To JerryC and all who enjoy good food:
Today's FT carried an article entitled "The Expert Selection". Written by Andy Hayler, who claims to be the first person to visit and review every one of the world's 109 Michelin three-star restaurants, it lists his five favourites.
1. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
"In the otherwise unremarkable town of Rubano, about five miles west of Padua, Le Calandre is best experienced as a way of capping of a visit to Venice or Verona.At the age of 28, Massimiliano Alajmo was awarded three Michelin stars, becoming the youngest chef to attain this distinction. ...The saffron risotto was the best I have eaten, with every grain of carnaroli rice boasting perfect texture......................................
2. Alinea, Chicago, USA
"....in an unassuming building in a quiet suburb of Chicago...I was stunned by the virtuoso cooking. What impressed me was that, for all the play and technical wizardry, the flavours of the 'ingredients shone through so clearly.........the final flourish was a dessert 'painted' on to a sheet placed on the table, using a palette of chocolate sauces, mousses frozen in nitrous oxide, pickled berries, honeycomb and milk custard caramelized with a blowtorch at the table.....a triumph of culinary theatre."
3. Mizai, Kyoto, Japan
"There are 36 Michelin three-star restaurants in Japan, and the best of all is the tiny Mizai, which has just six seats at a wooden counter in the middle of Maruyama Park in the middle of Kyoto. ...............showcasing perfect seasonal ingredients summed up by an amazing broth of matsutake mushrooms (the most prized in the world), which had a dazzling depth of flavour. Similarly, the black wagyu beef with its stunning marbling was simply grilled with a pepper sauce and green chilly salad.."
4. Pavillion Ledoyen, Paris, France
"Housed in a late 18th century building in landscaped gardens between the Champs-Elysee and the Seine........Chistian Le Squer's cooking shows a mastery of classical technique with interesting modern touches....... a remarkable pasta dish presented as a rectangular wall topped with truffles.."
5. Schloss Berg, Perl-Nennig, Germany
"...less than a mile from the (Luxembourg) border. Christian Bau('s) ....style grounded in classical French technique, but draws heavily on Japanese cooking for inspiration... highlights from the tasting menu include Parmesan foam with duck liver - remarkably light but with a deep Parmesan flavour."
So there you go. Something to savour over the week-end!
Great information! Have not been to any of these fine places. Alinea, in Chicago would be my easiest option, but I am not familiar at all with it. Something tells me you would have to book a reservation way in advance!
One thing I have found out about some of these places is: They sometimes are so "Exotic" that their experiences are not enjoyable.
Jerry and PainedP,
1. Pp: I'd be very interested to hear your reaction. Jerry's point re "over-egging the pudding" - an apposite metaphor? (sorry, chaps) - is well made, but I think that the problem might assume lesser proportions if someone else was paying!
2. Jerry: I had you down to report back on the Parisian restaurant. The location sounds not too far from where you usually stay .
3. Both: I think we should aim to meet up in the Japanese one. The idea of sitting in a restaurant at which the maximum number of fellow guests was 5 seems heavenly.
Back to the very acceptable bottle of pinot noir that is keeping me company this evening
Hope you enjoyed your pinot noir, I am about ready to have mine with a wonderful rack of lamb that I just grilled!
I looked up where the Pavillion Ledoyen is in Paris and it is within walking distance from The C-E Marriott. (By the way, no-one who is going to dine there is probably going to walk). When you pay those kind of prices, they should and may actually pick you up! I have seen more and more fine dining establishments do have contracted cars to at least take you back after your dinner.
arkwright, I had never heard of the place prior to your post and my experiences with most three star places has not been that good. As you say, "They over-egg the pudding!"
The place is close to the Place Concorde.
Likewise - but I've never been totally sure that my disappointment was as much, if not more, a function of my own lack of culinary imagination than the vendors' apparent fascination with gimmickry.The prospect of a blowtorch appearing over one's left shoulder is less than attractive. Taken to extremes, it could give a whole new urgency to defining "appropriate dress". Painedp: take care.
So well put! I have learned "You pay to learn what you don't like" in fancy food. I guess if you are on an expense account (Which I am not), you can eat anywhere, but I am baffled by the outrageous prices at some places that I am really not sure what I am really even eating.
Learning to keep it simple and places like Simpson's in the Strand, will get my vote in London. Real beef, real people, real atmosphere. Winston Churchill liked this place and thats good for me as well.