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Found 115 results

  1. "L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon may be the world’s most expensive restaurant chain." Ouch. I don't know what stings more - that line or the two star rating. "A New Link in the World's Most Expensive Restaurant Chain" by Pete Wells on nytimes.com
  2. Alhambra in DC

    Website https://www.alhambradc.com/ I saw this place on Open Table. Seems expensive and swanky.
  3. Pain Perdu

    Hey now, Pain Perdu is made with stale bread. Okay, in theory, it's made with stale bread.
  4. Sunday my wife and I stopped by Primrose for their first night open to the public to check out what has to be by far the biggest restaurant opening in our new neighborhood by Sebastian Zutant, formerly of Proof (in the glory days), Red Hen, and All Purpose. Much like Red Hen, this was a delightfully designed little neighborhood restaurant, with a homey feel and lovely lighting and decorations (check out the bathrooms). Service was touch and go, which is to be expected on an opening night, but everyone was very pleasant and accommodating. The food was nice, if unspectacular, and the wine list an eclectic mix of French producers who I had never heard of before. The menu is very small, with 3 plates of charcuterie, 4 apps, and 5 mains (2 that can be shared). My wife had the steak, which was a nice griddled version cooked very well and accompanied by very thick fries, which were the least French thing that we had all night. I went with the Bourguignon, which was a bit overcooked and less saucy than I like, but pleasing nonetheless. Don't sleep on the Salade Verte, which is a simple heaping mound of mache and paper thin radishes with that salad dressing that you get (and love) in every restaurant in France that serves green salads but I never actually hear the name of since you don't get a choice of dressing when you dine out over there. Congrats to Sebastian and his wife on what should be a very successful effort in Brookland!
  5. According to Eater, this Shaw joint just opened. The head chef previously worked at Le Bernadin and Guy Savoy. Being super hip and cool, we will be checking out their early-bird specials soon.
  6. Le Marais has a few branches in San Francisco. We had brunch at the Castro location today given that we live in the neighborhood. Croissant. On par with the ones at Tartine. A bonus is that the staff at Le Marais has ZERO attitude which practically ensures that we'll be back. Butter and jam. The jam was nothing to write home about however. Their hot chocolate was basically a cup of steamed cream with a shot of cocoa. Oh well, can't get everything right all the time I suppose. Croque monsieur with ham and gruyère, small salad. Unlike at other places we've been to so far, Le Marais uses brioche instead of croissants for their croques. Vinaigrette had a touch too much mustard and acid. Duck confit with roasted potatoes, mushrooms and small salad. Same issue with the vinaigrette here as above. Plate was otherwise perfect. Le Marais 498 Sanchez (18th Street) The Castro
  7. I prefer to let the pictures speak for themselves. It's one of my favorite places to eat at in NYC although sometimes I do wish the aura of preciousness could be dispensed with. Buvette 42 Grove Street (Bleecker Street) Greenwich Village
  8. We hadn’t been to L’Auberge Provencal in a few years, but headed out last weekend with a couple friends for a German Wine dinner, hosted by Elite Imports. We had a five course meal with accompanying wines. Each course paired very well, and we wouldn’t hesitate to return to La Table Provencal for a “regular” meal. Fluke Sashimi, preserved lemon, green apple, mango vinegar - Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Kabinett, Joh. Jos. Prum 2015 Excellent first dish – the preserved lemon and green apple matched particularly well with the Kabinett. We also received a peach gazpacho as an amuse, but this was rather unceremoniously plunked in front of us and as a result didn’t know what it was (apart from obviously being a gazpacho of some type) until later. Service was a bit choppy – we were often left to review the printed menus to understand what we were eating. The waitstaff didn’t describe the dishes at all. Scallop, spaetzle, heirloom tomato, chili flake - Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015 Maybe my favorite course of the afternoon – I taste any chili flake, but the acidity in the Spatlese and the tomato cut the richness of the scallop and spaetzli nicely. A small portion though - as the scallop was definitely singular. Maultaschen, bratwurst, Asian pear, dates, caramelized onion - Zeltinger Sonnenhur Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015 Another good example of how an off-dry or even sweet wine with enough acidity can pair with heartier foods. This dish included three silver dollar sized pieces of bratwurst – the maultaschen was in a ravioli-like format and the pear and onion were carmelized in a sort of rustic jam. At this point we began to notice two things – that the portions were pretty small, and that wine glasses were not topped up during courses (and were relatively small pours to begin with). Baker Farm pork roulade, potato, cabbage, fig, juniper - Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden Pinot Noir Spatburgunder Trocken, 2014 Excellent dish – and a great pairing with the Spatburgunder, however I think that the wine suffered by comparison as it was such a departure from the gradually building sugar profiles in the wines until this point. The majority of the group ranked this wine as their least favorite of the afternoon, but I wonder if that would have been the case were it served earlier. The roulade was good, but two slices – cabbage manifested itself in the form of two cabbage leaves, and the potato salad was two spheres of potato with the traditional accompaniments. Peaches, Olive oil cake, vanilla yogurt, pine nut brittle - Wehlener Sonnenhur Reisling Auslese, Joh. Jos Prum, 2015 I was fully prepared to hate this course, but boy was I wrong. As delightful as a box of birds. Enjoyed the olive oil cake and yogurt as they were on the savory side and provided a very nice contrast to the sweetest wine of the evening. A great time was had by all - with two caveats. Portions were on the small side, as were the pours. I understand that there is a fine line in tasting menu portion control and wine dinner/ lunch pours, but the pours were considerably less than a half glass. The other caveat was the service – I’d describe it as perfunctory – bring plate, drop plate, clear plate. The service may have been compromised by the fact that the reps from Elite were often talking to the group between courses. Given the 2015 vintage’s reputation in Germany it was a nice opportunity to taste through some Rieslings and bring back a few cases.
  9. I'd like to put in a plug for Bar à Vin, Chez Billy Sud's cozy wine bar next door. Warm atmosphere. Friendly bartenders. Interesting small plate menu. Wine. Cocktails. What more can you ask for?
  10. Celebrated @MichaelBDC's birthday with some friends at Le DeSales a few weeks ago. We had a reservation on the early side (6:30pm), which worked out well given our leisurely pace. Except for two hiccups, service was attentive and our water glasses were always full. Our party of four started with a bottle of Zinfandel and a mocktail for one member of our party who is nine months pregnant. We also ordered a platter of charcuterie and cheese to share: jambon cru, duck proscuitto, comte, parmigiano reggiano, and prefere des montagnes. This was a decent board of meats and cheeses, but nothing was particularly interesting or unique. The first service hiccup occurred when we wanted to ensure that the cheeses on the menu were pasteurized. The server said she would ask the kitchen but thought they were all pasteurized. When she came back to take our order, we realized she hadn't checked as she had already told us that she "thought" all the cheese were pasteurized. So we had to insist she go back and check with the kitchen. Turns out all the cheeses were pasteurized, but it was a frustrating back and forth. We ended up finishing the bottle of wine relatively quickly and ordered a second bottle, a Mourvedre from France. For our entrees, we wanted to share the other dishes - a mix of appetizer and entree sized plates as well as sides which the restaurant accommodated, but left for a very full table. We ended up ordering: beets with avocado, miso and quinoa; duck egg with paprika potatoes, soup de pain, and watercress; pork loin with carrots and preserved lemon; cod with turnip and clams pesto; bass with cranberries, cashews, celeriac, and chive oil; broccoli with peanuts and mustard; grilled leeks with sunflower seeds and buttermilk; and the fries. Highlights for me were the duck egg dish, the beets (not super interesting but well executed and loved the crunch of the quinoa), and the broccoli (an odd combination but successfully executed and very tasty). The cod, pork loin, and leeks were well executed but not particularly memorable. I passed on the bass and the fries so I can't comment. For dessert we had the deconstructed cheesecake, chocolate tarte, and creme brulee. Again, well prepared and satisfying, but not outstanding. The GM/owner also brought out four glasses of champagne for us. Not sure why we were on the receiving end of such generosity but we appreciated it. By the time we were done, the restaurant was packed and it took us awhile to flag down our server and get our check. Overall, I was pretty impressed with Le DeSales. Food was well executed and some dishes were really interesting and outstanding. Glad to have more French options to choose from.
