jen kalb's Profile

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Seeded watermelon

there are still watermelon trucks on Atlantic Ave (out in say E. NY) but they come from the Carolinas, I think.

about 16 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Need recs for 7 day driving tour from Veneto to Emiglia Romagna

You might be interested in the Nardini distillery in Bassano. http://www.nardini.it/en/corporate/pl... We are not big grappa drinkers but very much enjoy their elegant cedro liqueur, made with the cedro (citrons) grown around lake Garda.

If your kids are with you, the trip up the funicular from Malcesine to Monte Baldo (E side of Garda) and all of the activity up there from kite flying to hang gliding (amazing) over Lake Garda is terrific. We had no kids but found the alpine environment and breezes and sights very refreshing for a couple hours. the funicular itself is an amazing, non-scary construction. No food reccs in the town you would have to search.

Note, about 2/3 of the way down the lake there is a car ferry across, making the W side of Gard (and Brescia) more convenient from the Verona area.

there have been threads about eating in the countryside around Verona - the search would be good for that.Verona is a very beautiful town with its pink stone and riverside setting, and the romanesque churches there are extraordinary, dont miss. there are several threads with recommendations for eating in Verona and the surrounding countryside if you search.

After spending a hot hot hot summer day in Cremona a few years ago, in which I spent most of my time angling for shade, Im not its biggest fan. (though the duomo is great) I had a good meal in very pleasant surroundings at Hosteria 700- La Sosta is also a possibility, nearer to the Duomo but I think is closed Monday. Brescia is a great gutsy town with a diversity of interesting architecture and people. There are a couple of slowfood spots there but Ive never tried.

the S side of Lago di Garda is not an interesting drive, but Sirmione ,while crowded right after you cross the bridge, could be an interesting stop with its hot springs in the lake next to the beach, nice walks and the scenic ruins ofa roman villa you can visit. Rucola is a chowhound recommended restaurant there Here is one prior Sirmione thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8422...

Salo, on the W side of the lake has a restful feeling and some good restaurants, including Osteria di Mezzo, which we and our friends like very much, simple, but with good local products, including the charcuterie, fish from the lake, wines and cheeses.http://www.osteriadimezzo.it/Home.html

The D'annunzio museum and estate called the Vittoriale in Gardone Rivera a more resort-like town just up the lake from Salo is pretty remarkable,http://www.vittoriale.it/ ; the nearby Trattoria Agli Angeli, just a stones throw away from the Vittoriale is very good. Nice swimming from the Gardone lake front and a little trolley to ride up the hill to the uphill sights from the lake front if you want to keep your car down below.

Make sure you have that meal in Mantova, the cuisine is very interesting as is the town itself, well worth a day's visit.

the Slowfood and Gambero Rosso guides and apps would probably be better resources for you than "certain websites" in finding good meals in these regions although admittedly recommendations in the hills W of Parma are not many. My old slowfood guide recommends Osteria dell'Angiolina in Castell'Arquato - also says its closed Tues eve and Wed.

I hope you keep us posted and report back on your trip.

about 19 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Challenge: Sunday lunch for 6 within 10 blocks of Grand Central; inexpensive (long)

YOu might want to consider Hunan Manor just south of GC on Lex. Look for reviews here or at the Hunan specialties on their website menu. http://www.hunanmanornewyork.com/

Bare bones but pleasant enough and not rushy. almost entirely asian clientele on our visit.

The dishes we had were very spicy for those who want to try the specialties but they have plenty of other dishes for those who do not.

2 days ago
jen kalb in Manhattan

Pasta in Venice?

bite my tongue, a bit - here's a pic of pasta alla norma (with eggplant and salted ricotta) at Anice Stellato. Id go for that for sure, if seafood flavored offerings did not tempt.
http://www.osterianicestellato.com/#!...

Certainly, non-seafood pasta options here: http://www.lazucca.it/en/venice-typic...

and here (as mentioned by PBSF
)http://www.vinidagigio.com/index.php?...

May 26, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Pasta in Venice?

well none of these are venetian dishes, Venice could hardly be the best place to get high quality versions of pasta specialties from Rome and southward, not to mention "bolognese". These dishes would only be offered in Venice because tourists want them.

