Isabelle et Vincent

1903 Post RdFairfield, CT 06824 • (203) 292-8022 • isabelleetvincent.com

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I’m not sure what people are smoking, handing out stars to this place like it’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Maybe it’s the baguettes? I mean they are good, but not sure they’re worth smoking. What I am sure of is that the rest of the stuff isn’t even worth eating. The croissants are doughy, not flaky. The chocolate isn’t even partially melted in the chocolate croissant and the marzipan in the almond croissant tastes like actual paste. Oh, and the pain raisin doesn’t even hold up to an Au Bon Pain.

Yes, I know the chef is French, but it’s not like being French automatically makes you a good baker anymore than being American makes you automatically shitty at electing presidents. So my advice, for much better croissants just up the road, I definitely recommend SONO Baking Company over this place. Their croissants aren’t amazing either, but they are far superior to Isabelle’s. That said, if you truly want to taste the croissant mastery of a French baker head to La Tulipe in Mt. Kisco where I used to live (wistful sigh). Their croissants are so good we almost didn’t move.

My mother always told me to try to find something nice in everything though, so I will say that there is a semi decent vanilla bean and chocolate pastry amongst the losers and shockingly enough, they do have some winners, their wide selection of baguettes, which I mentioned above. We tried the parmesan and thyme and it is money. Not sure I’d ever make a special trip just for that, but it’s the only thing I will ever buy there if I return.

2 teeth

La Boulangerie par Jean Luc Pelé

104 boulevard Sadi Carnot06110 Le Cannet, France • +33 4 93 45 36 32 • www.jeanlucpele.com/fr/

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Located on a tiny, pedestrian-only rue, sits this bakery/grab-and-go café with a few tables outside and pretty decent looking pre-prepared food. For example, the roasted veggie sandwich on a long narrow focaccia roll filled with peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and squash, dressed with a pesto spread looked mighty tasty from the other side of that glass case. But after taking a bite, I was quickly reminded that even in France, pre-prepared food that’s been sitting around in a case is seldom life-changing. So don’t be Francophooled.

Also, along with the sandwich, I tried a cup of their avocado gazpacho, which sounded and looked very intriguing. Sadly, the flavor of avocado was quite absent, or taste in general, for that matter. Perhaps the sweets are better.

All in all, it’s not terrible, but why settle when you can just head to Cocoon around the corner- it’s less than a two minute walk and easily two to three knives better. Plus the name is a lot shorter and easier to pronounce.

2 teeth

Boma

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge • 2901 Osceola Pkwy. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830(407) 938-3000 disneyworld.disney.go.com

boma

Like most buffets it is over-priced and underwhelming. That said there are a few bright spots. I highly recommend the Bread Pudding French Toast- but be sure to use the drizzle next to it. Sometimes with bananas. Sometimes with nuts.

The other thing that rose above the norm were the eggs with feta, tomatoes and baby spinach. It’s a little on the runny side for my tastes, but at least it has more flavor than most buffet eggs.

Skip all of the pastries. They are all pretty atrocious. As is most everything else I didn’t mention, which made up about 98% of the buffet.

And speaking of bad, in general, across the board at Disney restaurants we were CONSTANTLY seated in shitty seats. By the kitchen or the wait station or the bathroom. Even in restaurants that were 90% EMPTY!!! Not sure what the deal was, but when you are dropping the kind of coin we did to stay in that very hotel, it’s a bit insulting. And no, we are not freakish looking or smelly- at least I don’t think we are.

That said, my advice… Skip this place and just head straight to the parks. You’ll get a better meal for about a quarter of the price.

1 tooth

Lafayette

380 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10003(212) 533-3000 • lafayetteny.com
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Unfortunately the third time was not a charm for this location. I loved it back when it was Time Cafe (RIP). And liked it very much as the Asian restaurant that came after, Chinatown Brasserie (RIP). But it saddens me to say that Lafayette is by far the weakest culinary tenant yet.

I strongly disagree with anyone who touts this bakery. I’ve had better pastries at scores of places all over the city and the country. And I’ve had better eclairs on airplanes!

Beyond that, the eggs benny was blahy, regardless of it’s interesting skillet-style presentation. And the special juice concoction wasn’t all that special. In fact, my wife’s Coqnac oatmeal was the only thing truly worthy of note, and maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to get too excited about oatmeal outside of the cookie form.

The decor and service were fine, but the nominal plusses are not enough to bring me back. Hopefully the fourth time will be a charm again.

2 teeth

Tarallucci e Vino

15 E 18th St. New York, NY 10003 • (212) 228-5400 • taralluccievino.net/the-restaurant

 20100224Tarallucci E Vino Sandwich

Flying under the radar of many a foodie lurks this surprisingly good Italian chameleon (not stallion). Great sandwiches. Great brunch. Terrific desserts. And, supposedly one of the best cups of coffee in the city. I’m not a coffee drinker, but my wife is and so are my friends, and I trust them… at least when it comes to coffee. The hot chocolate is pretty spectacular too.

Some lunch highlights to consider are the octopus salad starter. So tender and light you’d have to be an octoracist not to like it. I also recommend the grilled zucchini panini, but have them add proscuitto. And to finish, get the mini flourless chocolate cake. (aka Belgian brownie, aka awesome).

On the breakfasty side of things, the Nutella and banana french toast is worth a shout. As are most of the pastries.

So, if you’re looking for a nice casual bite to eat around Union Sq. and the Coffee Shop is packed and you’re not in the mood for Republic, head over here. It’s better anyways.

4 teeth