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Suggestion needed, replacement for Gelonch?

Caganer,

Thank you very much for the suggestions and the info on Euskal and Sagardi.

I think we are going to go with Alkimia as a replacement for Gelonch. Any thoughts?

Dec 04, 2012
amorgs in Spain/Portugal

Suggestion needed, replacement for Gelonch?

Hi all,

I am traveling for the first time to Barcelona in January and was very excited about potentially eating at Gelonch. Unfortunately it is closed for two weeks. Would appreciate any suggestions for an alternative that would provide similar quality in food, service, and atmosphere. Either a place that is tried and true or anything newly opened with a lot of potential?

Our original plan was as follows, any other thoughts are most welcome. Especially if you have a better idea for Sunday night. Thanks so much.

Friday night-- Some type of tapas crawl which would include some combination of EUSKAL EXTEA, EL XAMPANYET, El Bitxo, SAGARDI, LA VINYA DEL SENYOR

Saturday night—Dinner at Gelonch (need a replacement)

Sunday night—Tapas 24, maybe a later drink at 41 degrees (assuming they are both open on Sunday)

Nov 29, 2012
amorgs in Spain/Portugal

Liverpool House if you can't get into Joe Beef?

Just a quick thank you for all the replies and suggestions. We ended up at Tuck Shop and had an absolutely fantastic meal. Great atmosphere, very good service and the food was spot on. Top dishes of the night, two appetizers 1) burrata, heirloom tomatoes, arugala on grilled bread 2) seared pork belly in a heavenly mushroom cream sauce, main course winner was a 15 ounce ribeye with grilled asparagus and fingerling potatoes. Perfectly medium rare, well salted and peppered--a great steak and finally a delicious warm brownie with vanilla ice cream. They also have a very affordable wine list.

If you haven't been, I would highly suggest a visit. You won't be disappointed.

Jun 25, 2012
amorgs in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Liverpool House if you can't get into Joe Beef?

Thank you very much for the opinions and the other suggestions. I will do a little research and am sure to land in a good spot. Thank you again and will definitely report back.

May 31, 2012
amorgs in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Liverpool House if you can't get into Joe Beef?

Hi all,

Heading to Montreal for the first time in 10 years. My food knowledge of the city is 0. The boards and a few friends recommended Joe Beef (surprise surprise). Would greatly appreciate your opinion on going to Liverpool House if you can't get in at Joe Beef. If not, any recommendations for a similar atmosphere and great food? Thanks so much.

May 31, 2012
amorgs in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

bombay brasserie or Moti Mahal? Help [London]

Thanks all for the advice. Unfortunately it was a little too late and we went to Bombay Brasserie. To be honest, this was a disappointing meal. I knew we were going into traditional Indian so was not expecting anything with a real modern take, however the dishes for the most part missed the mark. An overdone duck smothered in sauce to make up for the lack of taste in the meat, lamb kebabs that were supposed to have a crunchy outside but ended up with a soggy bread like consistency encapsulating rather bland meat. A decent paneer and pretty good chicken tika, but no better than the neighborhood Indian restaurant I frequent in the States. For the price and the reviews I expected a much better evening. Oh well, will just have to try something new when I go back. Thank you again.

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Bombay Brasserie
140 Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH, GB

Mar 23, 2011
amorgs in U.K./Ireland

bombay brasserie or Moti Mahal? Help [London]

In town for one night and deciding between bombay brasserie and Mati Mahal. Looking for help in making the decision. Haven't been to either. Thank you.

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Moti Mahal
45 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AA, GB

Mar 16, 2011
amorgs in U.K./Ireland

Cape Town Recs please, 3 day trip

Thank you to everyone for the good information. I just returned and had a wonderful time. I would like to add details soon, but a quick rundown of places.

Bizerca bistro for dinner--great food, service and small but strong wine list. Had a garage Syrah that was outstanding. The salmon salad starter was really good and my Impala was perfectly cooked. A companion had the osso bucco ravioli in marrow sauce and it was terrific. The apple tart was really good and would order it again, but certainly not the best apple tart that I have tasted. As others have noted the place is a little loud, but it's a cool space and something right out of Jonathan Waxman's playbook (think Barbuto in NYC). I would make this a stop in any future trips and especially if you are staying downtown for business or at the Convention Center.

Bakery at Jardine—I went twice for sandwiches and so happy I did. The ciabatta bread is excellent and so were the fillings. A roasted lamb with hummus and tahini and a parma ham, fresh mozzarella, tomato and greens. A great lunch option with a great view and easy choice.

Food Barn in Noordhoek--Do yourself a favor and make reservations for 7:30 or so and hit the road for that exceptional sunset drive along the coast. Chef used to cook at La Colombe and the Food Barn get high marks for food, character, servers and overall warm experience and really not that expensive. they are running a bistro menu a little more than 200 Rand. Loved the space. Excellent goat cheese salad to start (though the fried goat cheese could have been a little crisper, the flavors were great), very good daily linecaught fish and the best dessert of the trip--banana tart with Nutella ice cream. I am sucker for those flavors and they absolutely nailed it. Good wine pairing and really just a splendid experience. My friend was the winner that night and had the lamb, one of the better lamb dishes in recent memory. Flavor of the lamb and the brown pan sauce were superb. I think a toss up between Bizerca and Food Barn for quality of food. I am sure on any given night one could edge out the other. Being that my linefish was good but not excellent I may give that edge to Food Barn. However factor in the drive and ambiance and I give it to Food Barn.

La Colombe--Maybe I experienced what others have but few are willing to admit. I don't know if it is because people want it to live up to their expectations, love the idea of eating at a "top 15" restaurant or it was an off night. However, La Colombe was a disappointment. The food was bad, in fact it was quite good, but it was no better than my Salmon starter at Bizerca nor my friend's lamb or my desser at Food Barn and wasn't in the same league as my final meal (keep reading). The Night started off great. I got there at 7:40 for an 8 reservation and went to the bar. Small, elegant yet relaxed. Really nice bartenders and a good local sparkling wine. When I sat it was a good table and the room is warm and simple (something I consider a positive) people were dressed nicely but not stuffy (I know Cape Town is relaxed to begin with). I was anticipating this for a while and went straight for the full tasting menu and wine pairing. I will not go into detail right now on every course though I have the menu and can update, but there was not one dish that blew me away, in fact there were a few that lacked flavor or execution. the amuse was the best part of the night. A celery root soup in an egg shell was phenomenal and if every dish matched or came close to that bite it would have been a night to remember. Instead most dishes just missed-- either slightly overcooked or the flavor balance was off. Again, nothing bad but nothing that I said “wow.” In addition to the food, the wine pairing was disappointing. 6 courses and 5 whites? I know it’s summer and great whites in the region but there are plenty of reds I love in the summer and I know SA has wonderful reds too. And, while no one needs heavy handed pours, one should not have to struggle to keep enough wine in the glass to finish the course. Small sips and I still had to ration to make sure I had enough to last for each dish and the dishes aren’t even that big! Possibly my biggest issue came with the service. My server was nice, but somehow he disappeared throughout the meal. Of my 6 courses he only served me 3 and 3 of those courses were served before the wine pairing. Frankly I don’t want to listen to a wine description while my food is getting cold in front of me. The dishes that came out before the wine pairing (in most cases these were the ones he didn’t deliver to my table) you could see the server who dropped it off running to try and figure out why my wine wasn’t there. That type of service at this level is absolutely unacceptable. Under normal circumstances this would have been a really nice evening and I would have left satisfied, but you can’t claim to be one of the best restaurants in the world and fail to deliver. I am well aware that Luke Dale-Roberts left, but almost every review I read praised the new chef and said while styles might be slightly different the quality remained. I am sorry but I know for a fact that the current cooking at La Colombe is not in the same league as Luke’s.

Which brings me to my final and most satisfying meal of the trip. Everything that I hoped my evening would be at La Colombe yet failed to deliver was made up for at The Test Kitchen.

