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Quick Tips

These are short and snappy "quick tips" that we have come across in our connections to the world of food and wine that you may find useful. While our "tips" may not have been personally experienced by ourselves, they have been by sources we trust, so we are, in effect, passing them on.

We will only leave these up a short time so if you want to revisit older "tips", click here to go to the Quick Tip Archives.

France - Paris - Boulangerie Morieux "the best bakery in Boulogne-Billancourt."

It has been called "the best bakery in Boulogne-Billancourt. Even recently written up in the New York Times! Probably this coverage will make longer lines. But research shows that the owner Mickael Morieux has established a superb Patisserie and Boulangerie in this sort of out-of-the-way arrondissement in Paris. But apparently well worth the trip.

Using whole grain flours and some also of older grains like spelt, he gives the dough that extra dose of love and kindness creating loaves filled with taste, texture and yeast that demand to be eaten hot with melting butter or a drizzle of olive oil. Try the rustic sourdough, the dark rye, the crusty baguettes. His light as air croissants that need no butter coming well supplied with their own.
Keep up to date with the delightful French blog www.leblogdeboulogne.com

Italy - Milan - Restaurant La Veranda

From our man in Italy - David Lawrence:

La Veranda, the fashionable restaurant in Milan’s Four Seasons Hotel. Behind a contemporary wall of glass overlooking the garden, I enjoyed the innovative cuisine of Executive Chef Sergio Mei. A delicious lobster salad offered the surprise of peaches along with green beans, red onions, hazelnuts and tomatoes. Of course I had to have a pasta dish; linguine with carpet clams, sea urchins and mullet roe. Super yum! Then, veal cutlet Milanese (when in Milan ---) along with baked potatoes and a rocket salad. Dessert? Naturalmente; I’ll diet (tomorrow). So, an assortment of homemade gelato made my night.

Four Seasons Hotel Milano
Via Gesù, 6/8
20121 Milano
Tel. +39 02 77088
Fax. +39 02 7708 5000

Contributing Editors: David Lawrence - 10 Novemberr, 2012, Milan, Italy

Le Dôme Café or Café du Dôme, Montparnasse, Paris - Seafood Fresh from Brittany.

Fish fresh from the sea in the heart of Paris!? The Seine is lovely, but not exactly the home of edible sea creatures. That's why the venerable, crowded emperor of the brasseries, "Le Dome" gets it's fare daily from Brittany. It's a bit like casting your line from Paris into the waters of Brittany and reeling your catch into "Le Dome" where it is cooked to perfection and served by tuxedoed staff in the romantic Belle Epoque atmosphere dating from 1898 when "Le Dome" first opened its doors.

Jackie and I joined the happy eaters on Boulevard Montparnasse, sipped our Deutz Rose Champagne while Jackie struggled to like (but couldn't) bigorneaux (winkles). I slurped a half dozen gorgeous oysters (Fines de Claire number 3)Oysters and she enjoyed her new favorite dish, succulent little Langoustine tails. We followed by sharing sweet, tender Lobster Breton with leaks, potatoes, carrots and herbs. Our wines were a crisp, cold Clos des Bouffant Sancerre and Chateau Haut-Bailly's Pessac-Leognon. Put away your rod and reel Monsieur et Madame; head for Le Dome instead. Just bring along a big appetite.


A little history (with thanks to Wikipedia):

Opening in 1898, it was the first such cafe in Montparnasse. It "created and disseminated gossip, and provided message exchanges and an 'over the table' market that dealt in artistic and literary futures." It was frequented by the famous (and soon to be famous) painters, sculptors, writers, poets, models, art connoisseurs and dealers. "Le Dome Cafe" later became the gathering place of the American literary colony and became a focal point for artists residing in Paris's Left Bank

A poor artist used to be able to get a Saucisse de Toulouse (sausage) and a plate of mashed potatoes for $1. Today, it is a top fish restaurant (the Michelin Guide gives it one star), with a comfortably old-fashioned decor.

Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner (except in July and August when it is closed Sunday and Monday), reservations are recommended but not required. Closed Mon., Sun. in Aug. Open until 12:30am

"Le Dome Cafe"
108 Boulevard du Montparnasse
75014 Paris 14e, France
01 43 35 25 81
No website.

Closest Métro: Vavin

Contributing Editors: David Lawrence and Jackie Joseph-Lawrence - 28 October, 2011, Paris, France.

An American Brunch in Paris a la Francaise! "Royal Monceau Hotel" near the Champs Elysee.

