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Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

Well, here is a late update to an extraordinary trip. Thank you all for helping to make it that way!
First stop: Started in Avignon, staying outside of the city at a B&B Domaine de Rhodes. Charming and easily accessible to the city by bus. Dinner down the street at La Ferme was not memorable, but dinner at L'Essential was extraordinary - not to be missed. Had their 4-course tasting menu and the service, ambiance and food were fabulous. Went to Les Halles and this alone was worth a trip to Avignon, but we loved the city as well.

Next stop was Les Baux, staying at les Residence Taven. We loved our room, the pool, and our hosts and we were disappointed they no longer cook for guests. However, breakfast was beautiful with homemade jams and breads and wonderful sightseeing and restaurant recs. Dinner at Cabro d'Or was amazing - quite formal with a beautiful outdoor patio for summer dining with views of swans on a lake, only to be surpassed by a sublime tasting menu with paired wines. Service was friendly and professional and three hours later we stumbled back to our gorgeous room with the town and cliffs towering over us. The weekly market at St Remy was wonderful and reminded us what summer in Provence is really about. The ruins at Glanum aren't to be missed and were followed up with a raucous and outstanding meal at le Paradou. There was a dramatic thunderstorm throughout dinner, with hail and lightening, but the place was packed and the chicken sublime with all the wine you can drink as a part of the prix fixe, and the World Cup playing in the background. Next night we had dinner at le Petite Jaune in St Remy with charmingly friendly service and good, but not great food.

Next stop Luberon, at a beautiful, if remote B&B near Goult (le Mas Cache)and dinner at la Bartavelle, justifiably a favorite of chowhound and now mine as well. Dinner on a secluded and garlanded patio, starting with pigeon followed by lamb and ending with a pistachio layered biscuit. Service was amiable and ended with a lovely conversation with the owner/chef. Next evening was dinner at Bastide de Capalongue which was beautiful and leant itself to the gastronomy tasting menu. The presentation and execution was breathtaking but not always successful and a little precious for my taste, but the setting was truly spectacular. Next day we stumbled onto the museum of truffles in Menerbes and had an amazing truffle omelette with wine chosen by the owner who has a wine cellar/shop in the basement. The views were lovely and it was a special way to relax for a few hours.

We ended our trip in Cassis and plan on coming back next year to les Baux, which won our hearts, and renting a home for a month to truly take in all that we saw and tasted. Thank you, all, for your great guidance and good advice!

Sep 08, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

Wow, the trip is almost upon us (mid-june) and I am about to call/write to restaurants. So, to finalize our itinerary and your recommendations:
Friday: Arrive in Avignon after flying in from Madrid (the trip is getting even more exciting!) staying at Domaine de Rhodes.
Friday dinner: le Bercail
Saturday: explore Avignon (or should we just head out to market day in Arles?)...dinner undecided (Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles or le Petit Peche?)
Sunday: Explore Avignon or go to the market at l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue ? followed by lunch at Vivier....dinner undecided? (Au Tout Petit? Cuisine du Dimanche?)
Monday: Leave for Les Baux staying at Taven Residence, dinner at le Cabro d'Or
Tuesday: Market day at Vaison-la-Romaine, Dinner at Bistrot du Paradou
Wednesday: Dinner? (if haven't gone to Rabanel, do that now?) or le Vieux Bistrot? (with a walk before dinner to Mur de la Peste)
Thursday: Dinner at le Mas du Capoun in Molleges
Friday, move on to Luberon staying at Le Mas Cache, see Friday market. Dinner at ferme le Castelas or La Bartavelle in Goult
Saturday, hike the route to Dentelles de Montmirail, dinner, one of the above (ferme or Bartavelle)
Sunday: Auberge des Carrieres in les Taillades
Monday: l'Arome in Bonnieux
Tues: Bastide de Capelongue
Wed, move to Cassis: eat at Restaurant le Bonaparte
Thursday: undecided
Friday, back to Spain for flight home
Whew! Before I start calling and e-mailing, are there any modifications or suggestions? This is sounding all quite wonderful!

Apr 28, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

Before I book a b&b in Cassis, is there another village/town that would be a better place to end our trip near the coast? Food options in Cassis seem limited but overall the reviews of the town appear good? Thanks!

