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Two nights left in Paris, help us find something we haven't been able to please! The elusive classic bistro/brasserie!?

I m talking about Le Valois near the Parc Monceau.
It's a typical Brasserie which serves the dishes you are looking for in a decent setting.
This recommendation usually works well. When I go there I will take a tartare of an andouillette. I don't go there for fancy food.
Bistro Valois, is just a very ordinary place in my opinion. (Well, that said have not been there since 1992, so... doesn't mean much)

Oct 28, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

Two nights left in Paris, help us find something we haven't been able to please! The elusive classic bistro/brasserie!?

From you description, I would recommend that you look at Le Valois.

Oct 27, 2014
Theobroma in France

Budget dining in Paris?

And let me add Timgad which is the place I go to now that my local favorite has closed.

Oct 25, 2014
Theobroma in France

Is La Mere Brazier in Lyon still worth a try for lunch?

Interesting report. Thanks.

Oct 25, 2014
Theobroma in France

Paris -- staying in the 9th for two weeks November

I agree also on Caillebotte. Put it back on the list, it is a totally worthy option! Sorry Parigi. :)

That said, I don't know how the initial list was put together; I can't see any place I would cross town for.

One thing I would like to understand though is the rave for Caius. I have been there after reading some good comments from this board (and after some acknowledgement from a friend chef who shall not be named and who I now suspect of complaisance :) ).

I can't deny that the setting is nice (although a bit noisy), that the dishes are flavourful but gosh what I was served was just home-cooking! Not something I expect from a chef. The pluma was unevenly cooked, meat was not seared but kind of boiled... there's no refinement in the presentation... To me the basics were totally missing .
I have attached some pictures here for your review. I'd be happy to get comments on whether this really represents what the restaurant usually serves or if it was a night-off.

Oct 25, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

Budget dining in Paris?

"screw the main dish on a regular basis"... I am speechless.

You sound like some someone who has not been there in a while or who mixes up with another restaurant.

Oct 25, 2014
Theobroma in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

I agree that it is quite a challenge to serve so many dishes at once. And it does not always work as we regularly see on this board.

At the same time, this is what I like about Pierre Gagnaire. Unlike some well-known chefs who have the same dishes all year-long and who sometimes even keep them on the menu for years, this guys seems to put himself at risk all the time as if it was a matter of survival.

My amusing experience at Pierre Gagnaire was when I once ordered a sweetbread à la carte. Of course, it came with all those interesting small bites around the plate. Among those tasting portions was a tiny blanquette de veau, the most incredible one I ever had. It impressed me so much that it actually totally outshined the very good sweetbread I had in my main plate.

Oct 17, 2014
Theobroma in France
2

Michelin star restaurant for lunch in Paris

Apologies everyone. not quite sure why this post keeps on reappearing again...

Oct 16, 2014
Theobroma in France

Michelin star restaurant for lunch in Paris

Talking about jokes, have you tried his apple peeling?

Oct 16, 2014
Theobroma in France

Michelin star restaurant for lunch in Paris

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Oct 16, 2014
Theobroma in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

Rose, Raspberry (and I assume there was lychee as well) are part of the main flavours of his notorious Ispahan gateau. Pierre Hermé has created so many variations of this recipe :cake, ice cream, meringue bonbon, etc. and apparently croissant!

Parigi, you sure knew that.

Oct 16, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

Hi John
Are you referring to that 3-year old article mentioning a one-time experience? I am used to fresher products! :)
I for one go there once every two months and it is a favorite of mine. nah. :)

Oct 16, 2014
Theobroma in France

Michelin star restaurant for lunch in Paris

Talking about jokes, have you tried his apple peel?

Oct 15, 2014
Theobroma in France

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

"Pottoka, which I loved, is not so admired by others"
Who, John, who? How is that possible? :)

I have had some incredible dinners there! I fondly remember of this wonderful sweetbread covered with a translucent colonnata lardo with a thick veal jus and girolles. Chef Sébastien Gravé who previously demonstrated his talent at les Fables de la Fontaine continues to excel at preparing seafood dishes. A number of my followers (including some very knowledgeable food lovers) are still thanking me for sharing this address a couple of years after.
BTW, the chef has most probably started to serve his traditional hare à la royale (for the game lovers among us).

