chez denise and sharing courses

Apr 6th, 2006, 04:48 AM
  #1  
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chez denise and sharing courses

hi all! we'd really like to have a lunch at chez denise in paris but keep hearing how huge the portions are. i don't want to eat too much so i can't eat dinner - would it be ok to order an appetizer of escargot and a main course of the lamb w/ white beans (am drooling as i write this) and my DH and i split it?
plambers is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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just so you know, we have never split a meal before and i don't want to be frowned on. just want to make sure it is acceptable. thanks again
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Apr 6th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Of course it would be ok....these people are in the business of making $$$$...they wont frown upon you for the way you eat.

I would, however suggest getting the full experience and eating dinner there. That being said, the escargot order is 6, and there is NO WAY the lamb could be bigger than the Cote de Beouf (sp?) which was easily the only HUGE portion in the place.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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No restaurant whether in Paris or anywhere else is going to be happy with that kind of order. I would guess you will be frowned on but that does not mean you can't do it. You could always leave something on your plate if you both order mains. Or just have a big lunch and a light dinner. Just my opinion. Bottom line is that you should do what you want, even if they frown on you!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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These are comments that drive me nuts. Restaurants are not unhappy with those orders...they happen about 5-10 times a night. Even if unhappy, every restaurant has a built in safeguard to protect themselves against this type of order.

Again, I am a partner in a variety of restaurants including one of the top Bostonfrench bistros where we ONLY seat 100 people max over a 6 hour period because we want service to be high.)

WE, LIKE MOST RESTAURANTS, ACTUALLY have a "split" section of the check and on our computer screens.

PLAMBERS....ORDER WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU WILL BE FINE.

And for the record...I split food at Chez Denise two different times...both in the same manner.

The real issue is: Does a restaurant have a minimum $$$ amount. It is usually here that "splitting" becomes an issue. This, is how a restaurant makes up for a "split" order.

It takes NO extra work to split an order, but it does cost a restaurant money on the average check per person figures because they are losing a cover.

PLAMBERS...you will be fine.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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thanks. i have all my dinner reservations made and do want to eat at chez denise. my friend just got back and said the portions were huge. i just don't want to screw up my dinner plans. so are the portions that big? i had read on this site that someone had split an order of escargot and the split portion was what he typically got in a restaurant. if the portions arene't huge, we will just each order. i specifically want the lamb w/ the beans - does anyone know?
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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Just to be clear here, we are talking about Chez Denise by Les Halles, correct (it is the only one I can think of in Paris).

Yes, the entrees are rather large because it is served country style, however the escargot comes in an order of 6.

Unless they asked for a double order, or it was some entree special, I cant imagine a full portion of 6 burgandy snails being considered "HUGE."

Snails have less meat than your medium sized oyster.

I did not eat the lamb, but I did see it...and yes...I WAS DROOLING AS WELL.

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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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PM..First you say that resaurants are NOT unhappy when two persons order one app and one main between them. Then you say..even they are unhappy they have a built in safe guard. And later you state that the restaurant is losing money on that kind of order. So which is it?

I maintain that plambers should do as he or she wants. But the "proper" thing..,whether or not one cares about that, is not to split an entree. You don't have to clean your plate!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Actually dont twist my words.

I SAID "EVEN IF UNHAPPY," when stating there is a built in safeguard so the customer does not feel uncomfortable ordering.

While in might be internally frowned upon, it is only so from a pricing perspective and some restaurants make up for it by having a minimum (just like restaurants require a min service charge for groups of 8 or more, or require a min service charge for use of a CC)

All internally frowned upon, but commonplace.

You gave poor advice...sorry.



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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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And, ask any foodie or restaurant owner, the proper thing is not to NOT SPLIT FOOD...but enjoy the meal as you want it.

I cant even believe you are stating it is a "unspoken" rule per se to not split food.

Maybe 20 years ago...but not in modern eating etiquitte.

