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Dinner at Leon de Lyon (Jean-Paul Lacombe) on September 27, 2007

August 30th, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Leon de Lyon (Jean-Paul Lacombe) on September 27, 2007

Leon de Lyon

Leon de Lyon
1, rue Pléney
69001 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 72 10 11 12
www.leondelyon.com

French food

Restaurant: 5/5

Leon de Lyon is located in a small street in the heart of Lyon. The restaurant is very comfortable with a classical decor. From the fine tablecloths to the crystal glasses, everything is perfect. The chef, Jean-Paul Lacombe, is a celebrity in France and the restaurant, which originally opened in 1904, is an institution in Lyon. Leon de Lyon guests include countless celebrities and heads of state. Most notably, the place was chosen for the 1996 G7 summit heads of state private dinner.

Service: 4.5/5

The service, very formal in the French tradition, was excellent. Our waiters provided good advice and detailed descriptions. The sommelier was as good. While our waiters did speak English, I was disappointed not be able to get a menu in English for my American friends.

Food: 4.5/5

As main course, I had the pike quenelle. The quenelle was served with crayfish tails and Nantua sauce. The photo really doesn’t do justice to the dish as the presentation was truly exceptional. The taste was on par with the presentation. The quenelle was soft and fluffy, perfectly complemented by the crayfish tails and the Nantua sauce.

Leon de Lyon - Quenelle

Following the main course, I had cheese. As you would expect, the cheese platter is exceptional, offering a very large variety of all perfectly matured cheeses. They cover all tastes, from a very mild cervelle de canut to a quite strong roquefort. The cheeses were served arranged from the mildest to the strongest.

Leon de Lyon - Cheese

As a desert, I had 5 small deserts with Saint-Genix praline, a local speciality. The Saint-Genix praline has a very distinctive red color. The deserts were praline nougat, praline ice cream, praline sorbet, praline cake and on a separate plate, praline tart. They were all delicious, with a particular mention to the praline tart which was from far the best I ever had with it’s nice very smooth texture.

Leon de Lyon - Praline Deserts

Value for money: 4/5

Around $165, including drinks (mineral water, red wine, espresso) and tip. While this is a lot of money, if you consider the food, the restaurant, the service and the fact that the euro is at an all time high, you definitly get excellent value for money. I will certainly come back

Comments Off on Dinner at Leon de Lyon (Jean-Paul Lacombe) on September 27, 2007Tags: France · Lyon

Lunch at Brasserie Paulaner on September 27, 2007

August 29th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Brasserie Paulaner

Brasserie Paulaner
4 Rue de la Barre
69002 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 78 42 06 37

French food

Restaurant: 2.5/5

The Brasserie Paulaner is located in the heart of Lyon. It has just been redecorated going from a traditional French bistro style to something clean and modern. The restaurant is comfortable but a bit noisy because of the bar. While you probably can get some food in the evening, it’s really a lunch place.

Service: 2.5/5

The service was very good. We were taken care of by the manager who not only speaks English but has a kind of funny wicked sense of humor.

Food: 2.5/5

As main course I had a bavette (flap steak) with a Saint-Marcellin cheese sauce, a typical dish from Lyon. The bavette was served with cauliflower gratin, penne and stuffed eggplant. While the meat was very tasty, it was a bit too though. The Saint-Marcellin sauce and the vegetables were excellent.

Brasserie Paulaner - Flap Steak

As desert, I had the chocolate tart. The tart was excellent. The pastry was just right, crumbling but not totally falling apart. The chocolate had nice smooth texture and a strong but not overpowering flavor.

