January 17, 1995 |
Vamonos, amigos, into the Paris night. Skip past those intimate, hallowed dining salons, where food is an art to be savored and critiqued. Ignore those crowded bistros, brasseries and cafes. Instead, head for Cafe Pacifico, on the Left Bank, where the French diners are shooting seven brands of tequila.
March 9, 1997 |
I got lost looking for Jean-Francois Vadot's snail farm even before I left the United States. Weeks before my departure date I had rummaged through a drawerful of driving maps from previous trips and found two for Burgundy, where Vadot lived in the village of Blancey, about 150 miles southeast of Paris. Blancey could not be found on either map. Its sum total isn't much more than a couple of houses, a couple of barns, a few head of cattle, some rabbits and about 80,000 snails.
February 13, 1992 |
The French dining experience is supposed to be exquisite, but for Mike Moran, exquisite is hardly the proper adjective. If the United States Olympic Committee's press chief chooses to take the rest of his meals in his room here during the Winter Olympics, it will be entirely understandable. Here's his tale: "The first indication that it wasn't going to go well was that they didn't have bread for a sandwich. In France, no bread.
June 11, 1989 |
Here, in its entirety, is a restaurant review which appeared in early April in the prominent French newspaper Figaro: "Au Quick, le 'giant' (16.70F) manque un peu de personnalite mais le dosage de sauce est parfait. Les frites (8.60F) meriteraient peut-etre un peu plus de cuisson. Au dessert, surprise, une patisserie bien de chez vous, la gosette d'abricot (5.50F). Arrose d'un Coca, un repas correct et rapide pour 36.60F." "Quick", in case you're wondering, is a $120-million-a-year Franco-Belgian hamburger chain, with some 78 units scattered all over France--and the meal thus reviewed in Figaro was a typical hamburger-chain repast: a "giant" burger (which, said the newspaper, lacked "a bit of personality," but was perfectly dosed with sauce)
December 20, 1987 |
A famous old hotel and restaurant in northwestern Burgundy, built around a 1707-vintage stagecoach stop. A three-star rating from the Guide Michelin, and many years of glory in the firmament of French gastronomy. Then a proprietor growing old and losing interest. A daughter taking over, making mistakes, firing chefs. A long, slow, sad slide into mediocrity, with two stars lost along the way.
April 1, 1990 |
Bistro-mania continues to sweep France. Such noted chefs as Roger Verge on the Cote d'Azur, Francis Garcia in Bordeaux and Michel Rostang and Guy Savoy here in Paris have launched bistros, supplementing their well-known formal restaurants. More recently, when Jacques Maximin opened his elaborate Maximin restaurant in Nice, he installed the modest Bistro de Nice next door.