m

MelB5's Profile

Title Last Reply

Rome itinerary for anniversary trip

Ah! The woman herself! I'm honored you'd answer my post! Your app has been incredibly helpful!!
Thank you! Yes, the pizza Bianca at forno dei campo dei fiori! I'd read about it but couldn't remember the name (should've been an easy one but I guess not lol)
Thanks so much for all the suggestions. Much appreciated! I will look into maybe substituting pipero al rex for antico arco this will be, of course, our most important meal so it must be wonderful on all levels! i will try to fit in Localino de Claudio, it sounds great!
As for Monday we've decided to daytrip to Orvieto so that eliminates that day anyway so I will definitely drop Colline Emiliane.
You all have been very helpful, thank you!

Jun 17, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Rome itinerary for anniversary trip

Thanks lisaonthecape! Great insight, I really appreciate it! Yes, L'Arcangelo on Thurs was definitely for the gnocchi! Glad to hear its as good as I'm hoping! And, thank you for the info on L'Asino d'Oro. I think you're right, at that price I will definitely make an effort to get there for the lunch special one of those days.

Jun 17, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Rome itinerary for anniversary trip

Thank you for that. I guess I will not plan on l'asino d'oro for lunch that day. It will be a very busy day so I'm sure our feet will indeed hurt.

Another question, if I may. I was hoping to do the Rocioli wine tasting & food pairing simply for fun. We enjoy those types of events here at home even with what I'm sure is far inferior food and wine. We enjoy the social and jovial nature of those types of tastings. But, I am also planning on a wine tasting with vino roma (my italians). While this also looks fun, my main goal here is the educational aspects of the tasting so that I might be more confident in my ordering throughout the trip. Are the experiences different enough that we can take away different things or should we choose one? In this case, I would probably go with vino roma. I appreciate any insight into the 2 tastings.

Jun 16, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Rome itinerary for anniversary trip

Hi chowhounders!
Hubby and I will be in Rome in July for 8 days celebrating our 10th anniversary.
We've rented an apartment in the campo de fiori so we'll probably have a little breakfast before heading out each day. I've read the campo de fiori marketplace isn't the best place so is there another marketplace or shops nearby where we can stock up on breakfast items (fruit, cheese, coffee) and snack foods (salumi, cheese, vegetables, wine)?

Here are my restaurant picks so far. If i don't mention lunch, its because I plan to use Katie Parla and Elizabeth Minchilli's apps to help wherever we've ended up at lunch time. Please let me know if I've made any mistakes, left anything important out, etc. I was also hoping for some nice seafood maybe La Gensola or Pierluigi. Should I substitute any of the ones I have for either one of those? I thank you for any and all thoughts!

Day 1 thurs: arrive at 5pm. Was thinking cool ambience might trump amazing food this night with our jet lag so was considering Costanza for dinner.

Day 2 Fri: actual anniversary! Plan to pick up picnic items and take them to borghese gardens (where should we stop for this?)
Anniversary dinner at Pipero Al Rex. Romantic atmosphere is as important as food this night. Good choice?

Day 3 Sat:
Lunch: l'asino d'oro (plan to be at nearby capitoline museum
Dinner: checchino dal 1887

Day 4 Sun:
Dinner: Cesare al Casaletto

Day 5 Mon:
Dinner: Colline Emiliane?

Day 6 Tue:
Vatican day. Grabbing a slice from pizzarium.
Dinner: Renato e Luisa or Armando al Pantheon or Settimio al Pellegrino.

Day 7 wed:
Lunch: Taverna dei Fiore
Dinner: wine and food tasting at Roscioli

Day 8 thurs: dinner at L'Arcangelo

Jun 15, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Pipero al Rex when to make a reservation

Got the reservation! Thanks!

Feb 04, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Pipero al Rex when to make a reservation

Mbfant-thank you for that AND all your other invaluable contributions that are helping me put together a food itinerary for our anniversary week in Rome!

Feb 02, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

Pipero al Rex when to make a reservation

Hi everyone! After MUCH research on the boards I think I have decided on this restaurant for my 10th wedding anniversary in July. I know there's only a few tables here, so how far in advance should I make reservations?
Thanks!

Feb 02, 2013
MelB5 in Italy

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Thanks Motosport. I do see what you mean. But, since most this trip is geared towards the kids including the food I'd like at least one very good meal that's a bit more special. Still obviously where children aren't frowned upon but where us grownups will enjoy a night out in NYC as well.

Jul 19, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Thanks for the address of Economy Candy iluvcookies. I'd heard of this one too but again wasn't sure where it was. My kids will be properly sugared up! Thanks!
I was aware of Zabars too and since I love gourmet foods and cookware I will definitely be making that a stop. Appreciate it!
I'll look into Gazala's too. Hadn't come across that one. :)

Jul 19, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Thanks for all the input. So, I guess I'm still on the elusive search for a good dinner near the theater district. But, I do realize there are at least a million topics on this so it must be my error that I haven't been able to settle on one.

Also, even though they're completely different, if we could only do one, would you choose Balthazar or Keens for a special not too expensive meal for a family with kids?

Thanks!

Jul 18, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Great suggestion! Hadn't heard of it. I will look it up now. Thank you Motosport!

Jul 18, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

That's too bad to hear you're not a fan, but thanks for your honesty. Do you have another suggestion not too far from theater district that you think would be better? I've given up on mind-blowing (especially given our budget) but I'm looking for a darn good meal. I've done my research (or so I thought) and thought that Basso and Kashkaval got decent reccos here but I'm open to suggestion. Thanks!

Jul 18, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Also, in looking up the 2 that replied to see if they've already recommended alternatives to Basso56 to others, I came across a reco for Kashkaval. A quick look on MP had me drooling and very happy about the prices. However a look on Yelp showed me its called a cheese and wine bar. Is it wine bar enough that it would be inappropriate to bring bigger kids? It would be a weekday early dinner say 530ish. If its ok, would this be a better choice than Basso 56? Thanks!

Jul 17, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Wonderful suggestions thank you rkaene! I've put them all on my list. Good to read a positive on Kefi.

Jul 17, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Thanks for that debinqueens. We will try out laboratorio gelato as well. I'd read about it, but wasn't sure where it was. Now that I know its near Katz, I'll hopstop it. My kids will love you for that suggestion!

We'd be happy with pre-theater in a welcoming spot of any ethnicity especially if it means better food! I just focused on Italian because I didn't have it on my list (i thought we'd stick with pizza at Keste) but I'm very open for the theater night. Thanks!

Jul 17, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

1st time family of 5 food itinerary...thoughts?

Hello!
My family (dh and 3 kids 11, 8, 7) will be in NYC for the 1st time at the end of this month.
we are looking for:
-some really, really good food! But, travelling with 5 makes budget a bigger concern than usual.
-We want to mostly stick with unique to New York food.
-Cuisine: Four of us are adventurous but we have our DD who doesn't like anything unless very bland...she also never met a chicken nugget she didn't like (I know, I know) so we're trying to keep it simple for my decidedly non-chowhound daughter
-Budget: the per person price before tax, tip, and alcohol is difficult for me to calculate as the kids will likely eat less and eat lower end items so I've just gone through the menus and planned what I thought everyone would order. With that in mind I'd like to keep our food only budget around $250-$300 total for each dinner. We are wine drinkers though so restaurants with decent bottles under $100 would be great)

I'm chowhounding and menupage-ing non-stop so everytime I think I have our food itinerary...I get confused again. So, I'll just post what I'm thinking so far and hopefully some of you will be kind enough to critique.

Breakfasts will mostly consist of something in our hotel as the Fairway is across from our hotel

Lunches:
Gray's Papaya
Shake Shack (to compare with our In-n-Out)
Luke's Lobster
combo of Katz Deli and Russ & Daughters (thinking of sharing some from each)
Kefi (this is a maybe, seems to not get much love here but its near our hotel and I love Greek so thought it might be a nice neighborhood joint with decent food?)

Dinner:
Day 1:Keste for pizza
Day 2:Basso56 for pre-theater
Day 3: want this to be a little more special was originally thinking Balthazar but also thinking Keen's (I realize completely different food and atmosphere but they both appeal to me and seem similar in price) Maybe do one on this night and the other the next before we leave? Or do you suggest something else?

Thanks in advance I'd really appreciate advice

Jul 17, 2012
MelB5 in Manhattan

Best places in Palm Springs?

imo acqua pazza is pretty good. They are very reasonable and have outstanding summer specials. The food will probably not blow your mind but that's hard to find in the desert anyway. Its a pretty, fun, lively place.
Have fun!

Jul 17, 2012
MelB5 in California

Temecula wineries: good wine, nice setting, and family-friendly? Is this possible?

So happy you were able to enjoy your time in temecula! I was going to respond that I thought it was possible but I see you've already been. You visited a couple of my favorites. We enjoyed palumbo and frangipani. Thanks for reporting back!

Jun 14, 2012
MelB5 in California

Help! Foodies in palm springs

Morgan's was good. It's been more than a year since I've been though.
For the OP I'd recommend Le Valarius in PS. And I just recently had a fantastic meal at Lavender in old town La Quinta. I had a delicious not on the menu salad, a very fresh and yummy tuna tartare, and a still-dreaming-about-it mushroom soup with truffle oil. I went with a couple girlfriends and can't wait to return for a date night with the hubs!

Jun 14, 2012
MelB5 in California

Best places in Palm Springs?

Glad you dined at le vallarius. I think it's one of the Coachella valley's best. Another one I just recently tried and loved was lavender in old town la Quinta. Maybe next time you are out this way!

Jun 14, 2012
MelB5 in California

Trip Report

Thank you Servorg and Tom!

Jan 31, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area

Trip Report

Ha! Mutton dip. Totally agreed!

Jan 31, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area

Trip Report

Ciao Bob-Yes, I guess I should've clarified "spent a lot of time on the boards....for me" a busy working mom of 3 young children. So I did what research I could. Also, I should note that our young(ish) age, budget, and time constraints prevent us from being real foodies but we hope to one day claim that distinction and we are getting there one meal at a time! :) So, this report should be read with that in mind.
I did find plenty of posts that agree with you that Pinks is terrible but I am suprprised to hear that chowhounders don't recommend the other two.I thought I found plenty of favorable posts by chowhounders of El Tepeyac and Philippe. That combined with the fact that they seemed to be LA institutions and that is why we went.
But, as we're always looking to combine cheap, local, dive-y places with a nicer meal when we travel, I'd love to hear your picks for some better choices the next time we are in LA!!!
As for 25 degrees, I never planned on going there so didn't check in with Chowhound prior to our visit. That was simply a "those drinks were really strong so I need some greasy carbs to soak it up, its right here in our own hotel and is open at 2am" spur of the moment decisions. I'm still glad we went. I enjoyed the vibe as much as the food.
I always try to find the good in whatever I do, so even though I didn't like my sandwich at Philippe's and I probably would choose to try another sandwich place next time, I'm still glad to say I've been, and I did love that hot mustard and am glad I got to try it. Same goes for El Tepeyac. I wouldn't necessarily drive out of my way for the food alone but the fun and welcoming atmosphere that the owner provides will bring me back.
I do thank you for your feedback and look forward to hearing your suggestions for next time!

Jan 31, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area

Trip Report

Hubby and I spent 1 night and 2 days in LA to see Wicked. I spent a lot of time on the boards to choose where to eat so thought I'd report back.
On our way into town we stopped in at El Tepeyac. Hubby had the original pork Hollenbeck burrito and I had the chile relleno burrito. We were both very pleased. This place knows how to deliver a great burrito! The burritos of course are huge but we both did our best and were able to eat about 3/4 of them. Growing up in SoCal we've had our fair share of delicious Mexican food so it wouldn't be fair to say its the best I've ever had but still very satisfying. And, of course Manny is what would keep me coming back over and over again. He sat down with us several times and chit-chatted with us, he gave us not one but 2 shots each of tequila and generally made us feel so welcomed. I know we'll be back.

For dinner we made reservations at Cleo. I wanted a nice date restaurant that also had amazing food. I asked here on Chowhound and you all delivered with this suggestion! I LOVED Cleo! The interior space is beautiful. I loved the huge photos. I will say though that they really pack in the tables here. If I were a larger framed woman, I think I would've been sitting on the lap of the people next to us. This would be my only complaint as it made it sort of awkward to have a conversation as I knew the tables on either side of us could hear every word. Still, I drank a cocktail straight away which took the edge off the awkwardness and we were able to fully enjoy our meal. We started with the lebaneh with feta. It was served with a warm and delicious bread. I could NOT get enough of this stuff! I knew I was filling up too much on that bread but I didn't care! I could eat that stuff everyday and be happy! What should have come out next was the brussel sprouts that I read so much about and the pumpkin salad. Mysteriously, these dishes never arrived. When we told our server at the end of the meal that we never did get these dishes she seemed confused and was apologetic but all was well because we were STUFFED by the end (we'd just a few hours earlier had those El Tepeyac burritos) and we were out of time (didn't want to be late for the show) so we assured our server it was fine and we were perfectly happy without those items. Gives me a good reason to return as I really did want to try those brussel sprouts. Anyway, the next dish we received was the grilled octopus with potato. This was very very good as well. Hubby enjoyed it more than I as I felt the seasoning was your basic run of the mill seafood rub. But, it was still very enjoyable. Next up was the lamb sliders. These were very good as well. Greasy but good. Being that it was a slider I can't say that it wowed me but it was yummy nonetheless and I wouldn't hesitate to order it again. Next came the mushroom flatbread with gruyere, chile, and wilted arugula. WOW!!!!!! Absolutely delicious! I only wished we'd had more room in our stomachs. We simply could not finish this but I've been dreaming about it for the last 2 days and I will probably continue thinking about it until I return for more! Lastly, we tried the sticky toffee pudding that I'd read so much about. I could only manage 2 bites but I from what I read I honestly expected more. It was good but not great in my opinion. I also had 2 cocktails during this meal. The vinebury and Cleo's kiss. Both were good but I'd have to give the edge to Cleo's kiss. Service here was perfectly acceptable. Our waitress was cute, bubbly, and friendly.

I know this is a food report but I must note that after the show we went for some post-show drinks at the Library Bar at the Roosevelt. Hands down the best cocktails we've ever had. It's a real art form what they do with their ingredients there. We had 3 cocktails each here. You just tell them what liquor you want and a little about what flavors you like and they work their magic. Each drink was bold and unexpected and amazing.

After all those drinks we thought we should do our part to lessen the hangover with some greasy grub so we went to 25 degrees. It's the 24 hour burger joint at our hotel (Roosevelt). We shared our customizable burger (we chose cheese, mushrooms, jalepenos, and grilled onions). Ok so yes I was verrrry buzzed by this time and it was 1:30 in the morning but that was a DARN good burger!!! We also shared an order of the sweet potato fries which complemented the burger perfectly. Hubby also had the Guiness milkshake. Guiness milkshake! Need I say more?! I had a sip and it was delicious! We had fun quoting John Travolta in Pulp Fiction with the $5 milkshake quote (although this was an $8 milkshake). The service here was very good which is surprising considering the late hour and the "just returning from the bar" patrons. Speaking of this though we were surprised that given the fact that this place is open 24 hours with the entrance right on Hollywood Blvd that there wasn't a rowdier, seedier crowd. I absolutely loved the vibe and the decor. If we had a place like this here in the Palm Springs area, you'd find me there OFTEN!

Sunday morning we wandered down to Hungry Cat. I wasn't particularily hungry (see above) but we'd heard so much about this place that it pained us not to try it. It was the brunch menu and I was suprised (and a little disappointed) by how many dishes there were that were not seafood. Yes, of course there were the oysters but with all the drinks the night before that wasn't sounding too good right then. So, hubby ordered the chorizo frittata which was very good but not knock your socks off amazing (I know I guess we should've stuck to seafood) and I had the best fish taco of my entire life. Luckily there were 3 so we each had one. I am not sophisticated enough to pick out the flavors but there were some in there that were unexpected and SO good!

On our way out of town that night, we stopped at Philippe's. I ordered the lamb double dipped and hubby got the roast beef double dipped. It seemed to me that chowhounders prefer the lamb but hubs and I both thought the roast beef was the real winner here. It should be said though that I am a recovering vegetarian so the lamb was just a little too...I don't know...lamb-y for me. I will say that the mustard there MADE that sandwich! Whoa! That stuff was YUM!

Well, that's it! I still don't know how we managed to fit so much food in our stomachs in such a short time but we did it! Next time, I plan to up the budget so that we can finally dine at Providence.
Thanks again Chowhounders for all your help in planning this little getaway.

Jan 30, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide please! Looking for a great meal before Wicked

I just wanted to update and THANK YOU for the Cleo recommendation! I loved it! And, although we were looking for (and got) ambience. The food was the real winner here!!! I only wished that we had more room in our stomachs. I'm still drooling over the lebaneh and mushroom flatbread!
We also managed to dine at Hungry Cat the next day for brunch and had what will probably go down as the best fish taco I will ever eat.
On our way into town, we hit up El Tepeyac for delicious burritos, a shot (or two!) of tequila, and some great company from Manny the owner. On our way out of town we also tried Philippe's for the french dip, I wasn't as in love as some but hubby loved it so I guess we'll be back. AND we managed to do all this in a little over 24 hours! I I will be on a starvation diet for the next two weeks but it was well worth it! THANKS CHOWHOUNDERS!!!!!!!!!

Jan 29, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide please! Looking for a great meal before Wicked

Well, I researched and researched and had finally chosen a romantic spot (Little Door mainly for the ambience but also because it seemed to get pretty good reviews for food as well) for dinner with my hubby before going to see Wicked. But, I then realized that they (like most other places) don't even open for dinner until 6 and I would really rather not rush through dinner. SO, from my smaller amount of reseach I have found:

Mozza-I'd be open to either pizzeria or osteria. Seems as though the food is very good quality but it wouldn't be the romantic date spot I was hoping for
The Hungry Cat-ditto Mozza
La Boheme-looks sexy and romantic but the food seems to be lacking
Delphine-close to pantages
Beso-doesn't open until 6 either but is within walking distance. Decor looks nice but not sure about the food
Off-Vine-close to Pantages

Of these what would you choose? Or is there somewhere else I should consider. Food is very important but since we don't get out much without the kids, ambience is too. Since we will also be drinking, I'd like to keep it under $70 per person for the food.

I appreciate your input! Thanks!

Jan 16, 2012
MelB5 in Los Angeles Area