  11. If you've ever wondered what the oldest film in the world is, as far as anyone knows, it's the two-second clip known as "Roundhay Garden Scene," filmed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. Click on the title, and the film - which you'll miss if you blink - is on the top-right of the Wikipedia page. There's also a wealth of information there - the film was shot in Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
  12. There are three versions to the 1895 documentary, "La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon," which has a running time of about one minute: The versions are referred to as, "One Horse," "Two Horses," and "No Horse" - it will be obvious why when you see them. All three can be viewed right here on Vimeo. Admittedly not much of a plot. It is not impossible that, if Jeanne Calment was born on the day this film was released, she still might have been alive this very day (Jeanne Calment remembered meeting Vincent Van Gogh!)
  13. I won't be issuing any spoilers in this post, but I would urge any-and-all science-fiction fans to watch one of the greatest science-fiction films I've ever seen: "La Jetée" ("The Pier") - a 30-minute French short (translated into English) - the only place I found it was Amazon Prime (*), and it was $3.99 - yes, it hurt paying that for such a short film, but once I watched it, it was worth every penny. For me to say anything about the film would be to ruin it, other than this: It is an art film - absolutely for the art-house cinema folks - and is unlike anything else you've ever seen (with the possible exception of one modern movie which it directly influenced). It is disturbing, riveting, and sobering - if you're a science-fiction fan and *haven't* seen this, there's a gaping chasm in your repertoire. (*) At 15'40", there is a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" - the influence Hitchcock had on the French New Wave simply cannot be overstated.
  14. We had dinner at Petit Crenn tonight. House-made brioche, butter, sea salt. Trio of canapes. Top: French breakfast radishes, herb butter. Middle: Gruyere gougères, Bottom: Oysters with shallot and samphire; tuna crudo, radish, shrimp cracker; cured trout, trout roe. Seafood bouillabaisse, with clams, mussels, potato and fennel. Sourdough bread, with butter, crème fraîche and espelette pepper. Pan-seared turbot, celeriac mousseline, pea shoot, with beurre blanc and herb oil. Gnocchi à la Parisienne, beurre noisette, mushrooms. Whole-roasted cauliflower, almond crumble. Endive salad with green goddess dressing, shaved beets and Comté cheese. Valhrona Manjari chocolate ganache, brown butter crumble, grapefruit and orange, lime curd, buttermilk snow. Mignardises. Background: strawberry chambord gelée. Middle: salted caramels. Foreground: strawberry macaron. It was awesome. We'll be back; count on it. If I had a criticism, I would say that the middle course was too monochromatic. And I'm not exactly a fan of whole-roasted cauliflower; the top gets crispy but the middle is decidedly a bit too crunchy for my palate. Service charge is included. With two glasses of wine, tax and additional gratuity, it came out to $125 per person. Petit Crenn 609 Hayes Street (Laguna Street) Hayes Valley
  15. I just finished half-rereading Stefan Zweig's brilliant novella, "Amok," to refresh my memory before reading "Letter from an Unknown Woman," in the same collection of short stories, in anticipation of watching the film, "Letter from an Unknown Woman." However, I just found out there was not one, not two, but *three* films made after "Amok," so the siren song called me, and I began watching the 1934 French version. Note, why did these middle-aged British and French men assigned to Borneo and Malaysia complain about not seeing any caucasian women for months-on-end? Are they out of their minds? Gauguin knew what he was doing, you'll see ... *** SPOILER ALERT *** Do not read any further until reading the novella *and* watching the film. Listen up: It makes no sense to watch this film unless you've read the 40-page novella first, so please, don't - read the novella first, because no matter how good this film is (and I've only watched 15 minutes of it), the novella will be better, I assure you. You'd be doing yourself a grave, literary disservice if you watch this movie before reading the story. So, really, any discussion that follows is going to be assuming you've read the book - and whether or not the film stays true to the novella, well, that remains to be seen, but my guess is that it just might. So read it first, huh? The great Stefan Zweig deserves nothing less (I'm not kidding when I say he's one of the five-best authors I've ever read, even though I've only read his short stories - he is on a par with Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, or anyone else you care to name, and if you doubt me, read him. In fact, if I could read just one more book in my life (assuming all were equal in length!), I might just choose something by Stefan Zweig. As my friend (and donrockwell.com member) Sasha K said, after reading the 41-page-long, "The Royal Game," "People should be ashamed to call themselves 'writers' when works like this exist," and he's absolutely correct. To watch this film, it will help to have some idea of what the true meaning of "running Amok" is - it's a Malaysian term that essentially means losing complete control (because of a strange, unknown disease), and going on a single-minded killing spree, until you either collapse or are killed, and there's no way to stop it once it starts - not unlike being a dog with rabies. This is represented quite well in the first fifteen minutes of the film, and sets the stage for the "real" story, which is allegorical. The film is staying very true to the book so far (I'm 40 minutes into a 1'25" movie), but other than a couple minor deviations, the first major one just occurred: Hélène's lover just found out about the child; in the book, he never found out, and that was an extremely important component of the doctor's unwavering devotion to her. As a psychological drama, it's little things such as this which can never make a movie as good as the book - there isn't adequate time to reflect on things, and compromises will always be made for the audience, no matter how insignificant you think they may be. When you read the story, you'll see how important this seemingly insignificant component is in determining the totality of the doctor's "amok state." Wow, also the blackmail with the letters from Hélène's lover - that doesn't happen in the book. See, in the book, his "amok state" is out of control, yes, but it's tempered with total dedication to her well-being, and he would never do anything to harm her like this. The movie has now taken two pretty big liberties, and I'm not sure I like it; on the other hand, I'm not sure how 90-minutes of psychological pursuit would come across on the big screen, when much of that pursuit occurs in the doctor's own mind (it actually happened, but not to the extraordinary degree to which it does in his mind). These aren't two "black marks" so much as two "gray marks," and I'm hoping there aren't many more, because you're messing with perfection, and you don't want to do that. This is Zweig's story to tell, and it's Otsep's primary mission - in my opinion - to present it as faithfully as possible. Everything comes home to wine: A common wisdom among "terroirists" (of which I am one) is that the *maximum potential* for a wine occurs the moment the grapes are picked; from that point forward, it's the winemakers primary task *not* to screw things up. Think of an absolutely perfect, ripe, heirloom tomato - how can you improve upon this? There are ways, but they generally don't involve corrupting the tomato. There are potential advantages to changing small things. For example, even though it was as obvious as the sun rising in the morning, I failed to see (in the book) that when the doctor saw Hélène at the ball, she was going to have the procedure done later that night - I have no idea how, or why, I missed that, but I did - this movie made that perfectly clear to me (dumbing things down for the dummy, perhaps?) I'm not sure this involves a "cinematic advantage," so much as a "dimwitted reader." The problem is, with him attempting to blackmail her - even though it was almost surely a bluff - when he looks at her and says, "Forgive me," he comes across as a complete, total, *jerk*, whereas in the book, it's clear that he isn't calculating enough to try and pull such a stunt - he was, as he said, running straight forward, at top speed, with blinders on, and nothing could stop him. When you "run amok," you simply don't have the presence of mind to attempt such a rotten tactic, and the movie suffers because he did. A classic, "eat shit" look from the 1930s: And strike three: He never once told her he loved her in the book: It wouldn't have been in keeping with the story. And stike four: The ending was all wrong, and reminds me that the movie was entirely missing the narrator, and didn't work without it - it needed to be structured just as the book was. This film ends with the absolute certainty that this was a clear case of murder-suicide, whereas the book leaves everything completely unknown, and the secrets are forever buried at the bottom of the sea - it is *so* much better in written form, and I urge you only to watch this film if you've read the book, and are curious about a comparison-contrast. I would love an opinion of someone who *hasn't* read the book, but I can't ask anyone to do this to themselves: "Amok" *can't* be a great film - it just can't be. But the novella was one of the greatest short stories I've ever read. Damn - the deviations did this in. Trivia, which I didn't recognize: Valéry Inkijinoff, whom I believe deserved a Best Supporting Actor nomination - despite the Film being French, and despite him being Asian - played the roles of *both* the man stricken with "L'Amok" at the beginning, and also Maté, Hélène's servant, who was unwaveringly faithful until the very end.
  16. Sadly, one of my favorite spots in the city closed on Wednesday. Le Train Bleu was the not-so-secret "secret" restaurant in Bloomingdale's. It was designed to look like an old rail dining car and was named for the famous train of the same name (not the restaurant in the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris). In a lot of ways, it was one of those restaurants that time apparently forgot -- the experience was probably the same a month ago as it was when it opened in 1979, and the same people likely still worked there. About half of the patrons were tourists, but the regular clientele -- now in their 70's and 80's -- were probably the same too. And the food was always good, though not spectacular. Still, it was just one of those places that you love to be. While it was only a block from my apartment, I didn't go often because it was seemingly never open (it closed at 5:00 every day). But it will nonetheless be greatly missed, and I'm glad I got one last lunch on its final day. It was as good as it ever was until the end. [Originally posted on NYDiningGuide.com]
  17. I just stumbled across Laura Lawless on Twitter. I don't know Laura, but back in the "old days," when I was a beginning French student, I relied on her website for a *lot*. Things have changed, and so has her website: Lawless French (kind of a clever double-entendre) has a much cleaner, nicer look than her old website did, but I know from many years ago that her content has been wonderful since the get-go. I don't even need to spend much time on her website to be able to recommend it to budding Francophones. One fun thing is that she has a <<mot du jour>>, which is perfect for intermediate-level French speakers looking to improve their vocabulary without working too hard to do it. For example, today's word was <<quincaillerie>>, or a hardware store. That's useful information, and it takes about two seconds to learn - all you have to do is create a list, and put her on it. As an example, I did that here (feel free to subscribe - I'll probably just leave her as the only thing on it for awhile). So, lawlessfrench.com: highly recommended! Make sure to look at the "Subjunctivisor" - a way to help suffering French students with the God-forsaken subjunctive verb tense. I don't know if there's a feature on her website where people can ask her questions, but if anyone here has French questions, I'll be happy to help. In fact, this just popped into my head: A separate thread (or even a subforum) where members can let people know they're fluent in a second language, and volunteer to answer any questions. I can do it for French (if I don't know something, I'll be happy to research it, as I *should* know it).
  18. The only thing I know about <<La Règle du Jeu>> ("The Rules of the Game," a French film from 1939), is that it has a reputation of being one of the finest movies ever made. That's it - I know nothing else, so here I begin, in complete ignorance: To be honest, I didn't even know it was a French film until five minutes ago. I will, obviously, be giving my thoughts as I go ... The film takes place on the Eve of WWII, when (fictional) famed aviator André Jurieu (played by Roland Toutain) makes a trans-Atlantic crossing in 23 hours - 12 years after Charles Lindbergh's real-life 1927 flight which took 33 1/2 hours in the Spirit of St. Louis (which is housed in the National Air and Space Museum on The National Mall in DC). Call me a dweeb, but I love fictional films that interweave non-fiction - I love to learn, and any real-life info-nuggets I can pick up are always remembered. Note that "La Règle du Jeu" takes place in contemporary time - the events took place in 1939, and the movie was released in 1939. After Jurieu is swarmed by the media, he is greeted by his friend, Octave (Jean Renoir, the son of famed painted Pierre-Auguste Renoir (really!)) - Jurieux is clearly crestfallen that the girl of his affections - the very inspiration he made the flight - Christine de la Chesnaye (Nora Gregor) wasn't at the airport to greet him, and he doesn't take it well in front of the media - clearly, "love," or possibly "unrequited love" could play a central role in this plot. Christine was listening on the radio along with her (seemingly) faithful maid, Lisette (Paulette Dubost), with whom she seems to have a friendly, respectful, relationship. To create a liaison, Christine jokingly asks Lisette if she's having some sort of relationship with Octave - both Christine and Lisette are married to other men: Christine to Robert, Marquis de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) for three years, and Lisette to Schumacher (Gaston Lodot), the gamekeeper at Robert's country estate, for two years - the French do enjoy their extramarital dalliances. Robert, meanwhile, is having an affair with Geneviève (Mila Parély), whom he sees the next morning (can you tell this is confusing yet? My *goodness* the relationships, and ex-relationships; the crushes, and non-crushes; in this film are mind-bending, and very difficult to keep up with, so *pay attention to the characters and their relationships with one another* - at least for the first twenty minutes of the movie.) I have a feeling it's going to be imperative, and will pay off in spades, to have these character relationships down pat inside your head before the movie progresses too far. I can see this film going in any of several directions - a mistaken-identity comedy a la "Marx Brothers," or a drama about lost or unfulfilled love, or something else entirely, but it's clear that human interaction is playing a crucial role thus far, and I'm only about 20% of the way through (overall, it seems more comedic than dramatic so far). Make the investment, and pay close attention to avoid needing to watch the opening more than once - at least up until the point where the film fades, and the automobiles are heading to La Colinière in Sologne. At La Colinière, Schumacher catches a poacher, Marceau (Julien Carette), and turns him over to Robert - who's impressed with his trapping skills, and hires him on the spot (much to Schmacher's dismay). The next thirty minutes are merely a "slice of life" about the upper crust in France, and their vacation lives of leisure at the country home, replete with interpersonal relationships, jealousy, shocking candor, and it leaves me wondering where this is all going. I'm almost halfway through this film, and for it to be considered "greatest-ever" material, it had better start improving, pronto - I just don't see it yet: I'm starting to fear this is one of "those" movies that all the critics like because they're supposed to like it. There are elements of well-played character development, but this all needs to have an end game, because it's not standing on its own - at least, not yet. Yes, it's a satire of the leisure class, perhaps to the point of being farce, but it needs to be more than this - I'm still hopeful, because there's been nothing "bad" about it whatsoever; it's just not compelling, or even all that witty. A discussion, at a gala, between two men having affairs: "You haven't seen me." "Why?" "Schumacher's after me." "What for?" "On account of his wife. We were playing around. He saw us and he's not happy. Oh, your lordship ... women are charming. I like them a lot. Too much, in fact. But they spell trouble." "You're telling me." "You've got it bad, too?" "Somewhat ... Ever wish you were an Arab?" "No, what for?" "For the harem ... Only Muslims show a little logic in matters of male-female relations. They're made like us." "If you say so." "They always have a favorite ... But they don't kick the others out and hurt their feelings." "If you say so." Meh, this is just not that good - I understand it's 77 years old, but it's still just not that good. I'm thinking maybe in context of France, 1939, this is considered pretty "bold" satire, making fun of the upper class like this, but if that's what makes this movie great - it's just plain dated. Still, I'm only halfway through ... onward. Okay, with about twenty-five minutes remaining, I've peaked at a few reviews, all of which say this is "one of the greatest films ever made." I'm afraid I'm going to need to be told *why* it's one of the greatest films ever made - I guess that's the difference between my knowledge of restaurants and films: with restaurants, I'm the one who can do the telling; with films, I guess that sometimes, I need to be told. Damn this is frustrating. I mean, I can see it's a scathing social commentary, I can see it's a farce, I can see it pits upper class vs. lower class, man against woman, and makes all sorts of fun against high society, but *one of the greatest films ever made*? Are there any film scholars here? If so, I ask for your help - this is like "Middlemarch" meets "Reefer Madness." Great works of art often go over my head the first time I experience them, and I'm willing to accept that such is the case here, but I'm going to need some assistance with this one. As great as "Citizen Kane" is, that film has plenty of detractors who wonder why it's so great - I don't think those people are Luddites; I think they honestly just don't get it. To me, "Citizen Kane" is *terribly* boring in parts - it really drags - but I can see greatness in it; I'm just not seeing that greatness in "La Règle du Jeu," unfortunately. I think its okay, but I'm not getting the multi-layered nuances it supposedly has. There's one line I just saw that sums it up for me to this point: "Corneille! Put an end to this farce!" "Which one, your lordship?" At the end of the movie, loose ends are tying themselves up, and it's clear to me that the upper crust values their lot in life more than they value humanity - *their* humanity. It's a savage beatdown, and a funny one, but not in a "ha-ha funny" way. The film is filled with stereotypes, and man it's hard to absorb on the first viewing - this is not a movie to watch alone; it's one to watch among other film lovers, and discuss as it's happening. Well, it was pretty powerful, all right - I watched it over two nights, and was very tired both evenings. I need to study it some more - much of it went over my head for sure, but I can sense how ruthless it is. "La Règle du Jeu" is free on Hulu - would a few of you all please watch it and tell me all the wonderful things I'm missing?
  19. This debut film by director François Truffaut is a delight to watch. Well acted and beautifully shot, this filmed charmed and moved me. Semi-autobiographical, Truffaut tells the story of a mischievous French teen. Obviously bright, but not given the proper guidance at home, his misbehavior escalates. Jean-Pierre Léaud, only 14 at the time, is wonderful in the role of Antoine Doinel. The other teen actors are very good as well, and Albert Remy and Claire Maurier are perfect as Antoine's inept parents. Truffaut was only 27 when he directed this film. "The 400 Blows" is regarded as one of his finest, and is considered one of the earliest works of the French New Wave. I love quiet, beautifully made films like "The 400 Blows," a character-driven look at a troubled boy looking for his place in the world.
  20. If there is a thread about this place I could not find it. I have not been here in years, but it appears there is a new chef: Apr 20, 2016 - "Well-Loved La Côte d’Or Café Gets New Owner-Chef; Frogs Legs and Escargot? - Oui!" on lightningreleases.com Apr 22, 2016 - "Frog Legs, Escargots Back on the Menu at La Côte d’Or Café" on arlnow.com May 4, 2016 - "Arlington: New Owner-Chef Leads La Côte d’Or" by Eden Brown on connectionnewspapers.com We used to enjoy La Mediterranée on Lee Highway before it burned down. Might be time to head back to La Côte d’Or and see what's doing.
  21. "The Red Balloon" is a sweet, simple and visually appealing film. Just 35 minutes long, it tells the story of a young boy who finds a shiny red balloon in the streets of Paris. The boy takes the balloon everywhere he goes. It soon becomes apparent that the balloon has a mind of its own. It follows the boy everywhere, and hovers outside his window when his mother won't let him bring it inside. It is a lovely little tale of friendship, love and devotion. It captures the innocence of childhood, and highlights the fact that children can also be quite cruel to one another. There is virtually no dialogue and a lovely score. The little boy wears all gray, and the streets of Paris are shown in muted shades of bluish gray. The shots of the shiny red balloon against this backdrop are stunning. This film was made by someone with an artistic eye. I read some reviews that saw a deeper meaning in the film. Perhaps there were religious or political messages to be found. I enjoyed "The Red Balloon" on its most basic level. It made me feel like a child again. A balloon to a child is the world! Can you imagine having one that follows you around and waits for you outside your school?
