Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

PBSF's Profile

Title Last Reply

Venice recommendations E of Arsenale, etc

As stated on the earlier post on the traghetto, one can sit on the benches. If there is no seating when it is your turn to board, just wait for the next one.
Reservation for lunch: I don't know how busy it is at CoVino at lunch and it is quite small. I know Al Covo is not and shouldn't have getting a table by just dropping in. Same for Vina da Gigio and FT. ai Sposi does get busy but they have a second larger room. I have never seen anyone turned away.

2 days ago
PBSF in Italy

Venice recommendations E of Arsenale, etc

There really isn't much on Via Garibaldi or east of the Arsenale. Via Garibaldi used to be a bustling commercial street but has been on a decline for the past ten years or so. What is left are a couple of tire cafes and osterie plus a few under-stock retail space that cater to whatever left of local life. The venerable Nuovo Galeon hasn't been good for many years. Am not surprise by juanita's experience at Trattoria della Rampa.
Al Covo is most convenient to the boat docks. We had a very good dinner at their offshoot CoVino this May: beef carpaccio with arugula and shaved Parmesan, sardine and eggplant in soar, branzino fillet with tomato, olives and herb, braised pork cheek, chocolate torta, tiramisu. The branzino is farmed but can't quibble with a 35euro 3 courses including a glass of wine and were't charged for coperto. We thought the ingredients were excellent, cooking that night was really on point and the portions were more than generous. The service, like Al Covo, couldn't have been better. The room is small and the tables are packed together so there not the spacious feeling of Al Covo if that matters. If it is just my partner and I, we prefer it over Al Covo; less formal so we don't have to have our guards up for a long meal (short attention span as we gotten older). Ristorante Wildner a dependable and their with the great view is a big draw. They have also opened a second location just north. We passed by and thought the menu and interior looked good.
Fegato and the Rialto: like you, I haven't order it in years. Times that I have tasted it when others have, I always felt I do just as good or better at home. That include places that known to cook it well such as Fiachetteria Toscano. Nothing to recommend for fegato on the market side of the Rialto. Besides FT, couple of alternatives that are easy transport from the Rialto are Vina da Gigio and the less expensive ai Promessi Sposi. Both always have the fegato on the menu and guests of ours that have ordered it like both. Vina di Gigio and FT have loads of non seafood on their menu. Ai Sposi has a shorter menu with a couple of choices in each categories. Take the tragheto from the Rialto produce dock to Ca d'Oro/Strada Nuove where just a short walk is Vina da Gigio or the less expensive ai Promissi Sposi and also FT. The tragheto will let you avoid one of the most ghastly and crowded stretch in Venice: Rialto market/across Rialto Bridge/on to Cp San Bartolomeo/and the narrow calles to FT. This stretch is nothing but bumper to bumper tourists and tacky souvenir stands, truly an abomination. Visit the Rialto Bridge early in the morning before the market. Sadly, they've jacked up the tragheto fare for non-locals to 2euro but still a bargain for a wonderful ride.
Have a great trip with your mother; you've haven't compromised yourself with the river cruise. It is not the big 3000 passenger ships rumble in and out of the Canal de S. Marco and Giudecca on a daily basis.

Sep 02, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Top 10 caves à manger in Paris

Add another thank you for the link to the article.

Sep 02, 2015
PBSF in France

Venice help needed

If you looking for "refined food and nothing rustic or traditional" that is more in style of Il Ridotto than Antiche Carampane, there is not much of that in Venice. I have not be to Il Ridotto, therefore, can't comment on it. I have not been to Quadri under the Alajmo stewardship. Da Pisis with a modern interpretation of Venetian cooking was excellent but they changed chef about a year ago and haven't heard anything on it. Same for the Met though the chef change was awhile back. Most good Venetian places are not rustic but most do not veer much from traditional cooking, just a touch here and there to give some personal stamp. Sorry can't be more helpful.

