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Best of LudoBites: Foie Gras Night at Gram & Papas - A Pictorial Essay

  • J.L. Apr 20, 2012 02:24 AM

Wow. What a meal. Hope you like the photos... (by the way we brought our own booze, since there was no liquor license)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  1. Thanks JL, love the pictures... Im a bit jealous though :) as I hoped to get "chosen" in the lottery system... :(
    Hope it was successful enough for mr. Lefebre to have a 2nd go at it...

    1. Thanks for the report.

      I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but am I the only one who finds the whole LudoBites phenomenon head-scratchingly overrated?

      I've been to LB a couple times now (caveat, not the one from this review), tried the fried chicken, and on the whole have to say I've rarely been impressed, much less blown away.

      Sure, there are some interesting techniques and ingredient pairings, but I've yet to have a single bite that made me pause while my eyes widened in stunned amazement.

      I dunno ... could just be me. I will say he's obviously harnessed an excellent business strategy and the power of exclusivity. Doesn't hurt he's good looking and French, and has a lovely wife as well

      5 Replies
      1. re: a213b

        i can't call it overrated, because i haven't tried the food. as a consumer, however, the concept is bullshit.

        1. re: a213b

          You're not alone. The first iteration at Bread Bar was quite good. After that, prices doubled and the value wasn't there. At half the price it's a great deal. At 100pp not so much. I stopped going after v4.0. In my experience 25% is excellent-good 25% a clear miss/just weird for the sake of being weird, 50% average or decent.

          1. re: Porthos

            I swear you really are my chow doppelgänger

            1. re: Porthos

              Even on my first go at it, I wasn't amazed.

              And some dishes were just poor quality, like low quality caviar atop the panna cotta dessert.

              1. re: kevin

                Yes.. I have to say that I just don't get the foam thing.. And never will.. That dish reminds me of when a dog heaves up foamy bile. Plus, the goop on the bottom really adds to the whole dog theme.. LOL. Cheers...

          2. I'll defend Ludo for his creativity and chutzpah. I've followed him since L'Orangerie and Bastide. Sure, not every dish of his is a winner, but I go to LudoBites so I don't miss the occasional "star-aligned just right" dish he cranks out of the kitchen (such as the otherwordly uni creme brulee at LudoBites 8.0)

            Parmesano reggiano foam, squid ink bread, foie gras ice cream... Look, I'm the type of guy who loves to try this stuff (whether I like it or not is a totally different matter), and I'm too stupid in the kitchen to actually prepare stuff like this for myself. I can afford it, and Ludo gives me a chance to at least taste it and say I've done it. Call it a worthwhile opportunity cost, from my perspective. The "goop on the bottom" is simply potato puree (exotic, huh?), and from where I was sitting, I thought it tied the dish together rather well.

            Yes, it may not be a "value meal" for some, but what are you doing at a foie gras-themed meal in the first place if you're looking for value? It may be sheer folly for some, and essential experience for others.

            1. As always great photos JL.

              As you say, where one chooses to dine and what people find is "worth it" is completely subjective. I don't think anyone was criticizing your choice to dine at Ludobites.

              I was reaching $100pp at the regular non foie dinners (BYOB) for the same stuff that used to cost $50pp. That's the "value" I was referring to. For me, it's also not "worth" jumping through hoops for the silly reservation "lottery" especially considering you can get just as creative if not more creative and more refined with more "hits" any day of the week at Red Medicine. Or a meal just as creative with far more hits with Chef Quenioux for half the price. To his credit, it is thoughtful to switch to a random lottery system but then again, he could just as well just add more dates.

              I agree, no one can argue with the craziness of his combinations, and your photos are so good it's as if I were there anyways.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Porthos

                Thanks for the encouragement on my photos, Porthos.

                Your points are well-taken.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I don't think anybody is bagging on your for being a Ludo fan just that some of us don't think it's worth it to dine at his pop-up dinners anymore. The hype has become absurd and reservations are impossible to get.

                  1. re: Johnny L

                    for what it's worth, this was my point as well. i've never tried chef ludo's food, so i can't speak to its value for money.
                    i just can't abide the process one has to go through to taste it.