kayili! (kayo) Tue 10 Jun 08 14:55
Pounti sounds intriguing!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 11 Jun 08 08:39
> a loaf of pork, spinach, Swiss chard, onions, prunes and herbs oh my god. That sounds amazing! I immediately went looking for recipes for pounti, and found this: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2004/10/pounti_auvergnat_imbb9.php The above recipe calls for chard, but no spinach. I also found recipes that called for guinea fowl instead of pork for the dish. I interpret this to mean there's plenty of leeway to play, which is my favorite way to create in the kitchen. (Off to the store in seach of some pork...)
kayili! (kayo) Wed 11 Jun 08 09:22
Really? you're going to make it? post photos!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 13 Jun 08 14:05
(OK, I admit it, I haven't yet made it to the store. That's on Sunday's to- do list...)
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 13 Jun 08 15:19
The best pounti I've ever had was in a tiny restaurant across the street from the train station in Rodez. Drop dead delcious. In Paris, you can sometime find it on the menu of the Ambassade d'Auverge, which is a fabulous restaurant specializing in Auvergnat cooking. The aligot there is to die for, as is the stuffed cabbage.
Ed Ward (captward) Sat 14 Jun 08 01:49
Got any suggestions for Montpellier other than Jardin des Sens, which is sorta way out of my budget range (not to mention too far to walk)? Headed down there on Monday.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 09:56
Ed, Two ideas in Montpelier. The hottest table in town is Insense at the Musee Fabre, the latest restaurant from local gastro czars the Pourcel brothers. The beamed gray ceiling of the edgy battle-ship gray interior reprises the museums interior and they serve outside on a wood-decked terrace on warm nights. Their version of a chicken Cesar salad puts most of those served stateside to shame, and the succulent rouille de seiche comme a Sete, is tender squid braised in a shellfish sauce like they do in the nearby port of Sete. Tamarillos has a pleasant terrace overlooking a quiet square, and chef Philippe Chapon love to cook with fruit, vegetables and edible flowers. His tuna tartare with orange and black currants is superb, as are his baby vegetables in coconut milk.
Ed Ward (captward) Sat 14 Jun 08 10:42
Thanks. I know both those places, but too bad Insense is only open for lunch, or so it seemed when I was there in March. (The Pourcels are Jardin des Sens, right?) Tamarillos is a few doors from my bargain-basement pick Bistrot d'Alco, which is behind the Prefecture on the same street, where you can usually get a good meal with wine for 20. Sometimes better than others, and it varies widely, but if you hit them on a good night -- they've got killer garlicky sauteed seiches, for instance -- and when they've got a good wine special, they rock. I should check out Tamarillos, though, when I get settled; too much classic Fronch food will, I'm sure, get boring.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 15:20
Ed, You should check and see if Insense is open for dinner during the summer. I remember walking by the museum at night last summer and seeing people seated on the terrace adjacent to the front entrance. Not sure if you're going to be in Montpelier for a while, or if you'll have wheels, but if you have time and can motor, check Le Tracteur, about 30 km north of the city. It's one of the best little bistros in southern France.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 15:26
Calling all couscous lovers--I went back to Chez Omar in the rue de Bretagne, 3rd, for the first time in ages last night and it was better than ever. Omar is rightly proud of his meat and his merguez (spicey lamb sausages to the uninitiated) are fabulous. Pastries come from La Bague de Kenza, the best North African bakery in Paris in the 11th, too. North African food is v. popular in London, Brussels, and other large European cities, too, but aside from a couple of ho-hum places on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, I've never had a great couscous in the U.S. Does one exist? And does anyone want to suggest a favorite of their own in Paris?
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Sun 15 Jun 08 19:16
I was dyin' to go to a couscous venue in Paris when I was there last fall, but there are just so many meals you can eat, and we ran out of time before we got to one. sigh... By the way, I *did* get to the market for the pork I needed to make the Pounti Auvergnat. I used pork shoulder, which I figured would work well because it's so marbled that I knew it'd shred nicely once I'd cooked it up. It did. The dish is a big hit in my house. here are a couple photos: http://www.fotothing.com/gcook/photo/ccd4c8fcaf20daff42ca32b84f24b2a9/ http://www.fotothing.com/gcook/photo/bd08eb0d0b8c3c51db21eb0b43052c88/
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 20 Jun 08 16:03
Cynthia, I love the idea that pounti has migrated to the other side of the Atlantic! It's a great party dish, too, since it can support being lukewarm for a longtime. Meanwhile, this lousy summer in Europe (overcast and cool) relented long enough for me to have to deliriously wonderful sorbet experiences: Violette-Black Currant at Laduree, 21 rue Bonaparte, 6th. Like eating a Colette novel. Apricot-Rosemary at La Maison du Chocolat, 52 rue Francois Ier, 8th. A week-long vacation in Provence in one scoop.
Howard Levine (hll) Sat 21 Jun 08 07:25
Alex - Any suggestion on going for lunch vs. dinner at Pierre Gagnaire? Specifically, is everything available on the menu for luch? Looking forward to our vist next month. Thanks.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 22 Jun 08 14:50
Howard, I much prefer lunch at Gagnaire, since there's more atmosphere and the dining room is more likely to be filled with a French (powerbroker) crowd than with foreigners. Only a dish or two not available at lunch, so you won't miss anything either. Lunch or dinner, by all means go, though, since I don't think Gagnaire's food has ever been better. Alec
Howard Levine (hll) Sun 22 Jun 08 15:42
excellent - thanks Alec - lunch on the 24th it is.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Mon 23 Jun 08 05:50
Great new restaurant alert: INTINERAIRES, rue de Pontoise, 5th. Chef is Sylvain Sendra, who used to be at Le Temps a Temps in the 11th. Superb market cooking and very reasonably priced.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 23 Jun 08 09:48
What do you mean by "market cooking," Alec?
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Mon 23 Jun 08 16:18
Sylvain decides what he cooks everyday according to what he finds in the markets, local ones but also the big mother of all Paris markets at Rungis. This means that his cooking is incredibly seasonal, fresh, and inspired. Don't miss this place if you're coming to Paris this summer! And speaking of which, after my recent trip to sublime but shudderingly expensive Croatia, I have to tell you that even with the dollar in the dumps (Some French newspapers call it "Bush's Peso), eating in Paris is still excellent value for the money as long as you skip the whole haute cuisine thing and do bistros.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 25 Jun 08 07:09
> if you're coming to Paris this summer! Wish I could. That "Bush's peso" problem isn't limited to the value of the US dollar outside the States. It's buying power is shrinking drastically right here at home, too. Most everybody in the the US's economic middle class is doing a lot of belt-tightening these days. But I still love all this talk of restaurants and food. It inspires me to expand my own kitchen repertoire. That pounti dish is a great example.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Wed 2 Jul 08 23:08
Soaring prices, a sinking stock market, and the utter misery of air travel are powerful deterrents to any travel right now, of course, but the good news is that Paris remains relatively affordable. With a little bit of planning (eat your main meal at noon, for example), you can still eat extremely well in Paris for prices that are lower than what you'd pay for a mid-level meal in the U.S. Of the many good-value places in HUNGRY FOR PARIS, friends have recently loved Le Mesturet and Au Vieux Chene.
Howard Levine (hll) Sun 6 Jul 08 06:44
Alec - We're thinking of visiting Itineraires later this month. Do you recommend lunch or dinner there, or does it matter? Are reservations becoming necessary due to the current reviews? Thanks.
Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 6 Jul 08 09:14
Howard, I think dinner's livelier and more "Parisian" at Itineraires, and yes, do book a week ahead of time, since it has become very, very popular. Another new place that I like very much is La Bigarrade, rue Nollet, 17th arrondissement. It's a tiny little spot where the chef cooks a single prix-fixe menu nightly at 60 Euros, a bit expensive, but well-worth it in terms of the food. And just in case you were thinking of going to Aux Fin Gourmets, the old bistro on boulevard Saint Germain near the rue du Bac: Don't. It may have new owners--a young crew that trained with Alain Ducasse--but the food is awful and it's very expensive for no good reason. Best, Alec
Howard Levine (hll) Mon 7 Jul 08 20:26
thanks Alec. we'll try for a dinner there.
It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Thu 17 Jul 08 09:44
Great article in NY Times today about how the hamburger is taking paris by storm. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/dining/16paris.html>
Ed Ward (captward) Thu 17 Jul 08 14:48
Hey, Alec, I went to the Musée Fabre in Montpellier today to see the Courbet show and checked the restaurant there. It's still only open for lunch. Which is a shame: it's simply too much for lunch for me, but it does look like an exciting menu.
Members: Enter the conference to participate