South Florida Reviews

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Restaurant Review: Le Metro Bistro

Published November 19, 2014 by mrsrag
lemet
1155 main street, Jupiter, Florida
Phone: (561) 429-5464
Website:  info@lemetrobistro.net

It’s hard to imagine that the Abacoa Town Center is providing a worthy locale for the level of French cuisine that is being offered in this hidden Jupiter gem.  Ross and I rarely venture off the culinary beaten path, as we have our “tried and trusted” favorite spots.  But Le Metro is a date night must!  The menu caught my eye as I thumbed through one of those giant coupon books and we decided to give it a shot.  The results were, as my date stated, “eye rolling good”.  My only regret was my last minute entrée change; switching from the Dover Sole to the bouillabaisse.  Which, believe me – was magnificent, but I had been eyeing the Sole since I had spotted the menu.  And during our visit to the restaurant I overheard a gentleman, who seemed like a regular of Le Metro, ask if the chef was in.  Once this was confirmed he proceeded to order the Sole.  A sure sign that my last minute change was destined to end in food envy.  For a Saturday it seemed relatively slow, but as the night filled out, so did the seats. We grabbed a beautiful spot on the outdoor patio.  And as we warmed up with the Escargot & Mussels, my taste buds transported me to the French Riviera.  And I wasn’t surprised to read that the Chef de Cuisine, Christian Alunno, hails from Nice.  Only a native could be responsible for this flavorful tour of the Mediterranean coastline.  His resume is impressive.  But the food does more than prove his talent, it embodies his passion for the craft.

mussels

As Maria mentioned, we have our regular spots and favorite dishes all over the area.  Beef Carpaccio at Brio, flat breads at Season’s 52, white chicken chili at Cheesecake Factory, oyster shooters at Spoto’s, sushi at Too Bizaare, guacamole and queso dip at Rancho Chico, buffalo wings at Bru’s Room and of course the incomparable Chilean Sea Bass at The River House, blackened, thank you very much.  Well, we have a newcomer to the line-up, and my goodness, what an addition Le Metro is!!  We stumbled upon this jewel by pure random chance, as we had no clue what or where we wanted to go, just that it be someplace different.  The first place we called, the number was disconnected.  Little did we know at the time, fate was working the room.  I was more than skeptical of our final choice to be honest.  Maria liked the menu, but I had never heard of the place and Abacoa has not been a destination of ours in recent years.  Our error to be sure because this food experience was certainly among my top 5 of all time.  To our list we can add: escargot and the mussels at Le Metro.  The escargot is served in the usual dish with the six little holes for the snails to occupy, but there is nothing else “usual” about these melt in your mouth mollusks.  Sautéed in Pernod and garlic butter and served with the lightest toast points, one bite sends you to an Earth shaking food orgasm.  The Prince Edward Island mussels are served in a light broth of shallots, garlic, parsley, diced tomatoes, white wine and cream that is so good they should offer it as a soup on it’s own.  Dipping the fresh made house bread in there will make your taste buds feel like they died and went to Heaven, and you will most certainly need a re-up on the bread.  For my meal I had the Braised Short Ribs which were tender and delicious, but the appetizers totally stole the show.  We will be going back to Le Metro soon, Maria has to try that sole, but not until we’ve earned it.  We’ve been dieting since that night.

Le Metro proved to be the most surprising restaurant outing we’ve had in years.  Its location is quite understated and although we hope to bring it some business, it was rather nice being able to enjoy a Saturday evening without the usual hustle & bustle of crowds.  The ambience was elegant, yet casual, and the staff seemed quite down to Earth.  I will mention the only disconcerting moment of our evening was when the bartender came to ask if we had paid our bar tab.  And then the waitress double checked with us.  We had grabbed a quick cocktail at the bar and decided to stay for just one more, as we were informed that it was still happy hour and we could grab a 2 for 1.  We 100% knew we had paid with cash before camping out at our dining spot, but this confusion left us feeling a bit awkward and uneasy.  Especially because we didn’t want our server to feel stiffed.  Perhaps it has something to do with my extensive experience in the restaurant industry as a server, bartender and a manager.  And Ross’ empathy with servers stems from his daughters’ vast experiences in the field.  But we always try to be great customers and just decent human beings in general.  We try to leave well deserved tips, help bus our table a bit and speak to servers with a certain level of mutual respect.  This was a small blip in an otherwise flawless experience.  We will most definitely be heading back to Le Metro for a romantic dinner or just an evening of delectable apps and cocktails.

