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Good neighborhood Italian near 29th and Park?

There's a Forcella on Park between 26th and 27th. I enjoyed a late night pizza there a few months ago, but didn't sample anything else on the menu. The bar area was quite a scene that late, fwiw.

1 day ago
VaPaula in Manhattan

Paris Trip report over the Holidays: old friends, a few warnings, a Laotian Feast.

Couldn't agree more. We always try to become "regulars" somewhere (café, bakery, other) even on a week-long trip. It's so nice to get that warm welcome, and look of recognition.

I'll join the chorus, Gman, in thanking you for a great report. The writing, the format - all top-notch.

2 days ago
VaPaula in France

Red, Red Wine in Annapolis?

I was just there a few weeks ago. It started out well enough (crab tostada and something else I can't remember) but the entrées were extremely salty for my tastes. I had monkfish, which was the catch of the day, and got a side of the sautéed mushrooms. My husband enjoyed his filet. Seems like a good spot for groups, though - there were several large parties that night.

Too bad Osteria is closed - that's what our B&B owners recommended, but it was closed (I assumed for holidays at the time.) They also spoke highly of Vin 909.

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

Your statement that everyone on Chowhound is a "gourmet and expert on dining" and that we are all in the cooking, food and/or dining industry is waaay off the mark. My day job has nothing to do with food, and I, for one, welcome comments/reports from those (educators or not) who travel and eat for fun.

Jan 15, 2015
VaPaula in France
1

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

That's the name, but not the address. It's on Rue Chaptal.

http://restaurantclairiere.com/

And Mssr. Talbott, you're right - I should have mentioned the name, although I did indeed spill it in my trip report from November, to which I would dig up the link except that I am about to run out to a meeting.

And now I'll be thinking about the steak tartare I had at Clairière during my meeting...mmmmm.

Jan 12, 2015
VaPaula in France

I am in sympathy with my Parisian food lovers

I'll add my belated condolences to Parisians and visitors and everyone who loves Paris - not to mention freedom.

Kudos to the Chowhound Team for letting this thread live - as someone already mentioned, other forums have struck threads with this topic.

Jan 12, 2015
VaPaula in France

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

So you won't go to a place with no reviews, yet you're wondering why you can't "discover" an "authentic Parisian "boîte?" Last trip, I purposely chose a restaurant that was not mentioned on Chowhound nor the usual suspects in my research (I'm not saying there were no reviews, but it certainly wasn't anyone's darling). It ended up being one of our favorite meals. I'm sure part of the reason was because I wasn't quite sure what to expect. How nice to go to a restaurant without a list of the "must haves" or "must sits" and essentially just wing it. Would I have been upset if it was a bad meal? Not really! I was with my husband and we were in Paris! And yes, I understand people who don't want to chance it with limited time in Paris, but that's not me. I wouldn't do that for all meals, mind you, but it was refreshing to take a chance on a place with no real buzz.

And I've been hearing American pop music in Paris since I first started going there in the mid-80s, fwiw.

In this and other posts, you seem a bit disheartened by Paris, so maybe you just need a break. Discover a new place that impassions you like Paris used to.

Jan 12, 2015
VaPaula in France

Nanjing Bistro in Fairfax - Report

Duly noted. But for me, your descriptions were a recommendation since I don't like overly salty (wouldn't have ordered it if you hadn't clarified that in the OP) and "cold, sliced, duck on the bone" sounded different, and therefore, appealing to me. I had also noted in various sources that this dish was considered one of the more quintessential ones from that region which is another reason for trying it.

It's also got a wonderful, almost-livery flavor, which I think gets lost in many duck preps. Love that.

L'ecole Closing

Thanks for the review and pics. Everything looked great - except for the pork, which I can see from the picture is WAY overcooked!

Jan 09, 2015
VaPaula in Manhattan
1

Nanjing Bistro in Fairfax - Report

I've been meaning to post a mini-report about our lunch last weekend. We had the duck and the cabbage with dried shrimp. Good stuff, and we'll definitely be back to try more. Super nice service, too - they're definitely aiming to please right now.

Thanks for the recs, Steve.

Amoo's in Mclean: From the Folks who Left Rose Kabob

We just had another great lunch there over the weekend (ain't cheap for lunch, though.) I agree with Steve - not sure I ever had anything spicy there EXCEPT for the fantastic spread they bring with the pita. Love that stuff - I could eat it with a spoon, but sarafinadh, you'll want to stay away from that. :-)

L'ecole Closing

Very sad indeed. Granted, I haven't been there in a long time, but it was always a good bet. I remember taking my picky-eater mother there (long before one could ask complete strangers for recs on where to take picky eaters - ha ha) and she really enjoyed it.

We'll try to get there on our next trip up. I know my husband will like it.

Thanks for posting.

Jan 09, 2015
VaPaula in Manhattan

Good place for wines by the glass in or near the 9th?

