Tuesday, November 29, 2011

E. Dehillerin Cookshop

Every foodie should visit this mecca of cookshops at least once. Dazzling selection of everything imaginable.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mon Vieil Ami

Last night for dinner in Paris, we ate at another restaurant on L’Isle Saint Louis.  There is something about being able to walk to the restaurant down the block that screams Paris to me.  Mon Vieil Ami is new since we were here last and I hope it lasts.  It is intimate with community table style seating, not normally my favourite thing but with all the different languages flowing around the table I didn’t feel the lack of privacy.  The focus is here is all about the vegetables. Each dish is identified by the predominant vegetable and they even have a vegetarian tasting menu.  Heaven for me.  I had a chestnut soup with roasted chestnuts and chestnut chips, the soup was poured over top at table.  Delicious, rich and aromatic.  My main course was a mushroom fricassee with a soft poached egg, spinach and a creamy mushroom emulsion.  Great with rustic bread to clean the bowl.  I could only handle a bite of the apple tart but it was perfect; beautiful and delicious.  My mother in law makes the best apple pie in the world and she would have approved of this tart.  A glass of champagne to start and a bottle of white burgundy and I was strolling down the avenue with a happy smile to end the evening. 
David says his dinner was superb.  He had mixed greens with mackerel and radish with a crispy bread base.  Main course was scallops with bitter greens.  The scallop was perfect but I didn’t love the greens.  David on the other hand was happy.  He finished with a kind of pear crumble.  Also excellent. 
If you are in Paris near L’Isle Saint Louis and want to try something interesting I would recommend Mon Vieil Ami by Antoine Westerman.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

L'Ilot Vache by David Elmy

L’Ilot Vache, 35 rue Saint-Louis en I’le, Paris, ph: 01-46-33-55-16
Located in our favourite area of Paris – L’isle  Saint-Louis, this is a charming and eccentrically decorated restaurant.  Each table is set with a unique plate; and the walls and shelves are filled with every imaginable cow ornament (apparently mostly donated by customers from around the globe.)
 The prix fixe menu is a great deal.  The most ridiculous item on the menu is their so-called “Caesar salad”, which is just a plain salad with olive oil dressing and some Roquefort cheese.  Good, but don’t  be deceived.   Escargot, on the other hand, is North American all the way – nice and garlicy, with butter & parsley.  The waiter is well aware of the bread requirement to soak up all that deliciousness!
For mains, try either the Lobster Cassoulet (no bean to be found, but mighty yummy, and really generous chunks of whole lobster) or Peche de la mare au gratin – lovely salmon (our night) with rosemary seasoning.
And.. complimentary cheese plate with the “menu” which offers three excellent cheeses.
Definitely a lovely, comfortable, friendly and relatively affordable restaurant in the Isle area.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paris Wine

I'm so happy to be back in Paris on the Isle Saint Louis.  Such a great location with good restaurants, an excellent cheese shop and a wine store Nicolas something or other.  Tonight we are drinking a 2008 Chateau d'Arcins from the Haute Medoc.  Full bodied and a little bit spicy.  We had a glass before we went for dinner and I'm having another right now.  Amazing how much benefit comes from a couple of hours of aging. There's just no understanding how badly I need to go to Bordeaux.  Cheers!

Le Reminet, Paris by David Elmy

Le Reminet, 3 rueLe des Grands-Degres. Ph: 01 44 07 04 24 www.lereminet.com
This is our fourth visit to this restaurant, which should say something in itself!  Originally recommended to us by a good client & friend, I notice this is also cited in Michelin’s Paris guide.   Besides boasting a fantastic location – a quiet street, just blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral – Le Reminet offers excellent, friendly service, a charming bistro-style atmosphere, and consistently excellent food.  (We always notice regulars eating there, by the way.)
Typically, your meal will start with  a complimentary appetiser (eg. ours this night was a prawn bisque – lovely!)  Cathy had an appetizer of marinated salmon rolled with salad and avocado dressing along with crab in tomato.  Very yummy.  I had a jumble prawn (biggest mother I’ve seen in my life) with caviar & crème fraiche and diced, spiced pumpkin.  Also, very tasty.  For entrees we had scallops with black rice and wild mushrooms, with a scallop emulsion.  Seabass rolled with marinated eggplant and some sort of toasty bread-like base.  It was excellent as well.  Coffee was good.  I alone had dessert, which was a classic crème brulee.   Everything was first rate.   

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tableau at the Loden Hotel

By lunch time Thursday I was craving Wednesday nights dinner.  First time I've had a craving for a dish in a LONG TIME.  I don't like to blog about restaurants in Vancouver but when it involves a hotel and a craving I've just gotta do it.  Tableau at the Loden has something GREAT going on.  I'm planning a second dinner there next week to have the mushrooms on toast and the halibut in brown butter again.  Both were so memorable that I can taste them now just by writing about them.  There's more butter involved than is healthy and the dining room is noisy and a bit crowded but the food is outstanding. Definitely worth a try.

Sri Lanka Lunch by Marie Chang

I certainly didn't lack for food on my recent trip to Sri Lanka.  In fact lunch at Heritance Kandalamawas probably one of the best lunches I've enjoyed in a while.  This hotel offered a la carte and I chose the seafood dish that you see in the picture.We also enjoyed an incredible Carrot Soup, Salad and Dessert.  While enjoying lunch we got to watch the monkeys right outside the dining room window!  This hotel appears to be in the middle of no-where but is really very conveniently located close to the UNESCO sights of Sigiriya, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa.  You can enjoy these archeological wonders and then come back and relax in this eco-friendly environment, enjoy the Spa and spend quiet time.   

All of our meals in Sri Lanka were wonderful, mostly buffets which worked well as there was such a wide variety to appeal to everyone.  There was always local Sri Lankan Curries which are reputed to be the hottest in the world, (although toned down a bit in the hotels) but you could also choose from a huge selection of International Dishes, and the desserts were amazing, sometimes we just wanted to start with them!  Delicious Ice-Cream and I was always excited when we found 'the room'.  Many of the hotels had a room in the dining area dedicated entirely to desserts.   The tea of course was simply the best but surprisingly we all agreed the coffee also tasted good.  The other highlight  was the fresh assortment of fruits every morning - pineapple and papaya especially.