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#1451375 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on Yesterday, 08:25 PM in France

Le Baratin


I'm pretty sure most everyone reading this knows of Le Baratin. Or has eaten there. I think our first meal there was some 12 - 15 years ago, and there have been a few since. Including this most recent one, forced into a 7:30 PM seating, but we took it anyway.




A bottle of Moque-Souris Chenin to start, to go along with these 2 pretty great entrées...






The tartare and the scallops...I maybe liked those accompaniments to the scallops as much as the mollusk itself.


Glasses of wine accompanied our plats...




Joue de boeuf, almost impossible to finish. And...




I'm a sucker for lamb; a very smart sucker in this case. Oh, why not have more...








Wonder what she's thinking...




I KNOW!  All food. No bullshit!!


If you get the chance, walk up the hill.  

#1451372 Supper

Posted by joethefoodie on Yesterday, 03:00 PM in In the kitchen

Being inspired by what we ate while on vacation is a fun thing.


Salade composée.




Atop arugula tossed with a lovely, mustardy vinaigrette: avocado, tomato, Nicoise olives, piquillo peppers, cornichons, carottes râpées. Atop all, house made chicken salad.


Plated by a yutz.

#1451371 Tools You Use

Posted by joethefoodie on Yesterday, 02:57 PM in In the kitchen

After returning from a week in Paris, and after never using my inexpensive Japanese/Swiss/Swedish et al. "mandolines" (because not a one of them does a great job), look what finally came out of the closet! No, not Lindsey Graham...but I digress.


You know what? It's staying out of the closet, because it works, it's designed wonderfully (all sorts of different cuts can be made without changing a blade), and it rinses off just as easily as the cheapo ones.


Look at those beautiful shreds.




And it found a new home in Julia's corner, on the pegboard...




No need for a glove; the guard works fine.

#1451370 The Louvre, Leonardo et al.

Posted by joethefoodie on Yesterday, 02:26 PM in Visual Arts

One of the reasons (if not the reason) we chose to go to Paris for our anniversary and various birthday celebrations this year was to see the Louvre's staging of this major international Leonardo da Vinci show, on the 500th anniversary of his death.


On May 2, 1519, the great Italian Renaissance genius died at the Château du Clos Lucé. This is why the Louvre holds almost a third of his corpus of paintings: those he brought to France were purchased by François I and entered the royal collections, which probably already included The Virgin of the Rocks and La Belle Ferronnière, acquired by Louis XII. This outstanding set of paintings, which formed the beginning of the Louvre’s collections, was supplemented by twenty-two of the artist’s remarkable drawings.


The fifth centenary of the Italian master’s death is therefore a unique opportunity for the Louvre to bring as many as possible of the fourteen to seventeen paintings now attributed to Leonardo, according to specialists, to join the five large paintings in the Paris museum. The exhibition will include a large selection of drawings and a small but significant group of paintings and sculptures that will provide some tangible context.



Evidently it was quite difficult to wrest some of the non-Louvre owned da Vinci works that were displayed, as the WaPo reported:


(You want to mount a Leonardo exhibition? Knock yourself out. Understand first, though, that you’ll have to beg to borrow works from a Saudi despot, the Queen of England, Bill Gates, and the U.S. and Russian governments; defeat a bunch of Italian nationalists in court; and placate a gang of Leonardo experts as vicious and territorial as stoats.)



It was intense. Obviously crowded (remember Michelangelo at The Met?), but I had scored early entrance tickets, so at least there weren't a million people already inside.  And using techniques honed over years, I was able to get up close and personal with whatever works I wanted to (well, except her, you know the one upstairs). One cannot be moved after seeing a show like this.


The only other stuff we went to see were some Spanish and Italian paintings. You know, that guy Goya, who was pretty out there. Not only philosophically, but at the end of like a mile long hallway in the Louvre, sit the Goyas.  Here, his Still Life of Sheep's Ribs and Head - The Butcher's Counter:




These were also pretty great...one for each season, painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, in the mid-1500s.


Here are 2 of the 4 seasons, Summer and Spring:






Not a bad way to spend half a day (any longer, and it's Stendahl Syndrome).

#1451363 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 23 February 2020 - 10:48 PM in France



I was alerted to the opening of Chantoiseau by an old friend; so off we went one evening, to a restaurant barely 3 weeks old and pretty high up on rue Lepic, in Montmartre. Fortunately, we'd made another one of our pre-dinner stops, this night at Petit Cafe De Montmartre, all lively and fun for our aperitifs, making the rest of the climb almost pleasurable. Almost.


What really made it pleasurable were both the food and the service at this brand new, bare bones restaurant. But as Ori mentioned upthread, food, not bullshit, is what makes Sig Eater and me happy. This was no exception, starting with this supremely simple menu...




We were started off with a couple of tasty morsels - delicious gougères. And then had a couple of these, which also were fine...




Significant Eater opted for soup this chilly evening; I may have tasted it and she loved it, but I was continuing the seafood idea with the saupiquet...




First, the portion is big.  Second, the portion is delicious, loaded with an expertly cooked trio of seafood (I'd never had, to my knowledge, amade clams), in an amazing sauce vinaigrette - in this case, their saupiquet. A major keeper, this one.


On to our mains. For SE, the monkfish, another good piece of fish properly cooked.




The enoki mushrooms are kind of superfluous, but whatevs. My pintade was... 




fucking great. Look at that skin, as crispy as it appears, even stuffed underneath; or maybe that helps? The meat - just so tender and juicy and a little gamey...I loved this.


The ubiquitous (there, not here) cheese platter...




with an amazing confiture made by the chef's dad with his own grown berries. 


A little dessert was all we could muster. Tasty, not quite beautiful...




Walk up the hill, if you get the chance.



#1451362 The New MoMA

Posted by joethefoodie on 23 February 2020 - 07:18 PM in Visual Arts

Wandering it again today, I saw Florine Stetheimer has a room, which is good, including a wonderful decorated screen I don’t remember from the Jewish Museum show.

Stuart Davis and Gerald Murphy seem finally to have been hidden away.

The show in the big atrium space on the second floor is for children, right? I don’t even know what it was.


I do remember seeing a performance piece in that atrium space (I think it was that space), performed by two children, who were insulting each other by singing. It was a bit weird.



#1451359 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 23 February 2020 - 11:33 AM in France

It's funny how (I think) a little humor, warmth and trust can turn an important part of one's meal into an ally.  By the end of our meal, he was practically kibbitzing with us...and he was busy.


I think it's simple - he's basically saying, without saying but maybe via body language, lemme do my job, and you'll have a good time.

#1451343 Still Hurting Post Sandy

Posted by joethefoodie on 22 February 2020 - 11:16 PM in New York

So I got a little news from my friend Adam today.




While Mr. Weprin looked into the potential of running another restaurant in recent years, he keeps coming back to his family’s vacant business. “This place is filled with memories,” he said. 

He plans to meet with a contractor and an expediter to assist him through the city permitting process, one more time, to see if he can open the space, he said. He knows he would have to replace the floors again; they have buckled since he replaced them after Sandy. And there are likely bigger changes to be made to bring the restaurant up to the city’s fire code. 

“I want to try again, with less emotion and a clear head,” he said. “If it doesn’t make sense, I will finally let it go.” 


It's been more than 7 years - keeping my fingers crossed.

#1451342 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 22 February 2020 - 11:11 PM in France


All food, no bullshit. Would last three seconds in NYC.

Probably not,    But that waiter could take down anyone in NYC, or Paris.    Without a word.   



The whole restaurant was his - never missed a fucking beat. Chef and maybe a cook delivered a few dishes from the kitchen, but...

#1451339 Essex Crossing, Essex St. Market, and More

Posted by joethefoodie on 22 February 2020 - 08:38 PM in New York

There is indeed the sauce. Though it reminded me of the sauce from Pio Pio; that aji.

The chicken, not quite as good as the one I bought last week in Paris.

#1451325 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 22 February 2020 - 01:54 PM in France

All food, no bullshit. Would last three seconds in NYC.


Right. Exactly. 

#1451323 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 22 February 2020 - 01:17 PM in France



Amarante - Really fantastic classical meal with an especially delicious snail in a pesto-ey parsley butter and lamb with haricot vertes.  I think this is the sort of spot that folks on this forum mean by a bistro but its hard to tell with this crew. I wish this spot had become a staple for me sooner and its a good alternative to Paul Bert, etc.  Old school waitering and not a lot in the way of natural wine, but really just solid classics.



Amarante is a gem, a place where you really can/should and safely expand your offal appreciation.   And our "old school waiter' was delightful.  


As Jesikka, voyager et al. have mentioned, a gem. Cool location, too. Our great waiter reminded me of a cross between Clark Kent and Mr. Spock - he was awesome! The carte:




We wanted a little snack while we were deciding what to order. This fabulous terrine hit the spot - and good bread, too.




It's winter in Paris, rainy and chilly, so Significant Eater wanted soup.  Potimarron velouté with crispy pork bits was just what the doc ordered.




Pour moi, that tongue did its job.




It was tough deciding what mains to have. We went hearty and heavy. Madame with this veau...




Insanely delicious? Yes - and that kneffe! I ordered the duck...




And guess what? That skin - perfect. Inside - not cooked enough, but I suppose I could've specified.


Camembert au lait cru followed. And that followed by the Citron dessert.


Yes, worthy of a (many) repeat visit (s).

#1451305 Annoyances

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:53 PM in What's that got to do with anything?

The main problem, as I see it, is that not enough of us wear hats. 


But I want to know, splinky, where the hell you found a picture of Sneakeater's hat?!

#1451303 Ernesto's

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:48 PM in New York

Well, you can probably get a seat at 10, but I don't know how late the kitchen is open.


Bring Sneak.

#1451301 Essex Crossing, Essex St. Market, and More

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:44 PM in New York

So Don Ceviche has morphed into Mercado Lima, while moving into a bigger stall vacation by Samesa.


Still offering their namesake ceviche (never tried it), they now have a rotisserie and are offering Peruvian chickens along with various sides.


A whole chicken is $12, and I bought one today - we'll see how it is for dinner tonight. No sides.


And I'd like to compare it to the other 2 places offering rotisserie chicken; Nixtamal and Que Chevere, both down in the Market Line. Mercado is upstairs.

#1451296 Ernesto's

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:36 PM in New York

I think you'll be fine, 6 - 6:30, especially early in the week.

#1451280 Ernesto's

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 08:39 PM in New York

I like that the menu seems to change parts frequently.


And a few of the bartenders are just outstanding.

#1451276 Fresh Direct

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 07:39 PM in At the shops

I know this guy but I think his fresh is pretty good (better than the mainstream options) can't speak to price really.



#1451273 Gigs

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 06:47 PM in Music

If you want to see the opposite of Billy Joel, go see the Drive By Truckers tonight at Webster Hall. I'd be there but I'm already committed to Joe Russo's Almost Dead at The Cap.

My problem with Webster Hall is that it's all standing, and I kinda like the opportunity to sit down, at least for a while.


And my other problem with Webster Hall is that they like to oversell the place, making the uncomfortable experience that much more so.

#1451272 Annoyances

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 06:43 PM in What's that got to do with anything?

Not a trilby or porkpie in sight!

#1451267 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 04:01 PM in France



Substance is a fancy(ish) restaurant, in the fancy-schmancy 16ème. One knows the arrondisement is fancy-shmancy, because when you emerge from the Metro and start walking towards your destination, you might see this...




This was a birthday dinner and a Monday night, so options were somewhat limited by that, but we tried to make the most of it. And we were mostly successful.



5-course discovery menu. 79 €  Food and wine pairing. € 45.     7-course carte blanche menu. 95 €  Food and wine pairing. € 55.


Perigord Black Truffle Supplement (6g). 18 € * 



Carpaccio de St Jacques, cerfeuil, compoté d’oignon oursins et vinaigrette au foin. 21€.


Foie gras poêlé, consommé thaï, champignons marinés, et capucines. 19€.


Gnocchis poêlés, cresson fermenté, condiment jaune d’œuf fumé, jus à la Morteau.16€.


Œuf mollet croustillant, artichauts grillés, vinaigrette sésame et combava. 18€.



Encornets sautés, beurre noir au citron d’Iran, graines caramélisées, courge rôtie et marinée. 38€.


Pluma iberique, gremolata citron caviar, carottes fanes, condiment gingembre et harissa. 39€.


Tourte de gibiers à plumes, foie gras et choux fleur violet, kale et condiment coing (2pers). 96€.


Bar en croûte de graines, poireaux brulés, pommes de terre confites, haddock, jus herbassé. 42€.


