Just about all of us have been to super fancy restaurants (if lucky, invited by somebody else) or an over-the-top wedding banquet or even just a private event where no expense was spared. Sometimes the food was incredibly good and sometimes it was just incredibly pretty.
We need to talk about those events here. (I am still thinking about the subject, but I have some stories to tell, maybe even five or six.)
Post by cheerypeabrain on Sept 5, 2011 17:31:22 GMT
My sister (12 years older than me) and her new husband took me to a fancy restaurant when I was 11 years old. It was in London...somewhere near Regent's Park...
The only thing I remember about the food is the cheese board, I'd never seen one before. I was unsophisticated, (to say the very least) and had never been served by a waiter before, so when he asked me which cheese I would like (standing ready with a cheese knife) with my assorted biscuits I pointed to the only one I recognised (a red Leicester), reached over and picked up the whole lump and bit into it.
Apparently niether my sister, her beloved nor the waiter did more than blink....the waiter just winked at my BiL and took my obvious ignorance in his stride. (BiL gave him a big tip)
My sister and BiL tell this story at every family gathering...sigh.....
I can't take much part in this as I've never been to a really posh/good restaurant but have had the pleasure of a wedding ceremony/meal in Goa when my wife's brother got married. The Barracuda fish bar though near where my father still lives does scampi.
Once, as a bit of a joke, I told my then girlfriend we were going out for a really good meal and to get dressed up to the nines. We both did. I was a fairly frequent regular at a greasy spoon caravan on the A1 the specialised in belly buster breakfasts at all times of day and night. I'd spoken with the owner and got him in on it, I was going to take her there. When we pulled up in the lay-by and got out the car she knew something was up.
As we walked in the caravan door the man had set up a separate table, found from somewhere a red checked tablecloth, set up a candle in a bottle and a small glass with daisies and wild flowers from the bank at the back of the layby and a salt and pepper pot. He then asked me "Do you have a reservation?" I gave an affirmative reply and the name, he checked an old tattered notebook, nodded and said, "Your table is ready now" and pointed out the obvious one.
We sat down, the girlfriend a little bemused but fortunately smiling, the owner pointed at the blackboard with the menu, I said, "Two Busters please with two teas". And we settled down. Shortly after two large freshly made full English breakfasts with all the trimmings (bread and butter, toast, fried bread etc etc) appeared on the counter, with the teas you could stand your spoon up in.
As I was just about to get up and get them a truck driver, muscles in his spit type who was sitting there with his mate taking it all in and not quite knowing what to make of it all, slipped out of his seat, grabbed the plates and delivered them to the table, serving the lady first and then me, even twisting the plates round slightly like he's seen on the TV so the baked bean juice and tomato juice that overflowed the plate fell away from us.
Bliss. The best breakfast I'd ever had, even though it was 7.30 at night. It seems a bit of an odd thing to do but what I knew is that the girlfriend absolutely loved the full breakfast but rarely had a chance to sample a proper one. She turned out to be quite happy.
How wonderful of you to arrange that meal for your girlfriend at the time Mark, it is the thought that is required that makes a woman feel special.
My fanciest meal had to be when my girlfriend who owns 2 of her own restaurants took me out for a lunch around Christmas time with her 4 children (2 sets of twins, boy/girl).
The most important part was my friend and her children. A meal can be fancy, but you only truly enjoy when it is shared with people you care about.
Arriving and parking in the back of the restaurant and entering through the kitchen. Meeting the chef and staff, looking at the pots steaming away on the stovetops, watching as they are preparing desserts and smelling the mixture of the restaurants aromas wafting around me.
A platter filled with grilled shrimp to pass around, fresh salmon h'ourderves, steak and brie sandwiches and carrot cake for dessert...
The eldest boy taking our drink orders out to the bar and bringing back the tray and gracefully placing each glass in front of us.
Listening to the children with all their excitement of their plans for the upcoming Christmas break over a delicious cup of tea ending a wonderful few hours with great company, amazing food and feeling so comfortable and pampered by my darling girlfriend.
For business reasons, I have sometimes been required to eat in unbearably formal restaurants, and I would far prefer going to KFC instead.
