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Where are my glasses's Profile

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So little time...

Capital Grille is highly rated on other web sites I looked at.... Also thanks to Mountsac for review of Charlie Trotters. I was curious -- years ago I had a fabulous tasting menu there. Oh well, seems like there are other great choices these days.

So little time...

Heading to Chicago for only three nights so only three dinners. Haven't been to Charlie Trotters in over 10 years -- Friends, how has it held up? Am also considering TRU, Blackbird and Capital Grille. Topolo for sure. What say you natives? Thanks in advance for all thoughts.

Walking (and hopefully eating) in Tuscany

Lots of restaurants in San Gimignano but most important: DO NOT MISS the Gelateria di Piazza -- it is one of the gelato shops in the piazza with the central well -- the one that says it is the winner of an international competition, clearly well deserved. It was the best we ate anywhere -- in fact, we went there three times in two days. Just thinking about the raspberry with rosemary (very subtle) gelato makes my mouth water. If you must eat something beforehand, we enjoyed inexpensive and informal La Biscondola on Via Querecchio, near that Piazza (I think, close anyway). We were tired, hungry and I was not expecting much based on the menu and offers of German beer. We were very pleasantly surprised by good pizza, simple salads, friendly service. Good place for lunch or simple dinner, especially for kids.

Jul 15, 2009
Where are my glasses in Italy

Between Florence and Sienna

Just back from two weeks in Italy and want to report on a real "find" in a small town called Certaldo, which is between Florence and Sienna, and about 15 km from San Gimingnano. The restaurant is La Saletta di Dolci Follie, at via Roma 3 (Certaldo) near the central parking area (watch out for one-way streets -- very aggravating). Tel: 0571668188 (www.lamiatoscana.it ) We had an unexpectedly fabulous meal there. Very small and owner/chef/server came out and described all of the dishes on the menu in English. Extensive wine selection. It is worth the trip just for the homemade pistachio foccacio (please excuse misspellings!) served in bread basket. We had mixed salad with goose breast; mixed salad with aged balsamic and EVOO (of course); risotto with gorgonzola -- so good!, pasta with homemade sausage and cream sauce, grilled steak (served very rare) and speciality of the house which was pork "tonno" -- proscuitto with white beans. In Certaldo (which is not particularly charming, but does have very good food Coop market) there is an ancient city (Certaldo Alto) above the town and it looked like there was another interesting restaurant there but we never had a chance to try it. La Saletta is in the regular part of town, near the base of the funicular. The ancient city is beautifully preserved and nearly tourist-free. I don't know why no one knows about this place; not in the guide books, but defintely worth a visit and don't miss La Saletta (chiuso il martedi). The email is dolcifolliecertaldo@yahoo.com

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La Saletta di Dolci Follie
Via Roma, 3, Certaldo, Tuscany 50052, IT

Jul 15, 2009
Where are my glasses in Italy

Rome recommendations

We just got back and have one thumbs up and one thumbs down to report. On the plus side, we loved a small and under-reported restaurant called La Taverna dei Monti on 41 via del Boschetto, just off Via Nazionale (tel: 06 4817724). We were two adults and two teenage boys. We had a first course of white anchovies; melon/proscuitto, and mixed green salad. Primo courses were pasta with lobster and tomato sauce, and ravioli with cream sauce with langostinos. Second courses were veal escallopine with lemon (excellent!), grilled veal chop (very meaty and rich); roasted lamb (falling off the bone, so good); and side dishes of spinach in butter sauce and roasted peppers. Service was friendly and attentive. With a half-carafe of red wine and extra mineral waters, all in the meal was just under 100 Euros. The menu looks typically Italian but the quality was above and beyond -- the best meal we had. The negative report is about Armando al Pantheon restaurant. I just do not see what the fuss is about this place. It is, indeed, informal and pleasant, but the food was about the same: informal and pleasant. It is hearty and typically Italian, but nothing special. It was considerably more expensive than La Taverna dei Monti, and nowhere as good. After reading all the rave reviews about this place, we were scratching and heads and wondering if we were in the right place.

Jul 15, 2009
Where are my glasses in Italy

The Ideal First-Night Restaurant in Venice

I know that there have been recent postings about Il Ridotto -- we were there at the end of June. With some trepidation, because I feel like the boy who announced that the emperor had no clothes, I am voicing my opinion that the meal we ate there -- which was by far the most expensive of our two weeks in Italy -- was Not That Great. We went with our two sons (teens). The server asked if my husband and I ate raw shrimp and I indicated that while I and my sons did, my husband did not. The server, inexplicably and without asking, brought our first course of shrimp (mine raw and my husband's, cooked) but brought small pizzas for the boys -- they would have happily eaten the shrimp, raw or otherwise. The seafood plate that we ordered as a first course to share -- marinated in olive oil -- was fresh but not special. We ordered the homemade pasta with clams, shrimp ravioli, baked fish with crumb crust, and grilled lamp chops. All of it was well-prepared and good, but nothing that I would even begin to consider thrilling, interesting, transcendent or inspiring. Maybe it was the chef's off night. For a while there was only one other couple in the place and, as we finishing our meal, a large party came in. Only then did the owner/chef come out to greet the newcomers -- although he did shake our hand on our way out. All in all, a disappointment.

Jul 14, 2009
Where are my glasses in Italy