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  #1 (permalink)   Report Post  
Nils Gustaf Lindgren
 
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Default wine menus - worth the price?

Hello;
These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine that
will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible. Of
course, unless you are c 20 persons sharing the same menu.
Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by Our
Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
interested in Wines ...
These may be fairly good examples of the wine maker´s craft - and sometimes
they are not.
LAst week, Xina and self dauntlessly entered the Stockholm high octane
eatery of "Vassa Eggen", there to squander our patrimony and wits, what
little of these still remains. Needless to say, the resto had a menu (we
choose the 5-course version) and a wine menu. After a glass of decideldy
forgettable Grüner Veltliner, as an aperitif, we ... got another glass of
the same, name of which totally escapes me, except for it ending in the word
"Lam", but which had no redeeming features what soever, so let´s forget
about it. It was followed by a LAgrein from Elena Walch, 2003, very toasted,
almost like smelling the smoke from a very fine cigar ... but apart from
that, a very standard red.
And so on. A Pinot Noir from Oz (Dalwinnie, 2001) which tasted nothing like
any Pinot Noir I´ve had, funky, really, not as if the wine had gone bad -
rather like it wasn´t a very good wine. And so on.

This may qualify as the most uninspired wine menu I´ve had since Neichel in
Barcelona, a cronic underachiever by all accounts. And it cost ... SEK 600?
That translates inot USD 85 or EU 66, which, to my mind, is rather a lot of
money. It is, however, rather less than the average price of a bottle of
wine in the "Vassa Eggen"!

Now, my question, gentles all, is, what´s your take on the wine menu
phenonem ... phenomon ... wine menus?
Do you regularly get good glasses of wine, in small quantities, at
acceptable prices? Or do you get the feeling of a sort of, one size fits
all, we pour it, you drink it? Do you as a rule order the wine menu, if
there is one?

Your input is deeply appreciated.

Cheers

Nils Gustaf

--
Respond to nils dot lindgren at drchips dot se


  #2 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ed Rasimus
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 16:05:51 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren"
> wrote:

>Hello;
>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine that
>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible.


>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by Our
>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>interested in Wines ...


Forgive me for snipping your horror story, but it is on the verge of
becoming the common occurrence worldwide.

Two issues ago the Wine Spectator featured the "world's best
restaurant"--a small, and therefore very exclusive, place in the
Basque hillside a mere two hour mountain drive along treacherous roads
from Barcelona. The "big thing" was the incredible creativity of the
"world's greatest chef" who had a full blown chemistry lab to build
his gastronomic delights.

The standard fare was, as you describe, some sort of twenty-plus tapa
arrangement created to attack each and every one of the senses (except
for the "common".) One course (I couldn't make this up) was the
delivery of balloons filled with orange-blossom aroma which the
waiters released into the nose of the suitably dazzled patrons. (I
wonder if their were accompanying tunes played on the release by
controlling the aperture, thereby titillating the ear as well?--Turkey
in the Straw, or Fool on the Hill might be apropos.)

The lab was busy building a polyester "cream" for future dishes--I
don't know what Escoffier would think of synthesizing the real natural
product.

Apparently the trend among the trendiest is foams and gels and
non-foods. Frankly, I'm into the now old-school fresh and tasty
myself.

Certainly with twenty bites of totally different and usually
outrageous presentations, there is no such thing as an accompanying
wine. The very concept of one wine being around long enough to mature
in the glass, develop some nuance, offer more than one taste, etc. is
repugnant to this new style of "nouvelle cuisine".

I think it is only a matter of time before the cries of nudity among
the emperor will, hopefully, put a stop to this.

Meanwhile, I will continue to attend wine menu dinners which feature
producers with which I am familiar or horizontals of wines in which I
am interested. I appreciate menus that offer recommended accompaniment
wines by-the-glass, but approach them with trepidation at new
establishments which have not yet proven their trustworthiness.
Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ken Blake
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In ,
Nils Gustaf Lindgren > typed:

> Now, my question, gentles all, is, what´s your take on the wine
> menu
> phenonem ... phenomon ... wine menus?
> Do you regularly get good glasses of wine, in small quantities,
> at
> acceptable prices? Or do you get the feeling of a sort of, one
> size
> fits all, we pour it, you drink it?



