jen kalb's Profile

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Thanksgiving dinner in Rome

this seems to be an issue for others too - a search revealed the following (for 2013) and Im sure there are others for the homesick
http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/2002...

about 8 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Four days Rome, four days Venice

I would say antipasti, primi and contorni, rather than dessert. It is usually a very weak point in the simpler Italian restaurants, although Armando and a few others have good desserts. Better to have your sweets at pastry shops or gelaterie, if that is your taste. We have particularly liked the wine poached pears there, but others have liked the pastries.

We have consumed most of our roman pork in cured form, as salumi, as the seasoning in the traditional pasta dishes of Rome and soup/stews, and porchetta, in recent years. Trippa alla Romana can be tasty. Have not had good luck with roasts - perhaps some of the others can note some good places to get tasty pork.

We have had some delicious sweetbreads over the years including at Trattoria Monti, but you cant count on finding it.

about 9 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Piedmont: some places not mentioned often on CH (I don't think)

and here's one with comments on Antine
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8435...

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Piedmont: some places not mentioned often on CH (I don't think)

Hope you get a good response but it will not mine all the info thats here on these places.

I know you may be working on a smartphone where using the search feature is difficult, but it you search this Board (not the entire sit) for individual restaurant names many if not all of these have been previously received reports. Here is one report (culled at random from a search for Bovio) that reports on meals at a number of your names and might be grist for your mill. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8485...

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Four days Rome, four days Venice

We very much like the grilled or pancooked lamb dishes such as abbacchio alla scottadito or cacciatora. The baby lamb can be wonderful in Rome there but we tend to steer clear of the roasts whick are often too well done for our taste. We had good versions of these dishes at Armando and Sora Margherita; we also liked the fried artichokes (alla giudia) and ravioli at Sora Margherita. This might be an enjoyable lunch stop for your family if you are in the neighborhood, though people on this board differ in whether they like this restaurant or not. We had good experience with the cariofi alla romana at Nerone as well. La Campana is another usually reliable Roman family restau4rant which we have enjoyed for lunch on multiple visits for traditional dishes.

If you are in Rome on Thursday you should definitely reserve some space for coda alla vaccinara - oxtail in a rich tomato sauce with celery. Along with the abbacchio, its in our opinion the outstandinging secondo in Rome. Some of the restaurants do variations on it (I believe Cesare al Casaletto is one of these?) but IMO you should try the real stewy version. Checchino's version is famous, but we had a good version at Nerone once - maybe some others can suggest places that are doing justice to this dish.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Piemonte - New Year's Eve

hope you report back on what you find and what you do!

Oct 20, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Piemonte - New Year's Eve

Id say two things, first there is usually quite a lot of on line info about capo d'anno (capodanno) festivities, if you research using capodanno 2015 with the name of the town as your search terms. Here is an example for Asti, for example.
http://www.regioni-italiane.com/capod...
Here's another resource http://www.italiainviaggio.eu/hotel/p...
The info is of variable quality (it may be the best places dont need to promote this way but it is helpful to understand the public festivities and the scope of whats available.

Many of the glitzy restaurants which are open on New Years Eve have fixed menus and evening long festive dinners. To me this seems most suitable for a group (not a couple)but thats a personal choice - we've chosen to eat in and go out to the streets to join the revelers for the fireworks on the occasions when we've been in Italy (Rome)for the holiday.

Anyway my second suggestion is to figure out where you will be staying and then either contact your hotel about this or start reaching out to likely places. Restaurants who offer a "cenone" will often put it up on their website.

Oct 20, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Trip Report: Milan and Genoa

this is horrible. I had not heard. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

Oct 18, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Brooklyn Pizza around Barclays

interesting, new to me. do you like their other food? http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkint...

Oct 18, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Trip Report: Milan and Genoa

so sorry did not respond in September (search and you would have found!) but glad youi ate will in Genoa - where was the flood damage?

where did you eat your farinata? We loved it but did not have in Genoa proper.

Did you get over to the Mercato Orientale?

Oct 17, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Brooklyn Pizza around Barclays

you might consider Amorina on Vanderbilt which is plenty close to Barclays. Its a nice little place with a good family feel and patronage by the neighborhood - its pizzas (personal size) are creditable with interesting flavors and they also have good salads and some pastas. Our fallback to Franny's when its slammed and good in its own right - also no attitude and not so expensive (note, I am a fan of Frannys). Amorina while good, is not the ultimate Brooklyn neapolitan style pizza though - wondering, have you considered Paulie G's?

Oct 16, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Belachan in Brooklyn?

I went to this place a few times several years ago when they were on 7th,. As I recall, the chef/host had trained at one of the Nyonyas, he was overseas chinese from I thing bengal, not Singapore or Malaysia. We had some tasty dishes but others were incompetent and disappointing, Like most of the Malaysian/singapore cooking in Brooklyn. Obviously this may not have anything to do with what is happening now but name alone will not get you a tasty meal.

do report if you go.

