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Weekday lunch in Park Slope or Prospect Heights?

Thanks for the suggestions. 12th Street Bar & Grill might be perfect, didn't know they were open for lunch (have been there often for dinner.)

Stone Park and also Al di la were considered but not sure we want to go down to 5th Ave, its a bit of a hike from where we will be.

I think 12th St will work, although I can't seem to find a lunch menu anywhere.

Jun 12, 2013
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Weekday lunch in Park Slope or Prospect Heights?

I'm having a heck of a time trying to find a place open for a nice weekday lunch (Tuesday) for a small group of co-workers. Anywhere in Park Slope or Prospect Heights would work--somewhere along 7th Ave or above best (we'd be coming from Prospect Park). I've looked at Thistle Hill, Fonda, Talde, Franny's, Bar Corvo, and a few others--nothing's open for lunch! Want something a bit nice, but not too pricey for a celebration. Any suggestions?

Jun 11, 2013
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Pok Pok NY...good, not great

We struck out on Saturday....arrived at 5 and were third in line, but my friends had train trouble and arrived at 5:40...too late...the place was filled by 5:40 and the line was down the block. Since they only seat full parties, we were out of luck. And it was freezing. I can't even imagine how long the wait might have been for folks at the end of the line.

We didn't even attempt to wait and went to Talde instead. And there was an hour wait there at 6...but at least a warm place to wait inside at the bar! (Also, as usual, the wait they quote is always longer than reality...they told us an hour but it was more like 45 min...but I digress.)

Jan 29, 2013
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Battersby on Saturday night? Alternative?

I would suggest getting to Battersby by 5:15 at the latest. We arrived at 5 when we went on a Saturday, and were first in line; but by 5:15 or 5:20 the line was building. The place is very small!

However, personally I would not try to go to Battersby before an 8 pm show, it seems rushed to me (given the 20 minute walk) and its really not a meal to rush (I don't think we got out of there before 9, although we were a party of four and had many courses.) I'd save it for another night and try somewhere closer to Barclay's.

Envious that you are seeing the Stones, enjoy ;)

Dec 05, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Any suggestions for Sirmione?

I would just email and ask. When I emailed for my reservation, they responded promptly, and in English. Shouldn't be a problem. However, I don't recall them being open at lunchtime...we did pass by to look at it on our first afternoon and it didn't seem to be open.

Aug 27, 2012
jinx in Italy

What Italian food items do you bring back to the U.S.?

I'm looking at the package I bought. The brand is Borella and its called Bigoli de Bassan, in a very attractive red and yellow package. Made for export no doubt (it does have the text in four languages.) Ingredients just say hard drum wheat semolina. I'm sure its a poor imitation of the fresh but nonetheless its a nice reminder of Veneto and something I've not seen in the states (although perhaps Eataly here in NYC has a version, they have a huge pasta selection.)

found a photo:

http://www.pastaborella.it/en/Prodott...

Jul 21, 2012
jinx in Italy

What Italian food items do you bring back to the U.S.?

wally, too funny. We got wonderful hazelnuts near Alba a couple of years ago, fresh from the harvest and vacuum packed. I guess we'll need to go back to Piemonte for our next batch of hazelnuts.

Jul 20, 2012
jinx in Italy

What Italian food items do you bring back to the U.S.?

I found the bigoli at the Drogheria Mascari near Rialto; that's also where I got one bag of porcinis (I got my first bag in Vicenza.) The bigoli is indeed dark in color and I was wondering if that is how they should be (since I'd only eaten them covered in one sauce or another, I did not realize that they were dark!)

BTW Drogheria Mascari also has an excellent wine selection. I forgot to add in the original post that of course, wine is one of the things we bring home from Italy!

http://www.imascari.com/

Jul 20, 2012
jinx in Italy

Any suggestions for Sirmione?

Reporting back on our Sirmione dining experiences. We had two GREAT meals, as well as a very good lunch. Due to an extensive flight delay, we arrived too late for lunch our first day, and I was anxious that we wouldn't make our dinner reservation either, as our plane was delayed five hours! But luckily we made it and had an excellent meal at Ristorante Pace. I chose this as I really wanted to eat on the water our first night, and while the only reviews I found were on TripAdvisor (not the most reliable source for dining info) the gist sounded good. We were not disappointed. We had reserved a table on the jetty and email correspondence was warm and efficient. We opted for the 7 course meat and seafood tasting menu with the wine accompaniment, as the wine was only 10 euros additional per person, very reasonable! I'm afraid I was too spaced-out to record everything we had but every course was delicious. Standouts I do remember was the plate of marinated fishes and the porchetta. I really wish I could remember more ;) Service was also very attentive and I would definitely recommend this restaurant. The wines were all local Veneto wines and quite good. They also have a lovely garden with lake views, if you can't get a jetty table.

http://www.ristorantepace.it/en/chef-restaurant-sirmione.php

Our plan to lunch the next day at another Lake Garda town was thwarted by a boat strike on the lake--always a distinct possibility in Italy! Oh well, we actually quite enjoyed walking around Sirmione, and the Grotto of Cattalus was way more extensive and interesting than we'd imagined. So lunch was at a simple trattoria in town, recommended by our hotel: La Nuova Botte, right next to the church. Very good, simple and traditional pasta and not overtly touristy.

Sunday night was our much-anticipated meal at La Rucola. What a great meal! We did not have the tasting menu--we ordered a la carte--but there were so many amuses that it seemed like we were doing a tasting menu! And so many inventive presentations, it rivaled some of the creativity we found in Barcelona (not as molecular, but creative in presentation.) It started off with a huge bread plate with about 7 different types of breads, and the best grissini I've ever tasted, I couldn't stop eating them. Then the appetizer amuse where dishes just kept coming...and when we thought that must be it, another was brought over. A few I remember were a puree of zucchini served in an eggshell cup, and a clever take on coke and sliders. After the wonderful antipasti and mains, and before our desserts, we were brought another never-ending parade of dessert amuses, including a two-layer box of chocolates and cookies, mini-ice cream cones and mini-popsicles, toasted marshmallows on a stick, and more. And all of it tasted as good as it looked. Really a wonderful, whimsical meal which we thoroughly enjoyed. Also the most expensive meal of our trip by far, but worth it! Worth a detour if you are in the area.

http://www.ristorantelarucola.it/

Jul 20, 2012
jinx in Italy

What Italian food items do you bring back to the U.S.?

Dried porcini mushrooms, so much less expensive. Olive oil, cookies, moustarda, chocolates. Hazelnuts if in an area that grows them. Pastas local to the area we are in that aren't easily available here. Just brought back bigoli from Veneto. Unfortunately could not find good quality hazelnuts there, but did manage a couple of bags of porcini.

Jul 20, 2012
jinx in Italy

Battersby Chef's Table

We did the Chef's table for our anniversary last month and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. We thought the courses were not balanced...three in a row had rich, creamy sauces..and a couple of the courses were just blah. In fact I can barely remember any of them, except the sweetbreads dish, which was quite good. Also, while service was prompt and efficient, it was not particularly warm or informative. For the money I think there are many better options. I might try Battersby again but would not go for the tasting menu.

Jul 20, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Verona dining plan--input needed!

Ha I didn't know there was one in NY--and I'm in NY! Well, its sounding like Al Duomo is a better lunch choice, especially if Bottega del Vino is more dressed up--somehow I pictured it more as a wine bar but looking again at their website it looks a little more formal. We've got early dinner reserved at Taverna di Via Stella that night so will probably not want a very big lunch, hence I was thinking more wine bar-ish. Another option is Enoteca Cangrande which was recommended by a friend.

Jul 03, 2012
jinx in Italy

Verona dining plan--input needed!

Thanks Emilie, we are leaving in a few days! We still have lunch open on Tuesday, and and thought maybe either Bottega di Vino or Al Duomo. Sounds like maybe we should go for Al Duomo... Just read your post...will definitely go for the sliced meats at Al Pompiere, which we have reserved for Monday lunch. And if we do go to Al Duomo, will avoid the bathroom, lol thanks for that tip ;)

Jul 03, 2012
jinx in Italy

Pok Pok NY...good, not great

We've eaten there twice and have never waited...but we got there at opening. Too bad they now open at 5:30 instead of 6. Got there just at 5:30 this Friday (and that was after the NYT review) and were seated in five minutes. Of course, its a drag to have to get there so early and sometimes not possible, but it was worth it. Everything we had was great, although I'm still needing to figure out how to balance the meal (in terms of not too many dishes of the same type, hard to figure out until we've tried a good sampling.)

Jul 01, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

VENICE Report: Ostaria Al Garanghelo, La Zucca, Antiche Carampane

finally heard back from Antiche Carampane so I'm all set! That and Il Ridotto are our two reserved meals in Venice...we'll wing it the other nights (night of the Redentore we'll probably picnic in place somewhere..)

Jun 28, 2012
jinx in Italy

VENICE Report: Ostaria Al Garanghelo, La Zucca, Antiche Carampane

Thanks...that's my concern. I will try to figure out a way to call before we get there. I have a friend arriving before us, maybe I can get her to call for us.

Jun 26, 2012
jinx in Italy

VENICE Report: Ostaria Al Garanghelo, La Zucca, Antiche Carampane

Thanks for the info. If I don't get a reply, I'll just phone when we get to Italy. They do have their web page in English and an email listed--but I realize that doesn't mean much. I wouldn't normally worry too far ahead except that we will be there the weekend of the Redentore, so I imagine everywhere will be packed! I'm trying to reserve for that Friday night.

Jun 26, 2012
jinx in Italy

VENICE Report: Ostaria Al Garanghelo, La Zucca, Antiche Carampane

Thank you for your report. How did you reserve for Antiche Carampane? And how far ahead? I've been trying to make a reservation and have emailed twice, with no response.

Jun 25, 2012
jinx in Italy

Verona dining plan--input needed!

Well, problem solved--I emailed Al Pompiere and it turns out they are now open Mondays for lunch! So we are set. However, if anyone has any comments or suggestions I'm open to change ;)

Mon lunch: Al Pompiere, dinner near winery
Tues: lunch open, Dinner Taverna de Stella
Wed: lunch Vicenza, Dinner 12 Apostoli

Jun 21, 2012
jinx in Italy

Verona dining plan--input needed!

I'm having a bit of trouble trying to figure out my Verona dining, primarily because we are there Mon, Tue, and Wed, and all three of the places I had picked out are closed Monday!

We'll be staying about 15 minutes east of town at an agriturismo/winery. We have opera tickets for Tuesday. We can arrive early in Verona Monday (coming from Sirmione.) I'm thinking, we'd have a nice lunch in Verona Monday, head to the winery in the afternoon, and NOT return to dine in Verona on Monday (but go somewhere local to our accommodation.) Wednesday, we'll be in Vicenza so would lunch there.

So essentially I need:
Mon Lunch
Tuesday lunch, and dinner pre-opera
Wed dinner

These are the places I'd decided to go:
Taverna de Stella: closed Mon lunch and Wed
Al Pompiere: closed Mon lunch
12 Apostoli: closed Monday lunch

Mon lunch--help!
Mon dinner--near winery
Tuesday: lunch: Al Pompiere; dinner pre-opera Taverna de Stella (will this be too much for one day?)
Wed dinner: 12 Apostoli (I want to go there for the Buon Ricardo plate, among other reasons.)

How does that sound, and any recommendations for a light lunch Monday appreciated. What about Bottega de Vino?

Also, do you think reservations are needed for lunch on a Monday and Tuesday?

Jun 20, 2012
jinx in Italy

Anniversary Dinner in Brooklyn

JSfood is correct, in fact we just made reservations for the tasting menu at Battersby for our anniversary this coming Friday. Will report back!

Jun 19, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Googa Mooga Food Festival in Prospect Park

I know I'm in the minority but my friends and I had a great time both days. Key was to get there early. We arrived at opening both days and enjoyed at least 2-3 relatively uncrowded hours. Actually today never got too crowded, at least when we left at around 4 pm lines were still reasonable. Yes, the wine/beer/drinks situation was a fiasco on Saturday (their card system didn't work, lines were insane to get tickets) and so we just gave up on the wine and beer tents, knowing we'd be back on Sunday we figured we'd leave it for then. Its about the food anyway. Today, that issue was straightened out (cash was accepted, duh) and we never waited more than15 minutes in any line, and did quite a bit of wine and beer tasting. Heard some fun music too. Between the two days had at least 10-15 different things and assorted wine and beer. It was a free event, so I don't know what everyone is complaining about. (I DO think the ExtraMooga folks have a right to complain, from what I heard they did NOT get anywhere near their $250 worth, which I thought was robbery to begin with.)

Anyway, we had a great weekend at GoogaMooga, beautiful weather, some good food, music and friends. Sorry that so many others found it disappointing.

May 20, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Nice Italian with tourists and a toddler?

Keep in mind Frankie's doesn't take reservations either. So get there no later than 6. Otherwise, with a toddler, I'd think reservations would be better. Unfortunately I cannot think of any good Italian place that does take reservations!

May 09, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Soft shell crab sightings?

I ended up frying them in a panko crust and they came out perfectly. Fresh Direct sent nice plump ones which were well cleaned. Had them with lemon and tartar sauce which is really my favorite way to eat them!

I see Littleneck has been having them a few times a week with different preparations so we may return there for some more as well. I can't get enough of them in season!

May 01, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Soft shell crab sightings?

That sounds yummy. We had some at Watty & Meg on Friday. Okay, but not great--too much five spice powder which I'm not fond of. Now, I've just ordered some from Fresh Direct (on sale 4 for $15) and I will attempt to make them myself, which I've never done before.

Apr 29, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

One night in Milan near Centrale

actually I'm in the same situation, and was planning on posting a similar query--we have one night in Milan (our last of the trip) and are staying right near the station as well. So other suggestions are encouraged (vegetarian doesn't really do it for us...)

Apr 28, 2012
jinx in Italy

Googa Mooga Food Festival in Prospect Park

I'm kinda looking forward to it. Between myself and friends, I was able to get free tickets for both days and being that its virtually across the street, I'll go without high expectations. I do expect chaos, but I am also eager to try some of the foods. If the lines are too crazy, I'll just cross the street and go home :) That said, I think the $250 tickets are nuts (although, my understanding is they do include food and drinks.)

Apr 25, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Soft shell crab sightings?

ohh that sounds good!

Apr 23, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Soft shell crab sightings?

Finally caught them last night at Littleneck--and they were superb! Perfectly battered and fried over smokey grilled ramps and fingerlings. But it left me craving more, so if anyone sees them anywhere else, keep posting!

Apr 20, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs

Lunch near the Brooklyn Botanic garden

why not just eat at the garden? They have a nice outdoor cafe with sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, etc. The food's nothing special but its not bad and with a 5 year old I'd think its your best bet.

Apr 11, 2012
jinx in Outer Boroughs