Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
a

araminta2's Profile

Title Last Reply

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

sorry I got the town's name wrong. jet lagged:
Monforte d’Alba

A tad bigger than La Morra, and it felt more integrated between locals and travelers. In La Morra, I felt a delineation 'tween the 2.
e.g. In La Morra, locals never made eye contact, smiled or greeted me as I passed on the street. Not so as i strolled in Monforte.

re Hotel Langhe:
I chatted separately with 2 couples traveling in the area, one British, one American. Both staying there and very happy with the accomodations.

Aug 24, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

For towns, I really liked the feeling both of Bra and Montefiore.

By contrast, Barolo is a souvenir shop...but it's just outside of La Morra, which is also a tourist spot, but with a commanding vista of the entire valley that is majestic.

Aug 23, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

Because of scheduling, I was only able to go to Bra market day on Friday. They do have a second day for market, but I don't recall if that's Tues or Wed. Easy to check on that info.

Also I didn;t mean to state that the cheese store Giolito is "average" by comparison to the US. Rather, the items there are readily found all over the Piemonte area. Good Grief, the Alpine cheese with the hard rind and creamy interior -- some all cow's milk, some mixed -- is really fun to taste.

And I didn't begin to chronicle my new-found appreciation of Barolo wines. Do yourselves a favor: in La Morra, go to the Catina Communale where volunteers sell all the varieties of local wines and can explain with great patience and knowledge the subtle tastes to note. A wine tasting of 5 different Barolo's was a joy -- for maybe 10 Euros. That done, they will guide you to buy a few bottles of your fave kinda wine at your designated price range. Their prices beat the other stores.

Aug 23, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

I just came back from a week's stay in La Morra, with daily adventures in the Piedmont area. Although hampered by the August holiday closings, it was an amazing culinary experience and verdant area to visit. The raw foods in the markets reveal the extraordinary "building blocks" of a cuisine that surpasses most. From the tomatoes to the peaches... amazing aromas and flavors.

I am grateful to all the posts here for guidance. Here's my 2 cents' worth on the restaurants I got to enjoy:

Just outside of La Morra in the "hamlet" of Annunziata sits a treasure: Osteria Veglio. Simply put: it is impeccable. The commanding view of the entire valley is a picture-perfect location. The service is attentive and warm. And the food, impeccable. We first went for lunch and were especially wowed by
grilled baby octapus salad as a starter -- tender and succulent, with a slightly smokey flavor. Then a dish of rabbit liver with a dollup of foie gras melting over the sides. Oh my... extraordinary.

It was so impressive that we made reservations for another meal before leaving the restaurant. That second visit -- dinner -- was equally enjoyable: plin, duck breast... each dish a triumph of Piemonte cuisine.

On the following day, as we drove through Cherasco near lunch time, I noticed an arrow pointing in the direction of Osteria La Tour. Since my efforts to make a reservation by phone had failed despite several attempts at calling, I assumed they were closed for the August holiday. Not so. They were open and busy. We snagged a seat (easy to do at lunch) and really loved our meal. Very different from VEglio: where the one is serving classic dishes in their best form, la Tour is a more modern inflection. For me, the gnocchi al castelmagno was a highlight.

I was less impressed by the evening at da Bardon. Every dish was fine. But nothing wowed. The service was fine. But nothing in particular stood out. It was very difficult to find the restaurant. And I don't think it was worth the effort.

The market at Bra was a fave -- especially the little stall where a cheerful young woman wrapped a slab of runny gorgonzola for me, the likes of which I've never seen and which reduced me to tears when I savored it back at the apt. By contrast, the famous cheese store disappointed: There is so much great cheese sold in the markets and on the side of the road that the selection at Giolito (while I am sure is of top quality) seemed just average.

Some big bucks were dropped at dinner at Guido. That formal kind of restaurant is not my preferred dining choice, but our landlady went to a big effort to get us a reservation, so we gladly accepted the opportunity. It was lovely. I very much enjoyed the carefully prepared dishes, and the "amuse bouche" in between. Our server was wonderful. Very much enjoyed the conversation with her. From the first bite of a cracker, I knew we were in excellent hands.

Sorry I didn't make it to some of the other locations frequently praised here -- eg Central. But a few rainy afternoons were perfect for staying indoors and eating incredible cheese, salumi and marinated delicacies (grilled artichoke hearts, baby octapus, etc) procured from the market instead of driving the winding roads and perfecting the art of u-turns...

Again, thank you to all who posted their reports and thus allowed me to plan a trip that was truly wonderful.

Aug 23, 2015
araminta2 in Italy
1

La Ciccia [SF]

this description doesn't match my experiences at La Ciccia.

Nabolom Bakery to close on Sunday Aug 2nd

The last time I tried one it woulda been great...as a doorstop. literally

Best Bay Area bagels?

Had a crappy bagel last month at Lower East Side's Russ & Dtrs -- mecca of smoked fish (nb the smoked sable was a taste of heaven).

Beauty's Bagels in Oakland are exceptional.

I am in Piedmont !!

Ouch. I am so sorry to hear about the robbery.

I will be visiting the area in 3 weeks and am appreciating your reports.

Jul 20, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Coffee house? w/couches in oakland or emeryville (grand-lake area preferred)

looking for a location to film?

Who does the wall menus at crepe places?

I have a friend who does chalk art - their work can be seen at "Smoke" on San pablo

St. Honore Cake in East Bay

i once drove back across the Bay bridge with the Stella Bakery St Honore cake in the back seat... just sayin'

Piemonte Region: Is it possible to find whole grain bread

wow what a great idea. i never heard of them. Grazie!

Jul 13, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Piemonte Region: Is it possible to find whole grain bread

I'll be spending a week in the Piemonte Region, based in La Morra. While I will be enjoying the incredible pasta, risotto and grissini of the region, I am traveling with someone who has special dietary needs due to diabetes.

Is it possible to find high fiber bread anywhere in the area? I don't expect brown rice, but is anyone preparing food that would accomodate this special-needs diet of whole grains?

Jul 12, 2015
araminta2 in Italy

Seeking artisanal bread in BERLIN - Prenzlauerberg

Danke Linguafood. Great lists. Even if I don't find that particular bread bakery, I am now armed with a list that will keep me busy. So glad I asked, and so glad y'all gave me ideas.

Jul 05, 2015
araminta2 in Europe

Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg - Mitte 5 Days end of July

I loved katz orange. Treated some German colleagues to a meal there, and all were delighted. Very adventurous but not tweazer food. And a pretty setting.

Jul 04, 2015
araminta2 in Europe

Seeking artisanal bread in BERLIN - Prenzlauerberg

I will definitely try these recommendations. The little bread bakerei was perhaps 5 blocks from where I was staying in P-berg on Dunklestrasse.

As you can see, i will trudge far for great whole-grain bread.

Any other suggestions of bread destinations are welcomed--in P-berg or beyond.

Jul 04, 2015
araminta2 in Europe

Seeking artisanal bread in BERLIN - Prenzlauerberg

Two yrs ago I was staying in Prenzlauerberg and stumbled upon a really tiny bread bakery. later in the day, when I had some of the multi-grain bread for lunch, I realized it was among the best breads I had devoured in Berlin. When I attempted to retrace my steps and get more, I simply couldn't find it.

Can anyone help me locate it? My google search was not successful. I am going back to Berin this summer and top on my list is to find it again.

It was on a small street. I don't think it faced a park. The interior space for customers was tiny.

Jul 04, 2015
araminta2 in Europe

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

The Mission has changed enormously, thanks to the dot comer revival.

Valencia St is probably one of the most vibrant parts of town to walk at nite. The sidewalks are filled both with people arriving in a Hummer and those without 2 nickels to rub together. (And what they often share is too much to drink...) It would be a great time to walk on that street.

Not so for Mission St itself.

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

instead of a rice-less burrito I'd recommend a few tacos:

-more flavor in corn tortillas
-more variety: you can try out a bunch of different meats
-fewer beans to fill you up on

Any Shishito peppers sightings?

I grow 'em from seeds.
maybe Annie's Annuals in Richmond would have the plants in the spring. call them.

Any Shishito peppers sightings?

This is one of the easiest plants to grow: requires little sun, little water, and doesn't seem to attract pests like snails, etc.
And each plant is very prolific.

Even if you don't have a garden, it can grow in a planter.

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

While I make a bee line to b.patisserie or Neighbor, none is as good as NYC's -- Mille Feuille, for example.

I'm not a fan of croissants at Tartine.

Zut! - former Eccolo [Berkeley]

interesting.
the best thing about Zut was the bartenders.

[San Francisco] Central Kitchen or Tosca for dinner with in-laws?

Last month, I went to Central Kitchen for the first time. While I really enjoyed the food, I was quite disappointed with the service. It was so rushed that more than 1 server tried to grab a plate off the table before we had finished eating.

Since they were rushing us out the door, I won't be rushing back for a second visit.

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. In the end, due to several logistical issues, we ended up going to Mehfil in Roseville. The buffet lunch was rather good, IMHO. I especially was intrigued by the punjabi curry -- with pakora in a yummy sauce.

And I look forward to trying some of the other suggestions on future excursions thru Sacto.

Apr 08, 2012
araminta2 in California

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

oh thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of the significance of the word "udupi".

Apr 08, 2012
araminta2 in California

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

ps- I wonder if that Udupi is related to the one in SF & Berkeley?

Apr 05, 2012
araminta2 in California

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

yum! one of my fave restos in Oakland is Lao, and their sausage + sticky rice.
And another option for dosas! hooray.
Thanks.

Apr 05, 2012
araminta2 in California

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

Thanks for the post, Nickis. Kaveri's definitely is on the list.

Any other suggestions for good eats between Sacto & Nevada City are also welcomed!

Apr 01, 2012
araminta2 in California

lunch in or around Sacto -- not burgers 'n fries, please

Saravana Bhavan is great. I've also been to their location in NYC which is even better. Thanks for the tip. I'm now very curious to try Kaveri.

Mar 31, 2012
araminta2 in California