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Recommendation in Trastavere?

Starting a new post, since the previous ones that this board has been so helpful on were from a while back. My parents are going to be on a big "first time to Europe" trip in May/June. I'm meeting them in Rome for a few days (and then heading to Florence with them for one night).

They are not major foodies and with such a big trip, the budget doesn't fit a place like La Pergola. That said, we've booked Roscioli, Armando al Pantheon, and they have received a strong recommendation for Il Gabriello. We also plan on getting pizza at Pizzarium after visiting the Vatican.

The one evening we are looking for a booking for, we want to spend in Trastavere. I'd appreciate any suggestions there. Since we're going to Roscioli and Armando, and Rome is the furthest south my parents are headed in Italy, I was wondering if perhaps there was a restaurant specializing in southern Italian food in Trastavere.

One more question: for the night I'm with them in Florence, I've tried for a reservation at Cipolla Rosso using their online booking. Haven't heard back from them in a couple days. Does anyone know if that's normal for them, or if I should start looking elsewhere?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts - this board has always been super-helpful!! (If you're ever in Boston, I'd be happy to trade recommendations!)

Apr 05, 2014
nseton in Italy

Trip Report - Manchester, VT

Thank you to everyone on this board who helped with recommendations in Manchester. Though we went last month, I wanted to post a review of where we ate before it got too late.

First lunch was at Sushi Boat - recommendation of a friend who is here often. Very fresh rolls, and yummy standard sushi restaurant food, including shumai, edamame and seaweed salad.

Dinner at the Dorset Inn was highlighted by the cozy fireplace table we had, and the tomato-fennel soup and beet salad first courses we ordered.

We really enjoyed the cheddar fondue at the Marsh Tavern at the Equinox, including the hot pretzel nuggets for dipping.

Dinner at Gringo Jack's was a nice surprise. We had trepidations based on some reviews on chowhound, but figured those might be out of date - and we really weren't looking for much. But they have fresh and addictive chips, excellent salsa, fresh guacamole with plenty of cilantro, a strong Hornitos margarita and the BBQ brisket tacos were perfectly balanced between tangy, spicy and sweet.

Another good lunch spot, this time for great sandwiches and hearty, beefy chili, was Ponce.

All of these places were solid and recommended for good meals. The highlight of the trip though, from an eating perspective if not the whole thing, was Silver Fork. Chef Mark French and his wife Melody run the most delightful, cozy, and lovely 6 table restaurant, plus 6 seats for bar eating. I've never seen my wife take so long to decide what to order - each of us could have had five first courses and five main courses. We settled on tuna tartare for her (with the most yummy warm plantain "chips" you could imagine) and tuna carpaccio for me (accented by capers and onions). For our mains, my wife had a veggie bake of sautéed eggplant and other veggies, roasted garlic and goat cheese. I had Wiener schnitzel (owing to the chef's five year apprenticeship with a German chef). Probably the best I've had anywhere. Dessert was chocolate mousse served in an almond brittle cup. We devoured everything. Wine was matched to each dish by Melody, who runs the front of the house and tells stories of the couple's moves from Baltimore to KC to Toronto to Puerto Rico to St. Louis to Manchester, all working in hotels and restaurants. The town is lucky to have them and we'll be back this way just to eat here.

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Sushi Boat, 4971-3 Main Street, Manchester, VT (www.sushiboatvt.com

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Dorset Inn, 8 Church Street & Route 30, Dorset, VT (www.dorsetinn.com

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Marsh Tavern, The Equinox Resort, 3567 Main Street Rte 7A, Manchester, VT (www.equinoxresort.com

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Gringo Jack's, 5103 Main Street, Manchester, VT (www.gringojacks.com

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Ponce, 4659 Main Street, Manchester, VT (www.poncebistro.com

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Silver Fork, 4201 Main Street, Manchester, VT (thesilverforkvt.com)

Mar 31, 2014
nseton in Northern New England

Long range planning for Rome and Siena with my parents

Hi everyone - this trip is actually getting much closer, and things are coming together. As it turns out, I'll be with my parents in Rome, and also driving through Volterra on the way there, and then in Florence for a night.