My experience with the restaurants around here that have such a
menu is that the wines are hardly ever outstanding, but almost
always decent.


> Do you as a rule order the wine
> menu, if there is one?



Yes, probably more often than not. It's usually a good value, and
I almost always prefer having smaller amounts of multiple wines,
rather than one.

--
Ken Blake
Please reply to the newsgroup


  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Dick R.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ed Rasimus wrote:
respectfully snipped>
>
> Apparently the trend among the trendiest is foams and gels and
> non-foods. Frankly, I'm into the now old-school fresh and tasty
> myself.
>

<snip>
Hi Ed,
I also avoid "trendy". To me, trendy refers to folks who have more
money than taste, or common sense. I would totally discount any
chefs who haven't heard of Julia Child.
I'm always on the lookout for restaurants that have good food and
a reasonable wine list.
In a pinch, I look for "Good eats, good beer". :-)

Dick R.

  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ed Rasimus
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:39:55 -0600, "Dick R." > wrote:

>Ed Rasimus wrote:
>respectfully snipped>
>>
>> Apparently the trend among the trendiest is foams and gels and
>> non-foods. Frankly, I'm into the now old-school fresh and tasty
>> myself.
>>

><snip>
>Hi Ed,
>I also avoid "trendy". To me, trendy refers to folks who have more
>money than taste, or common sense. I would totally discount any
>chefs who haven't heard of Julia Child.
>I'm always on the lookout for restaurants that have good food and
>a reasonable wine list.
>In a pinch, I look for "Good eats, good beer". :-)
>
>Dick R.


Next you'll be telling me to stop where the trucks are.

My rule of thumb on the road is to try to avoid chains and franchises,
but I also never eat at a place called "Mom's".

Today, when traveling, the Internet has made it easy to find good
dining. Almost every city has a Web page and you'll find the local
restaurants listed, usually categorized by ethnicity or style and
often with links to the particular establishment's page where you can
peruse the menu, wine list, etc. Many even let you make a dinner
reservation online. I've seldom gone wrong that way.


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com


  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
TB
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Nils Gustaf Lindgren wrote:
> Hello;
> These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of

tapa
> sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a

wine that
> will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible. Of


> course, unless you are c 20 persons sharing the same menu.
> Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen

by Our
> Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is

Really
> interested in Wines ...
> These may be fairly good examples of the wine maker=B4s craft - and

sometimes
> they are not.
> LAst week, Xina and self dauntlessly entered the Stockholm high

octane
> eatery of "Vassa Eggen", there to squander our patrimony and wits,

what
> little of these still remains. Needless to say, the resto had a menu

(we
> choose the 5-course version) and a wine menu. After a glass of

decideldy
> forgettable Gr=FCner Veltliner, as an aperitif, we ... got another

glass of
> the same, name of which totally escapes me, except for it ending in

the word
> "Lam", but which had no redeeming features what soever, so let=B4s

forget
> about it. It was followed by a LAgrein from Elena Walch, 2003, very

toasted,
> almost like smelling the smoke from a very fine cigar ... but apart

from
> that, a very standard red.
> And so on. A Pinot Noir from Oz (Dalwinnie, 2001) which tasted

nothing like
> any Pinot Noir I=B4ve had, funky, really, not as if the wine had gone

bad -
> rather like it wasn=B4t a very good wine. And so on.
>
> This may qualify as the most uninspired wine menu I=B4ve had since

Neichel in
> Barcelona, a cronic underachiever by all accounts. And it cost ...

SEK 600?
> That translates inot USD 85 or EU 66, which, to my mind, is rather a

lot of
> money. It is, however, rather less than the average price of a bottle

of
> wine in the "Vassa Eggen"!
>
> Now, my question, gentles all, is, what=B4s your take on the wine menu


> phenonem ... phenomon ... wine menus?
> Do you regularly get good glasses of wine, in small quantities, at
> acceptable prices? Or do you get the feeling of a sort of, one size

fits
> all, we pour it, you drink it? Do you as a rule order the wine menu,

if
> there is one?
>
> Your input is deeply appreciated.
>
> Cheers
>
> Nils Gustaf
>
> --
> Respond to nils dot lindgren at drchips dot se


What a shame Nils! I thank my stars that I stick to Backficka most of
the times!

But seriously its the choice between a rock and a hard place. A small
group can only order one or two bottles which are unlikley to match a
degustation menu. Wines by the glasses (which is essentially what a
wine menu is, without the glamour) are very unlikely to be the
better-choice-wines simply because very few restaurant will have the
volume to use up bottles quickly enough and/or spend the money to have
proper interim storage.

That's (my) theory to it, one will of course have to look at the list
and hear about it to make a decision in a special situation.

Cheers

  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Bill Loftin
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ed Rasimus wrote:

> Next you'll be telling me to stop where the trucks are.
> My rule of thumb on the road is to try to avoid chains and franchises,
> but I also never eat at a place called "Mom's".
> Today, when traveling, the Internet has made it easy to find good
> dining. Almost every city has a Web page and you'll find the local
> restaurants listed, usually categorized by ethnicity or style and
> often with links to the particular establishment's page where you can
> peruse the menu, wine list, etc. Many even let you make a dinner
> reservation online. I've seldom gone wrong that way.


I don't like Mom's either. Have you ever heard of the calendar rating
system. Country restaurants are rated by the number of calendars they
have hanging behind the cash register. Try that on the back roads of
Colorado Ed.

I traveled for 20 years and often found myself in cities that I did
not know a thing about. I discovered the fundamental theorem of travel
dinning the hard way. So here is the number one thing. Never, never
ask the desk clerk in a hotel where the best restaurant in town is.
  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article >, nils.
says...
>
>Hello;
>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine that
>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible. Of
>course, unless you are c 20 persons sharing the same menu.
>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by Our
>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>interested in Wines ...


[SNIP]
>
>Your input is deeply appreciated.
>
>Cheers
>
>Nils Gustaf


Fortunately, I've had good luck with what I term "Sommelier's Tasting" menus.
These have almost always accompanied a "Chef's Tasting" menu. From Charlie
Trotter's, to French Laundry, to Aureole, to name a few, I usually try both,
if available. In the last few years, I've only had one stinker and that was
locally at a WS Grand Award Winner, where they removed the Spigleaus and used
"restaurant-grade jelly jars" for the "Sommelier's tasting!" When I asked, I
was told that the better glasses were reserved for those having "good" wine.
Well, that was definitely the case, as none of these were "good" wines, and at
US$65/person + the chef's tasting ~US$125, it was not acceptable. It seemed
that the sommelier had gone into the cellar and was cleaning out the junk that
salespeople had dropped off - nothing was good (in the jelly jars, who can
really tell), and nothing paired with the food served. One out of maybe two-
dozen is pretty good odds, or pretty good luck on my part.

I think it is a great idea, BUT should be carefully thought out. It must not
be looked at as a way to mark the hell up out of poor wine, and serve it to
patrons in the hopes that they will be too dazzeled by the sheer # of items to
notice.

To Ed's comments, I have NOT had the orange flower blossom water balloons yet
- maybe next trip to Spain!

Sorry that you had a bad experience right off. Trust me, this can be a good
thing.

Hunt

  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Art Stratemeyer
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Nils,

Well, here in the hinterlands of North Carolina the concept of a "wine
menu" has not yet emerged. The closest is one restaurant that has a
huge "by the glass" offering.

The closest thing we have here from time to time is where a restaurant
might put on a "wine dinner" where, generally they are pushing the
wines of a given distributor as opposed to trulying working to create
the right match between wine and food.

I guess it boils down to having some knowledge of the establishment to
know if they are truly working on creative wine/food matching or, they
are simply doing a gimic to push a distributor's wines or simply
trying something new for the heck of it.


Art Stratemeyer
=============================
http://www.stratsplace.com
A Community Celebration the Joy of Wine,Gardening and the Arts

Cellar! Wine Software
http://www.cellarwinesoftware.com
  #11 (permalink)   Report Post  
Mark Lipton
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hunt wrote:
> In article >, nils.
> says...
>
>>Hello;
>>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine that
>>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible. Of
>>course, unless you are c 20 persons sharing the same menu.
>>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by Our
>>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>>interested in Wines ...

