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Convivium Osteria OR Locanda Vini e Olii??

this isnt a particularly noisy scen-ey restaurant - being able to talk easily is a must for my family and we have always been able to do so wherever we are sitting at Convivium, - the wine cellar is more spacious and quiet - particularly good if you want to focus on conversation and your dining partners - this is where we choose when we have out of town guests - you will definitely be more aware of others upstairs..

about 4 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Venice recommendations E of Arsenale, etc

I will be accompanying my mother to Venice on one of those flaky but luxe "river cruises" that mainly moves around the Venice Lagoon. Its not clear whether or when we will have free time to eat onshore in Venice. One of the likely mooring places is between the Arsenale and the Bienniale site. Are any of the restaurants on Via Garibaldi or otherwise nearby currently recommendable?

Farther toward San Marco, any experiences with the Wildner? Sadly, Mom is not a big seafood fan so that rules out a number of options.

Lastly, I think Mom would really like fegato alla veneziana - its been years since I have ordered this in Venice - Im thinking possibly Fiaschetteria Toscana or someplace in that vicinity since we end one of our mornings near Rialto, but does any other place do a particularly good job of this dish?

about 5 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Verona?

wondering, anything else to report on this visit? I will likely be looking for a lunch place in the centro in a couple weeks and need some ideas so we can keep flexible.

Aug 31, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip to Chautauqua and Finger Lakes

First, we did not eat out at all while at Chautaqua. We did enjoy some excellent pies from Portage Pies (they were really very good and worth the $16 per price. nice people, too. We wound up cooking our meals from farmers market produce (including two pecks of peaches) farm market corn and tomatoes and other stuff from Wegmans in Jamestown. Really liked the snappy white dogs we bought there! Plus they sold "weck" buns and sliced roast beef (with "free" jus) so we were able to put together these sandwiches which I had been craving

A highlight of the trip were two passes (coming and going from NYC) through the finger lakes wine region. On the way west our main goal was Dr. Frank's winery, and the wines there were really top notch. The rieslings had a lovely varietal character, and we also very much enjoyed the Gewurztraminer and the reds, especially the pinot noir. With little time we were able to visit only one other but were led by a tasting companion to head for Bully Hill. I should have known better because she dissed the Frank wines, I guess I wanted to see what she thought were better...I remember Bully Hill from the 70s innovating with the vinifera/native hybrids. Anyway the wines were fairly insipid, overly sweet and on the red side undistinguished. And the bachelorette parties were there in force.

On our return we had more time, and were able to visit tiny Ravines, on the E side of Keuka, Hermann Weimer on the west side of Seneca and Damiani and Shalestones on the E side of Seneca. Very grateful for the recommendations on this board, and also to the winemakers there who suggested destinations for us. Ravines, Damiani and Shalestone all are red wine specialists, though Ravines had some nice whites too. In addition to some good Pinots, we had some nice Cabernet Franc, some interesting Lemberger, and very excellent blends, , We particularly liked the interesting range of blends offered by Shalestone but Ravines was excellent too (a fine Meritage, Cabernet Franc, Gewurtz and a nice Ayre moscato). At Weimer we tasted through their range of Rieslings and the subtle differences between vineyards was interesting - these too were excellent, very well made but for us not quite on the level of the Frank offerings.

In terms of eating, we stayed at the Old National Hotel in Bath on the way out (very well priced and with local flavor) and were able to eat at the Liberty Street Pub nearby - the servers were characters, the other patrons were friendly and we were able to enjoy well made pub grub with a good selection of local wines and craft beers. Good Friday night fish fry deal.

Coming back, we ate a light lunch at Ravines - a very very good pork belly sandwich and a copious serving of chicken liver pate, with cornichons, homemade mustard and bread (half of which we took along for the following day). Prices were very reasonable and the pours of wine that accompanied them were generous in quantity and price. inner at Dano's Heuriger, at the recommendation of the very nice Shalestone folks. This was a very civilized establishment - we orded a selection of their viennese spreads to share, american an europeans beers as well as a range of the local wines were offered (not as many offerings by the glass as I had hoped for),a smoked trout and a very good fried catfish served with excellent cabbage salad and chipotle mayonnaise. We had also gotten a recommendation to dine at the Red Newt winery, but we were told their cafe was no longer in operation.

Unfortunately, due to lack of planning, a Phish concert in Watkins Glen and dropoff weekend at Cornellwe were unable to stay in the area. I hope to get back here here to revisit our favorites and also visit additional wineries such as Red Newt, Anthony Road and Billsboro.

thanks to those Chowhounds who made recommendations on this and prior wine board threads which helped us to find enjoyable wines in this rather tricky but very fine region.

PS We stopped for spiedies in Binghamton to start the trip at the Spiedie and Rib Pit in Vestal. These wer acceptable but did not impress. We had the pork versions and it was like very heavily marinated/vinegary souvlaki, but not cooked to the point of having any grill char. Surprisingly, Jim's simple sandwich in the bun was preferable to my greek style version in a pita. .
This was a regional treat which Im not anxious to chase down again.
Id imagine this is better on a backyard grill.

Trip report - Veneto and Emilia Romagna driving tour

re the porcini its not so common to find the fresh porcini in mid-summer - We have been served more risotti and pastas based on the dried than fresh over the years.. We have also on a couple of occasions run across what I believe is frozen porcini in Italy - for example in a mid-wintr pasta dish in venice when it was paired with gamberi - actually pretty good In fact I have a bag of frozen italian porcini in my freezer in Brooklyn, although I havent tried them yet.

would be interested in the recipe for the pickled vegetables - we saw them frequently accompanying the cured meats in that area.

Aug 30, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip report - Veneto and Emilia Romagna driving tour

hi wondering what that is on the plate with your fish at Locanda delle Grazie?

Aug 29, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip report - Veneto and Emilia Romagna driving tour

Im curious, what do you think of the service of (greasy) torta fritta, gnocco frito, etc with salumi, culatelli and other charcuterie in the region which one sees at least as frequently as white bread? You mentioned above that the use of butter was a sin, so is this practice tolerable?

Id also very much like to hear more about the restaurants you are recommending in this area .

Aug 28, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip to Chautauqua and Finger Lakes

@Joe Moryl we enjoyed a visit to Southern Tier when we reached the Jamestown area. The place was a zoo (it was Saturday at lunchtime) but we enjoyed a flight of IPAs (of which Jim liked 2XIPA best) and a good belgian style cider. What with the crowds and the food that looked like a bit of a grease fest, we did not hang around to eat, but the recommendations was greatly appreciated!

In addition to the 2XIPA we brought home and enjoyed a bottle of their belgian style Tier de Garde.
Tonight we drank a bottle of their 9.5% Un-Earthly, which had great hops and color but we felt too high alcohol.

We also enjoyed drinking Ithaca Brewing Company's Flower Power IPA quite a lot while upstate but did not make it to Ithaca, which was overwhelmed with college dropoff activity when we passed through..
Winery visits were great however, see below.

Lunch at Hummus Place - Oh The Zhug!

ziggy, I need to retract my prior comment re the Pereg zhug you like.. The zhug I have bought in Brooklyn and not liked is not Pereg it is sabra brand with very similar packaging. Pomegrate, the big kosher grocery in brookyn offers a couple of types but they are also red in color. My complaint about all of these that I have tasted is the chile dominance and lack of the herbal character - which is hard to capture in a packaged product,

Here is a pretty typical recipe for yemeni zhug - Ottolenghi has a similar one. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/arc...
These recipes produce a green cilantro dominated but peppery and spicy sauce similar to what I have had in the good felafel places in NY. Not only that but its real easy to make at home.

I found one site where you might be able to find the Pereg.
https://www.israelikosher.com/Product...

good luck!

Aug 24, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Lunch at Hummus Place - Oh The Zhug!

tell you what, I will check again when I come back from vac. they have a red and green version and neither had either a flavor from herbs (coriander) or much other spice than chiles. Ive never had a packaged zhug that excited me.

Aug 17, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Lunch at Hummus Place - Oh The Zhug!

Have to differ -They sell it in Brooklyn at rothmans on 3rd ave but honestly I threw mine away -pepper but no herb or spice in either the red or green version. This stuff is easy to make too and is a truly super condiment.

Aug 14, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Trip to Chautauqua and Finger Lakes

Thanks @Cliocooks - I will be sure to report back!

Amalfi Coast dining with a car

I will never forget a series of posts about 10 years ago lauding the memorable food in the inland Campanian winegrowing area around Avellino/Benevento. I've always wanted to get into that area to explore the wine and food but so far it hasnt happened. Love the wines though, including Feudi di San Gregorio and all the ancient grapes the vineyards grow there.

If you dont have local contacts,the luciano pignataro wineblog is the best resource I can think of for finding info about this area. And Slowfood, of course.

A couple of these posts are in these threads by Julie Vikmanis and Victoria Libin.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/266658
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/263383

Aug 13, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

One question about the new site

ah, thats not very intuitive to have to click on the search button.
then work through a menu to select the very "page" you are on.
but at least it possibly works.

thanks to both.

can anyone explain why the listings on the landing page show the wrong number of comments (1 more than actual)?
I first noticed it for a post of my own (and kept clicking looking for that additional response). The number is correct both when I click through to the location page and on the post itself

Aug 12, 2015
jen kalb in Site Talk
1

One question about the new site

yes, scroll bounce!
when I pull down on the bar at left to get to a menu at the bottom of the page it bounces me up again around the time I hit the beta feedback button.

Im also mystified at how to search for content. Even my own content. when I put my name into the search only 400+ items come up.

And I havent yet figured whether or how its possible to search when on a location page. to limit the result to items with that location. Do I have to put the relevant tags into the search to get the correct result set?

Aug 12, 2015
jen kalb in Site Talk

Finalizing list in Rome

ah, I did not read the comments, or the recipes that is helpful. I have always had problems with Bittman and his recipes, felt he was always trying to reduce and simplify and his dishes simply did not taste as good as those of more discerning cooks.

It was only on my most recent visit to Rome that we experienced a whipped type noticeably watered pecorino sauce on our pasta - at both Flavio and Cesare. More typical in the past would have been a light coating of the salty savory melted cheese gilding the pasta strands, with no "sauce" left in the plate - frankly I prefer the use of water simply to meld the cheese with the pasta, rather than saucier versions we saw..

Aug 12, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip to Chautauqua and Finger Lakes

Yes thanks! this is one bright spot in the area since my husband is an IPA fan and Chautauqua itself is dry.

Finalizing list in Rome

this article? http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/mag...

interested in what set you off about this article. I thought the slab of parmigiano reggiano was amusing in the context, and the reference to chicken broth made me goggle a bit.

As far as the restaurant goes, we have been there twice. On the first visit (2011) we liked the place, the wine service. Clearly the large servings would be a plus to some, but the guanciale was fried hard and the cicoria was fried to the point that it was hard and acrid and too heavily chile'd. Not my favorite Roman style. Over the holidays this year we returned and the food was better than I remembered from the first visit. The cooking style was not so dry and the chicory was better but still overseasoned. It seemed like they may have upped their game a bit. But I think opening the Prati restaurant may have unbalanced them at some point.

Aug 11, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trip to Chautauqua and Finger Lakes

we are heading for Chautauqua NY for a week, with a couple days to meander from NYC on each end. Looking for any recommendations in the Chautauqua / Jamestown NY area for restaurants, farms, bakeries, breweries etc that might be worth a visit in that area.

Also looking for high quality wineries/ breweries that might be of interest in the Southern Tier. Am planning to head for Keuka Lake and the Dr Konstantin Frank winery since we have always enjoyed their rieslings - we would love some other recommendations in the area of wineries with worthy wines. Or breweries with good IPAs.

Lastly recommendations for places with regional food as we move through this area. We are probably travelling S of the lakes rather than on the thruway.

Rome Holiday Visit FINIS

its a very good recipe. Truth to tell I tend away from most beef ragu sauced dishes in italy since I find many of them too strong and too tomato-ey. This recipe is well balanced, light and also quite quick to cook compared to say the Marcella Hazan recipes I usually make. thanks!

Aug 09, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome Holiday Visit FINIS

@mbf since a recipe was not forthcoming a couple months ago I made ragu from the recipe in your roman cookbook, (substituting half pork for the beef since I felt this ragu should have some pork content). On storebought gnocchi (actually a refrigerated packaged kind from italy) it was very satisfactory as a recreation of the Nerone experience.

Aug 07, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Myanmar Baptist Church Funfair Saturday August 8

Myanmar Baptist Church is holding its 20th Annual Funfair with homecooked burmese food this weekend. More information and the menu are attached.
http://www.mbcnewyork.org/news.html

Aug 07, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Help plan an 8-day Emilia-Romagna food itinerary (sadly with no car!)

It also looks (per googlemaps) like you could get to Ai Due Platani relatively quickly on Parma buses.

Ive only been to one of the above Al Cavallino Bianco which we liked very much. It and the adjoining Antica Corte Pallavicina are in a very evocative location along the river, however based on the glowing reports re La Buca from Allende and others here, I think I would head there given the opportunity (they do have rooms so it could be an overnight thing rather than a day trip). There have been a number of reports on each of these here, so you might want to read the reports if you dont get much feedback.

Aug 07, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

Not because of Indian...not worth it in Rome

Aug 06, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Help plan an 8-day Emilia-Romagna food itinerary (sadly with no car!)

there are a fair number of online transport planning resources in the area but that does not mean you will not have a long walk at the end of your ride. sample below. googlemaps works too.

http://www.oraribus.com/orari.php?da=...

Aug 06, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

well you could swap your Cesare res, that would be a perfect Sunday lunch destination - or are you saying Piperno is on holiday during your visit?

here is a 2 year old thread on this topic.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918886

Aug 06, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Dividing South Asian Cuisine as Broadly as Possible

I havent had time to be thoughtful about this request, Jim, this but just to note that the religious/historic factors are very significant at least as important as regional, for example the hyderabadi cuisine has its base in the mughal cuisine which was extended across the north and into the south including hyderabad through the conquests of waves of afghan and mughal (mongol) conquerers - its found all across north india, in muslim or muslim influenced communities and in the elite cuisine of the rajputs (hindus but meateaters), awadh, bengal, coastal, etc., whereas most of the populace is primarily hindu vegetarian in these areas (fish counting as vegetables in bengal). persian/afghan influenced dishes like biriyani come from this tradition.
the andra cuisine is south indian and mostly vegetarian (lower castes may eat all kinds of meat however).

The tamil brahmin cuisine is quite distinct - although there are commonalities with the other vegetarian south indian cuisines, keralan, andhra etc..

there are cultural clashes to varying degrees in various areas, for example goa where christians (with their portuguese influenced meaty/porky cuisine) and kerala, also with a historic influence from its christian communities, influences from trading communities that have settled, etc. Here is one examplethe mopilah cuisine of kerala, http://traveling.inthekitchenwithlisa.....

Also to be noted is that castes and communities often have their distinct cuisines in addition to the larger regional distinctions.

Many dishes we think of as quintessentially indian are punjabi - the punjabis are great propagators and run a lot of the intercity truck transport in india and the support network of roadside dhabas - their cuisine has spread rapidly.

Aug 06, 2015
jen kalb in India & South Asia

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

verbal communications and smiles make a big difference, from the first greeting to the last thanks and ciao. I am always embarrassed when my husband does not interact sufficiently since most communications are directed at him as the male, be aware. You will have a great time!

Aug 05, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

I have never found service apathetic in Italy, to the contrary the waiters are professionals and many of the people who serve in trattorias, the smaller places we prefer, are part of the owning family or long term employees. While one could argue whether any person ever receives enough pay in a service profession, tipping is not part of the italian restaurant culture except perhaps in the top-tier restaurants because the service cost is included, unlike in the US where the servers are paid a pittance by the restaurant and rely primarily on tips for income. There is a lot of info on this site on the topic of tipping and service charges if you want to explore it and I am sure our local posters will weigh in if Ive got the wrong end of the stick.

You think about fitting in to local restaurant cultural expectations in NY - its the same in Italy. In Chinatown, you will pick up and use the chopsticks (Im assuming) even if a fork would be simpler. You will leave a cash tip on the table for the waiter and hope that he gets to keep it. When you are eating pizza in a restaurant in Italy and look around and see people eating the pie with knife and fork rather than picking up the slices, you do that too. When you see that they are eating a pear served for dessert by cutting it up carefully rather than picking up and munching you will seek to conform. Likewise with tipping. You leave the change or a few euros at most and local norms are satisfied.

Aug 05, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Announcement: The Beta Site is Open to Everyone!

We currently have a board for Italy and we kick comments on hotels off of it. If I want to follow all content posted for "Italy" on restaurants as well as travel and hotels (that last a good idea, I think) can I capture all of this in one place as a "community?" Im confused still about how this will work.It seems much more natural to have the travel and food discussions on a geography presented in a combined way since the discussions are often integrated.