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An excellent year of dining – part 1

Not all Michelin 3 stars are the same and not all are to our taste. Of the ones we ate in here is a summary:
The Fat Duck, Bray, UK. The most theatrical and exciting to visit. Original, nothing like it and impeccable wine list and service. One of the few places to put on your bucket list. But, it’s not somewhere where you could come often as the menu is fixed and there is no choice. Here is the “JELLY OF QUAIL, CRAYFISH CREAM – Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast”:
The Fat Duck - UK - 6 September 2011
Michel Bras, Laguiole, France. A fabulous shrine to anyone interested in the history of fine dining. Michel Bras (now in retirement) is the chef’s chef, so many of today’s trends and concepts originated here. Not only is the food here sublime, so is the accommodation and architecture. Another place for your bucket list. Here is the plate of amuse bouche:
Michel Bras - Laguiole - France - 28 July 2011
Waterside Inn, Bray, UK. Also located in Bray, in the next block to The Fat Duck, is fabulous in a totally different with to the Fat Duck. Classical French cooking, perfect service, perfect food. Come here if you want to experience French food cooked better than most places in France. I could eat here every day where everything on the menu would be an experience. Here is a photo of carving a Bresse chicken at the table:
Waterside Inn - UK - 7 December 2011
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London, UK. A cosy and intimate restaurant. Not sure if eating there at lunch shows it off best. It seems to be a dinner venue. However, the food is beautiful, with some dishes the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. However, the tasting menu doesn’t seem to have any themes or integrated vision. Excellent service and ambience, but not sure I’d go back for a repeat visit. Here is the beautiful dessert of blackcurrant, violet, fennel and yoghurt gĂ©noise from the Menu Prestige:
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay - UK - 3 November 2011
Per Se, New York, USA. The food and the service is not matched by the ambience. It’s weird eating in a shopping centre. I would rather eat at his other restaurant, the French Laundry. Having said that, the service is impeccable and the food technically brilliant but I found it a bit soul-less. My tip is to eat at the bar, yes, you can do that although it’s not well known, and order 2-3 dishes a la carte instead of having the whole tasting menu. Here is the Terrine of Hudson Valley Valley Moulard duck foie gras:
Dishes at Per Se restaurant
Le Bernadin, New York, USA. The place with the most disappointing 3-star experience. The dinner menu in April didn’t grab me with any dish and the service was perfunctory and cold. It felt like you were eating at a business rather than at a restaurant that was passionate about food, wine and service. Based on my experience it’s not even somewhere where’d I like to go back to see if it’s any better the second time. A dessert at Le Bernadin:
Le Bernadin - 2011 April 13 - Dessert

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