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Charles Nixon's Profile

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question about Ibai (San Sebastian)

Last year Ibai was closed when we visited San Sebastián in early August.

Aug 17, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

Best steak in Basque area (outside of Etxebarri)?

Last summer I really enjoyed Rekondo in San Sebastian. My wife and I shared a very tasty wood grilled bull steak for two and old bottle of Lopez de Heredia Rioja. the wine list is amazing. Check out this link:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...

Jun 25, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

La Pergola

We dined at La Pergola this February and it was one of the nicer three star meals we've had.

Apr 06, 2014
Charles Nixon in Italy

Cinc Sentits

The wife and I were in Barcelona last week and found Cinc Sentits unexciting, but reasonably priced. A dinner a Abac was considerably better, but still not mind blowing. We tried all the Albert Adria places and liked 41 degrees and Pakta, but didn't care for Tickets. All are too gimmicky for me. Probably our favorites of the week were two lunches at the Cal Pep counter and a very nice meal at Ca l'Isidre, very similar to Viridiana in Madrid. Morning coffee and xixos (donuts) at Pinotxo Bar at the Boqueria market were great! Last year we had much better modern Spanish food in Madrid and San Sebastian, but also found the more traditional meals there generally more flavorful.

Apr 05, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

Akelarre, Arzak, Martin B, Mugaritz

We went to all four last August and liked Mugaritz the least, but it and Akelarre are outside of town with nice views that are great for lunch, so you could do some lunches--same menu and price--and hit them all.
Charles

Feb 14, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

Has anyone had a great meal at Arzak recently? Any review of Kokotxa?

On our trip to San Sebastian last August, we liked Arzak and Martin Berasatagui more than Akelarre and Mugaritz. We really enjoyed a more casual dinner at Rekondo.

Jan 24, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

Four Days in Madrid - Specific Questions

Club Allard's chef, Diego Guerrero, left last fall and you may want to reconsider your choice. During our visit last March, we loved Sacha, La Tasquita de Enfente, Viridiana, and Diverxo. Club Allard, Ramon Frexia, and Santceloni, and La Terraza were OK 2 stars, but not places we would go back to. Guerrero's food at Allard was very impressive looking, but somewhat lacking in flavor intensity. La Terraza offered good El Bulli style food, but DiverXO's modern Spanish fusion was truly amazing. Have a great trip.

Jan 24, 2014
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian Splurge Meal- Best value

Some pinxto places are not open for lunch. Pinxto bars are fun, but the more popular ones can be extremely crowded and hectic. Honestly, the only thing we would rush back for is the cheesecake at La Vina

Sep 05, 2013
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian Splurge Meal- Best value

We ate at all of these about a month ago and would rank them (top down) Arzak, M. Berasategui, Akelare, and Mugaritz. Mugaritz is more casual, but perhaps less flavorful for taking the most modernist direction. Akelare and Mugaritz are outside of town with nice views at lunch. After all the starred meals, one of our favorite dinners was at Rekondo--amazing and very reasonable wine list.
Charles

Sep 04, 2013
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

How early do I need to book restaurants in Rome?

I'm going to be in Rome for the first time in mid October. How early do I need to make reservations at popular places? Any particular places I would need to call now? Thanks for any advice.

Sep 04, 2013
Charles Nixon in Italy

Recommendations and reservations in Spain

My wife and I spent 4 days in Madrid in early March this year, and enjoyed our lunches at Viridiana, DiverXo, La Tasquita de Enfrente, and Sacha MUCH more than dinners at El Club Allard, Ramon Frexia, La Terraza del Casino, and Santceloni. The dinners were in stuffier settings and we were still stuffed from lunch. Except for DiverXo, I made most of our reservations a week or two ahead. We're off to San Sebastian in early August, and I made reservations for the famous starred places in May. Enjoy your trip!

Jul 14, 2013
Charles Nixon in Spain/Portugal

Passage 53 reservation

As I said last week, I got through at about 7:30pm Paris time. I asked about the best times for calling to confirm, and was told 10-12 or 6-8. I never understood their recording. About a month ago I was in a similar situation with Astrance, and had a French friend to listen to the message, which described their winter break. I called back as directed and got the reservation. Good luck.

Mar 22, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

Passage 53 reservation

I just got through and made my reservation. They take calls 10-12 and 6-8.
Charles

Mar 14, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

Passage 53 reservation

I've been calling Passage 53, 0142330435, for several days and getting a recording in French. Does anyone here know what it says? I'm looking for dinner on April 5, 6, or 7. Am I too late?
Charles

Mar 14, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

L'Astrance reservation help

Assuming L'Astrance would be the most difficult reservation, I had planned to get it first and then fill in other places for my April 4,5,6,and 7 dates. I'd also like to have lunch at Arpege and Ledoyen. Should I go ahead and reserve them now?

Feb 16, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

L'Astrance reservation help

I've been calling +330140508440 from the US with Skype on my iPhone, and I finally got through moments ago and spoke with someone in English. They told me call back March 7 for April reservations.
Charles

Feb 16, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

L'Astrance reservation help

I'd like to get a lunch reservation at L'Astrance April 4,5,or 6, but I can't understand the recorded message I hear calling 0140508440. Am I already too late for these dates? I know this topic has been discussed here in the past, but I would appreciate any current advice I can get.
Charles

Feb 16, 2012
Charles Nixon in France

Once Special Meal - Pierre Gagnaire or L'Ambroise

My wife and I returned yesterday from a long weekend in Paris and Sunday night at Pierre Gagnaire was the best meal of our trip. Gagnaire was present and friendly, the staff were all amazingly nice, the room cozy and modern (neat floor lamps for most tables), the food incredible (not too much to eat, despite the many plates), and the overall experience well worth 900 euro. Our other meals from best to worst: Spring (cool atmosphere, food almost as good as PG, kind of place I would dine at often), Le Cinq (great service, good value lunch deal), Jules Verne (decent traditional food, not too filling, the view, surprisingly few English speakers, expensive Sunday lunch), L'Ami Jean (too full from lunch at LC, hot and crowded, service not rude as feared), and Guy Savoy (jet lagged lunch after arrival Friday, chef in house, underwhelming food, too many other Americans in our small room). Good luck with your Sunday dinner!

Apr 05, 2011
Charles Nixon in France

le chateaubriand - do they ever actually answer the phone?

I've used Skype on my iPhone for inexpensive calls to and from europe. I prepay for $10 of credit and most calls cost pennies not dollars.
Charles

Feb 18, 2011
Charles Nixon in France

Quality Hardwood Charcoal

I've used B&B for years, but now much prefer the Royal Oak sold at Walmart. There are fewer very large or very small pieces and much less dust compared to B&B. This R O is made in USA, whereas the B&B products are actually made in Argentina--check the fine print on the bags. The best deal I've found this spring is 20# B&B oak for $10.49 a bag at the Plano Central Market. Happy grilling!

Where to find rabbit in DFW

Fiesta on Ross has inexpensive frozen whole rabbits (?Chinese) and Kuby's in Snyder Plaza has Pel-Freeze whole frozen ones for slightly less than the same at Central Market , but still more than twice as much as the Fiesta rabbits.

[Dallas] Where can I buy lamb?

Kuby's in Snyder Plaza sells Colorado lamb.

Will any places be open the weekend after Gustav

I just spoke with Irene's (prior reservation) and Galatoire's ---both will reopen Friday. Galatoire's claimed they will have "the full menu."

Charles

Sep 04, 2008
Charles Nixon in New Orleans

Will any places be open the weekend after Gustav

I just talked with the Omni Royal Orleans and confirmed they will be open Friday---the operator said "come on down." This morning an NPR report said John Besh opened Luke for dinner last night.

Charles

Sep 03, 2008
Charles Nixon in New Orleans

Will any places be open the weekend after Gustav

I have reservations for a NO trip this Friday through Monday. Assuming the airport is open, will many restaurants be open, and fresh seafood available?

Charles

Sep 02, 2008
Charles Nixon in New Orleans