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Restaurant Recommendations - Page 8

post #106 of 1367
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Have any of you LA area guys been to the Old World in Huntington Beach?  That place was almost exactly like Bavaria/Austria, the food was very similar as well.  I'm really used to that type of environment being from WI (heavily German, lots of such places) but haven't seen it in Cali at all.
I've never been, but I've heard of it. Another place is the Black Forest Inn in Santa Monica--on Wilshire, somewhere around 15th, I think. I enjoy it, but my wife isn't into the heavy Teutonic stuff...
post #107 of 1367
Thread Starter 
Hmm, sounds interesting. I'm going to Rouge Bistro next week, i'll see how that one is.
post #108 of 1367
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In the greater LA area, I don't think you can talk about Dim Sum without mentioning NBC Seafood in Monterey Park/El Sereno (I forget the cross streets)
Best Dim Sum in LA. If you want really good dimsum in North America though, Toronto can't be beat.
post #109 of 1367
Thread Starter 
LA Guy, is border cafe still in cambridge?
post #110 of 1367
Thread Starter 
I'm going to Pinot Provence tonight, I will post a review and tasting notes of a few wines a bit later.
post #111 of 1367
Thread Starter 
Went to Pinot Provence today, in Costa Mesa, near South Coast Plaza, in the Westin Hotel. This is a very nice restaurant, which has ABSOLUTELY NO CORKAGE FEE. Menu is French/Med food. We started with Sauteed Foie Gras on pears, which was absolutely outstanding and the highlight of the evening. Flavorful and tender, this was a great match for the half bottle of '01 Rieussec that I brought. For the main courses we had duck breast with balsamic glaze and lamb ribeye with dolma. Both were outstanding, and portions were extremely generous for a French restaurant. For the main course, I cracked a '02 Pride, which was tremendous. For dessert, we both had the flourless chocolate cake, and paired it with '99 Vin d' Constance, a perfect match. Overall a great meal, and price was extremely affordable, especially with free corkage. Tasting Notes: '01 Rieussec: I could sniff this wine forever, bouquet is so rich and lush, with apricots, pears, and creme brulee. Mouth feel is full bodied, very sweet and thick, with a nice long finish. This is a great Sauternes, and will get better with time. 96 pts. '02 Pride CS Nice bouquet, nose had blueberries and abundant fruit, very structured and open, not overly tannic, but nicely balanced, nice complexity and a 20+ second finish. I think this is drinking well now but will get better with time. 95 pts 1999 Klein Constantia "Vin d' Constance" This is a famous dessert wine from South Africa, apparently drank by Napoleon and Jane Austen. Well, this is one big bad dessert wine. 14.5% alcohol, but not extremely noticable. Bouquet was apricots, strawberries, a few cherries, maybe a hint of blueberry as well. This was a thick juicy wine, full of fruit, with incredible complexity, and at least a 30 second finish. Stunningly good, and you don't notice the alcohol until you've finished half the bottle before the dessert is even served... I would give it 97 pts, with potential for more, I think this could use a few years in the cellar and improve from even these heights. Best wine I've tasted this year.
post #112 of 1367
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Atlanta: Chops Bones Magiannos Fogo de Chao Seeger's Abruzzi Nava Atlanta Fsh Market Veni, Vidi, Vici Pano's and Paul's 103 West Prime Pricci's And lest us not forget the largest fast food place in the world: The Varsity Come to Atlanta and enjoy, it is more than fried chicken.
My purely personal opinions and thoughts on the recommended Atlanta places: First, I have a big problem with the service with the Buckhead Life Group restaurants and most other non-ethnic places in Atlanta [and in other cities] where they treat the customers like hicks, that is, the standard greeting: "Good evening folks, my name is Michelle and I will be taking care of you guys (me and my wife) tonight." I do not care what her first name is (and think that she is being too familiar by telling it to me), my wife is female, not a "guy," and although I am a commoner, I do not like being reminded of it by being called a "folk." I have begged waiters at the Buckhead Life Group restaurants not to do this and have been told that they would be fired if they did not tell me their first name. Why, about 25 years ago, did American waiters become salesmen (with a strong "sales pitch") instead of servants for the evening? Chops- Buckhead Life Group restaurant; steak place with mediocre and mostly bland food Bones-pretty good food; slightly too familiar service Magiannos- huge portion place; full of gluttons; turns me off Fogo de Chao-unlimited meat; full of gluttons; turns me off Seeger's-one of the best restaurants in the world Abruzzi-closed 2 years ago Nava-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; never tried it; USA southwest food is not to my liking Atlanta Fish Market-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; too familiar; mediocre and bland cooking Veni, Vidi, Vici-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; pretty good if you ask for and get an introverted waiter Pano and Paul's-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; very good food, but this is where I was told that the waiter would be fired if he did not tell me his first name. 103 West-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; now only for private parties Prime- a bit worse than Chops; mall atmosphere (mostly badly dressed clientele) Pricci's-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; very good food and good service if you can get a foreign-born waiter Baccanalia-3rd best place in town, but has an "attitude" and a bit too rich at times; very badly dressed hosts; trying to have an "in" California style-dining room still looks like the dingy factory that it once was Eugene-very promising food; elegant tiny jewel-box decor; you will likely get the hick treatment though (waiter's first name, etc.) The Varsity-grease city; how do they get all the taste out of the hot dogs? The Dining Room, Buckhead Ritz Carlton-one of the best restaurants in the world Kyma-Buckhead Life Group restaurant; very good food and good service if you can get an introverted waiter, but that is nearly impossible.
post #113 of 1367
Thread Starter 
jerrysfriend, I agree with you about the familiarity of service at some restaurants, especially high end ones. One question I have for you, is which restaurants have you dined at in Las Vegas and New York, and which were your favorites?
post #114 of 1367
Thread Starter 
Went to Rouge Bistro tonight with the gf for V-day, it's in Fashion Island, in Newport Beach: Dress for the evening was a Belvest navy suit with a electric blue windowpane, white T&A shirt, solid red RLPL tie, Black RLPL/EG Cardiffs, Breitling Crosswind Special (Blue face) They didn't have their usual menu at all, only a $75/person prix fixe menu, which was surprising, but the food was quite good, Corkage was $20/btl and we brought 3 bottles. We started with a bottle of Krug NV, along with the starter of new potatoes chive cream fraiche and beluga, followed by seared peppered foie gras with cinnamon cornbread for me, and escargots with portugese sausage for her. The foie gras was quite good, although not quite as good as the offering from Pinot Provence last week, and the escargots were delectable. The cinnamon cornbread was really really good, portions were impressively large. Main course was rack of lamb in a cranberry reduction, with new potatoes, tomatoes, and asparagus for me, lobster tail with angel hair pasta for her. We went with a bottle of 1982 Pichon Lalande with these, which was amazing. The lamb was succulent and tender, with nice flavor, and the lobster tail was agreeably soft and crisp, with not a rubbery feel to be found. Dessert course was strawberry/white chocolate souffle for me, lemon creme brulee with blueberries for her, finished off with a 1/2 btl of 1990 d'Yquem, which was, as always, spectacular. Overall, a good meal, going out for a few more drinks soon. Will write more later.
post #115 of 1367
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jerrysfriend, I agree with you about the familiarity of service at some restaurants, especially high end ones.   One question I have for you, is which restaurants have you dined at in Las Vegas and New York, and which were your favorites?
I have never been to Vegas (not my kind of place) but often go to NYC. I find some VERY famous places there not to my liking. I think that the emperor has no clothes as to The Four Seasons, Le Cirque, Mix, BLT Steak, The Lever House, Le Grenouille, Cafe des Artistes, etc. I have had an especially hard time finding Italian food I like there and have been very disappointed by L'Impero, San Domenico, Felidia, Esca, Scalini Fedeli, Scalinatella, etc. I have never tried Babbo or Becca. Do you have any reccomendations? I found Le Madri (just closed) and Fresca by Scotto to be fairly good and I love a middle class place that never gets any publicity,Trattoria del Arte, if I avoid the more complicated dishes there. After the theatre, Orso is fun for celebrity watching, but the food is only fair. What else do I really like? Fleur de Sel, Toqueville, Cru, and Jean Georges (for dinner). I have not been to Per Se or Grey yet. I used to love Bouley; now it seems up and down. LCB Brasserie was good the last time I went. At least service in NY is far more adult and sophisticated than Atlanta. Any reccomendations?
