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South Shore Butcher?

Re-opening an old thread. Anything new since 2008?

Oct 25, 2013
ian_pink in Greater Boston Area

Recommendations for fishmonger in Brooklyn or Manhattan

A third for Fish Tales. I live in Park Slope, but I don't like either fish market there. Fish Tales is pretty reliable.

But the farmers market at Grand Army on Saturdays has an amazing fish place (I think it's called Blue Moon). They have the best fish in city. Everything I have ever bought from them was great--except for the oysters which were so big, we couldn't get them open!

Oct 13, 2013
ian_pink in Outer Boroughs

Help! Need cute clam shack or otherwise quaint New England-y place near Newport vicinity for lunch.

My girlfriend's parents will be visiting Newport RI from out west, meeting my parents for the first time. I'm looking for a great, casual place with real local flavor to have lunch. Could be a short drive (or even boat trip? Block Island?) to a nearby town.

Something with a ocean view would be great, or anything thing that would contribute to a quintessential New England experience for these out-of-towners. A good Clam shack, or something on a farm, etc.

Chowhounders, I know you can do this!

Jul 02, 2012
ian_pink in Southern New England

Rome advice please.

If Gildo is closed, you can walk down the street to Bir & Fud. They're almost always open late.

Feb 17, 2011
ian_pink in Italy

Rome advice please.

I'd reiterate that a lot of places will indeed be closed by that time, that's what makes this a tough question. The closest place I can think of (5 mins by cab) that is usually open that late in Feb is in Trastevere--a cute trat called Da Gildo. It's on Via Della Scala. But I would call ahead to make sure.

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Da Gildo
Via della Scala, 31/A, Rome , IT

Feb 16, 2011
ian_pink in Italy

Roman's in Fort Greene

We had a really awful, really expensive meal here recently. Brussels sprouts were annihilated and then luridly drenched in honey and cheese. A bucatini was unremarkable. We had one decent salad and one dud.

But the real problem with Roman's is that for all its farm-to-table ethos, they haven't really figured out how to use their ingredients. The grass fed beef they serve here leaves something to be desired. A T-bone steak we had (for $60) didn't have good marbelization through out the muscle, leaving the meat tough and flavorless, while the fat has a pungent musky quality--it also seemed to be devoid of any salt. The brisket we had over polenta was also similarly unbalanced by the musky flavor. This is not a critique of grass fed beef--I've had grass fed with good flavor. One positive note was the service--the staff are sweethearts, casual, attractive, and smart. But sadly I think Roman's is getting lost on the way from farm-to-table in the kitchen.

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Roman's
243 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Nov 16, 2010
ian_pink in Outer Boroughs

Best Burger in Park slope?

There is something not quite right about Sidecar's burger. Maybe it's too lean, maybe there's too much black pepper which burns on the grill and tastes bitter. Still at 3:30 in the morning, it sure beats just about anything else around.

The burger at Double Windsor is indeed excellent, as are the burgers at The 12th Street Bar & Grill.

But for a thin patty burger, Dram Shop is maybe the best of the breed, city wide. And Five Guys, though not really a local Park Slope place, satisfies a certain craving.

Have not been to Lot 2, looking forward to it.

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Sidecar Bar & Grill
560 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

12th Street Bar & Grill
1123 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Dram Shop
339 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
284 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Double Windsor
210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Oct 12, 2010
ian_pink in Outer Boroughs

culinary school in rome

Check out www.gamberorosso.it. They have a Rome campus. I considered it but the timing didn't work out with my schedule. I don't think they do English classes, but you'd probably improve your Italian pretty fast!

Jul 25, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

West Village - Cheap cheap cheap

Hoping to revive this thread with some more up to date info. I'm in the West, West Village for the summer, working from home and looking for places to eat lunch (or dinner, but mainly lunch) CHEAPLY. That means less than $12 to me. So far I have:

1. Taim
2. Corner Bistro
3. The sandwich window in the back of The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, which is not even technically in the West Village.

Please help!

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Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

The Lobster Place
252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Jul 25, 2010
ian_pink in Manhattan

Quick Rome Restaurant Report

Is anyone else of the opinion that Armando is a good trat, but not quite deserving of the the praise it continually receives here on Chow? It's fine. Nothing special. Da Felice, however is indeed great. I have always received great service there--enhanced by the servers' propensity to patiently list the many daily specials in clear Italian rather than trying to dumb it down into broken English. Last time we sat next to an elderly father and his son, both of whom devoured coda alla vaccinara with their hands. It was beautiful.

May 18, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Emilia-Romagna to Marche, then onto Rome via Umbria, take 2

If you're going to be in Norcia you should definitely get some good Norcia Pecorino. It can be nutty, almost like an aged gouda. Amazing cheese.

Also, if you're going through Umbria, I would order cingale (wild boar) if you come across it. And of course truffles, though they're not in season now.

May 12, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Surprising disappointments: Piperno, Da Danilo, La Gensola

Yes, Piperno was a real shock. If you do decide to go to Danilo, I'd go on a weeknight and stick to the primi. Too bad about Gildo--I've actually had some nice meals there. I had a really nice baccalà with gaeta olives and tomato sauce there once, but not everything there is good, and it's not a destination. We go there because it's close, open late and you can usually get a table.