  22. Sometimes after a long day one just wants quiet. Quiet, and a good meal. After leaving drinks with a friend I had every intention of walking around the corner to The Modern for a quick meal. I took a spin through, but the bar was PACKED. Fortunately I decided to walk across the street to Chevalier. Shea Gallante is the chef at Chevalier - you may remember him from Cru. Chevalier is a high-ceilinged, rectangular restaurant. Booths are well spaced and the whole operation seems luxurious, but understated. Looking at marketing materials after the fact, Chevalier seems to be marketed as a "Brasserie Luxe", whatever that means. I don't find anything brasserie-ish about the menu, but I guess YMMV. Started off the meal with an amuse of a gougere stuffed with black truffle. Very good. A second amuse followed, this time cured salmon topped with salmon roe, sitting on a blini, which was resting on some creme fraiche. Also very good. I ordered a sancerre to start off - didn't catch the producer, but it was solid, if unspectacular. On the waiter's recommendation I started with scallops, which were paired with roasted beets and soubise (some horseradish added to the usual onion). The scallops were cooked perfectly and were well seasoned. I didn't think that the beets added much to the dish, but the soubise had a pleasant kick from the horseradish. At this point I was ready for my main course, but the waiter instead brought over a portion of fusilli pasta with an octopus bolognese. The dish was topped with some breadcrumbs which added a nice textural component - the octopus wasn't too assertive in the sauce, and although the dish was mild I enjoyed it. The sommelier suggested a Rully for the main course, and it was again solid, if unspectacular. Main course was the butter poached lobster, served with ricotta gnudi and a lobster emulsion. The main course had a generous portion of lobster, and some artichokes were included along with the gnudi. The gnudi were a good match for the lobster and this was the best dish of the night. No dessert for me, but a pair of macaroons were dropped along with the check. There has been some talk on the site lately about what constitutes good service. For me, the service at Chevalier was excellent. The servers were professional, knew the menu, made suggestions when asked and offered to answer any questions. They worked as a team to bring and clear dishes, kept water refilled and were very unobtrusive. A manager came by and asked how everything was when she picked up the bill, but that was about it. I didn't feel fawned over at all, just that I had come to a professional establishment and that the staff to care and pride in their jobs. All in all Chevalier was a good meal in a serene setting. Shea Gallante is a fantastic chef, and I admit I expected more from the meal - this was a very solid ** or ** 1/2 star meal, but given the meals I had at Cru previously I was expecting to find a bit of a diamond in the rough (well, not exactly rough, but you know). If in the neighborhood again I would stop in, but wouldn't base a trip around it.
  23. It took some digging, but I independently confirmed that L'Hommage Bistro will be opening at 450 K Street NW, just east of Mount Vernon Square. The Chef de Cuisine will be Josh Perkins, who was most recently at Ecco in Atlanta - he has 25 years of experience in the industry. The Mâitre d' is named Mustafa Fairtout (I'm not sure about the spelling of Mustafa's last name), who was a Server at Cafe Milano. This will be a classical French bistro with onion soup, páté, steak frites, etc. The restaurant will seat 175 with 50 at the bar and 80 on the patio. Owner is Hakan Ilhan of Al Dente et al. A bakery will be attached to the bistro, selling French breads, sandwiches, coffee, and to-go meals - the bread will be made in-house. --- I was also sent this article: "Alba Osteria Owner Hakan Ilhan to Open French Restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle" by Rebecca Cooper on bizjournals.com
  24. Read this today: "4935 Bar and Kitchen Owner in Negotiations To Take Over Brasserie Monte Carlo Space" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com Brasserie Monte Carlo might be down on the ropes.....or not. Only been there once in the past 4 or 5 years. Almost got there a couple of weeks ago, might try to get there for lunch in case they are gone soon.