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Fine Dining.
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Cail
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mongnihilo wrote:
In America the usual practice at your average restaurant is heapin' helpin's. Even your run of the mill nice restaurant in a medium size town is going to be portion heavy, considering the service a'la russe standards you are applying, peter. I think that is why, on occasion, the wife and I gravitate towards dinner in the tapas style, which has become quite popular. Though the food is usually shared, the leisurely pace, small portions, live jazz guitarist, and pleasant cafe atmosphere makes for an enjoyable, if typically alcohol-soaked dining experience. Normally we will share about 5 or 6 small courses, not counting drinks, which may include an aperitif on arrival, champagne, a medium bodied red wine, a full bodied red wine, and a digestif typically involving coffee. Perhaps you may have surmised that we progress through cheese, salad, lobster, lamb, then beef courses followed by dessert. I haven't yet figured out how to fit a soup or bisque in there without becoming overfull.

Someday we'll have to dine in a traditional French restaurant and have that experience.
Jesus I'm hungry for tapas now.

I'll add one thing, I hate live music while I'm eating. In fact, I hate the trend that every place that serves food or coffee feels the need to either pipe in or pay someone to play music while I'm trying to eat or drink.

Maybe I'm unique, but "having a drink" with someone, or "grabbing something to eat" is a social experience; it's not just about sustenance. I f*cking hate going into an Irish pub with friends and not being able to talk because the deedle-te-dee music is so damn loud.

Same goes with fine dining. If there's going to be music, it'd better be so far in the background I can barely hear it.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If such items can genuinely add to the eating experience [eg a sprig of aromatic herb may have been presented on the plate at el buli if it's very smell could alter the taste experience of the 'edible' portion of the dish] then ok - but such instances are a very rare occurence indeed.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Cail - missed your last post bcause I always get caught by that 'next page that you didn't realise was there thing'!

Couldn't agree more - loud music and food is a no-no.

Went for lunch yesterday in what should have been a goodish place, but got served platefulls of crap that I could have executed better myself. Half decent moules marinere [but I can do that], a nice[ish] pollock rissoto, a ham hock terine that had way to much gelatine in it etc, etc. The pitfalls of eating out in restaurants.... it's gonna happen!

[Have four days booked in local [but good quality] hotels with high grade restaurants attached to them, starting today. High hopes for some good eating. Have saved all year for this and it comes at the end of a bad week [dad died on Monday] so I need a bit of slack.]
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Condolences and hope your holiday gets better, peter. Sad

I'll second Cail's complaint about the music volume at restaurants, and add my own gripe: TVs everywhere. We've turned into a nation that apparently is incapable of self-entertainment. Could we please dump all the electronic noise machines and *talk* to one another? Arrgh...
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Condolences, Peter.

Not only TV but also cell phones. Everytime I see people in restaurants reading or sending text messages I want to punch them in the face.

The worst kind of people are those who, regardless what you talking about, insist on having to "check things online" with their smart phones. Their should be a law against it and a life time sentence.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And this here is a fine example of plating that is so over the top that it's miles beyond the point of becoming a ridicolous parody of itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhwd1we00n0
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And where was the cooking? Perhaps all the sauces and spots of this and that combine to five a flavour explosion of epic proportions - but the risk is you start off eating an art work and finish with a bog standard salad.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As part of a multicourse meal (which it certainly is, considering it's a three star Michelin restaurant) I'd have served it after 1:50 at the latest. After that it just became pretentious. Or as Gordon Ramsay would have said, 'It's Master Chef, not masturb*te!"

And no, Michelin Star is not Ringo's wife.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd rather see it on a wall in the Royal Acadamy Summer Exhibition than on a table in front of me - but salads never were my thing so maybe I'm being unfair here. It doesn't get any higher than 3 Michellin stars so one expects there is more going on here than a pretty face.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expectation is the mother of all disappointment.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well - yes Av, I'll definitely go along with that. If I've ever eaten a truly fantastic meal in restaurant and I go back to attempt to re-live the experience, it never works!

While I'm here it is worth noting that the UK version of 'Masterchef' is now in full swing and once again we have 30 or so young proffesional chefs being put to the test in a deadly serious competition to find the best young talent in the country. Just take a look at this:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjckqAU8IkM
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have watched Top Chef in the past, missed the beginning of this season. set in New Orleans.

the vid was funny. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you enjoyed it Sarge. I saw the actual final from which this spoof draws it's 'real' scenes and these were three fine chefs. The top judge guy is Michelle Roux - head of a cheffing 'dynasty' that goes back 60+ years in the UK. These guys call the shots about where food goes in the UK.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to post this observation and didn't think it worth making a new thread for, so forgive the double post guys.

I've been to a great deal of restaurants over the course of my life, and have been mightily impressed with the advances in gastonomy over the last decade or two. What started as 'nouvelle cuisine' has morphed into 'fine dining' where some of the food put on plates these days is worthy of a canvas and a paintbrush all of it's own. Dishes that are so beautiful to look at, so delicate to eat, you could weep in the restaurant. But, and here's the rub, they're getting just to good, and there's too many chefs doing it.

I've actually reached a stage where I'm moving back toward a more traditional classic french cuissine as my all time favorite restaurant memories. Tale for example the guy who, in a little rustic place with only 20 or so covers, served me a dish of monkfish in red wine sauce with a trio of veg that was literally to die for. Or the man who served a starter of asparagus with chive mayonaise, followed by supreme of chicken and a tracle tart for pudding [all bog standard stuff] but made every course Like the first time you'd ever eaten it! How can you do that; I eat chicken three times a week! These guys, going back to cookings classical roots - and delivering the goods [often peasant food from the rural backwaters of France] are in my mind, the true heroes of the restaurant trade at the moment, and there are 100 fine dinning chefs for every one of those!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I tend to scepticism when it comes to "nouvelle cuisine" type stuff...give me something solid and filling that just tastes flippin' amazing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed! Trouble is Av, they're rare!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL That's why I cook it myself. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto; I never go to a restaurant unless I'm sure they can do a better job in a kitchen than me. What really puts me off if is someone blags on about 'how huge the portions were'. The last thing I want is a shovel-full of poorly cooked food on a plate. It's got to be good, good, good no matter how much there is of it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yes, but I want it to be good and plentiful. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you're still a growing lad Av. Us oldie's can reign it in a bit. Wink
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