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Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

It seems as though you should be able to participate more openly now.

about 15 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

you will be a lot happier on this trip if you learn a bit of menu italian, how to say please, thank you, I would like to have, etc. phrase books are good for this, not to say you will get all the info you need to order on a regional menu. but you will at least know, from the section of the menu you are ordering from, whether you are ordering pasta, meat, or fish or contorni (vegetable side dishes). Its always going to be more comfortable if you try to interact in Italian even just to a minor degree - even if you have to accept some surprises.

If you are worrying (I am speculating) about your daughter, I would not. There is very little chicken on menus in Italy, but pasta (based on our experience with our kids) is pretty much universally pleasing, and there is always a piece of bread to chew on!

about 23 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

moderators arent pouncing any more on this - you might want to take a look at the change in policy re bloggers and food professionals on the site talk board.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

I havent been to all the town in this area, and its too long in the past for me to make personal restaurant recommendations, but Assisi would be at the top of my list in terms of overall attractiveness and cultural interest, way above Spoleto. (if you use search you will see some restaurant reccs for Assisi- Trattoria Pallota is one place recommended by both Slowfood and Gambero Rosso http://www.pallottaassisi.it/new/trat...). Like other places in this region, specialties are pork pigeon, housemade pasta and mushrooms.

We really liked Gubbio too, but it is much farther afield. Unless your child is going to get her rest while driving from town to town it seems too far away to consider with so many nearer touring options. Perugia itself (which we havent visited but which you will be in) has some major artistic treasures in the center.Stella, on Vi dei Narcisi, is a Slowfood recommended trattoria there.

The extremely elevated town of Montefalco, a bit farther afield for you, has received some discussion on this Board with respect to its wines, particularly, which a search will turn up.

Id recommend you download the Slowfood app for restaurant info in Umbria and nearby Tuscany - they even have a recommendations for Magione (Trattoria I Bonci) as well as most of the other towns you are considering. Also a former Slowfood Snail recommendation in Magione (maybe it was priced out of the guide?) is Osteria Rosso di Sera, still getting great reviews in TA (always look at the Italian reviews first - google is your friend) with views of the lake and lake specialties http://www.osteria-rossodisera.it/ If you are there, you should try these freshwater fish dishes.

But if you want a restful visit and a taste of Umbria, Id suggest you pick 2 or 3 of towns and dont let yourself be overwhelmed by the range. If you dont go back and forth to your rather off center base too many times, you should be able to see a few things, eat a few meals, without too much stress.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

do you expect your daughter to be awake and comfortable through a relaxed italian lunch? Can she snooze in a stroller still?

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

I think it is a mistake to skip trying to visit casual restaurants because you arent comfortable reserving on the phone - most of the time, especially at lunch you can get in if you arrive early. However if you are visiting in the August vacation time there are fewer seats available and so reserving becomes more advisable.

I dont think you have confirmed yet when you are arriving in Italy - its hard to recommend without that info.

Also, I am confused about your situation in Umbria - how are you getting around? If you have a car, you can probably visit several hill towns in a day, even at a relaxed pace - distances are not great and the towns are tiny.

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

That surcharge at Grano is old news - they certainly didnt seek to impose it on us. Has there been a more recent return, Elizabeth?

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

Hi if you are travelling this month, you might want to look down at a couple recent threads with contributions from Romans Minchilli, vinoroma etc. about August closings in Rome. This can also be an issue in Florence and in fact wherever you head except perhaps on the coast. In general Id want to have fallback plans for any meal where I had not confirmed that the restaurant is open/obtained a reservation by calling or email. resources like the Minchilli, Katie Parla and Gambero Rosso apps are also good resources on the ground when you have to make choices on the fly.

La Campana is open on Sunday but not sure about when you are there.
Id say you ought to be able to walk into Urbana 47 if you arrive early in the service - Im not sure it would be a top dinner choice in Rome, however. Id think of it as more a place for a light meal.We were quite satisfied by our meal 18 mo ago at Grano - a bit more refined than many with outdoor seating on a quiet (non-scenic) piazza.

I have not eaten at your other choices so cant comment.

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy

Sorrento help please!!!

Did you go to La Torre? wed love to hear how it was!

Aug 18, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Northern Italian in southern Brooklyn?

thanks for the info - it sounds like an interesting menu tho maybe not so "northern italian" - the ingredients are eclectic enough that all I would really say is its non-redsauce italian. Do they have meat or fish on the menu in addition to pasta?

Aug 18, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Unheralded Brooklyn Restaurants

I agree with this - we have not made it back - a little bit out of our geographical range for dinner - but our one meal at Surfish was delicious and refined - everything very good, with kind service. When the waitress brought husband the wrong dish she not only added it to our table without charge but gave him another beer in addition. In addition to the seafood specialties and soup their meats looked good - there were several peruvian families dining when we were there which added to the ambience in their pleasant garden,

Aug 16, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

not THAT inaccessible though....
http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Cuisi...

Aug 16, 2014
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

I dont think the new edition is nearly as beautiful, though

Aug 16, 2014
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Rome: 4 days in August, Itinerary Discussion/Recommendations

I think the rules on this have been relaxed - go over to the Site Talk page and you will see whether you can link these now. I suspect if you indicate the bloggers are your friends it will fly.

Aug 15, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Northern Italian in southern Brooklyn?

wondering, what did you eat there?

Id say that in addition to Al di La, Locanda Vini e Olii and Marco's also are northern italian in style. They both have a restrained serving size as well, but neither are inexpensive.

Aug 14, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

yea its a common grocery store item. should be in any big cheap supermarket next to the escarole - it certainly is here in downtown Brooklyn. Maybe OP is having the problem Melanie suggests upthread - lots of people call this endive and supermarkets may label it that way instead of as "chicory" . Maybe OP can give more info about the recipe and its source?

Aug 13, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Bologna, Florence, Rome, Praiano Off the Beaten Path

Id observe that nothing in Praiano or pretty much in the Amalfi Coast will be off the tourist trail. but you can use resources like this site, Gambero Rosso and the Slowfood Osteria Guide (which now has an app, albeit not in English) and http://www.lucianopignataro.com/rubri... to aid you in finding the better restaurants.

Aug 13, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Lucca, Italy - Pizzeria da Felice, Antica Drogheria, La Bonta

thats great - I highly recommend this

Aug 13, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Lucca, Italy - Pizzeria da Felice, Antica Drogheria, La Bonta

I hadnt realized that cecona = farinata - thats great stuff!

Aug 13, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

these are all variant forms of chicory - if the OP is shopping ins staten island would be unlikely to find any radicchio other than the chioggia (round red) form. I only very rarely see the treviso here and it is not in the elongated and twisty form Ive seen in Venice - it just looks like a red form of belgian endive.

I dont know what technique would be used in OP's recipe. I dont think I would want to grill the large floppy leaves of escarole, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endive

Aug 13, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

Unless you are totally committed to finding the precise item I suggest you consider subbing one of the other chicories - escarole, radicchio or belgian endive which are available. They have the same bitter flavor. You would want to consider whetherthey should be chopped or sliced since escarole, particular with its big leaves can get floppy and soggy once cooked.

If you see frisee, thats a stylish and expensive form of chicory -you can buy it too.

Good luck and hope you report back on what you did.

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Rome: 4 days in August, Itinerary Discussion/Recommendations

OK!!!!
the amount of research that has been done is crazy indeed.

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Rome: 4 days in August, Itinerary Discussion/Recommendations

wondering if you read the lists attached to this thread - may help you reformulate your plans to the extent needed.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978113

ps wondering if a good strategy for August 15 might be to go up into the castelli or down to the seaside for the day?

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

thanks, NEW FOOD OF LIFE

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

I have mostly made stews thus far. They have quite a number of ingredients and a longish cooking time but not many prep steps or much technical complexity. They can successfully be made ahead. So my answer is that they can be done relatively quickly in terms of limited prep time, but they are not a la minute. My usual approach is to cook a pot on the weekend, serve over 2 or three meals with some rice and salad. If you are daunted by chopping the quantities of herbs required for some dishes there are dried herbs available in packs for this.

like pistachio peas, I think the techmiques for rice can be altered or modernized without damage to flavor.

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Looking for a seafood restaurant recommendation east of Genoa

thanks for correcting my mistake! The fishy stuff we had at Nonna Nina was really tasty as were the land items. If you wanted to stop someplace beautiful for a stroll above the sea and a meal without the crowds, that would be great if they are open.

Aug 12, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Looking for a seafood restaurant recommendation east of Genoa

the food will probably be better before you get to Cinque Terre. There are some good and even outstanding restaurants coming down the coast from Genoa, in towns like Camogli, SML, and Rapallo, where seafood restaurants line the front. Nina Nonna in SanRocca di Camogli, up above the sea on Monte Portofino, serves lovely food sea and land - although it would be suitable for a special occasion (and this meal was special for us) we had a delicious lunch there last year wearing our casual walking clothes. Chiavari is a lovely town with casual Luchin (in the old city, not in the seaside area), with tasty traditional dishes including amazing wood oven cooked farinata, worth eperiencing

In Sestri Levante, Polpo Mario and La Cantino Del Polpo have been recommended here .

For a real local land cuisine lunch there are a couple of restaurants a few miles inland from Chiavari in Ne, La Brinca and Osteria dei Mosto. Search for the reviews here if interested. Ive only been to La Brinca - it was a long, special Sunday lunch.

All the above currently are or have been listed in the Slowfood Guide and/or are Gambero Rosso recommended trattorias,

Aug 11, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

ditto. I havent had much time to cook in recent months but the one recipe I made from this book (the beautiful original) was wonderful.

Aug 11, 2014
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Moldavian Cherry Preserves?

This sounds similar - what I am talking about is not jam like the restaurant served a small bowl with tea. Will check it out

Aug 10, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Moldavian Cherry Preserves?

Indeed it makes me very sad, I have shopped there weekly since the mid-80s. Their range of selections is unmatched. They have been losing patronage steadily with the changes in the community - not enough business for two polish butchers (Jubilat still seems very busy) and changes in eating habits; with a new upscale grocery slated to open a block away, he may have just decided to cash out.

What I mean is that the cherries seem to have a spicy flavor - maybe its more of the "almond" flavor like mahlab - in any event they are delicious.

Jul 27, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs