It’s no secret that Coi is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. So, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon what seems to be the Coi of Paris: La Bigarrade. There are many similarities: a small, limited-seat dining room, utter precision and immaculate presentation on the plate (so much so that I recently designed business cards featuring a picture I took during my meal), a focus on serving the best, local ingredients available, and a careful balance of flavors – so careful that even a single, extra grain of salt could throw it off...Continue Reading
Tags: fine dining, french food, french restaurant, Michelin-rated restaurant, paris
Fine dining in a casual setting; ingredient-driven cuisine that’s been prepared by kitchen pros and a kick-ass chef but is served on tables unadorned by tablecloths; a wait-staff that is at all times professional but jokes with you at the table. The concept has been around awhile in San Francisco, but apparently in Paris, a city that for years has adhered more to tradition than modernity in its cuisine, this trend is really just emerging. And, no restaurant seems to embody this movement better than the newly-opened “modern bistro” Septime....Continue Reading
Tags: french food, french restaurant, ingredient-driven cuisine, paris
At the risk of insulting a fair number of restaurants, I'm gonna just come out and say it: if you're not looking to spend a small fortune on a meal (think tasting menu at Michael Mina), the dining options around Union Square suck. How many places can you name that go beyond the tourist-trap fare and serve thoughtful, well-executed cuisine without also coming with an intimidating price tag? If you can think of more than one or two, please contact me, as I need to know about such magical places. However, after eight years of shopping my way through the mean streets of Union Square, there's only one restaurant that I believe fits the bill - a little French bistro known as Cafe Claude...
Tags: financial district, french food, french restaurant, live music, outdoor seating, union square
In my review of the French Laundry I wrote that, in terms of my culinary experiences, I hoped that I hadn't peaked at 22. Two years later, I'm happy to write that after indulging in the 11 course tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park, that fear is completely gone...
Tags: california cuisine, fine dining, flatiron, french restaurant, james beard award, Michelin-rated restaurant, new york city, Relais & Chateau restaurant
This is part 1 (lunch) of 2 reviews, otherwise it would be too long...
Let me start from the beginning...My love affair with Eleven Madison Park actually began at lunch last Thursday, where I limited myself (and my credit card) to 2 courses, dessert, and a couple glasses of wine. Instead of going into depth about every single course I had, let me say now that the dishes weren't just delicious, or even great, but that every dish blew me away. Every. Single. Dish.
Tags: california cuisine, fine dining, flatiron, french restaurant, james beard award, lunch, Michelin-rated restaurant, new york city, Relais & Chateau restaurant
First of all, making reservations a month in advance is like torture because every day you get more and more impatient for the big day to come. As much as I tried not to, after so much waiting I had very high expectations for the meal I planned on having at this restaurant (the full tasting + wine pairing). In a sense, I was setting myself up to be let down. Not only did Jardiniere meet my somewhat unrealistic expectations, it far surpassed them...Continue Reading
Tags: 100 best of the bay, fine dining, french food, french restaurant, hayes valley
I'm scared of Gregoire. Why? Because I'm scared I'm going to eat 5000 little potato puffs before I get out the door and explode. It actually happened once, and it could happen again. You have to be careful with those little balls of heaven - they're addicting. I heard they started making a potato puff patch, the PPP, that you can stick on your arm for those who can't control themselves and need something to help them curve their cravings...
Tags: berkeley, french food, french restaurant, gourmet ghetto, potato, takeout