Per Me Giulio Terrinoni, Rome, 4/11/18

exterior
exterior

Per Me Giulio Terrinoni is a one star Michelin restaurant with a modern motif that opened in November of 2015.  The front door is locked so you need to ring the bell to get ushered inside.  It is dimly lit with dark wood small tables and dark bench and chair seating.  There were only 7 tables in our room but I saw another room toward the back.  Nice background music plays and small lights are behind the walls with small holes to let light through.  The light walls are sparsely adorned and the only windows are in the front tables.  The nicely spaced tables have a drawer on the sides that contain the good sized cloth napkin and an extra utensil but these were not replenished during the evening.  A single bloom flower decorates each table.  There is a large a la carte menu or 2 tasting options.  The four course is your choice and the 10 course is determined by the chef.  Both have wine pairings offered.  We chose the longer tasting and ordered our own bottles of wine.   Continue reading

Comice, Paris, 3/24/18

exterior
exterior

Comice is a one star Michelin restaurant appointed with nice linens, comfortable chairs, pretty flowers, wood floors and purse stools in a leather that matches the chairs.  It is run by a couple with the wife, Etheliya Hananova serving as sommelier and front end manager and the husband, Chef Noam Gedalof running the kitchen.  She is from Canada which may be why American music plays in the background.  It is a lovely room that is nicely lit and noise level is not a problem as the tables are well spaced.  It is a very comfortable atmosphere that offers a la carte options or a tasting menu of 5 courses (4 at lunch).   Continue reading

Quinsou, Paris, 3/24/18

exterior
exterior

Quinsou is a small one star Michelin restaurant with about 30 seats that has been in business a year and a half.  A pop out window on the street wall lets in lots of light during the day and accommodates a couple of tables.  Otherwise there is long narrow bench seat along one of the walls topped with an aged mirror.  Light music plays in the background.  The menu changes slightly every day with major changes around every 3 months.   Chef Antonin Bonnet is in charge of the kitchen and a master of sauces, which were a highlight of each plate.  At lunch they offer a 3 course menu or a 6 course discovery menu that is basically a taste of everything on the menu.  We chose the discovery menu.  Service was excellent and proficient in English and portion control and pacing of the meal were good.   Continue reading

Ken Kawasaki, Paris, 3/23/18

exteriorKen Kawasaki is a small place with just 13 seats around a low u-shaped counter that frames the kitchen.  Ken Kawasaki is the Japanese chef that opened the place and still is in charge of the menu but he is rarely there in person as he is usually in Japan.  Staffing is sparse, as it appeared that the assistant chef also was responsible for washing dishes and helping serve.  The greeter/waiter also helped with serving and clearing.  It was impressive what they could accomplish with so little staff, but it felt odd that they still merited  receiving one Michelin star.  The service was helpful, efficient and provided good pacing for the menu however their command of English was variable.   Continue reading

Table Restaurant, Paris, 3/22/18

exterior
exterior

Table is a one star Michelin restaurant that is run by Chef Bruno Verjus who started out as a food writer.  It has been in business 4 years and 9 months and is a good sized place that doesn’t seat many people, as seats are nicely spaced.  We were fortunate to get some prime seats at the bar counter where we could watch the kitchen action.  Other seats are in cozy booths and various sized tables.  Service is efficient and super friendly – they really aim to please. The menu is a la carte but they were willing to have the chef design a degustation menu for us and the sommelier helped chose 2 wines that complimented the many dishes.  The food here is fairly simply done but it uses only the best of ingredients that are available.  It seemed to stress flavor and that’s right up my alley. Continue reading

Acquerello, San Francisco, 3/10/18

exterior
exterior in daylight

Acquerello is a two star Michelin restaurant in a medium sized room that was an old church.  The high ceiling is lined with beams etched in gold and the walls have no windows just modern art. Lighting is subdued with spots for each table.  Floor length tablecloths and lots of flowers add to the elegant ambiance that still requires men to wear jackets.   Attention to detail is obvious immediately when the hostess offers you a black napkin instead of having a white one on dark slacks.  It opened in 1989 and the same co-owners are still running the place, Suzette Greshen is the chef and Giancarlo Paterlini is the front end manager.  Service is exemplary and pacing is spot on.  They offer two tasting menus as well as an a la carte menu.  Wine pairings are available.  A good mix of people filled the room with a number of special occasions being celebrated. We chose the seasonal Tasting Menu and ordered our own wines.   Continue reading

Commis, Oakland, 3/9/18

entrance
entrance

Commis is  a 2 star Michelin restaurant that is located a short BART ride from San Francisco.  It is a long rectangle of a place that is mirrored on the other side by a bar (CDP) that offers some snacks and can serve as a waiting area for your restaurant table.  When you enter the restaurant the first thing you see is the open kitchen and the bar seats surrounding it, which are available for reservation.  Two small tables are across from the bar and the rest are toward the back. It is a small place made more spacious by the open slit in the wall between the bar and the restaurant.  They serve only an 8 course tasting menu, with a few extras thrown in and offer wine pairings.  We enjoyed the company of friends the evening we were there and they generously provided the wines we drank.  You get a copy of the evening’s menu when you finish the meal.  The noise level is good, even with music in the background, and service was attentive and efficient.   Continue reading