Feb 03, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Cooking in Rome, for locals.

I'd recommend just cooking the thing you do best, and trying to do it on your own terms. We made Thanksgiving dinner for a group of Romans this past year and it was a big hit. They even piled the contorni on the same plate as the meat! Some of them took some getting used to the pumpkin pie--Romans are not used having their zucca sweetened--but I think everybody enjoyed trying new things.

If you can introduce them to something that's familiar to you but not to them, it can reverse the power dynamic of them judging your ability to cook like a Roman. It's also worth remembering also that not all Romans are foodies, and if they are your friends they'll appreciate any effort you go to.

Feb 02, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Surprising disappointments: Piperno, Da Danilo, La Gensola

By and large the recommendations I've found on Chow for Rome have been winners, but I have recently had a few meals that were less than satisfying and I thought I'd share.

We were really looking forward to Piperno. Fritti were excellent (best carciofo all gudia I've had) as was service, but the coda alla vaccinara was not cooked long enough and served in a bland stock. I've eaten far better coda in tratts all over Rome for much less. Equally unremarkable were the abbacchio scottadito. What gives? If I had paid 12 euro in a tratt I'd be disappointed, but at Piperno's prices, I'm downright offended. We ended the meal with a creme caramel that was too eggy and stiff. This was a birthday meal, so it really bummed us out. Is Piperno slipping?

Da Danilo has been praised on chow and elsewhere as one of the best tratts in the city, but our experience was otherwise. We had a reservation, but when we arrived on time, we were asked without apology to wait outside in the cold for a half hour. This might have been excusable if the service improved once inside, but it did not. Our reservation was for nine but it was 10:30 before were served our primi. In all fairness, it was a Saturday and everybody gets caught in the weeds once in a while, and many of the pastas looked excellent including a cacio e peppe prepared table side in a cheese wheel. But the tagliata I had was really unforgivable--though topped with some very flavorful porcini, the steak itself was under-salted and too tough to chew! This was a first for me--I was literally unable to consume it! I would have sent it back but by the time I was able to get our server's attention we just wanted to go home. No one ever asked us how our meal was.

Perhaps the most perplexing of all was our dinner at La Gensola. Unfortunately they heard us speaking English when we came in and assigned us a cantankerous old waiter who, I can only presume, wanted to try out his English skills. When we asked about a particular plate (in Italian) he would only answer in English "It's a fish," or "It's a meat." Luckily, we had done our research, and with the exception of a rather dull antipasto of mussels and the too sweet dolci, everything we had La Gensola was excellent. However, when our bill arrived our wine was priced at four euro more than it had been listed. When we pointed this out, our waiter slapped the wine list down in front of us and demanded we find the bottle. When we did, he said "It's not a big difference," and did not adjust our bill. Wow. We more than made up for the difference in his tip.

I did see many other tables get good service, and the chef visited several of them. But at least one poster on TripAdvisor had a similar experience to ours, with what must have been the same waiter. Unfortunate, since he ruined what would have otherwise been a great meal.

I know these three spots are much loved and have been recommended a lot, but in the future those recommendations may have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Feb 02, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Looking for a weeklong advanced amateur cooking course in Italy (preferably Tuscany)

I'd been looking for week or month long courses myself, and I would be interested to hear what you find. One place I found is the Gambero Rosso which has classes at campuses in Naples and Rome. There are some classes with multiple sessions. Most classes are for nonprofessionals but it's also a professional school. It looks pretty good but, but I have yet to experience it firsthand. Maybe somebody out there can enlighten us.

Jan 27, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

Best Classic Italian Cookbooks?

Yes, you make an excellent point. Perhaps cataloging cuisine in a tome is in some ways an inherently French approach. I wonder... You name some authors I'm not familiar with, some with several books--care to name some of your fave titles?

Jan 11, 2010
ian_pink in Home Cooking

Best Classic Italian Cookbooks?

Thanks! Yes, the parts of Artusi I've read online are great, but like you said, maybe not that practical on a day to day basis.

From what I understand Il Talismano was first published in 1929 and was indeed intended for housewives, but my hope is that it reads as "classic" rather than "dated." Maureen Fant has made reference to it as one of the books that got her started, so perhaps she has the answer...

Jan 11, 2010
ian_pink in Home Cooking

Best Classic Italian Cookbooks?

Great! Any thoughts on how it compares to Il Talismano?

Jan 08, 2010
ian_pink in Home Cooking

Best Classic Italian Cookbooks?

I'm wondering what people think is the best classic Italian cooking text. Not really looking for books by Batali and Hazan (though I'm interested in your thoughts on those), but really looking for a classic Italian text, in the vein of Joy of Cooking or Escoffier. I'm especially interested in:

Il Talismano Della Felicità (Boni)
La Scienza in Cucina E L'arte Di Mangiar Bene (Artusi)
Il Cucchiaio d'Argento

Anybody use any of these? Are they still practical to use?

Bonus question: What's the one Italian cookbook you'd bring to a dessert island?

Jan 08, 2010
ian_pink in Home Cooking

Inexpensive Sunday lunch in Rome, historic center?

Isn't Augusto closed Sundays?

Jan 03, 2010
ian_pink in Italy

do the romans do duck?

Redgirl, in addition to the other spots mentioned, you might try Il Convivio. They frequently serve duck dishes, either as smoked breast, tartar, or indeed as a ragù with pappardelle.

My guess is that the duck alle prugne at Armando actually has its roots way back in a recipe for duck with plums found in Apicius, (http://tinyurl.com/ycnlvwz) the ancient Roman cooking text from the 5th century, when duck was quite common.

I've never had the duck at Armando. But everything else I've had there was good, and it won't break your bank like Il Convivio.

Dec 31, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

do the romans do duck?

Hm, I take your point, but: Here is a picture of a duck in a butcher shop across the street from my house in Trastevere. If Romans aren't "doing duck," who's doing 'em? Maybe the handful of ethnic restaurants? Are tourists doing them in their hotel rooms? Cuz they ain't doing themselves!

Dec 31, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

Where are the best wings in NYC

Blue Ribbon on 5th ave in Brooklyn does amazing wings. They used to be served with a little sterno pot thingy so you could sear them yourself table side, but I think too many people set themselves on fire. The sauce is more sweet than hot, but the wings are very big. A good way to loose a decade of your life is to wake up hung over around 2pm, obsess over your creative output for about 8 hours, then show up at Blue Ribbon around midnight for wings and PBRs.

Dec 30, 2009
ian_pink in Manhattan

do the romans do duck?

Well somebody must serve it, because you certainly see it in butcher shops. You'll often see duck ragu in Umbria.

Dec 30, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

Best Pizza in Rome, Italy. Any advise?

Since so much has been made of Baffetto, I gotta say, it's really not worth it. The wait and the attitude of the staff are a real downer, and the pizza is very, very good Roman pizza that you could get at more than half a dozen other places with no wait and no hassle.

Isn't the real truth about Roman pizza that at a certain level, it's all EXACTLY THE SAME? The differences between pizzas at Montecarlo, Baffetto, L'Orbittoro, Ivo, and Remo are pretty much nil. Just go to whichever is closest and has the shortest wait. They're all very good, but it's not like going to, say, the five great pizzerias in New York, all of which are amazing and each is a little different. And at the risk of starting a war, I'll venture to say (and it's been said before) that pizza really reached its greatest heights in the hands of Italian immigrants in the urban little Italys of the northeastern USA, and American tourists who are true pizza enthusiasts won't be blown away by Roman pizza. But I haven't been Napoli yet. That said...

Best Roman-style Pizzerias IMHO in no particular order
Montecarlo
Baffetto
L'Orbittoro (Marmi)
Ivo
Remo

Best atypical Pizzerias in Rome
Dar Poeta
Bir & Fud

Note: None of this applies to pizza al taglio

Note 2: I haven't been to Baffetto 2, around the corner from the original in the Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, but when I've walked by it looks like the same food minus the wait/ hassle.

Dec 30, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

ambience and flourescent lights

Most the restaurants in Rome are still on tungsten light bulbs, and indeed many of the Christmas lights in the streets are strings of tiny Edison bulbs.

One thing to remember though, restaurants all over Italy tend to be *bright* compared to what most people are used to in the US, and ambiance is often derived not from lighting, but decor and the attitude of the staff. Too bad about the mandate--a few 25 watt bulbs and candles would probably satisfy both concerns.

Dec 28, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

Blue Guide Concise Rome recommendations

La Montecarlo is anything but pretentious. It's a large, loud, bustling pizza joint which is always packed with Romans. Pizza here is very, very good, with an even thinner crust than the already very thin crust of many other Roman pizzerias. Also atypical here is the "Montecarlo" which is a pizza with egg, peppers, artichoke, sausage and olives. Sounds like a psychotic amount of toppings on a pizza, but it's very good. Search chow for "Monte Carlo" (two words) to find a lot of positive reviews. As always, check your bill because they will attempt to over-charge you.

Nov 30, 2009
ian_pink in Italy

Cooking Classes in Rome

It seems this question has been posed before, but with somewhat less than satisfying results.

Can anyone recommend a good cooking class in Rome? My girlfriend and I are living in Rome for the next few months. I've read praise of Maureen Fant's Annotated Lunch, but it sounds like a one day event--I'm looking for something a bit more in depth. We're both reasonably skilled home cooks, and are familiar with Roman (as well as Umbrian, Tuscan and some northern Italian) food. I may never make Pajata back in the States, but it would be nice to know how to make this, and some of the other typical Roman foods. Our favorite Roman restaurants tend toward the casual end of the spectrum (some are mentioned on Chow) and that's what we're hoping to recreate in our kitchen. Classes don't necessarily have to be in English, as we speak some Italian.

Any thoughts?

Nov 29, 2009
ian_pink in Italy