In Rome, largely based on suggestions from this board, so far we have booked at Roscioli, Armando al Pantheon, and we're planning to grab slices for lunch at Pizzarium after seeing the Vatican one day. Plus, we're going to try to get reservations at Il Gabriello, which my parents have heard good things about.

Last piece of the Rome puzzle would be a dinner in Trastavere. Any suggestions there would be appreciated - thank you!

In Florence, I'll be there just one night, and I was thinking Cipolla Rossa. Interested in the reaction from the board.

Again, thanks very much!

Mar 31, 2014
nseton in Italy

Barcelona with a 4 year Old

I totally agree with the poster below. Barcelona is great for little kids. We went with our two year old, two years ago, and we had a terrific time.

One suggestion: we actually kept our daughter on US East Coast time (we're from Boston) while we were there, for the most part. She went to bed at around midnight and slept till 10, and it was the best sleeping we had had up until that point! It also let us keep our schedule more in line with what was open in terms of sights and restaurants.

La Boqueria might be a little crazy inside for a little kid, but we were able to grab food from some of the stalls and sit off the to the side, and then stand for a bit at El Quim.

Of the very chowish places on the various Barcelona related chains, we also loved Cal Pep (Pep himself was great with our daughter at the counter) and Euskal Extea for pinxtos. Another nice respite was at Ohla gastronomic bar in the Ohla hotel.

Lonja de tapas is a sort of tapas chain - they have 3 or 4 locations, some under different names - and the staff there was really wonderful with our daughter.

All in all, everyone in Barcelona was great with kids. Our daughter liked the aquarium, loved the Parc Guell and some of the modernist buildings, and the sculpture garden at the Miro museum. She also really loved the cable car up to Montjuic.

Have fun!

Feb 15, 2014
nseton in Spain/Portugal

Manchester, VT restaurant suggestions?

Thanks everyone for all these suggestions! The Dorset Inn and Al Ducci's both sound like great places to visit. Does anyone have opinions on the restaurants at the Equinox? Or about The Perfect Wife? Thank you!

Feb 06, 2014
nseton in Northern New England

Manchester, VT restaurant suggestions?

Boston hound heading to Manchester area in February for a couple days getaway with my wife. We would welcome any suggestions for good places to try in the area. Given how cold it's been, I'm thinking that some really good comfort food would be great. Thanks!

Jan 28, 2014
nseton in Northern New England

My parents week in Paris - some affordable and "healthy" options

Thank you to all of you! These are great responses and a terrific start. I really appreciate it, and I'll pass along the recommendations.

Jan 20, 2014
nseton in France

My parents week in Paris - some affordable and "healthy" options

I'm a Boston hound, and my parents (in their mid-60s) will be in Paris for the first time this spring as part of a long, first trip to Europe. While they appreciate great food and great experiences, they are by no means "foodies", and they are a bit daunted at the prospect of figuring out where to eat in Paris especially without breaking the bank. In addition, they are extremely conscious of eating "heart healthy" food at home (e.g., lots of fish, very little butter, etc.) and are a little intimidated by the prospect of getting out of their routine.

I would love to be able to provide them with some trusted recommendations for relatively affordable restaurants that might be able to give them some lighter options. Their idea of French food is a little stereotypically old-fashioned, so I think they'll likely be pleasantly surprised by what they find, but figured I'd ask this board for some thoughts. They are staying in an apartment in Trocadero and will be visiting all the major attractions, so I'd welcome suggested locations throughout the city.

Thanks very much in advance, and if you're every coming to Boston or New England, I'll be more than happy to return the favor!

Jan 18, 2014
nseton in France

NYC couple - 3 days/nights of recs!!

One more suggestion for dinner: take a 15 min subway ride from downtown to Jamaica Plain and eat at Ten Tables. Food is awesome, service is always great, tiny space with an open kitchen and servers who'll talk to you about the meal. Plus you'll see a different Boston neighborhood.

Also for lunch - there are locations of Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery in Fort Pt and in Back Bay for great sandwiches and the some of the best pastries in Boston.

