Tag Archives: vin naturel

In De Wulf

There’s no such thing as trying to eat. One eats or one doesn’t. And half-hearted promises are as loathsome as air kisses and limp handshakes. So when I told a guy named Kobe that I would come to a town called Dranouter, I meant it. Now I’m In De Wulf.

This place is in de middle of nowhere, so we’ll stay the night in the guest rooms upstairs. But this afternoon, ambassadors from France, Spain, China and the US convene in the lounge — a UN of restaurant junkies. Friends old and new have just eaten lunch, while my buddy Jose and I await dinner. 3,600 miles from my house, I am at home. Continue reading

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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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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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