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Reim Champagne guided tours- need suggestions

We visited Reims last week, and while we did not do a guided tour and so cannot offer suggestions, I second the suggestion to visit Pommery. Mumm was very informative, and a great introduction to the Champagne process, but you'll be past that by the time you've done all your touring. The Pommery tour is more of an art walk through some spectacular chalk caves. Some of the pieces that have been installed this year were far better than they have any right to be. If you and your daughter each get the two tasting option, you can try one of each of the four champagnes and share them all.

You will likely need to get a taxi from the city centre/Cathedral area, or it's a somewhat quiet 30-minute walk.

Aug 07, 2013
smellymay in France

Manhattan (cocktail) in Paris

Thanks - Seems I'll be heading upscale to scratch my Manhattan itch :)
Appears that Le Secret is closed, though, if Yelp is to be believed.

Jun 30, 2013
smellymay in France

Manhattan (cocktail) in Paris

Hello -

Does anyone have any suggestions for a place that makes a good Manhattan? Most cocktail bars I come across have their own creations, heavier on the fruity side of cocktails. I'm sure a bartender could make me one, but I thought I'd check before I begin asking - I'm not sure how rarely Rye is used in France.


Jun 29, 2013
smellymay in France

Eating and drinking in Hyeres?

I'll be visiting Hyeres for a few days and would appreciate any advice about any regional specialties to look out for (seafood?), as well as any specific places for dining (under 20€ with a glass of wine, or local liqueur!)

Thanks for sharing any and all thoughts/wild speculations.

Aug 15, 2012
smellymay in France

Paris food scene - mediocre at best?

I think the OP is bringing up something important - so there wasn't a terrible amount of care that led to attentively selected restaurants, the solution surely mustn't be that unless one spends weeks on chowhound or John Talbott's or David Lebovitz's blots (fun though that is) you're taking huge risks and are courting disappointment. Discovery is part of the joy. And there's definitely a huge gap mawing between dodgy tourist traps and the places that tend to get mentioned on this board, which amount to about a dozen or so (expensive) places, unless someone posts with a very specific dietary / geographical need. Not to say that I don't delight in voyeurism of how well-off visitors dine, but if Frenchie or Spring or Le Grand Vefour come up again...Just an observation, really enjoy the board.

Jul 28, 2012
smellymay in France

Robbie Burns Day?

Does anyone know of any places celebrating Robbie Burns day today? Restaurants, pubs, museums, any tips are welcome!


Jan 25, 2012
smellymay in Greater Boston Area

Cdn visitor looking for quality seafood, chowder, seasonal foods(ramps/asparagus/rhubarb. etc) & interesting/innovative salads

Oleana looks like it serves food quite similar to Mezzetta in Toronto, though the latter has much more reasonable prices: - Just thought I'd pass it on, since you're a resident of the!

134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Oct 08, 2011
smellymay in Greater Boston Area

Eating my way through New Orleans: A Newbie Guide for Visitors

Not sure where to post this, but I just wanted to thank New Orleans (and chowhound recommendations) for a great food journey in the city. Despite only being in town for three days, myself and my partner are pretty proud of what we managed to hit - I hope it might help visitors like me, and convince them that yes, they CAN eat (almost) everything they want in only three and a half days!

Tuesday - Prix Fixe lunch at August - outstanding. Actually, the amuse bouche might have been my favourite, but then it was a custard with both truffles and caviar, so it probably blew my rube palate. I had the beat and ricotta salad for a starter, the brandade de morue for a main, and the pannacotta for the desert (the panna cotta itself was sublime, the strawberry sauce that accompanied it a tad sweet).
That evening, we weren't too hungry, and had just coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde. Both outstanding and cheap, but the place is dingy and people-watching is limited to tourists and carriages. Get your things to go and watch the river instead.

Wednesday: our B&B was in the faubourg Marigny, and we started with breakfast at Cake Bakery (, sharing a plate of eggs, boudin, grits, and biscuit. We also had their homemade bagels there for breakfast the next morning, which were quite nice. Ask for the homemade jam!
Lunch was main courses at Bayona ( - very reasonably priced, wonderful food. Disappointed that we couldn't sit in the courtyard owing to the threat of rain. My partner had the mixed grill ($15), I had the duck "PB&J" sandwich ($12), both excellent, though my sandwich became a little too much by the end.

Thursday: Breakfast at Cake Bakery again, great start to the morning. Lunch was a muffelatta sandwich from Central Grocery - the line took about 15 minutes, but who would have thought a simple sandwich could (a) live up to such hype, and (b) give such joy? Get the full thing and share it on the riverbank.
Dinner was at Boucherie ( - they were extremely accommodating to us as walk-ins (we got there right when it opened, as we had called ahead and knew they were full), and we got to eat on the porch - which was perfect as the day was not too warm. I was introduced to the Sazerac, which was outstanding (though it was my first!), and we had their appetizer specials (a flaming concoction of cheese and seasonal vegetables for one, a tuna tartare for the other), entrees were the pulled pork cake (a tad dry, though considerably moistened with their housemade spicy vinegar) and applewood smoked scallops (perfectly cooked, and divine with the pickled vegetables that accompanied them), followed by the bacon brownie and Krispy Kreme bread pudding. I couldn't have been happier with this dinner, and for all the tourists, the St.Charles streetcar will take you right from the French Quarter to its front door, making for an enjoyable (if long!) trip.

Friday: Breakfast at Elizabeth's in Bywater (, where I was introduced to fried chicken livers and pepper jelly (delicious but HUGE - you may want to share this breakfast order), fluffy biscuits, and praline bacon (amazingly, not as filling as the chicken livers, and super tasty - it was fun to compare it to the bacon brownie). This is a cute place that was worth it for us, since we were in the Marigny already. If coming here is the only way you get to leave the French Quarter and see Marigny/Bywater, definitely do it.
If you can believe it, we then forced ourselves to eat another huge meal, since we were leaving that evening, and had lunch at Cochon ( No reservations again, but seated immediately, with wonderful service - this time we were three, and enjoyed cocktails (Boucherie's were better!), as well as Boudin balls (one of the best things we ate on the trip), crawfish pie (which I would not order again - the pastry was too heavy), and alligator (served with mint, which was super enjoyable) for starters, followed by ribs with watermelon pickle, catfish courtbouillon (very tasty, but a bit muddled), pork loin with peas and herbs (delicious and light tasting), and chicken and deviled egg gumbo (the egg really added a creaminess that was extremely pleasant). As you might imagine, we had no room for dessert. Thankfully, there was a long (and rushed) walk to the Marigny before heading to the airport.

So, I hope this helps other visitors navigate and eat their way through New Orleans. Boucherie is a must, as is August. Cochon was good but not outstanding (though I suspect we were simply burned out by that point), Elizabeth's is a lovely way to see more of the city, and please don't skip the muffaletta at Central Grocery.

930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Apr 30, 2011
smellymay in New Orleans

Toronto Undergound Food Market

It would be interesting to see how the city would react - given that Rob Ford's City Hall just axed the 'A la Cart' program because (in part) it was an example of bureaucratic red tape impeding people selling 'whatever they want', this could be just the kind of grassroots thing that his politics should favour.

In general, most of us eat regularly at houses without expecting inspections have verified their kitchens, as well as at establishments where we willingly close our eyes to what may be happening behind the swinging door.

Noir, new coffee place at St. Clair and Christie -- great coffee, gorgeous interior

I'm just so worried about this place - it's delightful, the service is so pleasant, it's a joy to sit in...but it's coffee is more expensive than Starbucks. I don't mind paying for service, independent operators, and a nice coffee, but I can't do it that often (same reason I don't go to Starbucks that often). It just makes me nervous for people who've obviously put in so much effort.

Restos on St Clair West - suggestions?

Prop at St. Clair/Arlington is a newish place with very nice food, affordable and fairly interesting. Great coffee. That would be my first choice - it's more affordable than the Rushton.
Ferro is always open for lunch, across the street at St.Clair/Arlington, time-tested Italian with a great atmosphere.
If you didn't mind takeout, I'd say give Stockyards a shot - St.Clair/Christie - the seating is quite limited, however, so you won't be able to rely on it.

740 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1B3, CA

Cafe Leopold gone?

I have no more details, but also noticed the sign with anguish yesterday. They had been closed for a while and had just reopened with a beautiful new bar...why do all that work and then close? Hopefully they're just moving to a better location that's not too far...

looking for a place like the Harbord Room

Hello all - I was responsible for shepherding some out of towners a few months back, and I selected the Harbord Room, where an outstanding time was had by all. Now the pressure's on for the second time, and I'm interested in finding a second place with a similar price point and similarly stellar service, somewhere in the modern bistro range.

The out-of-towners themselves are pushing for Le Select or Nota Bene, both of which I'd like to try, but I want to make sure I present them with other options - They'd be delighted to try something they haven't heard of.


Regal Heights

I know this is an old post, but the Regal Heights Cafe has got coffee too good to pass over. Very friendly place as well, and one of the few outdoor patios in this area come summer time.

regal heights bistro

Regal Heights is one of the most confusing places I've encountered. It's beautiful, has friendly (and competent) service, a gorgeous menu (often featuring local items) and impressive wine list, and yet, it's hours are ridiculous (no lunch? even on the weekends?), and in the evening the place is often quite empty. It's mystifying. Maybe this end of St.Clair W. is just a dead zone for restaurants.

Hidden gems in Chritie-Dupont area?

I'm looking for any opportunity to give Mezzettas (St.Clair W/Christie) some publicity! What an outstanding, and reasonably priced, restaurant. Beautiful food, and it gets even cheaper on Mondays and Tuesdays. Plus, your vegetarian friends won't have to order from a diminutive menu.

Savoury & Sweet Fondue Places

Just wanted to chime in re: Cafe Taste - I've got to say that place is confusing. It does indeed have fondue, but it's another tealight fondue pot that doesn't keep things bubbling, and while I appreciate that extra toast is made to order, how on earth can it take fifteen minutes when there are no other customers in the restaurant? It's a beautiful restaurant with outstanding local items on the menu, but the food is only so-so and the service is, well, I hate to say it, pretentious. A fon-don't.

The Cupcakery

The Cupcakery is awesome! I agree that (even months after launch) their selection can be limited...I was in on Saturday afternoon and they had only four of their normal six flavours on display. (Hello, people, beautiful afternoon = foot traffic! ) Still, their cupcakes are very, very good, as well as inventive. I have better luck with the vanilla-based ones than with the chocolate. Having eaten many expensive cupcakes in the city (I couldn't even finish one from Dufflet), this place is a gem. Hope it lasts!