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"She said Yes" and my London and Paris reviews...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well as some of you know, I went to London last week, and surprised my love with a night in Paris, where I proposed (she said yes)

I took all of your recommendations seriously and here is where I ate:

London:
Fifteen
Simpsons in the Strand
Old London Pub (i think it's called)

Paris:
Le Coupe Chou


So first off Fifteen

Fifteen

Fifteen is a restaurant setup by Jamie Oliver which is a charity restaurant that helps underprivileged people learn a trade, all money goes to charity so I figured If I'm spending the US equivalent of 500$ on a meal, might as well go to charity! (i heard good reviews as well)

So they have a casual bar upstairs and a dining room downstairs...both open kitchens...all young staff for the most part. While I felt pressured to buy a pre-dinner drink at the bar while our "table was being prepared" (I was put off by this as clearly it was an early reservation in an empty restaurant, and this seemed to be a "Scam" they pulled on everyone that had a reservation)

But, when seated our waiter was EXCELLENT, I thought, man, after this guy, no way my girl is going to marry ME. It was a fixed price tasting menu, 5 course for 60pounds a pieces (130 US each approx) and we opted for the 40pound wine paring.

Started off with some bread, olives and some meat (tasted like salami only 100x better) it was awesome. next up was chaimpane, with an amuse bousch (sp?) included in the meal, but not one of the courses, of scallop with pomegranite and something else "beads" on it.....now, you all know I have this thing with sea-food, but man, I've never had a single bite of food that tasted as great as this...(ok, I have, but you get what I'm saying!) it was VERY good. Also, the sommelier was just awesome. Then I moved onto the first course, which I had

Beautiful mozzarella di bufala Campana with blood oranges, speck, mint, funky winter leaves and aged Belazu balsamic

Laurie had some sort of Crab over tomatoes (not sure and can't find it on the menu)

both were excellent.

then went the rest of the courses, I had gnocci and laurie stuck to seafood I believe...

service was still just excellent and a very casual...I guess I could describe it as "happy" atmosphere where the young staff just really were excited about working....which is something you don't see in the US often.

Laurie didn't care for the panna cotta dessert, I liked it....she just doesn't like the texture and taste of pannacotta to begin with not sure why she ordered it.

All in all GREAT meal, one of the best ever for us, laurie said atmosphere and service was better than the food, albiet the food was still very very good according to her, not worth 500USD, but if the dollar was even, and the bill came to say 200, it was VERY worth it...











thats upstairs









I had the pork dish for main.

she had, Turbot? (fixed thanks!)





pre-dinner drink + 5 glassed of wine/champaign's we were a little tipsy.

Oh yeah, at the restaurant is where I surprised her with tickets to paris for the next morning.....she almost cried.....but had no clue what she was REALLY in for the next day...

rtimko : photos : Engagement in Paris- powered by SmugMug for all trip pics...

I'll review the other restaurants when I get back from dinner tonight :) stay tuned....


post #2 of 13
Congratulations!!! (Or as we say in the Jewish biz, "Mazel Tov!")

I wish you many happy years together. Oh, and the menus sound luscious!
Mezz
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post #3 of 13
congratulations!!!! nice rock, too.
kathee
post #4 of 13
I'm glad you enjoyed 15 - it's one of my regular haunts when I visit London.

Could your girlfriend have chosen TURBOT :lol:
post #5 of 13
Congrats :roll: And it looks like you had some great meals too.
Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the well-wishes!


So next up, was a recommendation to do fish and chips while in london...

and right downstairs from our hotel was a pub that had a sign, best fish and chips in london (just like every other pub!)

It was called Old London Pub? maybe....







Fiance loves fish and chips, but she is used to the american version.......so she was a little not too happy about the skin and some bones in her fish and chips but she said she still loved it.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Then we were off to Paris (actually I posed backwards, we did fish and chips for lunch, and then Fifteen for dinner, and THEN Paris)

so, I have to be honest. Paris is one of my least favorite cities...but...for the engagement surprise, and her never being there...and it being only 2.5 hours from London, it was perfect if only for that.