Oct 15, 2014
Theobroma in France

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

I can't wait for those talented authorities to cast their Solomon judgement upon this place. :)

Oct 15, 2014
Theobroma in France

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

Hi PhilD

I know you've been requesting an update on Chez l'Ami Jean's new(?) rule at night. And honestly despite being a regular I am totally lost in the ever changing options. I usually stick to the Carte Blanche at ~75 euros and am never disappointed.
Only last time I wanted to have a game-only dinner and picked dishes à la carte (each main course was about 40 euros).

For lunch, it seems that they have a business lunch option at 35 euros and the 42 euros menu.

Regarding the initial request, I think the 42 euros lunch menu is a good option. The setting is usually entertaining and the Chef knows how to take care of solo diners (i.e. it matches request #1 but not #2)

Oct 15, 2014
Theobroma in France

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

You can find a review of a lunch at Bocca Rossa at http://morel-esculenta.blogspot.fr/20...

:p

Oct 15, 2014
Theobroma in France

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

Very very good suggestion!

Oct 14, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

Solo lunch in or near 6e + Inexpensive Dinner

Hi
My suggestions would be :
1) Chez l'Ami Jean (you won't get bored being alone), Les Climats (more formal but not stuffy).
2) Pottoka (difficult to beat that pleasure/quality/price ratio on an evening meal)
Enjoy!

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

Not sure about Guangzhou. I seem to read that the branch there has closed in 2010. There's one in HK; it is worth the train ride.

Although Xia Long baos are originally from Shanghai, the current form that is so desirable has been developped by the Taiwanese chain. I would thus rather stick to this version. Mind you, I had some at the Whampoa Club in Shanghai a long time ago which were very good in my opinion.

Oct 10, 2014
Theobroma in France

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

Thanks Phrederic for the tip!

Oct 10, 2014
Theobroma in France

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

You've got Din Tai Fung in China! I ate at the Beijing branch in August. The quality was perfect as in all other branches I have tried.

Oct 10, 2014
Theobroma in France

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

Thanks Parigi. I have tried Autour du Yangtse's Xia long baos, but they didn't feel right too me. The dough was too thick and they were not juicy enough.
I'll investigate your suggestion on rue Volta. Thanks!
Regarding Yank Sing, I am unclear about the fuss it creates, it might have decreased in quality but it remains far superior to any other restaurants from Chinatown or from PR-supported new ventures such as the terrible M.Y. China. So it is the only valid alternative to Din Tai Fung that I know.

Oct 10, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

Sorry to jump on this and to avoid the bi-weekly question but regarding the important subject of Xiao Long Bao: I could not find any decent ones anywhere in Europe. And I have been on the look out for years! Any tips on the subject are most welcome.
To satisfy my craving, I have to stuff myself each time I come across a Din Tai Fung in Asia, or when I go to Yank Sing in SF.

Oct 10, 2014
Theobroma in France

Paris and Avignon Restaurant Report

You could try his tasty blood-sausage-and-Espelette-pepper macaron...
A description at http://morel-esculenta.blogspot.fr/20...

Oct 08, 2014
Theobroma in France

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

I don't have a definitive answer to all your questions. But let me try:

- Naret rather than some anonymous inspectors:
Not sure why, but Naret it was, according to the version I was given. I believe there are not that many inspectors anyway and they are not that much anonymous, at least not for chefs. There's a bit of a myth about those James Bond-like inspectors who would go on an secret under-cover mission. On a related note, did you know that a large part of the ratings (apart from the 2-3 stars) are reviewed only after receiving readers' mail?

- Assessment of the dishes and what Jego thought :
You're right that the assessment should be made on just any dish the inspector would like to try, that's the game. Now, I kind of understand the Chef's frustration if they decided to judge the dinner on a blood sausage and mashed potato rather than on a partridge or any of the rare products that Stéphane Jégo likes to procure (I am not saying Naret picked any blood sausage, remember: I don't have all the details and I have only one side of the story). Anyway, they picked what they wanted to pick and the chef felt frustrated not to be able to express what makes CAJ an extra-ordinary bistro. BTW I would certainly take any of those vulgar dishes if made by Stéphane Jégo anytime (one the best dishes I have ever had and that I will remember on my deathbed was an early version of the beef and carrots at l'Ami Jean, honestly). Let me upload a picture of some vulgar eggs and mayonnaise I had at l'Ami Jean. :)

- True feelings towards the Michelin
I didn't step in the passionate debates you've been through on the topic in the same thread, but in my opinion Jego cares just like any other chefs; this story sort of answers the question of any chefs true feeling regarding the Michelin. You may hate it, disapprove their ratings and their choices, it is nevertheless in every chef's heart to seek such a prestigious distinction from the most famous food guide. Jean-Claude Vrinat once said to me: "you never refuse a Michelin star" (well that was a long time ago, and before so many chefs started to give back theirs ;) but I stand my point. It may be a question of pride. )

Now will CAJ get a star? maybe not because Chef Jego is hard-headed and will never comply to the standard requirements of a starred place. And that's not a shame, his mentor Yves Camdeborde did not get one either.

Anyhow, Chez l'Ami Jean will remain by far one of my favorite places. Shame on Stéphane's stubborn attitude and on his bad-temper sometimes but despite that, he remains one of the most generous and talented chefs we have in Paris. And when you see the joyful crowd at the restaurant, it seems that many people share those feelings.

Oct 07, 2014
Theobroma in France
1

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

PhilD

I would like to give some background on the difficult relationship between CLJ and the Michelin but I only got Stéphane Jégo's version a long time ago. It might nevertheless brings a little light on this DanBrown-esque mystery.

So when Jean-Luc Naret the then-director of the red guide came for his visit, he ordered some very commonplace dishes which in the Chef's eyes clearly showed that the inspectors were de-facto categorizing the place as a vulgar bistro. (Note for Chowhounders: Knowing how Stéphane fondly selects his ingredients, it is always best to let him express his creativity with a surprise menu). Anyway that's no excuse and I don' know how it escalated but knowing the chef's notorious bad temper, it ended up in the street. Not sure whether it got physical or not but the Michelin was certainly not treated the way they're used to.

Since then, if you're next to the kitchen and that you look up at the ceiling, you can see that little drawing of a Michelin inspector happily riding a car in hell along side with the devil.

I'd like one day to access the Michelin blacklist and see who else is there.

paris restaurant list

Yannick Alleno, of Bristol fame? You've had one on two glasses of wine too many, Parnassien ! Surely you meant Meurice.

Needless to say, I agree with your knowledgable comment that this list is somewhat oriented towards similar trends (apart from 110 and tablettes) .
Why not add a pure traditional style restaurant such as Michel Rostang in the mix?

For the 3-star lunch, I like your optimism, Cookie, to get a table at l'Astrance just one week in advance. I sincerely wish you luck. I am personally not fond of Chef Alleno's cuisine, so I would not get any excitement at Ledoyen...

Eric Frechon's Bristol on the other hand is IMO a sure place.

Oct 04, 2014
Theobroma in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I agree on the fact that people who are serious about food are not impressed by popular trends set by clueless magazines and PR agencies.
I wanted to stay away from the debate about Septime which I didn't like. But I can't help from jumping in since my feelings are somehow shared by others.
If people want to make an opinion on their own (apart from going there of course), you could look at pictures of my meal there. Don't read the text at first, just look at that the pictures and make your own mind.
Of course, this is just a one-time experience and it could well have been a night off, but I doubt it given this thread.
My report at septime:
http://morel-esculenta.blogspot.fr/20...

Oct 01, 2014
Theobroma in France

Pate To Go

It is true that while Paté Hénaff is far from haute-cuisine, it is absolutely iconic of sailor's life style and deserves a mention. I believe it can only be truly appreciated in the cold of one's stormy night shift. Sea-sickness not allowed.

To answer the initial question, I would indeed go to Lafayette Gourmet or le Bon Marché. You should consider foie gras cans as well, most of which are not mi-cuits (kind of medium rare) but fully cooked. It means you can age them like sardine cans.

Sep 30, 2014
Theobroma in France