Tag Archives: paris

Le Dauphin

I am not a morning person, and Le Dauphin is, perhaps, not an afternoon restaurant. Better to go at night, when the experience mimics that of a dinner party squeezed into a newly-renovated bathroom — all cacophony and clean white marble. You might end up, as we have, at a small table near the huge front windows. The challenge here is distinguishing between the nearby figures having a smoke to take a break from the meal and those having a meal to take a break from smoking. I am not French enough to discern the difference.

Our server, somehow, is the chef. I drag my finger along the menu, stopping ten times. Sadly, he speaks French far too well to understand what the hell I’m mumbling. He drops his notepad and a pen on the table, and walks away coolly. I like his style. Continue reading

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Omnivore New York 2011

“I am the most stupid cooker of eggs.”

A confession from the man in the red tee shirt. All morning, thick-framed eyeglasses slid down his Gallic nose as he spoke. With every punctuation mark, he’d scrunch his face to put them back in place. This time a hearty chuckle gave them an extra little push upwards. Our host was laughing at himself, and we giggled along with him.

“Just do new things, day after day. That is it.”

This French chef’s philosophizing might easily have created a motto for the event. It’s also French, and they call it Omnivore. Created back in 2003 as a forum for the “young, free, and open-minded” in the world of food, last month marked its third bite out of Big Apple.  That morning’s chef-led master classes shared the playbill with a series of collaborative dinners that paired New York toques with their counterparts from abroad. Continue reading

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Le Chateaubriand

Sometimes I argue with the man in the mirror.  I’m smart enough to know that he can be stupid, and I delight in proving him wrong.  So in more ways than one, Le Chateaubriand was delightful.

I had to go there on this most recent Paris trip, precisely because I didn’t think I’d like it. I’d read the menu scores of times, seen pictures and reviews by friends whose opinions I really value. But a frustrating dichotomy was at work, the words “best” and “worst” uttered too frequently in the same breath.

I figured if I were going to investigate the matter for myself, a thorough approach was in order.  First my girlfriend and I would visit Le Dauphin, the newer, arguably cooler little brother to Chateaubriand that’s down the block.  Unfortunately after lunch there we learned that our date with the older sibling that evening was not, in fact, in the computer.  By “computer,” of course, I mean the scribbled, folded, wine-dotted papyrus peeking out of our server’s pocket.  Who, he asked, was our friend who’d made the booking for us, and what time would this hypothetical meal take place?  Inquiring minds wanted to know. Continue reading

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