Admittedly, we never looked specifically for non-fish dishes - the versions I remember were bigoli in salsa, lasagna where white fish and radicchio are layered with besciamella and cheese, spicy shrimp sauces, simple fresh tomato sauced pastas and mushroom sauced pasta.

risotto is another option if you want to carb load.

May 26, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

The BEST KIELBASA....WHITE EAGLE (Brooklyn)

Selling the building was the natural move under the circumstances - who can blame them? http://commercialobserver.com/2015/03...

See this also for the back story
http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/...

and this, just yesterday
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/26/nyr...

May 26, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

The BEST KIELBASA....WHITE EAGLE (Brooklyn)

they had been losing their traditional clientele for years with changes in the neighborhood. Whoever the ladies were who bought calves feet, beef bones, geese, poppy seed, herrings, disappeared. the brother who minded the front, John, got sick. I think the heart went out of it. They needed a major reinvestment and refurbishment. Even so, I still stopped by the shop there for all my fill-in groceries, polish products (best mustard, Pulaski), meat for serious cooking projects (what was on display wasnt all that was available) and an occasional non-dusty beer treat for husband, herb plants in the spring. I think the replacement of the hispanic supermarket at 17th with an upscale new foodstore (which just opened) must have been the last straw.

May 26, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

The BEST KIELBASA....WHITE EAGLE (Brooklyn)

Fortunately, the owners of Eagle Provisions own(ed) their building and will be able to retire comfortably based on the property values going through the roof! I will miss them and their store very much, but dont begrudge them the options that the rising market has given them. Jubilat is still there for the polish goods. The neighborhood really didnt have enough of a polish population in recent years to support two polish specialty markets and it was hurting Eagle badly.

Good luck to them!!

May 26, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs
1

recommendations for bologna

Cured meats -culatello, prosciutto di parma, mortadella, felino and other salamis - also wild strawberries

May 25, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

thanks for the update on this. we have had cheese, as well as of course pieces of sausage, confiscated in the past..
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/deta...

May 24, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Purchasing parmigiano reggiano and balsamic in ER

you certainly dont need to take a tour although if there is a tasting it is possibly useful in getting a sense of what the variations are like and what you would want to buy. Balsamic products are purchasable all over the place in these cities. However as Erica said, you need to know what you are doing (what the various consortium ratings mean, what to look for on the label) and what you are willing to pay. We usually wind up with one of the condiment types rather than the most expensive tradizionale.

May 24, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

Hope you repost your Garda links

May 23, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

Many wonderful cheeses may not be suitable souvenirs due to US import restrictions on cheeses aged less than 60 days and perishable nature. Solid info and labelling if possible is your friend.

May 23, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

Osterie d'Italia 2007 (English) or 2015 (Italian)?

Ditto. You want the current list. The app makes more sense for traveling than the heavy book.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

If you are looking for oil in Lombardy, I agree with Michael, Lago di Garda is the place to go. There are also excellent regional cheeses in that area the Brescia region, like Bitta (which I am thrilled to find here in NY but also others. good Restaurants in Brescia, Salo, Riviera del Garda etc will offer them, and perhaps can recommend a source. There are small oil producers of a fine quality oil in the villages along the SW corner of the lake.

I havent been to Piemonte, but there are reports here if you search of fine cheese stores and restaurants with excellent cheese offerings that could point you in the right direction.

Your tone was a bit breathless! It can be hard to recapture special experiences or bring them home, sometimes. Especially cheeses.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

there are lots of different tamarind products. I certainly prefer the wet tamarind blocks from thailand to the "TAMCON" type extract which has less fruit flavor. the blocks will last in the crisper drawer basically forever and the flavor does freshen up when they soaked in hot water and kneeded and strained to remove the fiber and seeds. You can also buy jars of less processed (than tamcon) tamarind extract in Indian stores. that may be less fuss and could be used pretty much strainght out of the jar (similar to the juice extracted soaking the fruit blocks). It would be silly to go to a lot of fuss over tamarind when using a quick type recipe from this book. Im not sure which kind you have.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Calabrian Bergamot/Bitter Oranges in Manhattan

I have never seen these in the US but I guess they are occasionally available. I think they are even getting rare in Calabria,
http://www.citrusvariety.ucr.edu/citr...