The bar tab incident was a bit aggravating but certainly not a night wrecker.  The family of eight that dined next to us were obviously regulars, complete with spoiled children and an air of entitlement about them that provided us with some pleasant “people watching” and listening moments.  A personal favorite was the seemingly endless “water spilling incident” drama.  The waitress was a good sport and she handled that group better than I ever could.  Really the only true negative of the night was that I had promised Maria I’d take her dancing after dinner, but the crème brulee (also exquisite) we finished the night off with, finished us off.  We went for a walk, then took our overindulgent asses home.  Next time honey, promise.  Le Metro is amazing, surprising and wonderful all at the same time, and you should experience it ASAP.  The food is beyond compare and the prices are surprisingly reasonable, the end result is nothing short of euphoric! 

Maria’s Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses out of 5.

Ross’ Rating: 5 Wine Glasses.    

  

 

 

 

 

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Movie Review: Big Hero 6

Published November 18, 2014 by mrsrag

bh6

Starring the voices of: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Daman Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell.

Rated: PG.  Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.

From the Disney team that brought us the recent classics Frozen and Wreck-It-Ralph, their most recent offering Big Hero 6, may not quite measure up to the high bar those films set; but it’s not far off.  Hiro Hamada (Potter) and his older brother Tadashi (Henney) are genius quality minds, growing up in the fictitious, hybrid city of San Fransokyo.  Tadashi spends his days at “Nerd”  University with a group of fellow geniuses, pushing the envelope on cutting edge robotics & technological inventions, designed to further mankind.  Hiro, who is 14, may be the smartest of them all, but he’d rather hustle money at underground robot fights than waste his time in school.  That all changes one day after he gets pinched by the cops and Tadashi has to bail him out.  He subsequently brings Hiro to Nerd U., and the younger boy realizes that this is where he truly belongs.  Shortly thereafter, we meet Baymax (Adsit), a Michelin Man looking creation of Tadashi’s, that is programmed to diagnose and treat human beings with pains or ailments.  Baymax is easily the most endearing mechanical creation since Wall-E.  It isn’t long before a text book Disney catastrophe strikes and the movie spirals off into a different direction. 

I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a fictional, hybrid city, but once I got over San Fransokyo, I saw there were many things to enjoy about Big Hero 6.  It was continuously entertaining with much of the story centering around the action that ensues when Hiro investigates the disappearance of his sought after invention: microbots.  Some clever, yet simple humor fuels the sometimes dark storyline.  And Baymax lightens up the scene with his benevolent nature, which off sets his larger than life, and sometimes spaces, appearance.  It was no surprise to me that this was the work of the Man of Action writer’s collective, which also spearheaded the Ben 10 series.  There are some obvious similarities surrounding the style, tone and execution between the Ben 10 series and the MOA’s first silver screen debut, Big Hero 6.  They filtered in some good lessons involving family and loyalty, which I always like to see.  And they even figured in a nice little twist.  But of course, Ross Gallo knew what was going on the whole time, as he so often does.

I am kind of tuned in lately.  We watched a movie on HBO the other night, Fierce People (not bad by the way), and I nailed the perp in that one quickly too.  Big Hero 6 does have a bit of a twist, but the heart of the movie is Hiro’s relationship with Baymax and his new found “super hero” friends.  His growth from selfish boy to responsible young man and most importantly, laying the foundation for what promises to be another multi-million dollar franchise.  I’m not knocking that at all, I can’t wait to see the next Lego Movie, but make no mistake, BH6 is only the first installment.  It is certainly worthy of the chance, as these Caucasians with Japanese names are a force to be reckoned with.  Add in their exotic yet still familiar Japerican hometown, the technology on display, and all the writers need to do is create a villain worthy of the 6.

I have no beef with franchises, but one thing I find incredibly irksome is the necessity to split every final installment into two parts, i.e. The Harry Potters, Twilight, and more recently The Hunger Games. It is a total money grab. I wish I could say that I am protesting such ludicrous Capitalism, but I will be going to see Mockingjay parts I & II. And don’t let Ross fool you, he hasn’t been tuned in lately – he’s ALWAYS tuned in. And he was right on point with Big Hero 6. This is a must see for those of you with boys, especially if they have gravitated towards Ben 10. This film has a nice mixture of sci-fi and action that will help keep your attention as well.

