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Dinner rec for New Rochelle

A really fun place...maybe not gourmet a la Chowhound but very good (and I like Spadaro a lot) and really really fun--both the atmosphere, the hot dancing and the owners, Jimmy Rodriguez and his pretty daughters. Try especially the pernil (roast pork). The staff is super friendly.
Elia's is authentic Greek. The grilled octopus rivals Elia's in Astoria (not related) The grilled whole fish is fresh and excellent--likewise all the fish entrees. Can't speak for the other entrees--yet. But we'll be returning again and again.

211 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Eating in Mallorca

Mallorca, while no culinary Mecca, does have its tucked-away treasures.

Ca Na Toneta, mentioned above, is an outstanding restaurant, with a motto written in 3 languages on the staff tee shirts--Spanish, English and the local Mallorquin--translating to "eating is an agricultural act." The tiny peanut-sized olives come from mama's trees, the dipping olive oil is homemade, the vegetables come from the restaurant gardens and all ingredients are Mallorquin grown, ranched or fished. Two sisters, Teresa—the front-person--and Maria—the chef—now run the postage-stamp restaurant founded by their parents 15 years ago. They offer a 28-euro, knock-out lunch or dinner of six small elegantly-composed plates. Each earned "ohmigod" swoons from our party of four and an "I'll never eat lamb again" from one of us. The drive up from Pollensa, the small villages of Selva and Caimari and the dramatic mountain scenery were added treats. Open only during the summer season.

I agree wholeheartedly with accolades for the Asador del Tierra in Palma. Also good is Duke--in the trendy Santa Caterina neigborhood. The owners, 2 former surfers are quite adorable and add immeasurably to the meal.

Perhaps the best suckling pig we've, almost anywhere, was in Deia, at a restaurant called Jaume, family-owned for many decades, with a pretty terrace overlooking the mountains. It's on the main street running through the village. The stuffed chicken, a generational specialty, was likewise quite excellent, as was the unusual combination of carpaccio topped by foie gras shavings.

In Port de Andraxt, Vent de Tramuntana, tucked behind Club de Vela in a townhouse neighborhood is another gem. Though lacking a view of lolling sailboats, the tables are set around a leafy courtyard. Everything on the menu was rated an A, but the fish entrees were particularly both scrumptious and inventive. I'd skip Layn, touted by most of the guidebooks.

In glitzy, ever-so-ritzy Puerto Portals, we had 2 expensive but creditable meals at (suitably-named) Ritzi and the more-delicious Due, where the pasta with lobster was excellent and the waiter, Roberto, a fun, attentive young man. We skipped the much more expensive Tristan (tasting tapas menu a whopping 157 euros) and the recommended but too-touristy, rather ho-hum menu, at Flanagan's.

Jun 13, 2011
Extra Sauce in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona: Off-and-on-the-beaten-track restaurants

We lived in Barcelona--in the Port Vell Marina in Barceloneta--for 7 months, so many of our favorites were in that area and the nearby adorable (and trency) Born area. We found most of the name restaurants (Botafumeiro and Cal Pep and Cerviceria Catalana excepted) overpriced and not really worth the money. Here are some favorites.

First, is Cafe Montiel, on a tiny street in the Born on Flassaders, #19. 932 683 729. It’s worth the money, as few places in Barcelona are. And it’s not really more than most, really and certainly not maybe as much as the trendy Gracia places. The owner, Marcos, is a real charmer and not phony. It’s small and lovely and atmospheric and photogenic.Marcos will treat you like you’re in your own home. If you like suckling pig, don’t miss it. Otherwise the fish is terrific and the salmon or tuna tartare is outstanding.

A tiny little place only locals go to for fish, fried anchovies, calamaris, sardines, very cheap, is Can Mano (with an N-yay over the N) on Calle Baluard 12 , in Barcenoleta.Try local Turbio "wine",a cross between white wine, cava and beer, make sure it’s very cold Telephone 93 319 3082. open for lunch, opens at 8PM, go early. It crowds up very fast.

