jen kalb's Profile

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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

about 4 hours ago
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.

about 5 hours ago
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!

about 12 hours ago
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.

2 days ago
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
1

Gastro agriturismo or similar near Naples

Here are some addressed I came across in connection with earlier trips to the area. The first is in the Flegrean Fields area near Pozzuolo, N of Naples.

the latter two are both recommended by Arthur Schwartz who is very experienced in the cooking of the area and has a couple of very fine cookbooks; the first is an agriturismo with cooking classes near Paestum (an amazing site to visit); the second is a cooking school, not an agriturismo, in Ravello, one of the most beautiful places in the world.

http://www.clubilcasolaredatobia.it/
http://www.agriturismoseliano.it/home
http://www.mammaagata.com/cooking-cla...

Travel in the hinterlands of Campania is not always a first world experience make sure to get your travel arrangements nailed down well.

Apr 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Really good lemon dessert at Brooklyn Larder

thats good to know. Ive usually been underwhelmed by their pastry - sometimes too dry, not the treat I expect. I went in with low expectations and now Im interested in trying more of the items. thanks for the explanatory info. Off topic do you know whats happening to the Marco's space? there seems to be some activity there.

Apr 18, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Really good lemon dessert at Brooklyn Larder

I was pleasantly surprised by a deliciously lemony and buttery Shaker Meyer Lemon Pie - with slices of the peel in the rich eggy interior and a good crisp buttery crust. This is a deep mini pie but good for a couple of people, reasonable at I think $5.75

Apr 18, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Need 1 more Rome restaurant

thanks for the response. We had a much better meal over the holidays, including adequately meaty lamb chops and well cooked pasta and artichokes (alla romana)- have visited every few years for many years and not had a bad meal, but like Vinoroma says, there is an issue with inconsistency and I have seen reports of unsatisfactory meals at most of the central Rome trattorias over the years. I am really sorry you had such a bad esperience.

Thanks for your list of current faves - it would be good to hear more about what you like there particularly.

Apr 18, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

Valpolicella: Sunday lunch on a lovely terrace?

Here are a couple of our faves, a little bit off the beaten track and out of the crowds following the itinerary PBSF mentions below - Alla Frasca, in a tiny little piazza, north toward the Fondamenta Nuove from the congested San Marco area. Anice Stellat0 in Cannareggio - there are several other restaurants along the same canal there. If you are in dorsoduro, there is a cluster of restaurants right around San Barnaba, including La bitta (meat cuisine), Oniga, Ai Quattro Feri.

Ive extracted the following reccomendations by star poster PBSF from one recent thread with recommendations for another day tripper from Verona:

PBSF
Feb 3, 2014 06:24 PM
Ok, one day jaunt through central Venice, if walking rather than taking the vaporetto, 90% of day trippers will take the route from the train station down to Strada Nuove, Campo San Bartolmeo, Rialto, San Marco, back to Academia, cross the bridge to Dorsodoro, Frari, Railto Market back to the train station by the way of Santa Croce. Or reverse and some variations of it. For informal traditional osterie/trattorie and good bacari:
Around Strada Nuove: La Cantina, ai Sposi Promessi, Alle Vedova
Around Rialto (San Marco side): upscale Fiaschetteria Toscana; da Alberto
Around Campo Santo Stefano and before San Marco: Trattoria da Fiore, Osteria della Bottege, Al Bacareto, ai Assassini, Alle Testiere (only one that needs reservation for lunch)
San Marco: not much; the upscale excellent Osteria San Marco and it's front cicchetti bar, Acuigheta, Cavatappi
Around Accademia: La Cantina gia Schiavi
Around Campo San Barnaba: La Bitta, ai Quattro Feri, Casin dei Noboli
Around the Rialto Market: Bancogiro and some of the most atmospheric bacari such as Do Spade, do Mori, All'Arco, La Merca, Antico Dolo and the nearby all seafood trattoria, Antiche Carampane.
Up toward Santa Croce: Il Refolo,
Some of the above are bacari where it is mostly stand up. All serve mostly traditional Venetian food; good to excellent on most days and at least acceptable on their got up the wrong side of the bed days. Skip dessert and grab a gelato after lunch. Fortunately, there are at least one or two good ones in just about area of Venice.
When your sightseeing is tentatively planned out and know about where you'll might be during lunch time, you might zero in on a couple places in that area. Besides lunch, late afternoon/early evening are some of the best times to head for a bacaro for spritz and cicchetti.

