jen kalb's Profile

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Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

my husband used to pick up bread there every morning when going running. Their breads had a soft texture - beautiful white rounds, sesame braids and lard bread. The sicilian baker and his daughter were memorable. While it lasted we had great bread pudding as the left over bread piled up. There was also a shop next door where I bought containers of homemade lard, with a bay leaf on top.

about 10 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

+1 for Latticini Barese, including their friendly spirit, bead curtain and their cat as well as the very best mozzarella
All the great Italian bakeries that are no more, including Cammereri (the original) and the no-name Bakery on Fifth Ave near Carroll (space became Cucina) and Royal Crown at its baking peak

about 20 hours ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Where Do Italians Eat in NYC

curious, do any of the italian restaurants on your list particularly remind you of home in ambiance or cuisine?

1 day ago
jen kalb in Manhattan

Steakhouse near Barclay's Center

for what its worth, the neighborhood in which Barclays Center only recently arrived is primarily residential and family oriented. While restaurants and bars are being developed to service the crowds (for example a Shake Shack just opened) the community is strongly resisting late night, bottle club and "gentlemans club" type venues (what OP is likely looking for) and none have yet opened to my knowledge

As others have noted there are plenty of bars and even a beer hall nearby https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid....
maybe that would be a good pre-game or postgame stop for your crowd,

1 day ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Steakhouse near Barclay's Center

There are no steakhouses in the near vicinity of Barclays. Have you checked to see what the facilities in the Arena are?
Id say Lugers for a classic steakhouse experience + barhopping in Williamsburg (there are hotels in williamsburg too) or sticking with a Manhattan base (its only 30-40 minutes from Barclays to Midtown, less to say Lower East Side) would be better for the kind of night out you are talking about.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Siena / San Gimignano day trip---what order for best food?

Sue-
YOu are probably best off starting with wonderful Siena, which has so much to do and see - get off to an early start and spend your morning there. After a comfortable lunch at a traditional trattoria, for example Le Loggie, Tre Cristi or Papei (use the search to find recent recommendations here), (and pick up some panforte or other local sweets) you can then head off to reach San Gimignano in the late afternoon, when the big tourist buses are leaving. Its basically a one street town, so stroll it, head up to the rocca for a view of the town and countryside, and have a dinner (bus schedule permitting. We ate (and stayed) at Bel Soggiorno - its been more than 30 years ago now, but its restaurant seems to have kept its reputation for competence.

Its been too long since I have been in Siena to advise on specifics but there is a regional enoteca there that might be worth a visit if you are interested in the wines. You might also enjoy some food or wine shopping in San Gimignano - carry a bottle or two of their famous white back to Florence.

Aug 26, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Still baking bread on 14th ave across from Santa Rosalia church where we first bought the paneantico

Aug 25, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Milan: Dinner for 1, shopping and gelato

certainly you can find the items you want (vacuum packed high quality reggiano parmigiano for example at Peck or in the stores in the nearby streets. You might enjoy shopping for things like non-mass-produced olive oil, honey etc at the farm markets although its not going to be the new crop at this time of year.

Aug 24, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

blogs about Venice dining?

If you just want information and dont need to interact, The best single source Ive found on Venice eating is Scibilia's Osteria guide
http://www.teodolinda.it/index.php/gu...
http://www.ibs.it/libri/scibilia+mich...

available mailorder or on the ground in Venice or by an Iphone app if you do that
http://www.teodolinda.it/index.php/ap...

Aug 24, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Best restaurant for Ferrara pie in Ferrara Italy

Curious do you mean this dish (a pasticcio):
http://www.ciaoitalia.com/seasons/7/7...
similarly
http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/...

My slowfood guide says that L'Oca Giuliva offers pasticcio alla ferrarese " a sumptuous dish from the Este court", sounds like what you are looking for in terms of offering that dish.

Ive not been to the restaurant but it and other Ferrara area - restaurants have been reviewed here in the last couple of years so Id advise a search.

Aug 24, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

Source in Brooklyn for italian plum tomatoes for canning

I remember we used to buy produce, when we first moved into the neighborhood from a man with a little shop down at Carroll and Fifth - he I believe had previously been a vendor from a cart and a friend who moved into Park Slope in the 70s remembers buying from a man with a cart. It has not been that long, really....
The guys prices were geared to the modest incomes in that neighborhood and his stuff was chosen for taste, unlike the modern produce markets.
He also did is calculations on the brown bag.

thanks for the suggestion below.

Aug 22, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Source in Brooklyn for italian plum tomatoes for canning

Thanks! I shop there regularly, but their per pound prices are too high - do you think they sell in bulk at wholesale prices?

Id also prefer to get local produce if possible.

Aug 22, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Source in Brooklyn for italian plum tomatoes for canning

I am looking for a economical bulk source of fresh plum tomatoes to make sauce. I know there are still italians in the community that do this, just as there are still some traditional home winemakers who buy grapes in the fall. (Coluccio still sells huge strainers) - can anybody direct me to a source of these tomatoes? Im thinking maybe the greenhouse in Bay Ridge in the 70s right next to the BQE or one of the vendors at the terminal market but if the latter, which one?

thanks for any help you can give!

Aug 22, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

why not?

Aug 22, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Rome & Florence with a 4 year old

Dont you already have a thread going on this topic?

Wondering, have you used the search feature yet? There have been many prior inquiries about child friendly restaurants. If you use the option to search "this Board" you may find useful info.

In general italians are very friendly and welcoming to chilcren. MOst of the above places would likely be just fine from this standpoint. If you could be more specific about what you mean by casual and simple it might help.
Most restaurants will have simple pasta primi, for example, a spaghetti or tonnarelli (fresh cut square pasta) with cheese (cacio e pepe), a slightly spicy tomato sauce (amatriciana), with a simple tomato sauce or ragu, or cream. Many will also offer ravioli in some form. This may be an ample meal for your child. Most secondi (main course) dishes in Rome are fairly simple - grilled or roast meat for example lamb, veal, pork or beef (latter often cut up (tagliata). Chicken is not common. Salads are usually listed with the veg (contorni) and are not usually large dinner size salads. They can be eaten as an appetizer or with or after the main course.
HOwever the meal format and setting might not be casual in the way you are thinking. While not formal and stuffy, Restaurants will have tablecloths, diners will be conversing rather than seeking to have their voices heard over music and the service will not be geared to quick turnover. Focus is on convivial eating, with friends or business associates. In short it is different from US restaurant culture.

Aug 22, 2014
jen kalb in Italy

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

Here is specifically what the policy in the FAQ states. While a link if available is preferred you can do the following.

"If there isn't an official source you can link to, it's still not okay to repost a recipe verbatim. You can post the ingredients list, but please put the instructions in your own words rather than copying them and note that you've done that in your post."

Aug 21, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

its not agains t site policy to give the ingredients and describe theprocess of the recipe - a copyright issue only arises if you give the exact words of the recipe text - the formula is not I believe copyrightable.

Aug 21, 2014
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

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.

Aug 20, 2014
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!

Aug 20, 2014
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.

Aug 20, 2014
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.

Aug 20, 2014
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?

Aug 19, 2014
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.

Aug 19, 2014
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?

Aug 19, 2014
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.

Aug 19, 2014
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