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Rounding out the list in Florence

I've never been to La Giostra, and I've never met a Florentine who has. I know it's big on TA, but it seems to be so only with Americans.

Can't stand Cibreo. Way over priced and pretentious for rather ordinary food.

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco is another one that I'm sure it ok, but it's often the place that hotel concierge's send clients too. So ok, but also over priced.

I love Fagioli! But remember, they are closed on weekends and don't accept credit cards.
I also am a huge fan of Sostanza, but mostly at lunch.
I've never been able to get into Vini e Vecchi Sapori. It only has about 5 tables.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Rome Restaurant List--Please Critique

I'm afraid I don't know Tavernaccia da Bruno, so can't comment on that.

I'd choose Armando or Cesare instead of Danilo. Cesare is definitely worth the tram ride up there, but if you want to stay in the center, and walk around after dinner, Armando would be the better choice.

Cul de Sac is ok for lunch. I'm not a huge fan, mostly because it's so cramped and uncomfortable. Pastificio is fun, but very rough and tumble. I don't see Pizzarium on your list for lunch places? If you are going to me near the Vatican, that is a great choice (or even worth the trip there)

Trastevere: fun to go to the Biscottificio Innocenti for cookies. Renella for pizza al taglio.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Wineries in Umbria & Tuscany

Glad you are heading to Bea! Well worth the visit, since many of the wines never even make it to market.

Another small winery I've been going to recently is Madonna del Latte. Very small production of varietals not usually found in Umbria. They do excellent tastings.

Very nearby the winery is the goat farm, Il Secondo Altopiano
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...
They make some of the best goat cheeses I've ever had.

Both of these places collaborate doing tastings. So you can either do a cheese tasting at the farm, with Madonna del Latte wines, or vice versa. Both places are located about 20 minutes outside of Orvieto.

One of the best cheese makers in Umbria is Caseificio Montecristo
http://www.formaggimontecristo.it/
The store is located in the extremely ugly ground floor of the Europalace hotel in Ponte Rio, outside of Todi. But it is amazing! They make about 30 types of cheeses. Recently I've been loving: blu di mucca; l'intruso; and a pecorino that is aged in laurel leaves. But really, it's all good, including their cow milk mozzarella.

For bread: Granarium outside of Bevagna. They grow their own wheat.

Butcher: Luchetti (not far from Ripa Bianca/Deruta

)

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Food tour-cooking school in Florence

Judy Witt Francini is doing market tours in Florence again. She was actually one of the very first ones to start doing this. She does private, custom tours.

Context does market walks as well, and has been doing them for quite a while.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Venice help needed

I think, like the others, you are remembering La Cantina.

Splurge meal: Do you mean expensive? Or just a great experience and great food? I always love Anice Stellato. It is not fancy at all, but the food is creative and the atmosphere warm.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Trip report - Veneto and Emilia Romagna driving tour

Great report!! Thanks so much for checking back in with all these useful details. It helps so much.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

1 day ago
minchilli in Italy

Critique my plans (Venice, Florence, Rome)

All good choices in Venice and Florence.

Rome: I prefer Flavio Velavevodetto or Perilli over Felice. I'm not really a big fan of Roscioli. And while Grappolo d'Oro is a good choice in that neighborhood, there are perhaps better places.
I see you don't have any pizza, so maybe Emma one night is a good choice?

Quadri was lovely, and as you say much easier to get to than Calandre. And definitely head to Metamorfosi in Rome, if you haven't been.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Aug 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

3 days in Milan...any thoughts on our choices?

All of your choices sound spot on. The only ones I'd have an issue with is Parma & Co, which is not really at the level of the rest.

I've not been to Carlo e Camilla since it seems way too much of a scene. No one ever really talks about the food enough.

Taglio is good all day long.

If you feel like heading out of the center, I'd suggest Erba Brusca, especially since it sounds like you are interested in vegetables.

Loved Pave, but also Sugar if you are in that neighborhood. Fantastic pastries.

Bar Basso is a classic.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Aug 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Flavio vs Felice

Felice is not bad, as you've experienced, but in my opinion not only is Flavio better these days, I prefer the atmosphere. After a rough patch, Flavio is back in the kitchen - as well as the dining room - and his presence in both the food and the ambiance is very much felt. The food is consistently great, seasonal and pitch perfect renditions of Roman classics.

Unfortunately I've not heard great things lately about the outpost Ai Quiriti.

www.ElziabethMinchilliInRome.com

Aug 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Flavio vs Felice

Maureen, just have to chime in here with your comment 'I don't go back to places I hated just because the bloggers are enthusiastic.' I think that readers look to this board for help, and your comment seems so negative and unhelpful. I"m hoping against hope that when you wrote this, you weren't thinking of me as one of the bloggers you are referring to. Because I would hate to think that if you went to a restaurant once, and did not like it, and if I've been there over 30 times and loved it, that it would not make you think, even a tiny bit, that maybe you were there on an off night? I hope this comment doesn't cross any Chowhound rules. But I'm very perplexed by that comment of yours, since it seems so counter intuitive and I'd love to hear more exactly why you said it.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Aug 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Florence restaurants

If you head a bit out of the historic center, you're usually better off in that respect. Try Ruggero and Due G, for instance.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Aug 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Restaurants in Torino (Turin)

I love Consorzio. Very much a Slowfood kind of place.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jul 28, 2015
minchilli in Italy

La Pergola - Reservation Help

I'm surprised they are completely full the entire week. But they do book up well in advance. You can ask to be put on a waiting list, but don't over worry about it. There are plenty of other, great, places to eat in Rome that are much more 'of the place.'

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jul 28, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Giggetto disappointment

I'm definitely a Roman folk, and I definitely stand by Giggetto's fried zucchini blossoms. As Maureen points out, a lot of people are put off by Roman cuisine if all they have to compare it to is the renditions they've had in the States. Ditto for carbonara, which I've had many people complain about, since they've often had it elsewhere (never Italy) where it is made with the addition of cream, which does indeed result in more of a 'sauce' and not the 'dry' consistency that Toronto2AZ mentioned.

Jul 21, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Giggetto disappointment

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy Giggetto. The pasta dishes do go up and down, depending on who is in the kitchen cooking that day, but I'm always happy with the carbonara.

I'm sure the artichoke tasted a bit bland because it definitely is not artichoke season. At this point they are coming from France, and have been in deep storage for a while. But their zucchini flowers don't have any breading on them. They are dipped in a light flour and water batter, and are not doughy.(which is another style which some restaurants do )

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jul 20, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Questions About Eating in Rome in August (2015)

It may not be a horrible restaurant, but just another of the many touristy places around that area that Romans don't go to. So if you're looking for just a plate of pasta, and don't care much about the quality, then I'm sure it will be ok.

Jul 13, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

Questions About Eating in Rome in August (2015)

I was going to suggest you look at the past Open in August posts, but you already have, so you're in good shape.

Of the places you mentioned, all good choices except: Osteria Barberini, Bread and Break, Da Francesco.

You will never hear back via email from Piperno or Proloco. For Mazzo, you can try to contact them on FB. But I"m pretty sure they will be closed then.

Water is extremely drinkable. You can fill up your own bottles from the tap or at any of the fountains around town.

Asking Hotels for recommendations: just don't do it. Ever. They only recommend places that they receive kickbacks from. Right near your hotel I can recommend: Cafe Peru. Where locals go and has a nice back room. Should be open.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jul 11, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

Todi italy

Vineria San Fortunato is a great enoteca, with some hot dishes every day.

Umbria is a classic, with a great view from the terrace. The food has been very good there lately.

Down below town is La Mulinella, which has an outdoor garden.

For simple you can't beat Pizzeria Cavour which has an amazing terrace looking over the valley.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jul 08, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Anniversary dinner in Rome - Metamorphosi or All'Oro?

Of the two I prefer Metamorfosi. While the food at all'Oro is great and I love it, I just can't get over the setting, which feels as if it is in a hotel lobby. Which it is. I've been to both for celebratory meals (anniversary and birthday) and at the end of the day both have great food, but I feel more comfortable and have more fun at Metamorfosi.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 30, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Rome: Upscale Lunch Restaurant Preferably Near Borghese Museum

Localino di Claudio for sure. Mostly fish, but lots of other things too. On Via Lazio, just off Via Veneto.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 29, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Special Occasion Restaurant in Milan for early dinner

Doing dinner at 6:30 is hard to do. There are certainly hotel based restaurants that may be able to help you.

One possibility may be the newly opened Terrazza Triennale at the Triennale museum. Here is the link:
http://www.triennale.org/en/visit/ter...

I haven't been yet, but have heard nice things. They seem to be open all day long, and the view alone makes it worth while. Also, don't miss the show in the museum itself. Arts and Food, which was my favorite part of the Expo. You can read about it here:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 29, 2015
minchilli in Italy

A few Venice questions

Thanks so much PBSF! Especially re: Zucca. That is the feeling I got from the restaurant (i.e. lots of gratins, bechamel, etc.) Glad to have your confirmation.

And sorry for the typo, meant to say Burano, not Murano. But perhaps you don't head out that far either?

Your posts on this board are always much appreciated!!!

Jun 26, 2015
minchilli in Italy

A few Venice questions

I"m usually at the advice-giving end of things when it comes to this board. But I know there are a few people (PBSF especially!) who have actually been living in Venice for years (while, sadly, I only visit as often as I can)

I'll be in town for a week, and have a couple of specific questions:

On Murano I have always gone to Gatto Nero(and loved it). But this time around I'd like to try something different and am leaning towards Romano. Does it live up to its reputation? (am talking about the risotto) Any thoughts on that place and/or possibly Alla Madelena on Mazzorbo?

My other question is about La Zucca. I've never been because...well, even though it gets talked about quite a bit, I just can't seem to get excited about going there. The dishes described never sound that appealing. But am I wrong? Should I try it?

And finally, I think I read somewhere on this board that Il Refolo was under new management? Or....Any comments on that would be much appreciated.

And of course, if you think there is anything else I should check out while in town, I"m hungry to hear it!

Mille grazie in advance! To both the 'Venetians' and of course anyone else who would like to chime in.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 25, 2015
minchilli in Italy

ISO pistachio cream

Gaudeo has now closed, and not sure what pistachio cream they were using. But the one carried by Market Hall - pistacchiosa - in divine! It's made by an artisan north of Rome, and carried by him at his stand in the Farmer's Market near Circo Massimo.

http://markethallfoods.com/sicilian-p...

It is addictive!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 25, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Duomo or La Madia in Sicily?

Both are at the same level, both run by Internationally recognized chefs, cooking high end, creative cuisine. It all depends on your itinerary, and where you will be staying, etc. I don't think I would necessarily plan an entire trip just to visit one or the other.

I'm the kind of person who prefers the hole-in-wall place in the fish market in Catania, so maybe I'm not the right person to comment.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Recommendations for 3 nights and 3 lunches in Rome

Here are my comments on each place:

Alfredo: I haven't been in ages, but have been meaning to. But ONLY for pasta Alfredo, which has now become such an iconic dish/adjective in the States. But if you are here for only a few days, I wouldn't recommend it.

Baffetto: has become very touristy, and not worth the long lines. If you are near the Spanish Steps, and would like pizza, I recommend Leoncino, on Via Leoncino.

Piperno (not Paperno) one of my favorites in Rome. Ask for a table outside in the lovely piazza. This time of year the artichokes are coming from France, so if you do want to try the famous Carciofi alla Giudea just order one to split, then also order fried zucchini blossoms, which are in season (as starters)

Agata e Romeo: I am not a fan of this place at all. Very stiff, formal, expensive and just not the kind of food I want to be eating in Rome.

Il Convivio: If you want high end, expensive creative, then this is for you. But again, not really my kind of place.

Roscioli: It has fans, but I find the service so off putting that I tend to avoid it.

Camponeschi: Overpriced because of it's stunning location in Piazza Farnese. Mediocre food. Much better to head to the oppisite corner of the piazza, to Bar Farnese, have a glass of prosecco, enjoy the view, then head elsewhere for dinner (Pierluigi is nearby, which sounds like you might like.

Mirabelle: Roof top hotel restaurant known more for quality of it's view, than food. Expensive.

Sabatini: Has long been just for tourists.

Your list sounds like it was given by a concierge in a Rome hotel, and not based on any current research. I'd suggest searching in this board for Rome and you'll find all of our recommendations.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Rome restaurants

I'm not familiar with Cantina e Cucina, but I had a client that said she and her family had a fabulous meal at Etabli last week. They were travelling with kids, and specifically told me how well they were treated.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Florence dinner on 6/24 St John Baptist night

You'll just have to keep calling around, that is the only way to figure out who is open and who has room.

Places to try, that are bigger and might be open include:
Santo Bevitore
Antica Ristoro dei Cambi
Quattro Leone
Cipoolla Rossa

Hope this helps!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy

The 10 Best in Venice? I have my doubts

Also, while I do compile lists, they are never the 'best of' lists. They are purely my favorite places, which people can take or leave. I too have to say that I don't think there is never such a thing as a definitive 'best of' list.

Jun 17, 2015
minchilli in Italy

The 10 Best in Venice? I have my doubts

Whoa Sid! I just read your post about leaving Chowhound and realize it's over this thread. I think at some point you must have misunderstood many of the above comments. I can't speak for all of the commenters above, but I think I do understand their comments based on the list you sited.

I think that what we all saw in that list was not just a list (which you aptly point out I compile every now and then) but the nature of that particular list, which seemed so obviously devoid of any personal opinion. It read as more of a paid advert (of which there are many online) or as part of a list of certain places that belong to a group that pays to get their establishments placed in editorial locations

And I have to say that I agree with the CH Moderators not agreeing to take your post down, because it provided a valuable opportunity for us all to have a discussion about these types of lists and how to be on the look out for them. And at the beginning, that is what you were asking us to do, no? And if they took your post down (as you requested) then all of our input would have been for naught.

I hope you reconsider staying on. Seems this teapot turned into a tempest.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jun 16, 2015
minchilli in Italy