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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Le Gaigne, Marais


We had a lovely meal at Restaurant Le Gaigne with H. while he was in Paris  and I think it was good enough to share with you too. This is an intimate  nouveau bistro in the Marais where the wife works front of house and the husband is in the kitchen. It has been well reviewed and you'll definitely need a reservation. 
What is interesting about assessing restaurants is that reviewers are all about the next place because they need new content, after all the website or newspaper needs to sell pages. So, while Le Gaigne still puts out the quality of food that garnered a very favorable Mark Bittman review in the New York Times (in his  article on the Evolution of the Paris Bistro ) it isn't on his latest list.  However, the 2009 review - pointing out Le Gaigne's effortless charm and interesting combinations - remains accurate. H.,  D. and I would all recommend eating here.
We opted for the menu degustation which we very much enjoyed, I particularly like the fish dish above. H. went for the wine pairing  and liked the variety which spanned Riesling to Bourdeaux. The cheese course below was a strong mousse like dish served on a simple salad.
Tip: I haven't been here for lunch but they offer a two course lunch (entree ou plat, plat ou dessert) for a very reasonable 19 euro.

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