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  1. I was having an interesting conversation with two musician friends today. I've come to the conclusion that - out of all the fine arts - visual art, particularly modern art - is the one field in which I have difficulty discerning mediocrity from greatness. A perfect example is Paul Cézanne. I've been going to museums regularly for thirty years, and have been exposed to a lot of modern art (Cézanne is considered by many to be The Father of Modernism). A couple years ago, I read an entire book on Cézanne, detailing his life, his periods, and his works. I can identify him by sight quite ofte
  2. Do we really not have a thread on Nice? magdelena, aka, Thérèse, aka, my mother-in-law and Tatie, aka, Francine, aka, Thérèse's sister, are born-and-bred Niçoises, and are always eager to help out any of my friends (i.e., our members) who are traveling to Nice. Although I'm going this autumn, I haven't been back in 6-7 years now (they've been coming to visit me), but I'm going to begin extensive French travel again soon, and I'll be keeping everyone <<au courant>>. A couple days ago, Thérèse wrote me and told me about the new La Promenade du Paillon - the following p
  3. Mirazur is the first restaurant in the world to be certified "plastic-free" by plasticfreecertification.org Click here for the details about the certification. Last year, Mirazur was voted the "#1 Restaurant in the World" by theworlds50best.com. I dined there not long after it won the award, and will be happy to write about it (but I'll need some time in order to give it the perspective and respect it deserves).
  4. Last week my wife and I did our best to eat our way through the French Riviera. Having made bouillibasse myself for almost fifteen years and being somewhat obsessed by it I spent a great deal of time doing research on where I would find the best. The result were restaurants in Mougins, Marseilles (L'Epuisette which Johnny Apple raved about) and L'Ane Rouge considered by some to be the best fish restaurant in Nice. We made reservations at L'Epuisette where it is their every day specialty and also at the similarly Michelin starred L'Ane Rouge where several days notice must be given. I shoul
  5. does anyone know where in DC i can buy these? thank you.
  6. I know the book has been around for 6 years or so, but I recently read Kitchen Confidential while I was on my trip to Hawaii and it was a great read. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who he is referring to as Bigfoot? Also, has anyone here actually tasted Anthony Bourdain's food? Does he suck per his own self assessment or is he just being self depricating?
  7. The Group of Six (G6) existed from 1975-1976, and included France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdon, and the United States. The Group of Seven (G7) first existed from 1976-1997, and added Canada. The Group of Eight (G8) existed from 1997-2014, and added (then kicked out) Russia. The Group of Seven (G7) has existed again since 2014.
  8. I am planning a foodie vacation in Paris in January. I have never been...I would appreciate recommendations!
  9. I'm having difficulty location a bottle of this for reasons of cocktail. Any suggestions? Ideally in PG or Montgomery county MD, but I work in Ballston if you think one of the VA ABC stores would carry it. Worst case, point me to a DC liquor store. TIA!
  10. Jul 24, 2017 - "The Mysterious Origins of Europe's Oldest Language" by Anna Bitong on bbc.com --- Basque Country (Al Dente)
  11. Just heard that Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France of an apparent suicide
  12. Percebes are extremely expensive - you can also find them in Bordeaux, where they're called "Pouce-Pieds." Also, you may not want to hear this, but they're farming them now in Oregon, and you can buy them by mail.
  13. A bit of historical trivia: The first-ever recorded auto-da-fé occurred in Paris in the year 1242, under the reign of King Louis IX - better known as Saint Louis. This is all found in Wikipedia: To his credit: Louis IX banned trials by ordeal, introduced the presumption of innocence in criminal procedure, and created provosts and bailiffs in order to enforce its application. To his detriment: Louis IX severely punished blasphemy (the punishment being mutilation of the tongue and lips), gambling, interest-bearing loans, and prostitution. He expanded the scope of the Inquisition,
  14. "Paul Bocuse, le <<Cuisinier du Siècle>>, Est Mort" on lemonde.fr Bocuse passed away in his sleep from Parkinson's complications at age 91 on Saturday. His eponymous restaurant had been given Michelin's prestigious <<3-macarons>> award every year since 1965 (he got his first Michelin star in 1958!). The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, saluted "the inventor of French cuisine," adding that he was a "mythical figure." Gault and Millau elected Bocuse "Cuisinier of the Century" in 1989.
  15. "French Chef Sebastian Bras Asks To Drop Michelin Stars" on bbc.com
  16. We already have several more-specific threads for France: Regions: Alsace // Lot // Provence Cities: Aix-en-Provence // Cannes // Marseille // Nice // Paris // Toulouse (I hate Toulouse.) And now, presenting: The ultimate thread for well-heeled, Francophilic, cartographical gourmets: The Complete List of 2016 Michelin 3-Star Restaurants by Department Enjoy! Cool, look!
  17. Here is a video of seven-year-old Yo-Yo Ma playing with his sister, Yeou-Cheng Ma (*), at the Benefit for the National Cultural Center (**), on Nov 29, 1962, in front of President John Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and former President Eisenhower - all of whom you can get a glimpse of after the performance is over. The master of ceremonies is the great Leonard Bernstein. (*) "This Is New York: The Untold Story of Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma, Violin Prodigy and Medical Doctor" by Amelia Pang on theepochtimes.com (**) Ominously, just two years later, the National Cultural Cen
  18. Can someone please help me identify the artist who is the brain behind this piece? A colleague told me it may be Mr Brainwash? In learning about Art, I wish there was Shazam app for Art identification. Art novice, kat
  19. Hi everyone, One of our favorite wines is the Jean-Louis Chave "Mon Coeur". We can get it from Chelsea Wine Vault in NYC, but have struck out around here. Does anyone know of any wine shops that happen to stock it (or any JL Chave wine, for that matter) in the area? Thanks in advance!
  20. If anyone wants to argue that Impressionism is the most overplayed, hackneyed art movement in all of history, you'll get no argument from me. If anyone wants to argue that, with the possible exception of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is the most overplayed, hackneyed Impressionist in history, you'll also get no argument from me. But to my view, no painter in history can produce more beautiful *eyes* than Renoir - his eyes are so captivating that I'm able to see through all the dilettantes (of which I'm often one), crowding around the Impressionist galleries. You can often tell
  21. Jean René Désiré Françaix is not a well-known 20th-century composer in the United States, but is the composer of one of the more difficult pieces in the clarinet repertoire: "Tema con Variazioni." I'm proud to say that my son, Matt, will be performing this as the opening piece in his solo recital early next year in Bloomington, Indiana, most likely Feb 27, 2017 (if anyone is interested in seeing it live on podcast, let me know, and I'll confirm the date, which, for now, is tentative). If anyone is interested in attending the recital, I'll be going out to Bloomington and can give you a rid
  22. Alain Llorca isn't known in the United States, but he's very well known in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d'Azur region. When I was last there, he was Chef de Cuisine at Chanticleer, a perennial Michelin 2-star restaurant in the luxurious Hotel Negresco - surely the most well-known hotel in Nice. But much has changed in the past five years, and Llorca has thrown his hat into the hotel business, now operating (perhaps having an equity stake in) several hotels in the region, one of which was the beguiling Hostellerie des Messugues. Llorca's least-expensive hotel, our room was a total bargain at 9
  23. The plan was originally to have a Bouillabaisse in Marseille (*), then drive up to Aix-en-Provence, home to numerous important Universities, and more importantly, the Calisson. However, at this particular point in our travels, we needed (or, I needed) a vacation from our vacation - a down day - so, we drove straight to Aix-en-Provence (or simply, Aix) from St. Paul de Vence, and checked into what I thought would be a charming, relaxing hotel: Hotel Cézanne - which is pictured in "red" in the Michelin Red Guide, which means that the hotel is one of "our most delightful places" - in all of
  24. Christian Etienne I enjoyed an unforgettable meal recently at Christian Etienne, a beautiful restaurant next to the Papal Palace of Avignon. The restaurant, perched atop a steep set of stairs, was built between 1190 ad 1220 AD, before the papal residence was built in 1335. The house became the first town hall of the city of Avignon in 1791, when the papal properties became a part of the French territory. Stone walls and archways in the lovely dining room evoke a rich feeling of history, while contemporary artwork and lighting create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was a wonderful
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