 15, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland

Is Rayner right about Manc restaurants?

Harters, the Barbakan is terrific, of course. The problem is that they won't deliver very far out of Manc. Not to to Merseyside, and not to Lancs., according to a Liverpool restaurant owner I talked to yesterday who despairs of ever finding good bread to sell. The lancs-merseyside area could really use something like the Village Bakery in Melmerby or the Manx Bakery up in t'lakes.

Theresa, Ziba accidentally got lumped in with the others, who all are newish as far as I know. The Gallery is on Allerton Road in Mossley Hill, decent nabe bistro with a bar downstairs, good when I visited. Ceylon Spice Co. is a Sri Lankan next to a laundromat in Waterloo, not sure what road. Elif is a new turkish BBQ on lark lane - excellent grilled meat and fish, nice down to earth vibe. Il Bacino - I spelled it wrong the first time - is a deli and bistro at Brunswick Dock which I mean to check out soon.

Feb 14, 2008
Yankunian in U.K./Ireland