Jackie Joseph-LawrenceSuddenly, Paris is alive with the "Weekend Brunch", familiar to us in the US, but new to the City of Light. Thank heavens, we Americans have exported something tastier, healthier and far better than quickie hamburgers and expensive coffee lattes.

Jackie and I sampled one of the best of the Brunches at the classic "Royal Monceau Hotel", recently acquired by the elite "Raffles Group" and re-done by uber-designer Philippe Starck who showed real restraint without sacrificing his trademark quirky humor.

Our brunch displayed an array of food properly breathtaking, and speaking as one who loves a variety of small bites, it was more than satisfying. Food groups were separated into fresh-from-the-sea delicacies – lobster medallions, huge shrimp, smoked salmon, sushi - then salads, fruits, cheeses, meats and chicken, egg dishes, waffles – just name it!

Setting it apart from our own home brunches was the artistic plating; each group of delicacies was a painting. Not so off-putting, however as to eliminate consumption. The finale of course was the panorama of desserts by the master, Pierre Herme, with emphasis on chocolate.

One could happily leave life after sampling these goodies. But not before thrilling to the art that graces each space in this glorious hotel. Raffles even has its own Art Concierge to lead one through the splendor of this intimate and almost private museum.

Great combination: grand hotel, striking new design, startling art and delicious food – "Le Royal Monceau Raffles" is just steps from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysee.

To WebAlbum Link

Contributing Editors: David Lawrence and Jackie Joseph-Lawrence 3 October, 2011, Paris, France.
Oct. 2011

29 year-old Executive Chef Christopher Hache in Paris is living up to his Michelin star awarded earlier this year!

Blue Brittany LobsterThe grande dame "Hotel de Crillon", born in 1788, gets a grand makeover a “Best City Hotel in the World 2011” award, and a first ever one Michelin Star for her Executive Chef Christopher Hache who presides over the kitchens of the splendid "Les Ambassadeurs" restaurant.

We met Chef de Cuisine Christopher Hache (talented as he is handsome) and sampled his marvelous new (and more affordable) menu in the elegant"Les Ambassadeurs" with its Louis XV décor, five varieties of marble, crystal chandeliers and frescoed ceiling.

Restaurant Director, Pierre Jung, guided us through a wonderful dinner from Tempura Mussels to a unique roll of Blue Brittany Lobster and Mozzerella to pan roasted Duck Foie Gras to picture-perfect pink rack of lamb wrapped in crispy noodles. All with a parade of wines from Chief Sommelier, Jerome Moreau that started with Billecart-Salmon Rose Champagne and included Reds from little known, brilliant makers.

chefWe drank to the new owner, an eminent Saudi Prince who is bringing "Hotel de Crillon" back to its original glory and adding a new ecology and technology.

And we ended happily thanks to creative Pastry Chef, Jérôme Chaucesse. Picture chocolate with a secret tunnel filled with ice cream for lucky David. And for gleeful Jackie: pink cotton candy, over a structural cookie that held verbena sorbet, over sensual syrup filled with fresh peach slices. Like something out of Dr. Seuss.

LambIf Paris is within your possibilities - go all the way, visit a Palace, "Hotel de Crillon" and treat yourself to a once in a dream dinner at "Les Ambassadeurs".

Notes: Chef Christopher Hache earned his firs star just a year after opening the remodeled restaurant. He studied under such famous French chefs as Eric Fréchon, Alain Senderens and Eric Briffard, Christopher Hache took over the reins of the Hôtel de Crillon’s kitchens. He also was named "Young Chef of the Year in February by the "Pudlo Guide".

Correspondants: David Lawrence and Jackie Joseph-Lawrence - 26 Sept, 2011

Ducasse has opened yet another reataurant & it is in the Caribbean!

Hôtel W Retreat & Spa, Puerto Rico. April, 2010—At the heart of a luxuriant little piece of paradise with an ocean view, Alain Ducasse opened the doors to "miX on the Beach", a unique and unrivaled table in April 2010. So there has been time for the staff to have settled in and the kitchens to run like the Swiss Watch we have come to expect from all the Ducasse restaurants.

Passionate as ever about using local produce, he combines the colorful flavors so prized by the Caribbeans to his all time love, a subtly felt Mediterranean foundation. Mixing together his combined interests, he came up with the "Caribbean Cookpot", Alain Ducasses’ signature dish, composed of fennel, carrot, courgette, plantain, daikon, and bread fruit. "miX on the Beach" is well named, to say the least!

Some of the original creations found at miX : Curried roast Maine lobster, basmati rice with coconut and pork « en cocotte », creamy gruel, and cornbread are served side by side with with some of Alain Ducasses’ signature dishes, such as the celebrated Baba, prepared with local rum.

And all this located in a delightful spa hotel right on the beach www.wvieques.com. So pamper yourself and get the best of both worlds.

Nov 8.2010

Two Delicious New Openings in Monte-Carlo at Hotel L'Hermitage!.

First, a new concept in dining at the Vistamar restaurant.
"One fish, one vegetable, one preparation” is the new motto of the Vistamar restaurant and master chef Joël Garrault! Some tasty moments in store! And dine in a superb environment designed by Pierre Yves Rocho. From the gorgeous terrace (open in summer), you can admire breathtaking views on the harbour and the famous Rock.

From Monday to Friday: Business menu at 39€ (2 meals, water, wine, coffee) and reduced "à la carte". Saturday and Sunday: Degustation menu at 70€ (champagne cup for starter, 3 meals, water, wine and coffee) and reduced "à la carte"

Then, right next door, a must-go venue this month, September 2010: the new Crystal Bar - A cozy, elegant atmosphere, a summer terrace and winter fireside corner. Top vintage wines served by the glass. Come see the new rendez-vous for connoisseurs at the Hôtel Hermitage.

Lunch "Luxury around the product" (Lobster, foie-gras...). Reduced suggestion of the day (with calorific value indicated) at 25€
Concept Selection of Great Wine and Vintage Champagne by glass.

HÔTEL HERMITAGE - Square Beaumarchais - 98000 Monaco - Tel : (377) 98 06 98 98

# # #
September 2010

For More visit their site

WiFi at 35,000 feet and a superb flight reminiscent of the type of air travel we remember from years ago for its attention and focus on the comforts and convenience of the passengers, but with a whole new and ultra modern interior design that is at once stylish as well as functional.

This is an airline that really is paying attention to details and is utilizing the lastest technologies in highly productive ways, not just for themselves, but for their passengers as well.

WiFi in the sky is very nice for business travelers, for the novelty and fun of emailing friends and family and even skyping, but I was able to log into my connecting flight website (different airline), confirm my next flight, check baggage, pay for it, print out my boarding pass (as a pdf), choose my seats and more as I was staring down at the Sierras below. This is more than a novelty, this is efficiency and peace of mind.

The mood-lit cabin, touch screen food & cabin staff service self controlled on the TV screen on the back of the seat in front of you, and the hip, sophisticated vibe that exudes from the interior design of the cabin, all combine to make travel fun again. Even the molded, fiberglass seat bodies (filled with ergonomic seat cushions) that evoke the Star Wars Trooper body armor, allow shin bone contact during the flight without red grooves most airplane seating inflicts or even prompting noticing the leg contact at all. That coupled with adequate space between seats even in steerage, will permit those who suffer from "tallness" to travel in improved comfort.

You order your food and beverages on that same touch screen. Your order will then be served to you from the food cart. Between meals, you order snacks and beverages the same way. You pay for them (those that require payment) by swiping your credit card along the bottom on the screen.

So next time you find Virgin is on your route, give them a try. They are not the only airline to offer inflight WiFi, but they seem to have gotten the whole picutre right. Their prices from LAX to JFK were identical to everyone else, so why not? Their website is easy and fast to use and find what you want. Even the computer challanged can use it since it guides you through everything in a logical way.

June 2010

Italy - Genoa - A some great little Bistro's we have heard about-

Oh! You could spend weeks eating at all of the marvelous small restaurants and bistros in Genoa as you explore this marvelous city. Around the port are to be found great deals at lunch time.

But here are a few you may enjoy:

La Berlocca - is a typically Genoese "trattoria" whose menu is filled with local dishes not likely to be found outside Ligouria. Located in a 17th century building with high-vaulted ceilings and great lighting, you can taste marelous regional food served in simple surroundings. Small, maybe a dozen tables in all, so either get there early or make reservations. In the Old Town. The back room is usually more or less smoke free. All credit cards accepted. Closed Mon
Via del Macelli di Soziglia 45r (tel 010.247.4162).

Osteria di Vico Palla
- is also has a very typical Ligourian menu at modest prices. Best fish with olive oil around! Unusual for Italy, it has GOOD DESSERTS! Open plan kitchen. Closed Mon
Vico Palla, 11/13/15r, (39-010) 246-6575.


All rights reserved peter d'aprix ©1985-2012.
No copying, reuse or partial reproduction permitted without written permission by the authors, Peter and Linda D'Aprix.

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