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The latest in overboard restaurants

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry but here's one restaurant I cannot seem to get behind. While I keep my fingers crossed for people like Panini, Peachcreek & Mich (and everybody else here at CT) for their continued success, I really couldn't care less if this place lives or dies!
Seriously $240 for a rack of Veal from Mario Batali?!? $27 for a plate of Spaghetti?!? Perhaps from the late great Jean Louis, or Escoffier, but these guys? Never! Seriously over inflated egos pumping up their perceived self importance! (Just wait until I hit the lottery!)

http://apnews.myway.com//article/200...D8FRDCE8D.html
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #2 of 29

money

Don't think about the money, it's very relative...

Think about whether or not it's a great dish...

The more the years passes, the more prices become obsolite... more and more rich people in this world, so $240 is nothing when you make $1000 a day at work...

The only thing I hate, is that both you and I can't afford to go to those place:)
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
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Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
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post #3 of 29
made $1000 a day I still wouldn’t pay $240 for one entree ever... bring your date there have a few drinks and your looking at spending your days work :P But besides that how can it be good enough to warrant prices like that...
Just another young apprentice eager to develop into the master.
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Just another young apprentice eager to develop into the master.
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post #4 of 29
I don't think prices will ever be obsolete in this country. We still have only 1% of our population making 100,000. a yr. or more. I have not seen 2005 so it may have reached .02 but I doubt it.
I have talked with Lydia on occassions and would have bet this was pushed by the boy. I can just hear her now, oh my, what have I done?
Someone from the bakery just called to tell me that Mario had a special tonight on this restaurant.
Chrose, don't you think that rack is a table price? The pasta was 27. though. hum.

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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey speak for yourself :)
The point was less the dollar amount of that particular dish as the outrageousness of the whole experience. You spend $12mil. on a restaurant you're going to have to charge ridiculous prices to recoup your investment.
Mario is quite good, so is Lydia, but it all seems overboard to me.
Pan I'm sure the rack is table price, but unless it's "Kobe Veal", ehh even then.
Maybe it's a personal thing, maybe I'm just cynical, maybe Laprise is right:confused:
Screw it I'm going to Cracker Barrel:eek: now that's high quality and I gots me a coupon for a free dinner!
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #6 of 29
Oh yea, it's over the top. That Rocco guy is appearing in our town this week. He showed up at one of the local culinary schools. I had heard he was doing radio. He ended the over the top thing for me. I agree 100% chrose. It's like I don't want the concept to beat me by me wanting to go. I will resist.
I will be honest, I never compare money to a good eating experience, there are those here that can attest to that. In fact, if it's a good time and food, I will never look at the reciept. If not I will usually look to see if the price was inline with the food. Do not take this anyother way then it was meant. Went out to an old world French Restaurant with a six top. Been there before and never looked at a receipt. From imported farm cheeses to etc.
This time the starters were midiocre at best. We got a little sneer when I mentioned we needed some b&b's for I like to share everything with all.
I asked for a recomendation on wine with the starters and was handed a wine list. Our table had a samalier buddie who did the honors and just looked at me. It put a damper on the time. The tab was well, not way, over a k which shocked me because I threw the server 2 bills and I thought it may have been too much. I won't go back.

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post #7 of 29
Just an FYI,

Fresh plume de veau or Privimi hotel racks are going for $13.00 Per lb wholesale right now. A whole racks average is almost 18 lbs. Split and chinned about 8 lbs. That's $104 raw food cost for a half rack (7 ribs) add labor and overhead, what do you have? Then whats the profit margin?

I'm sure it's a table price, + the whole table probably needs to order it.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #8 of 29
I've thought about this a lot. What a chef feels is reasonable to price his food at. When you pay high prices at a restaurant, you are not just paying for the food or labour cost you are also paying for the experience that chef has obtained over the years. What he or she feels it is worth.
Do we have a right to judge whether or not it is adequate, I don't think so. I agree that we don't make enough to pay 240.00 for an entre, even if the entire table is sharing it but then again, we do have the experience to cook it for ourselves. Can we cook it as well as the offering chef, that's where whether or not we go to that restaurant comes in.
I just think its important to leave people to what they think is reasonable and do what you think is reasonable. That way we can always be open minded.
Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
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Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
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post #9 of 29
The problem is that "reasonable" is a fluid concept influenced by fashion and the stupidity of the monied classes... and successful mega high-priced places encourage lesser places to raise their prices.
post #10 of 29
Split a rack of veal 8 ways, 30 dollars per person. This is quite reasonable, in fact, is less than the main courses where I work. I in fact am a huge fan of this style of cooking and serving - cooking large cuts of meat that are split at the table. The pasta prices do seem to be quite high however. The only way to find out if the experience is worth the price, to go there yourself.

Also, to go a little off-topic, why do North Americans use the term 'entrée' to describe a main course?
post #11 of 29
Yes.