Légumes de nos maraîchers, risotto de petit épeautre et citrons confits. 24€.



Assiette du Chef. 14€



Soufflé au chocolat Sao Tome, crumble cacao amer et crème glacée au sapin (2 pers.). 24€


Vacherin noix de coco, kiwi d’Ardèche et sorbet oseille.14€


Poires, sarrasin, crème crue et sorbet Earl Grey 15€


Choux, crème à la noisette du Piémont, clémentine Corse et sorbet Kalamansi.16€



Place is packed at 8:30 on a Monday. Service is, how shall I say, in the weeds? Fortunately, we had started down the block for our apéritifs. Another great old bar, where the matron and her 2 (rather obese) Yorkies were running the show. Pouring rain, all good.


First amuses were a couple of croquettes (ok), and then this smoked potato with roe which was great...




I had the St. Jacques (might I actually think the local scallops I get are sweeter?), while Sig Eater opted for the gnocchis.






The Morteau jus on these was great, as were the little pieces of piggie, but I didn't love the texture of the gnocchi - which were a little gummy. The saucing on that scallop was nice. As can be seen, lovely plating all around.


For her plat, a nice piece of bar...




Those leeks were great too, and I probably could have eaten about 500 of those pommes.


Me - Pluma iberique made me happy...that skin...




Moving on...








Are we rushing here again when we return? Probably not, but for a Monday night birthday dinner, it was fun and fine. But oy - that service!

#1451265 Gigs

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:57 AM in Music

Barely. Edibles helped. 


See, I also went to see Paul Simon at the garden not all that long ago (there's that ketubah!) - the farewell thing.  He had a fucking great band.  Billy Joel didn't.


Also, Paul Simon wrote some really good songs, whereas some of Billy's are only tolerable; many downright not.

#1451264 Annoyances

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:49 AM in What's that got to do with anything?


Hat in pocket: that works for my Catalunyan peasant beret from the 80 year old family owned Sombreria Orbach, in case I hadn’t mentioned it, but not for all hats.

If there are no hooks, there’s not much choice.

Even if there ARE hooks, since most bar hooks won’t hold a wide-brimmed hat.



And what do you do if you're sitting at a table with a date and there's no coat check?  Remove the votive and put your hat there?


How about this - you call the restaurant, find out if there are perfect hooks or a place to check your hat and coat, and if not, you wear a less bourgeois hat. Because it's just fucking rude putting it on a surface people eat from. Unless one enjoys stray hairs or head oils.

#1451263 The Rest of Us, Paris edition

Posted by joethefoodie on 21 February 2020 - 11:40 AM in France

Looks great.    Love your paperweights.


Not mine - I emailed the restaurant to send a copy of the menu to me, as I failed to take one myself.


Do Parisians dine at a reasonable hour? Our early-bird bedtime crippled our eating in Spain and Italy.


My nineteen-year-old Paris notes cite restaurants, but not hotels. I think my ex and I stayed in the thirteenth arrondissement but ate in the fifth.


Now lovely spouse and I have family friends with a perch on Île de la Cité, yet would not presume to ask to crash there.


I'm sure someone will correct me, but I think one change that restaurants (at least in Paris) have made is this...used to be that there would basically be one seating a night; i.e. the table was yours for the evening, and you'd come in like 8:30 - 9:30 P.M, stumble out between 11 and midnight or later.


Now, many places start serving at 7:30, with the hopes that they'll turn some tables, with an early seating and then one from 9 - 10 PM.  All of the reservations I made (and I had one for each night we were there) were for 8 or 8:30 (depending on our schedule the next day, like getting up early to go to the Louvre) and I'm pretty sure we were the one seating for the night. The only exception was at Le Baratin, where our reservation was made by our airbnb hostess. She called the restaurant and all they had for the night we wanted to go was 10 PM, which is too late for me to eat dinner. So we took the 7:30 they also offered. 


The nights we started dining at 8, there were already people dining, and they weren't tourists.


You just have the wrong idea of what a reasonable time is.


And you just might have the wrong idea about where a hat goes.

#1451246 Gigs

Posted by joethefoodie on 20 February 2020 - 09:03 PM in Music

Lord help me - I'm going to see Billy Joel at the garden tonight.




Hey, Sig Eater requested it.