jen kalb's Profile

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Padova on a Sunday/Monday?

hey I am not demeaning anything and certainly not you, or innovation if it results in good food. Ive been enjoying your posts and I agree with much of what you say above.

the article you linked says the following
" A local model for Venetian “bacari” and “ciccheterie”, their “vasereto” (a registered trademark) presents the Venetian food creation in a vacuum-pasteurized glass jars. Starting from the technique of “vasocottura” each container offers mouth-watering recipes. The goal is to re-evaluate the traditional recipes, like polenta and salt cod, soup with onions, the bigoli with broccoli, stew with potatoes and many more (varies with the season), served in a playful and fun to eat jars – “vasereto.”

Id still say that they have found a cute marketing gimmick in their "playful and fun to eat jars" but that its unlikely to become a sainted tradition.

It will be great to hear some reports on their food.

about 16 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

One day/night in Milan

thanks for the link and the resources she includes

We were in Milan on January 2 and literally all of the smaller eateries were closed. I really wanted to try Ratana for dinner (second pick da Abele) after so many great reports and to return to Latteria San Marco or a similar establishment for lunch. but it was not to be.

I would not think that Cracco would satisfy the criteria of "traditional Italian food" .

Looking forward to hearing the OP's experience.

about 22 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Inexpensive ethnic CLEAN newish restaurant in Queens?

Ive been trying to get back, since what we had was really really good, but its a long way from downtown Brooklyn (:<))

about 22 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Padova on a Sunday/Monday?

Surely they would be served warm. The article linked above indicates that they are planning to serve other hot items - "steaming soup" for example. Waterbath or microwave would be my thought although not sure you could or would want to put the vacuum sealed item in the microwave with its metal clamp or glass lid (which might pop off) attached. While it seems cute an gimmicky, the vacuum packed approach might lend itself to preparation of food in a central commissary, distributed out to multiple outlets.Seems likely given their trademarking of the vasareto name.

about 24 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Serious Eats: Where to Eat Chinese in NYC

that was a great little place. Its been years since we have had a good example of char kway teow with the pork fat, wok hei and all. Even at this place we had gloppy versions, sometimes. Id love hearing of any place that does it right.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Manhattan

Inexpensive ethnic CLEAN newish restaurant in Queens?

We really liked Spicy Lanka on one visit but its been a few months since there has been a report here. Its a nice clean space with very interesting cooking

1 day ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Inexpensive ethnic CLEAN newish restaurant in Queens?

do they offer anything out of the ordinary? How are their rice dishes? I have found the food at at lot of afghan places to be disappointingly bland.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Morgans BBQ Vs. Dino-BBQ (union)

we've worked through most of Morgan's menu (except sandwiches) and think they are is best for the beef, the fatty brisket, the sausage and particularly their "ginormous" and expensive beef rib. Delicious. Sides like texas style chili, beans, collards and the frito pie are really good too.

Mar 03, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Rome Restaurants

I cant though see picking l'Archeologia for a dinner, since its a car or cab ride out of town and you would not be able to see the Appian Way monuments at night. So that seems like a lunch destination.

Mar 03, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome Holiday Visit FINIS

Thanks!
I made a batch of your ragu using half pork last night. We will see how that works. But looking at the the picture of the gnocchi again reminds me of how the ragu, along with cheese and presumably butter, was the merest glaze and seasoning of the gnocchi. It seems as though it might need to be thinned out a bit. A little ragu with go a long way!

this seemed so typical of Italian pasta technique which is usually done with a much lighter hand than the saucing here.

Mar 03, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome Holiday Visit FINIS

Thursday, January 1 and our last day in Rome. It was a relaxed day with seemingly everyone in the city strolling around with no particular purpose After a few hours of dropping into churches they started to close, so we decided to get serious about lunch. We had walked by HOSTARIA DA NERONE’s closed door a couple of times and thought they might be open. This time I called to check they had room and we hiked over there. Boy the place was packed but they squeezed us in with good humor all around and we had a really good Roman lunch in a crowd of jolly, eccentric people from the cheerful host to a table of elderly Englishwomen to an older gentleman who kept asking or moscardini (with no success). I enjoyed a wonderful dish of baccala in umido, tender with onions,tomato, pinenuts and raisins, preceded by a very proper spaghetti in white clam sauce. Husband had bland vegetable soup (does anyone in Rome offer a realty good version??) followed by lentils and cotechino while daughter had very good gnocchi in ragu . We all shared what turned about to be a quite good mixed antipasto plate and a slice of ricotta tart.