>
>
> [SNIP]
>
>>Your input is deeply appreciated.
>>
>>Cheers
>>
>>Nils Gustaf

>
>
> Fortunately, I've had good luck with what I term "Sommelier's Tasting" menus.
> These have almost always accompanied a "Chef's Tasting" menu. From Charlie
> Trotter's, to French Laundry, to Aureole, to name a few, I usually try both,
> if available. In the last few years, I've only had one stinker and that was
> locally at a WS Grand Award Winner, where they removed the Spigleaus and used
> "restaurant-grade jelly jars" for the "Sommelier's tasting!" When I asked, I
> was told that the better glasses were reserved for those having "good" wine.
> Well, that was definitely the case, as none of these were "good" wines, and at
> US$65/person + the chef's tasting ~US$125, it was not acceptable. It seemed
> that the sommelier had gone into the cellar and was cleaning out the junk that
> salespeople had dropped off - nothing was good (in the jelly jars, who can
> really tell), and nothing paired with the food served. One out of maybe two-
> dozen is pretty good odds, or pretty good luck on my part.


I'm with Hunt on this, Nils. The concept of the "wine menu" (used in
the French sense of the word menu) is still a rarity here, and usually
found only in restaurants with a strong interest in wine/food pairings.
Charlie Trotter's in Chicago has been doing this for years, and when I
partook of it for my 40th B-day, I was duly impressed with both the
choices and the pairings. However, I most recently encountered such an
opportunity at the restaurant Janos in Tucson (great meal, BTW) and
declined it because Jean was not interested in the "tasting menu" and
would have been left to fend for herself, wine-wise. Instead, we opted
for two half bottles: a 2001 Zind-Humbrecht Wintzenheim Gewürz (Indice 2
- Thank you, Olivier!) and a 2002 Cristom Pinot Noir, thereby
allowing us both to avail ourselves of two different, versatile wines
for our meal.

Mark Lipton
  #12 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ron Lel
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Ed Rasimus" > wrote in message
...
> On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 16:05:51 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren"
> > wrote:
>
>>Hello;
>>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine
>>that
>>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible.

>
>>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by
>>Our
>>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>>interested in Wines ...

>
> Forgive me for snipping your horror story, but it is on the verge of
> becoming the common occurrence worldwide.
>
> Two issues ago the Wine Spectator featured the "world's best
> restaurant"--a small, and therefore very exclusive, place in the
> Basque hillside a mere two hour mountain drive along treacherous roads
> from Barcelona. The "big thing" was the incredible creativity of the
> "world's greatest chef" who had a full blown chemistry lab to build
> his gastronomic delights.
>
> The standard fare was, as you describe, some sort of twenty-plus tapa
> arrangement created to attack each and every one of the senses (except
> for the "common".) One course (I couldn't make this up) was the
> delivery of balloons filled with orange-blossom aroma which the
> waiters released into the nose of the suitably dazzled patrons. (I
> wonder if their were accompanying tunes played on the release by
> controlling the aperture, thereby titillating the ear as well?--Turkey
> in the Straw, or Fool on the Hill might be apropos.)
>
> The lab was busy building a polyester "cream" for future dishes--I
> don't know what Escoffier would think of synthesizing the real natural
> product.
>
> Apparently the trend among the trendiest is foams and gels and
> non-foods. Frankly, I'm into the now old-school fresh and tasty
> myself.
>

snipped
> Ed Rasimus
> Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
> "When Thunder Rolled"
> www.thunderchief.org
> www.thundertales.blogspot.com


I guess this is Ferran Adria's El Bulli. I was thinking of eating there this
year. You have decidely put me off.

Ron Lel


  #13 (permalink)   Report Post  
Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article >, says...
>
>Hunt wrote:
>> In article >, nils.
>>
says...
>>
>>>Hello;
>>>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>>>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine that
>>>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible. Of
>>>course, unless you are c 20 persons sharing the same menu.
>>>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by Our
>>>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>>>interested in Wines ...