The Test Kitchen—Make reservations, do it now and don’t look back. This is the best restaurant in Cape Town. I know that is a bold statement from someone who has not been to other greats such as the Tasting Room or Rust in Verde, but I am willing to bet over the next year that statement will be second nature. Luke’s new venture is awesome. First off the space is fantastic. Small loft space in the Old Biscuit Mill—tall ceilings, good mix of iron and wood that finds a way to make you feel very comfortable and right at home. Simple wood tables and wine along the full length of one wall. ¼ of the space is for the open kitchen and it is the reason you go. Sit at the counter and you will be treated to a culinary ballet with Luke right in the center. In between plating perfectly balanced and executed dishes he takes the time to talk to his counter guests. This is as engaging an open kitchen as I have ever experienced and I make it a point to try them whenever possible. Luke is incredibly nice, humble and just wants you to have a wonderful experience. He spoke with me throughout the night and did so with all the other people at the counter. He also seems to treat his staff with great respect—the end of the evening (my meal extended until almost closing) he opened a bottle of wine and shared with his staff and you never heard him dressing anyone down. I am not naïve to think it is always flowers and candy in there, but you get a sense he runs a well oiled machine as a good captain. Now the most important part—the food. I sipped the evening’s specialty cocktail (it changes each night) a lovely peach billini and perused the menu. I opted for the 5 course (pick three starters, one main and a dessert) plus the wine pairing. Whether Luke was in a good mood, liked our conversation or was Luke just being Luke, I ended up with 7 or 8 courses including the first which I did not ask for but was so happy to be given--an unbelievable tomato salad that set the tone for every dish thereafter. From the veal tongue to foie gras to perfectly cooked seafood it was amazing. Not to mention I watched him plate every dish on the menu and there wasn’t one I didn’t want to reach out and grab. Balanced flavors, spot on seasoning, and flavor combos that make you smile. (I will go back and update with the exact menu). The wine pairings were great, the pours spot on and the service tremendous. Luke’s wife runs the front of the house, though the entire house in one room, and she was terrific. Bottom line this is how a top restaurant should run and should produce. I could not have been happier when I left the Test Kitchen and thank you to Luke and his entire team for sending me back to the States with a night I will remember for a very long time. I suggest to anyone reading this that they find a night, make a reservation for the “high counter” there is a high and low counter both have great views and interaction but I think the high is slightly better. There are 10 or so tables too and the food will be just as good, but the action and experience is all at the counter. The Test Kitchen is difficult enough to get into now, but in time I predict it will be nearly impossible. I hope it does get the attention it deserves yet never loses its quality and hospitality.

Mar 02, 2011
amorgs in Middle East & Africa

Cape Town Recs please, 3 day trip

Thank you for the suggestions. I don't have any particular interest, just places that would be on the top of you list if a good friend came from out of town. Might include one night to splurge which I have, a few casual places with a warm scene and great food and maybe a few hole in the walls that are must trys. Thank you so much.

Feb 17, 2011
amorgs in Middle East & Africa

Cape Town Recs please, 3 day trip

Hi,

Traveling to Cape Town for 3 days at the end of the month and would greatly appreciate recs for lunch and dinner. I have reservations at la Colombe for one night, but no plans other than that. Above all else I am looking for quality of food. Places good for dining alone are a plus, but whether it’s a cheap stop on the side of the road or somewhere similar to Colombe, I am looking to eat well. Thank you very much.

Feb 09, 2011
amorgs in Middle East & Africa

One Night in Mexico City--Suggestions??

Thank you for the suggestion. I went to Biko Monday evening. Food and service were excellent. While the Spanish influence often dominates, local ingredients and Mexican flavors are clear in each plate. I would definitely return.

May 14, 2010
amorgs in Mexico

One Night in Mexico City--Suggestions??

I will be in Mexico City for one night and looking for the best dining experience on the high-end side. Suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.

May 07, 2010
amorgs in Mexico

Paris 1 night--Alone and ready to splurge

Souphie,

Thank you. Short notice is my biggest problem right now. Le Cinq was fully booked. Will tick down the list.

Dec 21, 2009
amorgs in France

Paris 1 night--Alone and ready to splurge

Hi all,

I will be in Paris for one night, December 22. Looking for a recommendation, Quality of food is my top priority and money is not a concern keeping in mind I will be dining alone. Thanks so much.

I was there back in April and ate at

Le Villaret
Le Comptoir du Relais

Dec 21, 2009
amorgs in France

Pancake Recs DC

Thanks for the suggestions. In the end we decided on a trip to the farmers market and a homemade version that ended being a great success.

Jul 27, 2009
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pancake Recs DC

Hi all,

I have a friend coming into DC who has been abroad for a while and is craving pancakes. While I enjoy a good pancake, I am far from a connoisseur in this department. Looking for suggestions on the best brunch/breakfast on a Saturday that serves them. Thanks!

Jul 16, 2009
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for fun place near Chief Ike's Mambo Room

If it's a nice night and you are on the early side, Perry's roof is a decent option too.

May 04, 2009
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas

My experience echoes yours completely. Thanks for taking the time to thoroughly write this up.

Dec 11, 2007
amorgs in Southwest

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas

Unfortunately I have to agree 100 percent with you. I had a similar experience at the end of September. A few dishes were excellent however many missed the mark. We ate at 9 and towards the end of the meal the kitchen started cleaning everything up and eating as they went. This was unacceptable and I chalked it up to an off night. Having read your take my disappointment is hardened. When the theme of your dining experience is an open kitchen, and it is a Joel Robuchon restaurant I expect near perfection. Food quality can differ to some extent; however there is no excuse for bad service. In addition to the cleaning our final two courses were spaced out 15-20 minutes apart—the waiter started his after dinner chores. I would be happy to try it again, but next time I think I will do it on someone else's dime.

Nov 19, 2007
amorgs in Southwest

The Patio Briarcliff Manor

I know this is an old post, however I am the same way. I grew up in Briarcliff and my memories of the patio are grilled cheese when I was 6 and rainbow Hershey’s ice cream. I had no idea it "reinvented" itself.

Oct 15, 2007
amorgs in General Tristate Archive

Moving from Yonkers to Briarcliff

As for the steaks I completely agree--while it may lack atmosphere, the staff and meat are excellent.

Oct 15, 2007
amorgs in General Tristate Archive

Uphill/downhill pizza alert (B'cliff/Ossining)

I grew up in Briarcliff and having moved away only a few years ago, I have to say that I completely agree with your Ossining pizzeria review. It used to be a go to stop for a quality slice, but has considerably gone downhill in the past 5 years.

Unfortunately, in my opinion there is no great pizza place in Bcliff or Ossining however Dom and Vinny's is not bad.

If you enjoy bbq chicken pizza, Serafina's in Arcadia shopping center has a good slice--tangy bbq sauce and good crust. Some argue that their tomato sauce is too tangy for the regular slice and I tend to agree, but not bad if you are in the area.

I find Lucio's in Pville to error on the doughy side--although it's been a couple of years since I had it and that may no longer be true.

Dino's in Thornwood was staple in high school, however if you go ask them to keep the slice in the oven a little more than normal--sometimes their slices suffer from too much cheese and come out luke warm. They do have pretty good pepperoni bites.

If there is a place you are thinking about trying and want some feedback, I would be happy to offer my opinions. After 22 years in the Bcliff, I have a pretty good understanding of the food quality.

Oct 15, 2007
amorgs in General Tristate Archive

Vegas - best coffee drinks on the Strip?

While it will be a hike from Vegas, Peet's does exist in Nevada. There is a shop in the Reno/Tahoe airport--I had the pleasure of drinking it a week ago.

Aug 28, 2007
amorgs in Southwest

Picasso Vs. Bartolotta? Please Help

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it and Picasso sounds like a winner.

Aug 09, 2007
amorgs in Southwest

Picasso Vs. Bartolotta? Please Help

I just moved to Vegas from DC and have two friends visiting in September. Both are finishing up at CIA in Hyde Park so I would like to make the most of the four nights. So far we are eating at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Rosemary's. I need two more dinners and am struggling--I don't think we want to spend the money for Alex or Guy Savoy and since we are going off the strip for Rosemary's I think we will pass on LOS. What do you all think of Picasso Vs. Bartolotta? In addition any other suggestions would be great. Thanks.

Aug 02, 2007
amorgs in Southwest

Special Dinner On St. John

Hey all,

Looking for recs for a special dinner on St. John. Ready to splurge and anything romantic is a huge plus. I have never been to the Island, and would love any advice on best spot. Thanks.

Jun 27, 2007
amorgs in Latin America & Caribbean

Best Seafood, DC Area?

I will definetly have to check out sea catch. Thanks.

Jun 20, 2007
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best Seafood, DC Area?

I have yet to try Hook, and love Hank's for the casual spot, just looking for a sleeper or a review on a place I have not tried. Thanks for the info.

Jun 18, 2007
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best Seafood, DC Area?

Looking for opinions on best seafood in DC area. Thanks.

Jun 18, 2007
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sonoma Wine Bar in Cap Hill?

As mentioned above I think it is a nice place to meet for a glass of wine and the cheese/cured meet plate. Unfortunately the first course does not keep pace with the entrees. I have eaten there a number of times and I am always disappointed with the main courses be it pasta, pizza or the burger for lunch. In addition I find the service to be inadequate at best.

Jun 12, 2007
amorgs in Washington DC & Baltimore