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yvonne johnson

Member Since 09 Mar 2004
Offline Last Active Mar 25 2017 05:07 PM

#1317128 Currently Reading...

Posted by yvonne johnson on 30 December 2014 - 12:34 AM

Anything by Jonathan Coe. A very fine writer. And funny too. I don't think many can match him.

#1264529 The Neptune (One Michelin star), Old Hunstanton, Norfolk

Posted by yvonne johnson on 30 November 2013 - 10:11 PM

Stayed here last weekend, and was delighted all round. Owners Kevin and Jacki Mangeolles do a marvellous job being hosts and deal with the organization of the small restaurant (seats around 25?), rooms, and hospitality with aplomb. The meal was truly satisfying: hard to describe, but it was measured with precision in terms of flavors (not confusing or fussy, yet you didn't get tired of eating more). Unlike some tasting menus where you get tired out and the meal goes downhill after a few courses, this managed to fire on all cylinders with the venison dish. Highly recommended. Lovely part of the country too.


Iced Ginger & Lemon Grass Tea (This was a lovely opening--served in tiny pot with tiny cups)

Beetroot Biscuit Spiced Crab (Crab was out of this world. Glyn even liked --what's the world coming to?--the beetroot biscuit)

Baked Aura Potato, Cream Cheese & Caviar (G. found this a little filling tho it was only around a 1/4 of a baked potato

Leek custard, potato chips (If we had to quibble this was the least successful dish--the custard seemed a bit too thick)

Loin of Holkham Venison, Fresh Chestnut, Celeriac  Purée (as I said above, just fab)

Delice De Crémières, Beetroot Meringue (By this time G had had enough of beets, but I ate it all), Walnut Croutons (Wow, what great cheese. Must track this down.)

Pre-dessert (Lovely coffee trifle type of thing)

Chocolate Sphere, Walnut Ice Cream, Warm Chocolate Sauce (Sauce was poured over and the spaceship sphere fell in on itself--cute)



#1234835 Copenhagen

Posted by yvonne johnson on 23 May 2013 - 02:12 PM

Spent most of last week in Copenhagen with an old friend. Overall, I thought the food was very good.



This was my favorite meal.


Scallop / Spring Cabbage / Mustard / Cress


Cod / Cucumber / Horseradish / Seaweed


Fennel / Høost / Capers / Parsley


Veal Flank / Onion / More Onion


Rhubarb / Beetroot / Malt / Milk


Five courses 400 dkk

Three courses 300 dkk


The baby scallops were sweet and beautifully seared; the cabbage and mustard lightened the dish. The cod dish was cold (on purpose) and delicate. I could’ve eaten a huge plate of the fennel on its own—it was done just right and so richly satisfying. The veal came in thin long strips, with a light sauce that I can’t recall, and just the right sized portion. The dessert was refreshing and not sweet at all with interesting chunks of baked beetroot along with poached rhubarb.


Nice walk too from city center through Frederiksberg residential area to get to it.


Manfred’s & Vin

In a trendy street in the Nørrebro district (that bears a strong resemblance to Park Slope), it does what’s considered, I guess, somewhat stereotypical modern Nordic cuisine. We went for the 7 small plates to share plus a dish of the simply steamed or boiled crayfish (a special) which were small but flavorsome. All 7 dishes were surprises created by the chef, and split came to $43 per person. There was lots of food.


The highlights for me were:


Smashed beetroot served alongside goat’s cheese with a separate green salad with nasturtium and their lightly pickled seeds (I especially took to the latter).


Oven baked onions with new garlic


Another green salad with cod roe


Potatoes (seemed fried) and root veg with poached egg


Less successful, we thought, was a light but at the same time mushy pork terrine with horseradish and cucumber on top.


On being moved inside at 9 PM prompt (regulations), we then had slow cooked beef in a parsley sauce. Beef was nicely cooked and tender, but didn’t rock my boat.


It was interesting and largely very good, but nothing had a wow factor. Great walk around Assistens Kirkegard before dinner; on a par with Père Lachaise, me thinks.


Sister restaurant that looked a little more formal is across the street and called Relae. (See Rail Paul mentions above.)