>>
>>
>> [SNIP]
>>
>>>Your input is deeply appreciated.
>>>
>>>Cheers
>>>
>>>Nils Gustaf

>>
>>
>> Fortunately, I've had good luck with what I term "Sommelier's Tasting"

menus.
>> These have almost always accompanied a "Chef's Tasting" menu. From Charlie
>> Trotter's, to French Laundry, to Aureole, to name a few, I usually try

both,
>> if available. In the last few years, I've only had one stinker and that was
>> locally at a WS Grand Award Winner, where they removed the Spigleaus and

used
>> "restaurant-grade jelly jars" for the "Sommelier's tasting!" When I asked,

I
>> was told that the better glasses were reserved for those having "good"

wine.
>> Well, that was definitely the case, as none of these were "good" wines, and

at
>
>> US$65/person + the chef's tasting ~US$125, it was not acceptable. It seemed
>> that the sommelier had gone into the cellar and was cleaning out the junk

that
>
>> salespeople had dropped off - nothing was good (in the jelly jars, who can
>> really tell), and nothing paired with the food served. One out of maybe

two-
>> dozen is pretty good odds, or pretty good luck on my part.

>
>I'm with Hunt on this, Nils. The concept of the "wine menu" (used in
>the French sense of the word menu) is still a rarity here, and usually
>found only in restaurants with a strong interest in wine/food pairings.
> Charlie Trotter's in Chicago has been doing this for years, and when I
>partook of it for my 40th B-day, I was duly impressed with both the
>choices and the pairings. However, I most recently encountered such an
>opportunity at the restaurant Janos in Tucson (great meal, BTW) and
>declined it because Jean was not interested in the "tasting menu" and
>would have been left to fend for herself, wine-wise. Instead, we opted
>for two half bottles: a 2001 Zind-Humbrecht Wintzenheim Gewürz (Indice 2
> - Thank you, Olivier!) and a 2002 Cristom Pinot Noir, thereby
>allowing us both to avail ourselves of two different, versatile wines
>for our meal.
>
>Mark Lipton


Ah, the half-bottle list. So nicely done by some, a true after-thought by
others. Since I dine most often with just my wife, I look first at half-
bottles, then at by the glass, if there is no wine-tasting-menu choice. What a
rare find it is to see a really full list of the little guys! Just as you and
Jean did, it allows one much more freedom to chose wines based on the course,
and not have to try and find the quintessential wine for starters and
divergent main courses. I always give a special thank-you to the server, when
there is a good selection in the half-bottle list, so they can report that
some diners do appreciate the time and the effort on someone's part. It
usually indicates that this "someone" is rather serious about the diner's
pleasure and about wine. OTOH, it is obvious from some of these lists, that
the half is considered a poor step-child, and some even whisk away the good
glasses, when a half is ordered, as though that wine is not worthy of better.
The good places do it right and usually sell me 3-4 halfs, as though I were
ordering a magnum of Ch Latour. I really appreciate that.

Hunt

  #14 (permalink)   Report Post  
Bi!!
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Art Stratemeyer wrote:
> Hi Nils,
>
> Well, here in the hinterlands of North Carolina the concept of a

"wine
> menu" has not yet emerged. The closest is one restaurant that has a
> huge "by the glass" offering.
>
> The closest thing we have here from time to time is where a

restaurant
> might put on a "wine dinner" where, generally they are pushing the
> wines of a given distributor as opposed to trulying working to create
> the right match between wine and food.
>
> I guess it boils down to having some knowledge of the establishment

to
> know if they are truly working on creative wine/food matching or,

they
> are simply doing a gimic to push a distributor's wines or simply
> trying something new for the heck of it.


I thought that The Fearrington House in Chapel Hill had a wine menu.

  #15 (permalink)   Report Post  
Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article >,
says...
>
>Hi Nils,
>
>Well, here in the hinterlands of North Carolina the concept of a "wine
>menu" has not yet emerged. The closest is one restaurant that has a
>huge "by the glass" offering.
>
>The closest thing we have here from time to time is where a restaurant
>might put on a "wine dinner" where, generally they are pushing the
>wines of a given distributor as opposed to trulying working to create
>the right match between wine and food.
>
>I guess it boils down to having some knowledge of the establishment to
>know if they are truly working on creative wine/food matching or, they
>are simply doing a gimic to push a distributor's wines or simply
>trying something new for the heck of it.
>
>
>Art Stratemeyer
>=============================
>
http://www.stratsplace.com
>A Community Celebration the Joy of Wine,Gardening and the Arts
>
>Cellar! Wine Software
>http://www.cellarwinesoftware.com


First, Art, a question: NC used to have some interesting liquor laws (I'm
going back many years here, so things most likely have changed). How do the
state's laws regarding restaurants and wine read? Is there one state
distributor, with big list for all restaurants to choose from?

