The region bucks the Michelin star trend

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Allan
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The region bucks the Michelin star trend

Post by Allan » Tue 01 Mar 2011 15:34

The 2011 Michelin Guide for France came out today.

Unlike the rest of France, PO now has one less Michelin starred restaurant, Le Chap at the Park Hotel in Perpignan has lost its star, leaving only 5 starred restaurants in the region and none of them has more than one star.

Michelin say that the big growth area this year is the Bib Gourmand category - high quality food at moderate prices. Bib Gourmands now outnumber starred restaurants in France for the first time. This isn't the case here where there are only 2, one in Perpignan, the other in Villefranche de Conflent.

You can eat out well here but it is perhaps harder than in other regions.

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john
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Re: The region bucks the Michelin star trend

Post by john » Tue 01 Mar 2011 16:21

Allan wrote:Michelin say that the big growth area this year is the Bib Gourmand category - high quality food at moderate prices. Bib Gourmands now outnumber starred restaurants in France for the first time. .
Interesting news Allan. Thanks for telling us about it. Perhaps the good people at Michelin,not to mention the restaurateurs ,are finally getting the message that,with the economy in the state it's in ,the days of hordes of folk being able to afford to eat out regularly at inflated prices are well and truly over. I personally have always looked out for BiB rated places in France,over starred places,and have seldom been disappointed.

I was reading a bizarre thread on another forum where some very strange people were discussing standards of things like hygiene /burger quality in fast food joints in France,culminating in one particularly odd guy suggesting that the "sky was going to fall in". The concept of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic springs to mind. I agree with your final point,and would even go a stage further;ie that it's becoming harder to eat out well around here,even at a moderate price.

BT
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Michelin

Post by BT » Tue 01 Mar 2011 20:21

Hi,

Had dinner in Le Clap in Perpignan 4 or 5 years ago. It was OK, portion control was a bit tight, wines great.

I thought it closed a year or two ago

BT

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Re: Michelin

Post by Allan » Tue 01 Mar 2011 20:47

BT wrote:Hi,

Had dinner in Le Clap in Perpignan 4 or 5 years ago. It was OK, portion control was a bit tight, wines great.

I thought it closed a year or two ago

BT
There's a Freudian slip there somewhere.

Le CHAP is still open as far as I know. It used to be called the Chapon Fin before it modernised.

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Slipup

Post by BT » Tue 01 Mar 2011 21:19

Hi Allan,

Correct ! Busy day at the office.

It was Chapon Fin when I was there.

BT

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Post by Owens88 » Wed 02 Mar 2011 00:06

What is the excellent value restaurant at Villefranche de Conflent?

Yes I know I am being lazy.
John
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Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

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Post by rogb » Wed 02 Mar 2011 01:30

Auberge St Paul at Villefranche is good.

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Post by Allan » Wed 02 Mar 2011 08:51

rogb wrote:Auberge St Paul at Villefranche is good.
That is one of the 2 Bib Gourmands in the region, the other is Les Antiquaires in Perpignan.

For those who are interested, the Michelin starred restaurants are:-
La Galinette - Perpignan
L'Almandin - St Cyprien
Pascal Borrell (Maison Du Terroir) - Maury
Les Palmiers - Laroque
La Balette - Collioure

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Wed 02 Mar 2011 10:35

I don't know how Restaurants go about being rated by Michelin. Presumably they have to apply, possibly for a fee. Maybe in this region many don't apply. Perhaps they prefer Les Toques Blanches or Petit Flute or Les Routiers or some other form of publicity.

Anyway, playing with stats, The PO has five 1 star Michelin Restos. France has 450 in total. There are 100 departements and the PO is something like 54th in terms of population and I'm sure much lower by average household revenue, so it doesn't do too badly.

Perhaps, given the influx of summer visitors, some enterprising restauranteurs should decamp from Paris and Lyon. But then again, 90% of those holidaymakers are staying on camp sites, so perhaps not.
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Post by Allan » Wed 02 Mar 2011 11:34

Santiago wrote:I don't know how Restaurants go about being rated by Michelin. Presumably they have to apply, possibly for a fee. Maybe in this region many don't apply. Perhaps they prefer Les Toques Blanches or Petit Flute or Les Routiers or some other form of publicity.

Anyway, playing with stats, The PO has five 1 star Michelin Restos. France has 450 in total. There are 100 departements and the PO is something like 54th in terms of population and I'm sure much lower by average household revenue, so it doesn't do too badly.

