Irene65's Profile

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Lake Como, Italy

No doubt George Clooney's presence in Lallio positively affected the USA tourist flow to the entire area.
Sadly, tough, more and more restaurants propose "Americanized" Italian dishes. Of course, they were doing so even before GC's arrival, he's not the first USA to discover the lake of Como beauties, but the phenomenon worsened.
A lost chance for many tourists, to taste authentic - not necessarily better - Italian food.

Mar 12, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Lake Como, Italy

A totally reliable Slow Food recommendation for good local food is

CROTTO DEL SERGENTE
Via Crotto del Sergente, 13
22100 Como, località Lora
tel. 031 283911
info@crottodelsergente.it
www.crottodelsergente.it

It is not in Como walled town and it can be pretty difficult to find without a GPS but fully worth a visit.

As for Navedano, If I can respectfully express my opinion, a forty km trip to Milan will offer you many more valuable options - at the same price - or at much less ;-

)

Ciao
Irene

Mar 12, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

BEST TEPPANYAKI RESTAURANT IN MANHATTAN?

Thank you all for your contributions.

I was looking for real Japanese Teppanyaky - sitting around a chef who cooks everything - and now I know NYC doesn't offer much choice.

Ciao
Irene

Mar 11, 2011
Irene65 in Manhattan

BEST TEPPANYAKI RESTAURANT IN MANHATTAN?

Thanks, Food.
I know that Kittichai is not Teppanyaki I just wanted to be reassured that it is still good. Two years ago I loved the food and the ambiance.

I will check about Gyu-Kaku too. My experience with Teppanyaki is limited to Tokyo and Hong Kong - sublime! - and I hoped to find a wide choice in the Big Apple too.

Ciao
Irene

-----
Gyu-Kaku
805 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

Kittichai
60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

Mar 10, 2011
Irene65 in Manhattan

Tip advice in Italy

The norm is to leave no tip at any eatery, Erica, throughout Italy, from local Trattorie to high-end places. Hospitality workers do earn a full wage - though low - they are not supposed to earn their living on tips.
That said, if the service is good, my friends and I always leave a 10% no matter if high-end or local Trattoria.

Ciao

Irene

Mar 08, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Bologna for one afternoon, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I would second Jan's opinion about Tripadvisor. It can be useful if you crosscheck the information from sources that are more reliable such as guides and more
"specialized" web sites.

For a quick lunch in Bologna you might also consider:
ANTICA SALSAMENTERIA TAMBURINI - Via Caprarie 1
www.tamburini.com
SHOP & BISTROT

Jan, I am working at the translation about AMERIGO & TRATTORIA LA BOLOGNESE, culinary reviews in a language which is not yours can be time consuming
:-

)

OUT OF TOPIC FOR JAN AND ALL NYC CHOWHOUNDERS

I posted a request in the Manhattan section - BEST TEPPANYAKI RESTAURANT IN MANHATTAN - and I got 0 replies. Maybe there is no Japanese Teppanyaki in NYC
:-(
Can you be of help?

Grazie 1000
Ciao
Irene

Mar 08, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

BEST TEPPANYAKI RESTAURANT IN MANHATTAN?

Hi All.

I would welcome your suggestions and also appreciate updates about KITTICHAI (my last visit was two years ago).

Thank you very much

Ciao
Irene

Mar 06, 2011
Irene65 in Manhattan

Bologna for one afternoon, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hi Jan.
The website is www.ilmangione.it .
You have to sign up to gain access to reviews (reviews only, there are not discussion boards). It is frequented only by Italian people and they have recently opened a new section “estero”.
I hope that the Italian to English Google translation works better than the German to Italian one.. :-

)

I do not agree that, generally speaking, Italian boards slam places for being too expensive.
As everywhere, there are people who are not disposed to spend more than 30 Euro to dine out and people willing or able to afford more expensive experiences. It is true that food standards are generally high all over the country and that many Italian people are not keen to pay a fortune because of the ambiance.
Many Chowhounders are savvy travelers who stayed in or visited Italy enough to sensibly perceive the food quality level, while others, visiting the country for the first time, can only benchmark with USA or UK standards. I frequently read and relate to my husband and friends enthusiastic reviews about places we consider mediocre at the best. Not to mention some “titled” reviews taken as gospel truth. Just to make another stupid example: when I read in the Chowhound HOME COOKING section people converse about cream or other ingredients that have nothing to do with PASTA ALLA CARBONARA I wonder how they would react to the authentic recipe.
I’ll prepare you a detailed review of AMERIGO DAL 1934 and TRATTORIA LA BOLOGNESE.
Ciao
Irene

Mar 05, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Bologna for one afternoon, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It is good, Jan ;-)
As for AMERIGO DAL 1934, I personally think that it is not outstandind and it is rather
expensive. I assume you cannot read Italian otherwise I would suggest you an interesting
Italian website - a sort of "Italian Chowhound" - where you can read Italian restaurant reviews. Again no "Bible", but useful.

