Very busy over the top week with friends from US in to visit;
ATELIER DU ROBUCHON-Reservations and reconfirmation was done over the internet, completely flawless. Arrived at exact time of reservation. Reservationist was on cellular and remained that way for 10 minutes, were then shuttled to hotel lobby with no seats for another 10 minute wait. Only bad thing of experience. Did not want huge meal as usually do not there. Feel to pay 38€ for two or three lambchops the size of your thumb is not cost effective. Ordered one bottle of wine a Huet Vouvray, which even with 'red' food was wonderful. Entrees for me and partner were ris du veau with celeriac puree and squab grille with pomme puree, both flawless, both wonderful. Plat was foie du veau and pigeon with foie gras and cabbage and poitrine, again both flawless and also with pommes puree, cannot get too much of that, both totally wonderful. Good bread with échiré butter. Not slow but certainly not rushed service was fun and a little 'wise guy' in a very good way, no dessert or coffee 188€/2.
LE GRAND PAN-First time this year for this restaurant, loved it last year, loved it this year. Part of Les Troquet group, and for me best of the bunch. Large group, had the large table in front, plenty of room. Fois gras, soup of pumpkin, and coquilles first, then cote du veau, cotes du porc, and cote du boeuf, epaule de agneau. Each of the cotes were wonderful, souphie liked the CDV at Chez L'Ami Jean better, but for me at least equal, if not better. Might have been best pork chop ever eaten. Two or three wines by carafe as they have about 25 by carafe and the bandol was huge and meaty, wonderful with the boeuf, and again, wonderful boeuf. 408€/7.
LE REGALADE- Arrived with bunch of different cabs, some of us 30 minutes late, one never showed at all. They sat the first three and were very gracious about us being late. Put the two patés on table with excellent cornichon and left us alone for a long time till all showed up. True very small table, glad 8th person did not show, very small table. Coquilles, soup, again pumpkin, but now potimarron instead of potiron, excellent and very hot, herring, roasted whole foie gras, size of football and perfect. Ordered brandade du morue, came cold with salade , never had it like that before, and hope never do again. Plats were paleron of boeuf, l thought best thing there, palombe done ok gloppy sauce, my fault for not checking. Partner got foie du veau, as usual, and was proclaimed second best of trip after Chez Denise. Maigret, very good as well. Desserts were good, with Grand Marnier souffle, and puddinglike quenelle shaped chocolate thing, best for me. Too much wine, mostly Loire minor stuff. Service very helpful and were happy to see us there. Even when very crowded when we left, were never rushed, warm and fuzzy. 420€/7.
HOSTELLERIE DES CLOS(Chablis)- Rainy day, walked in for reservation were only people in room at 1PM, Over next 3 hours, more came but was somewhat barren. We all ordered al a carte. Amuse were cold gougere and other puff pastry things that for me being cold are very uninteresting. Entrees were oeufs meurette, first time for me, not an egg, but four eggs poached in Irancey, interesting if unidimensional, other entrees were coquilles, yet again, pumpkin soup again as well, escargots, served not in shell; Plats were homard bleu, rognons du veau, onglet, St Pierre au beurre blanc, l had filet of Charolais with marrow and it was wonderful. Decent cheese course, mostly local, farm soumartraine and aisy cendre were stars of show; Fruit dessert was ok. Wine was 6, yes 6 bottles of different Chablis as far back as 1996. Dauvissat, Les Preuses 1996, was best for me, Ravaneau, Les Clos 1996, was odd, either slightly corked or something, as never really opened up and had that little but of mustiness, wine not loved, 820€/6.
L'AMI LOUIS-The restaurant, where if they do not think you will mix with the people, they will chuck you out after reservations, confirmations, whatever. The leader of our party gave Louis 50€ on arrival hopefully to 'fit in', apparently it worked, as were received with open arms, Many things have been said about this restaurant many times, too many americans, too expensive, too this, too that. For me meal was wonderful. Entrees had were fois gras, escargot, coquilles. Each were the top of their form; Escargot were the size of golf balls and wonderful; Coquilles were huge and wonderful and the fois was super as well. Cooked perfectly, hot as blazes, served perfectly, no complaint. Entrees were pheasant, for me a little dry, the legendary chicken good but again, for me not otherworldly, cotes du boeuf, could not have been better, gigantic, cooked perfectly, as l said perfect. potato galette, like a Pommes Anna, but thicker potato,great. Pommes Frites were, IMHO, dreadful. Order of cepes, that came in a dish that was huge, must have been a kilo of cepes, for 100€ euro it should have been, they were excellent as well. Dessert were frais du bois, little unripe and raspberries, huge and good. Wines, oy vey, the wines, Roederer Blanc bu Blanc, Corton-Charlemagne, Chave Hermitage blanc, Chave Hermitage rouge, Chateau Nenin pomerol. Then the killer a magnum of Armagnac 1962 just left on table and charged for what was taken. We were treated wonderfully, do it again in a heartbeat, which is why l buy lottery tickets. With the added this and that 1650€/5
CHEZ DENISE-These friends are eaters, night l did not go with them, they went to Pierre Gagnaire for a five hour meal, they are trenchers to the fullest. Warmth of Chez Denise, one of my favorites here showed yet again, drank brouilly and loire white, so nothing fancy. Entrees were frisee salad, escargot, hure de cochon, poireaux vinegarette, hot fish pate, all good and too generous, plats were choux farci, tripes, lapin a la moutarde, best rendition of this dish ever had, and for me best thing of night, steak tartar, also fabulous, coquilles, Desserts were floating island and baba au rhum. As our table was needed, they moved us to bar gently and gave us wine and armagnac on the house. Lovely evening 310€/5
For my last two weeks here, l think l will cook, as am restauranted out right now, but never say never