The first ammendment gives us the right,
our knowledge of the culinary world gives us the ability to,
and this forum gives us the opportunity.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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post #12 of 29
http://menupages.com/PrintableMenus/NY0507.pdf

The Menu, I am finding it hard to get paste the risotto prices, but what I see are dishes that are to feed to 2-3 or more people.Batali et al are really trying to get a 4* review from Bruni, this menu does not seem to offer 4* cuisine, nor technique.

I think people who frequent 4* restaurants in NYC will not be the ones supporting Del Pasto.

BTW, the veal dish in question if for the entire table, as is a pork loin with fennel and prunes for $200 Per table.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #13 of 29
[QUOTE=cape chef this menu does not seem to offer 4* cuisine.[/QUOTE]

I would be very interested in your opinion on this.

Do you think, even if it is only a small factor and not the main reason, that the fact that it is an Italian menu, meaning not French and generally NOT EVEN FRENCH INFLUENCED, that that could play a role in not getting the coveted 4th star?

I'm asking because, as I'm sure you know, one of the criticisms about the rating system, (not necessarily correct but prevalent nonetheless), is that there is a bias toward French restaurants or restaurants with "French" ingredients and/or technique.

Again, do you think this is even a small factor?

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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post #14 of 29
We all, hopefully, know the Italians taught the French to cook!:D

[QUOTE] When Catherine arrived from Florence to marry Henry II of France in 1533, she imported the Italian balletto to her new home in France, where it became the ballet. She also brought with her retinue a of master chefs. She brought Italian staples: milk-fed veal, baby peas, artichokes, broccoli, and various pastas. The French court tasted, for the first time, such delicacies as quenelles (fish dumplings), zabaglione (a rich egg yolk and wine custard), and scaloppine. With her arrival, French cookery embarked on a course that produced the most complex and refined cuisine in the Western world.[QUOTE]

I always felt that the ratings should be related to Ambiance, Service and Food - If someone is going to spend big bucks I want it ALL. Lets face it, judging from what and whom I have read here, most of us could make A good "insert your item here", but to pull off the "whole enchalada" consistently day in and day out is no small task.

I also go out for unique ingredents, unique preperation styles and presentation (again WOW me). If I want to have A veal rack for 8 I will order it, cook it and do the gig at home (buy some good wine and drinks and enjoy each others company).

But back to the origional question, I would agree the bias appears to be towards the french. However, in fairness to them I have read and watched some great french chefs and they are meticilous about evertyhing from the China, silver, glassware, linnens, food, ingredents, etc. I am not to clear if the comitment of some great Italian (or other) chefs is that strong for the entire facility and customer expirence.

For me the prices do not seem to high if the food is great, portions are good, hot food hot and cold food cold, nice suroundings and exectiponal knowlegable service. If you are not mega wealthy then don't go there as often.
Along those lines a first timer should get the same service, seating, etc as a regular (the whole package is what you are paying for). I get really pissed if I am treated differend because I am not a regular, and I have left very "fine" places due to that, and yes have told the properitor that very thing (they have a right to know).
"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
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"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
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post #15 of 29
We all, hopefully, know the Italians taught the French to cook!:D

[quote] When Catherine arrived from Florence to marry Henry II of France in 1533, she imported the Italian balletto to her new home in France, where it became the ballet. She also brought with her retinue a of master chefs. She brought Italian staples: milk-fed veal, baby peas, artichokes, broccoli, and various pastas. The French court tasted, for the first time, such delicacies as quenelles (fish dumplings), zabaglione (a rich egg yolk and wine custard), and scaloppine. With her arrival, French cookery embarked on a course that produced the most complex and refined cuisine in the Western world.[quote]

I always felt that the ratings should be related to Ambiance, Service and Food - If someone is going to spend big bucks I want it ALL. Lets face it, judging from what and whom I have read here, most of us could make A good "insert your item here", but to pull off the "whole enchalada" consistently day in and day out is no small task.

I also go out for unique ingredents, unique preperation styles and presentation (again WOW me). If I want to have A veal rack for 8 I will order it, cook it and do the gig at home (buy some good wine and drinks and enjoy each others company).

But back to the origional question, I would agree the bias appears to be towards the french. However, in fairness to them I have read and watched some great french chefs and they are meticilous about evertyhing from the China, silver, glassware, linnens, food, ingredents, etc. I am not to clear if the comitment of some great Italian (or other) chefs is that strong for the entire facility and customer expirence.