Perhaps, given the influx of summer visitors, some enterprising restauranteurs should decamp from Paris and Lyon. But then again, 90% of those holidaymakers are staying on camp sites, so perhaps not.
The Michelin guide is highly respected, predominantly for its independence, restaurants don't pay to be in it.

I can think of no restaurants in the region that could potentially qualify that don't already figure in the Michelin guide.

Personally I am surprised that the Auberge du Cellier at Montner, or the Chateau de Riell at Molitg les Bains don't figure higher, but then I'm not a Michelin Inspector.

Perhaps we should have our own restaurant awards, we could call them the Caganers - anyone any nominations?

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Post by Kate » Wed 02 Mar 2011 13:51

Perhaps we should have our own restaurant awards, we could call them the Caganers
:lol: I think that's a great idea - not sure how proud any restaurant owner would be to be nominated for a Pooper, but think we should give it a go!! :lol: :lol:

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Post by john » Wed 02 Mar 2011 13:56

Allan wrote:
Perhaps we should have our own restaurant awards, we could call them the Caganers - anyone any nominations?
Isn't that pretty much what we do already ,Allan, in the Restaurant Reviews section ? The trouble with awards is that they are by their nature,very subjective.

My understanding of Michelin was indeed that their USP,if you like, is that establishments can't pay to be included,although there have been a number of media exposés over the years that have suggested otherwise.

To answer Santiago's point , I guess what this area had done best in, since I've been coming here, has been cheap and cheerful no frills meals in reasonably comfortable surroundings with friendly,efficient service,without all the pomp and snobbery of other regions of France. So I suppose that does not lend itself terribly well to Michelin Star criteria. My feeling is that standards are beginning to slip in most of these aspects;something that they can ill afford to do,as places in Spain have always tended to excel in those areas,something they still do,in the main.

Debbie and Noel

Post by Debbie and Noel » Wed 02 Mar 2011 14:08

Quote from John

I was reading a bizarre thread on another forum where some very strange people were discussing standards of things like hygiene /burger quality in fast food joints in France,culminating in one particularly odd guy suggesting that the "sky was going to fall in

I am aware of the thread. If my memory serves me correct it contained contributions from members of this forum. Both past and present. Are these too among your "very strange people"?

Do we have a hidden agenda here, I wonder. Did not certain members of the forum in question ask that you be removed for unreasonable behaviour?

Noel

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Post by Allan » Wed 02 Mar 2011 14:18

Debbie and Noel wrote:Quote from John

I was reading a bizarre thread on another forum where some very strange people were discussing standards of things like hygiene /burger quality in fast food joints in France,culminating in one particularly odd guy suggesting that the "sky was going to fall in

I am aware of the thread. If my memory serves me correct it contained contributions from members of this forum. Both past and present. Are these too among your "very strange people"?

Do we have a hidden agenda here, I wonder. Did not certain members of the forum in question ask that you be removed for unreasonable behaviour?

Noel
To my mind John has been far too reasonable lately, I much prefer his former a argumentative self

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Post by john » Wed 02 Mar 2011 14:19

Debbie and Noel wrote:Do we have a hidden agenda here, I wonder. Did not certain members of the forum in question ask that you be removed for unreasonable behaviour?

Noel
Please be more specific Noel. I do not know what you are referring to. What is this "unreasonable behaviour" ?

Certainly no "agenda" on my part. Just commenting on a thread that I found rather odd,and had some relevance to the one we are discussing here.

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Post by Kate » Wed 02 Mar 2011 14:57

Sounds like a rather provocative statement Noel. As you are clearly aware of the thread, then you are aware that much of it is insulting both to myself as forum owner and to the forum itself.
Gratuitous, sarcastic, unfunny and non factual statements from a small handful of (funnily enough) men who for some reason unknown to myself have taken it upon themselves to attack my site and forum on a regular basic. Even more sadly, I know who they are, and their 'cyber selves' are gross exaggerations of the actual men themselves!
This forum is not here to pull other people, forums, websites etc to pieces (please note that no names have been mentioned, nor will they be), to put others down, to denigrate, ridicule or accuse and I will not allow it to be used by two or three trouble makers who actually enjoy upsetting others and stirring up trouble.
I am genuinely sad that these men are so mean minded and unhappy - life is far too short to be so full of negativity.
Please don't let's turn this into one of those long long threads where everyone is having a dig at somebody else, as that is exactly what they love.