@maureen fant, if you know how Nerone make the ragu served with their gnocchi Id love to know. It did not seem like an all beef version to me but the dish really epitomized the rich but somehow restrained style that we so much enjoy. We were really happy with this final restaurant meal of this Rome visit!

Shoppingwise we enjoyed several pastries from Regoli in Esquilino and pangiallo and panpepato from Passi in Testaccio. Good bread seemed to be a little thin on the ground in Esquilino - the big public market was interesting with a great assortment of south asian specialties less for us. There were some good booths offering puntarelle and other good italian greens.

Mar 02, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

What else to do with smoked scamorza?

We find grilling/frying thick slices of the cheese in a nonstick frying pan till brown and oozy to be one of the most delicious dinner entrees ever, and the quickest. We were first served this in Naples with a very light tomato glaze. We have since started eating it with a smear of ajvar and a drizzle of olive oil.

There is some art getting the brown crusty surface to form at around the same time the inside part of the cheese gets melty but thats all.

Obviously its eaten with bread.

Mar 02, 2015
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Where to buy a truly great olive oil in Florence proper?

As for me it remains to be seen whether the aberrant events of the last couple of years in Italy continue and become more normal. Climate is a deep pattern not yet well understood and we are short term creatures that interpret and generalize from what occurs in our own time frame, A few storms, or a combination of bad events, does not climate change make, and Im hoping to see a return to normal oil production in coming years. Just as genoa can re-consider how they have channeled their rivers, olive producers can make adjustments in practices (barring a huge change) to cope with the fly.

Feb 28, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome visit over the holidays, part 2

Im going to try to see if this photo story format works better - the pictures (though admittedly not all that good) were displaying very strangely on my first thread for this visit.

Wednesday (new Years Eve) the city was still in the deepfreeze and the breeze was stiff but it was son’s last day and he wanted to visit Ostia Antica so we did. Cold but fascinating with the possibility of making discoveries which we enjoyed. We warmed up in their newish cafeteria but decided to return to the city for lunch.

FLAVIO AL VELAVEVODETTO was convenient to the Ostiense station and open. This was a repeat visit for Jim and me. Still friendly welcome servings ample. I would say that the standard of cooking is quite good but this visit confirmed my view it is a step below the others we frequent (maybe the Prato place is a little better?) or maybe I was just jaded by this point?

For primi, son had a rigatoni carbonara which he liked, my spaghetti cacio e pepe was acceptable but unexciting – when this dish can be really really good. Daughter had Flavio’s take on the carciofi/gricia dish – here the pieces of artichoke were fried and the dish was not mushy but I was still not sold, though she liked it and the guanciale was not as overcooked as on our last visit. Husband’s ravioli with tomato sauce, fresh marjoram and a dollop of delicious ricotta was the best first course, maybe a bit too much marjoram.

For the secondi we had two orders of rabbit labelled cacciatori, alla romana or whatever – it was cooked with white wine and tomato). Very good dish, and so ample that we had almost a whole serving to carry home. I had the carciofi alla giuda, and found it a bit disappointing not crispy enough in texture and did not finish. As on our last visit, their cicoria is at the very spicy end of the spectrum, not my favorite rendition but at least not dry and acrid this time.

We also had Flavio's beef balls – the frying was good but the interior texture (ground rather than shredded, I think) and seasoning were both inferior to the Cesare rendition. We ordered the burrata with anchovies. The burrata, which was intrinsically very nice, was served extremely cold on a slice of dark bread or toast, with an anchovy laid on top. From my perspective the anchovy did nothing for the burrata, and the cold temperature suppressed both the flavor and the creamy texture.

The room of course is special with the layered amphorae visible in the back wall. I like the opportunity to choose a wine from their large display but family opted for the house carafe on this occasion and it was rather warmer than it should have been.

Feb 27, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
2

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

made this per you recommendation essentially as written with the herbs calls for and it was very enjoyable. We didnt have any arugula to add and it worked out fine - een my elderly mother liked it. Not an inexpensive dish due to the herbs but would very very nice and a component in a light supper.

Feb 27, 2015
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Rome visit over the Holidays

Continuing with this account - Tuesday we headed for St Peter’s for an early morning visit – good we did, it was a zoo by the time we left, a theme of our visit – every major tourist draw was virtually inaccessible due to bus loads and crowds of visitors. After a brisk walk across the Janiculum with its churches and noon gun (even snagging a look at Bramante’s Tempietto, an unexpected pleasure,) we descended in Trastevere. And decided to catch the tram out to CESARE AL CASALETTO for our lunch. What a pleasant unpretentious, welcoming place! It reminded me of many similar places we had visited out in the country towns over the years. The Casaletto residential neighborhood in which it sits feels like an old suburban village that the city has expanded around – patrons were families and other obvious regular habitues and a scattering of obvious tourists couples. The proprietress was friendly and when my daughter started taking pictures of the food asked if she was a chef. We decided to do the whole thing and started with a sampling of the antipasti. I have to say the chef is a whiz at frying and each item was distinct and cooked and garnished just right. The melanzane was crisply crumbed outside, creamy inside set off nicely by its sauce: the beef balls were stellar, rich, tender and well seasoned inside crispy outside the pesto was a good foil. The arancini was excellent. To me the fried gnocchi with the cacio pepe sauce was the weakest link – the serving size was overly generous even excessive for our group of four and while the creamy sauce was delicious it palled after a while.

For primi I had the bucatini amatriciana, the others had spaghetti carbonara (this my son had been waiting for), the spaghetti alla gricia with artichokes, and a dish of ravioli served alla gricia style. The amatriciana and carbonara were the best dishes, and the most traditional presentations. The carbonara was really excellent, creamy and and yellow from the egg and a good balance of pasta, cheese and meat. My amatriciana also was correct,very good and had a solid dosing of fresh black pepper, but I liked a tad less than that at Enoteca Provincia Romana. I did not find the pasta alla gricia with artichoke to be a successful dish- it was fairly bland and instead of being fried pieces of artichoke in a generally dry presentation - the effect was of the pasta being sauced in a bland-ish artichoke puree. (fortunately I did not order this dish!) The ravioli and its accompanying shower of guanciale were very good but it was overwhelmed in our opinion by the “alla gricia” treatment although the guanciale was vey good – my daughter wished she had chosen a simpler presentation.

Secondi were well done and luckily moderate in size – daughter’s coda was very tasty (and provided nice leftovers for our dinner), son’s involtini was surprisingly delicate with its carrot filling and, I thought, a surprising taste of clove. This is a dish, with its delicacy and moderation but freshness that I would like to be able to make in my NY kitchen. A highlight of the meal for us was the dish of pig liver I shared with my husband – juicy and delicious, and thanks to Minchilli for mentioning this dish on her blog. (no laurel leaves visible, though).

The wine was another excellent winner from Lazio – a 2010 Cesanese Olevano Romano Riservo called Cirsum (pictured). They were out of the less expensive wine from this producer (as well as other items) so we bit for the more expensive riserva, delicious Nursed it through most of the meal and then liter of the house stuff to finish. I really enjoyed these new Lazio wines! Of the contorni we liked the puntarella best - the grilled vegetables were ordinary (better recycled in our dinner with some additions)

Last but not least, this restaurant gets *** from me for having the best bread we experienced in Rome on this visit. Husband said it was the best wholewheat bread he had ever had. Of course I did not ask who their source was! A great lunch experience! Limoncino was even offered to close the meal

Feb 26, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

This is a must read thread from N.J. Board

what you are talking about is basically everything other than...restaurants. The ball has seemingly been passed away to other venues for discussion on this, which was the original core discussion topic... seeking out delicious eating. Im saddened that choices made by the site ownership basically sucked the life out of our regional boards by remapping them, and not having a database and other management decisions.

Having said that, Im very glad for every Chowhound who is still part of this

Where to buy a truly great olive oil in Florence proper?

It seems that the issue was regional and that oil was made in other parts of Italy. We have Taggiasca, Puglia and Sicilian oil in our Brooklyn Fairway and unless they or their intermediaries are dishonest in their source labelling (possible) there was oil coming out of those regions.

From a little reading, it seems as though proper sanitation methods (like clearing up the fallen olives) and other pest control practices,in the olive groves are a major part of preventing a recurrence. With many small producers having limited resources, this may be an issue in Tuscany. Hopefully a cold winter, non-recurrence of the bad weather that contibuted to this outbreak and improvement of methods in the olive groves will enable more production next year.

Feb 25, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Columbia Student with foodie aspirations

I agree about the Jerusalem felafel which is way more soulful than the functional stuff produced at Amir (or is it Prince's these days) farther up Bway. the Taim sabich is stupendous, better than their very good felafel (though I am making pretty darn good Sabich at home now using the approach in Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook.) But the meat stuff at Jerusalem is very good also

Feb 25, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Columbia Student with foodie aspirations

you are right Pan - It has not moved. I am sort of shaky on these upper Bway addresses since I am only a visitor these days not a neighborhood resident (since 1980).

Feb 25, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

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

ths statement made me scratch my head too. There are so many different garam masala blends available ground (or preground) in stores that the "indian" dishes this author offers could taste radically different depending on which commercial blend you choose. My indian shops also offer a blend unground, but I cant imagine any of the target audience of this book would go in for spice grinding.

I have to believe he is using GM as a sub for the whole spices that would normally be sauteed at the beginning of the cooking process - given he is using boneless, skinless meat cubes rather than the meat with bones that typify indian meat and poultry cooking, the whole "garam" spices that typify the classic dishes would not have time to do their work.

Feb 24, 2015
jen kalb in Home Cooking
1

Columbia Student with foodie aspirations

Bistro Ten 18 has a prix fixe menu they do not advertise (three courses) Their cuisine is not high level gourmet or innovative but is very satisfying and can be enjoyed on a middle class budget.

There are some threads for Morningside Heights (one of which I started) you ought to look for which might be helpful. the search box above will help on this.

When I was a Columbia student, I certainly specialized in delicious cheap eats, hispanic, asian, middle-eastern etc. Pretty much the whole city is your oyster for this if you dont require stylish surroundings. Jerusalem, down in the 90s has delicious felafel, kefte kebab etc tho seating is crowded and dive-ey.I think there is a Xian in the W 90s also - but not really sitdown food. I havent had a chance to visit, but Jim Ramen at 125th St and Awadh, presenting one of the most refined and highly regarded of the Indian cuisines (Bway near 96th) would be worth a try.

In your boyfriend's neighborhood, if you want takeout there is very good Turkish food at Francela Orhan Yegen's latest place at 80th and 3rd. When we were in there a couple months ago, they gave us plenty of tastes to help me decide. http://www.francela.com/

Feb 23, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Chowhound Staff: Which of you have voluntarily chosen to no longer collapse previously read posts?

I didnt realize this til last night - since the page numbers still show at the bottom next to the See All "button".

Feb 23, 2015
jen kalb in Site Talk

Rome visit over the Holidays

As Elizabeth notes, its L'Archeologia. Thanks for correcting my careless spelling!
http://www.larcheologia.it/

Feb 23, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

Oh, Im not making a criticism. As you note it has a great view.It worked out perfectly for our group of 4 without a reservation, and I mainly noted it because it was such an exellent spot for the stroller/young family set - peaceful for child management among other things.

Feb 23, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

Monday the weather became frigid, so indoor venues became for attractive. After a morning on the Capitoline we headed over to look for ENOTECA PROVINCIA ROMANA which our smartphones did not help us find very well. We were grateful for their obscure location because we immediately snagged a table. Like so many recent places the Enoteca has the spare modern décor that to me reads cold (and not really consistent with good dining) but when the food started coming I warmed up fast on their interesting and tasty cuisine. Standouts for me were my daughter’s spaghetti amatriciana, very well balanced with really delicious guanciale and a dish of buttery little clumps – not quite dumplings, I think they were called fagottini – with potato puree, radicchio and cheese which were just wonderful. My paccheri with I think brocoletti was good but unexciting, husband’s baccala was a little too dry and to me a bit disappointing. but the contorni – an orange and fennel salad with olives and a dish of cabbage with red wine were very much enjoyed. Good bread. The four of us also drank two bottles of a delicious Lazio wine. I am hoping to be able to post a picture of the label – an excellent meal and a very promising restaurant. While the menu is a bit limited there is a lot on offer for vegetarians as well as meateaters, high quality raw materials, interesting and reasonably priced wines and dishes not found everywhere. Definitely will revisit.

Note, this is quite a small restaurant and we were seated in a separated space sort of a corner nook, looking out on to the piazza but also next to the restroom – Id like to think this was not the foreigners corner but the two groups that occupied the other table in this space were two non-Italian families with young children. It was a perfect space for this. Service was perfectly cordial and helpful. If we had been in Rome longer I would have loved to revisit, to sample more of their wines and well executed cooking

Feb 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

Sunday we headed for the Lateran and then the Appian Way, where we somehow arrived in front of l’ARCHEOLOGICA at lunchtime. This was our third visit spaced over many years and while it was always good they seem to have upped their game. We had flavorful squid with puntarelle on a bed of buttery potato puree, a very nice spaghetti with clams and tender/crisp zucchini, an excellent fry of squid and shrimp and a lovely delicate dish of mini gnocchi with a light seafood sauce. Patrons were mostly genteel Roman families much better dressed than we. We enjoyed watching a well suited gentlemen dining alone on a large array of seafood and the correct but cordial service and the well worn comfortable setting. A festive place which probable gets a lot of wedding lunches and such. Even without the location on the wonderful Appian Way we recommend for a Sunday lunch in the country.

Feb 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

Perhaps I have delayed too long and will suffer memory lapses, but I wanted to share an account of our impromptu trip with two adult children to Rome over week between Christmas and New Year. this was our third visit to Rome at this season. There were minor inconveniences and disadvantages due to holiday food shop and restaurant closings (in addition to the short days which truncated touring somewhat) but we surmounted these as well as the exceptionally cold weather. Thanks to those here that posted info about holiday openings and closings We were reminded of one disappointment every day since our apartment on via Carlo Alberto in the Esquilino neighborhood was cater-corner to Trattoria Monti – their gate was down for the full duration of our stay. Our pattern was to eat breakfast and dinner at the apartment with a restaurant lunch in the middle of the day.

We arrived on the evening of Santo Stefano (Friday December 26) and immediately set out to stock the apartment. The local supermercati were all closed as was the nearby Pietro Roscioli shop. Amazingly bread was not to be had except for packaged dark bread in a corner shop and pita in a south Asian shop across the street. We decided to set out and look for a meal in the dark Monti streets. There were very few Romans about and precious few restaurants open just a few to my eyes forlorn tourists. We wandered over to Celio after more closed gates and unnaturally quiet streets we and came to OSTERIA DEI QUARANTA. There we had an acceptable light meal: a good pasta with coda alla vaccinara sauce, an ok spaghetti alla scoglio (light seafood sauce) and a plate of tonnarelli cacio e pepe which I did not care for (rather too soupy and suprisingly not very tasty.. Son liked his rigatoni with ragu. No local patrons to distract us from an unbelievely boorish tourist table nearby. I would not be likely to return there are better choices in this area.

Saturday after some local shopping and church visits we headed out for some serious walking and touring. After a few hours of this, we hauled ourselves into LA CAMPANA for a relaxing lunch. They came through for us as usual, our choices included primi of fettucini with porcini ,a risotto also with funghi porcini, another ragu for son and a pleasing ravioli with sage and butter, Followed by fritti of brains and artichoke, lamb chops, a plate of lentils with cotechino for son While I liked the brains The fried artichoke bits were underseasoned and could not hold a candle to the lovely carciofi alla romana , tender, herbaceaous and bathed in very nice olive oil the best of many artichoke dishes on this visit. Their puntarelle salad was also very enjoyable.

Feb 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Not to Miss Eateries in Rome

part of me agrees with you Sid - those are great short cuts and terrific resources for any Rome visitor (I certainly use them) but the dominant part of mne says, this is a discussion board, so lets try starting with reading some of the suggestions and reports made here. A list is only a list until you get to know the person and their taste and blogs and apps and guidebooks cant substitute for dialog and sharing.

Feb 21, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

Not to Miss Eateries in Rome

Well if you are starting from square 1 I do think thats the way to start. If you already know you will particularly want say cutting edge international style cooking or traditional places, or have a particular need, dont eat pork, or particular yen, like you are a dessert freak thats another matter.

Feb 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy