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Posts posted by Deac

  1. On 4/20/2019 at 9:23 PM, astrid said:

    White Rabbit Taco is very very good, well worth waiting in the long line for.  The menu is not traditional but well honed.   I could see it duplicating it's success in other cities in the next few years.

    Also liked Jianna.  It's very good rather than amazing, but really good for Greenville.

    Well your statement about duplicating success actually already is true: White Duck Taco is originally out of Asheville. They have a a few there (here for me since I live in Asheville) and another in Johnson City, TN. 

  2. It was amazing. Don’t have time to do the full recap at the moment but one of the best meals I’ve had. Certainly my first time at a Michelin 3-Star, so I have no basis of comparison but I was quite impressed for the value. I went to Eleven Madison Park a month or two before they got their third star, so clearly what they were doing at the time was 3-Star worthy as well as The Inn, but this lunch was much better than both. And as I understand it the ratings in the US are way different than in France. 

    • Like 3

  3. On 10/7/2018 at 2:49 PM, Simon said:

    I'm not Andy but happy to give some recommendations based on my last trip to Paris.

    Re: 3-stars: they're all so different, so it's difficult to make a recommendation without knowing your tastes.  But if you're open to modernist/experimental/molecular cuisine, the lunch menu at Pierre Gagnaire is a steal (at 90 euros now, I think).  You'll get less luxe ingredients than ordering ALC, but my lunch there was still perhaps the most exciting meal of my life -- a four-hour-plus thrill ride in the hands of a creative genius.  On the more classical end of the spectrum, L'Astrance was underwhelming, and L'Ambroisie was the most perfect meal I've had but probably out of your stated price range.  I loved Ledoyen under Le Squer, but he's at Le Cinq now, and Alleno is in (I haven't been to either new iteration).  There's a bargain online lunch offer at Guy Savoy, too, but I've never been, and never figured out exactly how it worked -- perhaps you could call and ask.  

     Another great lunch bargain is the lunch menu at Nomicos (65 euros, including wine and coffee), where you'll find excellent, Robuchon-esque food.  I found the cooking more correct than exciting, but at that price, I had absolutely no complaints.  

    A major trend is Japanese chefs taking charge of Parisian kitchens, cooking French cuisine (NOT fusion) but bringing a technical perfectionism and attention to detail that are otherwise fading qualities.  I had a wonderful dinner at L'Alliance (a one-star) -- elegant, refined, contemporary cooking in a stylish (and intimate) dining room.  Tasting menus at 95 and 120 euros.

    As for more casual eating: Chez L'Ami Jean is a perennial modern bistro recommendation, but for good reason.  Great soba at Abri Soba, if you need a break from French food.  Jacques Genin for spectacular desserts (his cheesecake was a revelation).  Laurent Dubois was my favorite cheese shop (wonderful Comte, among other things), but it's very much a retail shop, and not set up for tourist grazing (though the people there were helpful--though having a modicum of French helped, I think).  Georges Larnicol for macarons.

    Hope this helps.  You'll find so many more recommendations than you'll have time for.

    Just booked a lunch at Pierre Gagnaire and a dinner at Chez L'Ami Jean. Have heard fantastic things by many people, you included. So excited!

  4. It shows that you're only as good as your most recent performance. 

    I do hate that they put such an emphasis on front of house in RW. Yes, the chefs should have a say on service, but there should be a FOH manager appointed for each team (they used to have to do the design work themselves, but now they have consultants). Also, it seems like at least on this version of RW the servers had very little experience being restaurant servers -- I'm guessing they were either catering servers or extras hired. That's not the kind of person you would hire if you were opening up a restaurant like any of the concepts illustrated on this episode.

  5. Party of 2, none of those things matter much, maybe max 200€/person. Looking for a nice multi-course lunch that will stretch a few hours, as that was planned to be our main activity for the day. 

    Was intrigued by the Guy Savoy discounted lunch menu of 130€ but they are closed then. If we have to switch to a dinner that’s ok, but I liked the idea of a leisurely lunch. 

  6. We will be there Friday, Jan 25 and leaving on Tuesday the 29th. I had long earmarked Saturday for a nice lunch at one of the haute cuisine spots in town. But I’m coming up short as most places seem to be closed that day either outright or at least for lunch.  

    Any suggestions?

