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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: denny on June 24, 2011, 12:03:08 AM

Title: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: denny on June 24, 2011, 12:03:08 AM
http://www.thedailymeal.com/four-restaurants-where-youll-never-ever-get-table/comment/reply/172
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: tumarkin on June 24, 2011, 12:44:04 AM
good thing, that works because I really don't want to. no posurs.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 24, 2011, 05:10:45 AM
good thing, that works because I really don't want to. no poseurs.

Read the article, you'll be amused.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: narvin on June 24, 2011, 05:22:39 AM
If it's hard to get, it must be good!  The way things are going, homebrewers will be able to make a small fortune on ebay soon.

"FS: One bottle of Imperial Uber Stout, vintage 2006.  The only bottle from the batch available for sale, ever! (as all others exploded).  Lost for years but recently unearthed in a 90 degree attic.  Aged in rich Mexican plastic for 15 months.  Rich, roasty, vinous, acidic from a pedio infection, bottled in a corona bottle by a bearded lunatic homebrewer living in the picturesque mountains of a far off place.  $900 OBO"
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: a10t2 on June 24, 2011, 06:06:40 AM
Quote
Arrive at 5:30 or 10:30, not any reasonable dinner hour; sit in cramped quarters on tiny chairs; eat what the chef tells you to eat, and you'll take the damn sauce and like it. Oh, and no friggin' photos, dirtbag!

I'm glad I don't go to the places this guy eats. :o
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: johnf on June 24, 2011, 12:42:44 PM
Quote
Arrive at 5:30 or 10:30, not any reasonable dinner hour; sit in cramped quarters on tiny chairs; eat what the chef tells you to eat, and you'll take the damn sauce and like it. Oh, and no friggin' photos, dirtbag!

I'm glad I don't go to the places this guy eats. :o

He is describing restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, Alinea etc. It's obvious he has never been to any of them (for a number of reasons).
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 24, 2011, 12:53:53 PM
There are too many good restaurants to put up with long waits. Better yet, stay home, cook better food, drink better beer and save money.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: dbeechum on June 24, 2011, 03:21:22 PM
As much as I like my cooking, there's something miraculous about the cooking of Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) and Grant Achatz (Alinea) that I could never hope to match and love to witness very periodically.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2011, 03:47:05 PM
As much as I like my cooking, there's something miraculous about the cooking of Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) and Grant Achatz (Alinea) that I could never hope to match and love to witness very periodically.

I have always beleived that anything you can get at a restaurant you can make at home better and cheaper. That may not be 100% true but it works for me most of the time. That being said, I love to go out to eat at really nice (good not fancy) restaurants on occasion. I have not had the opportunity to get to French Laundry yet but I am looking forward to it. I did get to chez pannise a couple of years ago and it was really nice, As  vegetarian the entree was lacking thoughfullness but my friends who had the fish said it was wonderful. My entree was a braised porcini which I might have mentioned is my idea of the ultimate mushroom of all time, but I felt a little like they threw it together cause they could not think of anything more interesting.

Looking at the French laundry sample menu it looks like they really focus on the vegtarian entree with as much creativity and thought as the non-veg options. So now I just have to save up 500$ to go!
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 24, 2011, 03:48:32 PM
Every time I spend a lot of money at a "Five Star" restaurant, I walk away feeling like a real sucker. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong places. No matter how good it is, no meal should set 2 people back $150 to $200 or even much, much more.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: gordonstrong on June 24, 2011, 03:58:54 PM
As much as I like my cooking, there's something miraculous about the cooking of Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) and Grant Achatz (Alinea) that I could never hope to match and love to witness very periodically.

+1

I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook for my wife's birthday a few years ago (along with lobster bisque, a roasted pear salad, and orange-chocolate souffles).  It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.  Calling well in advance and paying a restaurant tab didn't seem like a bad deal after that ordeal.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: johnf on June 24, 2011, 04:15:22 PM
Every time I spend a lot of money at a "Five Star" restaurant, I walk away feeling like a real sucker. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong places. No matter how good it is, no meal should set 2 people back $150 to $200 or even much, much more.

Maybe no meal should set you back that much. You spend your money, I'll spend mine.

I own a 1996 Toyota Corolla (and it stands out in my company's parking lot). I don't think I should spend $60,000 and then insure $60,000 to be more comfortable on my commute. I don't aim to enforce that decision on others, or judge them if they choose differently.