I would love to taste one.

Wow, my favorite citrus (tree) company has these now. think I will order one and perhaps get a chance to taste one of these years!!. https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/stor...

this is a different fruit from the larger citron (etrog) that comes for Succoth and is also candied and used in some liqueurs (for example cedro, made in the veneto). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citron

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Recommendations for Venice, IT restaurants near the Biennale

PBSB, wondering, have you ever been to Da Franz, which is very close to the Bienniale site? Dai Tosi piccoli recommended above is good. its on Seco Marino at Castello 738. As I recall there may be a competing place across the street with the same name so be aware.

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trattoria Corte Sconta vs Antiche Carampane Which would you choose?

@minchelli, I havent been to Antiche Carampane (its still on my list for future visits) but since Corte Sconta's appetizer and indeed their whole cuisine is all lagoon seafood,it necessarily also has to be about absolutely fresh seafood, I cant see this as the basis of distinguishing between the two.

It will be good to see OP's report of her dinner.

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Round out my Atlantic Ave run

Got it. know what you stand for. Personally (and not just because I am one of those transplants you refer to) Im glad that Sahadi has the dynamism to expand upon their base (and their big traditional wholesale business) to serve a newer, non-traditional clientele. I havent seen any degradation of their offerings over the last 35 years. Maybe they will be strong enought not get swept away by the Trader Joes and Fairways of the world.

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Round out my Atlantic Ave run

HUHHHHH? I dont see that at all. Its the same family owned business as always, just responsive to demands for a broader range of merchandise, more or less successfully. As far as damascus goes, its good but maybe as the community has changed it has lost some of its edge in terms of freshness.

Upcoming Puglia trip

sure, Dave
also you may want to check out this local website which has local restaurant listings and reviews in the area. while like discussion boards generally the recent traffic appears down, it could be helpful
http://iltaccodibacco.it/puglia/dove-...

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Upcoming Puglia trip

wondering have you looked at the slowfood recommendations for this area? they have a downloadable app which, even though its in Italian could be really helpful. Their recommendations are typically for less expensive (they have a constrained price range) restaurants offering the authentic renditions of the local cuisine and tend to be very reliable.

It would probably make sense to reach out to your landlord in Carovigno for info about local markets and food sources. Here was one thing I found on a quick search
http://perfectpuglia.com/markets-and-...

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

you're not kidding! I did not make the excursion with the waiter, but my husband did.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

In Search of Otak otak

as I recall Bali Nusa Indah is fairly bad - have not been back for many years.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

In Search of Otak otak

Ive seen places that have the fish pieces wrapped in banana leaf with curry paste as an entree (I think Laut is one - havent been) but not the fish paste recently

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

I thought so too, yet that appears not to be the case from other reports here and online info including this
http://vivimilano.corriere.it/ristora...

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Gem between Siracusa and Agrigento; La Madia in Licata

hope you respond if you ate there - just saw this and if you page past their fixed price menus on the website they have a la carte offerings.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

You mean Latteria di San Marco, right? Thats a wonderful oldfashioned place for lunch and I believe they do also serve dinner. Tiny tables, excellent for singles.

There is another (unrelated) latteria, Latteria Vecchia Vegetariano on via Unione, but more I cant tell you.

SpottedbyLocals has an active Milan page.

May 18, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Moroccan groceries / preserved lemons

you may want to check more closely at Kalyustan. There isnt a big Moroccan population here (which may affect the availability of convenience products like you cite) but Kalyustan offers ras el hanout (to season your couscous, la kama, chermoula, dried mix and several prepared versions of harissa as well as an infinitude of chiles and other esoteric ingredients like grains of paradise and cubeb peppers if you want to make your own spice blends for moroccan cooking. Ive never come up short trying to cook Paula Wolfert's recipes - but that may be the same as what your are used to from the European diaspora

Hope you report back if you make any progress.

May 18, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan