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Rome visit over the Holidays

As everyone knows, I'm the queen of careless spelling!

Feb 27, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Recommendations for Florence

Thanks for checking in with this board. Since this topic has been discussed so much in the past, it would be useful if you did a search for 'florence' in the upper right hand corner of the page, and then had a look at past discussions. Once you've narrowed down your choices, then we'd be glad to help you make some decisions.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 26, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Best Carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe - 2015 Rome

I'm sure everyone will weigh in with their own personal opinions....you've started a new thread that I'm sure will turn out to be a long one! And mbfant has already weighed in with her picks.

My personal feeling, for these three iconic Roman dishes is that not only does the dish have to be top notch, but the ambiance must also work too. And by 'work' I mean reflect the fact that these are rustic, homey dishes, meant to be eaten in a Roman trattoria setting. Which means that I don't think I would ever head to Agata e Romeo, Convivio or even Checchino for any of them.

Instead I go to old time, relaxed and comfortingly rustic places that have been turning out these dishes, without much fanfare, forever.

Here are my personal favorites:
Carbonara: Perilli
Cacio e Pepe: Flavio Velavevodetto
Amatriciana: Perilli
Gricia: Perilli, Flavio Velavevodetto

A slightly untraditional cacio e pepe is served at Sora Margherita. It veers from tradition in that it used home made fettucine (not tonnarelli) and is topped by a heaping portion of fresh ricotta.

A few other places that do these well include:
Armando
Danilo (esp Cacio e Pepe)
Enoteca della Provincia (they usually do a spin on Cacio e Pepe)
Trattoria Cadorna (they do all three very well)

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 24, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

As you say, the space is quite small there, so I don't really think they stick foreigners in that smaller room. And while it's near the bathroom, I've never really notices that much since the view out the front window is so incredibly distracting.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 23, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Rome visit over the Holidays

Happy to hear the Archeologia (that is what you meant, correct?) is good these days. It was an old standby, then got not so good. Thanks for reporting in that you had a nice meal there.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 23, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Does anyone in Rome know ...?

As Maureen pointed out, Ciampini is a bar, and barely recognizes anyone waiting for a table, much less accept reservations.

In general, I would never attempt sending an email to reserve in Rome and assume it worked. For some reason Rome restaurants just don't want to do it. There are a few exceptions, but the rule is to call.

Oddly in Milano (or perhaps not so oddly) most places seem to have email reservation systems in place.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 23, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

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

Most people think the problem is tied to climate change and that eventually olives won't be able to be grown where they have traditionally been grown, especially organically. Subsidizing them won't really help. What will help is raising awareness of the fraudalent olive oils that have flooded the market this year.

In fact, there is a group of olive oil producers that see this year as a way to educate people about what real olive oil is. They are calling this year Annus Mirabilis, and are documenting the realities that face organic olive oil producers in Italy to make people aware of the true and high cost of this product:
http://terrevere.com/annusmirabilis/

You can go to their FB page, and see postings from around Italy of sitings of fraudulent oils with artificially low prices:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annus-...

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

Restaurant after proposal in Florence

If you're looking for something truly spectacular, with amazing views and great food, how about Se.Sto? Located on the top floor of the Westin Excelsior, the chef, Entiana Osmenzeza, is considered one of the best in Florence. The food is creative, and the setting very romantic. Ask for a window side seat.

You can see some photos of both the food and setting here:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

Congratulations!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 17, 2015
minchilli in Italy

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

First of all, if you are using Badia al Coltibuono's olive oil as your 'every day' oil, then you're doing quite well. This is an extremely high quality oil, made to rigorous standards. But they have not produced oil this year.

As Vinoroma pointed out, this is not the year to buy any olive oil made in central Italy. Wet weather, combines with parasites, made olive oil production below a certain altitude impossible. The only producers that are selling oil this year have either sprayed or else are pressing olives bought from other regions.

You may want to stop by Bottega dell'Olio, in Piazza del Limbo. See what he has and talk with him. He may have some good oils from other regions that were not as hard hit by the fly.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 16, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Fiftieth Birthday Dinner in Venice

I third Al Covo. I had a splendid meal there recently and, since it's your girlfriends' birthday, you can't go wrong with Diane's famous chocolate cake. Make sure you tell Diane it's her birthday, and she will put a candle on it.

I find the room to the right as you walk in slightly more romantic.....but both rooms are very nice.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 13, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Sid’ Prospective List For Rome

As Maureen says,Tre Zucche is a hike. But I think it's worth it. They have also opened a cute little bistro next door, which does lunch and take away.

Feb 13, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Sid’ Prospective List For Rome

First of all, many thanks for your kind mention of my blog and apps.

Now, for a few comments. Where I don't comment, this means I approve.

Al Moro: I haven't been there in a couple of years but have only heard so so things recently from trusted sources.

Checchino: I recently received a very long email from a reader of my blog, saying their lunch there was extremely disappointing. Not only was the room dead quite and empty (never a fun thing) but the staff was stiff and just plain unwelcoming. I've always felt that too, but put up with it because the food and wine were so good. This reader said that while some of the dishes were quite good, others were not so. And that many of the most interesting wines were no longer available.

La Quercia is not worth going to.
As Vinoroma points out, Cul de Sac is not very good for food.
La Regola, Taverna degli Amici and L'Angoletto are pretty touristy places not known for their good food.

Hope this helps narrow down the choice. You certainly do your homework!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 12, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

Wagamama

Thanks Jen, for the mention. One small thing: it's Minchilli. :)

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 11, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Wagamama

Grazie!!!

Feb 11, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Val d'Orcia (and/or, Southern Siena/Western Umbria)

As DavidT suggested, search through past threads by towns. There's been a lot written.

In addition, I"d suggest you get the guide Osteria d'Italia, which lists many good, under the radar, simple places.

Not too far from you is Daniela's in San Casiano dei Bagni.
Dopo Lavoro near La Foce.

It might be fun to drive to Monteverdi, a small completely renovated village that has recently opened a restaurant. I haven't been there, but the location is pretty spectacular.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 10, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Wagamama

There's no Wagamama chain in Rome, or Italy for that matter. I was just in Milan last week, and there seem to be lots of new, Pan-Asian places there, many more than Rome.

You can try Temakinho, which is a Brasilian Sushi place. They are on Via dei Serpenti and very popular (you must reserve)

No real noodle/pho places though, like in London. Sorry!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 10, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Thoughts for a very casual dinner in Rome

How about Flavio Velavevodetto? Open on Mondays, very casual and very good. Another option, a bit closer to you, is Trattoria Cadorna.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Feb 07, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Trip report: Rome, Florence, Venice

Thanks so much for checking back in, and for your extremely detailed report!

Glad to hear that you had good meals at all of my favorite places. And very happy that Pinchiorri lived up to your expectations.

www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Feb 07, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Hoping for some advice for Sunday lunch in Rome

On Sundays we usually head to Testaccio. Either Perilli or Flavio Velavevodetto. Both, though, would require a taxi ride from your hotel.

Not too far away is Trattoria Cadorna. It's about a 10 or 15 minute walk from your hotel. It's a very old fashioned place, in a residential neighborhood, so lots of locals. If you go, you could order the antipasto della casa, which is a multi plate affair, and call that lunch. Here are some photos of it:

http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

Make sure you reserve beforehand for any of these places, since they tend to book up on Sundays.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 30, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Florence restaurant recommendations

The best thing to do would to search for past threads on this topic. Then, once you've had a look, come back to us with more concrete questions or to comment on your choices.

In the meantime, in addition to restaurants, make sure you hit some of the tripe carts around town. This is true Florentine street food and you can enjoy it as a quick lunch or a mid morning snack (my favorite).

Here is my list of favorite places, in the center, with some photographs to let you know what it's like:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 29, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Milan: A tale of two restaurants

That's too bad about Aimo e Nadia. I remember my meal there a few years ago as being made memorable as much by the two of them, as by the food. I have to say I've never liked the dining room. It's just too stiff and formal, with that horrible art on the walls.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 29, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Recent experiences in Bari, Matera, Lecce, Monopoli?

If you're only in Bari for one night, it might be nice to have a walk in Bari Vecchia, which is where Pescatore is located. And if it's late May, you might be able to sit outside, which is nice.

In Gallipoli I had a great lunch recently at Le Puritate. Not a shack, but great seafood.

If you end up in Ostuni, we loved Osteria del Tempo Perso.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 23, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

TRATTORIA AL GATTO NERO, BURANO, VENICE

Thanks for the report and the photos! I love Gatto Nero, but haven't been there for a couple of years so good to know it's still delicious.

www.ElizabethMInchilliInRome.com

Jan 20, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Tips for eating alone in Italy?

I eat alone all the time!I usually bring something to read just in case I feel like it. But it's never a problem. You shouldn't ever feel you have to be doing anything. Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Sometimes though, when reserving, I do reserve for two. I do this with the full knowledge that I'm probably going to order enough food for two anyway (I'm usually doing research) so I don't feel that bad. Also, most tables are for two people anyway.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 19, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Positano: Zass or La Sponda

Yes, absolutely you have to book. The terrace is tiny at Le Sireneuse is teeny tiny.

Jan 16, 2015
minchilli in Italy

[Venice] Anice Stellato or Alle Testiere for Saturday dinner in January?

First of all, have you checked to make sure either are open? Testiere was closed last week, I'm not sure it is open yet.

Of the two, I would choose Anice Stellato anyway. I like both the atmosphere and food better. Testiere has two seatings at dinner, which I find kind of annoying.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 15, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Positano: Zass or La Sponda

Both places are quite different, in terms of location and ambiance. If I had to pick one place for dinner, I think I might pick La Sponda, because the view of Positano at night is so lovely. Zass is gorgeous too, but you're looking out at the sea (and so no twinkly romantic lights of town).

Especially at La Sponda you should reserve as far in advance as possible for a table at the edge of the terrace.

I would definitely recommend a sunset drink at San Pietro, though.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 14, 2015
minchilli in Italy

Another article on Italy's small food-makers - "Export or die"

Well said, Maureen! So often when I go out of my way to try and promote a small scale producer - weather it is food, ceramics, or a shoe maker - I am met with mistrust, misunderstanding or, believe it or not, outright hostility.

To give a recent example: I was invited to Sardegna, to a food fair that was organized to promote Sardinian foods. As I visited the stands, tasting their products, about half of the participants refused to either tell me anything about their the background of their product or just outright refused to talk to me. Remember, I was wearing a pass that said PRESS, and I was brought there specifically to interview them about their cheese, sausage, jams, etc. When I mentioned this to the organizer she just sort of shrugged and said yes, it's a problem.

Another time, while working on a book on Deruta, a small town which produces ceramics, I approached the local museum to arrange to photograph some of their work so that the ceramics of the current artisans could be put in historic context. I explained that the book would be a full color, professionally printed book with world wide distribution that would promote their town and their crafts, which were so obviously in danger of dying out. Rather than say thank you, how can we help you, they responded with an estimate of 1000 Euros per object to be photographed.

But I also agree with Allende, in that little can be done with for the new generation (who may be more open to expanding their horizons)until genuine reform is enacted.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Fettuccini alla papalina in Rome

I'm loving this thread! Mostly because I love the kind of dish, heavy with cream, that Italians started to develop in the 50's (or according to Maureen, a bit earlier?) It totally reminds me of the type of food I would order, growing up in the sixties, in a midwest country club. In other words, something made 'fancy' and rich purely by the use of certain extravagant ingredients, like cream and butter.

Although I've never seen Fettucine alla Papalina in a Roman restaurant, I have had something similar at Paoli in Florence:
Taglierini al Paoli. Straight out of the 1950’s - when Paoli was at its high point, the dish was full of ham, peas and pools of cream. Topped with a mountain of freshly shaved truffles. Even though we aren’t supposed to like this kind of country club version of Italian food, can I tell you it tasted fantastic?

www.ElizabethMinchlliInRome.com

Jan 02, 2015
minchilli in Italy
1

shopping for liqueurs in Rome

There are a couple of places near the Opera House:
Enoteca Chirra
Via Torino 132
06 485659
Open until 2am every night, closed Sundays.
This is half coffee bar/ half liquor shop. They have a great selection of liqueurs.

Angelini Enoteca
Via del Viminale 62
06 4881028
Open every day, except Sundays
Hours…whenever Enrico feels like it. Enrico usually shows up by early afternoon. Often closed before noon This is a very whacky shop, with some very strange things on the shelf. Lots of amari.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Jan 01, 2015
minchilli in Italy