Another similar place like that, only Thursday and Friday for dinner, and lunch I think most days, mostly locals know it, is La Cova Fumada, Calle Baluard, 56 Barceloneta. You must go early for dinner, like before 7 because they close at about 8:15. Don’t miss their bombetas.

We also really liked Bombeta (like most of the world). Calle Maquinista, for tapas. Try the bometas, of course, the meijillones (mussels, which, though cold, come in a terrific tomato sauce) rabas (fried calamari type things), fried artichoke (acachcofas I think) patatas bravas, pimientos padrones of course (like patatas bravas, you must try these everywhere)

Best Italian restaurant in all of Barcelona is Murivecchi, run by an actual Neapolitan family is at the end of Princesa # 59, 933 152 297. Downright inexpensive and an easy, pleasant walk through the Born. Pizza really good, huge salads, great tuna, good pastas. Try the garlic bread, made from their pizza dough.

We loved Dos Palillos (meaning Two Chopsticks) an Asian tapas place, allegedly owned either by the brother of Ferran Adria (El Bulli) or a former chef there. Small, intimate with great atmosphere. Go for the menu del dia lunch, pretty good value by the standards of that place, maybe 20 euros. You sit there around the open kitchen and watch these young chefs cook and consult and then construct these precise, gorgeous plates. Near the Boqueria, off the Ramblas, at Elisabets, 9. Phone 933 040 513. You must reserve.

Kaiku has the best fideu (noodle) paella I had. Seaside, pn the “boardwalk” in Barcenoleta, lunch only. . You must reserve on weekends especially. Locals go there in droves on Sunday. Plaça del Mar, 1; 932 219 082. Roger, very upbeat and friendly, speaks English. The salad with foie gras is excellent and big enough to share.

Everybody knows Cerviceria Catalana C/ Mallorca, 236, 08008 Tel: And it’s usually a big wait but if you go like at 12:30 or 1 usually no wait. When it’s calcots (w romescu) sauce season be sure to try them. Also loved their fried artichokes and a dish of big mushrooms with local iberico ham (wish I could remember the name) but all their tapas are terrific. Likewise Cal Pep in the Born is terrific. If you go with a foursome in the winter at, say 7PM they’ll let you into the back dining room if you promise to leave by 9ish when their reservations come in. Or you can make a reservation for dinner in the back.

We also liked the Café de L’Academia, near Placa Jaume and Placa St Just, on Calle Lledo, 1, 933, 198 253, dark and also atmospheric, a nice lunch place. You can order half portions of most everything.

If you happen to like Amatriciana Sauce, Oblo, Carrer de l'Escar, 10-16 (Palau del Far Port Vell) Open most of the day, you don't need reservations.

May 21, 2011
Extra Sauce in Spain/Portugal

Favorite Restaurants in Sevilla

Just back from Seville and based on all the hoopla we could hardly wait to get to Becerria. All six of us had something different and we all agreed it was overpriced and nobody could find any dish to really get excited about.

Mar 11, 2011
Extra Sauce in Spain/Portugal

GRANADA--Seeking Food Tips

Just back from Granada. Found Oliver's to be significantly overrated. A lot of backslapping and good cheer but no delivery on the food. Hardly any fish or shellfish in the paella. Uninspired fish that wasn't even particularly fresh. Lamb chops incredibly undercooked that brought a mere shrug of the shoulders. Way, way overpriced. On the other hand, an expensive lunch at the Umeda Parador, was well worth the price. Beautifully presented and every dish a winner. Bar Julio was fun to belly up to and fill our bellies. The owner was a joy and all the tapas were great...

Mar 11, 2011
Extra Sauce in Spain/Portugal

Cagliari Sardinia

Anyone have recommendations for restaurants in this capital city of Sardinia?

Feb 18, 2011
Extra Sauce in Italy