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Tickets and 41 Degrees closing? Barcelona must visit restaurants?

Would do La Cova Fumada over Vaso de Oro. Vaso was good but La Cova Fumada was more of an experience plus great food.

Jul 20, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Back from Barcelona

We just got back last night and had a wonderful time. First of myths to be dispelled is that there is a lot of petty crime. Now that may be true, but I never felt the need to worry once while there. However, reading about it did make me overly hypervigilent about my bag or husbands wallet. All the written about stories unnecessarily caused me concern. We took the trains, walked the Rambla and felt totally safe. Secondly, the people of Barcelona are extremely friendly and helpful. Thirdly, everyone wears shorts so my husband was glad that he didn't listen to several posts and brought his shorts. Now onto the food. I got a lot of good information from this board along with other posts. The Rambla was enjoyable to walk along and we stopped at the Mercado Boqueria. It was a feast for the eyes. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the fresh fruit, fruit juices, fish, meats, etc. So very enjoyable. I would advise against going on a Monday because we first went on Thursday and it was full of vendors. On Monday most of the fish stalls were closed. A definite must do. Food tended to be more pricey if having a meal. But fruit and juices were reasonable. Our hotel was in the EIXAMPLE area and we ate at Flauta, Ciutat Condal., Taller de Tapas, had breakfast at Cerveseria Catalana and Baluard Bakery. Ciutat Condal and Cerveseria Catalana are always very crowded. My high school Spanish did not serve me that well since the Catalan dialect is different but luckily most of the servers were very helpful. All the above tapas restaurants were very good and priced about the same. Our meals usually came to around 50Euro with wine/drinks. I loved the fresh orange juice for breakfasts at Cerveseria Catalana along with the sandwiches of ham, tomato and lettuce. My husband enjoyed Taller de Tapas which was not planned but not knowing where to go, we were pleased with both the food and service (the one on Rambla de Catalanya.) Excellent gin and tonic with cucumber and the strawberry mojitios were delicious. My favorite place was Paco Meralgo. The smoke salmon on toast, the Bomba, the zucchini flowers stuffed, the croquettes Obama (cuttlefish ) , potatoes bravas (more spicy here) were delicious. I also enjoyed their bread toasted with olive oil and tomato better than other places. We ate here twice. I have to say that after a few days of tapas you need a more typical meal so we ate at a local place Pulpa, which was very pretty and again great service. Very reasonable. I had the pumpkin soup which was delicious and my husband enjoyed his risotto. Their spinach cannelloni was just ok. Their chicken curry dish was good but could have used more sauce. Overall a nice change from days of tapas. We also had a small bite at Vaso de Oro in Barceloneta, which was a lot of fun. Another standout was La Cova de Fumada. We had a hard time finding it at first, but the line out the door for lunch was a good clue. Be sure to put your name on the list, which we didn't know to do at first. It's a small family owned place where you will sit next to strangers (and make friends at the same time) to taste their food. STandouts were the grilled octopus, sardines and bacala. I hate bacala but they made it so different here and it was recommended by our table companions. They are known for their bombas but I felt the ones at Paco Meralgo were better. Cash only here. I gave up my reservations at Gresca and Alkimia for lunch because I didn't want our vacation to be dictated by food. If we were in the Born district, it was senseless to run back for lunch. BTW, Gresca was not crowded and there were plenty of open tables. We had gelato, but the name escapes me. It was in the Born district and I enjoyed the pear gelato with ginger. But overall, it doesn't compare to Italy's gelato IMO. The table companions we met at Cove de Fumada recommended a restaurant that is not tapas called Somotosto that is right around the corner from Cove de Fumada. It gets great reviews but unfortunately we ran out of days. Hopefully there will be a next time.

Jul 17, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona trip report

We are in Barcelona now and today is our last day. We also loved Paco Meralgo and may go there again to eat for farewell meal. Reservations are a must here I believe. Cerveceria Catalana is always packed but we only have eaten breakfast here. Just too crowded. Ciutat Condal was also very good but again very crowded. My husband loved Taller Tapas and I have to say they have the best gin and tonic and mojitos. Can't fault them for service or food but I preferred paco Meralgo for food. Vas de Oro was fun but more pricey. Flauta was our first meal in the LExample area and they were very patient with us, helping to order. Today we have lunch at Gresca and hoping my husband likes it and is not hungry afterwards. Overall, everyone has been wonderful and helpful. The bakery you mentioned is very good but I prefer one on Provenca about two blocks from Balmes going towards the Sagrada Familia.

Jul 15, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Restaurant recommendations

I have a reservation for Hisop on Saturday evening and one for Alkimia for lunch. I want to try Gresca for lunch and Paco Meralgo. I wish Gresca had online reservations.

Jul 05, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Restaurant recommendations

How would Hisop be?

Jul 03, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Restaurant recommendations

I see that name popping up a bit. I will add it to my list. Thanks.
We are staying at the Hotel Olivia Balmes. Any breakfast places nearby?

Jul 03, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Restaurant recommendations

Headed next week to Barcelona. Will be there from July 9th -16th. I usually over research restaurants, etc, but this time I am kind of winging it. My husband hates when I overplan. I have a list of tapas places, but would like a nice meal at least one night. I did make reservations for Cinc Sentits but worry it will be too expensive. I really don't want to spend $300.00 on dinner, and if I do my husband can't leave hungry. It's his pet peeve about upscale restaurants. We do appreciate great food so any recommendations would be appreciated. Thoughts on Montiel and Gresca? Any recommendations for restaurants that would be about $100 pp?

Jul 03, 2014
scanmike in Spain/Portugal

Cooks Country "grandma pizza"

I hav already made this recipe twice since seeing the show. For the longest time I have been looking for a pizza recipe tht works in the home oven,and THIS IS IT. Don't worry about the toppings, use what you like, but the dough recipe is great. It reminds me of my moms (Italian) pizza

Feb 05, 2014
scanmike in Home Cooking

Eagle Cheese closed, OH NOOOOOO!

bump

Jun 17, 2013
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Eagle Cheese closed, OH NOOOOOO!

Been so busy rebuilding after Sandy that we didn't find out that Eagle closed in April. Seriously, we are depressed. They were the creamiest ravioli we have ever had. Any places similar out there? May have to resort to making our own. And please don't tell me Pastosa. They don't even come close.

Jun 11, 2013
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Yes, another "Need Restaurant Recs for NYC"

For Thai, go to Woodside Queens and eat at Sripraphai. The Watercress salad is amazing, as are any of the curry dishes and soft shell crab dishes.
Also, Traif in Williamsburg serves small plates of unique dishes that are constantly changing. Flavors are so memorable. Check on Yelp. They have tons of reviews. Worth traveling for. Both are reasonably priced.

Feb 10, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Ciano, Osteria Morini, Scarpetta??

Which location for A Voce? Madison Avenue at 28th would be more convenient.

Feb 05, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Ciano, Osteria Morini, Scarpetta??

I would prefer a quieter atmosphere. Didn't realize Osteria Morini was loud. My husband has a hearing problem and it's hard for him to hear in loud places. But damn, the pasta dishes sound great. Between Ciano and Scarpetta so far your comments favor Ciano. Now it seems it's between Ciano and OM.

Feb 05, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Ciano, Osteria Morini, Scarpetta??

Looking for a really good restaurant with amazing pasta. Celebrating my birthday and am in the mood for some comfort food. The problem is that my husband hates spending a fortune and leaving hungry. For example, I took him to Nomad because I was blown away by the crabmeat and meyer lemon pasta dish. I had to beckon the waiter for more bread to fill him up. Tasting menu's aren't his thing unless it's somewhere like Grammercy Tavern, which he always enjoys. So while it's my birthday, I would feel uncomfortable if he wasn't satisfied. I have read about so many good restaurants here such is A Voce, Al Fiore, Lincoln, Ciano, Osteria Morini, Marea, Scarpetta, Del Posto. I would like an appetizer and pasta dish. I don't necessarily need a secondi, if the pasta is substanial enough. Scarpetta is known for their bread basket so I felt that was a safe bet, however Osteria Morini's creamy pasta dishes appeal to me more.

Feb 04, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Celebrating Surviving Sandy and Bday

Thanks for your recommendations.
We have been to Tacis Beyti many times and love it. I just want something a bit quieter and slower paced. For that matter Nargis Grill further down CIA is amazing. Some things better than Tacis Beyti (grilled fish and meats). Desserts better at Tacis Beyti.
Looking at osteria Morini, Scarpetta. Any thoughts? Will check out Via Emilia. Sounds great.

Jan 27, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Celebrating Surviving Sandy and Bday

Thanks for letting me know about Babbo. Will check out Manzo and Louro.

Jan 16, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Celebrating Surviving Sandy and Bday

Hi,

After being destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, my husband and I are getting our lives back to normal. My birthday is in 3 weeks and I want to celebrate. I am in the mood for something Mediterranean, fresh, clean and authentic. After all the stress I find myself thinking of past vacations in Italy eating simply grilled fish and fresh pasta. I love grilled calamari as well. My husband loves good food but hates paying a fortune, and money is an issue right now with all the repairs. I have taken him to Nomad, which I loved, and he left hungry, so I have given up on fancy restaurants with small tasting menus. I would prefer cozy, not too crowded seating, warm and friendly and more quiet atmosphere since he has some difficulty hearing in loud settings. I am open to Manhattan and outer boroughs as well. Don't want to go far uptown and would rather stay below 34th Street. I go back and forth between Italian and Greek. Some choices after doing alot of research are:
Crispo
Lavagna,
Bianca
Pylos
Elia in Bklyn for convenience
I tried Babbo but booked and would loved to try Marea but too pricey
Been to L Artusi so would prefer something else. Would appreciate your input.
Thanks

Jan 15, 2013
scanmike in Manhattan

Suggestions on a gift certificate

Just got the USHG gift certificate. Great idea. Babbo was one of my choices but this gives them more flexibility.

Thanks so much

Aug 30, 2012
scanmike in Manhattan

Suggestions on a gift certificate

Hi,

I would like to get our friends, in their mid fifties, a gift certificate to a restaurant for their 10th Wedding Anniversary. The wife eats everything but I feel the husband tends to like heartier menu's (more meat and potato type of person). I think he prefers more quantity than quality, but obviously prefers both. For example, I just had lunch at Bouley (tasting menu) and I know the amount of food would not be appreciated. In the past I gave them a gift certificate to Grammercy Tavern, which they enjoyed. My daughter suggested Aldea, but I can't see him eating sea urchin. I know they eat alot at steak houses and enjoy a good Italian restaurant. They also enjoy good wine and spares no expense on ordering bottles of wine when they go out. They live on the lower east side, but have a car and don't mind traveling. Any suggestions would be appreciated. The amount would be $200.00.

Thanks ahead of time

Aug 30, 2012
scanmike in Manhattan

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

Hi,
Went to Traif, and while it may not have been the most ideal place for a special birthday, the food was delicious and creative. My husband said it was a "beautiful meal". He thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure he wasn't leaving hungry by ordering 6 plates and we had two desserts. The only negative is that they didn't have their much touted strawberry cinnamon glazed ribs on the menu. But everything else was delicious. Thanks to all for helping.

Aug 15, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Any suggestions in the Rockaways?

Dollys is good but so is the place next to Rockaway Taco, without having to pay the toll. I also think they have another location on the Boardwalk. They don't have as many flavors but what they do have is good quality and the scoops are larger.

Aug 15, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Any suggestions in the Rockaways?

Also, if you want good sandwiches go to 101 Deli. Their roast beef with melted mozzarella on garlic toast is very good. I ordered that plus their eggplant with roasted pepper and fresh mozzarella and I didn't get a chance to even try the roast beef. They have good looking take out dishes.

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Any suggestions in the Rockaways?

Mickey,
Claudette is also eat in. They have a daily special of $12.00 for an entree and two sides. There food is pretty good. I have tried the spinach and feta cakes, lentil cakes and eggplant pie and salad. The eggplant pie was a bit oily, as eggplant can be, but very good otherwise. I just found it also and it's definitely worth trying. I hear their salmon is delicious also.

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

Bkeats,

He drives around all day and hates driving in Manhattan, and parking is always an issue. I suggested it, but he rather stay in Brooklyn. Applewood would be the closest but some love it and some don't so I think we will stay with Traif. But I have a new list of places to try, thanks to everyone.

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

He has been to Seersucker already. I tried calling The Grocery, but they are on vacation. I was thinking about Locanda Vini e Olii. Will check out the menu again. Same for Colonie, as I am new to that one. Thanks

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

Just looked at Applewood's menu, which has changed since last month. Looks better to me. Anyone been there lately? Is it wow or just okay?

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

I know 60 sounds old but he (we) are young at heart and don't feel awkward in young places. I do like the menu and will ask how many dishes to get for two people. Thanks for the input.

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Any suggestions in the Rockaways?

Okay, this is easy since I live here and often travel for food choices. In the Rockaways, there is Thai Rock, which is right by the Crossbay Bridge (next to McDonalds on Beach Channel Drive). They have good food, though more costly than other places in the outer boroughs. Beautiful outdoor deck and live music to watch the sunset. I like any curry dish, especially the green curry, and all the noodle dishes are very good. Drinks are good as well. If you want Italian, there is Tiberio's on B. 116th Street. Very good traditional Italian. Excellent linguine with white clam sauce, fabulous mussels and I love their chicken piccata or marsala. Be prepared because they don't say it, but cash only. Very cozy place but owner is a bit shy or standoffish.There is of course Rockaway Taco and the places on the boardwalk. I had a very good crab roll and shrimp roll there. There is Kennedy's in Breezy which is nice because the view is awesome and you are right on the beach. Haven't been there in quite some time so can't comment on the food. In Howard Beach, Gino's is popular and reasonable. I happen to think Matteo's right off the Belt Pkway and on Crossbay serves very good family style Italian. A quick trip into Brooklyn on Avenue U and E. 66th street in the Key Food strip mall is La Villa (they have another two locations also) Very good, reasonable Italian food. Great wraps and salads, wood oven pizza, pastas, everything. Generous portions. Great quality. Never disappoints. Gets crowded. One of our favorite place is a place on Coney Island Avenue and Ave. Z called Nargis Grill. It's a Uzbekistan place (think Turkish). Fantastic grilled meat and seafood kabobs. One of the best avocado salads I have ever eaten. Delicious home fries with onions and mushrooms. Very efficient staff and it's BYOB. It's a hidden gem to the non-Russian community. They will speak to you in Russian initially if you don't speak to them first in English. Very sweet people with outstanding food. My favorite is the sea bass kabob. Liman in Sheepshead Bay is also very good for seafood. More $$ than the others. Hope that helps.

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

Battersby screwed me, need restaurant suggestion ASAP

Made a reservation at Battersby back in late June for my husbands' 60th birthday, which is today. I had a back and forth dialogue with them and it was set . We never ate there and after all the press and reviews thought it would be a good choice. We live in the Rockaways, so have to travel for good food anyway. I decided to confirm yesterday since I had a gut feeling they would forget. Well, they did. They said they are sorry but decided to close today for an event. Nice, right? When were they going to tell me? When I got there tonight? If you have an event scheduled, even last minute, you have at least 2 days notice. No compensation just an offer to do it another day. Like he turns 60 everyday. So here I am trying to find somewhere to bring him. I thought Sauls, but they are closed on Tuesday. Been to Osteria Convivium several times and Lot 2 is good, but always go there.Applewood's menu doesn't thrill me, but maybe I am being too judgmental. My daughter suggested Aurora and Traif. He doesn't like tappas cause he likes more quantity but I think Traif is different, am I right? He doesn't like pretentious places so I usually opt to bring my daughter's to Restaurant Week places. For example, while he appreciated the food at the new Nomad Hotel, he was hungry with the RW menu. But we are foodies and eat most types of food, with Indian being a favorite. Please help! PS. He saw Traif's menu and seemed to like it cause it's different.

Thanks for any help!

Aug 14, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs

5 dinners in Astoria area for the family - hoping for feedback :-)

My daughter and her husband just moved to Astoria from SF. They are real foodies. That being said I would highly recommend Cafe Triskell. I believe it's on 35th Ave, but check. It's a tiny french place where the chef and owner puts so much love an pride in the food. Everything is amazing and prices are reasonable. The french onion soup is one of the best I ever ate, not oily. The chicken corden bleu, the lamb terrine, the pastas, the mussels, the duck all were excellent. And you will flip when you taste his incredibly light dessert crepes, especially the lemon and sugar one OMG! They deliver also. After all the meals they have had so far, this one wowed us all.

Jun 27, 2012
scanmike in Outer Boroughs