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Robert Brown

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Everything posted by Robert Brown

  1. While I think of it, when one of maitres d'hotel of that #1 San Pellegrino restaurant Can Roca schlepped me, as they do with everyone, through itd odorless kitchen four years ago, he took great pride in showing me a large metal bowl filled with dirt. I asked him if he was sous-viding dirt. His answered proudly in the affirmative. I am guessing that Kinch glommed on because dirt is the ultimate cheap ingredient. More later.
  2. Pecaud at L'Ambroisie until rather recently offered a duck pie. Our old pal Vedat Milor had him make it for a small group of us in the private dining room at the restaurant. Unfortunately it came out soggy. Not that long ago the New Yorker had Daniel Boulud make an old "en croute" Lyonnais dish that just looked sensational. It made me realize how phony- boloney this universal plate arrangement is with its stood-up chives and chops, etc. It doesn't make anything look appetizing, especially compared to what you see in Larousse or Curnonsky. For something more accessible, the movie "Haute Cuisine
  3. When I was studying communications research, the Dean of the school was a distinguished scholar in the field named George Gerbner. In his classes, he liked to say that to study television programs, movies, comic strips and just about anything else in the mass media, you needed whatever it was to be “grasped and retained”. This meant that all the things we like here such as restaurants, produce, wine, beer, etc. have to be discussed and analyzed indirectly, although there is certainly plenty available to study these areas for, to cite an example, historians of the Annales school who instead of
  4. My beef with Irving Berlin is that he could only compose in one key and many of his songs are sappy. "Night and Day" is my favorite standard. It stirs or plumbs the emotions more than any song I can think of. My leading criterion for a great song, whether it be from a musical or not, is what do jazz musicians think of it and how often have they recorded it. Of course that says nothing about the words. But don't forget that Cole Porter was the master of ambiguity of double-entendre.
  5. Robert Brown


    I live a block away from Gray's Papaya. I know Gray's Papaya. Shuko is no Gray's Papaya's. "One with" is better than almost any dish I had. I won't even talk about value for money either. I left out what Shuko did to the meat courses. They would have tasted better if they had used Adolph's Meat Tenderizer instead.
  6. To take up Neocon maudit's theme about the preparation of the rabbit, I sent the restaurant an e-mail that reads "Is there some secret way you cook the food?" As always, I look forward to getting a reply (and sharing it with everyone)--something that often doesn't happen when I write these militant kinds of e-mails. On the surface this place looks like another cheap-ingredients, limited-choice place. That's not what I associate with very good classic French restaurants of my experiences. But maybe this Rose guy is a good chef. Then again, he's cooking at a restaurant that isn't owned by a che
  7. How about who you think is the best composer-lyricist team? My favorite in the entire field of the Great American Songbook is Cole Porter.
  8. Robert Brown


    One of the highlights of my year in eating is to get together once or twice with “The Minnesota Foodnuts”, a couple who eat their brains out all over the USA and abroad. We’ve met up in NYC, DC, Chicago, and Nice. It has become tradition that we go to a restaurant most Memorial Day weekends here in New York. I picked the restaurant this time, and based on several very enjoyable meals at Neta when Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau were there, my choice was Shuko, which is where these two chefs decamped. The morning line looked very good: a near-top rating by Wells and nothing but positive opinions here an
  9. Why do companies that have names that describe what they do change them for names that don't?
  10. The blueberry pancakes at the Haven in Lenox are memorable as of three years ago. I am looking forward to see if they are still as good.
  11. Why is it, then, that when you look at the rank-ordered listings on Trip Advisor, often the top-rated place is a pizza joint, a tea room or some other manifestation of an ersatz restaurant? Trip Advisor is a collection mostly of budget diners, backpackers, and gastronomic know-nothings. Still, I use it all the time because its coverage is close to 100% inclusive and provides links to websites where I can go and look at photos and menus which, given that the sense of taste, unlike sight and sound, can't be grasped and retained, will provide me the most "information" possible for me to make an e
  12. I figure not really though. Chambo is a busy lad. I can wait, I'm not leaving for another seven weeks.
  13. I had his 2009 village Gevrey-Chambertin and it had already begun its decline. But Champ-O's namesake was very approachable and delicious, even if it lacked any surprises. I guess I got under his skin--kind of like Elizabeth Warren does to Donald Trump.
  14. Champo, in hommage to your incredible joie de vivre and zest for living, not to mention the suppleness of that amazing brain of yours, we just finished a bottle of 2009 Chambolle-Musigny "Les Grenchiers" of David Duband in your honor. All that was missing was your reommendations for the Beaujolais region as well as for Lyon.
  15. Thanks!! I wrote the shop last week, and in typical French fashion they haven't answered. Thanks again for the tip about taking the TGV to Paris that leaves from Macon. You know your stuff.
  16. Champ-O, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to spend on me when you are frantically trying to complete the next great American ex-pat novel. I will appreciate hearing about places in and around the Beaujolais area. Lyon, too, although I have a favorite (Daniel et Denise) even though the last visit I got into a tiff with the manager over my being given the abridged menu they give to touristas.
  17. Okay, time to get serious. I only dine in fancy restaurants whose name or whose chef's name easily lends itself to word play. Sometimes it's perilous, as with L'Astrance, one of whose owners is out to exploit every way he can the high percentage of know-nothing clients. But I've been to nearly all the others in the fairly-recent past, seeing them becoming increasingly diminished and increasingly expensive at the same time. Nonetheless I have had some excellent dishes, the best being the Pitiviers at Le Cinq that was almost as enjoyable as the Oreillier de la Belle Aurore at Gerard Besson, who,
  18. Champ-o, 10 days late you're welcome. I've warned Franchin to be on the lookout for you--a ruddy-face 40-ish, heavy-set, 5 foot eight fellow dressed in a blue blazer, Turnbull shirt. and white trousers with one or more young girls.
  19. I refuse to make a truce between me and the denizens of the State of Souvidia. There can never be anything except bad blood between me and your citizenry. And yes (to use one of your rhetorical devices) I will be in Geneva to buy Havana smokes. I can visit you at your home in Zug.
  20. Oh yes, Champ-o. Who be you to talk about the price of L'Ambroisie when you've got moola stashed away in, appropriately enough, the Cook Islands?
  21. Champ-o, anything new on Chez Denis, Petit Coin de la Bourse, Vivarois, Lous Landes? What about Petit Montmorency?
  22. Champo. I will be passing through Paris on the way to CDG. Which of these restaurants would you recommend for one, and only one, lunch? Pre Cattleman Alain Passardoble Askance Le Kitchen Cinq Plaza-Athenee (Alain Ducassecroute)
  23. I have never forgotten a humble lettuce soup at La Brinca nearly ten years ago. If you go to Cinque Terre, it is worth a visit.
  24. Well then how about Cafe Chauveron, Fonda del Sol, Bruxelles, Hector's Cafeteria, Bellmore Cafeteria, Ideal Luncheonette on E. 86 St. (Places my parents took me and where I went when finding my way in the city.) Philippine Gardens on 2nd Ave. in the 20s.
  25. Yes, but you missed the conniption between the mirth of fish and the name. We no liked our meal there. We thought it was too fuzzy, Champo.
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