Wow, world-class dining in Orlando! Who'd have thunk it?!
Camille is as good as any chef's bar I've been to around the world, including such icons as Joel Robuchon's l'Ateliers in New York, London, and Hong Kong.
Every course of this meal was just about as perfect as it gets, from the really unique Tea Egg that started us off, to the masterpiece "Vietnamese Coffee" dessert that finished it. It's hard to pick a favorite. Was it the smoked duck salad we assembled ourselves, and which my duck-hating wife loved? Or perhaps the incredibly complex and mouth-filling short rib pho? Impossible to pick.
The counter afforded a wonderful view as each dish was assembled by the very personable chef and his talented assistants, and all was hosted by our wonderfully personable sommelier.
Note that Camille will be moving from its temporary residence upstairs at East End Market to a permanent location in Bladwin Park, hopefully around the start of 2023. I can't wait to go back and experience it again!
Amazing experience all around! Since this is the Fairmont's only restaurant, we were expection more of a coffee shop feel, and indeed this would be a great place for breakfast, but it also has a wonderful evening ambience.
Our waiter was one of the best we've ever had, incredibly personable and knowledgeable about food and especially wine.
We started with the delicious baguette and chicken liver mousse. Then we shared a "plateau" of crab, oysters, and prawns, which was just the right size. We finished with a couple of cheeses, but there are plenty of tempting entrees.
We'll no doubt eat here again during this stay.
Lumière Brasserie 2025 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067
Gabriel Kreuther is wonderful in all respects, from ambiance to food to service. For me, it is the successor to Eleven Madison for the crown of Best Restaurant in New York, and one of the best in the US.
The dining room, with its dramatic arc of salvaged wood beams, is both open and intimate, with the tables spaced far apart to make each one cozy, and the ceiling high enough to afford a pleasant sound level. A glass wall affords a view of the kitchen, which is a busy hive of about twenty chefs and cooks under the supervision of Chef Kreuther. The atmosphere seemed more convivial than in many of the Michelin kitchens I've encountered.
The restaurant's recommendation for first-time guests is the Six Course Tasting menu. This is not only a great recommendation but a great bargain. At $215 (as of this writing) it is, in short, a steal. I don't know how they came up with the number six, but including amuse bouche and ending sweets, there were at least 15 different dishes over a three-hour period.
Speaking of dishes, these were some of the most beautiful serving pieces I've ever encountered, and the glassware is stellar as well.
As for the food, it is almost pointless to describe it, as everything was wonderful, and it was impossible to pick favorites. It changes regularly, but I will mention a few that rank among the best dishes I've ever had: pate de foie gras (best flavor/texture I've encountered), smoked heirloom tomato consume (more of a gelatin, and endlessly intriguing), sturgeon tart (delicate flavorful and complex), and all the breads (there were at least four, accompanying various dishes).
As mentioned earlier, service was near perfect, with two dozen wait staff performing an intricate (and high speed) choreography to synchronize each course at each table.
Compared to the food prices, the wine bottle prices seem like less of a deal, but are certainly not unreasonable for Manhattan. The wines by the glass are an interesting assortment of styles and places of origin.
We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.
This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.
We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.
Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.
My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.
Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!
The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.
We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.
All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!
In addition to a nice selection of authentic pastries. The French Cafe offers crepes and sandwiches. By Alpine crepe was very generously stuffed with meats and potatoes. My companion’s tuna sandwich was served on a huge croissant, and accompanied by fries.
They also have the usual assortment of hot and cold coffees, which are well prepared and served in nice glassware.
Although you order at a counter, they bring the food to your table. There is also a nice outside eating area.
Whenever I go to Per Se I come away comparing it to all the other top-rated restaurants I’ve been too. Although I think the staff is wonderful, and the restaurant is beautiful and beautifully situated, I can’t convince myself that the food lives up to expectations. It’s all beautiful, but there are no home runs.
In its favor, it has perhaps the best selection of half bottles of wine I’ve seen anywhere, so you can put together an amazing tasting to match your meal. But I think you’ll find that the food doesn’t live up to the wines.
On this latest visit, the best course was the quail, and the most forgettable was a completely mundane lamb chop.
The desserts were the best. Usually when a restaurant fills the table with a half dozen small desserts, many of them are misses; but at Per Se each dessert deserved to be there, and provided a lovely variety to end the meal.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated experience with great service and a beautiful view, and if cost is no object, the Per Se is a great choice. If you’re looking for the best food in the city, this is not it.
l’Atelier is one of my favorite restaurants around the world, so I always try to visit when I’m in a city that has one. However on this Monday night only Le Grill was open, so we decided to try it, and we were glad we did.
Le Grill offers a relaxed environment, a reasonably priced and very interesting menu, and an excellent wine list. Service is as perfect as at all of Joel Robuchon’s restaurants, professional, yet never stuffy. It’s wonderful to have such an excellent meal experience without it having to be a production number.