My Restaurant Tips

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Lunch at Le Sud on July 1, 2008

September 17th, 2014 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

September 16th, 2014 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

September 15th, 2014 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

September 14th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

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.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Paris

Dinner at Ladurée on June 27, 2008

September 13th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

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.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Paris

Lunch at Gusto on June 26, 2008

September 12th, 2014 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

September 11th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

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.

→ No CommentsTags: Liverpool · United Kingdom

Dinner at Chez Kristof on June 24, 2008

September 10th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Chez Kristof

Chez Kristof
111 Hammersmith Grove
London, W6 0NQ
UK

+44 (0) 208 741 1177
www.chezkristof.co.uk

French cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Chez Kristof is located in Hammersmith, in London west side. The restaurant has a very nice cozy decor and is very comfortable.

Chez Kristof

Service: 3.5/5

Service was excellent. Our waitress not only made genuine efforts to please us but was able to recommend a bottle of wine which was not only reasonably priced but truly excellent.

Food: 2.5/5

I started with the Bagna Cauda (that literally translate to hot bath). The Bagna Cauda is a hot anchovy and garlic dip served with raw vegetables. The anchovies in the dip were not too salty and didn’t overpower the dish. It was both good and original.

Chez Kristof - Bagna Cauda

Chez Kristof - Bagna Cauda

As main course, I had the Corsican braised rabbit. The rabbit, served with a lemon sauce, carrots and a side of spatzle dumplings was truly excellent. It was perfectly executed. The spatzle dumplings, soft and tasty, were as good as the rabbit.

Chez Kristof - Rabbit

Chez Kristof - Spatzle

For dessert, I had the profiteroles. While the profiteroles were prepared as they should (vanilla ice cream stuffed pastries covered with hot chocolate sauce) they were the disappointment of the meal. The pastries were hard and neither the vanilla ice cream or the chocolate sauce was excellent.

Chez Kristof - Profiteroles

Value for money: 3/5

Around $100, including drinks (mineral water, a bottle of red wine shared between the 5 of us and coffee) and tip. Considering the location (London is very expensive), the restaurant, the service and the current exchange rate (close to 2 dollars for a pound at the moment), Chez Kristof definitely offers good value for money. I will come back.

→ No CommentsTags: London · United Kingdom

Lunch at Wagamama on June 24, 2008

September 9th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Wagamama

Wagamama
30 Kensington Street
Brighton, BN1 4AJ
UK

+44 (0) 127 368 8892
www.wagamama.com

Japanese Cuisine / Ramen Bar

Restaurant: 2/5

Wagamama is located in the heart of Brighton, on the British south coast. While they did make an effort to create the decor, it feel more like a cafeteria than a restaurant. The comfort is minimum as the emphasis is on practicality.

Service: 2/5

Service was relatively good. While our waiter made some efforts, he was very busy as he was catering to a large number of tables. They certainly could do with a bit more staff.

Food: 2.5/5

I ordered an Ebi Raisukaree which is a Japanese style rice dish. It is stir-fried black tiger prawns served on rice with a curry sauce and garnished with ginger, galangal, chilies, coriander, red peppers, green peppers, spring onions, mangetout and lime. The presentation was very good and the taste of the dish was very well balanced. One note: I would have preferred the curry sauce to be a bit thicker. That would make the dish easier to eat as the rice quickly goes apart in the sauce.

Wagamama - Ebi Raisukaree

Aside the Ebi Raisukaree, I ordered a fruit juice which is a fruit cocktail composed of apple, orange and passion fruit. While it is very good, the orange juice dominate the mix and hide both the apple juice and the passion fruit juice.

Wagamama - Fruit Juice

Value for money: 3/5

Around $30, including drinks (fruit juice) and tip. Considering the food and the current exchange rate (nearly 2 dollars for 1 pound), Wagamama offers good value for money. I will come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Brighton · United Kingdom

Lunch at Saddle Peak Lodge on June 15, 2008

September 8th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Saddle Peak Lodge

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road
Calabasas, CA 91302
USA

+1 (818) 222-3888
www.saddlepeaklodge.com

American Cuisine, Wild Game

Restaurant: 4/5

Saddle Peak Lodge is located in Calabasas, in the middle of the hills not far from Malibu. The restaurant has a very nice hunting lodge decor and is very comfortable. They have very affordable valet parking in front of the restaurant ($3.5 plus tip).

Service: 3.5/5

Service was very good. Our waiters made genuine efforts to please us. They moved the table to make us more comfortable and were kind to accomodate while we were waiting for the other guests to arrive (about 45mns, you should know that you can’t predict traffic in Los Angeles).

Food: 3/5

I started with the chilled heirloom tomato gaspacho. The gaspacho was served with cilantro and cucumber slaw. The texture was extremely smooth and the taste was perfect. It was an excellent interpretation of the classic recipe.

Saddle Peak Lodge Gaspacho

As main course, I had the roast beef sandwich. The roast beef (prime angus) sandwich was served open face with caramelized onions, tomatoes, watercress, arugula, lemon rosemary aioli and sweet potato fries. The beef, very tender and well complemented by the onions, was extremely tasty. The fries, perfectly cooked (crispy outside and tender inside without being oily), were a good complement. While the dish itself is not very original, it was very well excuted and had a nice twist.

Saddle Peak Lodge Roast Beef Sandwich

For dessert, I had the Cappuccino style coffee creme brulee with home made biscotti. I am a big fan of creme brulee and this one was a bit disappointing. The top of the creme was not properly carmelized and the biscotti was not dry enough to be crackling as it should. Fortunatly, while it was more on the chocolate than the cappucino side, the overall taste was excellent.

Saddle Peak Lodge Creme Brulee

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $90, including drinks (mimosa, a bottle of white wine shared between the 5 of us and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, considering the service and considering that it was father’s day (Celebrations are always more expensive), Saddle Peak Lodge definitly offers good value for money. I will go back.

→ No CommentsTags: Calabasas · California · Los Angeles · United States