For me the best thing I can spend my money on (maybe after funding retirement) is experiences like travelling to Bamberg to drink Rauchbier or eating Matsusaka beef when I have the opportunity of working in Tokyo. You certainly do and should not have to pay thousands of dollars to drink a beer or hundreds to eat dinner, but I'm glad I do on occasion and I don't really look at it as a beer or a meal but as an experience. I remember those things forever. If I go buy a toy, I usually really enjoy it for a week and then get desensitized to it and am no happier than before I bought it. I still buy toys, but I try to spend little money on toys and big money on experiences. My two cents and YMMV.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: dbeechum on June 24, 2011, 04:25:32 PM
I still buy toys, but I try to spend little money on toys and big money on experiences.

QFT (my truth at least)
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 24, 2011, 04:29:02 PM
You guys obviously have more expendable income that I do. I look at things like, do I want to spend $200 for a meal or brew many batches of good beer? If I'm the only one making the decision, the beer wins hands down, but if my wife is involved, that's not always the case.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: dbeechum on June 24, 2011, 04:33:19 PM
I wish I still had expendable income, but I will save for an experience that I want. It may take me a year or two, but it's worth it. I still find a way to fit the beer things in. :)
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2011, 06:46:29 PM
I wish I still had expendable income, but I will save for an experience that I want. It may take me a year or two, but it's worth it. I still find a way to fit the beer things in. :)

Yeah a 200$ meal is a once every few years kind of thing, at least for me.

As gordon says, even to make your own can cost that much, When you go to a place like French Laundry or Chez pannise, you are paying a premium for the highest quality, local, freshest ingredients prepared and served by the best people in their fields who are (hopefully) being paid enough to feel like the best in their field).

In terms of paying for an experience, that's part of what you get. it's not just the food. otherwise I would do it at home (and I do!) which is it's own experience.

**EDIT** gordon, That sounds awesome by the way! your wife is a lucky woman.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: phillamb168 on June 24, 2011, 07:34:24 PM
Every time I spend a lot of money at a "Five Star" restaurant, I walk away feeling like a real sucker. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong places. No matter how good it is, no meal should set 2 people back $150 to $200 or even much, much more.

If you want to spend that kind of money, never go to a place that calls itself five star. Get a copy of the Guide Michelin and go to any restaurant listed, even the bib gourmand. If it's got even a single star, it'll be one of the best restaurants you'll have ever been to. $200 is way too much to spend per person, unless you're at Fat Duck, El Bulli, Noma, Per Se or Alinea. And if you're at Noma, WTF are you doing at a restaurant instead of the Mikkeller pub?

Edit to say, I say avoid five star places because normally only hotels are rated up to five stars, restaurants according to michelin are ordered up to 3 stars.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 24, 2011, 07:37:38 PM
Every time I spend a lot of money at a "Five Star" restaurant, I walk away feeling like a real sucker. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong places. No matter how good it is, no meal should set 2 people back $150 to $200 or even much, much more.

If you want to spend that kind of money, never go to a place that calls itself five star. Get a copy of the Guide Michelin and go to any restaurant listed, even the bib gourmand. If it's got even a single star, it'll be one of the best restaurants you'll have ever been to. $200 is way too much to spend per person, unless you're at Fat Duck, El Bulli, Noma, Per Se or Alinea. And if you're at Noma, WTF are you doing at a restaurant instead of the Mikkeller pub?

The $200 I'm referring to is for 2 people. You will never find me in a restaurant that charges $200 per person. I don't like dining with crazy people. :)
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: a10t2 on June 24, 2011, 07:38:50 PM
He is describing restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, Alinea etc. It's obvious he has never been to any of them (for a number of reasons).

Ah, well looking closer I see that he lives in LA, apparently by choice. He deserves what he gets then. ;D
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: phillamb168 on June 24, 2011, 07:51:31 PM
He is describing restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, Alinea etc. It's obvious he has never been to any of them (for a number of reasons).

Ah, well looking closer I see that he lives in LA, apparently by choice. He deserves what he gets then. ;D

+1
 ;D
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: weazletoe on June 25, 2011, 02:02:26 AM
Personally, even when I worked a real job, and had the money, I felt sick if Holly and I spent more than 50$ between us on a meal. We could never see the sense in paying that much to eat out. You eat, and a few hours later, you poop, and you're done. Sure, it may have been an "experience",but there are a lot of other things we would like to experience for 200$, before a meal. Not knocking anyone of you who does spend that kind of coin for a meal, it;s just not our thing.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 25, 2011, 02:43:13 AM
Personally, even when I worked a real job, and had the money, I felt sick if Holly and I spent more than 50$ between us on a meal. We could never see the sense in paying that much to eat out. You eat, and a few hours later, you poop, and you're done. Sure, it may have been an "experience",but there are a lot of other things we would like to experience for 200$, before a meal. Not knocking anyone of you who does spend that kind of coin for a meal, it;s just not our thing.

It's kind of like pooping a lot of money and all you can do is flush it down the drain. That "experience" doesn't leave me with good thoughts. It's not like I don't enjoy a good dump, but a $30 one is just as good as a $200 one.

