PBSF's Profile

Title Last Reply

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.

The 10 Best in Venice? I have my doubts

I think a general list is useless because visitors come in all sizes and looking for different things and have different budgets. If someone doesn't take a little time to search on this board or with some idea what specifics they are looking for, I generally don't want to take time to post. Unlike cities such as Paris, London, Rome, NYC, etc, where the shear numbers of eating places with different types of cooking can be overwhelming. Venice proper is small with a limited number of good places to eat. Very few new openings are worth mentioning and from my experiences, most of the betters places have not change much in the past few years. These have been mentioned many many times on this board by numerous posters. For 99% of the visitors who spend less then three days in Venice, choosing should be a breeze.

Jun 14, 2015
PBSF in Italy

The 10 Best in Venice? I have my doubts

My reply was not meant to demean your post. I was Just curious why someone who has dined often in Venice would write a post on this particular list when so much have been written about where to find good food in Venice. Even if I am clueless about Venetian restaurants, I would still come away clueless after reading that list. Other than 'great view' which there are plenty of eating places that have it, I didn't come away with any information that would help me choose intelligently.
Personally, I don't have a 'best' list. In the past few years, I have plastered all over this board where I like to eat when I am in Venice.

Jun 13, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Milan Expo

Thanks for the report. We'll probably give it a go in October.

Jun 12, 2015
PBSF in Italy

The 10 Best in Venice? I have my doubts

There are so many 'best lists' being published, why single this particular one out? The writing is broad and generic with very little description of the food, the wine list, the ambience. The same adjectives are used for practically every restaurant. The photos are either from various websites such as flicker or courtesy of the restaurants. Did they actually eat at any of the places or take any photos. There are plainly false statements such as Antiche Carampane having number of non seafood choices (the only non seafood on their menu when we ate there this May was the fegato) or calling All'Arco an osteria or ristorante when in fact is a bacaro.

Jun 12, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Italy Itinerary (Rome, Venice, Florence, Montalcino, and Capri) Phew! Feedback would be appreciated.

Bakeries/breakfast around San Marco: most bakeries in Venice are standup only including those below. Don't eat breakfast pastries past late morning as they have been sitting around and dried out.
Rosa Salva has three locations, the one on calle Fubera just east of San Marco is the best.
Marchini Time, a little further on Campo San Lucas, has some of the best breakfast pastries in Venice. It is on a main thoroughfare, therefore, busy and great for people watching early in the morning. It cost a little more than most others because of its name. The almond cornetti is terrific.
Da Bonificiio, behind the Hotel Danieli on calle degli Albanesi has good pastries.
Caffetteria Doria: a short walk up calle dei Fabbri; one of a few cafes around San Marco that are not overrun with tourists. Friendly owners that have been there since whenever; excellent coffee but like most cafes, do not bake there own pastries. Another favorite is Cafe Brasilia on rio Terra Assassini. Small, quiet with excellent coffee serve up by a friendly gentleman barista. The pastries are very ordinary but it is one of my favorite places to sit and escape the crowds around San Marco
Caffe Florian mentioned above: it is an institution, therefore, illicit different opinions. Some love it, others find it overpriced and pompous. For many, it is on the list of 'one of those things that is done once'. It has history, expensive (a simple coffee and croissant will be 10e, a full breakfast more than 30e), touristy, waiters in tux. If one doesn't want the full treatment, there is a small standup bar inside where a espresso is only 2.5e. For me, it is a faded museum. If one wants a great view of the Piazza San Marco, head up to the second floor cafe of the Museo Correr and grab one of the window tables. If I want to truly splurge on breakfast, I would go to the terrace Hotel Bauer and enjoy a full buffet breakfast at my leisure.

Jun 12, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Italy Itinerary (Rome, Venice, Florence, Montalcino, and Capri) Phew! Feedback would be appreciated.

For Venice:
Pizza for lunch at Antico Forno, I would only go there if you are around that area of San Polo. It is standup only and draws a crowd because the location on the main tourist route. The pies are baked ahead of time, sold by the slice rewarmed, fine for the deep dish but not for the thin crust. If you are looking for something similar to Rome's Pizzarium, the quality is not there.
As for buying food from the Rialto market, the market itself only sells raw seafood and produce, not cooked food to eat on the go. That are numerous bacari and informal eating places around the market for a quick lunch. Do Mori, All'Arco, Bancogiro plus many others. If you want to buy cheese/cured meat, there is Casa del Parmigiano. Sadly, the best nearby bread store closed recently, therefore, if you want decent bread, need to walk a couple blocks from the Rialto market on the main Ruga Vecchia S. Giovanni to Pacificio Mauro.
Like others have commented on Rome, keep your quick eating places such as breakfast, gelato, etc, near where you will be. For example, Tonolo is a very good pasticerria but go there if it is convenient and not waste too much time hunting it out. There are good bakeries and gelato places in most areas of Venice.
If you have only 2 full days in Venice, I would not make a trip to the outer islands, pleasant as they are. There are way too much to take in for such a short visit. I see so many tourists herding themselves through the narrow calles from one main sight to the next without ever experiencing Venice.

Jun 11, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Milan Expo

Please do report back on your trip to the Milan Expo. We plan to go in October. The crowd may thin out by then. Thank you in advance.

Jun 09, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Frankfurter Wurstchen and other German sausages

US Custom is very strict regarding meat and produce. Except for some canned meat/poultry, they will not allow meat, including cured, to be bought in. The custom's form has a question if one is bringing 'meats, animals, animal/wildlife products'. Of course, people have been successful in smuggling in all sorts of things. Just be aware that if your answer to their meat question is that you have frankfurter/sausages, it will be confiscated. I've seen sniffing dogs in the baggage areas in just about all the main US airports: JFK, DC, Philly, OHare, Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, LA, SF.

Jun 09, 2015
PBSF in Europe

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

Addition to the great list above:
swordfish (espadon)
cod (cabillaud)
Sea/stripe bass (bar, loup de mer)
norway lobster/scampo (langoustine)
mussel (moule)
scallop (coquile Saint Jacques)

Jun 08, 2015
PBSF in France

Venice - Input on Restaurant Itinerary Requested

Alle Testiere or Antiche Carampane: since the menu is a la carte, no need to have a drawn out meal but it is a shame to not to at least have three courses each. If I have one meal in Venice, one of those would be my choice. Food wise, it is a toss up. For jet-lagged, I would choose Antiche Carampane for comfort. Alle Testiere is small (their two seatings per shift can be off putting), cramp and can be very noisy. As many have reported, Antiche Carampane is difficult to find, even more so if it the first night and jet lagged. If you decide on it, let me know where you will be walking from, I can help with direction.
Le Calandre: below is the link my earlier report on Le Calandre.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6189...
On that post, stroll down further on one of my later post and it will have information for public transport to the restaurant. It is definitely too far to walk from the train station. We returned for dinner in May 2013 and the food and service were as good as previous visits. Plus they had re-decorated the dining room. We did not take the tasting menus on our last two visits. I would ask that question when you call for reservations.
Da Pisis: they changed chef and menu last year and we have not eaten there since, therefore, my recommendation is not up to date. The terrace is heated and unless it rains, it is suitable for dinner in October. Situations change, therefore, wise to ask.
If you are taking in Padua, have lunch at Le Calandre and also maybe visiting Verona, that is already a lot. Fitting in Da Pisis for dinner is almost impossible. Even if it is physically possible, I wouldn't do it even if I am thirty years younger.

Jun 06, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Raw seafood plate in Venice

Crudo shows up in all the top restaurants in Venice. Just about every menu has a carpaccio di pesce crudo and 'antipasto di pesce misto' always has couple of raw items. If you are looking for a restaurant that has a wide selection: Corte Sconta has one of the best; also Al Paradiso and Fiaschetteria Toscana with a misto of raw shellfish, a tuna tartar with apples as well as a carpaccio. For all around seafood including several raw fish antipasti, I would go to Boccadoro.

May 26, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Pasta in Venice?

If you are interested in eating risotto in Venice, might want to check out an earlier post:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009...

May 26, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Pasta in Venice?

Just reading couple of the above posts regarding to carbonara, all'Amantriciana, etc in Venetian restaurants, true that they are common even in some of the better places. Why bother ordering Roman pasta in Venice. Instead, try the tagliatelle with duck ragout at Vini da Gigio, the tortelli stuffed with prosciutto di San Daniele and smoked ricotta at Fiachetteria Toscana, gnocchi with guinea fowl at Bancogiro, the spaghetti with rabbit sauce at La Bitta. Still, in Venice, the most delicious pasta are paired with seafood.

May 26, 2015
PBSF in Italy

Pasta in Venice?

All good eating places have at least five or six choices of pasta on their menus. Unfortunately, most traditional Venetian cooking use seafood. If you do not want seafood with your pasta, skip the obvious seafood places such as Alle Testiere, Antiche Carampane, otherwise, you will find at least one or two without seafood. Places that have a few more choices non-seafood choices: Vini da Gigio, Fiaschetteria Toscana, Osteria San Marco, Bancogiro, da Alberto, La Bitta.

May 25, 2015
PBSF in Italy