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Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

Hi- I finally posted my trip report from Parma, which includes my thoughts on Cocchi. Your post reminded me that I still needed to report back, so thanks!

We didn't go to La Greppia, but were choosing between that and Cocchi. We also walked by Angiol d'Or and thought it looked pleasant, but didn't go.

Aug 23, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

Thank you all for your thoughts and recommendations for Parma! We thought the city itself was very charming and loved the early evening aperativo tradition. The food offered at aperativo wasn't stellar, but the atmosphere was lively and it was a fun experience.

One item that should not be missed is the gelato at Ciacco, a relatively new gelateria that we stumbled on while parking our car. It may be the best gelato we've ever had. The flavors are relatively unusual- our favorites were a Pakistani- spiced cream-based gelato with mango, and a Spanish-inspired cinnamon gelato with candied orange. It was so good we ordered seconds. The owner is truly passionate about his gelato, and was eager to talk to us about it.

For dinner in Parma, we went to Cocchi and Trattoria Tribunale. Trattoria Tribunale was okay- not outstanding, but a good value. We shared a Degustazione di Salumi and Torta Fritta to start. The prosciutto was very good, but I don't really think that good salumi makes a good restaurant- especially in Parma, where its possible to get great salumi at any one of the salumerie in town. For primi, we split Tagliatelle al Ragu and Tortelli di Zucca. Both were good, but not remarkable- we had much better pastas in the countryside near Bologna. For secondi, my husband had Guanciale Vitello con Cipolline in Agrodolce and I had Vecchia di Cavallo (horse). I was really excited about the horse, as I have had it a few other times in Verona, but I was terribly disappointed. The dish tasted overwhelmingly of green peppers, which I can't stand, and I thought it was practically inedible. I'll admit, it was probably an issue of personal taste. But, I was so disappointed that I ordered a second entree, Filetto di Manzo al Barolo, which was just okay... the sauce tasted too winey, like it wasn't reduced properly. My husband's guanciale was the best of the three. The prices were extremely reasonable, however, and while we weren't wowed by anything, I'd consider giving it another shot.

Cocchi, on the other hand, was very disappointing. It had gotten great reviews here, so we had high expectations. Although we'd made reservations in Italian, when we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted in English and given English menus- which we find annoying since we speak Italian. For primi, I ordered a pasta with duck and my husband ordered a tortellini with herbs. The tortellini was very bland... to be fair, I thought it sounded bland when we ordered it, but it was HIGHLY recommended by the waiter... so we went with it. My pasta, on the other hand, was not bland... but had a very strange flavor I didn't care for at all. I thought that it tasted like Lipton chicken noodle soup mix. Fine if you have the flu, but not as a sauce on a pasta. We also shared stuffed fried squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella that were also very bland. I am a firm believer that anything fried is pretty good, and they proved me wrong here. For secondi, we ordered a stuffed veal roulade (decent), and a "crispy" duck dish that wasn't actually crispy. The restaurant was on the pricey side for Parma, and I didn't enjoy the food at all.

We did have a good lunch at Sorelle Picchi. After our first two disappointing dinner experiences, we had very low expectations for food in Parma, and just wanted a pleasant lunch spot outside to sit and write postcards. Our lunch was good- we shared a vertical Parmesan tasting with cheeses of various ages and a guanciale braised in red wine with fresh mint. The guanciale was the best dish we had in Parma.

We also took an excellent morning dairy tour in nearby Reggio Emilia. I'd say its a must for any foodie travelling to the area. The tour is free, and the guide walks guests through the entire cheese-making process, followed by a Parmesan tasting. The cheese was outstanding, and the tour was interesting and educational. We also took a tour of a prosciutto factory in Langhirano (which was in Italian), and was also very cool and worthwhile.

Again, thanks for all of your thoughts and recommendations!

Aug 23, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

What a wonderful experience! Between this and the other rave reviews, I think we'll have to give Cocchi a try. I appreciate everyone's feedback, and will certainly report back after our trip. Thanks all!

May 23, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Best food shops in Bologna

Thank you for the info! I would have been so disappointed to go on Sunday and find them closed.

May 23, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Best food shops in Bologna

Hi Erica,

Thanks for sharing these two places! I'm looking for the hours for La Salumeria online and can't find seem to find them. Do you (or does anyone here) happen to know if they are open on Sundays and Mondays?

Thanks!

May 22, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

Thank you all for the recommendations! Yes, we will definitely be eating a lot of cured meats, and have a prosciutto tour set up outside of Parma. I will definitely report back on all of our food experiences when we return.

May 20, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

Thank you, Jen! I should clarify that we aren't necessarily looking for inexpensive meals, but meals that are of good value. We have no problem paying a lot for a fantastic meal, but thought that perhaps the quality at Cocchi may not be as high relative to price. Would that be your top pick in Parma?

May 17, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

Thanks for the recommendations! Is this the website for Orfeo: http://www.pizzeriaorfeo.it/ ? It looks like much more than just pizza! Did you happen to try any of the other dishes?