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The region bucks

Post by Sue » Wed 02 Mar 2011 19:05

I really do think I must be either very naive or blinkered because all the above goes right across the top of my head. I thought this was a forum for all of us to air our gripes and help each other out not set about each other. John has taken some stick from me in the past over the weather topic but I hope both he and others took this with the light heartedness with which it was intended.
Dylan

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Post by Kate » Wed 02 Mar 2011 19:33

Hi Sue. Over your head is the best place for it. It is nothing to do with members of this forum who rag each other good heartedly, but some former members who have moved on and bear some weird kind of grudge which is beyond the comprehension of most. Kiddies stuff and not really worth worrying about. As for giving John some stick...go for it gal!! :lol:

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Post by Allan » Wed 02 Mar 2011 19:34

Does anyone have a nomination for what they feel is the best restaurant in the region?

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Post by john » Wed 02 Mar 2011 21:05

Allan wrote:Does anyone have a nomination for what they feel is the best restaurant in the region?
The voice of sanity. What this thread is really about.

At the risk of being accused of prolonging the strife,I'd completely endorse what Kate's said. I really have no real interest in what the throwers of toys out of the pram who've decided to take their business elsewhere have to say. It's the Sues,Allans,Jons ,Savs etc who have something positive to contribute that make this forum what it is.

So Sue,yes ,never any problem with you giving me stick about the weather,or any other subject. As Kate says...go for it !!

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The region bucks

Post by Sue » Wed 02 Mar 2011 21:35

At the risk of being shot down we found that Totsompops in Colera, Spain does an excellent lunchtime time set menu at a very reasonable price and the interior is very pleasing. For a more extensive and expensive lunchtime menu we have, in the past, found El Foggons at La Jonquera to be very good. Both of these have been mentioned previously on the restaurant thread.
Dylan

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Post by Santiago » Thu 03 Mar 2011 00:21

"Best" is pretty hard to define in many things but restaurants are particularly difficult because price come into it too.

I would imagine most people's view of their best restaurant is the one that satisfies, or exceeds, their requirements and fits their budget.

I know what I like but that doesn't necessily match other people's likes.

I like to use the reviews on here, especially ones where people describe the experience in detail. I try to read between the lines to see whether it would suit me. At the end of the day, we're all casual diners, not restaurant critics.
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Post by john » Thu 03 Mar 2011 08:36

That's pretty much how I see it too,Jon,and why I've always had a problem with the "best"/ "league table"/ "star rating" concept. What appear on the site and mag are merely reviews;a snapshot of how one person found one establishment on one day. No-one's views are any more or any less relevant than anyone else's.

That's also why these "How to run your own posh restaurant" programmes on the telly hold little interest for me either.

Sue,I'd very much like to try Totsompops,but every time I go there it seems to be shut. Do you have the definitive opening times for it, or phone number,please ?

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michelin

Post by Sue » Thu 03 Mar 2011 09:03

RESTAURANT Hostal Totsompops
Adreça: Av. 11 de setembre,7. Població: 17469 Colera - Alt Empordà - (Girona). Telèfon: 972389196. Fax: E.mail: info@ totsompops .com. Web: www. totsompops .com

Hope this helps John. I am sure they open 7/7 but not till 1pm unlike most restaurants that open at 12.
Dylan

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Post by john » Thu 03 Mar 2011 13:53

Thanks Sue. We'll probably head out that way in the next couple of weeks,so this time I'll give 'em a ring beforehand.

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Re: The region bucks

Post by Allan » Wed 23 Mar 2011 21:34

Sue wrote:At the risk of being shot down we found that Totsompops in Colera, Spain does an excellent lunchtime time set menu at a very reasonable price and the interior is very pleasing. For a more extensive and expensive lunchtime menu we have, in the past, found El Foggons at La Jonquera to be very good. Both of these have been mentioned previously on the restaurant thread.
We tried Totsompops on Saturday whilst wandering around the coast.
We loved the place, an attractive restaurant and great fun trying to understand the catalan menu, the waitress didn't speak french or english but we muddled through.

I loved the fact that you can have lunch at a civilised time, people seemed to arrive for lunch throughout the afternoon. I was also delighted to try Calcots, I had read about this catalan speciality of grilled mild green onions and was intrigued to try them.

To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the food, my son's steak was overcooked and tough and my fish seemed like it had been reheated. Despite this we enjoyed the experience.

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