One time I had to eat at Fouquet's in the upstairs dining room with waiters hovering behind me. We were forbidden from touching any bottle ourselves, so there was a waiter watching all of the water glasses ready to spring forward for a refill any time you took a sip, and another waiter who had all of the wine glasses under surveillance. It was completely unbearable -- if you ate more than half of your bread roll, the bread basket was immediately shoved in your face. Get me outta here!
I must admit, though, that at least they don't constantly talk to you to ask if everything is all right. I think that only the head waiter has the right to open his mouth.
A similar meal was in the private dining room of the JP Morgan Bank, on Place Vendôme just across from the Ritz. Three waiters for four people eating! Jeez, when you see how the bankers are spending money, and then the taxpayers have to bail them out, it is galling! Bon appétit.
My fanciest meal ever was at the Gstaad Palace Hotel. I am sure I have told the story before. The company I used to work for in Switzerland had moved headquarters from Geneva to London, to please the new EMEA boss at the time. So there was a hell of a lot of furniture, and equipment that wasn't needed in situ, wasn't being transferred and wasn't on the company books anymore as they were older than X number of years. A few of us worked to sell what we could of this before moving into smaller offices. it was felt that the money gained shouldn't be handed to the accounts team as it would create an imbalance in company accounts. So we were looking for a nice way of cheering us up and one of our colleagues, a gourmet and a gourmand found this information about a special evening held at the Gstaad Palace with Joel Robuchon and a now deceased swiss chef: Fredy Girardet in the kitchens of the palace. We managed, on that money, to pay for six of us eating the 7-course menu (with seven different white wines) and the overnight stay at the palace. plus the extras and maybe even the ski outing the next day - oh, that was not easy skiing that day, I tell you! The menu was stellar. A real joy from start to finish. Although when the last piece was eaten, you knew that was perfect, but that one more mouthful and you'd burst.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
I have two ocassions that I can recall but it was not for the food, but the location and especially the wait staff. The first one was a wedding reception at the Bloomfield Hunt Club north of Detroit. The waiters were exceptional, they seemed to read your mind and were immediately taking care of your needs. The head waiter was an older black man with white hair like a butler in a southern plantation. He supervised all the waiters and upon leaving he as at the door and it was a pleasure to shake his hand and thank him for a job well done. The second was at the Blythfield Country Club near Grand Rapids, Michigan where I was attending a regional board meeting for Junior Achievement. The food was good, but again it was the wait staff that was exceptional and always asked at the end of a course. "Would you like to be cleared sir?" Always in the background but there when needed.
I would guess I have have to say that the best food was in France and Italy.
Our fanciest meal was for my birthday in 2007. We were in Paris and Kirk took me for lunch to the Tour d' Argent. Lunch was wonderful, staff was spectacular and of course the wine, well, nothing but bravos. I have fond memories of this and have the complete menu, which I can't find right now. We have eaten in several extremely nice restaurants in our travels. I have found that those are treats however the ones that I think about are the ones that we have "discovered" on our stays. Last time we were in Paris(2009) we found neighborhood bistros that were wonderful and we returned several times because the food was more than great. Several stick out in my mind and I can list them later, as I always pick up business cards of the places that we have loved eating at. Let me know and I will do another post. My lists include Italy, France and of course many places in the U. S. Might be a good thread to start???
When you're chewing on life's gristle[br]Don't grumble, give a whistle[br]And this'll help things turn out for the best...[br]And...always look on the bright side of life...[br]Always look on the light side of life.[br]Monty Python's Life of Brian[br]
I've eaten at a (very) few Michelin restaurants which may also have been listed in the Gault & Millau. Far too much food at the places out in the countryside, before the empty plates of nouvelle cuisine were invented.
I am remembering the wedding banquet that I attended at the Goodwood Hotel in Singapore at my friends' wedding (the only wedding dinner I haver ever attended, since I tend to skip out before that part). I remember that we were 12 round tables of 10 people.
Frankly, it was not the "fanciest" meal I have ever eaten, but it was the only meal where I felt that I had been served every single dish that exists on the menu of a Chinese restaurant! I'm sure that hwinpp could have done it far better justice than I did, although I tried my best.