I've read good things about Cocchi, but suppose I was turned off by the fact that its in a hotel and assumed it was on the pricier side.

May 15, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations in Parma

My husband and I are travelling to Parma in June, and are looking for recommendations for restaurants in the city center. We'll be there in the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday nights), and already have Trattoria Del Tribunale on our list, but would like a few more options. I've found some older posts on the topic, but nothing recent- can anyone recommend a few restaurants in the city center? We are open to any price point, but prefer moderately priced trattorie with food traditional to the region. I've seen good reviews of La Greppia, but nothing recent here, and I've heard that its pricey relative to the quality of the food.

We are already going to Da Amerigo in Savigno earlier in the week thanks to the extensive recommendations on the Italy board. I've heard that La Buca and Da Ivan are also excellent, but we would like some solid dinner options inside of the city of Parma for the nights we are there.

Thank you in advance!

May 13, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Napa Cheap Eats

Ca' Momi at the Oxbow Market is a great option for an inexpensive lunch or dinner. The pizzas are very tasty, and they offer bottles of house wine for about $15 (which is often what you will pay for one tasting in Napa!).

Tarla Grill in Downtown Napa has delicious Mediterranean food and is reasonably priced.

Another great lunch option is Dean and Deluca. You can pick up sandwiches, prepared foods, and picnic items and eat at one of the wineries.

Have a wonderful time!

Two days in Emilia-Romagna

Would love the tour information for both, cleopatra!

Feb 26, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

La Traviata or da Cesari in Bologna?

How was your trip? My husband and I are headed to bologna in may, and I would love to hear about your experiences!

Feb 24, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

1-3 day technique oriented cooking classes Emilia Romagna

I'm interested in the same exact thing- will be interested in replies to your post. If I find anything in the interim, I'll let you know!

Jan 21, 2013
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Moderately priced, fun Vegas spots on the Strip

A group of girlfriends and I will be in Vegas this summer, and we're looking for some restaurant recommendations for fun, moderately priced restaurants on the strip. We'd like to keep the entrees in the $20-30 range, and aren't looking for a "fine dining" experience, but something nicer than a food court restaurant or chain like the Cheesecake Factory.

We enjoyed Mon Ami Gabi and Olives on our last trip, and like the looks of Border Grill and possibly Raos. Any other suggestions? We love types of food.

Thanks!

Apr 14, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in Las Vegas

Heading to San Francisco in Mid April from Boston

I agree that Zuni serves a great roasted chicken, and it does take 45 minutes, but I think its well worth the wait. It comes with a fantastic bread salad that's dressed in the chicken drippings, and the chicken itself is perfect.

While Barbacco isn't a bad choice, why not go to Perbacco next door? IMO their food is much better, and only a little pricier than Barbacco. If you are interested in Italian, I'd also highly recommend Delfina and Cotogna.

Some great choices for ice cream are Bi-Rite (love the salted caramel), Humphrey Slocombe (known for their "secret breakfast" ice cream with bourbon and cornflakes), and Smitten, who makes each cup to order, with different flavors seasonally. I think all three are equally good, but different, and I'd probably make the decision on where to go based on which neighborhood you might want to visit.

If you have time, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays is always a good food destination. Even if you can't go on Saturday, the Ferry Building has a great cheese shop called Cowgirl Creamery with an incredible selection.

Have fun!

Sunday in Paris- Axuria or Terroir Parisien?

Thanks for the feedback! Both look great, so we might try one for lunch and one for dinner. I'll report back when we return.

Apr 11, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in France

Sunday in Paris- Axuria or Terroir Parisien?

My husband and I are looking for a good, moderately priced restaurant for Sunday night in Paris. I found Axuria and Terroir Parisien on John Talbott's site, and both look like great choices. Has anyone been?

Apr 09, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in France

Venice and Veneto (Padua and Verona) Restaurants

Hi Nexus,

I have a similar trip planned this May with stops in Paris, Venice and Verona, and have also booked a table at Septime. While there's tons of information on Venice and Paris, I've had a little trouble with Verona, but I think I've narrowed it down to Trattoria all'Isolo and Al Bersagliere based on past Chowhound posts. Both seem moderately priced and serve typical Veronese cuisine. Anyone been recently?

Apr 06, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in Italy

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Agreed on the skinny fries. They sounded so promising and were borderline inedible.

The freeze dried blueberries and oranges are good too.

Apr 06, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yay

Raisin Rosemary Crackers- reminiscent of pricier "raincoast crisp" crackers from Whole Foods
Greek Yogurt and Kale dip- Like a healthy spinach dip- highly addictive
Egg White Ranchero Salad- this is my favorite TJs item ever- only available on the West Coast I believe
Burgundy marinated lamb tips- excellent with the tzatiki sauce and pita
Light champagne vinaigrette
Frozen breaded chicken tenders- great version of the childhood classic, and my husband's favorite TJs item

Nay

Chicken Poblano frozen entree- shockingly bland and skimpy portion

Ok

Pork Masitas- I wanted to love it, but thought it was just okay. The plantains were nicely done.
Frozen lamb vindaloo- great flavor, skimpy portion

Apr 06, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in Chains

Several days in San Fran

There's a great little market on Grant Street in North Beach called Little Vine with wonderful cheeses and gourmet snack items that might be what you are looking for. There are tons of cafes on Columbus where you can get a cappuccino and/or biscotti in the afternoon.

