« A truly fine meal is enjoyed not once but three times, in anticipation, in consumption, and in remembrance »
As you might know, I love food, and I love Excel (yes, Excel!), and as such I have a very strong tendency to record, rate and recommend all my favorite restaurants and bars using spreadsheets. (Happy to share them with you, current ‘shareable’ spreadsheets are Paris and London, still working on NY, Dubai and Marrakesh!)
I recently decided that the only missing feature to my little notes was a map, so I could look up what in my favorites or to do list was close by if I was in an area.
Of course, Google having a response to (pretty much) everything, you can create your maps using « My Places » in Google Maps. So here is my Paris Shortlist, in blue are my shortlisted places and in red my to-do list!
Any suggestions please comment on this article and I will gladly add it to my map (even better if you want to go and try it out with me!).
View Ambrouille’s Paris Shortlist in a larger map
Sometimes, you come across some stuff on the internet, in this case- a company, and think, « WTF, that’s exactly what I should be doing! ». This happened to me recently when i came across Supersec, a company that sells dehydrated products (mushrooms mostly) online.
Seems very simple, but I love the idea. And yes, I love mushrooms.
Before the dictatorship of fresh, seasonal products such as mushrooms were subject to specific treatments for their conservation. These treatments used traditional techniques made available by the environment: ash, salt, smoke, sun, wind, cold…
Drying is a very effective technique: while it prevents the decomposition process in a lasting way; it also allows an optimal restoration of the taste and nutrients of the treated product.
Therefore we can keep some species that are particularly fragile and/or virtually impossible to find fresh on market stalls. This is the case for the « coprin chevelu », the « amanite des césars » or the « coulemelle ». (French names for these mushrooms, I did try to translate, but it just sounds absurd!)
Their special texture, concentration of flavors and aromas, and the ease and diversity of their use makes it a unique culinary experience.
The uncertain level of quality and constant increase in prices of wild mushroom, their probable cost to the environment, and traceability problems therefore urged the Supersec guys to seek new resources: remove the water. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
It takes between 12 and 20 kgs of fresh mushrooms to make 1 kilo of dried mushrooms, reducing thus substantially the energy cost associated with their transportation.
When dried under good conditions and directly in the hours after picking, they retain their aromatic and nutritious potential, and do not deteriorate during transportation.
Mushrooms contain between 80 and 95% water that dilutes both their flavor and nutritional potential. By eliminating this water, taste and nutritional values become incredibly (and wonderfully) concentrated.
Their mushrooms are picked and dried in northern Greece, 200 kms from Thessaloniki, in the natural parks of the prefectures of West Macedonia, between 500 and 1500 m altitude.
So they’ll dry that up for you, and even give you recipes so you know what to do with these dried treasure!
Voila, go for it, and if you can’t be bothered to order and cook by yourself, then run to their Cafe des Spores in Brussels!
Zagat Blog has just published a list of 10 annoying restaurant trends.
While I do not agree that all of them I really relevant (but then, maybe I haven’t been to a lot of trendy annoying places!), here are a few I liked:
Dogs in Cafes/Outdoor Restaurants
Sometime during the early aughts, toting around your dog in your purse became acceptable social behavior (along with texting during dinner and talking about Twilight). As a result, it seems more and more restaurants started bending health code rules to please overly entitled « pooch pushers » who insist on dragging their smelly mutts around with them 24/7. Don’t get us wrong, we love animals (I don’t), we just don’t need to eat dinner next to them (definitely not). Still not convinced that this trend has gone too far? There are restaurants now offering doggy menus. (Is this a joke?)
Overzealous Wine Pouring
If there’s one thing we definitely don’t need help with, it’s pouring our own alcohol. We hate when servers are constantly topping off our glasses (clearly in an effort to sell more booze) when they’re already mostly full – leaving our wine/beer to get warm and stale in the process.
While bigger, fewer ice cubes help keep drinks cool without watering them down, we’re really not a fan of those giant ice blocks that knock against our teeth as we’re sipping. Also note to restaurants – no one needs an ice cube in the shape of a dodecahedron.
Enormous Wine Glasses
What’s with the humongo glasses? We realize a bigger glass makes for tastier wine, blah blah blah, but when the table is barely 12 in. across, those gigantic wine glasses leave little room for the more important stuff – the food! Plus, using bigger glasses makes the wine pours looks smaller, which can’t be a good thing in terms of pleasing customers.
Ketchup Snobbery (love this one)
We don’t care if your homemade ketchup was hand-squished from eight different types of artisanal heirloom tomatoes. With a burger and fries, just give us good old-fashioned Heinz. « A » for effort, guys, but we cringe hearing things like this: “Oh, we don’t have ketchup but we do have our homemade organic red pepper jam.” Um, no. We also hate when a restaurant is too snobby to provide regular ketchup at all! Meanwhile they’re serving burgers, fries and other commonly ketchup-ed items. Lame.
Sparkling, Flat or Filtered Tap?
Is this a trick question? We realize that the dreaded water question must be asked – but seriously, there’s gotta be a better way to phrase it, because restaurants that make their servers say this seem to be trying to trick their customers into ordering a pricey bottle of water. If we want bottled water, we know how to ask for it.
Hier nous sommes allés diner dans le patio du Ralph’s, le restaurant de la nouvelle boutique phare de Ralph Lauren, installé dans un ancien hôtel particulier construit en 1683.
A l’honneur, hospitalité et cuisine dans la pure tradition américaine!
Petites amandes tiedes et sucrés au Romarain, frites grassement croustillantes, le crabcake (Maryland-Style Lump Crab Cake, qui joue le jeu du fondant-croquant – a tomber…), traditional burger et bien entendu un petit florilege de desserts a partager (Cheesecake, Brownies, Key Lime Pie…), le tout arrosé de vins délicieux, nous sommes sortis de la repus, fatigués, heureux, et avec la sensation d’avoir fait une folie, mais quel régal…
Le cadre est magnifique et les gens adorables, certes ce n’est pas donné mais le lendemain vous n’avez quasiment plus besoin de manger!
173 boulevard St Germain
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