As for the "featured wine," for me a 4 color glossy "table-talker" is usually
a bad sign.

Hunt



  #16 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ed Rasimus
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 04:11:30 GMT, "Ron Lel" > wrote:

>
>"Ed Rasimus" > wrote in message
.. .
>>
>> Two issues ago the Wine Spectator featured the "world's best
>> restaurant"--a small, and therefore very exclusive, place in the
>> Basque hillside a mere two hour mountain drive along treacherous roads
>> from Barcelona. The "big thing" was the incredible creativity of the
>> "world's greatest chef" who had a full blown chemistry lab to build
>> his gastronomic delights.


>
>I guess this is Ferran Adria's El Bulli. I was thinking of eating there this
>year. You have decidely put me off.
>
>Ron Lel
>


Don't let me discourage you. You might want to dig up that issue of WS
to get all the details. Then, if you go, come back and give us an
update.

Maybe they'll change the air in the balloons to something from a
nearby farm field (to go with "El Bulli") and serve the whiff with a
nice barnyardy Burgundy?

(I know that "Toro" is Spanish for bull, and I just looked up "Bulli"
to find the noun Bulla is a crowd noise or uproar--not something I
seek in an ultra-fine-dining experience either.)


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
  #17 (permalink)   Report Post  
Nils Gustaf Lindgren
 
Posts: n/a
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"Ron Lel" > skrev i meddelandet
...
>
> "Ed Rasimus" > wrote in message
> ...
>> On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 16:05:51 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren"
>> > wrote:
>>
>>>Hello;
>>>These days, with loads of up tempo restos serving a huge number of tapa
>>>sized dishes (as in, "Our 17-course menu degustation"), finding a wine
>>>that
>>>will neatly cover all the said dishes is very close to impossible.

>>
>>>Enter the Wine Menu. A selection of wines by glass, specially chosen by
>>>Our
>>>Wine Waiter/Sommelier/Consultant/A Guy in the Barber Shop Who is Really
>>>interested in Wines ...

>>
>> Forgive me for snipping your horror story, but it is on the verge of
>> becoming the common occurrence worldwide.
>>
>> Two issues ago the Wine Spectator featured the "world's best
>> restaurant"--a small, and therefore very exclusive, place in the
>> Basque hillside a mere two hour mountain drive along treacherous roads
>> from Barcelona. The "big thing" was the incredible creativity of the
>> "world's greatest chef" who had a full blown chemistry lab to build
>> his gastronomic delights.
>>
>> The standard fare was, as you describe, some sort of twenty-plus tapa
>> arrangement created to attack each and every one of the senses (except
>> for the "common".) One course (I couldn't make this up) was the
>> delivery of balloons filled with orange-blossom aroma which the
>> waiters released into the nose of the suitably dazzled patrons. (I
>> wonder if their were accompanying tunes played on the release by
>> controlling the aperture, thereby titillating the ear as well?--Turkey
>> in the Straw, or Fool on the Hill might be apropos.)
>>
>> The lab was busy building a polyester "cream" for future dishes--I
>> don't know what Escoffier would think of synthesizing the real natural
>> product.
>>
>> Apparently the trend among the trendiest is foams and gels and
>> non-foods. Frankly, I'm into the now old-school fresh and tasty
>> myself.
>>

> snipped
>> Ed Rasimus
>> Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
>> "When Thunder Rolled"
>> www.thunderchief.org
>> www.thundertales.blogspot.com

>
> I guess this is Ferran Adria's El Bulli. I was thinking of eating there
> this year. You have decidely put me off.



You might look up Mike T´s non-recommendation of EL Builli about a year ago.
Never been there, I definitely respect Mike´s verdict and won´t book a table
any time soon ...

They are even likely to serve the Balxta Ice Wine.