If you are looking for something more substantial, Park Tavern on Washington Square Park has great food, including a bunch of small plates that you could enjoy at the bar. If its not raining or too chilly, you could also eat outside and look out at the park.

Another excellent option is Rose Pistola on Columbus, which has a great selection of small plates perfect for an afternoon snack or light lunch. It can be a little pricey, but the food is wonderful and atmosphere is quite pleasant. The marinated octopus and potato appetizer is delicious, as are the thin crust pizzas.

You could also hit Gelateria Naia post or pre-show.

Have fun!

good date restaurants for vegan/vegetarian and carnivore?

DOSA is a good date spot for both vegetarians/vegans and carnivores. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, and the menu would definitely suit both needs. They even have a "dietary specifications" guide that outlines which dishes are or can be made vegan or vegetarian. I'm a total carnivore myself, but absolutely loved both the vegetarian dosa we ordered and the lentil dumpling appetizer (dahi vada). Many of the dishes are smaller plates, so you could order a meat dish for yourself and share a few veggie options. The prices are also reasonable, and they have a good wine list.

Visiting from Boston with my 15 yo daughter

Regarding Coi, I'd say it really depends on your daughter. At 15, I probably would not have appreciated Coi the way I would as an adult, but your daughter could be a different story. Dinner will be on the long side, and the dishes are unique and innovative. If she's really into food, she'd probably love the experience. But a lot of 15 year olds might find the meal too lengthy and would be put off by trendy preparations like foams or dishes that are "deconstructed".

Perbacco is another excellent suggestion for a "fancy" dinner. Its not as upscale as Coi, but might be more of what you are looking for. The food is excellent. Its a modern take on classic Italian, so the flavors would be familiar but very refined. I would feel comfortable recommending it to the most discerning diners, but have also gone with kids and teenagers who loved their meals.

If you are looking for something comparably "fancy" I'd consider Fleur de Lys. The atmosphere is very high-end, and the food upscale and sometimes whimsical. For example, I had the Fleurburger for dessert, which is a chocolate ganache sandwiched between 2 beignets and served with a mini milkshake.

Visiting from Boston with my 15 yo daughter

I'll second Yank Sing for their dim sum, and would also suggest walking around Chinatown one afternoon. There's a fortune cookie factory on Ross Alley where they make fresh fortune cookies. They'll give you a free sample of a delicious warm fortune cookie.

Are you staying in Union Square? I'd also recommend hitting the Westfield Food Court (which is not really a "food court" in the traditional sense of the term) for a snack or lunch followed by some shopping. The food court has upscale versions of a traditional food court food, like Coriander Thai (I'm not sure if your daughter likes Thai if she's not into Indian), Buckhorn Grill (known for their grilled beef tri-tip), a specialty cream puff shop, and a high-end grocer with good prepared foods. There's also Out the Door, the fast/casual version of the popular Slanted Door in the Ferry Building has both a take-out and sit-down option there. My husband is from Boston, and his family loves the Slanted Door!

Inexpensive Paris restaurant recommendations?

I've read a lot about both spots and they both seem well-liked. Is Cafe des Musees one set menu each night? We're not picky eaters, but I'm allergic to shellfish which can present a problem with one set fixed price menu. Au Passage looks well priced provided we stick to a few dishes! Thanks for the info.

Apr 04, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in France

Inexpensive Paris restaurant recommendations?

Yes, that was the restaurant. Too bad it closed, but good to know.

Chez Gladines looks like a good bet if we head over on the early side. People seem to love the food, although I'm not sure if they love the food and quality, or just love the huge portions. I wish I could find more online about Chez Nenesse, as it looks like a very cute place with good, solid food. Is it fixed price and do they take reservations? Thanks for your help!

Apr 04, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in France

Inexpensive Paris restaurant recommendations?

My husband and I are traveling to Paris next month and would love some recommendations for an inexpensive restaurant that we can enjoy on our first, jet-lagged night in Paris. We’re planning to go to Christophe, Septime, and La Ferrandaise once we've adjusted to the time, but we wanted to try
a restaurant that’s more of a hole-in-the-wall on night one.

We’re looking for a restaurant that serves humble, simple, French classics in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, preferably one that caters to a local neighborhood. The food is more important than the ambiance, and we'd love to find something under 30Euro per person before wine.

A few years back, I went to La Chaumine Normande with a group of girlfriends and thought the food was great. I think it would fit our criteria above, but I haven’t seen anything posted on the restaurant in years. Has anyone been recently, and would you recommend it? Or is there something similar that would fit our criteria?

We’re staying in the Marais, but we don’t mind venturing out of our neighborhood.

Apr 02, 2012
LaBuonaForchetta in France