Sep 01, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Venice help needed

My guess to the first part of your post is also La Cantina on the end of Strada Nuova, opposite the Billa Supermarket which now is a Conad.
As for the ultimate 'splurge/perfect' restaurant in Venice, it is impossible to recommend without knowing more about what you are looking for. What do you consider the cost of 'splurge': i.e., Quadri where the tasting menu is more than 200E, high-end hotel restaurants such as Oro, Da Pisis, Danieli where a three course meal before wine, etc, will set one back more than 100E, same for restaurants such as Da Ivo, Harrys Bar, Osteria da Fiore. The above are not necessarily recommendations. What made your first meal at Il Ridotto perfect and the second less so? What isn't that you don't get after several visits to Antiche Carampane, i.e., their cooking style, their execution, quality of their ingredients, the somewhat clutter dinner room, the less than perfect service? "This is a show off dinner with/for friends, so it must be perfect": for sure, you know the taste and preference of your friends better than anyone posting on this board. There is not a 'singular, one size fits all perfect', if perfection exists at all for a restaurant. What makes a restaurant 'perfect' for you or for your friends? With some additional elaboration, hopefully your get some good recommendations even if they are not perfect.

Aug 29, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Trip report - Veneto and Emilia Romagna driving tour

Thank you for the write up on Venice. As Allende wrote earlier, it is good to have different points of view, more current and new discoveries than those of a few regular participants that write on this board. Except for cicchetti in late afternoon which I like, I have not eaten at Bancogiro in a couple of years. Every time, I've pass the restaurant to browse the menu, it has veer more and more away from traditional Venetian cooking, usually not a plus for me. I have never heard of Antico Pizzo Risotto. We'll check it out next month when we return to Venice.

Aug 19, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Critique my plans (Venice, Florence, Rome)

If the first dinner seating is not until 8pm and since they currently offer only tasting menus, I think it would be hard press to finish in 2 hours and 45 minutes. If you are intent on dinner, you might inquire with an email.
Our first dinner there was in 2006 and I remembered being seated at 7:30 and we were able to make the last train for Venice. Also then, the tasting menus were shorter than what is currently online. Subsequent meals (3 lunches and 1 dinner) have been either a la carte or an abbreviated tasting menu.

Aug 17, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Critique my plans (Venice, Florence, Rome)

Venice: since you've eaten at Anice Stellato and Alle Testiere on your previous trip and love it, not much else to say. As for Al Covo, it is the restaurant that we usually take visiting friends knowing they will have a good time, i.e. good food, warm service and comfortable dining room.
I am a big fan of Le Calandre and have eaten there numerous times over the past 10 years. I have not eaten at Quadri but I have rarely been satisfied dining at famed restauranteurs outposts. And in the case of Quadri, also the cost and the menu doesn't appeal to me. The question to ask is what is your reason for Quadri? if it is to eat Massimillano Alajmo's cooking, my advice is the same as mbfant; why take a chance spending tons of money if one can go to Le Calandre with a good bet that the Alajmo brothers will be there. They were each times we ate there. Padua is a wonderful town worth a visit and the restaurant is an easy bus ride from the train station/center or an inexpensive taxi. One point about lunch at Le Calandre, it is a very quiet affair. The three lunches we've had over the years, we were the only guests on two occasions and with two other tables the third. Dinner is livelier but still, it is a very low key urban restaurant. If you decide to take dinner, let the staff know and they will made sure you make the last train leaving for Venice. I wrote about one of our lunches there in an earlier post and how to get there by bus in another. Just search "Le Calandre" on this board.

Aug 17, 2015
PBSF in Italy

One night in Paris - Where to eat?

When you say 'no set menu', do you mean the menu changes according to seasonal ingredients or do you mean you are not into tasting menu (ordering a la carte). Since you tried to booked L'Astrance which offers only tasting menus, I interpreted as the former. Most michelin star restaurants and many other places recommended on this board change their menu according to what is in season and available that day.

Aug 11, 2015
PBSF in France

Help me with planning s'il vous plait!