Feb 20, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

Oh my - thank you so much for the wonderful and thoughrtful day-by-day recommendations!! I had begun combing CH for ideas and was compliling a list - you have done all that for me! I'm surprised by the negative Bartavelle comments as that name has been prominent in so many reviews.Thank you again, and I will post ideas as they come and will certainly review our eating when we go/return from our trip.

Feb 19, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

oops, meant staying in Goult, not Gordes...

Feb 18, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful feedback. We have listened closely and have revised our itinerary seeing Parigi's pointed and exptremely helpful suggestions both to me and others who have tried to fit in everything into a short trip.
Currently, this is our plan, staying only in B&B's:
Arrive in Marseilles from Spain and rent a car
- stay 3 days outside Avignon (my husband is really committed to this despite suggestions to shorten it)
- 4 days at les Baux
- 5 days in Gordes
-2 days in Cassis
- home to California, leaving from Marseilles.
We divided up our time between les Baux and Gordes so that we could concentrate on the areas around each town and not have to drive far for the dinners we plan (outlined below).Now I'll concentrate on grouping the dinners around our stays, and any suggestions for modifications or additions are appreciated! Thank you so much, everyone, for the invaluable feedback. This has been surprisingly difficult to plan and to understand the true distances. We will have to explore the Ardeche another time and another trip. Thanks again!

Feb 18, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

I'm so sorry I wasn't clear - my apologies, and here's a better version of our trip in mid-June, as it stands now.

Day 1-3, (Fri-Mon):
We are arriving in Marseille on a Friday from Spain, and have booked a B&B in Avignon (Domaine de la Rhodes on the l'Île de la Barthelasse) for the first three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). We are hoping to use this as a base to explore Avignon and the Isle de la sorgue and are hoping the driving to and from the B&B isn't difficult with traffic?

Eat: Au Tout Petit, Avignon
Rabanel, Arles
L'Arome, Capelongue, Bonnieux
Le Vivier, l'Isle sur la sorgue

Day 4-9, (Mon-Sat):
Stay in Les Baux de Provence at the Taven Residences (which I think have been re-designed and sadly no longer offer the troglodyte room?), and will use this to explore the Luberon valley, going to market day in St Remy on Wed.

Eat: le Bistrot du Paradou, Paradou
La Cabro d'Or & Oustau de Baumanier, les Baux
Chez Serge, Carpentras
Les Bories, Gordes en Provence
Les Florets, Gigondas

Day 10-13, (Sat-Tues):
Stay in the Ardeche at the Chateau de Balazuc (which looks so interesting, both the environment and the Chateau)

Eat: Saturday night in the chateau for the group dinner
Sunday and Monday still undetermined

Day 14-16, (Tues-Thurs): Chateau de Rochegude to explore the Vaison la Romaine wine country
(I haven't planned this yet)

Eat: one night in the chateau
more recs?

Day 17-19, (Thurs-Sat) Somewhere in Cassis or near Aix
(still trying to plan this)

Eat:

Day 20, (Sat): Home, leaving from Marseille

I am having second thoughts about how we've planned this trip, paying a lot of attention to the advice to stay in one area and not move around too much, but also wanting the opportunity to explore different areas. Thank you for your input and I hope this helps!!

Feb 14, 2014
momski in France

Planning a trip in June to Avignon, les Baux de Provence and the Ardeches

I have been following all the amazing threads for Provence and I am now planning our own trip for two weeks in mid-June. We have booked three days in Avignon at a B&B on the island just above the city (le Domaine de Rhodes), followed by a week at another B&B (Taven Residences, recommended by CH) in les Baux de Provence and then a few days in the Ardeche (Chateau Balazuc). We are hazily thinking of a few days near the Vaison la Romaine and then Cassis and the coast for a few days.
I am planning on lunches in Avignon at les Halles and at the Collection Lambert, and dinner the first night at Au Tout Petit in Avignon. We will start exploring the towns near Avignon and hopefully eat the second night in Arles at Rabanel or La Chassgnette. The third night I am imagining dinner at L'Arome in Bonnieux and then we are off to les Baux de Provence the next day. We plan to explore the Luberon from our base in les Baux de Provence and following CH, will eat at le Bistrot du Paradou in Paradou. I read about La Cabro d'Or and Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux - are they worth coming back into town for, or should we eat at other small towns such as St Remy? Is the drive back to Les Baux something one can do easily after a dinner elsewhere? Will try to eat at Mas Tourteron in Gordes and L'Oustalet in Gigondas. After that we go to the Ardeche, but I am beginning to wonder if that is a good idea? I haven't read much on this site about it and I am not sure if it is the best way to spend our time? We are then considering a splurge at the Chateau de Rochegude from which to explore the Vaison la Romaine. After that a few days in Cassis and then home. Any input would be great, especially regarding the Ardeche as that is the one I am most uncertain about.

