m

MikeFree9's Profile

Title Last Reply

Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets

Looks really quirky and delicious. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jul 10, 2013
MikeFree9 in France

Help with restaurants in Cinque Terre and restaurants and farmers markets in Siena Region of Tuscany

Thanks for the link, Jen. I definitely want to check out a market. Unfortunately we have no hosts in Rigomagno to direct us, but I'm starting to get a good sense of must tries. Eating bread, fruit, cheese and meats, with lots of wine sounds perfect.

Jul 10, 2013
MikeFree9 in Italy

Help with restaurants in Cinque Terre and restaurants and farmers markets in Siena Region of Tuscany

My mouth is watering! My parents gave me the same advice, Barberinibee, about Cinque Terre and anchovies, so I think that's a must. My groups Italian is poor, but we'll try to suss out or sniff out the best pesto. Thanks for the advice about moving around. I think we'll hike some during the days, so maybe some lunches in other towns.

Jul 10, 2013
MikeFree9 in Italy

Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets

Thanks for the review (Greg) and the warning (beaulieu). An hour is OK, but we want to keep it around there. I leave tonight. Thanks for everyone's help. I'll check tips while there so if anyone has any others, I'd appreciate it.

Jul 10, 2013
MikeFree9 in France

Help with restaurants in Cinque Terre and restaurants and farmers markets in Siena Region of Tuscany

Hi, In 10 days we will be driving down from the South of France, stopping in Cinque Terre for 2 days (staying in Vernazza) and then driving down to a small town called Rigomagno, which we will use as our base for a week. Rigomagno is in the middle of Siena, Arezzo, and Montepulciano. We will visit all 3 (maybe Montalcino instead of Montepulciano) as well as Pienza, maybe Orvieto, and who knows where else. I'd love to find some great restaurants for lunches and some farmers markets so we can cook some fabulous dinners.

In Siena, we were looking at the classic Le Logge or L'Osteria. Montalcino has Re Di Macchia or Il Leccio. rossellino in Pienza also sounds good. Any recommendations are welcome to replace these. We're not looking for fine dining, but rather just amazing cuisine. Love family run places, homemade pastas, etc.

What about farmer's markets? Where are the best ones? When are they?
Thanks,
Mike

Jul 09, 2013
MikeFree9 in Italy

Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets

Thanks Brian. Gassin is really close and that place looks lovely. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jul 09, 2013
MikeFree9 in France

Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets

Awesome. Thanks. Which of these is your favorite? Ramatuelle is very close to us.

Jul 08, 2013
MikeFree9 in France

Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets

Hi,
I'm off on Wednesday to a small town called la croix valmer just west of St. Tropez. We will be staying at a friend's house and most likely cooking many of the nights. First off, what are the days for the best farmer's markets in the region? I seem to remember a great one in St. Tropez on Saturday morning, but I won't be able to go to that as we have to pick someone up in Marseille that day. What other towns around there have good farmer's markets/green markets? Any great food stores around that are must visits? We'll probably be cooking a fair amount.

We also want to go to one or two restaurants. Last couple of times I was in the area, I went to good restaurants. The first time I went to Le Table de mon Moulins, which was in an incredibly charming setting. Just beautiful. We were sitting outside. The food was excellent. It was a great experience. Not too expensive either. The last time we went to a 1-star Michelin restaurant, can't remember the name, and the food was again excellent, but the setting was really drab and it felt like we were put in the back under fluorescent lamps. This time I'm looking for something where the setting matches the food. The two I've identified so far are La Bastide Saint Antoine and Le Relais des Moines. Both are within an hour of me. I'd love some thoughts on those two, but I'd also welcome other recommendations.

Thanks,
Michael

Jul 08, 2013
MikeFree9 in France

Visiting Chicago after a year away--what's new?

Yeah, I looked on Elizabeth. I arrive Sunday and leave Wednesday, though, so no availability those dates. I was just about to email El Ideas about Tuesday when I saw someone had responded. Hopefully they can take me. I'll see what they say

Jun 11, 2013
MikeFree9 in Chicago Area

Visiting Chicago after a year away--what's new?

Thanks for the recs. A lot here that I haven't heard of, but sounds up my alley. Parsons Chicken and Fish I'd like to try. Au Cheval also sounds great. And I haven't been to either of Sodikoff's restaurants. I think there's plenty to choose from. I'd really like to go to Next. I've been to Aviary and tried to get in from there to Next, but have never succeeded. I guess I can keep trying, but I'm pretty sure they don't take solos.

What's the Office?

Jun 11, 2013
MikeFree9 in Chicago Area

Visiting Chicago after a year away--what's new?

I was Schwa-ed once. I had a reservation during a very busy food convention and they canceled on me day of. This was after a nice conversation on the phone when I made the reservation even listening to their whole conversation about weed when I was "on hold." They said they'd get me in anywhere and then couldn't because of the convention. That's total weedhead bullshit and I have no interest in trying again, unless I have some sort of a guarantee. I'm sure the food's good, but there's no shortage of good food.

I'm interested in Elizabeth. I'll try to see if I can get in. I'd like to try El Ideas. I couldn't get in last time I was here. I've been to North Pond, of course. Love it for Brunch. I've been to GT and thought it was good, but I don't need to go back this trip. I've also tried Topolobampo and Frontera. I love the mole at Topo, so I could always do that...and I think they're opened mondays which is a plus. You didn't mention the wiener phenomenon, which I've also explored a bit. I couldn't write everything down, but I've been around the block! Thanks a lot for the recs and sharing my ideas on Schwa. I've never written about it before, but it still burns a bit.

Jun 11, 2013
MikeFree9 in Chicago Area

Visiting Chicago after a year away--what's new?

Hi, I've been a 2-time a year Chicago visitor for about 8 years, but I recently changed jobs and I haven't been in more than a year. I'm going back in a week. I've been to Alinea, L2O when Laurent Gras was there, Blackbird, Longman & Eagle, Balena, Boka, Takashi, Girl and the Goat, and many more. What have you guys been enjoying recently? Are there any new spots? I know about Grace, and I'd love to try it, but I'm not sure I can expense it as I used to with Alinea (those were the days!). I've never been to Graham Elliot. I ate at Avenues when he was there and loved it. Should I try that? What about Little Goat? What else are people really excited about? I can go solo (I'll ditch the colleagues), so that sometimes makes it easier to get in places with a dining bar that are hard to get in without reservations.

Bar recommendations taken also. Anything really fascinating like Violet Hour or Aviary?

Thanks

Jun 11, 2013
MikeFree9 in Chicago Area

Let's talk favorite restaurants! Need ideas for this month's fooding.

Have you been to Soto for Japanese? Love that place. I'd also put down Momofuku Ko or Chef's table at kitchen market...both really nice experiences. Also for the nice dinners category, I love Recette. That's something of a go to for me. You don't have any Williamsburg spots...

Aug 03, 2012
MikeFree9 in Manhattan

sWine in the west village -- a delicious dive

I went last night for the first time and really enjoyed it. The vibe of the place is awesome, cool dive bar feel with great food. The highlight was the charcuterie menu. Everything is house cured or made. I had the duck prosciutto, surryano ham (take on serrano), country pate, and roasted veggie and goat cheese terrine (I was with a pescetarian), and a house-made ricotta with an espelette pepper jam. We also had some pickles (some house made, some mcclures) as well which were fine. Then we split a ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossom, lightly fried, over heirloom tomatoes. So delicious. I only wish there was another blossom because it was a bit hard to split...and that blossom was amazing. Finally ended with the scallops with a tomato vinaigrette. It was good, but I really wanted the burger which I saw next to me. It looked intense. It's a bone marrow and brisket burger. Damn pescetarian friend...but he probably saved my arteries. I'll just have to wait until next time. A few minor service issues, but it's a new restaurant, and everyone was really friendly, so I was fine with minor annoyances. The wine list is solid with about 20 of each color. We had an albarino which was perfect for the heat and the meat...wow. Can't believe I just wrote that. Anyway, I'm into the new place. It felt neighborhoody, and comfortable, and the food was excellent. I'll definitely go back to eat, but I think it's a perfect place to have drinks and snacks. So many more pates and cured meats to try. Nice job...

Aug 03, 2012
MikeFree9 in Manhattan

Best Markets Around St. Tropez

Hey, Thanks. The restaurants sound great. I'll be near Les Arcs to go to a winery, so maybe I'll try to get lunch at Le Relais. And I'm going to Bandol, so maybe dinner on the way back at Le Sud.

I'd love to go to the market, but you're right that it's a bit far (probably more than an hour). So I'll try the local markets, knowing that a quick in and out trip to Cannes may be in the cards. Do you know anything specific about any of the local markets around me?

Jun 30, 2008
MikeFree9 in France

Best Markets Around St. Tropez

Hi,
I'm going to a small town called La Croix-Valmer in a few days (from New York), which is about 10 minutes from St. Tropez. Since I'll be cooking a lot, I'd like to find some great markets in the area. Does anyone have any recommendations? I remember that St. Tropez has a market from the last time I was there, but I'm sure there are other ones in the area. I don't want to travel as far as Nice, though I hear the market there is spectacular.

If anyone has to die for restaurant, winery, or food store recommendations, I'd appreciate that as well. Thanks, Michael

Jun 30, 2008
MikeFree9 in France

Top NYC Marzipan (Preferably Downtown)

I too am looking for a good marzipan place. Elk was my favorite. Can anything compare in the city?

Feb 01, 2008
MikeFree9 in Manhattan

New Green Bo - not bad, but doesn't live up to hype

I like New Green Bo. The soup dumplings are good, as are the fried dumplings (which I actually prefer). I'm also a big fan of the scallion pancakes. The service is very Chinese, brusk and brisk, but I wouldn't say rude.

Jun 12, 2007
MikeFree9 in Manhattan

Tomoe Sushi-The real deal?

I haven't been there in 2 years, but I do love sushi, and I loved Tomoe for the toro and fatty yellowtail. A couple of the prepared toro appetizers were also good. It wasn't just that it was cheap and big pieces. The fish there is a hell of a lot better than, say, Monster Sushi, which also has big pieces, though isn't as cheap. I'll go back sometime and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. They're sometimes open for lunch, and it's usually not as crowded.

Jun 12, 2007
MikeFree9 in Manhattan