Great! Thanks for reporting back. We had a similar experience with Le Dit Vin the trip before last. The welcome & ambiance (not to mention the wine) was so enjoyable, we went back for dinner (although they ended up being closed - ha!) so it's good to hear a report on the food.

Looking forward to the full trip report.

Jan 07, 2015
VaPaula in France

Good place for wines by the glass in or near the 9th?

I'll add Le Dit Vin on Rue Blanche. Also Les Sardignac on Rue Richer.

Enjoy the rest of your stay!

Jan 06, 2015
VaPaula in France

Chow Lunch at Taqueria Habanero - Report

I didn't get the salt in the guacamole, and I think I only had one salty chip, so not bad.

We enjoyed it, but are with everyone else in that we'd go back only if we were already in the area. I also agree with Steve that the huarache was probably the most "special" thing - for me, anyway. It was the only dish(es) I was thinking about the next day, and wanting more.

Feast of the 7 Fishies in DC/Baltimore

Feast of the 7 Fishies in DC/Baltimore

We did the one at G last year. Very enjoyable, very reasonable. Don't renember every fish, but the seafood salad was fantastic. We wanted to go again this year, but couldn't get schedules to work. Thanks for the review and link - will try to squeeze something in next year.

Meilleurs Ouvriers?

I googled. :-)

Is Steven Kaplan the guy you're looking for? Here's a NY Mag article on him (no date that I could find):

http://nymag.com/restaurants/features...

Dec 18, 2014
VaPaula in France

Craving Fried Clams like the old Howard Johnson's

Fords Fish Shack - fried belly clams, unless you consider that highbrow...? They do them well there - I've been a couple times over the past couple years when that craving hits. Good Bloody Marys, too, if you like that sort of thing. :-)

Report on 6 days in Paris

You make very good points. I did see a couple tables of patrons reading guidebooks, hence my own declaration of "touristy," but you're right, it shouldn't necessarily be categorized as such, especially since "touristy" has such a bad connotation. And I did mention seeing regulars - easy to spot when the waiter addresses them by name.

I am far from hip, but I do like to think I'm clued-in. When I saw Le Progrès, I remembered reading about it on this forum (likely from you, so thanks, Parn) which definitely influenced the decision to stop there after a visit to the nearby Kitchen Bazaar.

Dec 09, 2014
VaPaula in France

Report on 6 days in Paris

Good call! I debated whether or not to even mention it (and I guess I should have listed it under cafés) but after several discussions on this board regarding lack of good food at many cafés, I figured I'd include it.

Dec 07, 2014
VaPaula in France

Report on 6 days in Paris

Just drinks. It's absolutely touristy, given its location, but there seemed to be a handful of regulars as well.

Dec 07, 2014
VaPaula in France

Report on 6 days in Paris

And six days flies by! I can't believe we've been home for a week already.

I wasn’t a very good hound - not a lot of notes, only a couple receipts, so there won’t be detail on every one. This became the “raw meat” trip as you will see. I love steak tartare, but have been disappointed by it over the years so I’ve stayed away. Until now…

RESTAURANTS

Le Richer (9th) No reservations taken here, so we had about a half-hour wait on a Monday at 1:30, 4 people. We shared 4 starters: 63 degree egg; mushroom consommé, steak tartare and mackerel. All delicious, but the egg stood out for me – creamy goodness. Mains were daurade, duck and beef cheeks, with the latter being stellar and everything else very good. Friendly service, very casual. Would return. 134 Euros for 4 with one bottle of wine.

Restaurant Clairière (9th)– I found this place while google street-walking before last year’s trip, but we never got around to going. This turned out to be one of our favorite meals – not just the food, which was very good (grilled vegetables, goat cheese salad, steak tartare, daurade), but the ambiance and sweet service as well. The tartare was more rustic than the version at Le Richer. It was served with Tabasco – is that done often in Paris? I resisted because it was already seasoned so well, but when I tried some on it, it was quite good! And since we spent some time living in Louisiana, I felt almost obliged.:-) Most definitely a neighborhood place with a couple one-tops who were well-known by Madame, and a table of work colleagues. 20 Euro for 2 courses at lunch. Definitely plan to go back.

Le Mary Celeste (3rd) – we stopped in before a play for cocktails and a bite to eat. I loved this place, and want to return to try more. Plates included: a fresh, crisp kale salad with fruits and nuts, boudin noir with foie gras (a new addition to the menu, I believe – so good), tongue & grilled cheese sandwich, and tataki with chili oil, nuts & veggies. All so fresh-tasting. Just a note that if you end up downstairs, be prepared to have to track down your server. We’re normally never in a hurry, but we were on our way to a show, which they knew.

Les Portes in the 11th – open late, it was a good choice for post-ballet. Nothing really wow-y, but just fine. We had a lovely, large table in the corner by the window which made us feel like we were in someone’s living room. Very cozy space yet very lively (or at least the foursome sitting next to us was), good service. It was late so we only had plats here and a bottle of wine: cèpe ravioli, squid with chorizo (perfectly cooked, so tender, one of the standouts), lamb shank (another good one) and short ribs.