Brasserie Paulaner - Chocolate Tart

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $35, including drinks (red wine, espresso) and tip. If you consider the food, the restaurant and the current strength of the euro, the Brasserie Paulaner offers excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Lyon

Dinner at Brasserie Georges on September 26, 2007

August 28th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Brasserie Georges

Brasserie Georges
30, Cours de Verdun
69002 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 72 56 54 54
www.brasseriegeorges.com

French food

Restaurant: 3/5

The Brasserie Georges was created in 1836. It is located in the heart of Lyon, near the Perrache train station. While a bit noisy (it’s a very large room), the restaurant is comfortable. The list of celebrities who visited the Brasserie Georges is practically endless. From Auguste Rodin and Jean-Paul Sartres to the Emperor of Japan and Bill Clinton, the list looks like a compilation of the who’s who from the 19th to the 20th century.

Service: 3/5

The service was very good. Our waiter made genuine efforts to please us. As a practical detail, the card is both in French and English.

Food: 3/5

I started with a very typical salad lyonnaise (Salad, warm bacon cubes, croutons and poached egg). It was very good but the egg was a bit too cooked to my taste. I would have preferred to be able to mix the warm and still liquid yolk to the salad.

As main course I had the saucisson chaud. Again a very typical dish from Lyon. It is a pistachio sausage that is cooked on order. The saucisson chaud was server with absolutely terrific mash potatoes.

Brasserie Georges - Saucisson Chaud

As desert, I shared a baked Alaska. As strange as it sounds it’s a baked ice cream. You put ice cream on a sponge cake, cover it with meringue and bake it just enough to cook the meringue without melting the ice cream. At the Brasserie Georges, they add Fruits confits on top of the ice cream and a bit of Kirsch in the meringue. It was very good but far too large for me to finish it.

Brasserie Georges - Baked Alaska

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $50, including drinks (kir, red wine, espresso) and tip. If you consider the food, the restaurant and the current strength of the euro the Brasserie Georges offers excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Lyon

Dinner at Forte Ristorante on September 11, 2007

August 27th, 2016 by philippe · 2 Comments

Forte Ristorante

Forte Ristorante
362 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA

+1 (310) 277-7346

Italian cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Forte Ristorante, previously Prego, is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. The mediterranean decor is nice and the restaurant is very comfortable. Parking in the area can be problematic. So, if you don’t find a parking space straight away, head to one of Beverly Hills public parkings.

Service: 3/5

Service was very good. The maître d’hôtel took care of us and provided good advice. While we leaved sometime after the restaurant closing time, we weren’t pushed out of the door.

Food: 3/5

I started with a tricolore salad. This version of the tricolore salad was arugula, endive and radicchio. The salad has nothing exceptional but was good.

As main course, I had swordfish. It was served with diced tomatoes lightly cooked with olive oil and caper, potatoes, beans and carrots. Swordfish is usually dry as most of the restaurant overcook it but not this time. It was tasty and juicy. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, neither too soft or hard.

Forte Ristorante - Swordfish

As desert, I had the fruit tart. The fruit tart that day was raspberry, peach and blackcurrant. It was served with a decor of whipped cream and strawberry on a strawberry coulis. It was very good. The pastry was not too hard or too soft and the glaze wasn’t too sweet.

Forte Ristorante - Fruit Tart

I had an opportunity to taste the Panacotta cheese cake. It was truly delicious. Light, fluffy and tasty. Perfectly complemented with strawberries.

Forte Ristorante - Panacotta Cheese Cake

Value for money: 2.5/5

Around $65, including drinks (red wine, sparkling water and espresso) and tip. Considering the food and the location, Forte Ristorante offers good value for money. I will probably come back.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Beverly Hills · California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Spice Street on September 2, 2007

August 26th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Spice Street

Spice Street
University Mall
201 South Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
USA

+1 (919) 928-8200

www.ghgrestaurants.com

Mediterranean and Japanese food

Restaurant: 3/5

Spice Street is located in the University Mall, in the center of Chapel Hill. While inside the restaurant is pretty large, the Mediterranean themed decor doesn’t make it fell like it. Additionally, they have a beautiful terrace.

Spice Street

Service: 3/5

The service was good. Our waiter made genuine efforts to please us and the maître d’hôtel payed constant attention to every customer. The only problem was with the busboy which obviously was bored to death by her occupation.

