jen kalb's Profile

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Middle Eastern on Atlantic Avenue?

stop - youre both right
or so it seems
http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2015/...

personally I never thought Tripoli had very interesting food. We went several times but not for at least 10 years. I guess I would go to Yemon Cafe if I were choosing a middle easter restaurant on that strip.

about 7 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

3-story Chick-Fil-A opening in Midtown

wondering have you ever had their food? We were serve chick-fi-la takeout at a business meeting in Fla a number of years back and the sandwiches and fresh lemonade I had were really good.

about 9 hours ago
jen kalb in Manhattan

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

the bakery that made those great big loaves we bought - 2 lbs at least - was definitely not in Newark - maybe it was in Jersey City, Union City or such - but its irrelevant - it may not exist any more. I was just going down memory lane, a little lamely to reminisce about the type of bread which seems to be less and less available. Royal Crown in Brooklyn does not make its pane antico any more although they still have good hearth loaves, also Napoli on Metropolitan Ave in Williamsburgh and Fornaretta in Brooklyn (Royal Crown's is they chewiest of these)

Ive actually never had bread in NY that exactly replicated the real article we have eaten in Florence and elsewhere in Tuscany. Samples of so-called Tuscan bread Ive bought here are always more tender and usually have a softer crust than the true tuscan stuff; they probably are salted unlike the tuscan. Better to focus on a texture that will hold up in the salad and a flavor that will be a good foil for the tomatoes, vinegar and oil. Some of the breads Texiera's distributes into NY groceries might even work.

May 02, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Nocino - green walnut liqueur

Ive ordered from Haag maybe 4 different years and they have an excellent product. The nuts always arrive in good condition but they sort of come when they come - Im guessing that they harvest and ship all at once. However, I dont think they are quite as perishable as indicated. Forget about YELP reviews, yikes!

Weve never had a real tight delivery window, if you do you might want to provide a different alternative delivery address.. Or you might give them a call. the last time we made nocino - in 2013 - the nuts arrived right around June 24.

May 02, 2015
jen kalb in Spirits

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

sorry, the bread was from Jersey, the Italian Food Center was on Mulberry Street. This was years ago so I may be wrong about the town -or the bakery (was it Modern?) - it may be gone too, now. My point was really about the type of bread that would work. a good and chewy firm wet-dough loaf that is not too sour is what is called for. Unfortunately many of the newer artisanal bakeries tilt much sour-er than the old school italians did.

May 01, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

Like I said above, dont think no-salt is the essential component. But you have to have a bread that is firm enough to hold up to drying, soaking and squeezing without turning to mush in the process. You can always add less salt to the dressing to compensate for salt in the bread. We used to buy good bread that would last us a week turned cut side down from Hoboken at the Italian Food Center, alas gone.

May 01, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

Ive had good country rounds and pugliese at Eataly - I recommend looking at their dayold display - dry is better anyway.

May 01, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

these are mostly sourdough-y - not at all like tuscan bread - I would find the sourness distracting in panzanella, though I think Sullivan has a pugliese thats not too bad in this way.
I dont think the salt is such a material factor as the texture of the bread which needs to be relatively non-fluffy firm and dry. Many of the non-sour wet dough itialian breads (the ones with thick crusts and big holes that last a while and revive when toasted) can work in salad.

May 01, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Valdicava or Casanova di Neri

no experience but there is info on the Casanova website
re guided tours, tastings and even an agriturismo operation http://www.casanovadineri.it/it/visit...

Apr 30, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking great indian grocery near Park Slope/Ditmas

Ive never seen fresh holy basil for sale in brooklyn or manhattan chinatown, sorry. Like I said though, I was surprised to see it in my garden when I planted some tulsi seeds. It even seeded in the next year(a couple plants came up) this was quite a number of years ago, and the seeds may have come from either a chinese or indian store.

Apr 30, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Broasted Chicken in NYC?

its pretty widely served out in Pa Dutch country.

Apr 29, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Seeking great indian grocery near Park Slope/Ditmas

Kalustyan carries lime leaves as well as curry leaves and some of these other items. Thai basil is widely available in chinese groceries. Ive not seen fresh holy basil but it can be grown very easily from the bags of tulsi seed sold in Indian and chinese groceries - these are the seeds used in desserts like falooda and in drinks.

Apr 29, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Cuisines from 30+ countries

Im not finding myself too inspired by this list of countries, particularly for finding good examples of all of these cuisines in NY. Also dont know where you are staying in NY which will matter in your choices.

American - Id look out for some good BBQ some of them are mentioned on this thread though there are many other contenders http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1006... - if you went to Hometown in RedHook there are some othe fun things down there, including Steve's keylime pie. If you are serious on US regional, DelawareandHudson offers a middle atlantic regional food in a prix fix format.

turkish - Francela, Orhan Yegen's latest on the UES has some great takeout items and a few stools http://www.francela.com/. When we were there they gave lots of tastes! Tacis Beyti in Brooklyn is pretty good Turkish but not sure its worth the trip from Manhattan.

Greek do a search - and take a look at this thread.http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9826...

But why not take a look at some of the related cuisines/dishes that are actually done well in NY - felafel for example, or sabich (try say Nish Nosh, Taim, or if in Brooklyn Kulushkat).

Street food - have a Dosa ( I like the Rava Dosa best) from NY Dosa on the S side of Washington Square Park in Manhattan. Or if you prefer sitdown and are willing to travel to a country not on your list, visit some of the better places in Little India, including the cluster started by chef Hemant Mathur - here is one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1003... or Saravanaas, part of an Indian chain with very good S indian veg dishes.

Chinese - lots of Szechuan and Hunan dishes here - big clusters in midtown and Flushing a few good examples in Brooklyn and NY Chinatown. Do a search and you will find lots of threads on these.

Czech - Central Euro. We like Korzo (in South Slope Brooklyn believe NY store closed). They have quite a little menu of central euro stuff, but we just love their unique burgers fried in a dough shell, their varied tap beers and the atmosphere.http://www.korzorestaurant.com/

German - there is a beerhall/beer garden craze in NY currently. Im not sure which ones are on top for food - maybe others would have a view on this. I have a hard time believing that any of these have food as good as we had in Munich though.

Italian/American Craze - artisanal pizza is a major thing here now too. search and you will see some recommendations. In downtown brooklyn artisanal takes (from a farm to table hipster mentality) are offered at Franny's and Emily, among many others. Places like Juliana's and Lucali are more traditional style, but there are many many others.

But hey look you are in NY - why not extend your travels and visit some of the neighborhoods in Manhattan Brooklyn and Queens that have mostly foreign born populations and lusty cuisines of their own? Jackson Heights, Flushing, Flatbush, Brighton Beach, etc.etc

Apr 27, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

2 lunches and 2 dinners in Brooklyn...need to make it count!

There are two very good Thais walking distance from your digs - Khao Soi on Van Brunt in Red Hook and Pok Pok on Columbia Street. We had a great meal at Khao Soi last weekend. Frankies 457 is a nice Italian, with a garden, on Court is pleasing to vegetarians as well as meat eaters.

Search and you will see reviews on these. Put Carroll Gardens or Cobble Hill in the Search and you will find others.

Apr 27, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

La Pineta in Marina di Bibbona— experiences with reservations there?

thanks so much for the lovely write up of your meal. Its great that you were able to rethink and had such a serenidipitous result. The 2015 Slowfood guide was just released and I was reminded of how very few of the listed places (or others in or outside the other major Italian guides) are ever reported on here. The restaurants we tend to focus on are just the tip of the food iceberg and its great to have a pleasant surprise! Look forward to hearing about your other experiences too!

Apr 27, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Gastro agriturismo or similar near Naples

Here is a list compiled on a regional wineblog
http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/noti...

Tobia, limked above, is nixed in one of the comments
Terranova, which has been discussed here before is one of the agriturismi recommended.

Apr 25, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

ISO Plain Focaccia

these arent big loaves -they are like large HB buns. Most of the sesame semolina loaves are long batons(possible to split), small round loaves (may be too thick) or twists (ditto). I will look around next time I am in bensonhurst to see if something looks appropriate. Kings Hway Bakery in Gravesend would be another possibility for semolina, good lard bread too.

Apr 24, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Park Slopers -- what are your go-to spots for take-out?

Where is Tofu on 7th moving to on 5th? that will be less convenient for me at least,

Apr 24, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

looking at this piece it seems like what you really want for the muffaletta is sesame semolina bread. Royal crown used to sell great round rolls with sesame that would be good for this but they dont any more. I bet that Fornaretta or one of the other sicilian bakers in Bensonhurst would have an item that would be even a better match than foccaccia for your sandwiches. Or you could make it with a long (not the fatter twist) sesame semolina loaf. The baker that sells at GAP farmers market has good sesame semolina bread - dont know if they have other than their very good twist.

Apr 23, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

1 night at Hilton Rome Airport

or Pascucci which has been recommended here before (but which I have not visited); from their website obviously very proud of their Michelin star
http://www.pascuccialporticciolo.com/...

Apr 23, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

ISO Plain Focaccia

I will check La fornaretta's plain foccaccia (it would probably have rosemary) offerings next time I am in that area, I am addicted to their breads. they dont have the great chew of the Royal Crown but they are still substantial with great flavor and crunch - we especially like the foccaccia I mentioned with the cherry tomatoes and oregano on top, which we usually eat with mozzarella and a drizzle of oil - it is thick enough to slice which is a consideration Id imagine for you. Their semolina sesame bread and their other hearth breads are about the best around as well. Coluccio sells their foccaccia and a sliced round loaf. All of these are great from the freezer with an oven reheat.

ps I know that a recommendation to make your own is maybe not realistic but the other poster is right that making foccaccia at home doesnt require a big time commitment. You can make enough to cut up and freeze and support several meals. Sometimes these investments in meal components can be worthwhile.

Apr 23, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Seeking great indian grocery near Park Slope/Ditmas

I guess you could take the train down to Coney and switch to the N or whatever, but I take your point Unless you have other reasons to be in that area, not worth it for curry leaves. I usually have some in the frig because they lose so much when frozen.

I spend a lot of time in my car traversing Brooklyn but the distances are great especially east to west. I happen to enjoy the drives in Brooklyn - travelling over to Queens not so much.

Apr 22, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Seeking great indian grocery near Park Slope/Ditmas

As stated above, Patel on 4th Ave in Sunset Park routinely stocks curry leaves, chiles, tiny eggplants and a few other specifically indian vegetables, as well as big tubs of desi dahi, spices and other grocery items. They are my regular stop when I am on an Indian food kick.

Apr 22, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Ollie and Ry - Park Slope

thanks maybe I will swing by this week then.

Apr 21, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

they sell a jarred muffaletta mix at Coluccio's and also I think Trader Joes (sometimes). I bought some of the TJs stuff once but was not thrilled by the result - what do you include? They may have plain focaccia (in addition to the wonderful type topped with whole cherry tomatoes) at La Fornaretta on 17th Ave in the 70s. I love that bakery. There are also still a couple of bakeries on 18th Ave - one S of Frank and Sal and the other semi-across the street from Villabate farther north. I seem to remember that one or more of these had foccaccia.

Glad you found something to use. WF has gawdawful bread, on the whole. Dont understand why.

Apr 21, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Two Nights in Ravello. Two Nights in Positano. Where to eat dinner??

Ravello is a stunning location at all times and a beautiful quiet haven at night since it is virtually car-less. We did not leave at night when staying there - Taxis to Amalfi and other destinations are rather expensive and should be arranged in advance with your hotel but the cost may not be a consideration or the OP. the buses that run in the daytime are much more reasonable, and of course there is the lovely walk down if you are up to it walking past olive and lemon groves, vineyards and gardens, with all the while the smell of the herbs, the sea, and the mountains.

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Two Nights in Ravello. Two Nights in Positano. Where to eat dinner??

depends on what you want - in Ravello you have two Michelin Star places (one in your hotel) - I havent seen recent reports here on either. We liked Cumpa Cosimo and as I recall dal Salvatore was another place receiving positive reports here although we did not sample. Even if you decide not to go to Il Flauto del Pan you should not miss the walk up to Villa Cimbrone, and there are many amazing walks in the countryside nearby (maps at the tourist office) including down the hill to Atrani (a Paranza a good lunch spot) or Minori.

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Ollie and Ry - Park Slope

Last week I was hoping to pick up a sandwich on the way to a 6:30 pm meeting but they close at 5 pm! Sigh. I couple more hours of operation would help for those of us not around in the daytime!

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

How to word invitation- not paying for drinks

this sounds like a good solution to an awkward problem, if available. Or perhaps a arrangement where you were paying for food and cover charge if any but not covering the drinking would make more sense. Your moderate drinking guests would not mind paying for a drink or two, if you arranged an enjoyable venue.

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Not About Food

Restaurant ettiquette in Rome with a small child?

I feel like American kids tend to be noisier and more active than the italian children Ive seen in restaurants and of course they are not used to the longer italian dinner format or the late hours. Having had the strain of coping with this a few times we stopped taking our kids out in the evening and were strategic about the lunches we chose. Nobody in any country, whether or not they love children, appreciates being in proximity to a whining or misbehaving child, though they may feel sympathy. Evening dining, except at simple neighborhood places is really an adult activity. So its really a matter of judgment on your part - is the place suitable for kids, can your child cope with the format.

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
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