Oct 15, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Looking forward to a food filled week in Rome!

like I said, we have been carrying this book around fr more than 30 years of visits to Rome. It is indexed so usable as a reference if you want to roam,and also good preparation for an excursion, but I particular like its original use, as a walk guide to Rome neighborhoods, churches and museums, Fascinating anecdotes and history that bring the sights, which are on every corner, alive. Some may not like this level of detail but not my family - I still enjoy reading it on the street to whoever is walking with me when the occasion warrants!

It you are focussed on the few main sights or need pictures its not the book for you but for a repeat visitor who wants more in depth cultural, historic, artistic and architectural insight its a great resource,
Maps or a smartphone, transit info and some of the great food apps and web links (MInchilli, Parla, maureenfant etc) that will help you find a meal or snack wherever you are when you get hungry,and you will be in great shape for touring.

Oct 15, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Looking forward to a food filled week in Rome!

we have bought a pocket sized version of this book twice, 30 years apart, at the Anglo American Bookstore, at the Piazza Spagna. Probably Feltrinelli and some of the other larger bookshops carry it too. 650 pp of text - walks include an enormous amount of fascinating info about history and sights and cover basically all of the main areas of the city. We've spent a lot of time walking the city with this book in hand, relishing the stories and learning a lot.
http://www.aab.it/bookinfo.php?aabcod...

Looks like Amazon has the latest version - which is the same size as the handsize version I have but up to 735 pp. and reformatted with new maps. Havent seen it yet.

Oct 14, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Paw paw

thats really cool - will take a look this Sunday. This is an american native fruit that I have never seen on sale anywhere.

Oct 14, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

What's the Place for Khinkali These Days?

A friend has brought me the georgian bread from this place several times and I have to agree that their bread cold is a snooze. Warmed up in the oven its better but not really worth the calories. Are you aware of any of these bakeries that do not use flour from the major millers?

Oct 14, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Sicily report - south east (Catania, Ragusa, Noto, Marzamemi)

Great report! Im wondering, how did you select your restaurants? Did you find a source of info for Sicily that you like? Was there any restaurant you missed that you particularly wished you had visited?

Oct 14, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Looking forward to a food filled week in Rome!

the park on the giancolo is very much worth visiting on a nice day for the view, tne noon gun, punch and judy puppets (sometimes) and the historic churches. - a nice walk between the Vatican area and Trastevere - providing a good excuse to visit Litro or other destinations in the Monteverde area.

If you are a walker, I recommend Georgina Masson's Companion Guide to Rome, which has been our companion there for going on 35 years of visits. Although it doesnt contain restaurant recommendations any longer,the walks and cultural info are still unmatched. (can buy a lightweight version in Rome, at least it used to be possible - the version available here is heavy weight paper, not a good pocket resource)

Not sure what you mean by the usual sites - Rome is so rich it is hard to see it all - places like the Borghese Gallery (lots or recommendations here for nearby eating), the Campidoglio and its museums ancient churches and Marcus Aurelius (Id probably walk down into the Ghetto area to eat after this), the sculpture collection at National Museum at the Palazzo Massimo all Terme, the early christian churches with their amazing mosaics (Trattoria Monti is close to both the museum and some of these, ie Santa Prassede, Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Pudenziana ),the Vatican Scavi, eating in Prati nearby, you know about http://www.pnac.org/visitorsoffice/sc...

Farther out, the ancient churches in the caelian hill area (San Clemente, SS Quatro Coronati, Giovani e Paolo, Stefano Rotondo, S Maria in Domnica ad the parks and classic remians that surround them (Il Bocconcino is one place we enjoyed in that neighborhood; Osteria Nerone is nearby)

the walk from the area near the Baths of Caracalla out along the Appian Way (ncluding some catacombs) (Hosteria L'Archeologica is a good restaurant along the way http://www.larcheologia.it/HomePage2.asp; ; Trattoria Priscilla is closer to the City Walls but we havent tried.

visit to San Lorenzo Fuori la Mura - Tram Tram is a restaurant in the same general area (on our list but still not tried by us

)

visit to any/all of the Aventine, Testaccio markets/the Protestant Cemetery, Saint Saba - the testaccio restaurants, including for lighter meals Volpetti Piu, Trappezino and the sandwich vendor in the New Testaccio market Morde e Vai (not tried by us)

If you travel up the Via Nomentana to visit Santa Costanza/St Agnese and their nearby catacombs with their amazing Roman/early Christian feel and mosaic http://www.santagnese.org/ you could continue on out to Pizzeria Tonda (same owners at Trappezono)http://www.tondatonda.com/ Maybe the Rome folks on here could confirm whether Tonda is open currently or for lunch - the churches closed at noon. We took a long bus ride out there, but it looks like there is a nearby metro.

Oct 14, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Loss of family owned businesses in Italy....A change in Italian Culture?