  7. My wife and I are headed there for four nights in January. I haven't been since my freshman year of high school, so excited to explore the city from a food perspective, since I just went wherever my parents took us. I remember good meals, but they were on the simpler end since my younger sisters were also with us.

    We haven't settled on a hotel yet and are just starting to think about which sites we want to hit. But I don't even know where to begin when it comes to restaurants. I think we might want to do one big lunch (do we have a 3-star budget? maybe if on the lower end of the price scale). I know many of the names of the top dog restaurants, but couldn't distinguish which ones to focus on. And then maybe hit up a 1-star for a dinner or two. I love oysters, she doesn't, and this seems like a good time of year for that. Since it's winter, I guess many of the heavier dishes like cassoulet will be on the menu, which would be nice to try there since I generally favor the dish.

    I don't even know where to begin when it comes to figuring out food as there are a million and one websites (other than, of course, this one ;) ) . Looking for any and all recommendations for patisseries, markets, cheese shops, bistros, brasseries, nicer places and more. Thanks!

  8. probably a topic for another thread, but I saw that Taro tweet and have seen Tom get defensive in chats in the past about trying to remain anonymous. at this point, it seems like it's mostly an ego thing, his decision to "remain anonymous." seems like most any restaurant in town worth its salt recognizes him and when they don't that's on the restaurant. 

  9. I'm against any kind of policy a business has in place where you cannot equitably pay the way you want to pay: gas stations charging more for credit, businesses requiring $5/10 minimums on credit card purchases, cash only businesses, etc. And even though I pretty much only pay credit/debit and rarely carry cash, I don't think this is the right way to go for the reasons already outlined.

  10. On 11/1/2016 at 10:53 AM, Deac said:

    As a recent resident of Asheville, which brands itself as "Beer City USA," this is an interesting argument.

    Asheville claims to have more breweries per capita than any city in the country (from what I understand, it's between here and Bend, OR, home of Deschutes). We have breweries popping up in every part of the city. From downtown where a lot of old warehouses have been converted to breweries, to the town center area called Biltmore Park near where I live (think Reston Town Center) to even the small pizza place near us in a small building behind a fire station where the owner is a passionate home brewer and is looking to up his game.

    If a restaurant is not attached to a brewery, you can believe they have a great tap selection of local offerings and craft beer from around the country.

    Several of the names here are, in my opinion, brewing some world class beer: namely Burial and Wicked Weed. The latter’s Funkatorium facility produces some remarkable barrel aged beers and sours.

    Then you have the big two national brands who have built their East Coast production facilities here: Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. This seems to be the new trend for West Coast breweries, and I think these two started it. Now Oskar Blues is nearby in Brevard, Stone is in Richmond, Deschutes is going to Roanoke (which Asheville thought they were sure to get, and it’s a sore subject around here) and Ballast Point in the Tidewater. Wouldn’t be surprised if more are on the way.

    I work right across the river from Sierra, and can see their tanks from my desk. Their facility is unbelievable; it’s as if Willy Wonka opened a brewery. When you drive in you feel like you’re approaching a mountain resort. Everything is shimmering in chrome and copper and brick and wood. They have a fantastic restaurant with innovative small plates, much different from your typical brewpub food – though they have good pizzas, burgers and wings, too. There’s a giant back yard with a concert stage, fire pits, sitting areas among the trees and dogs and kids everywhere. As for the beer they’re offering, they have a lot of unique beers native just to the brewpub, in addition to their national brands like their pale ale, Celebration and more. I just returned from Finland, and my hotel in the city of Tampere two hours north of Helsinki had Sierra beers. It’s remarkable what they’re able to do. And they’re employing a lot of people and bringing in a lot of people to enjoy their food and beers.

    I’ve not been to New Belgium, but from what I understand, they are almost exclusively focused on production with just a small taproom on site. No restaurant or anything like that.

    These breweries are all independent, but clearly have the capital to expand like they have. I asked someone at one of the smaller local breweries what the local breweries think of them. She said it was mixed, that it’s given Asheville more national recognition, but for her brewery, they have lost employees to the big boys because they have better pay and benefits. And the big breweries are getting well trained employees.

    I’ve found that breweries are some of the few businesses that embrace competition because they know that you’re not going to be set in your ways and drink one beer for the rest of your life. It’s not like the old days where you were a Bud man or a Miller man.

    The beer bubble will probably one day burst, as there are plenty more breweries on the way in Asheville. I don’t know if any of our local brands will sell out, but for now there seems to be the attitude that they will not. But it’s hard to turn down the money and potential to expand your brand.

    To update my own post: been to New Belgium plenty of times and it's great. Always tons of families and dogs and usually 2-3 food trucks there. Great spot to enjoy a beer by the river. And plenty of small breweries have opened since this post (probably north of 10). The biggest change, though, is that Wicked Weed was purchased by InBev last year to a lot of teeth gnashing locally. Every year there's a big beer festival right  in downtown Asheville with only local breweries and a few guest breweries from around North Carolina. Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are allowed to participate because they are still independently owned, but Wicked Weed was kicked out right before last year's festival. 

    I admittedly haven't had much of their beer since, but I haven't noticed any decline in the packaged beers (and only been to the taproom I think once since then). 

  11. ORD

    Traveling home from Chicago last night, I got to the airport and went to Rick Bayless' Tortas Frontera, which I've long heard to be one of the best airport quick-serve restaurants in the country. Having never really been to Chicago before (this trip was spent in the suburbs and in the lovely metropolis of Dixon, IL where we have a factory), I've long yearned to go to a Bayless place given how much I admire what he does and have had great success with his cookbooks. Well, the sandwich shop didn't disappoint. It was a tough decision between the cochinita pibil and choirqueso tortas, but I went with the latter, though added the pickled onions from the former. On the sandwich were chorizo (the supplier is noted in an article posted a few years ago in this thread), jack cheese, avocado, poblano rajas and the aforementioned pickled onions. It was served with a side of salsa verde, which tasted like the jarred Frontera brand sold in grocery stores, and I saw a large box marked as such from the delivery they were unloading. The sandwich didn't need the salsa anyway, as it was plenty moist and all the ingredients did a nice job blending together with the onions giving it a nice bit of acidity to contrast the rich fillings. Great bread as well. I washed it down with a lime aqua fresca which was essentially a limeade and on the very tart side, which I appreciate. I still need to get to Chicago and try about a million restaurants (including a proper Bayless joint), but if I'm in O'Hare I don't see not stopping here.


    • Like 2

  12. ugh, just about the worst possible outcome. a colleague and I ducked out of the office following the 3rd Juve goal to go to a nearby bar only to get there just before the penalty. still utterly shocked about Barcelona, since they just needed one away goal to get through. just another example of where the away goals rule is at times awesome and at times awful. but in general I'm in favor of it.

  13. On 3/16/2018 at 2:21 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

    They redraw between every round.  In the round of 16, there are some restrictions - you cannot play against an opponent from the same country or the same group.  No restrictions past the round of 16.  This drawing preserved all the big boys for the semi-finals.

    Right but I’m pretty sure it used to be they would draw the round of 16 and draw the quarterfinals,  but not redraw the semis, so you knew who your potential opponent in the semis could be already. 

  14. pretty happy with Barca's draw there -- probably the best possible result. correct me if I'm wrong, but they now redraw the semifinal match-ups, right? I believe it used to be that following the quarterfinal draw, you knew each team's potential path to the finals.

  15. 1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

    If this is true, you're my hero. There must be *some* point at which we clear customs with our baggage, no? NCE has an international-arrivals baggage claim, so I guess you're talking about there? (PS - if anyone ever flies into NCE, get a window seat on the left of the plane - you head eastbound in parallel to the Mediterranean shore, and can distinctly see the bastard love-child of the Watergate and the Pyramids of Giza - the Marina Baie des Anges in Villeneuve-Loubet - just before landing).

    We'll be in Amsterdam also, so you might be getting a PM from me. (As a side note, if anyone hasn't seen "In Bruges," it's better than "Three Billboards.")

    Okay, great - if Deac is correct about the IAD check-in (although I could *swear* that I've had problems with this before), then an hour there will be *perfect*.

    yeah it will be in NCE after you get your bag, but you don't interact with anyone (or fill out a form).  basically you'll just head out a door into the arrivals area where families and limos meet passengers. there will probably be an area for you to go if you have stuff to declare, but I'm guessing you will not.

    I guess they can pull you and search your bags but I would seriously doubt that happens.

    For work I go a lot from Asheville, NC to Helsinki, and my routing is usually AVL-ATL-AMS-HEL and I give the Delta agent in AVL my bags, then see them again in HEL (hahaha).

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