post #116 of 1367
Quote:
My purely personal opinions and thoughts on the recommended Atlanta places: First, I have a big problem with the service with the Buckhead Life Group restaurants and most other non-ethnic places in Atlanta [and in other cities] where they treat the customers like hicks, that is, the standard greeting: "Good evening folks, my name is Michelle and I will be taking care of you guys (me and my wife) tonight." I do not care what her first name is (and think that she is being too familiar by telling it to me), my wife is female, not a "guy," and although I am a commoner, I do not like being reminded of it by being called a "folk." I have begged waiters at the Buckhead Life Group restaurants not to do this and have been told that they would be fired if they did not tell me their first name. Why, about 25 years ago, did American waiters become salesmen (with a strong "sales pitch") instead of servants for the evening?
This is interesting to me. I have a similar reaction to yours, but being French, I just take it in stride, assuming it is part of a culture that is not mine, and since I live here, I have to accept it, like many other things that rub me the wrong way.
post #117 of 1367
drizzt3117, with the way you eat, I wouldn't be surprised if you started to shit pure cash
post #118 of 1367
Thread Starter 
jerrysfriend, I'm a little surprised that you didn't like Le Cirque 2000, but in NY I would recommend Daniel, Le Bernardin, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Alain Ducasse NY, and perhaps V, which is a bit controversial, but by the same chef as Jean Georges... As for Italian, I'm not an expert on the style, but Circo (in Las Vegas) is quite good, although I'm not sure if you would like it as it is by the same family as Le Cirque. Have you tried Aureole? I find Vegas to be generally easier to get reservations at, and similar quality to NY, as many of the restaurants in NY have sister restaurants in Vegas, my experience there has been quite good. There are several restaurants in Vegas (Picasso, Renoir, etc) that do not have NY sisters, and these are both outstanding.
post #119 of 1367
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jerrysfriend, I'm a little surprised that you didn't like Le Cirque 2000, but in NY I would recommend Daniel, Le Bernardin, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Alain Ducasse NY, and perhaps V, which is a bit controversial, but by the same chef as Jean Georges...  As for Italian, I'm not an expert on the style, but Circo (in Las Vegas) is quite good, although I'm not sure if you would like it as it is by the same family as Le Cirque.  Have you tried Aureole?
Forgot. Also like Aquavit a lot. I have not eaten at Le Bernardin or Daniel for a few years; I will try them again. Grammercy Tavern is a little boring to me; I think that the menu is too short. Also, last time I was there, another guest was wearing a baseball cap. I thought that that was a bit much. I last ate at Auerole 2 months ago (packaged with my stay at the Regency); pretty good, but the food was a little bit too fusy for me. Interesting conversation with the lady at the next table though; she was an Italian-French language professor at the Sorbonne. She really knew her Paris. Neither of us had seen an electonic wine list before. May try Per Se, but I usually get burned at the trendy places (as our local food critic steered me to most of the newer places that I did not like and mentioned in my prior post). As to Alain Ducasse, I was not overly impressed by the current chef's cooking when he was at Lespinasse, so I am a little wary. If you ever get to Atlanta, try Seeger's or the Dining Room at the Buckhead Ritz Carlton; they can hold their own against any of the three two-star places I ate at in Paris in November (but the prices are comparable too).
post #120 of 1367
[quote=Fabienne,Feb. 15 2005,07:09]
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This is interesting to me.  I have a similar reaction to yours, but being French, I just take it in stride, assuming it is part of a culture that is not mine, and since I live here, I have to accept it, like many other things that rub me the wrong way.
It is not a part of the culture; it is relatively new; maybe 20-25 years old. It started in California, I believe, to increase sales. It was never done too much in NYC and has nearly stopped there. Maybe if everyone would complain, like I usually do  (see the "Diners' Bill of Rights" that I posted about a year ago) it would stop elsewhere, too. I am not a big believer in letting some new strategy rub me the wrong way, when I know it is wrong. I let them know it is wrong and that I do not like it. Since the restaurant owners also know that it is improper, I usually get a good response. Unfortunately, that does not include the waiters at the Buckhead Life Group.
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