My Restaurant Tips

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Lunch at Il Pastaio on July 22, 2007

June 24th, 2017 by philippe · 1 Comment

Il Pastaio

Il Pastaio
400 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

+1 (310) 205-5444
www.giacominodrago.com

Italian Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Il Pastaio is located in the heart of Beverly Hills, not far from Rodeo Drive. The restaurant is very comfortable. Tables outside are a bit cramped but let you enjoy the sun. Toilets are clean but could look better.

Service: 3/5

The service was very good but with an attitude. Repeat customers seems to get a better treatment.

Food: 3/5

As a main course, I had risotto al funghi. While I personally prefer thicker risotto, it was truly excellent. It wasn’t too rich and they were able to strike the right balance of cheese and mushrooms.

Following the main course, I had panna cotta as desert. The panna cotta was served with fresh strawberries, a strawberry couli and some mint for decoration. Taste and texture were excellent. One fault: the mint decorating the panna cotta was not the freshest.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $35, including drinks (orange juice, san pellegrino, cappuccino and espresso) and tip. It’s pricey for pasta but if you consider the location and the quality of the food, it is definitely good value for money. I will come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: Beverly Hills · California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at Joe’s Restaurant on July 12, 2007

June 23rd, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Joe’s Restaurant on July 12, 2007

Joe’s Restaurant
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
USA

+1 (310) 399-5811
www.joesrestaurant.com

California-French Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Joe’s Restaurant is located in the heart of Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. The restaurant has a modern decor and is comfortable. As always in Venice, parking is a problem.

Service: 4/5

Service was excellent. Our waiter was much agreeable with a good sense of humor, which was actually really needed as we bombarded him with pretty dry English jokes.

Food: 4/5

I started with the porcini mushroom raviolis. The mushrooms had exceptional aroma both in the raviolis and on the side. One slight regret, the mushrooms may have been better served with a light broth than with a creamy sauce.

As a main course, I had wagyu from New Zealand. Wagyu is a kobe-style beef, nicely marbled. The meat, presented with a reduction sauce and vegetables was truly remarkable. It was cooked to perfection, tender and flavorful. Some bites even reminded me of the flavor of good foie gras.

As desert, I had white peaches with brown sugar whipped cream. The peaches, served as small dices were sandwiched between half whipped cream filled choux. It was light and delicious, a perfect end to that meal.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $100, including drinks (red wine and water) and tip. Wagyu is not cheap but truly worth penny. The location, the service and food quality make it a very good value for money. I will come back.

Comments Off on Dinner at Joe’s Restaurant on July 12, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States · Venice

Lunch at Lokalbahnhof on July 2, 2008

June 22nd, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Lokalbahnhof

Lokalbahnhof
Darmstädter Landstrasse 14
60594 Frankfurt
Germany

+49 (0) 69 62 71 62
www.lokalbahnhof.com

German cuisine

Restaurant: 2/5

Lokalbahnhof is located not too far from the center of Frankfurt. While the decor is simple, the restaurant has a very friendly atmosphere, especially in the Biergarten (get a table there in summer). Comfort is very basic.

Lokalbahnhof

Service: 3/5

While the place was full, the service was still fast and friendly. Our waitress made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 2.5/5

I only had a main course which was a very typical dish of boiled eggs and potatoes with green sauce. The Frankfurt Grüne, a cold sauce, is regional specialty made from seven herbs (borage, chervil, cress, parsley, burnet, sorrel and chives) that traditionally accompanies fish and meat dishes, boiled eggs and potatoes. While very simple, it was good and tasty.

Lokalbahnhof - Eggs And Potates With Green Sauce

Value for money: 4.5/5

Around $20, including drinks (water and bier) and tip. Considering the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), Lokalbahnhof is definitely a very good value for money. I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Frankfurt · Germany

Lunch at Le Sud on July 1, 2008

June 21st, 2017 by philippe · 1 Comment

Le Sud

Le Sud (Paul Bocuse)
11 Place Antonin-Poncet
69002 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 72 77 80 00
www.bocuse.fr

French food

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Le Sud is one of Paul Bocuse bistros located as its name in French indicates in the south of Lyon. The restaurant is located near the city center and has a Mediterranean themed decor. While the restaurant is relatively comfortable, tables are very close to each other and you don’t get much space.

Le sud

Service: 3/5

The service was very good. It was fast and our waiter made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3/5

As main course I had fisherman plate, cooked bouillabaisse style with saffron. The fisherman plate, which use 3 kind of fish, gambas and vegetables (green beans and potatoes) was excellent. The fish was perfectly cooked, moist and tasty and the saffron sauce wasn’t overpowering the dish. The gambas as well were perfectly cooked.

Le Sud - Fisherman\'s Plate

For desert, I had the vacherin (sorbet, strawberries, raspberries, meringue on a raspberry coulis). As the meringue bring the sweetness to the dessert, I would have preferred the sorbet to be a bit less sweet. Still it was really good.

