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anthony.izzo's Profile

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Wedding Venue/Resort Where Guests Can Stay Over?

My wife and I just got married about two weeks ago at The International golf resort in Bolton, Mass. It was a really wonderful time, and they are definitely also into food. Their chef, Joe Brenner, worked side-by-side with Todd English, opening restaurants all over North America, but took the job at The International when Mr. English's luster started to fade.

Their menu, on paper, is incredible, with traditional and more creative hors d'oeuvres and entrees, and plenty of customization and variety. At our tasting, we actually met Chef Brenner and discussed some changes to the standard menu items we wanted to make, and he was totally open to them and carried our changes right to our wedding day. As many ingredients are as locally sourced as possible, and the International has a great farm-to-table relationship with nearby Nicewicz farm. If you want to try Joe Brenner's food before settling on the venue, his restaurant at the International is called The Fireplace Room, and is amazing as well.

On premise, they have The Lodge, which is a 50 room luxury hotel, and the best part about it is that they give you their large common room with 1-2 bartenders until 1 am at no extra charge - built in afterparty! The Lodge common room itself has a late night menu that you can choose from to cater the afterparty - we had a hotdog bar and Italian style brick oven pizzas. Our guests wiped the hotdog bar clean in about 15 minutes, it was amazing!

Their coordinator, Kate Parker, is very professional, and very accomodating. We were able to order "off menu" for our stationed appetizers (we did both stationed and passed appetizers), we were able to change the on tap beer selection to include Wachusset Country Ale, and she really helped us personalize our reception. I can't say enough great things about her!
Bolton itself is a cutsey little New England town, and there's some fun things to do there. Nashoba Valley Winery is only a few minutes away.

Nov 15, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Metro West - is it really as hopeless as I think?

I ended up going to Punjabi Grille about a month ago. There were no other customers in the restaurant, but none of the tables had been cleared or cleaned, dirty dishes and food particles were everywhere. I was sat and given a menu, then sat quietly for 15 minutes after putting down the menu. Although sitting in clear sight, the server didn't come over to take my order. I got up and walked out without ordering.

Their Indian food could very well be the best this side of the Atlantic ocean, but with service like that, I'm not surprised it was empty at dinnertime on a Saturday.

Oct 11, 2012
anthony.izzo in Greater Boston Area

Mexican in New Haven, Hartford, or Providence? or anywhere in-between?

Bartaco in West Hartford is really cool

http://bartaco.com/

Sep 28, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Cutting back or eliminating salt?

The usual advice on salting your pasta water is that it should taste like either a) seawater or b) a well seasoned soup, which is much more than a very small amount.

I think it varies on application. If you're doing a simple aglio olio, you want the pasta to shine, but if you're laddling on plenty of an ol' warhorse of a bolognese, I don't think salted pasta water would really make a difference.

That being said, I would rather have bland pasta than heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, kidney failure, retinal hemorrhages, and all the other stuff that goes along with long standing, untreated hypertension. Salt reduction is just one part of comprehensive lifestyle modification that includes dietary changes, exercises and maybe medication, but reduction of sodium intake is always high on the list of recommendations.

Sep 27, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Cutting back or eliminating salt?

Definitely. If you're cooking for yourself, you've already cut out a huge amount of salt that you would take in by eating processed foods. If you do want to use canned goods/frozen meals/prepared stocks/etc, be sure to read labels and opt for "low salt" or "low sodium" varieties.

Sep 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Cutting back or eliminating salt?

+1 to not salting your pasta water. No one will miss it.

Sep 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Dinner in Fitchburg or vicinity on Parents Weekend

$1 oysters? I'll definitely have to check it out!

Sep 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

URGENT!! Need help as I am Cooking meal for a girl, I'm 17, please help

Awesome! Good work buddy!

Sep 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

I'm partial to Angelo's Civita Farnese on Federal Hill.
http://www.angelosonthehill.com/

Sep 14, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

I used to go there all the time growing up. In fact, I had my first communion party in the upstairs room! Love this place, I they've reworked their menu since I was there last - no Kobe beef meatballs at my first communion, that's for sure.

Sep 14, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

I'll have to check this place out, too!

Sep 13, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Cooking meal for a girl: Background music?

Yeah, what's in store for this (very lucky) gal?

Sep 13, 2012
anthony.izzo in Not About Food

URGENT!! Need help as I am Cooking meal for a girl, I'm 17, please help

Adele? All of her hits are bitter songs about heartbreak. Admittedly, I haven't listened to the rest of her albums - Someone Like You is enough for me to categorically avoid her when romance is in the air.

Sep 13, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Seeking restaurant recommendations for New Hampshire and Vermont

It's sort of chain-ey, but I love The Common Man group of restaurants in NH. The one in Lincoln may be on your way through NH to Vermont, but try google mapping it.

http://www.thecman.com/

Very New England style menu, warm decor.

Sep 13, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

I've eaten there a number of times with friends, and we've ordered a wide variety of their menu items, all come out really great every time.

Sep 13, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Little-Known, Out-of-the-Way Red-Sauce Italian Places in MA or RI?

Linguini's Italian Eatery in Marlborough, MA. No outdoors, and not particularly scenic, but the food is incredible old-Italian-grandma style.

http://www.ilovelinguines.com/

Sep 12, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

URGENT!! Need help as I am Cooking meal for a girl, I'm 17, please help

David Leiberman has a good cookbook called Young and Hungry for just such an occasion (and many more that a young aspiring cook might run into). Loaded with easy but impressive recipes, and broken down by event - date night, tailgate party, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Young-Hungry-Re...

