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Some questions for a quick trip to Florence

Osteria de' Benci has a very good version of the spaghetti with red wine and garlic. They also have pretty good bistecca fiorentina. They also happen to have delicious roasted chicken. We go to Florence every year, and often put de' Benci on the rotation for that spaghetti with red wine alone.

Mar 13, 2014
njberk in Italy

Ideas for two nights in Florence

I know! It was your blog that had me pretty much convinced to give it a try. Unfortunately I am told that they are closed on Saturday and Sunday (should have checked that first but it has been on my list for years and I just assumed) so I need to re-select.... any thoughts? I want to try something new (for us) but as the food guide for the group I don't want to lead us astray...thanks again in advance!

Jun 06, 2013
njberk in Italy

Ideas for two nights in Florence

Hi All... I am an annual visitor to Italy, travelling with a large group (8 people) and we usually end our trips with a weekend in Florence. We are usually adamant about going to Da Ruggero for one of our meals, we love it. I happen to enjoy it more on a Saturday than on Sunday for some reason, but it is open on both... My question is where should we go on the other night... Places we have been and love include De Benci, Cantinetta Antinori (closed Weekends), Camillo, Casalinga, Bussola (great pizzas and salads)... we went to Cipolla Rossa and did not LOVE it, but it may have been an off night... some thoughts are to repeat any of the above... or maybe try Sostanza, but i am afraid of it not living up to the hype... Would love your thoughts and ideas. Thanks in advance...

Jun 05, 2013
njberk in Italy

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Thanks John. I think we will try for Relais du Comptoir and then move CLAJ for our last night if I can convince everyone it would be great not to have to pack clothes for one fancier dinner! Appreciate the help.

Mar 08, 2013
njberk in France

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Sorry... Yes thanks... Idea of workable plans for arrival night, a Tuesday, staying in St Germain between Pont Neuf and Blvd. St Germain. I think the group will want a good meal and we need a reservation somewhere wonderful to start off a fabulous two week vacation. We are all reasonable travelers, so we will be jet lagged but not catatonic.... Thanks again for your help!

Mar 08, 2013
njberk in France

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Thank you for your post. Le Bouclier de Bacchus looks awesome. I know we will be tired that night... My thought in going to CLAJ our first night (as opposed to Le 6 Paul Bert for example) was that we would be going on the early side, and we could walk there and back from where we are staying. Part of our group includes my parents (age +/-75) and I was reluctant to have to take the metro or a cab on the first night in case my parents, who speak no French and do not know Paris, had to leave early for some reason. We are staying in a hotel so we have to eat out. We all arrive at different times that Tuesday, so doing a good lunch that day will not be in the cards. HELP!

Mar 07, 2013
njberk in France

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Thank you! I think I may try for dinner there Wednesday then and stop at L'Avant Comptoir for a snack/lunch.

Mar 07, 2013
njberk in France

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Thank you John...do you approve of the selection over all for the other nights? And for reservations... 30 days out, 60? Anything I should change on the other nights?

Mar 07, 2013
njberk in France

food plans for an eclectic group in Paris

Will be in Paris early July and have an eclectic group - parents and friends all of whom have various tastes and priorities when it comes to food. A few of the group does not like "rich" food (read cream), or any of the more adventurous stuff (read organ meat or other body parts not usually consumed at home). We will be in Paris for 4 nights (Tues thru Fri). We travel every year, mostly to Italy, and I always make the plans and reservations.
I am trying to hit some highlights and please all 7 of us in the group as best I can. My thoughts were to hit one place that fits the following Bistro, French fusion, a French dining "experience" and maybe a neighborhood joint. Thoughts so far were
Tuesday - early sitting at Chez L'ami Jean (we will be tired arriving this day). Will there be enough choice here to please the group with the prix fixe?
Wednesday - having a late afternoon food tour so thinking of L'Avant Comptoir or Fish La Boissonnerie (staying in this general area)
Thursday - Ze Kitchen Galerie
Friday - Having difficulty deciding between a formal place (suggestions please - do we try Jules Verne, or Spring, or Le CInq or Le PreCatalan or Relais du Comptoir?) One of our group has been to Paris more than I recently and he wants us all to go to La Gran Cascade, I am more inclined to try one of the others... What would you all do?? I am actually more comfortable going to more casual places with great food but I would do fancier to please the group. Really want to try Bistro Paul Bert or Le 6 Paul Bert but not sure when to fit that in... Lunches I think will be based on where we wind up touring around the city. Might wing those. Are these selections solid? When do I need to reserve? Any thoughts and comments more than welcome. THANK YOU!!!

Mar 07, 2013
njberk in France

olive oil producer near Siena or Monteriggioni

Poggio Etrusco is the home of Pamela Sheldon Johns who is a cookbook author and does cooking lessons there as well as runs a B&B on her property. it is a beautiful place (was there this past July). Her olive oil is very good, but although she grows and harvests the olives on her property, she does not press the olive oil on premises. If you are looking for the experience to see where the oil is made this may not be the place... there are many wineries that also produce Olive oil in the Montalcino area.

Aug 10, 2012
njberk in Italy

Le Marche

We had a fantastic dinner in Gabicce Monte at a place called Posillipo in September 2007.
We were part of a larger group (14 people maybe) and I had no idea that the restaurant was attached to a hotel. The menu was chosen for us - and every morsel was delicious. And the view was gorgeous.
http://www.hotelposillipo.com/it/rist...

May 15, 2012
njberk in Italy

Lunch Dinner in Tuscany while husband holds the bags

There is a Prada store at The Mall... it opened over a year ago. Not sure where to eat around there. In Montalcino, there is Osteria Osticchio http://www.osticcio.it/ and Taverna Grappa Blu, http://www.grappoloblu.it/ neither of which I have been to but are recommended by others on this site. Last year we ate outside at Il Leccio in Sant' Angelo en Colle, which had respectable food and a beautiful setting on an outdoor terrace. http://www.illeccio.net/

May 02, 2012
njberk in Italy