cgervais45's Profile

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Female dining solo in Vegas

I have taken two solo trips to Las Vegas and never once felt uncomfortable. I STRONLY recommend Bouchon for breakfast, Le Cirque and my personal favorite Alize which was just a stunning dinner with a beautiful view of the Las Vegas strip.

Mar 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Southwest

Fine (bar) dining recommendations?

I wouldn't call Le-Bernardin lively but its the best meal I've had. Don't know about dining at the bar but it looked nice. I LOVED EMP bar! Nice setting, great food, and cool bartenders.

Feb 24, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

Best Appetizers in Vegas

I do believe they serve it at the bubble bar ala carte!!

Feb 24, 2009
cgervais45 in Southwest

My next SOLO Culinary Adventure! You Choose!

Ok yall. I've recently have done solo culinary tours of NY and Las Vegas and now I'm planning my next culinary adventure and I'm reaching to my fellow chowhounds. I have narrowed it down to Napa Valley and San Fran. Area, Chicago, or New Orleans. Being born in Cali. but raised in the south, I've always wanted to go back and experience some western cuisine but also love my spice which is why New Orleans is in the mix and for Chicago, well some of the best Chefs make there grounds there. I want a city that is relaxing, open to solo travelers, and some good scenary....Sorry NY and Las Vegas, yall just weren't a very relaxing of a town and I NEED a relaxing culinary adventure for once. Money isn't a issue as I want to dine at the best!!! Thanks and can't wait to hear some suggestions!

Jan 27, 2009
cgervais45 in General Topics

eating alone in New York recs?!

I recently did a solo trip to NY and Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, and Gramercy Tavern treated me like royalty and I felt very comfortable dining alone. Eleven Madison Parks bar is very comfortable to!!!

Jan 26, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Agree 100%. I enjoyed my pasta at GT more than the one I had at Babbo during my trip. Danny Meyer has a new fan!

Jan 26, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

To be honest I wasn't a fish guy until my trip to NY and now I'm loving and wanting to explore the ocean a little more....lol. Thanks for the feedback. A new city will be on the look out for me soon!!!

Jan 25, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Restaurant Daniel Review

Walking into Restaurant Daniel is like walking into a french chateau with rich colors and flowers everywhere, its really one of the most stunning restaurants I have walked into. Everyone seemed happy, smiling, and talking to one another and it reminded me of a foodie french mafia. I decided to dine in the lounge because it looked very appealing especially for a solo diner like myself. The lounge is a small, intimate, dark room consisting of about 8 or so tables and seemed much more quieter than the main dining room. With waiters direct from France, I feel Chef Daniel wants his guests to feel like there dining in his homeland

To start my meal I went with the Maine Peekytoe Crab with Fuji Apples, Celery Creme Fraiche, Hearts of Palm. It was wrapped in a roll, much like a sushi roll, with a rich yet light sauce that paired very well with the crab. It was a good dish but not excellent. For my entree I went with the Pan Roasted Halibut with Pine Nut-Grape Chutney, Celery, Verjus. WOW, I've been craving this dish ever since I had it. The Halibut so light and flaky it just melts in your mouth. The Pine Nut-Grape Chutney added a earthy sweetness to the dish that was mouth watering. This dish is in my Top 5 of all time. Just beautiful, tasty, and memorable! For desert I went with the Tainori Chocolate Dacquoise with Rice Crispy, Lemon Curd, and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream. Like a rich double fudge chocolate brownie with rich dark chocolate ice cream with a mini thin chocolate rice crispy treat on top that tasted just like Kellogg's! If your a chocolate person this desert is calling your name but was a little to rich for me.

Overall a good meal, one excellent dish, but I was hoping for a little more. Service was good but a little slow at times. Chef Daniel was out and about talking to all the guests and even though he never came and greeted me he did take the time to sign a menu for me which was cool. I love Chefs who care about there guests and enjoys talking to them and I can see that in Chef Daniel. Its a great restaurant for a romantic date but I feel for the price, you have much better restaurants to choose from for a foodie night out on the town.

Jan 25, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

What city should I go to for a culinary vacation?

I've had two trips which were focus on food and resturants. Most recently New York, which was FANTASTIC, and the other is Las Vegas which was awsome as well. Next on my list is Napa Valley or Chicago but I haven't decided yet. Culinary trips are fun just pace yourself.

Jan 25, 2009
cgervais45 in General Topics

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Review of Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern is to New York what the French Laundry is to Napa Valley.. a landmark and a restaurant New York is extremely proud of and after my recent meal I fell in love just like everyone else. I was hesitate to even come here due to it being Restaurant Week because I'm personally not of fan of Restaurant Weeks but to my surprise the menu consisted of many dishes from the regular menu. While be escorted to my table in the main dining room, I took in the restaurant because it has a beautiful relaxed atmosphere that really just makes you feel calm and almost like your dining at home.

For my meal I went with the Lamb Pappardelle with Olives, Lemon Confit and Beet Greens. This dish really took me back when I was a kid and reminded me of a pimped out Hamburger Helper. With generous chunks of Lamb cooked to perfection on top of perfectly cooked pasta with a wonderful brown gravy that had a slight yellow tint to it that really brighten up the dish. The smell was just wonderful like a nice hearty soup with a zesty lemon smell and was the perfect dish for a cold winter day. Next I went with the Sea Bass with Spaghetti Squash, Walnuts and Sherry Sauce. A beautifully cooked piece of Sea Bass that literally cut like butter with a bright yellow sherry sauce with little chunks of walnuts and squash all on top of a bed of spaghetti squash. The dish was just a knock out. For desert I went with the Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cacao Nib Ice Cream. It was a very rich bread pudding in the shape of a muffin with gooey chocolate in the center and a dollop with Chocolate Chip Ice cream that even Blue Bell can't touch. Every single dish tasted amazing, fresh, and I just loved the bright colors Chef Anthony uses in his cooking.

Overall, one of the best meals I've had. Everything was simple and you could really see, taste, and smell each ingredient which I loved. The service was stellar. After dining at another Danny Meyer restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, you can really see that he cares about his guests as well as his staff. Chef Anthony came out at the end of my meal and had a menu for me that was signed by the entire kitchen staff as well as him and thanked me for dining there. The funny thing is was he wasn't even in the kitchen while I was eating but coming in during desert so its obvious they have well trained and talented chefs working in the kitchen. I can't wait to return!!!

Jan 23, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

I think its a tie between Le Bernardin and Gramercy Tavern. They both treated with the best hospitality a solo diner could ask for and where I felt most comfortable!

Jan 23, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

I agree 100%! Jean Georges and Le Bernardin have both been around longer than Per Se which is why I thought they were both more fine tuned than Per Se, thats if you count Le Bernardins stay in Paris. I think Per Se tries to be more modernized than classical. I guess I tend to lean towards Classical.....

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Per Se Review. Short and to the point!

Thomas Keller, he is a gift from our Lord above brought to us to taste and experience food. He is a Chef's Chef meaning you won't find him on TV cooking for America or yelling at people because there kitchen is dirty, but he is a Chef devoted entirely to his restaurants in which are considered to be the greatest restaurants in the world. I will not waste my time going through dish by dish because there is no point. It is extremely unlikely you and I will ever have the same meal as each other. There is a different menu everyday with the exception of one the greatest dishes of my life and that would be his signature dish "Oysters and Pearls".

Walking into Per Se is like walking into a private club where very few people get to be let in and once you've experienced its a greatness, a sense of accomplishment will glow inside you, at least for me anyways. I believe there is only 16 tables throughout the dining room which allows more of a intimate dining experience. With views of Central Park that are stunning and the decor was beautiful yet simple at the same time. As soon as I sat down the complimentary champagne was poured followed by another pour. The food was sensational, from the Amuse Bouche's to the Mignardises, everything was presented beautifully, cooked to perfection, and tasted delish but there was just something missing from my meal and I can't quite catch what it was. While the food was good the only memorable dish was the "Oysters and Pearls".

The service was flawless but was a little to watch full, I just felt like someone was watching me the entire time but maybe because I was a solo diner. I was given a tour of there wonderful kitchen that was spotless and ran like a military camp ground. While my meal hear was defiantly a experience and I am entirely glad I experienced it, I just hope my future visit to The French Laundry won't leave my trying to catch what was missing from my meal here. Thomas Keller is still my favorite Chef!!!

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Daniel actually was good. I'm very dispointed not making it to KO, WD 50 not to much. Plus I need something to look forward to, like you said, for my next trip. Per Se will come but as you can tell already it wasn't my favorite but still sensational.

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

There was a few changes due to some minor complications which I didn't make it to WD 50 or Momofuku Ko which I was kinda sad about but I still had a lovely time. Instead of WD 50 I end up at Babbo and ended up at Restaurant Daniel instead of Momofuku Ko which was the biggest disapointment even though my meal at Daniel was sensational.

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Yes it is now mine as well. It was a honor and it will be the first reservation I'll make next time I'm in NYC!

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

LOL your welcome!

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Jean Georges (2nd Favorite)

Awww Jean Georges. When it comes to fine dining in New York there is one restaurant that has stood the test of time and a restaurant a Foodie, a New Yorker, and a Chef should know about. Its a restaurant of classic french cusine with a strong asian influence and if anyone is familiar with Jean George Vongerichten, he is very much influenced by the Asian culture and it shows in his cooking and within all his other restaurants. Located within the beautiful Trump Tower, the Main Dining room is a well lit with colors of white and dark tans with flowers assorted throughout the room, its what I would consider a classic style french restaurant. Nothing over the top, just perfect. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by two beautiful young ladys who escorted me through Nougatine, Jean Georges more casual restaurant, and had a perfect little table for me where I could see the whole dining room. Tables are perfectly spread out to allow more of a intimate dining experience. Once seated I was presented with three delicous Amuse Bouche's which were simply amazing and I knew I was in for a great lunch.

For the First Course I went with the Peekytoe Crab Dumplings, Celeriac-Meyer Lemon Jam. It consisted of three plumped dumplings feeled with lots of Peekytoe Crab, which is one of my favorite seafoods, with a perfectly seasoned and zesty lemon broth. I'm drooling while typing this. This is the standout dish of my trip. Simple and yet amazingly delish. Next I went with the Seared Gulf Shrimp, Silky Pumpkin, Ginger and Basil. This had a nice kick to it which is why I love Jean Georges cooking because he isn't afraid of adding a little spice. Shrimp cooked perfectly and seasoned to perfection with a little kick to it and the Silky Pumpkin added a creamy and a slight sweetness to the shrimp and the dish was topped off with pumpkin seeds that added a perfect balance of earthiness to it. Beautiful dish! Next I went with the Soy Glazed Beef Short Ribs, Apple-Jalepeno Puree and Rosemary Crumbs. AGAIN a beautiful and excellent dish. Perfect amount of kick and sweetness with the Apple-Jalepeno Puree and the crumbs adding a nice crunch to the perfectly cooked Beef Short Ribs which were the best tasting short ribs I've had. For desert I went with the Strawberry, Crisp Praline, Strawberry Sponge, Fraise des Bois Gazpacho, Lemon Thyme Sorbet, Tristar Berries, Hendricks Cucumbers. To be honest I wasn't blown away by the desert but it still delish. It had nice refreshing fruity sorbet on top of a crispy praline covered with a nice warm marshmellow type coating. It was unique because the sorbet was cold but the coating around it was warm. The warm cinnamon donut hole that is was accompanied by was delish as well expecially dipped in the sweet caramel sauce it came with but I think I like my Dunkin Donut holes better....

Overall it is was a excellent meal and I prefer Jean Georges style of cooking over many other Chefs. He is probably one of New Yorks most respected chefs and I can see why. Service was nothing but the best and what you would expect from a restaurant of this caliber. Weather your looking for a foodie lunch, or a romantic night with your lover, this is the perfect restaurant.

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

In a trip that involved dining at some of the worlds greatest restaurants there is one that stood taller than the rest. Le Bernardin. In a mondern day last supper, I believe this would be the place Jesus and the Apostles would choose to have there meal. Seafood so fresh that it tastes like it was swimming in a sea or ocean 10 minutes before you eat it or maybe the staff who seems to really care about your dining experience and not wondering what party there going to go to afterwards or how much I'm going to tip them. Service so swift and perfect its like watching a ballet show. There has been many complaints about the interior design and how it looks like a office building, but to me the only thing that looks like a office building are the guests dining there as they all come dressed to impress in which they should. The guys in suits and the ladys in there ballroom dresses. If one takes a secound to look around, expecially at the paintings, to me it resembles a greek beachside restaurant with a little french twist on it. The paintings really resemble the food served here with bright blues and french guys flowing up and down the water. Beautiful flowers that just really make the room pop. Tables are a little close but close enough where a couple couldn't enjoy the company of each other. It a great restaurant for a romatic night out or for a culinary adventure.

When I first walked in they didn't have me down for a reservation, which I made, but said no problem sir and took be to the perfect little table in the corner that was devine for a solo diner. They then brought me a complimentary glass of champagne to start off what would be the greatest dining experience I've ever had. I knew from the beginning the tasting menu would be what I would choose but wanted to create my own tasting menu as there were certain dishes I wanted to try. The server quickly said no problem sir, we will do whatever you like. First course I chose the Tuna (Almost Raw), Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Tuna was very silky and smooth with the Foie Gras adding a nice richness to it followed by the crunch of the Toasted Baguette. A beauitul dish that was light and yet rich at the same time. Secound course was the Sea Urchin Risotto (Barely Touched), Sea Urchin Risotto, Toasted Nori, Urchin-Citrus Emulsion. Aw this was one of my favorites of the night. It was lightly rich Risotto with the Citrus Emulsion adding a nice light flavor and the Nori adding the slight saltiness to the dish. Right in the middle floating on top was a big Sea Urchin that seemed to just swim right down my mouth. Third course was the Salmon (Lightly Cooked), Barely Cooked Organic Salmon, Water Chesnuts and Pea Tendrils, Gingered Baby Bok Choy and Citrus Emulsion. The best salmon I have had, period. Cooked just slightly, it was sweet and savory to the last bite. Fourth course was the Bass-Langoustine (Lightly Cooked), Baked Wild Striped Bass and Langoustine, Confit Tomato Agnolotti, Boullabaiise Consomme and Curry Emulsion. This was the shining star of the night. Perfectly cooked flacky Striped Bass with a HUGE piece of Langoustine that was almost as big as the bass itself that had the texture and taste of Lobster but I prefer this little creature more than Lobster. I can still smell this dish. Has a bright yellow citrus color around the bass with a delicous and wholesome smell of fresh grown tomatoes with a slight spice of the curry. Excellent dish! Fifth course was the Surf and Turf (Lightly Cooked) Escolar and Seared Kobe Beef, Sea Bean Salad and Eggplant Fries, Mr. Kaugmans Pesto and Anchovy Sauce. The nice rectangle shaped Kobe Beef was cooked to perfection but was a little more salty than I liked. The Escolar is a white tuna and flavorless fish but Mr. Kaugmans Pesto and Anchovy Sauce added a nice brown and earthy taste to it that made it sing! For the First Dessert I went first with the Yuzu, Yuzu Parfait, Meringue, Green Tea Biscuit and Ice Cream. The Yuzu had a citrus flavor of a orange but the slight bitterness of a grapfruit but the meringue balanced in out with a creamy and rich flavor. The green tea biscuit look like a doggy treat but tasted just like green tea. Good but nothing great. Secound Dessert I went with the Hazelnut, Gianduja Cream, Oregon Hazelnuts, Honey, Banana, Brown Butter Ice Cream. It tasted like bitter chocolate but the Bananas and Brown Butter Ice Cream really brought the sweetness out in the dish. But yet again, good but nothing great. At the end they give some very delicous Mignardises which were delish. Throughout the meal the Chef would bring me some Amuse Bouches all in which were good. Some dishes were excellent and the rest were pure greatness.

Overall this meal is a meal I will remember for a long time. The service and food was the best I recieved throughout my culinary adventure tour of NYC which included restaurants such as Per Se, Jean Georges, and Daniel. I was treated like royalty from the staff and even the other diners around me, which a very nice couple bought me a shot of the best Rum I've ever had and probably the most expensive at that and came over to say they admired me for dining solo, and everyone around me didn't once seem to judge me or look down on me for dining solo. This is what I think "Fine Dining" should be like. They don't have a BS reservation system or require you to set your alarm and spend hours trying to get a reservation but a restaurant that truely understands hospitalty and food. Simply put, its what I think is the best restaurant in the United States.

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip REVIEWS!

Ok ya'll I'm back and I'm just starting to write my reviews. May take a little while but I will post them in order of my favorites. Favorites being first and working my way down. First up Le Bernardin (My Favorite)!

Jan 22, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip Next Week and I STILL need help :(

Everything is the same except tuesday is my complication. I have reservations at Gordan Ramsay, Adour, Cafe Boulud and Gilt....lol I know. Need some recs yall! Getting the Ko reservations mean I had to knock someone out.

Jan 14, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko - 17 Course Tasting Lunch 1/10/09 - Full Rundown...

I got a saturday dinner reservation for the last sitting. I hope my menu compares to yours cuz your looks great. Does anyone know if they use more quality of the stuff for lunch than dinner or will I still expect top quality like your menu?

Jan 14, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip Next Week and I STILL need help :(

Thanks. I enjoyed my meal VERY much at Maze last time I was in NY and have heard great things about Cafe Boulud and Veritas. Chef at Gordon Ramsay was awarded 08 Rising Hotel Chef and Cafe Boulud chef was awarded 08 Rising Chef and I know Chef Pugin will be granted next for sure so its a hard decision. I won't be back in NY for awhile so I want to catch the best....

Jan 12, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip Next Week and I STILL need help :(

Have you been since the new chef has been there. He was recently awarded 08 Rising star chef award which is what drew me there.

Jan 12, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

My Culinary Fantasy Trip Next Week and I STILL need help :(

Well I snagged a reservation for KO on a saturday night at 10:00pm so that should be fun. Had to move my Le Bernardin Reservation for Monday at 9:30, kinda late but o well, and decided against Gordon Ramsay and I think I'm gonna go with Cafe Boulud since they are now doing a tasting menu. Does this sound good or should I stick for Gordon Ramsay or Adour instead of Cafe Boulud?

Jan 12, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

In Photos: A Report from Jean Georges, or, Vongerichten's Still Got It

Cool thanks! I will start doing the same as it will add a uniqueness to my menue collection already!

Jan 11, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

FISHTAIL

Wow sounds like a must try. Thanks for the info!

Jan 11, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

In Photos: A Report from Jean Georges, or, Vongerichten's Still Got It

Another fantasic review. I'll be hitting both Jean George (Main Dining Room) and Le Bernardin the same day so it will indeed to do a compare as well. Just wondering, I've noticed most on the menues you have are autographed. Is this a request you make or do they come like that as that is a kinda hoppy of mine as well, collecting menus that is.

Jan 11, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

Anyone been to Gordon Ramsay Recently?

I stand corrected. I misread something. None the less the new chef seems to bringin in the crowds.

Jan 09, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan

Anyone been to Gordon Ramsay Recently?

I will be dining next week. No opentable for them just phone reservations and maybe throught e-mail. They do require your credit card to hold the reservation. They must be doing well right now because I called three weeks ago and they were almost booked through. They book 2 months in advance, so if you want a specific time I recommend reserving now. From the reviews I've read recently since the new chef took over, who by the way was 08 rising chef, they have been stellar.

Jan 09, 2009
cgervais45 in Manhattan