Le Sud - Vacherin

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $40, including drinks (mineral water, espresso) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the location, the quality of the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), you’re getting very good value for money. I will certainly come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: France · Lyon

Dinner at Campagne on June 30, 2008

June 20th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Campagne

Campagne
20, Rue du Cardinal Gerlier
69005 Lyon, France
France

+33 (0) 4 78 36 73 85

French cuisine

Restaurant: 2.0/5

Campagne is located near the cathedral of Fourviere, out of the center of Lyon. The restaurant is relatively comfortable. While the decor is very simple, typical of a traditional “bouchon”, the delightful inside courtyard is the reason why people go there.

Campagne

Service: 2.5/5

The service was very good. Our waiters made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3.0/5

For starter, I had the salmon roll. The smoked salmon, rolled on fresh goat cheese, was served with a light salad. The combination was not only interesting but very good.

Campagne - Smoked Salmon Roll

As main course I had the chicken supreme. The chicken supreme was served with potato gratin and vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini and peppers) and a nice creamy sauce. The chicken was very tender and the sauce was very tasty. The potato gratin was a very good complement.

Campagne - Chicken Supreme

After the main course, I had a very traditional Saint Marcellin cheese that was served with a little salad. The cheese was just right: mature but not too much.

Campagne - Saint Marcellin

For desert, I had another very traditional dish from Lyon, a praline tart. Served with a creme anglaise and a strawberry coulis, it was really good.

Campagne - Praline Tart

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $50, including drinks (aperitif, two glass of wine, sparkling water and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the atmosphere, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), Campagne is definitely a good value for money. I will come back.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Lyon

Lunch at Le Saint Vincent on June 30, 2008

June 19th, 2017 by philippe · 1 Comment

Le Saint Vincent

Le Saint Vincent
6, Place Fernand Rey
69001 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 72 07 70 43

French cuisine

Restaurant: 2/5

Le Saint Vincent is located on a small square in the heart of Lyon. The restaurant is relatively comfortable. The decor is typical of a traditional bouchon. I highly recommend the terrace that is truly delightful during summer.

Service: 3.5/5

The service was excellent. Our waiter made genuine efforts to please us. While the last guest arrived after the kitchen closed, they reopened it and cooked solely for him.

Food: 3/5

As starter, I had the brick with Saint Marcellin. The brick, a thin-layered dough used in north African cuisine, stuffed with Saint Marcellin cheese (a local specialty) was lightly fried and served on salad. It was a nice and tasty interpretation of the classic north African brick that is usually filled with egg.

Le Saint Vincent - Brick With Saint Marcelin

As main course, I had the duck. The duck was tender and tasty, cooked with dried fruit and served on the side with ratatouille. While both were really excellent and the association somehow works, I would have preferred something like a potato gratin or steamed green beans with the duck.

Le Saint Vincent - Duck With Dried Fruits

Le Saint Vincent - Ratatouille

For desert, I had the creme caramel. Classic, simple, delicious and generously served.

Le Saint Vincent - Creme Caramel

Value for money: 4/5

Around $30, including drinks (a glass of kir and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the location, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), Le Saint Vincent is a truly excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: France · Lyon

Lunch at Muscade on June 29, 2008

June 18th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Muscade on June 29, 2008

Muscade

Muscade
36, rue de Montpensier (67, galerie Montpensier)
75001 Paris
France

+33 (0) 1 42 97 51 36
www.muscade-palais-royal.com

French cuisine

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Muscade is located in the historical Palais Royal in the heart of Paris. While the decor is simple, the location is really exceptional. The restaurant is relatively comfortable. I would advise to get a table on the totally delightful terrace.

Muscade

Service: 2.5/5

The service was good but a bit slow. While my waiter made genuine efforts to please me, he was waiting on the kitchen (the place was full).

Food: 3/5

The bread, traditional French baguette, was tasty but a bit elastic.

Muscade - Bread

As main course I had the lamb tajine. The lamb, served with couscous and dates, was nice and tasty. The meat was very tender but a bit cold.

Muscade - Lamb Tajine

For desert, I had orange and chocolate tart. The tart, extremely soft and smooth, was exceptional. It had both a subtle orange flavor and a strong dark chocolate flavor.

Muscade - Orange and Chocolate Tart

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $45, including drinks (a glass of wine, sparkling water and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the location, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), Muscade is definitely a good value for money. I will certainly come back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Muscade on June 29, 2008Tags: France · Paris

Dinner at Ladurée on June 27, 2008

June 17th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Ladurée on June 27, 2008

Ladurée

Ladurée
75, avenue des Champs Elysées
75008 Paris
France

+33 (0) 1 40 75 08 75
www.laduree.fr

French cuisine

Restaurant: 3.5/5

Ladurée has multiple locations in Paris. They are mainly a patisserie but also have a tea salon and/or a restaurant in certain locations. I visited the restaurant located on the iconic avenue des Champs Elysées as I arrived late in Paris and this particular one stays open relatively late. The decor, designed by the very famous Jacques Garcia, is a refined version of the classic 18th century French style. The restaurant is quite comfortable. I would advise to get a table on the first floor which is more cozy and definitely quieter.

