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Violon d'Ingres - takes reservations or not??

I made reservations a couple of weeks in advance and ate dinner there on Thanksgiving. The sole souffle and the millefeuille of tongue were great, but the best part was seeing the beautiful Jennifer Connelly, her husband [British actor] Paul Bettany and their two kids there. We spoke to them briefly.

Dec 28, 2011
Jerrysfriend in France

Is there a real French restaurant in NY?

A place that serves all or most of the following:
pigs' feet, calf's head, head cheese, blood pudding, tripe, kidneys, sweetbreads, liver, cold jellied meats, chitterling sausages, wild hare, sea snails, rouget, grainy & strong tasting fish soup, etc., and
which does not serve:
(1) Mussels (which are a Belgian dish; not French), (2) sidewalk cafe short-order dishes like onion soup or Croque Monsieur, nor (3) green salad, hamburgers, salmon, pork or lamb shank, all of which are American dishes.

May 25, 2010
Jerrysfriend in Manhattan

In search of a mid-range ($$) option.

Just got back and I strongly second Le Paris. A quiet, lovely room, highly professional service; full of French businessmen. Beautiful presentation and really lovely, tasty food. A real luxurious feeling treat. What makes the 60 Euro lunch menu (including water, coffee, etc.) a REAL bargain is that you can choose any entree, plat and dessert on the carte, even the lobster, steak, etc. One glass of wine with much lunch is bit skimpy for me, but adding the cost of one more is not too much. I bit for a glass of champagne and even though it was Bollinger, 22 Euros was a bit steep.

Dec 11, 2009
Jerrysfriend in France

Good seafood restaurants in Paris?

I agree about most of the fish at Le Dome, but they have good oysters there and the Millefuille is heavenly.
What is the opinion about Garnier?

Nov 04, 2009
Jerrysfriend in France

Paris: Looking for an old-fashioned, traditional experience

Well, I have practiced law for 43 years and have about 1,700 ties (doubt this? check me out on AskAndy.com, or StyleForm.net). When you have that many, you need to wear them daily.
I tried Chez Catherine last year and was not much impressed, but i will try Le Petit Marguery, as what i read about it remnds me of Galatoires of new Orleans.
Someone needs to write more about well-dressed, chic women and their sleeze-bag dates, as this appears to be a recent, but world-wide situation.

Oct 04, 2009
Jerrysfriend in France

Paris: Looking for an old-fashioned, traditional experience

Set for my 34th trip to Europe next month (95% included at least a few days in Paris). I find that I am happiest in restaurants there where I can have a more "foreign," 1950s or 1960's style experience and am least satisfied eating 'hip," with loads of Americans in attendence. If I wanted that, I could stay at home.
I am seeking more places where I will find mostly middle to upper class French customers who still "dress" properly for dinner (this means TIES!) and who enjoy good food, in at least moderate to somewhat more elegant places. This means that I want to avoid anything by Ducasse, Robuchon, Savoy, the 10th, 11th or 12th, jeans, untucked or black silk shirts on men, tables without tablecloths, etc.
I have found that Chez George (in the 17th) is what I am looking for, and at least to some degree, Drouant, Josephine and Les Balloon de Ternes. This time I plan on trying Le Petit Retro, L'Arome, La Rotonde and Garnier. Any other suggestions?

Oct 04, 2009
Jerrysfriend in France

Cassoulet in Paris

I have had cassoulet at 5-6 places in Paris and always thought it was a pale imitation of the dish in Toulouse, where I've had it twice.
I think it is prepared with much more preserved goose fat in Toulouse, which bubbles to the top and forms a hard shell (like a much thicker creme brulee shell) when it cools. Has anyone encountered this version in Paris?

Nov 02, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

A good place for lunch along Montmartre walking tour

I was not impressed by the Rose Bakery. First of all,it is English owned and run. It seemed to me like a bunch of left-over hippie British hippie girls from the 70s selling bran muffins, brownies, semi-health foods and a few decent daily plats.

Nov 02, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

Please don't take my plate away

It depends on where you are eating. At Chartier, one of Paris' cheapest restaurants, you are mot allowed to have coffee, as the French drink their coffee after the dessert, it is a low profit item and very cheap places need to fill their tables several times a night to be profitable.
However, if you are spending $100 per person or more, a restaurant should plan on allowing you at least 2 hours to dine.

Sep 14, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Not About Food

What has happened to service in NY?

That is the whole reason for my thread. What is suddenly happening in NY? I never encountered this type of service before in over 300 NY meals over two decades. Then, 4 times in 6 days!
Do you think it is that servers from the Olive Garden, where I assume that that type of conduct is the norm, moved on to places like Orso, Trattoria dell'Arte, and Keen's Steak House, taking their old training with them or is the management at these somewhat more upscale places are now also insisting on this familiar behavior?

Sep 09, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Not About Food

What has happened to service in NY?

Why so much mid-town dining? Since I work, almost all of our trips have been during holidays-Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We always stay in mid-town (The Berkshire, [the now departed] Drake, Essex House, Park Lane, Regency, Algonquin, City Club, Michelangelo, etc. ) to be convenient to the theater district and much of the shopping, although recently, downtown shopping has been more fun. All of our meals at Orso have been after-theater, as it is close-by and is also open late. Since we are there for so many holidays we frequently eat lunch at Trattoria dell'Arte, as it has regular lunch, rather than just brunch on holidays and weekends. We also like steakhouses and have had top-notch service at the Post House and Wolgang's, but we find Sparks a mad-house.
Actually, I have almost always liked NY service until this last trip and was simply inquiring as to why it had suddenly changed. I like "authentic" behavior, so I like gruff and surly old waiters at delis; it seems genuine to me. I do not even mind the distacted young wannabe actresses and models at the Royalton, Town and Brasserie, etc. I even liked the burned-out old French waiters at Le Grenouille and Le Cirque the 4-5 other old-style NY French places that are now gone, like La Caravelle, Lutece, etc. Danny Meyer's places all seem to have exemplary service.
What I do not like are robots following the exact same script, apparently insisted upon by management, that I encountered 4 times this last trip. It is just phony hype and salesmanship and is not really "friendly." Only the most unsophisticated rubes could be taken in. Actually, I felt sorry for those waiters because of the way that the restaurants make them behave. They should have been allowed to do their "own thing."

Sep 05, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Not About Food

What has happened to service in NY?

We were very surprised by the sudden "hick" treatment because we had eaten at Orso and Trattoria dell'Arte at least a dozen times each previously and it had never happened to us before. Nor had it occurred during our pne prior visit to Keen's. It was like someone had turned on a light switch for this to suddenly happen at four (out of eleven) meals in one visit, when it had never happened before during any of our 300+ NY meals in our 36 prior visits. Maybe NY has suddenly just caught up with the rest of the country.
True, Orso is on Restaurant Row near the theater district, but it seems popular with locals and celebrities for after theater dining. Over the years we have seen Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Joel Grey, Lauren Bacall, Molly Ringwald, Neal Simon and Frank Langella all eating there.
Aurora really surprised us because we had a really beautiful young waitress from Bulgaria. We usually find eastern Europeans to be more polite and formal than their American counterparts, but maybe she was just into "hip."

Sep 04, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Not About Food

What has happened to service in NY?

My wife and I just returned from our 37th trip in the last 20 years. We go mainly for the theater, shopping and to eat. Of course, shopping has slipped a lot in NY during that time due to the movement into the City (and the proliferation) of big national chains and the demise of so many smaller interesting places. There is little left that is even the slightest bit unique.
However, it was not until this trip that we ever came across the giant corporate chain restaurant service designed to put hicks at ease, that is so commonplace nearly everyplace elsewhere in America these days. For the very first time we got the phony-friendly first name introduction treatment by a waiter (and it happened four times!) at Orso, Trattoria dell'Arte, Keen's Steak House and Del Frisco. And we got even got the "I'll be taking care of you" spiel at the last three. I guess this could be expected to happen at Del Frisco, as I discovered that it was a part of a small national chain. At Aurora in Soho we were called "guys" six times and were told to "have a good one," when we departed. Luckily, we also went to Katz's deli and got the same gruff NY service that we have come to love. We did not try the Palm, which used to be the same way.

Sep 03, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Not About Food

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Sep 03, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Manhattan

After theatre in London

Any suggestions for a nice dinner at 10:30-11:00 pm not too far from Shaftesbury Avenue? During the last two years we have tried Axis and The Wolseley were pleased with both, but the other good choices seem limited. We were not very fond of J. Sheekey during a recent visit, nor Rules, where we ate many years ago. Anyone know Le Cafe du Jardin, Le Duxieme or Clos Maggiore?

Apr 06, 2008
Jerrysfriend in U.K./Ireland

Paris query: looking for old traditional places

Also, the Chez Georges in the 17th near Porte Maillot (my wife had both salade frisse avec lardons and a huge Ile Flotante there), Thoumieux in the 7th, and Allard in the 6th.

Mar 07, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

Brasserie questions please..

I have eaten at Bofinger, Au Pied de Cochon and Thomieux each twice, and greatly prefer Thomieux. I did not like La Couple much. I was not much impressed with Brasserie Flo either, except for the difficulty in finding it. Avoid Gallopin.
I like Vaudeville, Terminus Nord and Julien much better than all of the above, except for Thomieux.

Mar 05, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

Comptoir du Relais Lunch ?

I tried it and agree that it is VERY cramped. I thought the food to be inexpensive and competent, but really quite ordinary for Paris. It is okay for a simple lunch if you are in the neighborhood, but it is not worth a special trip.

Mar 05, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

Les Papilles-the best-what about NYC? [Moved from France board]

I am rarely stumped, but this did it. There is nothing the least bit like it in NY, as far as I know.
I ate there once-it is just a little wine shop with a few tables for dinner and with a fixed menu that changes daily; everyone eats the same thing. The night I dined the food was good, but not geared to the American palate; the soup was full of blood sausage and the plat was a very non-lean pork belly. The waiter was pleasant, but he wore a Marshall University t-shirt. He was surprised when I told him that that university was mainly known for an airplane crash that wiped out the entire football team.

Feb 21, 2008
Jerrysfriend in Manhattan

Paris, 1 Day, Not Overnight - Lunch or Dinner and where?

I suggest Drouant. It is elegant, modern and rather hip. It is an older place that had two stars for many years. It is under new ownership now and has been completely redone, so it has no stars yet. We liked it better than any of the starred places that we ate at during our last three trips to Paris. http://www.drouant.com/

Feb 14, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

Has anyone eaten in Le Train Bleu??

I have eaten there 5-6 times during the last 25 years. Last time, 3 years ago, it had changed somewhat. It has always been fabulously beautiful, with fairly average food, and fairly high prices, but now it is much busier now and the portions have become gigantic; almost off-putting. It is still worth it for the ambiance and chocolate souffle, which is more like an airy, crusty brownie than a souffle (not eggy).
I always dress very well and order a bottle of champagne to be at the table, to go with the glamorous looks of the place and to make it a really festive occasion.
I do not understand the American fixation on dressing badly, however, I once experienced it there. My wife and I had arrived in Paris early on a Sunday morning and joined two American friends; one who had lived in Paris for 10 years and his sister-in-law visitor. We met at the Flore for breakfast and then went over to the Grand Palais to see an antique show (some show, one booth was selling some of the Duchess of Windsor's jewlery). I was embarassed at the way the other lady was dressed; a middle-aged woman who at been out jogging that morning and who was still wearing a sweat-stained jogging outfit, sneakers and no make-up.
We decided to go to the Train Bleu for lunch, so I suggested we go back to the hotel and change first. She said: "Why? You are wearing a suit." So we went. Everyone else there was wearing their Sunday go-to-church clothes. The Maitre Di looked at her like she was crazy and gave us a table hidden behind a potted palm tree.
Mr. Bean ate there. He and the French people in the film seem to me to be properly dressed for such a place.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEnwZI...

Feb 12, 2008
Jerrysfriend in France

le bamboche

Ate there twice (1/2 block from Bon Marche department store). Tiny, inventive and wonderful. Portions of some dishes can be small (some desserts are on toothpicks) but the tastes are sublime and pack a punch. I still remember my foie gras disguised to look like profiteroles.

Dec 27, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Arriving in the 1e late...dinner?

A difficult arrondissement for simple and inexpensive. I advise against Lescure.
I like light stuff when I am tired. A possibiity is in the 1e is Le Souffle-mostly (but not all) souffle appetizers, souffle plats and souffle desserts-excellent, old-fashioned and fairly moderate (menus at 30 and 33).
http://www.fra.cityvox.fr/restaurants...
Pudlo likes L'Ardoise (menu at 31) and L'Argenteuil (menu at 29.50) and says both are good value, but I have not tried either.

Dec 02, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Seafood or fish restaurants in Paris

I just ate there and it was not particually expensive for Paris; it is certainly no Le Divellec in price. I still have the bill; prices-a Sancerre 36 Euros; Soupe de Poisson-12.50 Euros; Trocon De Turbot-46 Euros; St. Pierre-36.50 Euros; Cote de Veau-38 Euros; Glace et Sorbet mixte-9.5 Euros; Nougat glace-11 Euros; Mille Feuilles-11 Euros; cafe-2.80 Euros; the only problem was that neither the Trocon De Turbot nor the St. Pierre were particually good.

Dec 02, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Any suggested non-touristy Paris restaurants

La Ferrandaise has a very nice 3 course menu for 32 Euros, but I had the terrific Cote de Veau which carried a 6 Euro supplement. They give you a nice platter of pate, crudites and bread when you sit down-no charge. My Kir was 5 Euros, an Evian was 4 Euros, a beautiful bottle of Brouilly was 25 Euros (but the Beaujoais Nouveau was only 18) and one espresso was 3 Euros. Total for 2-107 Euros ($160) and well worth it. It is tiny but pretty and very friendly.

Chez Georges is worth it just for the Ile flotant-it is the size of a football and weighs about one ounce. Leg of lamb with the garlicky flagolets was super. My wife said the filet rivaled the best American steak she has ever had. Great frites too.
Caius is extremely inventive and rather hip, but wonderful.
Le Dome is worth a visit just to see the gigantic Mille Feuille (Napoleon) sitting on the bar-about the size of a double loaf of American bread (but taller). They cut you off a slice when you order it-but they only get about 5 slices per Mille Feuille. The waiter said that they go through about 5 of them a night. Wonderful soupe de poissons and plateaus de fruits de mer there too.

Nov 29, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Any suggested non-touristy Paris restaurants

Well, we just got back. The strike hampered us greatly as only Metro line one was running well, and it was hard to get to the outer arrondisements.
We ate at:

(a) Caius-Pudlo loves it-GREAT AND NEW-no tourists-little English spoken

(b) Chez Georges (17e)-Very old standard (1926) but wonderful; no tourists; full of old-fashioned middle age, middle class French who still dress up for dinner-little English spoken

(c) Drouant-Very old, but under hip new ownership and re-done-tapas-GREAT and very inventive-very few tourists

(d) Le Grande Cascade-GRAND, WONDERFUL and VERY expensive-no tourists

(e) Brasserie Ile St. Louis-AVOID-many tourists

(f) La Maison de Aubrac-NOT GOOD-AVOID AT ALL COSTS-many, many tourists

(g) Senderens-beautiful presentation, but rather boring and small menu and very expensive-few tourists

(h) La Cafe d'Angel-very simple, modest, unassuming and also good-no tourists-no English spoken

(i) La Ferrandaise-Pudlo loves it-very tiny and simple-GREAT COOKING-OUR FAVORITE OF THE TRIP-no tourists-no English spoken

(j) Le Dome-mostly older regular customers, good-no tourists

(k) Les Relais Comptoir-I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ALL THE HYPE-tiny-only fair-many tourists

(l) Bouquinistes-pretty good Guy Savoy place-some tourists-some are loud

Nov 28, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Looking for Paris restaurant open Sunday night

Try Fables de la Fontaine, tiny (about 22 seats), modest and not expensive. Inventive and just awarded a Michelin star.

Nov 08, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Gifts for expat in Paris? [moved from France board]

I once took a French friend a selection (4 bottles) of California sparkling wines made by French companies-Moet, Tattinger, Piper, etc. They are not available in France, but the makers are, of course, well known and highly respected. He took great delight showing off the bottles to his friends and finally had a big party and drank them all.

Nov 08, 2007
Jerrysfriend in General Topics

Any suggested non-touristy Paris restaurants

Went there once and also to l'Avenue, another Costes owned place. I was not impressed by the food at either, but the service was amusing in that I learned that the USA is not the only place that has air-head "starlet wanabee" waitresses. Instead of the really pro waiters so commonplace in Paris you get these pretty, but aloof and distracted girls who treat you with disdain if you are wearing a Savile Row bespoke suit instead of black Prada and are sans pony-tail, 3 days growth of beard and earrings. You can eat much better for 1/3 the price.

Nov 08, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France

Classic Brasserie for Fruits de Mer and Steak Frites

I agree that Balthazar in New York is [too] loud, [too] bustling, cavernous, and lively, but I do not think the food is good or even very French; mostly just typical American stuff. The plateaus did not have sea snails and they seemed puzzled when I asked for pins (they had none) to be able to get into the cockles (do you really eat those things?). Not really my kind of people either; current NY chic, mostly dressed like slobs. Try Vaudeville or Le Dome. They are much better.

Nov 03, 2007
Jerrysfriend in France