Bistrot La Bruyère in the 9th (thanks, Laidback!) – We really liked this place; super-friendly welcome and service, 19-Euro two-course (2 choice on each) menu. My one quibble was the beef main. Although it was called “confit” and wasn’t meant to be served like a steak, it was pretty dried out. But the daurade was lovely as were the two entrées : duck carpaccio and smoked salmon. 115 Euro for 4 with a bottle of wine. Would return.

Café du Centre right on Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd – chosen strictly for its terrace and having a 4-top available at a late hour (I know, very un-chowlike of me!); food really not worth mentioning although my friend liked her steak frites just fine and the salad I had was OK. Great service, though, lively atmosphere, and of course, we loved the terrace.

WINE BARS, CAFES, ETC.

Les Sardignac – wine bar in the 9th where we waited out Le Richer. Great service; don’t remember much about the wine list other than there was a good Chinon on it, as well as some organic wines. Would return.

Le Progrès in the 3rd – I was stunned by how reasonably priced drinks on the terrace were, considering you’re smack-dab on the Rue de Bretagne with excellent people-watching. I could have stayed here for hours, even on a gray, drizzly day.

Experimental Cocktail Club – I’ve been wanting to come here forever; loved it, but it was pretty packed considering it was fairly early on a Friday night. Great cocktails, neat space, very good service.

The Grands Crus Tasting at O Chateau – not cheap, but I was attracted by their private sommelier offering, which they stopped offering while we were planning this. It was still a fairly small group (11 of us) with a sommelier named Richard who was not only informative, but entertaining as well. Here’s what we tasted: Laherte Frères – Les 7 Champagne; Domaine Chavy-Chouet – Les Folatières Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ; Domaine Nicolas Rossignol – Chevret Volnay Premier Cru; Domaine du Coulet – Brise Cailloux Cornas; Léoville Las Cases – Le Petit Lion Saint Julien; and Château d’Yquem, 1er Grand Cru Classé de Sauternes. Nibbles included a wonderful jambon and something else which reminded me of a coppa, two cheeses, foie gras, salad and bread. Very enjoyable evening.

MISCELLANEOUS

This was one of those trips where we just stumbled along Rue des Martyrs – not even sure we went to any "famous" boulangeries or patisseries, to be honest. We did go to La Maison Georges Larnicol in the 4th for a Kouign Amann for Thanksgiving dessert. I’m glad I got to try one (as opposed to the smaller versions, which I also like) – reheated in the oven, it was pretty good.

Salon des Saveurs (thanks mangeur!) – In hindsight, I’m thinking it wasn’t the best thing to do on jet-lag day, but I’m still glad we went. We sampled many products, and picked up some Pata Negra, 3 different cheeses (please don’t ask me the names!) one of which we ate last night while trimming our tree (almost brought us back - almost...), bread, and another dried sausage – pork shoulder encrusted in herbs. If you go, be strong! (lest you drop waaay too many Euros. ;-))

Dec 06, 2014
VaPaula in France
1

Vienna Area - Take-out or Delivery Food That Travels Decently

We've ordered from Curry Mantra (is Indian too adventurous?) with good results twice and one not (they were very late.) If you go to eat24.com & plug in your zip code, you'll get a few options outside of standard (and so often bad) Chinese. Santini's for sandwiches? How about some prepared foods from Whole Foods?

2 Salons Saveurs, November and December

Thanks for this, mangeur. I went to Barnes & Noble when I read this, but they already had the December issue on the shelves. :-(

Still debating if it's something we want to do on jet-lag day or not, but at least we wouldn't have to TRY to look pathetic standing at the bottom of an escalator, looking for freebies.

Nov 15, 2014
VaPaula in France
1

Moderately Priced Dinner & Good Wine List

Rouge et Blanc (all French wine list) although I haven't eaten there in over a year. Not sure it'll fit the budget, though, as it's tapas-style, which can add up very quickly.

Nov 13, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Top 3 Bloody Mary spots?

+1 for North End Grill.

Nov 13, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Thip Kao in DC - Report

Thanks for the report, Steve. Other favorites at our end of the table were the smoked eggplant stew and the sausage - although the fish was the dish I was craving again the next day. The noodles were much too sweet for me. I agree that there could have been more heat.

Btw, for searching (which is not great on CH) purposes, it's Thip Khao.
http://www.thipkhao.com/

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Shoot - we'll just miss you! We'll be kicking back on the Côte d'Azur (if the creek don't rise, as my husband would say) around the time you get to Paris.

Btw, R is a man after my own heart. I can barely organize my life without a spreadsheet. 16/20 arrondissements is quite impressive, but with an extra week next year, we will expect you to eat in all of them. :-)

Nov 11, 2014
VaPaula in France

Long report: a Franco-African week in Paris

Poetry. Comedy. And some serious reporting. This has it all! Thank you for a most enjoyable read. And wow, that's a lot in 7 days! Good job.

Nov 06, 2014
VaPaula in France