Food: 3/5

As we waited, we were served some flatbread with a very nice tomato and harisa dip.

Spice Street - Tomato Dip

As main course I had a spinach, broccoli, tomato, pepper and potatoes frittata. The frittata was served with a small mixed green, cucumber, tomato and radish salad. It was very good, cooked but still moist with tasty vegetables.

I had the opportunity to taste the lamb flatbread. It look a bit like a pizza but is actually minced lamb meat, crumbled feta cheese, tabbouleh and tzatziki sauce on a flat bread. The combination sounds pretty strange, it is truly excellent.

Spice Street - Lamb Flatbread

For desert, I had a green tea crème brûlée. While the taste was good, the texture could have been better. It was bit watery.

Value for money: 4.5/5

Around $30, including drinks (orange juice and espresso) and tip. Spice Street offers excellent value for money. I will definitly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Chapel Hill · North Carolina · United States

Dinner at Pink’s Hot Dogs on September 9, 2007

August 25th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Pink’s Hot Dogs
709 North La Brea Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
USA

+1 (323) 931-4223
www.pinkshollywood.com

Fast food

Restaurant: 1/5

Pink’s Hot Dogs is located in the heart of Hollywood. The restaurant is extremely casual, so don’t expect much comfort. The place could really do with an update. As parking is difficult in the area, Pink’s Hot Dogs provide a decent parking lot for customers.

Service: 1/5

There is no real service at Pink’s Hot Dogs. You queue to order your food and when your food is ready, you move to the cashier to get your drink and pay. While the line is usually pretty long, it goes pretty fast and the staff really seems to make an effort.

Food: 2.5/5

I ordered a “Ozzy” spicy dog and onion rings. The “Ozzy” spicy dog is a spicy polish sausage topped with Nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes. I have to say that I heard so much about Pink’s Hot Dogs that I was skeptical. What I was served convinced me. The bun was fresh, the sausage was really good, far from the cheap industrial kind you usually gets, and they are generous on the topping. One regret: the onion rings were a bit overcooked.

Pink’s Hot Dogs - Ozzie Spicy Dog

Value for money: 4/5

Around $10, including drinks (coke) and tip. Without doubt, Pink’s Hot Dogs offers the best dog in town and an excellent value for money. Watch out for updates as I will go back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007

August 24th, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007

Wild Thai

Wild Thai
Promenade Howard Hughes Center
6081 Center Drive Unit 209
Los Angeles, CA 90045
USA

+1 (310) 215-0209
www.wildthairestaurant.com

Thai food

Restaurant: 2/5

Wild Thai is located on the first floor of the promenade, a Los Angeles mall bordering Culver City. The Thai themed decor is alright. Seating is more or less comfortable, depending on the table. Priority is given to practicality over customer care. For example, tables are covered with glass. That make them easy to glass but it definitely detracts from the experience.

Service: 2.5/5

The service was good but no special effort is made. They just try to keep up with the flow of customers coming for lunch.

Food: 3/5

To start, I shared steam shrimp dumplings. The dumplings were good but a bit overcooked. The crunchy bits on the top are definitely a good idea.

- Wild Thai - Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

As main course, I had Prik King with chicken and tofu. The dish is marked as spicy but is relatively mild. It was very good apart the tofu which was very rubbery.

Wild Thai - Prik King

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $20, including drinks (ice tea) and tip. While Wild Thai is far from the ultimate Thai food experience, it’s a good lunch place that offer good value for money

Comments Off on Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007

August 23rd, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007

Mama Dip’s Kitchen

Mama Dip’s Kitchen
408 W. Rosemary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
USA

+1 (919) 942-5837
www.mamadips.com

Traditional Country Cooking

Restaurant: 2/5

Mama Dip’s Kitchen is located in the center of Chapel hill. You can eat either inside or on the terrace. Inside, the restaurant is reasonably comfortable for a casual place.