I took a recommendation from BDL to eat at Le Coupe Chou

Restaurant Le Coupe-Chou - Quartier Latin - Paris

It was fantastic! Tucked away in a small corner, VERY old building VERY big fireplace. and VERY VERY romantic. We had the restaurant to ourselves for lunch....it was perfectly dark inside with the decor (VERY cool decor) with the exception of the light gleaming from the rock on her finger :lol:

Service was great...I had duck, she had beef...

my duck with pear was perhaps one of the best duck dishes I've had, but the potato pancake it came with was even better (they must grow their veggies/potatoes in butter!)






prices were pretty good and the restaurant was perfect for lunch, very romantic and the food was nothing fancy, just "solid" good food. I had a baked goat cheese and crostini salad for a starter...that we shared.



For dinner, I wanted to take her up to the Sacre Cur as it is a pretty neat (albeit touristy) place on a friday night.....something if your 1 night in paris for the first time, you should experience (IMO) so we opted for outdoor dining in the square next to the Sacre cur, not sure the name of the square but the food was actually pretty good for what it was..I had duck confit (i was on a duck thing this past week) she had boeuf bourguignon but said a local NJ french place was better...
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Simpsons in the Strand pictures
















post #9 of 13
Congratulations!!!!! What a wonderful story of love and food!

Thank you for sharing your culinary experiences with us, a picture says a thousand words and you brought me right back to my honeymoon last year. We split our time between London and Paris and just like you I have a hard time with Paris although beautiful it is!

Top of my list is to visit Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, he has done more for inspiring me to cook than any other celebrity chef. I try to make at least one of his recipe's per week and we are never dissappointed. His cooking is so earthy, I like how he never wastes anything and doesn't pay much mind to fancy prep like cutting off parts of vegetables that other cooks would disgard. My favorite thing about him is that his plating is almost never ending! (...and then drizzle with sauce, then add a bit of cheese, then put on a knob of butter, then top with some salad greens, then some toasted seeds, then drizzle with evoo.. and so on) It always makes me say "no that's too much" but I always try it and I am always amazed.

Thanks again for sharing!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 13
Also, I was reading in one of your other threads the recommendations given for Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. I live in NY and I have been to Gordon's "Maze" restaurant which is his more informal restaurant at the London hotel on 54th Street. Pleeeeeeeeeease don't judge Gordon by ****'s Kitchen, the worst of all his shows! If you catch the BBC's Kitchen Nightmares or Gordon's F-Word you'll see a much more natural side of him than the cursing oaf he hams up to be on FOX. It took a while, but after hating his demeanor for a long time i finally started to see through his toughness into his sensitive side.

After becoming an avid fan of Gordon's I was terrified to go to his restaurant for fear that I wouldn't like it. (It happened with Bobby Flay). Well let me say that it was the best dining experience we've ever had. His restaurant runs like a lambourghini!!!! The wait staff is completely unobtrusive, punctual, and precise. We had a 6 course tasting menu and each course was stellar, even things I didn't think I'd like! We paid over $200 for the full dinner plus wine and it was worth every penny.

Please do not discount Gordon!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 13
RPMcMurphy -- I knew Simpson's would make an impression. Did you have a cigar in the Divan? (Kidding) What did you think of the pictures of chess players? Not to mention Simpson's connection with the game.

I've been there four or five times over the years, but can't tell you how drunk I was the last two times I was there. A Scottish client took me for drinks at some anonymous pub nearby where we ran into an ex-neighbor of mine whose wife's family are Londoners and whom they were visiting. After a certain amount of pre-prandial drinking and a certain amount of bribery a reservation was created where none had previously existed. We ate well, drank ridiculously expensive wine, and found other places to continue the festivities. Before you could say, "Jesus, I never want to be steamin' (Scottish for drunk) like this again, I'm getting too old for this," it was time for breakfast. How'd that happen? When did the sun come up? Why is it still raining? I can't believe I'm actually hungry.

Once more into the breach. Or at least once more into Simpsons.

Who knew they did breakfast? Amazingly good fry-ups. The last thing I remember before rolling into the Oriental for a wee kip was the sound of my arteries snapping shut and my brain cells dying.

Still waiting for your review. I hope you overate.

BDL
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post #12 of 13
Awsome story and the pics gave a perfect visual aid thanks for posting them very interesting post to say the least!
Lets cook the night away!
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Lets cook the night away!
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post #13 of 13

Congratulations

Firstly may I express my congratulations to you for your recent engagement.

I am currently planning my proposal for November and plan to eat at Le Coupe Chou also. Is there anything you would recommend to me such as best room/table to reserve, best time to eat, etc.

Any advice thoroughly welcome!
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