Apr 17, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Great coffee in Brooklyn

agreed this poster is simply wrong about the water in NYC. Tell my dishwasher that my water is hard, when I have to reduce the detergent to 1/4 of the "normal" dose to avoid etching my glasses due to the softness of our water.

Apr 17, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Valpolicella: Sunday lunch on a lovely terrace?

YOuve looked at the Venice recommendations on this board, right? there is plenty of good food in venice if you choose your restaurant well - its worth it to make a little effort, the lagoon seafood is wonderful. Hope you will report on your meals in Verona before you are through! What area are you likely to be in around lunchtime?

These two restaurants in Negrar are listed in my Gambero Rosso - you might consider them.
Alla Ruota http://www.trattoriaallaruota.it/
Locanda'800 http://www.vigna800.com/

Apr 17, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Need 1 more Rome restaurant

With respect, this input is not helpful without your own suggestions of alternatives that you prefer. Please give us your thoughts! If you have had a negative experience at La Campana, thats relevant too.

La Campana is a classic upscale Roman trattoria with a fairly refined atmosphere for the category. It does the traditional cuisine well. Without saying its a great on an absolutescale we've enjoyed leisurely lunches there very much over the years, including just this last December.

Since we dont know what the OPs price point of culinary interest is, its hard to recommend alternatives.

Apr 17, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Help Me Sketch a trip to Modena, Bologna and Parma

Unlike the rest of the country, ER and Lombardy, in the Po plain, are in a moderate "humid subtropical" climate zone - its hot in Rome and Tuscany too in August but not so humid.

Im not at all saying everything is closed only that you will need to plan around your chosen restaurants' holiday and weekly closing schedules. Many town restaurants will choose to have a Ferragosto closing for a couple of weeks over that period. For example da Francescana in Modena will be closed August 9-23. Restaurants in the touristic zones (like mountains or seaside would be less likely to close.

Apr 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Restaurant ettiquette in Rome with a small child?

there are some good food stores (Im thinking particularly about Antica Caciara Trasteverina with its delicious pecorino romano and other cheeses and its lariano bread) pizzerie, etc. in Trastevere. There is a market and a large grocery store (Conad) as well. If you do a search you will find some of these, as well as good gelato purveyors as well.

Im not sure the extent to which aperitivo culture is part of Rome life the way it is in say Milan, hopefully our Rome locals will weigh in, but Id find it a bit depressing subbing aperitivo for dinner. http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/rom...

Here is a link to a that you might be interested in re Trastevere, with a couple of recommendations for light meals, etc.
http://www.parlafood.com/katie-parlas...

Apr 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

ISO Agropoli and nearby town food recs

ditto this recommendation

Apr 14, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Help Me Sketch a trip to Modena, Bologna and Parma

You will need to do a lot of prep research of have solid backup plans for this trip since so many restaurants close for some or aLL of August except in vacation areas. Maybe some of agriturismi or inns out in the country in the Apennine foothills would be good places to visit at this time of year. Unfortunately viamichelin seems to have dropped their closing information in their current presentation so thats no help.

Personally I dont think the hot humid summer season in Emilia is the best time to enjoy the rich cooking or these stony towns but if you look up the names of your destination towns or Emilia or E-R you will find a lot of recommendations to consider.

Apr 14, 2015
jen kalb in Italy