kittenwithawhip's Profile

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Help fix my Negroni

My perfect Negroni consists of equal parts Tanqueray Rangpur gin, I like the limeyness of it, Campari or Aperol and Punt es Mes. Once while buying ingedients in Italy the man helping me realized what I was making, took away my sweet vermouth and gave me the Punt es Mes, telling me that was the ONLY way to make a Negroni!
Stir gently with ice, starin into a chilled glass and toss in a nice curl of orange rind. If it really isn't bitter enough, add a shake of Blood Orange bitters.

Feb 21, 2013
kittenwithawhip in Spirits

Costco food finds - 4th quarter 2012

I hope they restock the giant bags of Farro they had last spring. I bought 2 but i am runing out quickly!

Nov 07, 2012
kittenwithawhip in Chains

Costco food finds - 4th quarter 2012

I discovered quite by accident that these can be frozen! My husband accidentally put the package in the freezer, I found it a month later. Gently defrosting in the microwave made them as good as new! I love to by the Tzaziki with these.

Nov 07, 2012
kittenwithawhip in Chains

What's Your Earliest Conscious Food Memory?

Hot black tea in a bear shaped honey bottle with lots of milk and honey. With graham crakers.
Still my comfort food, tho I drink it out of a mug now!

Nov 22, 2010
kittenwithawhip in General Topics

Madison International restos and markets?

Yue Wah does have an Arabic section, or at least they did last time I was there.

Nov 22, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Between Rockford, IL and Steven's Point WI

Old Fashioned on the square is always a good choice, Marigold is also nice, be aware that they close at 3, so if lunch is too late, that may not be an option. But as mentioned above, there are many good places within blocks, just walk down King St or head over to La Mestiza:
http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/article.php?article=28376
a brand new place getting great reviews.

Off the square, I would suggest Weary Traveler above Blue Moon.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/weary-travele...
Great food, bar, neighborhood. On your way out, stop by Willy St Coop just down the block to pick up some goodies for the rest of the trip!

Mar 10, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Between Rockford, IL and Steven's Point WI

Yes Please do stop in Madison! We have tons of great restaurants here!
Is there a particular time of day or style of food you want? That would narrow things down quite a bit.
It should be a nice spring weekend, so I would say dining downtown or on the square would be a nice way to spend some time. Then you can have a walk and take in a few sights before hitting the road again.

The discussions listed above have some great info, but several of the places listed have closed or moved, so if you are leaning a certain way, I am sure we can provide an alternative!

Mar 09, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Best Italian bakery in Chicago or suburbs

They didn't have any on Sunday but said they are happy to make them to order. I didn't call ahead as I didn't know for certain we would make it down there. But I still managed to spend a decent amount on some other lovely things!

Mar 08, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Chicago Area

Oyster Bar?

Thanks everyone! We ended up at Shaw's and had a wonderful time at the oyster bar. Afterwards I went to peek at the dining room and a very kind staff person gave me a brief history of the building, a former paper warehouse for the Tribune. Very recommended!

Mar 08, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Chicago Area

Eating well, while being poor.

Never throw out rinds to hard cheeses like parmesan, drop them into homemade soup as it simmers, gives it a great flavor. Just put them in a bag in the freezer until you need them.
I also started making my own yogurt, mostly because I was disgusted with all of the waste the individual cups created, but it saves tons of money. You can flavor it any way you want, put it in individual cups for lunches and bring some fruit along to augment it. You can use your current batch as starter.

As far as buying natural or organic goes, some food co-ops have great reaminders bins for old produce. Our local co-op usually has a huge selection at very low prices, the produce is usually just a little bruised or just past its prime.
And like rice, pasta can be stretched into a huge meal.

And I wholeheartedly agree with growing your own herbs! They can be so pricey otherwise.

Mar 03, 2010
kittenwithawhip in General Topics

Best Italian bakery in Chicago or suburbs

Any of these places have decent sfogliatelli?

Mar 03, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Chicago Area

Best Chocolate Eclair

I am always on the hunt for a great Mille-Feuille (or Napoleon). Usually if a place can turn out a great eclair, that is a good place to start. Many of the same standards apply, abundant and well flavored vanilla pastry cream, a thin layer of icing and wonderful flaky pastry. Any suggestions? They are a bit harder to make at home!

When I was a child I used to buy great Napoleons at Marshall Fields, but sadly that is long gone.

Mar 03, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Chicago Area

Oyster Bar?

Good Morning!

I am visiting a friend in Evanston this weekend and am hoping to take in the French Market and some other fun Chicago shopping. Is there a good casual oyster bar anyone can suggest?
Nothing fancy, just good fresh oysters at a counter or bar setting would be lovely.

Thanks!

Mar 03, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Chicago Area

CSA recommendations in Madison, WI

There are several great places to buy food as well. Willy St Co-op is a treasure here in town. Great organic, local and artisinal foods, wonderful deli, freshly prepared sushi, a seafood center, etc.

In addition to the Saturday Farmer's Market on the square, there are several neighborhood markets throughout the summer, these are expanding all of the time.

Don't forget all of the music and food festivals all summer long, great opportunities to try out many of the food carts.

My fave pizza in town is La Rocca's, for Laotion, Lao Laan Xang (Willy St), Weary Traveler for casual, bar related food, Sardine for a more upscale meal, and I just recently tried Tapas Rias, weird location but great tapas!
Dohban is a gem, not well known but excellent food with a Nepali theme. Tons more around the square, Marigold for breakfast, Muramoto's for sushi, you have alot of exploring to do!

Mar 02, 2010
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Madison favorites

Here is an ever growing link of Madison Xmas dining:
http://madisononthecheap.com/dining-o...
Mostly Asian fare on Christmas day or hotel buffets. Liliana's is New Orleans style and could be a nice change. I will be heading to Muramoto's on Christmas Eve.

Dec 18, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Tutto Pasta Opinons?- Madison, WI

Bleh is right. Much better Italian to be found. Try Cafe Continental on the square or the other Tutto Pasta across the street on King like others have suggested.

Jul 15, 2009
kittenwithawhip in General Midwest Archive

Sardine in Madison

Love it! I wouldn't agree about lots of vegetarian choices, but I have never had a bad time there! I have never done their brunch, but dinner has always been consistantly good.

Jul 15, 2009
kittenwithawhip in General Midwest Archive

Madison, WI on the company dime?

I agree with most of the suggestions here, especially to avoid Essen House. Love Sardine, thats my favorite place for a dinnert with guests from out of town, Weary is in my hood and always fun and funky. Also Le Chardonnay on Moules and Frites nights, I would take that any day over the stuffy L'Etoile atmosphere.. Muramoto's has some pretty good Asian fusion food, Dohban out on Atwood for Himalayan is also excellent. Lao Laan Xang for Laotion, there are so many good places its hard to go wrong!

Jul 15, 2009
kittenwithawhip in General Midwest Archive

What foods have traveled in your carry-on?

We always bring huge chunks of Parmasan back from Italy, along with Lavazza coffee, salted packed capers, cantuccini, dried borlotti beans, dried porcini, the list goes on. Now we are forced to check any wine, vinegar, grappa, etc.
Just got back from Montreal and while going thru customs from Montreal to Chicago, the pulled my friend and I over and pulled out the massive amounts of food we had. Spices,
bagels, chocolates, flavoured sugars, teas, coffees, cookies, vanilla paste..... They asked what we were doing in Montreal, my friend replied we wanted to eat French Pastries without the jet lag, and I explained we had done the bakery and cafe crawl all over the city. They thought that was hilarious, then the guard attempted to stuff my vanilla paste in my tiny quart liquids bag and waved us thru!

Jul 03, 2009
kittenwithawhip in General Topics

Dining alone during a long weekend in Paris

When I am in Paris solo, one of my favorite places to go is Ile St Louis. There are several lovely cafes and a tea shop there and I have never been treated anything but graciously while dining alone. I particularly love Auberge de la Reine Blanche.

Jul 03, 2009
kittenwithawhip in France

Info on the Amalfi Coast.

How long are you staying in Positano? October will be lovely, that's when I always go. If you are there at least a week consider renting a villa. Summerinitaly.com has some gorgeous ones and that way you can experience grocery shopping and cooking with the local foods! I always get up early, go to the fish markets for today's fresh catch, stop by Melinda Fruit for their first delivery of the day, then pick up some bread, fresh mozzarella and whatever else looks good. You get to know the local people and bask in the real sense of the place rather than just feel like a tourist, We knew we had "arrived" when after our 3rd year vacationing in Positano our grocer Ernesto told us we had a line of credit there! The Positanese are very (and rightly so) proud of their city and they really appreciate it when tourists take the time to get to know Positano, rather than just walk around the beach and the main square, then leave.

Jul 03, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Italy

The Ultimate Montreal Experience

Just got back from 3 days in Montreal. We printed out your tour and altho the weather was a bit rainy, we had a great time exploring the mile end bakeries! If it weren't for this site and your remarkable tour, we probably would still be wandering around the old town wondering where all of the good food was!
Some highlights: Cupcakes at Cocoa Locale, brunch at Toi et Moi, and there certainly is much to ogle at Patisserie Gascogne! Talking to the locals shows that the whole neighborhood loves their food, everyone had a suggestion and would go on at great length about it!
The only problem we encountered was finding the bus line, as they were setting up for Jazz fest and everything was detoured. But a BIG thanks to moh, really loved this!

Jul 02, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Madison, Wisconsin

Willy St also has some of the best pre-packaged sushi in town! Extremely fresh and delish! If he lives anywhere near the east side, he should definitely join. I have been a member for probably more years than he has been alive.....

Jul 01, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Great Lakes

Nice supper in Rome, September 2009?

Lovely out of the way spot, right near Trevi, but in a back alley, Piccolo Arancio, Vicolo Scanderberg, 112/A. A bit hard to find the street, its about a block and a half long, but worth it!

Jun 22, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Italy

Honeymoon Recs Please- Amalfi and Capri

Weeellll, Capri in August would not be my first choice, it'll be very hot and very crowded. So will Amalfi, but there is a better chance of escaping into the countryside there. But Anacapri won't be as bad as Capri. Definitely plan a day trip from Amalfi up to Ravello, visit Villa Cimbrone, then have lunch at Da Salvatore. It's thru the tunnel from the main square right by the Sita bus stop. The view is amazing (really and truly amazing) and the food wonderfully good. Bring some treats for the kittens that live there. Cumpa Cosima is also good, but no view. And after all, what do you go to the Amalfi coast for?
In Amalfi, find the Piazza dei Dogi, and try Da Baracca. Not very far off the main drag, but tucked in a quiet corner. Wonderful frutti di mare platter, friendly service. If you don't like shellfish, there are plenty of fish dishes to choose from on the Costa. Try an Aqua Pazza style fish dish, you can't go wrong in most places with that. For an antipasto, make sure you try alice marinata, the tiny white anchovies in a lovely fresh marinade. Not at all what you expect anchovies to taste like. But the shellfish is pretty incredible. Vongole (tiny clams) in a good pasta, Yum! And the locale scampi is always good. And Cozze (mussels) in anything. If a place is offering any kind of homemade pasta, get it! And you can usually just order the house wine in most places on the costa, so many good local vineyards supply the restaurants there.
Explore the costa, you can get boats from Amalfi to Positano, my favorite place! And the Sita bus is worth a ride anywhere just for breathtaking drive!

Jun 22, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Italy

Back to Positano

Try to go somewhere beyond the beach in Positano! The city has so much more to offer! Try Saraceno D'Oro, Da Vincenzo, Il Grottino Azzurro! Also Next Two, Mediterraneo, there are so many great places and much more beautiful views to be had!
The restaurant across the street from Donna Rosa *is* Il Ritrovo, very delish, Dona Rosa is more formal, pricier, but the food is also excellent.
Cumpa Cosima is wonderful, but have the view AND the food at Da Salvatore in Ravello!
June will be busy, but just drop into any of those places earlier in the day and see if they can sneak you in!

Jun 18, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Italy

12 Day trip To Italy: Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Positano/Sorrento, Capri. Where do I start???

As an adopted Positanese, I can give you several suggestions in the area. You can't go wrong with Saraceno D'Oro. The sisters who run the place Marilu and Silvia are two of the most charming restaurantuers your will ever meet and they will go out of their way to make you happy. The food is delicious and the pizza is to die for. When I am in Positano, I carry out their pizza at least 3 times a week. All of their offerings are wonderful, most anything on the menu is a safe bet. Via Pasitea runs right down the middle of the restaurant, which is rather amusing. Another place not to be missed is Da Vincenzo, just up the hill a bit. Its always a party atmosphere and the offerings are always fresh and beautifully prepared. The house white is a bit fizzy, but that adds to the charm. The main thing is to get away from the tourist fare down in the main square. Chez Black , Cambusa and Buca di Bacco are all good, but definitely geared for tourists. If you want a real local expeirience, try Il Grottino Azzurro up by the Bar Internazionale. Just get whatever is on special that day, they won't steer you astray. The pity with Positano is that most tourists don't have the stamina to explore any farther than Piazza Mulini, and miss out on 75% of what that amazing city has to offer.

Definitely add Ravello to your list. I love Positano, but for sheer beauty, Ravello will not disappoint. The best place in my opinion is Da Salvatore. The food is great and the view spectacular. Cumpa Cosima is also very good, but really no view, and after all, thats what you go to Ravello for. Bring some treats for the kittens that scamper around the place.
Depending on when you go, you may not want to bother with Capri. During high season and even in spring and fall its really not worth the premium prices you will pay and the crowds you have to put up with. And you are a slave to the ferry schedule which doesn't give you adequate time to go anywhere in Capri but the on the tourist track, being part of the herd. Spend another day in Positano, maybe go up to Montepertuso. Il Ritrovo is an amazing place to eat there. Look for the long phallic squashes hanging from the walls.
their mussels are always good.

In Sorrento, a reliable place is La Lanterna. Totally worth it if you take the time to wander around inside and look at the bits of old Roman floor under the restaurant floor.
In Napoli, just wander around the city before lunch and follow the throngs of business people into whatever pizzaria they go into. So many good ones!

Enjoy, and next time, don't schedule yourselves so tightly. One of the biggest charms of Italy is indulging in a little dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing!
Ciao!

Jun 18, 2009
kittenwithawhip in Italy