No need to reserve Briezh months ahead. They probably think it is a joke. It is just a good creperie; popular because they are located in the ever crowded Marais.

Aug 10, 2015
PBSF in France

August Restaurant Closings - Suggestions?

Thanks for the write up on a newly opened place.

Aug 10, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Under 45€ Michelin Lunches in Paris?

Can't do much better than that.

Aug 10, 2015
PBSF in France

Under 45€ Michelin Lunches in Paris?

Maybe it was I who misunderstood. Unless the OP eschew all liquids except for tap water, under 45E will not happen.

Aug 10, 2015
PBSF in France

Under 45€ Michelin Lunches in Paris?

Prix-fixed lunch at around 40euros: L'Agape, Les Climats, Garance and the old reliable Au Trou Gascon. A few euros more is David Toutain. Last year, we had the lunch menu at Sola for 45e and it has an extra course (both fish and meat). There are probably other one star in that price range but I have not been. Be careful, wine, water, coffee can add up quickly. I agree that the 58E lunch menu that include wine, water and coffee at Les Tablettes de Jean-Louis Nomico is the best around.

Aug 09, 2015
PBSF in France
1

Venice - Input on Restaurant Itinerary Requested

Have never been nor any of our Venetian friends been to Osteria Alla Staffa.
If you are traveling with a vegetarian, it is difficult as most good Venetian places have very few vegetarian antipasti and practically no secondi. That is the case with Antiche Carampane which has usually only one primi that doesn't have seafood. F.Toscana has more choices on their antipasti and primi sections though no vegetarian secondi. Anice Stellato has a smaller menu but usually one or two antipasti and primi. If vegetarian is very loosely applied such as eating seafood, then ignore this post.

Jul 22, 2015
PBSF in Italy

August Restaurant Closings - Suggestions?

Regardless what your language skill is like on your first night, Corte Sconta is closed Sundays. If you can't deal with a traditional Venetian menu such as Corte Sconta, it is difficult to recommend any restaurant other than those that cater to tourists with an English menu. One of the better restaurants around San Marco, which there aren't many, is Osteria San Marco and it is open Sundays and probably August. It also has a front bar with excellent cicchetti. Another is Ristorante Wildner on the Riva degli Schiavoni. A bit of a walk from your hotel (not any further than Corte Sconta) but easy to find is the bustling casual Osteria da Alberto. It is west of the huge, can't missed Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo.

Jul 22, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Michelin Starred in Paris with a 12 year old?

If your 12 year old is "is very well behaved and can sit through long meals", then your family can dine at any Michelin starred in Paris.
There are almost 100 Michelin starred restaurant in Paris. They vary in cost, ambience, type of food and location. Some one star can be as expensive as three stars. A prix-fixed lunch at an excellent one star can be as reasonable as 40 euro or as expensive as 400 euro. The food can be traditional bistro, classic French, nouvelle cuisine, modern or molecular. Some dining rooms have no windows, one has a ceiling that opens up to the stars, some looking out to beautiful gardens. The ambience can be simple and rustic or palace-like full of silver carts and tuxedo waiters. The view can be nothing much to a stunning view of the Seine and Notre Dame. As the previous post wisely adviced, search for the gazillion earlier threads on this board. Hopefully, it will help you narrow down to what specifics you are looking for.

Jul 14, 2015
PBSF in France

creme caramel recipe I need it soft and smooth

First of all, need to differentiate between creme brûlée and creme caramel. From reading your original post, it wasn't clear or maybe it was me that didn't read it correctly. It never mentioned brûlée and on your later post, it was what you were making.
For creme caramel, "will the mix set and turn out using 1000ml of milk and 6 eggs or 500ml cream and 500ml milk and 6 eggs"
probably but I have never make it in those proportions. Heavy cream will make the custard richer and may help it set. What you are looking for is just enough egg whites, the main ingredient for custard to set firm enough to un-mold, for a creamy texture without being too rubbery.
If you haven't make creme caramel before, my advice is use Julia Child's simple recipe and see how you like it. Can google for the exact recipe. That will give you a base-line to tweak the recipe to your liking.

Jul 06, 2015
PBSF in Home Cooking

creme caramel recipe I need it soft and smooth

When you make your recipe for 'creme caramel' using only egg yolks and cream, do you put caramel in the bottom of your ramekin/souffle dish and able to unmold it? I ask because that is the usual recipe for creme brûlée with a caramelized topping of sugar.
Creme caramel is usually made with whole eggs, egg yolks and milk. Cream is not necessary. The egg whites will help the custard to set and able to unmold it.
My standard recipe for creme caramel is Julia Child's:
3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 2 1/2 cup of milk.
If you make creme caramel with only egg yolks and milk, it will not set firm enough for you to un-mold. Using cream might make it firmer but I've never tried it to see if it sets up to un-mold.

Jul 05, 2015
PBSF in Home Cooking

Seeking artisanal bread in BERLIN - Prenzlauerberg

Prenzlauerberg is a large area and loaded with small backerei. If you can at least narrow it down to an area or landmark, your might get some good responses. We've stayed in that area for the past few years. We've bought very good bread at Sowohlalsauch and Backerei Siebert. The about mentioned Alpenstuck and Soluna both have excellent breads but neither are in P-Berg. Alpenstuck Bakery is not far from P-Berg but has a large inside space; we love their breads, worth seeking out if you have a chance.

Jul 04, 2015
PBSF in Europe

Venice anniversary dinner help requested

Add to my above post on Boccadoro, it is open Sundays, closed Mondays.

Jun 29, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Venice - Input on Restaurant Itinerary Requested

If cornetti are similar to a croissant, it is the popular pastry for breakfast in Venice. Almost all pastry shop make them and there are good shops all over Venice depending where you are staying at. Two of the best pastry shop for breakfast are Marchini Time on Campo San Luca and Tonolo on calle San Panelon. Since my preference is neither chocolate or nutella, I don't know if either make them. Generally, one can count on crema (vanilla pastry cream), marmalada or mandole. Both probably have a chocolate filled but might be shaped differently. Regardless, cornetti as well as most brioches are eaten in the morning for breakfast when they are the freshest. In fact, Tonolo is so popular that much of their morning breakfast pastries are sold out by 11am or so. After that, it is savory pastry or cakes/tarts, etc. Any cornetti sold in the afternoon most likely will be stale and dry.

Jun 28, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Venice anniversary dinner help requested

Alle Testiere is closed Sundays and Mondays; if your date is one of those, then Antiche Carampane is also closed. For all seafood, Boccadoro is also one of my favorite. You might want to consider Al Covo. Both of the above will offer some excellent seasonal seafood. October is a good time to enjoy seafood from the lagoon and Adriatic. Ai Promessi Sposi is a very good simple osteria but is not on the same level as those of the above. The menus is small and basic; one won't find the variety of seafood nor interesting wine list. Your hotel's recommendations of Osteria Santa Marina and Al Paradiso are solid choices. I think Santa Marina's menu is smaller and more focus and the food more consistent. And there are a few outside tables on a pleasant campo. Al Paradiso has a menu full of choices, some stretch what is consider Venetian. Still, the cooking is straight forward rather than creative. The meat secondi tend to be better than the seafood.
I think it is still too early to make reservation for October. Even for the tiny Alle Testiere, a month ahead is more than sufficient.
There are numerous earlier posts on cicchetti eating. Not much new except a recent opening of a branch of El Sbarlefo, a favorite, near Campo San Pantelon. It is larger then their tiny bacaro on Salz. del Pistor in Cannairegio. Bancogiro has an very good selection of cicchetti and a good list of interesting wines by the glass.

Jun 28, 2015
PBSF in Italy

A few Venice questions

I haven't eaten anywhere in Murano for many years, therefore, nothing to report.
As for La Zucca, I wouldn't recommend it unless someone is looking for a lot of vegetables or is a vegetarian or might be in your case, doing research or curious. We haven't eaten there in a couple of years. From past experiences, we found the cooking heavy handed, without much finesse. Too much cheese and béchamel sauce that covered up the vegetables, i.e. too many gratins such as fennel, endives, artichokes. Maybe it is just not how we like vegetables, prefer simpler. The menu is quite eclectic: spices from the Middle East, North Africa, India, grains and legumes such as couscous, wild rice, red lentil, quinoa. Most of these dishes are not successful nor convincing. Given all that, we've had some very good dishes, their zucca flan, braised rabbit with green garlic, lamb with artichokes. Most of those tend to be more in the Italian mode of cooking.
Il Refolo has not change ownership; it is still in the Martin family who owns Osteria da Fiore. It has change format some, originally just a few pizza with a couple of antipasti. Now, it is more of an osteria with pizza. I don't know if it open year round as there is not much interior seating. Go for the pizza (much thicker crust then Roman) in the evening and sit in the small quiet area off Cp San Giacomo dell'Orio. Day time, often the Coop supermarket deliveries from the shared canal ruin the mood.
As for being a long time residence of Venice, regrettable not full time. We have an apartment there and usually spend a couple months there for the past twenty years.

Jun 25, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Dinner near La Fenice in Venice

To elaborate my "15 minute stroll" from La Fenice to Bancogiro on the San Polo side of the Rialto bridge, that if one doesn't get lost and wander off course. There are numerous routes to get there. Plot one and look for the frequent directional 'yellow Rialto arrow' plaques plastered on the the buildings. Or better if you are staying in a hotel, ask the front desk to help. I've heard Google Map is quite helpful.

Jun 24, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Dinner near La Fenice in Venice

Open Sundays with a good selection non-seafood pasta and secondi. I would go to Vini da Gigio. The tagliatelle with duck sauce is excellent. Less expensive, Anice Stellato.

Jun 24, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Dinner near La Fenice in Venice

Many places are opened Sundays; what specifics are you looking for: area, budget, type of food, ambience?

Jun 23, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Late night dinner in venice

Besides the recommendations in the link from the above post, we had a pretty good after performance dinner this May at Acqua Pazza. The big draw was eating outside on Campo Sant'Angelo (two minutes from the rear of La Fenice). It was packed on a warm Saturday night. The food is not Venetian but lots of seafood. I would reserve, otherwise, might be relegated to the inside dining room which was empty that night.

Jun 21, 2015
PBSF in Italy

August Restaurant Closings - Suggestions?

Just to add a suggestion for Venice. Like most things around San Marco, there are a lot of mass produce, chemically gelato around the Piazza. And they charge more to boot. An exception is the excellent La Mela Verde just east of the Piazza on Fondamenta de L'Osamarin-Castello.

Jun 21, 2015
PBSF in Italy

August Restaurant Closings - Suggestions?

For Venice, many restaurants are closed either parts or all of August. Even at this date, some still are undecided on the exact date of their closings. We haven't been in Venice during August for many years but from what we know from the owners, Antiche Carampane and Alle Testiere are for the entire months.
Looking at your other post, you are in Venice for 3 days during the first week, therefore, some will be opened during that time:
Couple of favorites of ours that should be open
Boccadoro, seafood only, food mostly traditional though there are usually a couple of raw seafood antipasti on the menu. The interior is simple and modern and during warm weather, outside tables in a small secluded campo. Great staff and very Venetian.
L'Orto dei Mori: varied menu in a cozy ambience in a quiet part of Cannairegio. Depends on the weather and their mood, might set up a couple of canal side table but can't count on it. We prefer inside.
We also like the following that might be open the first week of August: Vini da Gigio, Al Covo, Anice Stellato, Osteria Santa Marina. All are more or less on the expensive side (Anice Stellato less so) which seem to fit your budget. Just have to check their website, email (not the most reliable) or telephone on their closing dates. There will be a staff member that will speak English. From your list, I have not been to Il Ridotto but it should be open and Oro in the Cipriani for sure.