Nimb Brasserie

Went here on my final day by myself. It was all very quiet on a lovely sunny day and I had a table by open French doors overlooking the Tivoli Gardens. I’m pretty sure the menu on the website is accurate:


Fried foie gras with poached rhubarb, Madeira sauce and Madagascar pepper


Fried chicken breast with carrots, beets & chicken sauce with hearts


Glass of champagne Deutz Brut and glass of Barbera d’Ruvei, plus side of new pots, and a bottle Hildon water all came to 82 Euros ($106) inclu service. The meal was somewhat predictable, but the food was very well executed. The chicken breast (French cut) was especially juicy and falvoursome.


Restaurant l'Alsace

Just came across it in the Strogot shopping district. Has a pretty outside garden, but the food (for me, plaice with new potatoes) was lackluster. A rhubarb tart was fine.


Also lackluster was a steak in Nyhavn, but didn’t have high hopes in this touristy area. Salt looked very promising but my friend doesn’t care for sweetbreads and game (chiz).



I recommend Café Oven Vande in Christianshavn. My sandwich, Parma ham, avocado, artichoke, arugula, and salsa romesco 
was delicious. Good starting off point before walking around Christiania—I didn’t think I’d be so taken with this long-standing hippie community but it was fascinating and beautiful. 


[Cafe In Malmo (day trip to Sweden—highly recommend Malmo and just ½ hr from Copenhagen by train)

Lilla Kafferosteriet (Baltzarsgatan 24A).

Scrumptious open sandwiches: roast beef on brown bread with remoulade on top as described by Sneak upthread (tinged yellow coz of the turmeric).]



Guldsmeden Carlton in the Vesterbro area (people say up and coming district of Copenhagen) is quirky and the recently refurbished bedrooms are mainly Asian in design. Liked it a lot and handy for station.

#1232551 The New Yorker

Posted by yvonne johnson on 07 May 2013 - 04:57 PM

I've really been enjoying the John McPhee pieces on the craft of writing. I'm nowhere near his echelon, but I spend of lot of my work day writing, and it's comforting to know read about the struggles other face. Without a doubt I'm going to take his suggestion to look at the dictionary rather than thesaurus next time I'm hunting for a specific word/turn of phrase.


I found that last piece a little disturbing.  There's a risk he'll give the impression that poring over a dictionary to improve specific words and phrases in a fourth draft is something expected of writers.


I should think it's a very rare practice indeed.

Not read the articles. But improving on words and phraseology in a 4th draft? I'd have thought that might lead to stilted writing. Maybe more people do this than I'd imagined and that explains why some sentences leap off the page as just wrong.

#1215387 Game

Posted by yvonne johnson on 30 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

I still can't get over how lovely the butchers, bakers and other shops are. I go around Norfolk on my days off exploring (in my little Fiat 500) and it seems every little village has wonderful butchers. We have at least 3 butchers (one within walking distance) that have sausages and bacon that are out this world and a huge range of game and they can tell you which farmer they come from.

Are you in a more suburban area?  Where a large percentage of people actually cook dinner most nights?

Around 8 miles outside of Norwich (pop 140,000) and you'd probably say we're in the deepest countryside; the villages around us have 4-5 thousand (the larger ones) to 900 people. I get the feeling people cook most nights. Pub grub is pretty good to fancy in some places, but I don't think people would go out most nights in a week.


Eta: Another angle is if you lived in Norwich town center, you could eat out every night, but you'd get pretty bored pretty soon.

#1210671 Norwich

Posted by yvonne johnson on 14 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

There's some very, very decent food here, but not at too many places.

Roger Hickman's

Been three times now (first time around 15-20 years ago). We had a very good Game Dinner some weeks ago. Lovely venison, partridge, and the amuses of crab were delightfully light. Can't remember all of the courses, but I finished every single thing; the portions were absolutely right.


The Last Wine Bar

I love this place. There's some serious stuff going on in this kitchen. A special I recently had was a whole plaice with new potatoes. Up there with J. Sheekey.

The Last Brasserie

New sister restaurant of the Last Wine Bar. Solid food, maybe needs to diversify the menu. (Or maybe we went too often in quick succession.)


The Mulberry

A very good gastro-pub. I tend to like it more than G. Very good burgers, pates, sausages. The staff are incredibly nice.

The Parson Woodforde

Another gastro-pub (it also has a restaurant attached) around 8 miles outside Norwich. This is ambitious and they pull it off. For example, Pan Fried Pigeon Breast, Black Pudding, Sticky Apricots, Juniper & Pea Shoots--and it worked. This is our new local. They have a new chef, Eden Derrick, formerly of the Mad Moose gastro pub--went there around 4 months ago and it was very good too, probably under his leadership.

#1164358 Notes from a Parisite

Posted by yvonne johnson on 14 October 2011 - 04:45 PM

I'd have thought using language with precision would have been right up Maurice's street.

#1158061 10th anniversary of 9/11

Posted by yvonne johnson on 08 September 2011 - 07:56 PM

The 9/11 tapes make for very depressing listening in today's NYT. The fact that many people in traffic control saw this as a training exercise is especially poignant.
These last few days I can't tune into WNYC because it seems like a lot of phone-in shows are reminiscences of 9/11 and I don't want to go thu it again.

#1079113 one for mongo

Posted by yvonne johnson on 14 March 2010 - 08:56 PM

"The largest meat-eating plant in the world is designed not to eat small animals, but small animal poo.
Botanists have discovered that the giant montane pitcher plant of Borneo has a pitcher the exact same size as a tree shrew's body.
But it is not this big to swallow up mammals such as tree shrews or rats.
Instead, the pitcher uses tasty nectar to attract tree shrews, then ensures its pitcher is big enough to collect the feeding mammal's droppings."

Lovely pics.

#1078955 Edinburgh and Glasgow in Spring

Posted by yvonne johnson on 13 March 2010 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE(ghostrider @ Mar 13 2010, 04:41 PM) View Post
QUOTE(yvonne johnson @ Mar 13 2010, 04:37 PM) View Post
Probably not a great time to visit Leith. I heard it's got trendy.

Oh no! Is there a New Leith Cuisine?

Yes, it's called Banana Flats.

More about.

#1045605 Fat Duck

Posted by yvonne johnson on 12 September 2009 - 12:55 AM

QUOTE(Carolyn Tillie @ Sep 11 2009, 07:46 PM) View Post
I'm still on the fence whether I should go there in a few weeks.

I wouldn't eat there if it's within a 24-74 period of your flight when you might be strapped into your airline seat without easy access to a loo.
eta: But then again it appears the whole restaurant has been bleached clean.

#1036427 Julia Child and All That

Posted by yvonne johnson on 04 August 2009 - 08:21 PM

Might it be that those in suburbia who go to the mall once a week for their shopping bring down the average shopping time considerably?

#908294 Vitamin supplements may shorten life

Posted by yvonne johnson on 16 April 2008 - 01:40 PM

"The trials involved 233,000 people who were either sick or were healthy and taking supplements for disease prevention.
After various factors were taken into account and a further 20 studies excluded, the researchers linked vitamin A supplements to a 16% increased risk of dying, beta-carotene to a 7% increased risk and vitamin E to a 4% increased risk.
Vitamin C did not appear to have any effect one way or the other, and the team said more work was needed into this supplement - as well as into selenium."

Story here.
Another story here.--ETA: I wonder why today's article is breaking news when the results look a year old?

#878757 Crossing paths with the famous

Posted by yvonne johnson on 21 January 2008 - 01:34 AM

QUOTE(splinky @ Jan 20 2008, 07:44 PM) View Post
QUOTE(yvonne johnson @ Jan 20 2008, 07:33 PM) View Post
Doc Martens. The mundane.

Reminds me...This is true...When we had Professor Ian Mcdonald, "Ambassador for British neurology", round for dinner he and I spoke about ironing. It was fascinating (honest).

was he for or against?


Sad to think of him. He had a stroke in his early 70s and died, just recently.

Oh, another one. He had a garden party and one of the guests fell down the stairs. I saw Prof Mcdonald take out the yellow pages and look up, saying, "er what's it called, under A...., right, ambulance".

#878622 Crossing paths with the famous

Posted by yvonne johnson on 20 January 2008 - 10:29 PM

Within the last 6 months or so, I've been walking down the street, with a narrow pavement, and Steven Spielberg in a group of adults and children has been coming up. Both times, I caught his eye and smiled and kind of nodded. He has nodded back. He seems like such a nice man, but I can't stand his movies.

Who've you seen?