Fred L’Ecallier

Place de l’Etang, Cannes, France • 0493431585 • http://www.fredlecailler.com/#_=_
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If you’re staying in the heart of Cannes, it’s a bit of a hike on foot, but it’ll be worth it on your way back, because you’ll want to burn off the mounds of food you are likely to consume. Not that the food is that heavy, it’s more a result of everything looking so damn good and tasting as good as it looks. So before you know it, you’ve ordered enough seafood to deplete the Mediterranean Sea, from bountiful whole fish to shellfish and everything in between, it’s sort of like Astoux & Brun in that regard, but with much better décor.

Speaking of, this is perhaps my favorite reason for making the trek to Fred, for the setting. You sit in a secluded, yet expansive garden, with a delightful wooden trellis overhead, set away from the street, so there’s no such thing as a bad table- unless you have to sit inside due to rain, I suppose. Not that the inside is atrocious, but compared to the alternative, there’s no contest.

Service is also hard to compete with, because they are shockingly warm and friendly, and I’m not just saying that as a stereotypical dig on the French. There is just so much pride in their restaurant that you can’t help but love them for it. Not snooty pride though, sincere pride. Like it’s their baby. And whoa baby is it something to be proud of.

4 teeth

Yak-Zies

3710 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60613(773) 525-9200yakzies.com

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Chicago thin crust pizza is a dicey proposition in general, so I think a grain of salt needs to be taken at the onset of this review. That said, Yak-Zies does manage to shine in a few key places. The first place being Summer. Yes, that shining I spoke of is primarily the sun, and Yak-Zies takes advantage of every last ray with a great outdoor seating vibe that’s filled with energy (code for young people getting inebriated).

The other shiny object to discover is their famous Chicken Tang Pizza. It’s less novel nowanddays, but once upon a time they were one of only a handful nationwide who offered a Buffalo chicken pie. And being the heat-seeker that I am, I do loves me some Buffalo chicken. Unfortunately though, The Tang is not all that spicy hot. It’s more the flavor of Buffalo spices and therein lies my gripe. The failure to commit. I mean the least they could do is offer up varying degrees of torture, but sadly that isn’t the case. But what can you expect from a sports bar? Lucky for them their pitchers of draft beer are so damn affordable it’s hard to stay mad for long.

2 teeth

Harvest on Hudson

1 River St. Hastings On Hudson, NY 10706(914) 478-2800harvest2000.com/hoh

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I literally refer to this place as “Horrible on Hudson,” so that should give you some sense of where this review is heading. From the moment we set foot inside we knew we were in trouble, forced to wait for a table outside (the only reason to even go here) even though we had a reservation. So, we were escorted by our rather rude hostess to the over-crowded bar where we sat amongst wife-beaters and ill-fitting, gaudy get ups that felt like they were “harvested” from an episode of The Sopranos. So there we sat for an inordinate amount of time, marinating in annoyance, which was quickly brought to a boil when our excessive wait yielded a table overlooking the wait station.

Now, the one thing I can say in favor of Horrible is that at least they’re consistent. Consistently horrible, but consistent nonetheless. Right down the the overcooked scallops served with overcooked polenta. Well, I think it was polenta. At least that’s what the menu said. Tasted more like the card stock the menu was printed on. And the entrees didn’t prove to be much better. In fact, the only thing they proved was that this place is a colossal waste of time and calories. And so we opted out of dessert in favor of some fresh fruit at home, which just happened to be the best thing of the night.

1 tooth

 

 

Le Jardin Du Roi

95 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514(914) 238-1368lejardinchappaqua.com

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This is a very hard review for me, because various aspects of our experiences here are so vastly different from one another, that it’s difficult to distill it all into one knife count. So, please read on, and you will better understand my conflicted review.

Décor Outside: 4 knives. The outdoor seating area is very charming in a little garden right off King St., perched high on a patio with dappled light pouring through the trees above. A true “jardin” setting to its name.

Inside Décor: 2 knives. The inside seating feels a quite dated and run down. Especially the bathrooms. Granted I suppose one can’t be too particular about where one goes to pop a squat.

Staff Service: 2 knives. Apart from being slow, they were also quite bad. For example, we ordered two Arnold Palmers and apple juice for my son. When they delivered the drinks, they even cut the apple juice with iced tea! Fortunately, he quickly remedied the situation. Then, after ordering our meal, I am told they are out of mustard for the burger! A place that is SO well known for its burgers completely ran out of Dijon by 12:45pm during Sunday Brunch?!? This is sacrilege to me. And while this last one is the tiniest of nits, it’s indicative of the sloppiness at large. Upon paying the bill they delivered the check, post running my credit card, without a pen. Details people. Details.

Owner/Manager Service: 5 knives. This makes up for a lot. Joe came by, asked how we were doing. We told him it was our first time at his restaurant and that we had just moved to the area. He was very friendly, talked to us a while. Made us feel right at home, and even gave us a complementary order of French Toast. For this alone, we happily returned… for dinner.

Brunch: 3 knives. The burger was indeed good. Charred perfectly on the outside, juicy on the inside. Good quality meat. The lobster roll was just okay, as was the lobster salad that my wife had. And the French Toast was very good, maybe because it was free. Maybe because it was just really good. A simple baguette soaked through with eggy goodness.

Dinner: 1 Knife. So, as I mentioned above, we happily returned. But unfortunately “happily” was not how we left. Service was noticeably better and Joe was as friendly as ever, but man is the dinner menu bad. The salad with goat cheese and spinach wontons was meh. The special sole almondine with ratatouille was just okay. The bouillabaisse was flavorless and the moules frites was a shell of the one served at Red Hat. And the bread pudding was an edible nail in the coffin. So bad I felt the need to go back and update this review, docking it a knife.

And so, there you have it, my NEW net, net… two knives

2 teeth.