Ladurée

Service: 3.5/5

The service was very good. Unfortunately, while our waiter made genuine efforts to please us, a breakdown of they computer system meant that the whole operation was running in slow motion.

Food: 3.5/5

The bread selection was very nice. The green candy looking green cylinder on the photo is actually butter.

Ladurée - Bread and Butter

I started with the tomato Saint-Honoré. That very original dish is composed of a kind of tomato chutney laying on a savory pastry, decorated with roasted chery tomatoes and basil whipped cream. Not only it was original and delicious but the presentation is quite spectacular. As you can see in the photo, it look very much like a desert.

Ladurée - Tomato Saint-Honoré

As main course, I had the blue fin tuna. The tuna, moist and tender, was perfectly executed. It was served with rose flavored semolina and fresh strawberries. While the flavor of the semolina was exquisite, it was a bit dry. The strawberries were unexpected but definitely a good complement to the dish.

Ladurée - Blue Fin Tuna with Rose Couscous

For desert, I had a rose and raspberry Saint-Honoré. The Saint-Honoré, a symphony of pastel rose colors was decorated with fresh raspberries and a red rose petal. Both the custard and the whipped cream are rose flavored while the heart of the pastry is a raspberry stew. And yes, it does taste as good as it looks.

Ladurée - Saint-Honoré

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $60, including drinks (a glass of wine, mineral water and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the location, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 1.6 dollars for 1 euro at the moment), Ladurée is definitely a good value for money. I will certainly come back.

Comments Off on Dinner at Ladurée on June 27, 2008Tags: France · Paris

Lunch at Gusto on June 26, 2008

June 16th, 2017 by philippe · 1 Comment

Gusto

Gusto
Edward Pavilion
Albert Dock
Liverpool, L3 4AD
UK

+44 (0) 870 401 2125
www.estestest.co.uk

British cuisine

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Gusto, formerly Est Est Est is located in the center of Liverpool, on the waterfront in one of the world heritage buildings of Albert dock. The restaurant has a nice cozy decor an is relatively comfortable.

Gusto

Service: 3/5

The service was very good. It was relatively fast and our waitress made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3.5/5

I had the suckling pig. The pig, served with roast garlic mash potatoes and apple sauce was perfectly executed. Fully cook while still moist with a crackling skin. The mash potatoes and the apple sauce were a perfect complement.

Gusto - Suckling Pig

As a side dish, I had the courgette (zucchini) fries. the courgettes, cooked tempura style were very good but a little too greasy to be perfect.

Gusto - Courgette Fries

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $40, including drinks (mineral water and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 2 dollars for 1 pound at the moment), Gusto is definitely a good value for money. I will certainly come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: Liverpool · United Kingdom

Dinner at Circo on June 25, 2008

June 15th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Circo on June 25, 2008

Circo

Circo
Britannia Pavilion
Albert Dock
Liverpool, L3 4AD
UK

+44 (0) 151 709 7097
www.circoliverpool.com

British cuisine

Restaurant: 3.5/5

Circo is located in the center of Liverpool, on the waterfront in one of the world heritage buildings of albert dock. The restaurant has a very interesting freak show decor. With the help of numerous candles and strange light fixtures, the athmosphere is quite sureal. The restaurant is comfortable but you can feel that priority has been given to the design.

Circo

Circo

Service: 2.5/5

The service was very good but a bit slow. Our two waitress made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3.5/5

I started with the wild mushroom rarebit. The creamy mushrooms were served on a toasted cheese crostini, with a crusty cheese piece. While it was very good, it would have been better with a bit more salt on the mushrooms.

Circo - Wild Mushroom Rarebit

As main course, I had the duck pastrami. The duck breast, pan seared, was truly excellent and well complemented by the Cointreau glaze. The pastrami crisp and the vegetable were very good. I would add a special mention to the tomato that were perfect.

Circo - Duck Pastrami

For dessert, I had the Eton mess, composed of crushed meringue, strawberries, lightly wiped vanilla flavored cream and covered with passion seed. While the presentation is somewhat ordinary it was really good. I will certainly try to reproduce that at home.

Circo - Eton Mess

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $85, including drinks (mineral water, a bottle of red wine shared between the 2 of us and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the food and the current exchange rate (close to 2 dollars for 1 pound at the moment), Circo definitely offers good value for money. I will come back.

Comments Off on Dinner at Circo on June 25, 2008Tags: Liverpool · United Kingdom