Feb 13, 2014
momski in France

Coming to Seattle for New Years

Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful suggestions. We had a fabulous dinner at the Whale Wins our first night and were wow'ed by their roast chicken -it was amazingly delicious. The restaurant is fun and the food was great. The next night at Matt's was unfortunately missed because of unexpected illness, and I totally messed up on NY eve. I had gotten very excited by the tasting menu at Altura and believed that I had a reservation there. Took a cab there, only to find out they had never heard of us and after a lot of confusion we realized I had accidentally made the reservation at Artusi instead (I guess this has happened to them before as the hostess figured this out). This was a bit of a mess as taxi's were hard to come by, but Artusi was fun and the food was good. Next trip I'll try to get it right and we'll try Altura. We cooked at home NY day and went to Boat St cafe for our last dinner. We were quite disappointed by it, particularly as it had been a long-time favorite. We had a dreadful appetizer of 'smoky' octopus and squid which was so chewy as to be almost inedible and the only smokiness was due to over-use of espelette pepper. The steelhead trout was perfectly cooked but undersauced and the house pickle plate was wonderful. Service wasn't very good but the appetizer was comped (without asking), which was thoughtful. Had two great lunches at Il Corvo which was a wonderful new find for us, had a great lunch of the daily chowder at Lecosho and then had a good-bye Seattle lunch at Matt's which was fabulous. Had the fried catfish sandwich and a window seat from which to enjoy our first good weather day. Hated to say goodbye to Seattle, but will return soon.

Jan 08, 2014
momski in Greater Seattle
1

Why no discussion on Adana Persian/Armenian in Glendale?

I've eaten there regularly after getting a recommendation from a friend, and I even hosted a family dinner there for 12 which they catered with astonishing care and generosity. The owner and his sister are committed to using fresh ingredients and their cooking redefines Persian/Russion cuisine. Ignore the outside (we were actually afraid to go in as well the first time we went) and let them wow you with their food and their lovely personalities.

Jan 08, 2014
momski in Los Angeles Area

Coming to Seattle for New Years

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions! Here is my revised plan for dinners, the week of New Year. Whale Wins for first night (sunday), Monday Matt's in the Pier, NY eve Altura, NY day picnic at home, last night Boat St Cafe. Any ideas for a better line-up are welcoome! We are staying in Belltown but plan on taking cabs everywhere and exploring during the day as weather allows.

Dec 18, 2013
momski in Greater Seattle

Coming to Seattle for New Years

Thank you for the suggestion! Will change to Spinasse for NY Eve and will add/change Tanaksaan! Appreciate the feedback and can't wait to come back to a favorite city and see it in winter

Nov 12, 2013
momski in Greater Seattle

Coming to Seattle for New Years

Coming to Seattle to celebrate the New Years, and have planned dinner for the 5 nights we'll be in Belltown. Any comments/suggestions on our plans?
Arriving Sun night, dinner at Tavolata
Mon night, Spinasse (a longtime favorite)
New Years Eve, SeaStar
New Years Day, Matt's (a comfortable favorite)
Last night, Boat St Cafe (another longtime favorite)
I've never eaten at Tavolata or SeaStar....are these good choices, and is SeaStar the right place for a nice, but not over-the-top dinner?
Thanks for any advice!

Nov 11, 2013
momski in Greater Seattle

Two weeks in Rome and Tuscany - long review

after two amazing weeks in Italy - long review!
momski about 7 hours ago
M
Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions in planning our one week trip to Rome and one week in Tuscany. Elizabeth Minchili's app in Rome was the most helpful to us in all our wonderful eating while in Rome, and the Michelin app was great in the countryside. For anyone driving in Italy, I can't recommend the TomTom app enough as we never got lost looking for our out-of-the way eateries - amazing for us! We were staying close to the Borghese Gardens near the Barbarini Plaza, so on our arrival on a Sunday afternoon we ate at Colline Emiliane. It was a very friendly, cozy place which was a lovely way to relax and realize we were in Rome. The food was not great but was a comforting lunch experience. I had already booked our first night dining at Al Ceppo, and we had a wonderful dinner. The restaurant is beautiful, with a fabulous grill in the entrance and a very warm and inviting wait staff. It seemed as if Americans were placed in a room separate from Italians but that not-withstanding, the food was outstanding and the owner came with a dictionary in hand and asked us how to say 'mussels' in english as we had ordered it in italian and weren't sure what we were ordering (they were fabulous) - she was lovely. It was a great restaurant with impeccably fresh seafood and a good wine list. I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Day 2 - We booked a colosseum tour of the newly opened lower level (great!), then the forum, and in a state of complete exhaustion went to the gourmet panini shop in the Monti (whose name is escaping me - forgive me, as we went there several times!) which Elizabeth recommends. It was outstanding! That night's dinner was at Il Localino, again on Elizabeth's recommendations. It was beautiful, with outdoor eating and a lively atmosphere and clearly frequented by locals. It was challenging to order as the waitstaff didn't speak English, but they were good humored and the food was delicious. However, due to language mix-ups they left off half our order, but what we got was wonderful - very fresh and innovative fish preparations, especially with pasta. Good wine list and a fabulous place to eat.
Day 3- We had pre-booked Vatican tickets (great idea as the lines were ridiculous) and then headed for Sorpasso for lunch. Wonderful below-ground space drenched in sunlight with a harried but attentive waitstaff. Food was amazing - the pasta was exceptional and if it had been closer to our hotel it would have been a repeat. It was one of our favorite eating experiences. Everything that was being served looked delicious and it quickly became very busy - try to get there early - this is not to be missed! That evening was our only non-planned dinner and we went to dinner at the Trattoria Monti - had been strongly recommended by Michelin and bloggers, but out of our whole trip, this was my least favorite. It had only tourists, no Italians, the service was perfunctory and the food was bland, generally overcooked and overall, quite forgettable.
Day 4 -Had gotten tix to the Scuderie for a new and amazing Titian exhibit (don't miss!) and then wandered to the Jewish Ghetto (gorgeous neighborhood, intense history) and over to Trastavere. Tried a fried artichoke in the Ghetto which was not particularly good (very greasy) and then had a late dinner booked at Roscioli. Roscioli was quite the experience! It was packed with people trying to get in and rebuffed all evening (we were sitting by the entrance and so were in the middle of all the drama) and ordered the buratta (as good as everyone says), a charcuterie and cheese selection (amazing), and the carbonara. The carbonara was truly exceptional and we ordered a spectacular wine to go with it. The food was outstanding, the scene was intense, and our waiter was over-the-top flirtatious with my husband (quite hysterical, in fact). The tab was very steep but we felt we had a unique dining experience that we probably wouldn't have again!
Day 5 - Our last day in Rome, we wandered through our favorite places, saw the Museum Barbarini (great) and ate lunch at L'asino d'Oro - delicious simple meal and at an amazing price and had booked a special dinner at Antico Arco. The taxi ride up the hill was beautiful and the restaurant very modern and lively. We had high expectations which were met in the appetizers but sadly not in the mains. We did not go with the tasting menu (not our thing), but the food had a homogenous taste that became disappointing as the meal progressed. Definitely a recommended restaurant, as much for the locale and atmosphere as for the food. Wine was very good.
Dressing tip - men should always take a blazer (no tie) - it will work in any restaurant, even when paired with jeans. Women - I never got it right! Either too formal or informal....any hints? Antico Arco was shorts and jeans!! I felt very out of place in my black dress....
Left Rome for an adventure in Norcia, up in the mountains. Stayed at the Villa Seneca (beautiful) and was overwhelmed by the amount of truffles and boar prosciutto exhibited in nearly every small store in the walled city. Had the best meal of our trip at the restaurant in the hotel, the Seneca. It was exquisitely prepared, clearly refined and well-developed in its taste and execution. A sophisticated and outstanding meal in an amazingly romantic outdoor eating space. The owner came and talked to us at the end of the meal, providing a very personal note to a personal dining experience. If you're up to a challenging drive, Norcia is not to be missed. We took a hunk of boar prosciutto with us to Tuscany, and made our way to Villa Rosa dei Venti, an agrotourisme destination mentioned on Chowhounds previously. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and it is also famous for its cooking classes taught by Mom and daughter who own the property with the family. I didn't take the class, but everyone who did said it was the highlight of their trip.
Briefly, standout meals in Tuscany: Osteria del Teatro in Cortona (truly amazing food, for both lunch and dinner), Villa Petrischio (utterly romantic outdoor space frequented by european tourists, with exquisite traditional food) in Cortona countryside, Walter Redaelli (gorgeous, vine-trellised patio, good but not outstanding food, amazing wine - best of trip - and attentive, friendly service), and finally, the food stores in Pienza which provided the most amazing ingredients for a simple pasta meal in our own cottage.
Ultimately, we had the most amazing trip falling in love with Italy, it's food, people and it's history. As new friends said, "Italy is addictive" - we'll be back. Thank you, Chowhounds, for all your help in our planning and in all the anticipation, which is part of the fun! And, thank you, Elizabeth! You were invaluable.

