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#106 balex

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 08:57 PM

We did not go for the tasting menu but ordered from the carte.

We had some ham to start off with; then the vegetable salad with seafood, then hake wrapped in iberico pork, and then wild rabbit, then some apple pie.

 

The hake was really extremely good; I assume some sous-vide, then wrapped in pork and finished on the grill. Extremely tasty.

The wild rabbit was not good -- lievre a la royale but not lievre and the rabbit was dry (a sort of ballotine stuffed with foie).



#107 Chambolle

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 09:58 AM

We did not go for the tasting menu but ordered from the carte ...

then the vegetable salad with seafood, then hake wrapped in iberico pork, and then wild rabbit, then some apple pie.

The hake was really extremely good; I assume some sous-vide ...

The wild rabbit was not good -- lievre a la royale but not lievre and the rabbit was dry (a sort of ballotine stuffed with foie).

 

Ordering the tasting menu is the right call at Martin B in my opinion ... by a long shot.

 

You get very nice sized portions on that tasting menu, hence you definitely have experienced the dish ... and the overall ceremony flows very nicely.

 

Further I just don't think that any of their mains are individually captivating enough to be worth 70+ euros.

 

That's true for most high-end places in the world unfortunately.

 

I seriously doubt that the hake was cooked sous-vide. It's not impossible but I would be quite surprised because that's not the way it's done all across northern Spain or in any resto worth its salt. Northern Spain has a long tradition of cooking hake that results in perfect doneness and great, juicy moisture.

 

And yes, I had the rabbit. I was using lievre with liberties to imply the a la royale.

 

Re dry, that's why the French use lievre in season. It's a bigger beast and slightly less prone to dry, even if many French lievre a l R from very good houses are a bit dry nonetheless ! Hence, more sauce please !!!

 

The most expensive meal of the trip and we enjoyed it less than Ibai or Extxebarri. 

 

Indeed Martin B will be more expensive than Ibai and a bit more expensive (20%-ish) than Etxe on an apples-to-apples compare.

 

And I am of the same mind as you re the "enjoyment" ranking ... mainly because Martin B isn't how we eat nowadays for the most part.

 

But in fairness, these are completely different beasts for different purposes and hence in my mind, they don't compete against each other.

 

Ibai is a lunch place in a basement with no decor / design, so-so service by the cook's wife (yes, she's nice enough ... I'm just stating facts, not really complaining ... except when she sits down at a table of friends for 10+ minutes and you can't get her attention when your wine glass is empty ...) that serves very tasty, non-chef-y food.

 

Etxe is (for the most part) a lunch spot in the middle of the sticks that also buys very nice product and (for the most part) places it on a wood-fueled grill and cooks it with great skill and finesse. Easier said than done. The room and service is indeed quite appropriate and done with class.

 

Martin B is a full-blown, chef-driven gastronomic restaurant that offers an elegant dinner in a refined setting with superb, choreographed service.

 

If anything, Martin B competes with Akelare and MB is much better than Akelare ... although I'd go to Akelare for lunch before dinner because of the fantastic view ... but I'm not heading back to Akelare any time soon.

 

These are very different beasts ... but as I said and I repeat - I agree with your enjoyment ranking ... but it substantially depends on the people involved and the situation at hand.

 

This is the way I think about restos and why I usually don't answer these "Where should I eat in such-n-such-a-city ? " questions. (But if you need a lunch between the Vatican Museums and St Peters, you have go to Pizzarium ! )

 

For me, it is totally about who are you with, what's the occasion, what type of meal do you want, what price point, what service style, is it lunch or dinner and on and on and on ...

 

Not that I am into rankings but this restaurant was ranked #1 European restaurant by Opinionated About Dining in 2015.

 
Azurmendi is an excellent restaurant, full point. I have no further interest in ranking it but it ain't #1 in the world.
 
As you can tell from the preceding, I'm not into NONSENSICAL rankings along the lines of :   Who's the best - Serena Williams or Alex Rodrigeuz or Tom Brady or LeBron James ?
 
Those who think that this is a question of great interest and that the answer can be better determined via methodology are either wildly confused or self-absorbed. 
 
If you want to say "Here are a hundred good restaurants to consider if you like fine dining in Europe" then fine.
 
But in what ludicrous, Alice-in-Wonderland world does saying In de Wulf (which is shutting down shortly) and Quique DaCosta are better than Louis XV and l'Ambroisie which are better than Tickets and Pure C (which is excellent by the way and chef Syrco should be getting top billing even if he is leveraging Sergio's brand name ... note that they just re-did seaside space and re-opened it) which are better than Elkano HAVE ANY MEANING WHATSOEVER !
 
I'll answer my question.
 
In a world of simplistic, superficial fools who need numerical rankings to organize their life. It's the same sad people who think they know a little something and go around spouting which years in Burgundy (all of Burgundy, mind you ! or maybe the REAL sophisticated ones have a Cote de Beaune and a Cote de Nuits number) were the good ones and they have a number to sum up that year for you ... like 95 or 90 or 88 on a scale of 100. Frankly, this is helpful to me because whenever I hear someone say this sort of stuff with any seriousness I immediately know that they know NOTHING about which they are talking. 
 
 
Once you move to restos 51-100, the OA list starts to become a total joke ! Numerous Paris restos listed are indeed MEDIOCRE fine dining places ! Numerous important restos are MIA !
 
Throughout the entire list, they simply don't know that Spain (ex-Basque, ex-Madrid, ex-SP) even exists ! Amazing !
 
It's a bunch of people all chasing each other's tail in cities they prefer to visit ... or cities that SP tells them to.
 
And no, no names will be forthcoming from Chambo. They can continue their own useless work on their own.
 
I'm done with this topic.


#108 joethefoodie

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 12:08 PM

This is the way I think about restos and why I usually don't answer these "Where should I eat in such-n-such-a-city ? " questions. (But if you need a lunch between the Vatican Museums and St Peters, you have go to Pizzarium ! )

 

For me, it is totally about who are you with, what's the occasion, what type of meal do you want, what price point, what service style, is it lunch or dinner and on and on and on ...

 

I can't believe it...Chambo approved...

 

26916508070_b2e15ceb3b_z.jpg

 

And I totally agree as well, with the 2nd sentiment I quoted above.



#109 Sneakeater

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 03:51 PM

+1 re numerical rankings and lists.


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#110 voyager

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 04:32 PM

+1 re numerical rankings and lists.

 

Absolutely.  And overall, a balanced and very useful commentary.


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#111 mitchells

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 06:24 PM

 

+1 re numerical rankings and lists.

 

Absolutely.  And overall, a balanced and very useful commentary.

 

 

I listened to Chambo for mostly all our "big" meals (except for one) and that one was our only disappointment.



All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

#112 Chambolle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 02:50 PM

Azurmendi is an excellent restaurant, full point. I have no further interest in ranking it but it ain't #1 in the world.

 

The power that Chambo has even scares him de temps en temps ...mais pas vraiment.

 

His word from above is heard and acted upon the very next day.

 

Azurmendi banished from the top.

 

That is power, my friends. And only the righteous should wield it. And so I do.

 

My reaction to the news ... YAWN.

 

I'm more impressed with me and my powers.

 

Self-absorbed, you mutter ? Nope, just being realistic. I call 'em the way I see 'em.

 

 



#113 Orik

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 03:41 PM

Yup. No matter how much money Plotz pours into his failing venture, it is no replacement for good taste. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#114 Adrian

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:28 PM

Here is the defense:

These lists are awful insofar as they have substantive effects, but as a ranking agnostic compendium of very good restaurants they are fine (but where is the pacaud family this year) and a high ranking can bring something new to your attention (what is la marine? Looks interesting. Never would have come to mind, but possibly a helpful thing when researching a trip).

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#115 Chambolle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:35 PM

but where is the pacaud family this year

 

 

They went the way of Louis XV ... banished out of the top 200 !

 

Daniel Rose sprung ahead of them to #150.

 

Neige d'Ete rises into the top 100 and dumped so much snow on la famille Pacaud that they are a total no show !

 

 



#116 voyager

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:42 PM

Yup. No matter how much money Plotz pours into his failing venture, it is no replacement for good taste. 

These lists are valuable to those who need to have recognizable talking points when they get home.    And it keeps those people together as a group rather than salting them throughout better but less known places.   


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#117 voyager

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 05:06 PM


Daniel Rose sprung ahead of them to #150.

 

Neige d'Ete rises into the top 100 ...

 

 

No surprises there...


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#118 Chambolle

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:12 PM

Here is the defense: These lists are awful insofar as they have substantive effects, but as a ranking agnostic compendium of very good restaurants they are fine

 

I know you like me ... and I like you too, Adrian ... but why are you repeating me ?   ...

 

If you want to say "Here are a hundred good restaurants to consider if you like fine dining in Europe" then fine.

 

Those who can do, do. Those who can't, teach. Those can't teach, administrate. Those who can't even administrate, make stupid ranked lists.

 

And please note that Chambo ain't above reading lists.

 

I'll look it over, ROTFL, get back in my chair, repeat that about 10-15 times and then I'll find a new name or two to add to THE MASTER DOCUMENT* ... the 3-ring notebook to rule them all !

 

These additions can come in handy in a pinch as I roam the world amazingly aimlessly and attempt to fight every fire, battle every beast and resist every revolution in an effort to keep the entire Empire intact AND still eat well.

 

It's NOT as easy as it sounds ... but I'm a modern day Hadrian, Adrian ! You know that, right ?

 

What additions, you ask ?

 

La Peca #155, for example.

 

Off topic ...

 

Chambo has Le Calandre on his calendar in a week or so (me and Mad Max have some unfinished business from a few months ago to attend to) and if I can sneak La Peca into an open slot (in my schedule) before roaming and rampaging drunk in the Italo-Slovenian hills in order to beat back the barbarians that are threatening to storm the gates of Rome and take taion prisoner (the things I do for him that he doesn't realize ... ) then that could be a pleasurable Italian interlude ... but it's going to be very difficult because the legions are in great difficulty there and in Istria. Therefore my leadership skills are required in all places almost immediately. They are demanding that Chambo assume direct operational control of the general command. 

 

Adrian, here's a Chambo life lesson for you on becoming an emperor ...

 

It is the fearless, the courageous, the crazed but not crazy, the mostly mad but not to the max, the out of control who are in total control, the reckless yet lucky (because they MAKE their own luck !), the visionary who the blind follow with their eyes wide open WHO RULE and OWN THE WORLD !

 

And you have to know how to make friends, my friend, and look people in the eye and be convincing.

 

The best of them THEN SELL IT AT THE TOP OF THE MARKET to Nirvana for nirvana. 

 

And the truly ambitious among these type-A emperor types immediately put together a strategy to buy it back for a song and a dance.

 

That's the secret ... so now it's just a simple matter of execution ...

 

 

 

* Nope, it's not available for public consumption

 

what is la marine?

 

La marine is the navy, Adrian. You cannot be a global superpower without a global navy. Trust me on this. It's my field of expertise.

 

La Marine is also a French resto. It's fine for fish but wildly misplaced on that list. Trust me on this. It's my field of expertise.

 

How am I supposed to run an empire amid such administrative chaos ! Adrian, how are your administrative skills ...



#119 Adrian

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 05:30 PM

Administrative skills? If you're willing to pay my hourly, they're superb but I think there's a better use of your ample resources. Thanks for the life advise too - though I'm pretty sure that it's not grunge but hip hop that was bought and sold to make that opinionated list.

But lists are fun. And some judges, on some lists, take their jobs very seriously. I should know. Now, I really need to get around to posting about Alo, which I recommend you add to your notebook...

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#120 taion

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 03:11 PM

Aren't ranking lists sort of like quant models in that they're wrong, but still potentially useful (if you don't take them too seriously?).


I didn't tip at Per Se either.