Service: 2.5/5

The service was good. You waitress always made sure that our sweet tea was always filled up. You can definitely feel a southern flair here.

Food: 3/5

I shared a Sampler Platter as starter. The platter was composed of hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, fried zucchini, fried cheese and broccoli sticks and bread and butter pickles. I had hushpuppies at Mama Dip’s Kitchen before that were better than this ones. Don’t get wrong, they were not bad but they could have been a bit softer. If you have never tried bread and butter pickles before, this is your chance as they are really excellent.

As main course, I had southern fried chicken. The side dishes were buttered broccoli, baby Lima beans, green peas & potatoes and cornbread. The chicken was really good, crispy outside and tender inside. While all the side dishes were good the Lima beans were particularly good, just cooked right with the right amount of butter.

For desert, I had a slice of sweet potato pie. The pie was really light and truly excellent.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $25, including drinks (sweet tea) and tip. Mama Dip’s Kitchen offers very good value for money and an authentic southern cooking experience. One word of advice: If you don’t like fried food or butter, this is not a restaurant for you.

Comments Off on Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007Tags: Chapel Hill · North Carolina · United States

Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007

August 22nd, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007

Langer’s Deli

Langer’s Deli
704 South Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA 90057
USA

+1 (213) 483-8050
www.langersdeli.com

Deli

Restaurant: 2/5

Langer’s Deli is located at the corner of MacArthur park, in the heart of Los Angeles. While the retro look has it charm, the restaurant could do with an update. Parking in the area is difficult, so you should take advantage of the fact that Langer’s Deli give one hour of parking validation.

Service: 2/5

Service was good but totally unremarkable. An effort on that side would be appreciated.

Food: 3/5

I had the very famous number 19. Number 19 is a pastrami sandwich with swiss cheese, cole slaw and a Russian style dressing. The bread was toasted in a way to make it crackling outside and tender in the middle. The very good cole slaw was home made and the pastrami, thick sliced, was warm and delicious. Averall, one of the best pastrami sandwich I had. You should note that the semi-sour pickles served on the side were equally good.

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $15, including drinks (ice tea) and tip. At $15, Langer’s Deli offers both a good value for money and a really authentic deli experience. I will certainly come back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at The Restaurant (Hotel Bel-Air) on August 19, 2007

August 21st, 2016 by philippe · 1 Comment

The Restaurant
Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
USA

+1 (310) 472-1211
www.hotelbelair.com

Contemporary French cuisine

Restaurant: 5/5

The Restaurant is part of Hotel Bel-Air, a boutique hotel located in the quiet Stone Canyon, in the heart of Bel-Air. You can eat either in the dining room or on the totally delightful terrace. Both are very comfortable. Parking is never a problem as the Hotel Bel-Air offers complimentary valet parking.

Service: 2/5

I am a frequent customer of The Restaurant and I usually enjoy very good service there. Unfortunately, this time, the service was below par. First of all, I had extreme difficulties to reserve a table. Expecting an overbooked place, I was very surprised to find half of the tables empty when arriving. The service was pretty slow and, for a restaurant of that class, it was disappointing to see that many stains on our waiter outfit.

Food: 3/5

I started with smoked salmon. The salmon was thin sliced, served with eggs and bacon toasts which were prepared in a very creative way, looking more like a salad. Both the salmon and the toasts were very good.

As main course, I had the Chilean sea bass. The sea bass was very well executed, being completely cooked and still very moist. It was served with fresh lentils and a bit of salad. I truly enjoyed the combination of sea bass and lentils.

For desert, I had a molten chocolate cake, served with vanilla ice cream. While the chocolate cake was very good, it was, in term of execution, a bit below the starter and the main course. It seems to me that less attention is given to desert.

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $80, including drinks (mimosa, sparkling water, espresso) and tip. The Restaurant is certainly not a cheap place but considering the location, the comfort and the food it offers good value for money. The terrace make it my favorite brunch place. I will certainly come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: California · Los Angeles · United States