Nils Gustaf


  #18 (permalink)   Report Post  
Nils Gustaf Lindgren
 
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"Bill Loftin" > skrev i meddelandet
news:5O8Pd.23078$Dc.10384@trnddc06...
> Ed Rasimus wrote:
>
>> Next you'll be telling me to stop where the trucks are. My rule of thumb
>> on the road is to try to avoid chains and franchises,
>> but I also never eat at a place called "Mom's". Today, when traveling,
>> the Internet has made it easy to find good
>> dining. Almost every city has a Web page and you'll find the local
>> restaurants listed, usually categorized by ethnicity or style and
>> often with links to the particular establishment's page where you can
>> peruse the menu, wine list, etc. Many even let you make a dinner
>> reservation online. I've seldom gone wrong that way.

>
> I don't like Mom's either. Have you ever heard of the calendar rating
> system. Country restaurants are rated by the number of calendars they
> have hanging behind the cash register. Try that on the back roads of
> Colorado Ed.
>
> I traveled for 20 years and often found myself in cities that I did
> not know a thing about. I discovered the fundamental theorem of travel
> dinning the hard way. So here is the number one thing. Never, never
> ask the desk clerk in a hotel where the best restaurant in town is.


An old tip when travelling by car in France was to follow the next big truck
when lunch time rolled around. You di not end up in a very gourmet place,
but got good grub in vast amounts att affordable prices. Never tested,
believe those days be gone.

Cheers

Nils Gustaf

--
Respond to nils dot lindgren at drchips dot se


  #19 (permalink)   Report Post  
Emery Davis
 
Posts: n/a
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On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 11:27:25 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren" <nils.lindgren@NOT=
AVALIDADRESS.se> said:

] "Bill Loftin" > skrev i meddelandet=20
] news:5O8Pd.23078$Dc.10384@trnddc06...
] > Ed Rasimus wrote:
] >
] >> Next you'll be telling me to stop where the trucks are. My rule of th=
umb=20
] >> on the road is to try to avoid chains and franchises,
] >> but I also never eat at a place called "Mom's". Today, when traveling,=
=20
] >> the Internet has made it easy to find good
] >> dining. Almost every city has a Web page and you'll find the local
] >> restaurants listed, usually categorized by ethnicity or style and
] >> often with links to the particular establishment's page where you can
] >> peruse the menu, wine list, etc. Many even let you make a dinner
] >> reservation online. I've seldom gone wrong that way.
] >
] > I don't like Mom's either. Have you ever heard of the calendar rating
] > system. Country restaurants are rated by the number of calendars they
] > have hanging behind the cash register. Try that on the back roads of
] > Colorado Ed.
] >
] > I traveled for 20 years and often found myself in cities that I did
] > not know a thing about. I discovered the fundamental theorem of travel
] > dinning the hard way. So here is the number one thing. Never, never
] > ask the desk clerk in a hotel where the best restaurant in town is.
]=20
] An old tip when travelling by car in France was to follow the next big tr=
uck=20
] when lunch time rolled around. You di not end up in a very gourmet place,=
=20
] but got good grub in vast amounts att affordable prices. Never tested,=20
] believe those days be gone.
]=20

Nope, still a good tip, at least in Normandy. There aren't a lot of good g=
ourmet
restaurants around here -- although within an hour's radius there are plent=
y --
and in fact 2 of the best are truck stops. The food is decent, _very_ copi=
ous,
locally sourced, and wine is included. Your choice, red, white or pink.

Not exactly a tasting menu with wine, however!

Adele and I ate many years ago at the "Carr=E9 de Feuillant" (if I have the=
spelling
right) near the Crillon in Paris. IIRC it was 2 stars at the time. We had=
a very
excellent tasting menu, and although I don't recall the wines in detail, I =
do remember
they were all regional south-west, all good matches, an generally decent to=
better.
What's more, there was none of this "half a glass" nonsense, if we were sti=
ll eating
a course and a glass was empty, it was filled. Very civilized, and has sin=
ce=20
defined for me the correct way to provide "vin inclus".

Ed thanks for the great story featuring polyesther cream. I actually just =
read
about a sushi chef who was serving paper maki, sprayed with "essence" of
fish and seaweed. Sometimes I wish I was really wealthy, to go to such a=20
place and laugh at the irony of it all. But given the weight of my wallet =
I'll
just have to give it the miss. Too bad.

-E

--=20
Emery Davis
You can reply to
by removing the well known companies
  #20 (permalink)   Report Post  
congokid
 
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In message >, Ron Lel
> writes

>I guess this is Ferran Adria's El Bulli. I was thinking of eating there this
>year. You have decidely put me off.


I've just returned from a week in Barcelona, and had been reading about
this one.

Unfortunately, though I'd thought of it, I hadn't followed through and
booked the necessary weeks/months in advance to eat in the city's best
restaurants (eg, Gaig) so they were fully booked up when I called the
day before. Note to self - book the restaurants well in advance of my
next visit.

I can however fully recommend Roig Robí on Séneca.

--
congokid
Good restaurants in London? Number one on Google
http://congokid.com


  #21 (permalink)   Report Post  
congokid
 
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In message >, Nils Gustaf
Lindgren > writes

>An old tip when travelling by car in France was to follow the next big truck
>when lunch time rolled around. You di not end up in a very gourmet place,
>but got good grub in vast amounts att affordable prices. Never tested,
>believe those days be gone.


You'll also hear it said in London that you should eat in the places
frequented by cab drivers, though I've never really been convinced of
this.

--
congokid
Good restaurants in London? Number one on Google
http://congokid.com
  #22 (permalink)   Report Post  
congokid
 
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In message <5O8Pd.23078$Dc.10384@trnddc06>, Bill Loftin
> writes

>I traveled for 20 years and often found myself in cities that I did
>not know a thing about. I discovered the fundamental theorem of travel
>dinning the hard way. So here is the number one thing. Never, never
>ask the desk clerk in a hotel where the best restaurant in town is.


I have tried that in Monte Rio, but luckily the pair who ran the motel
resort that I stayed in had some taste and a sound local knowledge of
good restaurants. Cape Fear in Duncans Mills was one, though I don't
think it's there anymore.

Agreed, it probably doesn't work like that everywhere.

--
congokid
Good restaurants in London? Number one on Google
http://congokid.com
  #23 (permalink)   Report Post  
jcoulter
 
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Bill Loftin > wrote in news:5O8Pd.23078$Dc.10384
@trnddc06:



> I traveled for 20 years and often found myself in cities that I did
> not know a thing about. I discovered the fundamental theorem of travel
> dinning the hard way. So here is the number one thing. Never, never
> ask the desk clerk in a hotel where the best restaurant in town is.
>


But I have had great luck asking where they would eat if they were going
out to dinner. Found a really good Thai place in Copenhagen that way.
  #24 (permalink)   Report Post  
Ed Rasimus
 
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:56:49 +0000, congokid
> wrote:

>In message >, Ron Lel
> writes
>
>>I guess this is Ferran Adria's El Bulli. I was thinking of eating there this
>>year. You have decidely put me off.

>
>I've just returned from a week in Barcelona, and had been reading about
>this one.
>
>Unfortunately, though I'd thought of it, I hadn't followed through and
>booked the necessary weeks/months in advance to eat in the city's best
>restaurants (eg, Gaig) so they were fully booked up when I called the
>day before. Note to self - book the restaurants well in advance of my
>next visit.
>
>I can however fully recommend Roig Robí on Séneca.


I've found that if you are staying in one of the top end hotels that
they can make your dinner reservations for you when you book your
room, and a good concierge can often perform miracles at the last
minute if you are a bit flexible in your preferences.

The internet has been a real boon to those who are compulsive
planners, like me, when it comes to exploring the restaurants
available on an upcoming trip. It doesn't apply to business travel,
but when I'm "recreating", it's paid big dividends.

I've also had mixed experiences with hotel clerk recommendations, one
that I still remember 20 years later was in Geneva where the desk
clerk at L'Or du Rhone recommended a great Italian eatery about four
blocks from the hotel--great meal and a romantic walk to and from!

Recently I've had good luck asking waiters in a restaurant, "if you
weren't able to eat here, where else in town would you go for a
special meal?" You might want to read about my Durango experience on
my web page where "da Godfather" gave me some pointers--and, two out
of three were excellent.


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
www.thunderchief.org
www.thundertales.blogspot.com
  #25 (permalink)   Report Post  
Bill Loftin
 
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congokid wrote:

> I have tried that in Monte Rio, but luckily the pair who ran the motel
> resort that I stayed in had some taste and a sound local knowledge of
> good restaurants. Cape Fear in Duncans Mills was one, though I don't
> think it's there anymore.


Cape Fear was still there in November.
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