Ciao
Irene

Mar 04, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Bologna for one afternoon, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

If you are not interested in a quick glimpse of Bologna I would suggest to stop for lunch in Vignola, province of Modena.
TRATTORIA LA BOLOGNESE - only for lunch - closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Via Muratori n. 1 - tel. 059 77 12 07
Hand-made traditional pasta: tagliatelle al ragù and, of course, tortellini.
Around 30 Euro per pax.

As for Nonno Rossi, be aware that is next to the Bologna Airport, nothing interesting around.
Never dined there but I read mixed - Italian - reviews.

Ciao
Irene

-----
Nonno Rossi
Via dell'Aeroporto, 38, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna , IT

Mar 03, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

PORCINI HEAVEN IN PIEMONTE

Grazie for the review, John/Giuanin :-)
I have found some interesting hints in your blog too.

Ciao
Irene

Mar 03, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

MALEFEMMINA (ITALIAN COOKIE)

I have never heard of a cookie called "M A L A F E M M E N A" which is not strange since in Italy there are thousands of regional specialties. Roxlet is right Malafemmena means (dialectal) bad woman, woman of ill-repute. It is the title of a famous Napolitanian song of the Fifties.

Ciao
Irene

Mar 01, 2011
Irene65 in Home Cooking

Bari recommendations wanted

Jen
when you'll be in Gardone Riviera pay a visit to OSTERIA DI MEZZO in Salò.
;-)
Ciao
Irene

Jan 26, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Recommendations Milano

Ciao Cold.
Jan is right when she says that in Milano the foreign communities are far from being as big as the ones in London, USA or Canada and I would second Badwaiter’s opinion about the non-comparability with an USA/UK international food standard.
Nevertheless in comparatively small Milan you can find almost everything.. like in New York City ;-) see some of my personal picks for the remaining 0,1%.

An Arabian Restaurant
MIDO
Navigli area.
www.ristorantemido.com
Around 25 Euro pp before drinks.
I am addicted to their rice with pine-seeds, raisins, hazelnuts, pistachios (?) and saffron together with spicy meat-balls.

An African Restaurant (mainly MALI
)BALAFON
Via Teodosio n. 6 – Lambrate Area
Around 20 Euro pp before drinks.
Mali Cous Cous + other western African specialties. You have to like it, if you never tried before it can be a disappointing experience.

Thumb up for WARSA, the Eritrean Restaurant suggested by Badwaiter.
I personally LOVE Meat Zighinì and hot Ingera (the Eritrean spongy and sourish bread) but my husband has to be coerced into Eritrean/Ethiopic dining.. see the above comment for BALAFON.

An Argentinean Restaurant
MR ANGUS
www.misterangus.com
Around 40 Euro pp before drinks.
Angus beef… yummy!

A couple of Brazilian Restaurants
COPACABANA
www.copacabanaristorante.it
Around 40 Euro pp before drinks.

FEIJAO COM ARROZ
www.feijaocomarroz.it
Around 45 pp before drinks.

I travelled round Brazil for business and leisure but I am not a fan of their food (my stomach will remember an home cooked Feijoada with the traditional Brazilian drink Cachaça for ever), these are two good picks in Milan though, for atmosphere and reasonable quality.

Uhh it’s late and I have to finish to prepare a finger food dinner for 25 people sigh!!!! If you are still interested I will post other personally tested international recs + bars with a soul – which I find an interesting challenge! – in the next days.

RISOTTO
ABELE TRATTORIA TEMPERANZA
Via Temperanza, 5
Milan
Tel. 02 26 13 855

Around 25 Euro/pax for a two course dinner (always closed for lunch) before wine.
Not centrally located, east of Milan.
Only 3 E X C E L L E N T Risotti on the list and they change every day.
It is a a guaranteed recommendation, but service depends on the waiters' mood.