Jul 04, 2013
momski in Italy

after two amazing weeks in Italy - long review!

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions in planning our one week trip to Rome and one week in Tuscany. Elizabeth Minchili's app in Rome was the most helpful to us in all our wonderful eating while in Rome, and the Michelin app was great in the countryside. For anyone driving in Italy, I can't recommend the TomTom app enough as we never got lost looking for our out-of-the way eateries - amazing for us! We were staying close to the Borghese Gardens near the Barbarini Plaza, so on our arrival on a Sunday afternoon we ate at Colline Emiliane. It was a very friendly, cozy place which was a lovely way to relax and realize we were in Rome. The food was not great but was a comforting lunch experience. I had already booked our first night dining at Al Ceppo, and we had a wonderful dinner. The restaurant is beautiful, with a fabulous grill in the entrance and a very warm and inviting wait staff. It seemed as if Americans were placed in a room separate from Italians but that not-withstanding, the food was outstanding and the owner came with a dictionary in hand and asked us how to say 'mussels' in english as we had ordered it in italian and weren't sure what we were ordering (they were fabulous) - she was lovely. It was a great restaurant with impeccably fresh seafood and a good wine list. I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Day 2 - We booked a colosseum tour of the newly opened lower level (great!), then the forum, and in a state of complete exhaustion went to the gourmet panini shop in the Monti (whose name is escaping me - forgive me, as we went there several times!) which Elizabeth recommends. It was outstanding! That night's dinner was at Il Localino, again on Elizabeth's recommendations. It was beautiful, with outdoor eating and a lively atmosphere and clearly frequented by locals. It was challenging to order as the waitstaff didn't speak English, but they were good humored and the food was delicious. However, due to language mix-ups they left off half our order, but what we got was wonderful - very fresh and innovative fish preparations, especially with pasta. Good wine list and a fabulous place to eat.
Day 3- We had pre-booked Vatican tickets (great idea as the lines were ridiculous) and then headed for Sorpasso for lunch. Wonderful below-ground space drenched in sunlight with a harried but attentive waitstaff. Food was amazing - the pasta was exceptional and if it had been closer to our hotel it would have been a repeat. It was one of our favorite eating experiences. Everything that was being served looked delicious and it quickly became very busy - try to get there early - this is not to be missed! That evening was our only non-planned dinner and we went to dinner at the Trattoria Monti - had been strongly recommended by Michelin and bloggers, but out of our whole trip, this was my least favorite. It had only tourists, no Italians, the service was perfunctory and the food was bland, generally overcooked and overall, quite forgettable.
Day 4 -Had gotten tix to the Scuderie for a new and amazing Titian exhibit (don't miss!) and then wandered to the Jewish Ghetto (gorgeous neighborhood, intense history) and over to Trastavere. Tried a fried artichoke in the Ghetto which was not particularly good (very greasy) and then had a late dinner booked at Roscioli. Roscioli was quite the experience! It was packed with people trying to get in and rebuffed all evening (we were sitting by the entrance and so were in the middle of all the drama) and ordered the buratta (as good as everyone says), a charcuterie and cheese selection (amazing), and the carbonara. The carbonara was truly exceptional and we ordered a spectacular wine to go with it. The food was outstanding, the scene was intense, and our waiter was over-the-top flirtatious with my husband (quite hysterical, in fact). The tab was very steep but we felt we had a unique dining experience that we probably wouldn't have again!
Day 5 - Our last day in Rome, we wandered through our favorite places, saw the Museum Barbarini (great) and ate lunch at L'asino d'Oro - delicious simple meal and at an amazing price and had booked a special dinner at Antico Arco. The taxi ride up the hill was beautiful and the restaurant very modern and lively. We had high expectations which were met in the appetizers but sadly not in the mains. We did not go with the tasting menu (not our thing), but the food had a homogenous taste that became disappointing as the meal progressed. Definitely a recommended restaurant, as much for the locale and atmosphere as for the food. Wine was very good.
Dressing tip - men should always take a blazer (no tie) - it will work in any restaurant, even when paired with jeans. Women - I never got it right! Either too formal or informal....any hints? Antico Arco was shorts and jeans!! I felt very out of place in my black dress....
Left Rome for an adventure in Norcia, up in the mountains. Stayed at the Villa Seneca (beautiful) and was overwhelmed by the amount of truffles and boar prosciutto exhibited in nearly every small store in the walled city. Had the best meal of our trip at the restaurant in the hotel, the Seneca. It was exquisitely prepared, clearly refined and well-developed in its taste and execution. A sophisticated and outstanding meal in an amazingly romantic outdoor eating space. The owner came and talked to us at the end of the meal, providing a very personal note to a personal dining experience. If you're up to a challenging drive, Norcia is not to be missed. We took a hunk of boar prosciutto with us to Tuscany, and made our way to Villa Rosa dei Venti, an agrotourisme destination mentioned on Chowhounds previously. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and it is also famous for its cooking classes taught by Mom and daughter who own the property with the family. I didn't take the class, but everyone who did said it was the highlight of their trip.
Briefly, standout meals in Tuscany: Osteria del Teatro in Cortona (truly amazing food, for both lunch and dinner), Villa Petrischio (utterly romantic outdoor space frequented by european tourists, with exquisite traditional food) in Cortona countryside, Walter Redaelli (gorgeous, vine-trellised patio, good but not outstanding food, amazing wine - best of trip - and attentive, friendly service), and finally, the food stores in Pienza which provided the most amazing ingredients for a simple pasta meal in our own cottage.
Ultimately, we had the most amazing trip falling in love with Italy, it's food, people and it's history. As new friends said, "Italy is addictive" - we'll be back. Thank you, Chowhounds, for all your help in our planning and in all the anticipation, which is part of the fun! And, thank you, Elizabeth! You were invaluable.

Jul 03, 2013
momski in Italy

Rome in June

Hello Chowhounds - I've been overwhelming myself reading the threads about Rome, purchasing the apps of Elizabeth Minchilli and Katie Parla and Michelin in trying to plan out my meals for our first trip to Rome. We're Chow fanatics and use it to plan all our trips stateside, but for the first time I'm feeling a bit under water with the choices for Rome, so please bear with me.
We're (my husband and me) staying near Plaza Barberini, arriving Sunday, 6/9-Friday, 6/14. So far, these are my choices:
Sunday: either Al Ceppo or La Campana (staying close to hotel because of jet lag and dealing with Sunday)
Monday: Il Localino (cannot find info whether they're open on Mondays?)
Tuesday: Colline Emiliane (is this good? many mixed reviews)
Wednesday: Roscioli (thinking of reserving the evening of wine/cheese class - anyone recommend this, or is just dinner a better idea?)
Thursday: Antico Arco (I am most excited by this restaurant)
We have reservations on Monday for Colosseum in the morning, so thinking of Nerone or Enoteca Corsi for lunch
Vatican on Tuesday at 11:30, so late lunch somewhere
Scuderie del Quirinale on Wed at 11:00 - L'Asino d'Oro?
Thursday, open...
If I'm missing some wonderful restaurant, I am completely open to changing any of this - would love more options like l'Asino d'Oro - that looks like the type of restaurant/food/ambiance I love. Am not a fan of molecular gastronomy nor of tasting menus. Much prefer food that is vibrant, fresh and satisfying (who doesn't?)
After Rome we're off to a stone cottage with a kitchen on an agrotourisme farm near Cortona - am busy researching that as well, but this seems more manageable!
Any feedback would be most welcome and thank you in advance!!

May 17, 2013
momski in Italy

Altadena!

ooops - yes, Allen and New York Drive, sorry!

Apr 09, 2013
momski in Los Angeles Area

Altadena!

Altadena finally has a wonderful restaurant! I had given up eating out in our area, but AltaEats (which has been open only for 10 days on Allen and Mendocino) is exciting, trendy, upscale and has outstanding food. The place was packed and reservations were hard to come by, but the food was worth the wait. Had the scallop trio and kale/quinoa salad, and both were exquisite. Our friends raved about the himachi appetizer and we shared the paella, also wonderful but not the standout dish that the scallops were. Roasted cauliflower was fabulous, as were the desserts (especially the chocolate mousse, which was not the run-of-the mill variety - really exceptional). This restaurant wouldn't be out of place on Melrose which is all the more exciting to find it in Altadena. Many thanks to the owners for the risk they took but from the look of it, the neighborhood will support their effort with pleasure. The owners are very gracious and it is always a treat to be able to bring one's own wine.

1860 N Allen Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104
Neighborhood: Pasadena
(626) 794-1162

Apr 08, 2013
momski in Los Angeles Area

Downtown Seattle

I had dinner at Le Pichet and ordered the roast chicken which takes an hour, but was worth it! Started with a green salad which was actually delicious. A lovely way to spend a relaxed and cozy evening.

Apr 02, 2013
momski in Greater Seattle

Downtown Seattle

I just returned from 5 days in Seattle, and after a lot of Chowhound research ended up with a fabulous dining experience, which doesn't seem hard to do in this great city. My favorite restaurant was Boat Street Cafe in Belltown- astonishing food, great ambiance and great service. The food was truly exceptional. Had an amazing weekend brunch at Terra Plata on Capitol Hill which features Iberian influenced food in a trendy and appealing neighborhood and is right next to Melrose Market. Spinasse, an old favorite on Capitol Hill, lived up to my memories of serving up the best pasta I've eaten with everything else matching the mark. Service is great and ambiance lively with a great view into the kitchen of rolling and hanging pasta. Matt's on the Pier is a great way to be in the market but away from crowds and get great seafood. Elliot's on the pier is wonderful for oysters, especially if you get there for happy hour (but the crowds are intense). Recommend the Whisky Bar in Belltown for an amazing selection of beers (I counted 18 on tap) and whiskey, and had a great late afternoon snack at Salumi near Pioneer Square when the crowds died down. Had a magnificent dinner at Rover's with impeccable service and food, but the wine pairing with the degustation menu wasn't up to par. I walked nearly everywhere from where we were staying in Belltown, so don't be afraid to explore!

Apr 02, 2013
momski in Greater Seattle

Trattoria Neapolis

Has anyone tried the new restaurant in Pasadena, Trattoria Neapolis?

Aug 31, 2012
momski in Los Angeles Area

How's dinner at the Langham, Pasadena?

Thanks, everyone! Based on the reviews I decided to give it a pass and tried Racion, the new tapas restaurant in Old Town on Green (in the old TreVenezia spot) and had a lovely dinner. Attentive service, inventive and carefully prepared food and a relaxed and affordable dinner. Much preferred it to a formal and unexceptional dinner. Thanks for all the feedback

Apr 25, 2012
momski in Los Angeles Area

How's dinner at the Langham, Pasadena?

The Royce

Apr 23, 2012
momski in Los Angeles Area

How's dinner at the Langham, Pasadena?

Looking for a special birthday dinner in Pasadena - (oh dear) - how is the Langham these days?

Apr 23, 2012
momski in Los Angeles Area

Taste of Chong Qing closed in SGV

any new recs in the area?

Mar 28, 2012
momski in Los Angeles Area