jen kalb's Profile

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Venice at Christmas

I think November is the worst month for acqua alta in Venice (highest rainfall in the whole year) - December is much less, usually. We had a bit of water in the piazza the year we were there for christmas but the platforms were not necessary. likewise in Jan and Feb. I agree the waterproof shoes are something to think of though, it can be cold and clammy even if you arent wading though water.

about 8 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Venice at Christmas

To some degree it is going to depend on which day of the week Christmas falls on and the restaurant's closing days. When we were in Venice some years ago I think it fell on a Sunday. On Christmas Eve a scattering of restaurants were open, many serving a special seafood dinner to patrons who had reserved for the experience but as Brian notes the restaurants scene and street life were rather subdued on that night as I assume locals hurry home (we were not staying in a particularly touristic part of town) We found an open place on Via Garibaldi, near our apartment but they could only give us their regular menu (fine).

On Christmas day, I think the best bet for a restaurant meal is lunchtime - dinner might be a good time to cook in your apartment - that is what we did that night. We had a stunning lunch meal - holiday and sunday lunches are our favorite dining time on our Italian trips- but we only got in to the restaurant because someone with a reservation was late So dont do what we did - plan and reserve for these holiday meals. It seemed as though a fairly high percentage of restaurants were taking holiday days, but frankly even more were having January closings - the slowest month in Venice.

If you are planning to cook make sure to stock up on what you need - the supermarkets scattered around Venice will be open, but if you want to shop at Rialto Market you need to make sure to work around the market hours.

There have been several threads on this over the years - I think a search for Christmas Venice should pull them up.

Carols at the Anglican church in Dorsoduro are nice and the midnight Mass at San Marco is of course amazing. It the side entrance is still open give it a try.

about 12 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome in December

I agree with vinaroma on this. you will not have a problem with feeling unwelcome or being totally at sea about ordering, etc. Some certainly not all restaurants have english menus. That being said, learning some simple menu italian and the names of some classic roman dishes and enough italian to greet thank and say goodbye to your hosts will go a long way in making your visit fully enjoyable.

Sep 28, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Rome Hole in the wall cheap Italian Restaurant Near Termini.

Er Bucchetto, a place that serves porchetta, is close to termini
http://www.parlafood.com/rome-on-a-bu...

a little mystified by your request - is your time in Rome short? The immediate area around termini is not a great area for food, but a 15 min walk or a short bus or train ride will take you to plenty of alternatives.

Sep 27, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Rome in December

Its a wonderful season to be in Rome! Id suggest to start out by reading some recent threads for ideas and eat, eat, eat!

Sep 26, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

30 is the magic number?

thanks for popping up here with comments in any event. Personally, I hope for more rather than fewer voices here and am always glad to hear more info from a new one who loves eating. Id say you probably have quite a lot of insight into the Italian food scene if you are visiting every 18 months.

Sep 26, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Keto-friendly meals/restaurants in BK

not aware of any low carb specialists but there is a big meat culture - the many new BBQ places to give just an example. the reacent pig island festival http://www.pigisland.com/, restaurants like traif and pork slope let alone Peter Lugers and various seafood specialists. Farm to table restaurants that feature vegetables as well as meats and fish/seafood are other options for a low carb diet.

Maybe if you mention where you are, we can make some specific suggestions

Sep 25, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Rome reservation check

yes I did and can relate. Im looking forward to trying the indivia dish when we are able to get back to Armando's.

Sep 25, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

DeFonte's Sandwich Shop

Red Hook is actually a fairly scenic and interesting area of NYC and potentially worth some time for a walker. (more beatup and less developed and gentrified than Greenpoint and Willaimsburg. There are old (civil war era or before)industrial and maritime remains, warehouses, streetcars and wharves and a funky "main street" (Van Brunt) with some interesting shops (good baked goods at Baked, BBQ at HOmestead, excellent brunch fare at The Good Fork, Steves Key Lime Pies, not to mention Fairway (worth a visit for a food-interested out of towner and IKEA. Good views of the harbor and an abilty to get down to the water. Art shows in the waterfront Liberty Warehouse, http://www.bwac.org/index.html, central american food at the Red Hook ballfields in season. There is a bus that runs throughout the neighborhood from the Smith Street F station, so its possible to avoid being stranded after a long walk. And of course its easily accessible by bicycle using one of the Citybikes. (although the cobblestone streets down there are not that bike-friendly.

)

In addition to the great Da Fonte sandwiches. Im one who likes the roast beef. Its all in what the visitor wants.

Sep 25, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs
1

Quick menu question, Rome

Sue I think this is just a website thing, they have simply sorted out their dishes into categories to help people who might be looking for typical roman dishes or vegetarian options. Thats my guess. They have more menu options than most Roman trattorias with with some sub-specialty menus, like vegetarian.

Their service is definitely a la carte not fixed price

There is no padding or upselling, it will be clear when you get there.

enjoy!

Sep 24, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Dinners in Assisi, Siena, Florence, Viareggio and Vernazza

Thanks for your very complete report on your trip! dont know about that ravioli with chicken and peach, however.

Sep 24, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

ISO Tulumba

they have their uses, but in many cases its bad for pastry and anything with a crispy surface. I wish restaurants understood that.

Sep 23, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

ISO Tulumba

Not microwave! it may taste ok but any surface crunch where the fat and the pastry comes together is destroyed if you zap. The thing will go limp Cold is better than that

Sep 23, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

ISO Tulumba

Arent these fried dough puffs "loukoumades" in a greek restaurant? They used to (maybe still are) a complementary item at Telly's Taverna in Astoria. I have never had Tulumba, which look from the wikipedia article to be molded, but we really enjoyed the warm loukoumades we had there many moons ago.

