Author Topic: Tour De Gall: A Review  (Read 945 times)

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Offline Chris_

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Tour De Gall: A Review
« on: March 23, 2011, 09:09:28 PM »
Possibly the most interesting restaurant review you'll read all year.

I know what it’s called. L’Ami Louis. I ask the hotel concierge at Le Meurice to book a table for lunch. “L’Ami Louis,” he says, with a pitiful sadness. “It’s always L’Ami Louis for les Anglais.”

What you actually find when you arrive at L’Ami Louis is singularly unprepossessing. It’s a long, dark corridor with luggage racks stretching the length of the room. It gives you the feeling of being in a second-class railway carriage in the Balkans. It’s painted a shiny, distressed dung brown. The cramped tables are set with labially pink cloths, which give it a colonic appeal and the awkward sense that you might be a suppository. In the middle of the room is a stubby stove that also looks vaguely proctological.

At the end of the dining room is the tiny kitchen and an even tinier bar, where the waiters lurk like extras for a Gallic version of The Sopranos. The staff are an essential part of Louis’s mystique. Paunchy, combative, surly men, bulging out of their white jackets with the meaty malevolence of gouty buffalo. They may well be related by blood—theirs or other people’s. They exude a pantomime insolence, an existential Le Fug Youse. As you walk in, one approaches with an eyebrow raised and nose aloft to give you the benefit of full-frontal froggy nostril. If you get past the door, and many don’t, the first thing your waiter does is take your coat. The next thing he does is fling it with effortful nonchalance into the luggage rack. Returning customers know to keep wallets, BlackBerrys, and spectacles out of their pockets. As it is, a tinkling dandruff of change scuttles behind the banquettes.

We are sat at a table by the door. Our particular chubby, oyster-eyed fellow dumps off a pair of menus and a large book without a word or the offer of a drink. The menu is brief and bloody. The tome is the wine list. It turns out to be a massive eulogy to claret. Every grand château and vintage is represented with sycophantic prices. The wine cellar is behind the lavatory in a crypt that smells overpoweringly of fetid bladder damp.
Vanity Fair
If you want to worship an orange pile of garbage with a reckless disregard for everything, get on down to Arbys & try our loaded curly fries.