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A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

Perhaps it was my fault for eating too quickly and just not used to the format. I think I went into the panic mode you talked about of trying each dish too quickly. I didn't know which dishes were hot, and which dishes were cold.

We ordered a la carte. The waiter suggested we share an appetizer, and then we each order a main course, and then share a dessert.

The amuse bouche was probably the best part of the meal, perhaps because we really took time to enjoy each dish. Around 5 small really bright fresh tasting dishes and bread sticks.

The appetizer was 7 dishes. We each got 7 of the same dishes so there were 14 dishes set on our table at once! This is probably where the panic set in. I enjoyed most of them, but some of the dishes were too bitter for my taste, I think from the alcohol.

For the main course my wife had the Langoustine and I had the duck. The Languostine was prepared 5 different ways. I had the duck which came in 3 dishes. One dish was the duck breast, one was the duck skin, and the other was some veggie with duck foie gras sauce. I had a few bites of the duck, and then went to try the langoustines. By the time I went back to my duck, it was cold. Temperature is the concern I have with so many dishes on the table.

We all shared these dishes so total I ate 8 dishes for main course.

Then we had a pre-dessert, and then the final dessert of 7 dishes, and then a couple of chocolates.

So not quite 30 courses, but around 27 tastings.

There was a table next to us that finished even before we did!

The food was executed really well, but it was not the 3 star michelin experience I was hoping for. I think the format just didn't work for me.

Oct 17, 2014
Torolover in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

Yes I read about Pierre Gagnaire and looked at photos of the dishes before I made the reservation. I came prepared, but I didn't realize that once I got them, I had this urge to try all of them before they got cold.

For example my wife had the Langoustines for the main course which was prepared 6 different ways. It came out at all at once. I felt like I had to try all the different preparations quickly before they got cold. Some of the dishes were supposed to be cold like the Langoustine tartar, but I found myself rushing to eat the other dishes that were poached or cooked medium rare. With so many different flavors, I prefer to slowly take my time to appreciate each flavor and texture.

For desserts we had 9 desserts come out at the same time. Again some had ice-cream or cream, and I felt the rush to eat them all before they melt.

Execution was well done, but from this experience, I learned that I prefer courses to come out one by one, so I could really focus appreciating one dish at a time.

We had about 30 courses and finished them all in about 2 hours. At Le Cinq for lunch we had about 8 courses and it took us more then 3 hours to finish lunch!

Oct 16, 2014
Torolover in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

The other restaurant that I really liked in Nice is Comptoir du Marché. It is the sister restaurant of Bistro D'antoine. I had to book Bistro D'antoine well in advance, but I got in to Comptoir du Marche for lunch as a walk in.

Comptoir du Marche has some of the same dishes as Bistro D'antoine. They have the beef tongue in both restaurants. I ordered The beef tongue ($13!) at du Marche and it melted in my mouth and didnt have any rough fibers. I also had the langoustine special. It was perfectly cooked and was so tender, on par with the langoustine I had at Pierre Gagniere. Highly recommend the langoustine special. Also had the scallops which are fine, but wouldn't order it again.

I had duck at Bistro D'antoine($13!!), while good, not that interesting, and not as good as the langoustine special at du Marche and not as good as the beef tongue. I also had the tomato salad which sounds boring, but it was so sweet and fresh. Mussels ($7) sounds boring but were so sweet!

Yes the croissant I had was the Ispahan croissant. I also had a really good eclair at Eclair de Genie and Angelina.

Oh I forgot to mention I also went to Chateaubriand. It was good and fun, but I probably wouldn't go back again as there are so many other places I want to try. The most memorable dish I had was the dessert made of three ingredients. Candied egg yolk, sugar, and almond powder. That was a fantastic treat!

Oct 16, 2014
Torolover in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

Just came back from a week of eating in Paris! I had some inspiring meals and also some really awful meals. It really pays to do research on this board! Thanks to all you Chowhounders for making my meals so memorable!

First of all those of you who visit Paris and think just any good bistros can be found by picking a random one on the corner be aware!! I had some awful food at some random bistros and awful croissants at some random bakeries.

The highlights for me are

David Toutain- My most memorable and favorite meal in Paris. Great lunch deal and each dish was so fresh tasting, delicious and inspiring. Bravo!

Chez L'ami Jean- I thought was a little pricey since main courses are 40 euros and starters are 16-20 euros, but after trying some more expensive Michelin restaurants, I don't mind paying his new prices. I think the way to go is for his tasting menu which is a better deal then ordering a la carte. Everything was cooked to perfection and flavors were interesting, delicious and good portions!

Ze Kitchen Galerie- I prefer this restaurant over Le Cinq and much better value even at dinner then Pierre Gagniere. Great service, great presentation, delicious, and great atmosphere.

Le Cinq- Great starters, but really disappointed with my main course. Great atmosphere and the dessert cart was great. May try again in the future for the famous lamb shoulder.

Pierre Gagniere- Maybe my expectations were too high, but only 3 quarters of the dishes were delicious to me. The other quarter were cooked well and vibrant tasting, but I didn't feel like I wanted to finish them. Lots of these dishes were a little bitter because of the uncooked alcohol in them. I didn't like the way they present 5 or 6 dishes at the same time. My taste buds got confused, and I felt like I had to rush to try each dish before they get cold. I must have had 30 very different courses, and I would have preferred to have a more focused tasting of 10.

If anyone goes to Nice, I would highly recommend Bistro D'antoine. I had incredible mussels for only 7 Euros and incredible beef tongue for only 13 euros! Probably my third favorite restaurant in France! He has two other restaurants that I tried. The third one had only opened for a couple months. I didn't like the third one as much as the other two. Portions were a lot smaller, and it seemed like he was making the third restaurant more of a fine dining restaurant.

Had lots of bad croissants, but had an incredible one at Pierre Herme. It was a Rose, raspberry croissant. Also had a really good croissant at Angelina and Eric Kayser.

If anyone has any questions I would love to help!

Thanks again Chowhounders!

Oct 16, 2014
Torolover in France

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

I had the Lunch Tasting Menu 4 course which is 145 Eu. They also have the 5 course Tasting which is 185 Eu.

I was really impressed with the first few dishes but really disappointed with my main course. I had fish which was a good size, probably 4 ounces, but it was a little dry and I found the flavor boring. It sat on a carrot, a beet, and a some other root vegetable.

My wife had the lamb for the main course which was much better. Desserts were very good and the small desserts carts were very good.

Great ambiance, but the main course really disappointed me for a 2 star Michelin restaurant.

How much was the lunch deal before?

Oct 16, 2014
Torolover in France

the great croissant hunt

Just ate a great croissant from Madeleine Cafe in South End. This is pretty close to the ones I ate in Paris. They have lots of other good pastries as well!

Oct 15, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

the great croissant hunt

I just came back from a trip to Paris and ate a pastry that has mascarpone from the famous Pierre Herme.

http://www.parispatisseries.com/2011/...

Oct 15, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

Best Place to Get an Eggplant Sub?

Best eggplant sandwich I've had is Strip T's eggplant Bahn mi. I think it even got best of Boston this year for sandwich.

Oct 15, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

All-time best dessert?

I just came back from 10 day trip of Paris eating at 1 michelin, 2 michelin and 3 star michelin restaurants, and I have to say, Asta's desserts can compete with these restaurants desserts!

I really can't remember what I had at Asta for dessert but I remember I had this creme puff which was ridiculously good. I think the four times I went, three of the desserts were outstanding and one of them was simply good. I really wish they kept that cream puff, I know it sound plain, but the texture of the puff was incredible.

Asta's desserts are not that sweet. They are light and use really good fresh milk/cream.

Oct 15, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

I'll find out in 24 hours! Having lunch tomorrow at Le Cinq!

Oct 11, 2014
Torolover in France

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

Oh no! I have lunch reservations this Sunday! Should I cancell?

Oct 07, 2014
Torolover in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

The tables were right next to each other. They were tighter then Chez Denise! It's a fun place where you can talk to your neighbor and discuss about your food and life.

Apps are about 15-25Eu and most Entrees are 40 Eu, some even higher.

I think they way to go is the tasting menu. The tasting menu is about 70 or 79 Eu, can't remember. The tasting menu looked really interesting and portions are smaller. I didn't have SFCarol next to me this time to translate the menu.

Just had the 9 course dinner at Ze Kitchen Galerie. It started off great, and I LOVED the seaweed butter, but my palate started to get bored with similar sauces. It seemed a few of the dishes used a similar butter cream sauce or puree. Everything was well cooked, but I might have been a bit spoiled by David Toutain a few days ago. Every dish was a knock out at David Toutain. I would go with the 6 course dinner or lunch at Ze kitchen Galerie in the future.

Le Cinq, Gagniere and some others coming soon!

Oct 04, 2014
Torolover in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Hi Sfcarole!

Just had a great dinner at Chez L'ami jean. Started with Octopus appetizer with thin bacon and some kind of red sauce. Octopus was perfectly cooked that was soft but still with a little bight. Seasoning and flavor was spot on. My wife had Foie Gras with cured Salmon. Perfectly cooked Foie Gras really matched well with the smokey flavored Salmon and capers brought some brightness and saltiness.

Entrees- My wife had the barely cooked baby scallops still in their shell, and I had their house special braised veal cheeks with celery root foam(I'm guessing) and root vegetables. Entrees were good, but I was more impressed with the appetizers. Also I thought it was a little expensive at 40 Eu for each of these entrees. Appetizers are about 20-24 Eu.

Finished off with their famous rice pudding. HUGE portion, but indeed best rice pudding I ever had.

Did they raise their prices recently? I looked at their online menu I was under the impression I could get a set menu for 42 Eu.

So far I feel David Toutain lunch set is more impressive and it's the same price as L'ami Jean, around 70 Eu.

Tomorrow I will try Ze Kitchen galerie!

Oct 03, 2014
Torolover in France

Best Bistros in Paris (Chez Denise, L'ami Louis or Aux Lyonnais)

I sat right next to this wonderful couple from SF as well! I believe it is SFCarol!

Oct 02, 2014
Torolover in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I'm that fellow Chowhounder that sat next to Carol! Nice to meet your Carol! By coincidence they sat me next to Carol! How awesome is that?!

In my previous posts I was asking what to order at Denise, Chez L'ami Jean and other places. I ended up ordering the blanquette de veau and it was fabulous! I also ordered Escargot and braised Beef Cheeks with some kind of wine sauce. Escargot was good and Cheeks were good, but I probably wouldn't order them again in the future. In other posts, I asked if they would let me take leftovers, and of course they said no. One entree is big enough for 2 people!

I went to David Toutain for lunch today and it blew me away! He's cooking on an entirely different level. Even though I ordered 6 course Lunch, they gave us about 11 courses. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were all clean, fresh, and just delicious.

Went to Le Chateaubriand for Dinner. Very good, everything cooked very well, but not as impressive as Toutain. Probably 3 courses at Le Chateubriand were impressive, other 5 courses simply good.

Chez l'ami for tomorrow, and many others coming next week!

Oct 02, 2014
Torolover in France

Paris Trip Report September 2014

Which Pierre Sang Restaurant did you go? The original or the new one? Anyone have experiences at both? Which one is better?

Sep 29, 2014
Torolover in France

Dumpling cafe, Chinatown

I'm not sure since they usually just give me the soup with the noodles without asking me what I want. I know it not's rice noodle or flat noodle. Maybe ask them what noodle they usually put in the soup, but it's a huge bowl for less then $8!

Sep 28, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

What do order at Denise, Jean, Le Cinq, Clamato, Ze Kitchen Gallerie?

You mean I bring my own ziplock bag and stuff it in the ziplock myself? I'm actually serious because I want to order more things on the menu, but don't want to waste the big portions. So I can't ask them to pack my leftovers? I don't want to offend them.

Or another option is I'll have to make two trips there.

Sep 27, 2014
Torolover in France

Dumpling cafe, Chinatown

Yes, my friends from Taiwan all prefer Dumpling Cafe over Gourmet Dumping House. One of my favorites beef noodle soup in Boston is Dumpling Cafe's spicy shredded beef w long horn peppers noodle soup. Must try!

Sep 27, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

What do order at Denise, Jean, Le Cinq, Clamato, Ze Kitchen Gallerie?

Thanks for the recommendation. I will ask the chef to make me whatever he wants!

I heard Chez Denise gives big portions. Would it be rude if I asked them to pack up the leftovers? My wife doesn't eat much, but I want to to try different dishes.

Sep 26, 2014
Torolover in France

What do order at Denise, Jean, Le Cinq, Clamato, Ze Kitchen Gallerie?

Yes, what you guys say totally makes sense. I'm guess I'm used to US "signature" dishes like the pork belly bun at Momofuku.

How about Bistro places like Chez L'ami Jean and Chez Denise? I would think their menu should be pretty similar except for seasonal changes. Any favorite dishes you like at Denise or L'Ami Jean? I'm staying away from Steak Frites because I can get great steak in US. I saw Anthony Bordain order the blanquette de beau on his show.

My dinners- Ze Kitchen Galerie, Chez Denise, Chez L'ami Jean

Does le Cinq (lunch) have any favorite dishes you like?

Sep 26, 2014
Torolover in France

What do order at Denise, Jean, Le Cinq, Clamato, Ze Kitchen Gallerie?

Thanks to you all I've made reservations at some great restaurants! Now, what should I order from each of these restaurants?

Chez Denise
Chez Jean
Ze Kitchen Gallarie
Clamato (no reservations but planning to go)
Le Bat (ditto)
Le Cinq
Hugo Desnoyer

I also made reservations at these places but it's a set menu

David Toutain
le chateaubriand
Gagniere

Thanks everyone for the great tips! I can give tips to anyone coming to Boston! (NO Legal Seafood!)

Sep 26, 2014
Torolover in France

All-time best dessert?

Best desserts I've had in Boston by far are the desserts at Asta. They are better then the ones I've had in Bondir, Espalier, Kirkland Tap, and many other places.

The change their menu all the time, but I would say 3 out of the 4 times I went there, the dessert was simply the best I've had in Boston!

Sep 21, 2014
Torolover in Greater Boston Area

Paris - further questions

We are thinking about skipping the Eiffel Tower, but want a place to have a great view of the Eiffel Tower. What is the name of this place your recommend? Or anything places for great views of Eiffel Tower with decent food?

Sep 19, 2014
Torolover in France

Price for Gagnaire?

Thanks for the tips everyone! I made reservations at Gagnaire and they said the tasting is 290 without drinks so not too bad!

Gagnaire will actually be my last meal after a 14 day trip. You think it's OK for the best to be last? or will my taste buds be tired from eating too much good food for 13 days?

Another option is I can try to make reservations on the second day or third day of my trip.

Thanks!

Sep 17, 2014
Torolover in France

Price for Gagnaire?

On Michelin Guide for Savoy they wrote 330-360, but on Savoy's website the tasting menu is 390-490. Curious did Savoy increase their prices recently? I mean 490 and 360 is a huge difference!

Sep 17, 2014
Torolover in France

Price for Gagnaire?

I can't find the price for Gagnaire on their website. I'm trying to decide between Savoy and Gagnaire. I didn't realize Savoy for tasting is 390, 420, or 490 Has it always been this high? If Gagnaire is 300 I will I probably will go with Gagnaire.

Anyone know the latest price for Gagnaire? Or any other suggestions for 300 or so? I've always wanted to go to a 3 michelin, but I'm not bound to it.

Thanks!

Sep 16, 2014
Torolover in France

Great lunches but also not too far from Tourist attractions?

I've been doing a lot of research for good lunches in Paris. This will be my first time in Paris so I will be hitting all the Tourist attractions. I know that Tourist spots usually don't have great lunches, but are there some you recommend?

I'm hoping to have a quick light lunch and then be able to walk around some nice "touristy" areas.

This is a list I made, but I don't know if their location is convenient for the tourist spots. Any other suggestions?

David Toutain
Le Servan
Bat
Pierre Sang
Chez Jean
Chez Denise
Bones
Clamato

Sep 16, 2014
Torolover in France

one pick for a 3 michelin star restaurant?

Thanks for the tips everyone! I really appreciate it! I think I will narrow it down to Gaganire and Savoy. Souphie, I'm planning Le Cinq for Sunday lunch. Will this be the regular Lunch menu or is it a Brunch Menu? Is the quality still good on a Sunday? In the States often Sunday lunches are dinners are not as good because it's the chefs day off and there are no deliveries on Sundays. Thanks!

Sep 16, 2014
Torolover in France

one pick for a 3 michelin star restaurant?

I will be there from Oct 1 to Oct 14 so I'm thinking of making reservations Oct 11 or 12th

How does Guy Savoy compare to Arpege? I read that Aprege is more vegetable based, but worried how good the veggies are in mid Oct?

I'm trying to get a mix of modern/classic French. These are other places I'm trying to book, but want to try one 3 star michelin restaurant.

Any other suggestions would be welcome!

ze kitchen galarie
Frenchie
pierre sang
chez jean
chez denise
le bat lunch
le servan lunch
Le Cinq lunch

Sep 15, 2014
Torolover in France