Just as the warm jalebis some kind hosts brought us for breakfast one day duing a trip in India were revelatory vs. the usual cold version and warm doughnuts are the best vs. ones that have had a chance to cool. I would encourage looking out for a place that serves warm tulumba.

Sep 23, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

near Brooklyn bridge park, photoville

ps sorry I did see your one post in Rome - did you follow up with more? Love to hear it all

Sep 23, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

near Brooklyn bridge park, photoville

Its a bit of a trek up the hill from the park to the Atlantic Avenue restaurants. Pok Pok is also relatively close (if a walk of several blocks is ok) but lines there may be a disincentive with kids in tow. Its sometimes a tradeoff between getting tired kids fed and good eating.

Have you posted about your Rome visit on the Italy Board yet? Looking forward to hearing more.

Sep 23, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

near Brooklyn bridge park, photoville

next time you are down there and want pizza take the 10 min or so to walk over to Juliana's by the ferry landing - or get in your car and drive someplace else; as you must have seen its really a wasteland right down by the newly created park. Sorry you had such a bad experience.

Sep 22, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

according to wikipedia its a municipality with 25,000 people.
Here's the supermarket I mentioned http://www.coopfirenze.it/punti-vendi...

There is a municipal website with tourist and other info (including lists of some restaurants etc) and local touring which might interest you. Look for the tourism line and the little UK flag for the english version.
http://www.comune.bagno-a-ripoli.fi.it/

Sep 22, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

all else failing there is a coop supermercato in Bagno a Ripoli,and there also should be butcher, gastonomie, bakers and other shops where you can pick up salumi, cheese, bread fruit and other dinner makings. Italian supermarkets are an eye opener and we have eaten supper this way on many trips. We also pick up food in towns we visit for our suppers.

It appears there are some trattorie in the town but I have know knowledge. Are you staying in the town or out in the country?

Sep 22, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Source in Brooklyn for italian plum tomatoes for canning

Bradley's prices are over the top. I usually walk into his stand, look around and walk right back out. Im not sure Rossman's prices are better than the places down in Bensonhurst though lots of folks in the neighborhood love them. They do have some good deals sometimes though. One thing for sure, I will start my search earlier next year.

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Octopus that tastes like chicken

pulpo = polpo sorry to be sloppy.

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy
1

(long) Florence Trip Report

they get this info from their Zagats partnership -Z also reports it closed. Id be more inclined to trust the person who made the trip report of a meal 5 days ago. All restaurants in Italy have closing days, and when they put their grates down they look GONE. We have people posting all the time worrying about this and it could very well be that someone threw in a closed report to Zagats based on this type of experience. Have you called the phone number ye?Looking forward to your report!

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

(long) Florence Trip Report

look forward to hearing about your meal!

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Trip report: Milan; Piemonte; Emilia Romagna

Really love your reports - this is a trip I would very much liked to have taken. Thanks for the wine shipping recommendation too.

Interested in your microplane comment - we have also been dissatisfied with microplaned parmigiano. We have a cheese grater on our food processor that does better its still not an ideal tool (obviously not a tabletop item)

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Rome reservation check

Glad you enjoyed Armando and appreciate the full descriptions! LIttle confused about your pulpo and the fior di zucca at Pierluigi? Surely you meant that the zucchini flower was battered and should have had the anchovy inside?

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Octopus that tastes like chicken

this was a joke I thinkby Ospreycove! There have been several varoable posts prviously about the pulpo preparation at Pierluigi

Sep 19, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Source in Brooklyn for italian plum tomatoes for canning

Closing the loop on this request, I asked at Coluccio's (because they sell the processing equipment) and the gentleman recommended the fellow at Circus, as well as Three Guys and the vegetable store just off 18th Street on 68 or 69 (west of the avenue, n. side of street. I checked at the latter and they did have boxes for I think $12 and $14 but I was running out of weekend and did not have time to buy. I probed about the place psnative recommended but he was more positive about the greenhouse guy on 6th Ave just next to the BQE, who he said sells his own stuff from Jersey (maybe). the following weekend I ran by this guy but he said the season was over and his last tomatoes looked tired. So I missed the curve this year for a major project.

All the tomatoes I saw in boxes were quite small - hopefully if I look next year will find some promising fruit.

Sep 17, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Italy-Bound -- In Search of Salumi, Cheese, Wine, Liqueur

I had never heard or thought of any prosecco that was not white before it came up on its thread, but as a little research revealed, its evident that that the makers and marketers are capitalizing on the name (without as you note violating the labeling laws) to sell related products.

Sep 17, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

(long) Florence Trip Report

I see and read their ratings and discussions in my wine shops - I am not familiar with their philosophy and palate as I was with the Wine Spectator of old. I cant quarrel with your greater expertise - certainly not with your knowledge of what you like and are looking for, including what you would prefer to drink when you travel.
But that does not mean that wine in a local trattoria is an afterthought. It could be different taste as I suggested - or it could be that they are serving to a local clientele unpretentious wines that fit their pricepoint. They may be unambitious, but in a country where wine drinking is embedded in daily life that would be one fairly natural outlook.

Sep 17, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

(long) Florence Trip Report

Loved the report! Sorry you had a less satisfying experience at Del Fagioli - our experiences there were at lunch time and without crowds and we loved the pappa pomodoro which was well integrated and the whole scene. Soups like this and ribollita are of the essence of tuscan cooking and it was too bad you had a bad specimen. We do a large proportion of our dining in tourist towns at lunch times - many of the complaints about places we have liked very much over the years are about dinners, and I have to wonder whether the dinner crowds of tourists (not to blame you for going there?) have resulted in a lesser experience in the evening.

Looking forward to more of your reports!

Sep 17, 2014
jen kalb in Italy