Aug 24, 2013
nseton in Greater Boston Area

Long range planning for Rome and Siena with my parents

Several of you on this board (especially PBSF and Jen Kalb) were wonderfully helpful last year in helping me plan some great chowish stops during a trip to Venice with my wife's family. Now I'm doing some long-range planning for a few days spent in Rome and one day in Siena with my parents next spring. It will be their first time in either place and my first time in Rome since backpacking (I've never been to Siena). I'm much more of a foodie than they are, but they'll be up for anything, although I'd like to avoid super-expensive restaurants - unless it's a place that just cannot be missed. They'll get more out of smaller places that are loved by locals.

I know there are plenty of threads about both places, and I've started looking through them, but I had a few specific questions to start my thinking:

1. I'll likely arrange the trip with different days in different neighborhoods, so I'm currently starting to think about lunch places (can be pizza or sandwiches or markets or something similarly casual) (1) near Vatican City, (2) between the Pantheon and the Villa Borghese, and (3) near the Colosseum/Forum area.

2. For dinner, we can go anywhere, but for one night, I was thinking of going to Trastavere in the evening after the day spent at the Vatican. Would love some thoughts on places to go there.

3. Is there anywhere that we'll need reservations long in advance?

4. Rome's best markets for getting picnic supplies?

5. Great, non-touristy gelato places?

6. In Siena, are there one or two places not to be missed?

Any guidance on those questions will definitely help me get to thinking and having the fun of planning the trip. Also any thoughts on places to stay would be appreciated as well (I'd love to find a great, small hotel with modern amenities in an ancient setting).

Thanks in advance!!

Aug 23, 2013
nseton in Italy

Getting my wife a night off from baby duty - need good food, relaxing atmosphere, not fussy

Nice of you to say, but if I were better at waking up in the middle of the night to feed the baby rather than being a ridiculously deep sleeper, the necessity of this dinner might not be so dire! Thanks again to everyone for their ideas. Hoping we'll get out to Quince or one of the others...

May 15, 2013
nseton in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Getting my wife a night off from baby duty - need good food, relaxing atmosphere, not fussy

These are all terrific choices - thank you! I think we'll try for Quince. Looking forward to it!

May 15, 2013
nseton in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Getting my wife a night off from baby duty - need good food, relaxing atmosphere, not fussy

We're Boston based and visiting my in-laws so we have built in babysitting. But they live at Bayview and York Mills, so would love to go somewhere either up there (I know, not much) or at least in the Yonge & Eglington vicinity, rather than heading all the way downtown (next time!). Ideal restaurant has great food - especially fish and veggie options - and is a low key place. We're just not up to a super destination style meal right now. Basically we want a really good neighborhood place, and I'm hoping someone in the neighborhood can suggest one - thanks!!

May 13, 2013
nseton in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good, casual food near Coconut Creek?

Taking my daughter down to Coconut Creek to visit my grandmother in a few weeks (from Boston). Interested in some recommendations in the area for one dinner, on a Sunday evening. Would like to take my grandmother out somewhere nice, but casual. Willing to drive 15-30 minutes. Thanks!

Mar 18, 2013
nseton in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Delivery to Brigham & Women's

Thanks everyone for the recommendations! Ended up with two "date nights" while my in-laws have been in town and taking care of our daughter. Opted for Brown Sugar again for old times' sake and then did Brookline Family Restaurant - my wife wanted comfort food and Thai and Turkish qualify as that for her. We really love Brookline Family Restaurant - their doner kabab sandwich is so delicious and the spinach pie and grape leaves wrap are yummy too.

More importantly, no baby yet - which is great since we're still a month out from full term - and she's coming home tomorrow! Thanks again!

Feb 03, 2013
nseton in Greater Boston Area

Delivery to Brigham & Women's

My wife is there for at least a week while waiting for our new baby to be born. I'd love to do a "date night" in the hospital room at some point. Does anyone know of a good place in JP, Fenway, Longwood or Brookline that translates well to delivery or takeout? When we had our first kid, we ordered in from Brown Sugar one night and loved it, but was thinking of something a little "nicer". Thanks in advance.

Jan 28, 2013
nseton in Greater Boston Area

North End breakfast?

Thanks everyone! We ended up at North Street Grille this morning and enjoyed it very much. Definitely a cute place, not pretentious, and we were very happy with our scrambled egg sandwich and Italian sausage, peppers and onions omelet. We'll keep the other recommendations in mind for next time too. Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2012
nseton in Greater Boston Area

North End breakfast?

Hi everyone - my wife and I are going to find ourselves in the North End this Sunday morning and were thinking of finding a good breakfast spot. We'd be up for anything - from a great greasy spoon to pastries and coffee - though we'd probably rather not do a big elaborate brunch. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. Thanks!

Dec 26, 2012
nseton in Greater Boston Area

Big family in Venice in October

Thanks for the kind reply. We did arrange that. (Or at least my in-laws did - they have a family friend who lives in Venice and was enormously helpful for the week.) He is a terrific guy and showed us what he was doing along the way. His bacaro is, as I said, a great place.

Oct 18, 2012
nseton in Italy

Big family in Venice in October

As promised, we have returned from our big family trip to Venice, and I wanted to first thank PBSF in particular for so many terrific suggestions, and to just write a quick report about a few of the places that we particularly enjoyed.

My wife and I are adventurous eaters (though she keeps Kosher, which basically means she eats a mix of fish/veggie when we're out), but we were traveling with our 3 year old and her family and not all of her siblings are as adventurous as we are. That said, we found several places that were great.

1. My wife and I had one "date night" and at the suggestion of many on this board, we went to Il Ridotto, which did not disappoint at all. It's a delightful little restaurant, and you can tell that the chef and his small team really care about the food and their guests. The highlights were my baby octopus with fava bean puree starter and my wife's cod fillet and creamed cod on black lentils.

2. Probably the best seafood of the trip was at Corte Sconta, which was conveniently very close to the apartment we were staying in near the Arsenale. The team that runs the restaurant was extremely accommodating of our large group, we sat in the lovely outdoor garden, and the selection of fresh seafood was really excellent. Highlights were squid ink linguine, fresh clams in a ginger broth, and perhaps the best giant artichoke hearts that we had ever had.

3. Our favorite little place of the trip was a wine bar called Cavatappi, actually quite close to San Marco, directly behind the Church of San Luizen. We were fortunate enough to have the chef/owner, Marco, cook with us in the apartment to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. While my wife and I went with him to the Rialto Markets to shop for the night's meal, we stopped for an aperitivo at his little bar and returned a couple of days later for lunch with just our daughter. Marco is a judge in cheese competitions, and he makes fresh and creative marmalades to go with the cheeses he serves - my favorites being leek and romanesco. His baby artichokes, zucchini blossoms stuffed with scamorzza, and house made pastas are also excellent. The menu changes daily, I believe, based on what's fresh, and excitingly enough, even our toddler loved his gnocchi with spinach and gorgonzola! He's a great guy too, so I couldn't recommend this place highly enough.

4. We ate one Kosher meal at Hostaria del Ghetto, which satisfied my family's craving for meat perfectly. Their middle eastern platter (hummus, falafel, etc.) was a great starter, and the steaks and lamb chops were excellent as well. Good kosher wine list too.

One additional note on eating with a toddler in Venice: as long as she likes pizza, pasta and gelato, you'll be in great shape. But if you're looking to help your child become more adventurous, we found that really building up the excitement of trying something new - even if it was a new shape of pasta or a new kind of cheese - really helped. Dinner service in Venice can be pretty slow, so you might be in better shape aiming for bacari with your kids, and if find good ones - like Cavatappi - where the menu is changing regularly and they are not just pulling in tourists, you're going to have a great time.

Anyway, I've gone on long enough, but thanks again to PBSF and Jen Kalb and others on this board for great suggestions and ideas!

