inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #176 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Tue 27 May 08 14:47
    
And what does everyone think about the idea of chef franchising--Alain
Ducasse with his 30 restaurants around the world, etc.?

Robuchon in Vegas doesn't interest me at all. I haven't been but I
suspect that it would be more about flash and cash than good food.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #177 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Tue 27 May 08 14:51
    
Oh. boo. 

Chef franchising -- also about flash and cash! 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #178 of 227: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Wed 28 May 08 12:50
    
We're turning our Inkwell spotlight to a new conversation today, so I
wanted to thank Alec and Kayo, as well as all the participants, for a
galloping good conversation.  

Just because we're focusing on a new conversation doesn't mean this
one has to end, though. You're all welcome to keep chatting away and
making me constantly hungry for as long as you like.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #179 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 28 May 08 12:52
    

I have a general sense of suspisciousness about food franchising. I think
there's a certain ... um ... er ... well, it's almost like magic that a
talented chef brings to the dishes s/he creates. Break the dish down by
quantity of ingredients, cooking temperatures and all the other things that
make up a recipe that people can follow, but it still isn't the same when
other people start trying to reproduce the menu. There's just that little
something that goes missing.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #180 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 28 May 08 12:54
    

whoops, <davadam> slipped in while I was composing my post.

Alec and Kay, it's been great having you both here. If you're able, I hope
you can stick around and talk some more. If you've got to move on to other
things, I'm sure grateful for the past two weeks. Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #181 of 227: What is going to amuse our bouches now? (bumbaugh) Wed 28 May 08 14:35
    
This has been great! Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #182 of 227: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Wed 28 May 08 14:51
    
Hope you'll stay with us, Alec! 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #183 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Wed 28 May 08 14:57
    
Yes, this was great fun! My friend in Paris now has a list of places we 
MUST go to. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #184 of 227: Barbara Thomas (barst) Wed 28 May 08 16:03
    
Yes, I agree--I really enjoyed it.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #185 of 227: La plus nouvelle poubelle (stet) Wed 28 May 08 19:11
    
à bientôt, Alec
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #186 of 227: Eric Gower (gower) Thu 29 May 08 11:05
    
Please do stick around, Alec!
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #187 of 227: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 29 May 08 15:02
    

INcredible conversation.  If you haven't added <chow.ind.> and <cooking.>
and <travel.> to your own list of conferences to visit here yet, I assure
you there will be a lot that is interesting and a lot of people who'd love
talking with you rome more.  Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #188 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 30 May 08 02:54
    
On the off chance that anyone who is also Paris-bound might also be
heading to London, I wanted to mention two superb meals I recently had
there, useful information, since London has become so shockingly
expensive.

The first was at a new restaurant new Bond Street called Wild Honey.
Excellent modern British bistro cooking (which is very much inspired by
traditional French bistro cooking): asparagus with Parmesan and
Iberico ham, then Icelandic cod with razor shell clams, and Alphonso
mango with "riz imperatrice" (rice pudding with crushed pink pralines).
The other one was a perfect Sunday lunch in the dining room of the
Goring Hotel, one of the prettiest dining rooms in London. Not only
does the Goring have amazingly good service, they serve a classic roast
beef feed with all the trimmings, including fresh horseradish sauce
and Yorkshire pudding, and cheeses come from Paxton and Whitfield
suppliers to the Queen. Great wines by the glass, too, including a
luscious garnet-colored South African Meerlust that was perfect with
this carnivores feast. Great eating in both spots, and lights years
from the sorry food I ate when I lived in London in the eighties.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #189 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 30 May 08 02:56
    
My stop (a much needed vacation) doesn't come for a month or so yet,
so I'm very happy to continue this conversation. I'm enjoying it, too,
and I'll continue to make Paris restaurant suggestions until it's time
to go to the beach.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #190 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Fri 30 May 08 07:33
    
Great! 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #191 of 227: Barbara Thomas (barst) Fri 30 May 08 07:48
    
Thanks for the London restaurant suggestions.  When I've been there
(which is much more often than Paris) we mostly stuck to ethnic
restaurants (like Indian, Chinese, more Indian) and pub food because
London is SO expensive, in fact more expensive than Paris.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #192 of 227: Kathy L. Dalton (kd) Sat 31 May 08 18:22
    
I love the word Meerlust even though I may never make it London. I'm
thinking it's Merlot for meercats. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #193 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Sun 1 Jun 08 07:35
    
 We have a reservation for L'Astrance in July (second choice of days, as the
first was fully committed two months in advance).

Thinking of going back to Pierre Gagnaire (and inviting Herve This, who I
met a few months ago to join us).

Also considering Les Magnolias (outside Paris), another of Herve's
recommendations.

lec - any recommendation on where to spend large for a second dinner that
week?

Thanks
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #194 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 1 Jun 08 08:16
    
Hi Howard,

L'Astrance is one of my very favorite restaurants, truly modern haute
cuisine and chef Pascal Barbot never ceases to amaze me with his
culinary imagination--his fresh mushroom and foie gras millefeuille has
to be one of my favorite dishes, too.

I also love Pierre Gagnaire, and I've had some very good meals at Les
Magnolias.

Since it sounds like you enjoy adventures on the cutting edge of
French gastronomy, I'd also suggest a new place, La Bigarrade, which is
on rue Nollet in the 17th arrondissement. It's a tiny shop-front place
with a single menu nightly. I've eaten there five times now and every
meal was outstanding.

Before you hit the road in July, you might also want to check out my
website, www.hungryforparis.com, for new places I've been recently.

Cheers, Alec



Since
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #195 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Sun 1 Jun 08 09:30
    
 thanks Alec - true molecular gastronomy is an interest of mine.  If you
could, how do the French restaurants compare with some that we may have both
viasited, ie. Alinea, WD-50, Moto?
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #196 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Mon 2 Jun 08 10:21
    
Aside from Pierre Gagnaire, who works very closely with Herve This,
the two most adventurous French chefs right now in terms of molecular
gastronomy are Thierry Marx, who cooks just outside of Bordeaux, and
Jacques Decoret, who cooks at an eponymous restaurant in Vichy. I also
like Laurent Peugeot in Pernand Vergelesses in Burgundy. In general,
however, there's a back lash against molecular cooking in Paris right
now, with the French food community fracturing along generational
lines. Gagnaire is the one who finds the real poetry in molecular
cooking, since he understands the science but keeps it hidden. Decoret
is as playful as Ferran Adria, and his food is much like what you might
find at Alinea and WD-50. And Thierry Marx is the brave new world
avant garde cook, who serves dishes like a "virtual sausage," a sausage
casing that was filled with melted fat, lentils, pork, smoke and meat
juices and then cut open at the table over a shallow bowl, a dish that
was as entertaining as it was delicious.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #197 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Tue 3 Jun 08 14:15
    
Thinking of local places, have you eaten at Le St Amour at the Pere 
Lachaise metro, Alec? I always go on a photostroll of Pere Lachaise, and 
make a point of having at least one lunch there. Their house specialty is 
beef from Salers but they make an amazing stuffed cabbage.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/khardy/369171691/in/pool-chow

choux farci
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #198 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 8 Jun 08 18:34
    
I love the Saint Amour--it's a true favorite, and especially for the
stuffed cabbage.

But my all-time favorite stuffed cabbages are at Le Florimond in the
7th and L'Ambassade d'Auvergne in the 3rd. 

Regional dishes like stuffed cabbage (from the Auvergne) are something
that visitors to Paris often pay too little attention to. The Breizh
Cafe in the 3rd, for example, is a great new riff on Breton crepes,
while Au Bascou, also in the 3rd, has terrific French Basque cooking.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #199 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Sun 8 Jun 08 18:41
    
Oh, and the stuffed cabbage at the St Amour comes with aligot. Is that 
standard? That is one stick-to-your ribs dish. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #200 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Tue 10 Jun 08 09:09
    
In the Auvergne, they don't eat stuffed cabbage with aligot, since
this would be too much of a caloric and cholesterol ridden walk on the
wild side. Aligot--cheese curds and garlic whipped with potatoes to
achieve the consistency of molten latex, is usually easten with grilled
sausage. 

And if you like stick-to-your ribs Kayo, you should try pounti--a loaf
of pork, spinach, Swiss chard,onions, prunes and herbs. 

I love old-fashioned regional French cooking, which is why I'm a fan
of restaurants like the Graindorge (15 rue de l'Arc de Triomphe, 17th)
for its northern French and Flemish cooking, including cod roasted with
juniper berries and pain perdu, aka French toast, which the French eat
for dessert and not breakfast.
  

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