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Jeff: Don't try L'Ami Louis

March 21 2003 at 6:15 AM
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Response to Why we go to restaurants

 

It's all a la carte. Every dish costs $50. Fois Gras $50. Roast Chicken $50. Gigot $50. Broiled Ceps in butter $50. Green Salad $50. Bowl of cherries $50. Home cooking, very expensive and exquisite. The portions are huge enough for 6; the secret is to go in a group and order one of everything to share for the table. This bistro is unchanged from the early 19th century including the wood burning stove. I was there with some French chefs (there were 5 former Michrlin stars at the table) all of whom got all wobbley in the knees and choked up over this experience of La France Profonde. The perfect roast Bresse chicken, the perfect gigot, perfect mashed spuds etc. Here we are talking comfort food not high art. It strikes a chord which reverberates deep within the soul. While I love the great starred restaurants, I find it hard to eat this food too often. On one French trip long ago I tried to average 4 Michelin stars a day and quickly tired of it, longing in stead for a Truite au Bleu, or an omelette.

As I get older, I find I prefer simpler food, and simpler restaurants. De gustibus non disputandum est (Homage a Lord A). There is room in the world of gastronomy for many different kinds of restaurants, and people whose tastes differ from ours are not necessarily fools and rogues. Disclosure: I have had a soft spot in my heart for Alice since 1985. She observed my then 5 year old daughter Ariel enthusiasticly devouring grilled sardines and mussels. Alice insisted on comping us on Ariel's dinner on the pretext that, since Ariel fell asleep under the table before dessert, she could not charge us. A very attractive person Alice, even if she is only a good cook and not a great artist. All the best R



 
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