Well said weazletoe.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: weazletoe on June 25, 2011, 05:00:30 AM
To be honest, I have some amazing 5$ poops, from the McDonalds value menu!!  ;D
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: thirsty on June 25, 2011, 12:05:45 PM
I am right there with ya weaze. Even when I lived in NYC I couldn't quite get the concept of paying big bucks for, ah, ... food.   ???

Good thing for the chef's not everyone is like me!

Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: morticaixavier on June 26, 2011, 04:57:39 AM
In america we think of food as something cheap. We tend to pay much less, around 20% or less, of our income towards food. in much of the rest of the world, 'developing' and 'developed' that number is closer to 40%, now one could look at this and think that it means america has cheaper food and yippee but I tend to think about the fact that the third most important thing in the world to our health and survival (air and water being numbers 1 and 2) is an area that maybe we shouldn't scrimp on. This is just my opinion but... I am not defending places that call themselves 5 star and make crappy food served by surly waiters and call that classy.

But I know that a lot of you wouldn't think of buying maris otter malt rather than domestic malt that is 2/3 the price and that's just for your beer. why wouldn't you want the food that nourishes you to be of at least the same quality of the ingredients that go into your beer? If I am going to go out for lunch I look to find a place where I can get a good sandwhich with fresh veg and if it only costs 5 or 6 bucks great! but if it costs 10 bucks because the ingredients are amazing and organic I will do that.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: Tim McManus on June 26, 2011, 05:53:20 AM
I brew beer with a guy who is a chef in NYC.

Find a chef at any good restaurant and serve them some good homebrew.  They will reciprocate (or come over to cook while you brew).
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 26, 2011, 12:32:48 PM
In america we think of food as something cheap. We tend to pay much less, around 20% or less, of our income towards food. in much of the rest of the world, 'developing' and 'developed' that number is closer to 40%, now one could look at this and think that it means america has cheaper food and yippee but I tend to think about the fact that the third most important thing in the world to our health and survival (air and water being numbers 1 and 2) is an area that maybe we shouldn't scrimp on. This is just my opinion but... I am not defending places that call themselves 5 star and make crappy food served by surly waiters and call that classy.

But I know that a lot of you wouldn't think of buying maris otter malt rather than domestic malt that is 2/3 the price and that's just for your beer. why wouldn't you want the food that nourishes you to be of at least the same quality of the ingredients that go into your beer? If I am going to go out for lunch I look to find a place where I can get a good sandwhich with fresh veg and if it only costs 5 or 6 bucks great! but if it costs 10 bucks because the ingredients are amazing and organic I will do that.

Got no problem with a good $10 sandwich and you just proved that a healthy meal can be had for far under $200.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: denny on June 26, 2011, 03:57:32 PM
Got no problem with a good $10 sandwich and you just proved that a healthy meal can be had for far under $200.

Of course it can.  And you can buy a painting at a discount store for a few bucks.  A Monet will cost more.  It's an individual choice, and just because one person doesn't mean that it's wrong for others.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: tubercle on June 26, 2011, 04:19:34 PM
  Ms. Tubercle and I prefer to cook at home for the most part with the occasonal trip out. About twice a year we'll go out somewhere fairly fancy. We're talking in the ~$80 range.


 I always order something on the high end that I have never tried before and spend the next 6 months trying to recreate it at home ;D and then adding my own twist to it.

 The meal is partly reverse engineering the dish.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 26, 2011, 04:24:16 PM
Got no problem with a good $10 sandwich and you just proved that a healthy meal can be had for far under $200.

Of course it can.  And you can buy a painting at a discount store for a few bucks.  A Monet will cost more.  It's an individual choice, and just because one person doesn't mean that it's wrong for others.

I never said it was wrong, just makes no sense to me and that includes over priced art.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: gordonstrong on June 26, 2011, 05:08:45 PM
The meal is partly reverse engineering the dish.

That's half the fun for me.  I do the same thing with beer.  So I guess it's another example of cross-training.

You also have the rule that you and your wife can't order the same thing, because then you couldn't share?  Turns any dinner into a tasting menu, which is more fun.  Of course if she gets something she really likes, then "sharing" usually means "here's a small bite."
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 27, 2011, 01:30:13 PM
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: ccarlson on June 27, 2011, 01:50:40 PM
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.

I wondered that same thing. I can't imagine how that added up to several hundred dollars..
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: jeffy on June 27, 2011, 02:09:14 PM
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.