A presto
Irene

Jan 15, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Recommendations Milano

Hi Cold.
For a complete overview of previous posts search Milan on this board.
I have personally contributed especially with the following
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/734246
I am afraid I am not young enough for alternative crowd like rockers, students and indie people (definition which I have just looked up in an urban dictionary :-) ).
Please be a little more specific about “international” (and about your budget) and I might be able to contribute more.
Ciao
Irene

Jan 14, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

10 days in Eastern Sicily in February!

Try www.bbplanet.it for budget accommodations.
If you find your place with the help of this website then book directly (it is cheaper).

Not to miss in eastern Sicily, from north to south by car, a mixture of history, nature and culinary delights:

 Taormina
 Etna Vulcan
 Parco della Valle dell’Alcantara
 To get an idea have a look at the photo gallery in www.borghidellalava.it
 Acireale (Carnival from February 19th to March 8th
) Acicastello
 Catania
 Siracusa
 Noto
 Ragusa
 Modica

In Sicily, generally speaking, with 30 Euro per person before wine you can gorge yourself with superbly cooked fresh fish. Once you have decided your itinerary, let us know, and we could help with focused recommendations for restaurants and local specialties.

Ciao
Irene

Jan 09, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

pappardelle vs tagliatelle

Yes!

Jan 07, 2011
Irene65 in Home Cooking

pappardelle vs tagliatelle

Pappardelle are Tuscany-Romagna version of tagliatelle from Emilia: an egg pasta that perfectly matches with game (hare, wild boar), meat and mushrooms. The dough is exactly the same: eggs and flour, and like tagliatelle their surface should be pretty rough, that’s way one should prepare hand-made pappardelle with a wooden rolling-pin and not with the pasta machine, which smoothen them too much.
The only real difference lies in dimension: pappardelle are wider than tagliatelle – one pappardella is one and a half tagliatella and slightly thicker.

Ciao
Irene

Jan 07, 2011
Irene65 in Home Cooking

Any recs ins Southern Umbria?

My tested recs:
Il Boccone del Prete in Porano and we are still in Umbria.
La Capracampa in Acquapendente - we are in Lazio but at a stone's throw from Tuscany and Umbria.

Ciao
Irene

Jan 07, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Recommendations for a whirlwind tour of Cremona, Spoleto, and Parma

Hi Suman. Nice to read someone from Bangalore.
Without considering possible air flight restrictions...

UMBRIA (Spoleto)
• Mountain Lentils
• Mountain Spelt
• Chickpeas. The variety typical of Umbria is characterized by a small seed which is particularly flavoursome. Chickpeas are the ideal ingredient for tasty soups and side dishes.
• Olive Oil. Look for a monoculture production harvested by hand, processed at the mill and the oil extracted by natural, cold-press dripping. The lesser acidity the better. Less than 0,17% is the top.
• Truffle Oil. Real connoisseur (and honest producers) would tell you that truffle oil is a legal fraud. It would be better to call it “Oil with a chemical scent of truffle” because the scent/aroma comes from no truffle. The oil is flavoured with a petrol derivate and the olive oil is of a very mediocre quality: an excellent olive oil aroma would in fact kill the fake chemical truffle aroma.
• Cured Meats. Norcia , around 50 km from Spoleto, is venerated for its pork meat and butchery and the name ‘norcineria’ has become part of the Italian vernacular to mean a butcher of serious skill and quality. When in Spoleto look for a “Norcineria” shop.
• Umbrian typical sweets you could try to find:
Crescionda di Spoleto: an ancient sweet from the town of Spoleto.
Brustengolo: bread enriched with dry fruit according to the ancient peasants' tradition.
Tozzetto: a cookie similar to the Tuscan cantucci.
• Dried Porcini Mushrooms – you’ll of course find them everywhere.
• Fois Gras?!? :-)

LOMBARDIA (Cremona)

No offence, but I personally wouldn’t buy Sperlari industrial products: Torrone and Mostarda. Have a look at Pasticceria Duomo, near the Cathedral. You could also find Torta Sbrisolona there.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA (Parma)
A lot of previous posts on this subject.

Ciao e buon viaggio
Irene

Jan 01, 2011
Irene65 in Italy

Travel to Varenna at Lake Como, Parma, (possibly sdie trips to Reggio and Modena) Bologna and Venice

I would recommend that you rent a car with GPS . From Malpensa Airport to Varenna there are around 100 km (65 miles) and around 200 km (125 miles) from Varenna to Parma. Alternatively you can use http://www.viamichelin.co.uk to prepare your maps.
The only place I would recommend in Varenna is closed this time of the year but you shouldn’t miss
OSTERIA SALI E TABACCHI
in Mandello del Lario (around 7 miles from Varenna
)Tel. 0341 73 37 15
Focused on traditional fresh-water fish recipes, you’ll also find very good cheeses and salumi, fresh pasta like Pappardelle with Hare Sauce, Agnolotti di Brasato and specialties as “Polenta Concia” (cooked with various cheeses and butter).
Simple ambiance, very good food.
Closed the first two weeks of January, BOOK IN ADVANCE.

I don’t think you need an organized tour to shop for ham, cheese and vine. What exactly are you looking for ? Parmigiano Reggiano matured for over 30 months? Culatello with Cotenna? Lambrusco?
http://www.stradadelprosciutto.it/pag... here you can download a free travel guide in English.

As for Parma, Modena, Bologna and Venice you’ll find plenty of advice for every taste and every pocket in previous discussions.

Ciao
Irene

Dec 15, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Christmas Knots (Italian Love Knots) - recipe?!?!

Mmmm.. The “Nodi d’Amore” (Love knots) that I know - and prepare - are a shape variation of “Chiacchiere”, the Italian Carnival fried pastry.

Ciao
Irene

Dec 13, 2010
Irene65 in Home Cooking

Treating my mother to her first trip to Europe/Italy - but where??

The origin of Tiramisù is very controversial, as for many other Italian dishes.
I don't think it was invented in Treviso in the late seventies.
My Granny used to prepare it well before and it was a "family recipe".
The positive aspect is that every region developed its own version: liquor/no liquor, cocoa powder or chocolate chips... Yummy ;-)

Dec 08, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Non-Italian food in and around Milan

Ciao Ragazza Irlandese.

For an updated and exhaustive information I would suggest you to buy "Pappamondo 2011" A guide to Ethnic Restaurants + ethnic grocery stores and markets in Milano area.
You can also buy the book online from
http://libri.terre.it/libri/collana/1...

Just a few suggestions:

Asian Food Products (you'll find Indian specialties
)Via Rosolino Pilo, 20
20129, MILANO

The ingredients will probably be more expensive
Daewon Alimentari Asiatici (Korean)
Via Sondrio, 2
20124, MILANO

Kathay International Foodstores
Via Rosmini, 9-11
20154, MILANO

Poporoya (Japanese restaurant+market)
Via Eustachi, 17
20129, MILANO

Ciao
Irene

Dec 05, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Best eating region in Italy?

No one for Friuli Venezia Giulia? Another culinary & wine gem.

Nov 30, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Sicilian cloisters

Ciao.
I have fresh news from a reliable source in Palermo ;-) Unfortunately there are no more than 3 or 4 nuns left at the Monastery of Sant'Andrea and the pastry production stopped a long time ago.

Ciao
Irene

Nov 29, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Chocolate Tortes in Rome

Ciao Nagual.

Have a look at this
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6883...
Speaking about regional specialties, I don't think Rome is the best place for chocolate torte ;-

)

Ciao
Irene.

Nov 28, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Looking For Best Risotto In Italy [split from Home Cooking]

Is it this one? Produced by Azienda Agricola Cirio Giuseppe e Claudio?
I don't know them, but from what I've found on line they seem to be a small quality producer.

Ciao
Irene

Nov 19, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Looking For Best Risotto In Italy [split from Home Cooking]

Yes, VinoRoma, and thank you for clarifying. When I generically wrote *Carnaroli DOP* I was referring to the Carnaroli variety cultivated in the recognized areas, I should have been more specific and – generally - more English proficient ;-) Expressed like that, there is not “Carnaroli DOP”, as Zerlina pointed out: a DOP EU certification guarantees that a product and all its phases of production have been carried out in a strictly defined geographic area.
Carnaroli is a variety, the Baraggia area is the geographical D.O.P. location.
Ciao
Irene

Nov 19, 2010
Irene65 in Italy

Looking For Best Risotto In Italy [split from Home Cooking]

I hate to contradict you, Zerlina, but as for
Riso di Baraggia Biellese e Vercellese (DOP) go to www.risobaraggia.it (official website) click “IL NOSTRO RISO” and then click “VARIETA’” you’ll see that the Carnaroli variety *is* included, together with Arborio, Baldo, S. Andrea etc. I am sorry that there is no English version.
As for Riso Nano Vialone Vercellese (IGP

)

http://www.risovialonenanoveronese.it...
the website has an English version.
Ciao
Irene

Nov 19, 2010
Irene65 in Italy