For me the prices do not seem to high if the food is great, portions are good, hot food hot and cold food cold, nice suroundings and exectiponal knowlegable service. If you are not mega wealthy then don't go there as often.
Along those lines a first timer should get the same service, seating, etc as a regular (the whole package is what you are paying for). I get really pissed if I am treated differend because I am not a regular, and I have left very "fine" places due to that, and yes have told the properitor that very thing (they have a right to know).
"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
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"Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule"
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post #16 of 29
The french think, The italians do, And the Americans are.:chef:




I don't beleive in complications..................................... ....
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One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #17 of 29
I hope Batali and company the best of luck and I hope they make it.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well to start I would have to agree on Marks question that it seems at least historically if you are not French, no 4th star for you irregardless of Madame Catherine.
Seeing also the menu that Brad was so gracious to find, as well as all the posts have caused me to temper my original comments. I will admit that my thinking is partially biased by Mario being a "made for Food TV" type star. If it wasn't for FTV would Mario be "Mario"? It's become to me the "Rocco syndrome". I will say this about Mario and that is I have always been impressed with the depth of his knowledge and passion for Italian food and cooking. He may well have done more for breaking the stereotypes of Italian cooking than most others. As least with the exposure he has.
The menu while ridiculous in some parts (but then I have seen that as well in lesser restaurants) is also very adventurous and unique. So in that respect is he any different than say Morimoto?
So I still think the concept of $12 mil. dollar restaurants is insane, but I will give Mario a break and wish him the best, though you will only see me in there after I win the lottery!
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #19 of 29

IMHO...food is food....and there's a limit to what you can do to it.

I would be willing to bet good money that if I made the EXACT same item NObody would give the DESCRIPTION of it a sniff for that price.

So is it food or is it image? (Memorex?)

We are only limited by ingredients and imagination. You can mix and match any way you like (trout ice cream...? uuuuhhhhgh). Call it what you like, it's STILL just a combination of ingredients and while it seems limitless there IS a limit to the combinations you can present. Meat cooks in a specific way, sauces, rubs, marinades, ... the only edge...reputation and celebrity status.

Do people like Batalli depend on reputation? Of friggin COURSE they do. There is no way I'd invest in a 12M restaurant in Manhattan even if I had it. The numbers just don't add up.

Are there people that will spend that amount of money? Absolutely. Just look at the housing costs in NY...but not for the food, for the reputation. Look at me, I'm spending enormous amounts of money on something that I can get just as good someplace else for 1/8th as much, JUST BECAUSE I HAVE THE MONEY.

It seems way too pretentious an endeavor to me rather than presenting great food.

I suppose we'll all see what happens after the 'NEW' wears off?

Don't get me wrong. I wish Batalli and his partner well in this venture. I wish I could do the same thing and pull it off. I'm just looking at the overall picture and have this great big question mark over my head. Why?

In my humble opinion...
April
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
April what you said reminds me of another reason that I do appreciate Mario in the same way that I do Rick Bayless. With Rick you get dishes that represent in many ways the heart of deep Mexican Cooking. With Mario in many ways you get the heart of deep Italian cooking. With Rick you'll get recipes from parts of Mexico you never knew existed. A far cry from Tacos and Burritos. With Mario you get foods from parts of Italy you never knew existed. A far cry from Spaghetti and meatballs. Not that there's anything wrong with those items, but there is so much more that most of us have never heard of and people like Mario and Rick help bring it to us. The main difference is that Rick brings it to more of us :D not quite so $$$$$
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #21 of 29
Does anyone have any cookbooks by either Rick or Mario? I was just wondering.I have gotten more into French cusine doing a lot of reading on that right now.But I do agree with CH in that last statement makes sense.
post #22 of 29
This is a study of opinions that I find very interesting. I very rarely post here, but I thought this would be an excellent topic for some of my students. I subscribe to the school of French technique when I think about 4* restaurants and what that represents. As much as I love Italian cuisine (very diverse I know), I don't see it in a 4* realm. (me)


--------------------
Stainless steel is a symbol of the de humanization of the profession of cook and chef. It promotes stereotyped behavior and lack of personality. I kept my work surroundings human for both my cooperators and myself, because to be a good cook, one always needs to tap the inner, emotional layers of one's personality. Madeliene Kamman
QUOTE(Brad @ Feb 20 2006, 05:30 PM)





Why is that? (Steve)



QUOTE(Steve Plotnicki @ Feb 20 2006, 05:34 PM)
QUOTE(Brad @ Feb 20 2006, 05:30 PM)
As much as I love Italian cuisine (very diverse I know), I don't see it in a 4* realm.





Why is that?





There is a very, very small % of cooking & cuisines that can be elevated to 4* (US) status. Much that has been discussed in this thread made poignant points towards that end. The simple understanding of pan developed sauced verses stock based preparations is just one point I found interesting. Italian cooking seems less contrived in it's stripped down approach, but French cuisine coddles technique in a regard that is not found in Italian cooking. As a chef, when I cook at home for my family I think of Italy,Greece and Asian dishes which are easy to prepare and comforting. When I entertain and want to blow the doors off my guests, I always practice my experience in french technique.

I relax with Italian cuisine, like a good book in front of a fire, I stand erect and pay attention to detail when cooking french. (me)



--------------------
Stainless steel is a symbol of the de humanization of the profession of cook and chef. It promotes stereotyped behavior and lack of personality. I kept my work surroundings human for both my cooperators and myself, because to be a good cook, one always needs to tap the inner, emotional layers of one's personality. Madeliene Kamman





Steve Plotnicki


Great answer. But I was actually hoping that you could add to the point about pan sauces. This discussion comes up so often that it would be good to create a definitive list of techniques that make the difference in the cuisines. (Steve)



I want to preface this by saying I do love and enjoy much of the worlds cuisines, and practice it often. Why allow yourself to be bored, with that said.

If you are a good cook you should be able to roast a rack of veal, produce a delicious pan sauce and add exotic mushrooms. You should be able to make a beautiful risotto or make a quality pasta. As a good cook you should be able to work with and understand the produce that is indigenous to your area.

A truffle can be shaved over a warm risotto, or for that matter, scrambled eggs or a baked potato with wonderful results, why, because as a good cook you understand a truffle (in season and ripe) is about aroma.But that is easy.

I went through a stage when I had a big problem with over worked food, deconstruction of dishes or re-inventing cuisine. I then realized that it was less of me feeling confused by the efforts, and more that the approach was not really thought through to a point in which it made culinary sense.

To Steve's question of pan jus apposed to stock based sauces,to make a beautiful stock one must have the best ingredients and time to create the foundation of french cooking. Jus Lie's,glace de viande etc are building blocks.Michel Bras vegetable dish probably would not be found anywhere else in the world.All those veggies, perfectly treated and cooked. It is a sympathy of technique.

Think about puff pastry, souffles, consomme. Although not difficult to make, they are complicated in there theory.(Me)

Just some thoughts.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #23 of 29
capechef thats the reason I think I am beginning to embrace French cooking so much. I truly believe in good technique sort of a pet peave I have I guess you could call it. All cusines are rooted deep in history and tradition some more than others. I guess thats the reason I admire the chefs of Japan so much its their deep rooted traditions and techniques that make Japanese cusine such as art in itself. I guess in Italian cusine theres more free rein so to speak I do not know that much about the Italian side as far as history and tradition go but I do like Italian food who doesn't!
post #24 of 29

Cookbooks...Dianne Kennedy/Mexican food

She is a SAINT when it comes to fantastic Mexican food! <and no not just tacotacotaco-burritoburrito!> :crazy:

She's got two that I know of, but I think the first one is the best of the two.

Italian? Hmmm...I've got some older Good Housekeeping Italian Cooking books (don't really know the authors off of the top of my head, I'm still unpacking boxes from our move) but I made a variety of the dishes over the years (especially when I had an Italian BF in Australia) that were fantastic. :lips:

So ...what are (or should) guests be comfortable paying for the different bends on food? So as food for thought: One not famous, one famous, same exact dish.

Flay certainly does it with style and less expense, but maybe he'll come up with a 12m restaurant too. Hey, they've already done Mexican Pizza! Italian quesadilla? <would probably work now that I think about it.>

I'm just kind of thinking that there has to be a cap on it somewhere. Like purchasing an acre in Las vegas for 6m. Is there actually a profit margin tucked in there in the future? Hmmmmm....(rubbing chin reflectively)

April
I just love talking about food! <almost as much as making it!>
post #25 of 29
I beleive that there are sooo many better cooks/chefs out in the industry that are better than the mediaized ones, It is all politics and who you know , Not who you are, :chef:





I personally hate politics and food combined.
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #26 of 29
I think you are quite right Ma Facon.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
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post #27 of 29
There are better basketball players then most in the NBA, playing $25. games in the city.
I'm not sticking up for Italian cuisine but I'm getting the feeling that we are generalizing the cuisine. It is very regional. As a child we had two types of Italian Restaurants. The American, plates piled high, garlic bread,dried pastas, etc. Then the Italian place, um, nouvelle is the best word I can think of now, smaller portions, reductions,broths, and room for an exquisite dessert.
French is regional but quite standard with regional variations. The Italians will actually vary the standards. The Italians and the Swiss dining reflects and excursion. French is more of an experience. I know, makes no sence.:roll:
I have had enough meals in Paris to think that the 4 star places are frequented by visitors. The American rated places seem to cater to us here in the US. I might be wrong. One of the most popular dining places in Paris is a Chinese restaurant.:lol:

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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post #28 of 29

OK, look at the reviews from the people who have eaten there...

It seems like the proverbial "Love it/Hate it". I'd say the "hate it"'s have more of a valid argument.

April
post #29 of 29
Oh, I could never hate any type of food. I actually only use the word hate for government, politics,and taxes.:rolleyes:

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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