Corte Sconta
Castello 3886 (Calle del Pestrin)

Il Ridotto
Castello 4509 (Campo SS Filippo e Giacomo)

Cavatappi
San Marco 525/526 (Campo della Guerra)

Hostaria del Ghetto
Cannaregio 2873/C (Campo del Ghetto Nuovo)

Oct 16, 2012
nseton in Italy

Random question: Mocktails in Venice

I'm heading to Venice in 2 weeks with my wife, daughter and my wife's family. The two of us are taking one "date night" while we're there (we have reservations at Il Ridotto, upon the recommendation of many on these boards). I had planned on us having a drink overlooking one of the canals beforehand, but now, happily, my wife is pregnant, so I'm wondering if there's a bar in Venice where one could get good, creative mocktails fo rher. Any thoughts would be welcome!

Thanks in advance!

Sep 17, 2012
nseton in Italy

Big family in Venice in October

Thanks to both of you! Looks like you've given me a lot to start with. I'll comb through the boards and make some suggestions to the rest of our family, and if we need additional guidance - will be sure to ask here!. (And I'll report back in the fall too with how things go)

Thanks!

Jun 29, 2012
nseton in Italy

Big family in Venice in October

My wife and I are traveling to Venice for a week in October with our daughter (who will be 3) and my wife's family. There will be 10 of us in total, with a couple vegetarians, several Kosher folks (basically means fish + vegetarian, no shellfish) and the aforementioned 3 year old.

I already made reservations for a date night with my wife at Il Ridotto. Besides that, I'm hoping to get a sense of good places for a mix of meals - lunch, dinner, bars, upscale, casual - to do some planning for the week. Our group includes a few foodies and a few who are not but everyone loves going out to eat. We'll also have a kitchen and a few willing cooks so if there are suggestions for good markets to check out, I'd appreciate that too.

Thanks in advance! Will post a review in the fall when we're back.

Jun 21, 2012
nseton in Italy

Date night in Venice

My wife and I will be in Venice on a family vacation this fall. We'll have one night where the family will be able to babysit, and I'd love a recommendation for a great dinner for a date night. She does not eat shellfish or pork but any other fish/pasta is fine. We'd much rather an authentic place where locals eat, rather than a spot that's popular with the film festival or tourist crowd. Thanks to all those who have posted on various Venice spots already - lots of great choices out there, just looking to narrow it down a little. Thanks in advance!

May 02, 2012
nseton in Italy

2012 Food and Restaurant CHANGES and CLOSINGS

This is a total shot in the dark, but does anyone know if the Toronto House of Chan was in any way related to New York's old House of Chan - and its successor restaurant Keewah Yen? Both were favorites of my family over three generations and since Keewah Yen closed its midtown NYC location a few years ago, we haven't been able to find the same Cantonese anywhere. I'm assuming they are unrelated, but if anyone knows...

Mar 28, 2012
nseton in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kid approved birthday cakes in Needham or Newton

Second the mention of Party Favors in Brookline. They will also decorate a cake however you want it with a week's notice. They made a giant wave of frosting with surfing penguins for my daughter's last b-day.

Mar 17, 2012
nseton in Greater Boston Area

Barcelona with a toddler

Thanks very much for the reply! We've heard great things about how much of a family friendly culture there is in Barcelona - and Spain in general.

As for your question, it's definitely a service that we would consider. We know a lot of parents who use babysitting services recommended by hotels and resorts in order to get a night or two out when they're on a trip. The idea of making the service somewhat "educational" would be a major appeal to lots of American parents who are looking to encourage their little ones to become multilingual. The key is going to be in the quality of the people the service provides and the references they have. The pricing is very much in line with babysitting here in the US, but it's still a high-end service your friend is interested in, and the parents who would use it are going to do a lot of due diligence to make sure they are leaving their kids with someone responsible. To that end, providing reliable contact information and background info in advance on the specific person in the service that will be doing the babysitting would be good ideas. Maybe even having the sitters be CPR certified, which is something a lot of people look for. In any event, sounds like a terrific idea that could be a winner, as you say.

Thanks again, and looking forward to being in Barcelona soon!

Nov 18, 2011
nseton in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona with a toddler

Will be in Barcelona for a week in December with our toddler. We're looking for some good but relaxed places where we won't feel like we're ruining other people's experiences (although our daughter is actually great in restaurants). Any suggestions would be appreciated. We're staying near the waterfront but plan on exploring the whole city.

Nov 14, 2011
nseton in Spain/Portugal