bill1jan's Profile

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Asheville: big anniversary weekend

My wife and I will celebrate our first 40 years of marriage (we're shooting for a second 40) in early June with a three night weekend in Asheville. We are foodies, and we love wine. Cost isn't really an issue. (Hey, how often do you celebrate a 40th anniversary?) We'll be staying at the Grove Park Inn. I'm sure we'll eat one night at the resto on their terrace. Where else should we go? Thanks in advance!

Jan 04, 2015
bill1jan in Southeast

Upper East Side Restaurants

Try Le Simone at 82nd & Lex. Probably not a "must try" but very good.

Dec 02, 2014
bill1jan in Manhattan

Saturday lunch near 9/11 Memorial

Looking for a wine bar or other light lunch venue open on Saturday within walking distance of the 9/11 Memorial. Suggestions?

Oct 25, 2014
bill1jan in Manhattan

Dark Dining Manhattan

"Good" and "dark dining" are mutually exclusive.

Sep 26, 2014
bill1jan in Manhattan

Nice place on Sunday night for 15? [San Francisco]

I am looking for a dining spot for a group of 15 on a Sunday night in the Financial District/Union Square/Mission area. Elegance isn't required, but it should be a nice place with excellent food (no strong preference as to type) and a strong wine list. All suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

Your Top 5 Restaurants in Town

La Belle Vie
Restaurant Alma
Brasserie Zentral

Aug 17, 2014
bill1jan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Recommendation for anniversary dinner in Paris

La Tour d'Argent. Definitely old school but still good, with a killer view of the flying buttresses of Notre Dame. You can do it on your budget if you go lightly on the wine (which can be tough because they have one of the great wine lists in the world).

Jul 12, 2014
bill1jan in France

Emerils vs Commander's Palace vs Galatoires

Hazelhurst has it right. Go to Commander's if you want a conventionally special night out -- excellent service, beautiful surroundings and very good food (in my opinion, the best of the three overall). Go to Galatoire's if you want to have a complete blast -- a party atmosphere, with great service (although different and more idiosyncratic than Commander's), festive, old-NewOrleans surroundings and very good food (though, on average, a notch below Commander's IMHO). Go to Emeril's only if you grow tired of the other two -- and you never will.

May 16, 2014
bill1jan in New Orleans

French Service Anecdote - Any Others?

Ridiculous. I eagerly await your all-knowing summation of the psyches of Americans, Canadians, Italians, Poles . . .

Apr 26, 2014
bill1jan in France

New in FQ in past year or so

Another new one in the Quarter is Sylvain's. I haven't been there. Does anyone have a report?

Jul 08, 2013
bill1jan in New Orleans

Cassis, or nearby, before the Luberon -- recommendations, please?

Cassis is beautiful. Yes, it is somewhat reminiscent of Collioure. In April-May, you should be ahead of the summer crowds. We have stayed at Nino, and I recommend it. The location is perfect. The rooms are unusual but great. The service is extremely casual. Don't go there if you want to be pampered. Cassis isn't a great food town. The two best are Nino itself (mid-priced) and Villa Madie (pricey; located up on the bluff with a great view). On a nice day, you would be happy at any of the joints along the harbor, so long as you keep it simple (grilled fish or bouillabaisse). Have fun!

Jun 11, 2013
bill1jan in France

Dinner near Macalester College

A recent dinner at Frost's was catastrophically bad. The menu has been dumbed down and changed to incorporate some weird, out of sync North African influences. Our experience was so bad that I don't anticipate returning. It's too bad. If the Rupps devoted sufficient resources to bring the food service up to a level that matched the decor, they would have a true destination restaurant.

Jun 08, 2013
bill1jan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Proposal in Paris

The tip of the Île de la Cité can be tranquil one day and populated by homeless guys the next. It's a bit of a crap shoot. There are stone benches on the left bank quai facing the side of Notre Dame that would be quieter and provide a great view. If you opt for this location, you'll be just a short walk from a fine cheese shop at the Maubert Mutualité metro stop, Cremerie des Carmes. A pattiserie, boulangerie and wine shop are adjacent, so you could get everything you need. For dinner, how about something near the Canal St. Martin? It's a bit of a schlep from where you're staying, but a stroll along the canal might be a nice way to cap the day. Philou would be a possibility, particularly if the whether is nice and you could eat on the terrace.

May 10, 2013
bill1jan in France

Quick Lunch in St. Emilion

If you have a fixed appointment to tour the church, you won't have a lot of time. It will take you 15 minutes +/- to drive from Chateau Figeac to Saint-Emilion and find a place to park. If the weather is nice, I would opt for one of the several cafes serving food on the square in front of the church. The food won't win any prizes, but the setting is charming and you'll be right where you need to be for your church tour. If your timing is a little more flexible, I would go to L'Envers du Décor, a reliable old-school standby up the hill from the church.

Apr 05, 2013
bill1jan in France

Auberge le Quincy

I'm pretty sure there was no mix-up in the reservation date, although I suppose it's always possible. Too bad -- I had a hankering for Boboss's lièvre à la royale -- but as long as he and madame are OK, there will be another game season and another time.

Nov 04, 2012
bill1jan in France

Auberge le Quincy

My wife and I had an 8:30 reservation at la Quincy last night and arrived to find the venue closed and dark, with no explanatory sign on the door. We are concerned about Boboss and Madame. Any intelligence?

Nov 03, 2012
bill1jan in France

Je The...Me

Anyone familiar with this place in the 15th? Comments, good or bad?

Aug 27, 2012
bill1jan in France

Best Bouchon in Lyon?

Not sure if this is the one, but the man in the large mustache could have been the proprietor of La Meunieure. It is still there and still great. The link is here: http://la.meuniere.free.fr/. Highly recommended.

Jul 14, 2012
bill1jan in France

Oh the places we will go... But am I missing anything?

A few thoughts:

Be sure to have breakfast at least one day at Cafe du Monde.

I agree with the Galatoire's suggestion. You really haven't experienced a certain element of New Orleans unless you've been there.

Upperline is a great place and would fill one of your open dinner spots nicely.

At some point, stop for a drink at Napolean House. The bars at the Hotel Monteleone, Antoine's and Arnaud's are also nice. The one at Arnaud's, in particular, can be a quiet haven when you want one.

Most of all, have fun!

Jun 29, 2012
bill1jan in New Orleans

Nancy and Metz recommendations?

My wife and I will be in Nancy and Metz this fall and are looking for resto recommendations. Price isn't a big factor. Food quality and vibe are the drivers. All suggestions would be appreciated.

May 17, 2012
bill1jan in France


Thanks, Delucacheesemonger. I assume you must be talking about Amiens?

Mar 11, 2012
bill1jan in France


My wife and I will be in the Arras/Amiens/Compiegne area in the fall, visiting WWI sites. The area appears to be a bit of a wasteland both in terms of good places to eat and good places to stay. Any suggestions as to either would be appreciated. I realize that by the time we reach Compiegne, we will be quite close to Reims and Epernay, but I would appreciate suggestions NOT in those two places, as we will be visiting them next. Many thanks!

Mar 10, 2012
bill1jan in France

La Grille one year into new ownership [Paris]

I was there in March and again in October. La Grille is delightfully old school. The greeting is friendly and warm. The main waiter is a holdover from the old ownership. He is a real pro. the turbot sauvage with beurre blanc is gold standard quality. Don't even think about ordering anything else. You'll have fun!

Nov 08, 2011
bill1jan in France

Antoine's or Broussard's

If you've never been to either restaurant, the choice is clear: Antoine's. It's a landmark and a beautiful space. Don't sit in the front room -- although it's lovely, it's all tourists. (Yes, I know you are one, but . . . .). Order one of those 25 cent martinis, a sazerac or a glass of wine, study the absurdly extensive menu, order carefully (i.e., stick to the NOLA basics), soak up the sights, and you'll have a blast. My only question, is why not do it at night? The restaurant shows off more beautifully after dark.

Aug 06, 2011
bill1jan in New Orleans

Commanders and Jackets

I always wear a jacket and tie, and I'm always glad I do. Similar to hazelhurst, I was once seated near a foursome dressed in jeans and plaid flannel shirts. They stood out, and not in a good way. (It didn't help that they were also loud and apparently drunk) My wife often says that being properly attired shows respect for the restaurant. Commanders is worthy of respect. Enough said.

Jul 12, 2011
bill1jan in New Orleans

La Tour Rose, Lyon

Both. I see Eatdrinklyon's post indicating that the place is open (for which, thanks). Please allow me to expand my question: while this place has generally been well reviewed in older chowhound and blog posts (mid-2000s), more recent reviews in the blogosphere (i.e., within the last year) appear to indicate a deteriorating siuation both on the hotel side and on the restaurant side. I am considering La Tour Rose as a place to stay and possibly to eat during a fall visit to Lyon and would be interested in any feedback on recent experiences.

Apr 25, 2011
bill1jan in France

La Tour Rose, Lyon

I heard a report indicating that this place had closed. Can anyone confirm or correct?

Apr 25, 2011
bill1jan in France

Gorges de l'Ardeche

Looking for a good place to stay/eat near the Gorges de l'Ardeche. All suggestions will be appreciated.

Apr 13, 2011
bill1jan in France

Villa Madie Cassis

We dined there in the summer of 2009, so my information is dated. That said, we enjoyed our experience very much. The place is perched on a cliff high above the sea, a 10 to 15 minute walk from the harbor quai. You should plan to be there either for lunch or for a dinner before darkness falls in order to have the benefit of the wonderful view. Our meal was excellent. I recall that the dining room was nearly deserted although, in fairness, we were there in early October -- obviously not the peak of the season for a town like Cassis.

Apr 01, 2011
bill1jan in France

Gorges du Tarn- Chateau de la Caze

The setting is impossibly gorgeous. The castle is atmospheric and old-school charming. The food isn't the greatest, but you shold go for the other reasons mentioned. If your schedule permits, take time to do some canoing on the Tarn.

Mar 29, 2011
bill1jan in France