Ross’ Rating: 3.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating: 3 Gummies.

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Published October 6, 2014 by mrsrag

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Sela Ward, Missi Pyle.

Rated: R.  Drama/Mystery/Thriller.  Running Time: 2 hours 29 minutes.

Wow, I forgot how truly twisted Amy Elliot Dunne is.  Ross and I had read the critically acclaimed bestseller by Gillian Flynn in late 2012 and we were both immediate fans.  Flynn’s writing was edgy, fresh and captivating.  It was one of those books you pick up and absolutely can’t put down.  Each chapter like a breadcrumb leading down a shocking path.  What I enjoyed most about this novel was the fact that Flynn proved that I could still be shocked as a reader.  When Ross told me that he had read about the production of the movie, I was deeply intrigued.  How were they going to pull this one off?  Readers are exceptionally protective of the stories they love and this was so widely adored.  If they screwed this up, they’d be crucified.  The theatre was jam packed, which was quite a treat when certain scenes unfolded on screen.  I was getting a kick out of hearing some of the reactions to things that I already knew were coming.  My final assessment: they pulled it off.  And quite well.  They pretty much followed the book to a tee, which is always a smart approach.  And as a reader I was surprisingly pleased.  The twisted tale translated well to the big screen and delivered some wicked humor along with thought provoking dilemmas.

Nick Dunne (Affleck) is unemployed and aimless.  He owns a failing bar that his wife bought him, and he wakes up on the morning of his fifth anniversary and heads straight for ‘The Bar’.  His sister Margo (Carrie Coon from HBO’s The Leftovers) is the bartender and they each have a mid-morning glass of  bourbon.  Nick returns home after receiving a call from his neighbor that his cat is wondering around.  He finds the front door open, the house in a bit of a shambles and no sign of Amy (Pike) his wife.  So begins the set-up of Gone Girl, the runaway, fantastic best seller brought to the big screen in record time.  We soon find out the marriage was a Grand Canyon away from happy, and that our husband and wife are severely fucked up in the head.  The search begins for “Amazing Amy” and the lead investigator, Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens from another HBO hit Deadwood) quickly focuses on Nick, because it’s always the husband isn’t it?  Maria and I are always careful not to tell too much of the plot, and out of respect for those of you that haven’t read the book, we certainly aren’t changing that practice here, but suffice it to say there are twists for the ages in Gone Girl.  Well cast, well acted and a very worthy adaptation of Flynn’s novel.

They don’t waste any time getting into the action and weaving a web of deception, lies and drama.  Gone Girl is a literal train wreck at full speed without a dull moment.  I really enjoyed the subtle social commentary on how the media reacts when a tragedy of this kind occurs.  Missi Pyle plays Ellen Abbot, a television personality who is no doubt tailored to be our very own Nancy Grace.  It’s a delight to watch her sensationalize the tragedy and then be flippant with her opinions.  Pike’s performance is incredibly impressive as well.  She fearlessly takes on her first starring role as the fierce and unapologetic Amy.  I’d like to imagine that all the ladies of Hollywood were vying for this one.  Pike was not an obvious choice, but she nailed it.  Great performances and a flawless execution make this a must see.  For people who have read and those who haven’t.

There are a few racy and squeamish moments that might not be for everyone, and at nearly 2 1/2 hours it was just a tad too long, but overall I would agree, go see it.  I mentioned to Maria as we were leaving, that the most sure fire way to ensure box office success is to adapt a mega best selling book(s) for the big screen.  She responded that that’s been going on for years, but I submit with Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Gone Girl and the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey (abysmally rotten yet successful, see our review in the archives of MRSRAG) among others, that it has never been more prevalent than today.  I’m not knocking the practice, just an observation.  Gone Girl really is a well acted film.  There aren’t a whole lot of characters to like here, as a matter of fact the bulk of them are vile, but it’s the great, refreshing, original story that drives this one to the finish.

Maria’s Rating:  4.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Ross’ Rating:  3.75 Gummies.