I wondered that same thing. I can't imagine how that added up to several hundred dollars..
Maybe he is amortizing the Big Green Egg.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: gordonstrong on June 27, 2011, 02:11:50 PM
Look up the recipe. Then all the component recipes, including the stocks and garnishes. Not every ingredient can be purchased in the quantity you need to use, and not every specialty ingredient is something in your pantry. Prime veal and fresh lobsters 800 miles from the coast aren't cheap. For each ingredient, look at the price of the best quality choice, not whatever is on sale at Walmart. I didn't make substitutions, and I didn't cut any corners. Professional kitchens would obviously have many of the component items on hand and use them across multiple dishes. So I had leftovers from when I made many of the parts, as well as excess ingredients that keep. That's OK, veal stock freezes well. I also wound up with maybe 8 portions for a dinner for 4, so we enjoyed it for a few extra days. Used up the fresh ingredients before they went off. It adds up.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: phillamb168 on June 27, 2011, 02:31:21 PM
Look up the recipe. Then all the component recipes, including the stocks and garnishes. Not every ingredient can be purchased in the quantity you need to use, and not every specialty ingredient is something in your pantry. Prime veal and fresh lobsters 800 miles from the coast aren't cheap. For each ingredient, look at the price of the best quality choice, not whatever is on sale at Walmart. I didn't make substitutions, and I didn't cut any corners. Professional kitchens would obviously have many of the component items on hand and use them across multiple dishes. So I had leftovers from when I made many of the parts, as well as excess ingredients that keep. That's OK, veal stock freezes well. I also wound up with maybe 8 portions for a dinner for 4, so we enjoyed it for a few extra days. Used up the fresh ingredients before they went off. It adds up.

Ayup. And the thing is, the more you cook at home, the less you end up having to spend when you decide to make fancy things. I can cook most of Ad Hoc at Home without making a trip to the grocery store. A big part of this, I think, is because most haute cuisine is based on variations from Escoffier, and the French school of cooking in general. Gordon, living in the US, where cooking has for too long been delegated to machines dumping glop into microwave-safe buckets, is having to pay more for his ingredients because of lack of demand. I bet creme fraiche costs $5 or more for a tiny tub, because your average American consumer will look at it and go, ugh, wtf, no thanks, give me my frozen pizzas pls - while the people that need it will pay whatever price necessary. Here, it's $0.50 for basically the same thing. Because of demand. I'm not saying people here aren't buying the same frozen crap as in the US, but here at least there's been, historically, a demand for the sorts of ingredients you would typically find in nicer restaurants' recipes.

Hell, veal stock I can buy in frozen cubes for $1.50. Not the same as rendering it yourself, but a hell of a lot quicker ;-)

Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: gordonstrong on June 27, 2011, 02:38:57 PM
Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.

I've looked at the book, but have never tried the technique.  Didn't want to spring for the pricey gear.  Worse, I didn't want to have the fight with the wife over where to store the pricey gear.  I've reached the point with kitchen equipment that I have with beer glassware.

Ad Hoc at Home is a much more practical book for the home cook than The French Laundry Cookbook.  I've made way more recipes from there, and picked up several good techniques. 
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: johnf on June 27, 2011, 09:28:54 PM
Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.

I've looked at the book, but have never tried the technique.  Didn't want to spring for the pricey gear.  Worse, I didn't want to have the fight with the wife over where to store the pricey gear.  I've reached the point with kitchen equipment that I have with beer glassware.

Ad Hoc at Home is a much more practical book for the home cook than The French Laundry Cookbook.  I've made way more recipes from there, and picked up several good techniques. 

I use Ad Hoc at Home all the time. French Laundry Cookbook and Under Pressure are more coffee table books in practice, though you can use them without making the full recipes I guess.

Ever read the French Laundry at Home blog? I think the title of Ad Hoc at Home may have been based on the blog. An untrained home cook made everything in the book. Then she did it with the Alinea cookbook. Pretty good way to blow a few hours.
Title: Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
Post by: nicneufeld on June 27, 2011, 11:04:45 PM
I've never much cared for the trendier modern style restaurants...I don't mind spending modestly to eat out, but I reserve money for the more authentic ethnic restaurants, because I tend to prefer that than the sort of Ameri-Euro fancy fare where the chef basically takes a normal dish and then adds all kind of expensive/exotic ingredients designed more to impress the mind than the tastebud.  "Wow, Oloroso Deglazed Argentine Sheep Liver Fritters with a Truffle Gooseberry Sauce and Cacao Nib-Chile-Cashew Endive Omelet! It MUST be good!"

If I lived in LA again I'd spend my time checking out the hole in the wall immigrant places of all the varied and sundry ethnic cuisines.  Of course, I'd probably also get food poisoning every now and again, but it would be more interesting!  :D

Also, since cooking is such a hobby for me, $200 buys a whole lot of ingredients.  Next time I have 200 bucks to blow on a meal, I'm going to the store and getting some ingredients for one real mother of a blowout!!!