Now, if you argued you shouldnt split an entree at, let's say for arguments sake, Robechon or Guy Savoie, yeah...then you have a point. But they will still take your 500 euro for the meal and make fun of you in the kitchen.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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My advice was for the poster to do what he or she wants to do. That is "poor advice?"

As an alternative, I suggested leaving some food on the plate if the order was too big. What part of that advice don't you like?

ekscrunchy is online now  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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pm goosed-you said you saw the lamb dish-was it really big? maybe my issue is moot and i can eat the whole thing!! thanks for the number of escargots-my husband would not share that w/me!!
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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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"And, ask any foodie or restaurant owner, the proper thing is not to NOT SPLIT FOOD"..those are your words, PM.
I did not say there was an "unspoken rule." I said the place might frown on it. You said the same thing.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Back to Chez Denise. I read an article in the NY Times that clearly stated the "cote de boeuf is theoretically for two" but could serve four. So I'm assuming that even the restaurant is suggesting it be split between two people. NO? If so, is the cote de agneau the same?
 
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Reading is not your strong suit. I put a double negative in there scrunchy as in there is no proper or not proper way to order.


Not to not doing something means it is ok to do something. Jeesh.

Neopolitan...you are correct...and though I am a slender athletic man, I struggled to finish the Cote de beouf with my portly Chef buddy. In fact, the pomme frittes didnt get touched until about an hour after.

So, they DO allow splits, which is exactly why I jumped all over the improper suggestion.

As for the lamb, the portion is pretty big, but NO WAY NEAR the beef. Very "splittable."

The beef is, well, let's just say this...any foodies here ever been to Frank's in the meat packing district of New York?! They are famed for the 48oz "no bull#$# steak" Frank wont let you pay if you dont finish it (but you wont be allowed back). I was a regular there as a kid because Frank's butcher was a family friend.

THAT STEAK PALES IN COMPARISON to the Cote de Beouf....it literally hangs off of the largest service plate you can put out. IT WAS GINORMOUS!
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Apr 6th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Wow, pmgoosed, now I'm intriqued by your Frank's comment. So you're saying we can go there, each order a 48 oz steak, eat three quarters of it, leaving the rest and it's free? Sounds like a go to me!

Meanwhile speaking of huge portions I'm reminded of a special at Il Mulino in NYC of a "baby rack of lamb" for something like $54. I asked if it was for two, and was firmly told "absolutely not, it is only for one" -- they clearly do not like splitting orders. That would have been ok, except for the huge plate of about 15 ribs all over 9 inches long -- this "baby lamb" must have stood at least three feet tall. It was way more than enough for two. No problem, except it was also fatty and not very good. Sometimes it's all about quantity and not quality -- that was one such example.

Anyway, thanks for starting this post, plambers. Chez Denise is now on my list for July.
 
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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Neo-

Trust me, though it sounds like a bargain, you dont want frank kicking you out....it isnt pleasant...and not worth the embarassment.

For those wondering about Frank's, it was featured in the opening scene of Black Rain (the early 90's or late 80's) Michael Douglas movie. The Japanese mob wipes out most of the restaurant.

If given the oppty, and with the budget, go to Franks.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Neopolitan, i also read the NYT article and a friend of mine has eaten there twice and loved it (we have very similiar tastes in food) so i knew i needed to go there but also could only go for lunch. my DH is not a steak eater but we both love lamb w/ white beans and this is the meal Patricia Wells also recommends. I hope this post was helpful.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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I was recently there and I didn't see anyone split orders, however the waiters are extremely nice and I would simply ask. I'm sure though, you can have only what you want as everything is posted on blackboards.
The chef has just published a cookbook. I should have bought it, he was autographing copies.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Interesting, pmgoosed, I googled Franks and read a number of reader reviews and not everyone shares your enthusiasm for the place, particularly those who wanted clean silverware, steaks that weren't over cooked, and someone to wait on them.

Meanwhile at Chez Denise -- lamb and white beans it is!!
 

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