Agreed also. The issue I see in this connection is that people who do not eat the food they sell do not always appreciate quality.when the Koreans took over the corner fruit markets from the Italians here for example the flavor of the fruit in the markets went down and the size went up - the new merchants did not eat these so did not appreciate serving size or taste considerations

Oct 09, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Loss of family owned businesses in Italy....A change in Italian Culture?

in addition to few children=impracticality and unlikelihood of continuing I would add the long hours of a small business. Much easier if the shared labor of a family or workers that dont expect to be paid as much is available. We saw the chinese owned bars the last time we were in Venice. Have some concern that the quality of brioches etc in the average coffee bar will drop if the trend continues although the Chinese are usually real savvy about adjusting to their markets. ON what may be the bright side, sometimes the influx of a new group can have bemefits - Im thinking about how many small food shops in London started opening for longer hours when they were taken over by entrepreneurial south asian owners.

Oct 08, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Brief Positano Report

the downside is that they just offer margherita and marinara -when I have found I prefer other pies. Someday I will try Da Michele but its unlikely they would be my fave, I think.

It was great to have the report - we found the food in Naples and Amalfi coast to be delicious, very clear and a great contrast with other regions

Oct 07, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Rome for New Year's Eve 2014

you can search for " Capodanno" or "Capo d'Anno" to fine Rome New Years Eve, in the search box for info provided in the past on this site or online for more general information.

Im sure some of the local posters will link to local information about openings on this evening closer to the date.

Most restaurants that are serving on this night offer dressy special meals - since you want a restaurant with a view (there are only a few), you may simply want to contact restaurants you are interested in to see what they offer. Note, there have also been posts here about "view" restaurants in Rome which you can search for.

The streets of Rome are very festive on Capo d'Anno, and you may want to check into where the fireworks are being held this year.

Oct 06, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

The Great Bay Leaf Hoax

Id say dried bay leaves hold up for well over a year. I buy them (the turkish type) in indian or middle eastern stores - do prefer fresh from my bay tree (which moves outside for the summer) but the dry are fully acceptable - release there flavor best where sauteed in fat or when there is some fat in the dish.

Oct 06, 2014
jen kalb in General Topics

The trip report: New York (long, mostly Manhattan) 19-25 September 2014

their sabich is magnificent!

Oct 05, 2014
jen kalb in Manhattan

near Brooklyn bridge park, photoville

yes bkeats meantioned that too. New to me and sound like a great option in Brooklyn Hts.

Oct 05, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Siena Recommendations Wanted

so wondering what are the restaurants you recommend in Siena?
In addition to Il Grattacielo. Its been many years since Ive been there.

Oct 05, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Any Interesting Food Blogs on Bologna?

my android app has a list for each location - thats where I start. Maybe the maps work better in Italy than from the US but an appropriate map does not always appear using the app here. for example in Venice all the osterie map to somewhere over by the road causeway from the mainland, very helpful.

The piadina seems to be a thing in Romagna generally,

Thinking about your trip is making me awfully hungry - and wistful - when is MY trip going to be?

Oct 04, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Any Interesting Food Blogs on Bologna?

not sure about whether my android app has been refreshed it says its the 2014 Guide - on the other hand, it shows Osteria Botteghe as having received the cicciole (snail) designation - which I believe was just announced for the 2015 guide.http://www.scattidigusto.it/2014/09/2...

Have you seen this Bologna website/blog http://centotrattorie.wordpress.com/2...

if piadina seems like something that might work for you in Ravenna there seem to be a lot of places around if you do a search. fwiw battibecchi is also in the GR cheap eats guide (at least the 2 year old version I have here) .

Oct 04, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Any Interesting Food Blogs on Bologna?

from what I can see on my Slowfood app, Osteria di Battibechi is not far from San Vitale - not a seafood specialist however but the menu looks interesting.

Tradizione Dolce e Sale has a specialty of Piadina the romagnoli fast food - no tables - sounds like a great snack or quick lunch spot - when I see "ottimi" in the slowfood guide, I try to go for it.

apropos of little I just noticed that Slowfood has added a new (to me) Bologna restaurant to its guide, Trattoria di Via Serra, outside the center near the train station,
http://www.trattoriadiviaserra.it/
Here is a blog post about their former restaurant in the country
http://lagrandeabbuffata.wordpress.co...

Oct 04, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Any Interesting Food Blogs on Bologna?

its a pretty bare-bones agriturismo (as a place to stay no dinner or anything) and the tour is not cheap but it shows you what you really want to see (and some things you dont like that pigs are truly pigs).

Why not stay outside Bologna for a couple of your nights and keep the car.

Modena's Duomo is amazing - we are primarily cultural tourists - my husband is more like your wife - and while we did not stay there, there was plenty to see in the town in addition to meals and an excellent central market.

Oct 03, 2014
jen kalb in Italy