(and I +1 for the suggestion to do a variety of grilled veggies and chicken - very easy, very colorful and impressive. good end-of-summer seasonal meal when a variety of different veggies are just starting or ending their season).

Sep 12, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

URGENT!! Need help as I am Cooking meal for a girl, I'm 17, please help

There are some really nice mousses made with melted chocolate and pureed silken tofu that are really not fussy. Very easy, just get a block of silken tofu and put it through the blender, then fold in a bar of melted chocolate (melted in a double boiler). Put into cups or bowls the day before and let set in the fridge. I made a really nice version with a little brown sugar and garam masala (an indian spice blend) added to the tofu before the chocolate, and a little coarse salt sprinkled on it before serving.

Sep 12, 2012
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

Rehearsal Dinner Venue - Central MA

Hi Chowhounds,

Any suggestions on where my fiancee and I could have our wedding rehearsal dinner somewhere between Worcester and Framingham, including surrounding towns? A little background: our ceremony is in Framingham, our reception is in Bolton, and the wedding party will be staying on site at the reception site. We'd be looking for anywhere between Worcester and Framingham, preferably a place that's pretty easy to get to from 495, since the bridal party are all out-of-towners.

We originally were looking at The People's Kitchen in Worcester (and still may be), but during two visits there, we were overwhelmed by the cigar smell from the Cigar Masters downstairs. My fiancee and I LOVE Stone's Public House, but are concerned about the lack of updates to their small banquet area upstairs. We recently tried The Fireplace Room, on site at our wedding venue, but found their prices out of our range.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

May 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Will I hate campari?

Aperol has a much more pronounced orange peel flavor.

May 25, 2012
anthony.izzo in Spirits

Rehearsal Dinner Suggestions - Framingham Area

Hi Chowhounds,

Any suggestions on where my fiancee and I could have our wedding rehearsal dinner in Framingham or surrounding towns? A little background: our ceremony is in Framingham, our reception is in Bolton, and the wedding party will be staying on site at the reception site. We'd be looking for anywhere between Bolton and Framingham, preferably a place that's pretty easy to get to from 495, since the bridal party are all out-of-towners.

My fiancee and I LOVE Stone's Public House, but are concerned about the lack of updates to their small banquet area upstairs. We recently tried The Fireplace Room, on site at our wedding venue, but found their prices out of our range.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

May 21, 2012
anthony.izzo in Greater Boston Area

Simple Meals for the Time Starved Professional

Don't forget about Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals, and that other fake Rachel Ray lady's 5 ingredient fixes (I can never remember her name).

Also, really easy, drop a beef roast over some sliced onions and garlic in your slow cooker in the morning. Season it with salt and pepper. Turn to low, and when you come home you have some tasty, tender beef.

May 01, 2011
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

CSA in Worcester Area

I'm going to do the choose-your-own option. My girlfriend is a semi-picky eater, but she did fine with the variety we got from Stone's Throw last year. I'm going to try to get out to Belchertown to do hit up the pick your own patch at some point too. How about you?

Apr 29, 2011
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

CSA in Worcester Area

Stone's Throw CSA / Silvermine Farm aren't operational this year, although Martha says she'll be back in 2012. I was a member last year, and have no complaints. A friend joined Farmacy Gardens' CSA last year and loved it. He seemed to get different varieties of produce a few weeks earlier than I was getting them with Stone's Throw. I joined Farmacy Gardens this year and can't wait for June! They added a pickup site at their Belchertown farm, although it doesn't sound like this is convenient for you. Pickups are, in fact, at University campus on Tuesdays from 1-6. John and Chanya (the farmers) were at the UMass earth day celebration and already had baby greens and radishes for sale.

Also check out http://www.nofamass.org/programs/csa/... for CSA listings.

Apr 28, 2011
anthony.izzo in Southern New England

Basic Steamed Artichokes

Aioli - egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil. Any recipe on the internet will do. It is nearly fool proof if you use an immersion blender.

Mar 30, 2011
anthony.izzo in Recipes

First Immersion Blender. What to do?

The big commercial yogurt containers work well for this - tall, narrow, hold a relatively good amount of food.

Mar 29, 2011
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

cocktail/martini glass dessert ideas?

A cocktail-inspired granita or sorbet would make a great cocktail-glass dessert - I saw a really nice grapefruit & Campari sorbet once, something else like a mild citrus and gin granita would work well too.

Mar 29, 2011
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

COTM NOMINATIONS FOR MARCH 2011

JAMIE OLIVER MONTH

Feb 08, 2011
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking

So How Do You Guys Do Your Shopping? Do You Plan Your Meals?

I buy groceries in two categories:

1) pantry items which I always keep a reasonable stock of on-hand (e.g. canned beans, pasta, other grains). I try to buy these whenever they're on sale and stock up. They have long shelf lives.
2) Fresh items - produce and meats mainly, again I try to buy sales (my mom told me never to spend more than $2/lb on meat). I usually only buy enough to cook for the week, sometimes buying extra to freeze.

I don't follow recipes, so I just add items from both categories in set patterns, with variations in flavors from variety. I usually come up with a meal that night, or the night before. In summer, when we get our CSA share I usually plan at the beginning of the week for the whole week on pick-up day.

Jan 28, 2011
anthony.izzo in General Topics

Duck breasts -- how do you prepare them?

I agree wholeheartedly with searing and slicing, but I find that a tart, acidy sauce is needed to cut through the greasiness of the meet. I made a nice pomegranate and spice reduction that worked well with duck breasts once.

Jan 18, 2011
anthony.izzo in Home Cooking