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Good restaurant for family in Whistler?

Another way to think about this is that one doesn't really go to Whistler to eat good food. Sure, you don't have to be miserable at dinner but i wouldn't make dinner my first priority. I'd say go to any decent restaurant and enjoy rest of your time focusing on what Whistler is all about.. Have a great trip !

Nov 08, 2014
TkNeo in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Eating not so rich food in Seville, Donostia-SS, Madrid

We are going to be staying in these cities for 4 nights each. We are into food and wine and that's usually what our trip revolves around. This is our first trip into Spain. We have a couples reservation at top restaurants - Akelare and Extebarri in Basque.

Even though we enjoy food, we can't eat rich food all the time. Can anyone give ideas on what to order in these places when we still want to try spanish cuisine but want something that is not full of butter and oil ? Thanks in advance.

Sep 10, 2014
TkNeo in Spain/Portugal

Piemonte Restaurants

We talked to him when he recited the menu initially and then during ordering the wine. Then after the antipasti another girl started helping us. But she could speak even less English so we tried to look at him to get his attention to come over but he wouldn't. Sorry for the confusion. I know you absolutely love that place :)

Nov 13, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Piemonte Restaurants

At La Torre, we were not expecting chit-chatting and conversations. We had questions about the menu that he answered when he first recited the menu. He helped us pick the wine. In broken english but it worked for both parties. Later, we had more questions about the menu and desert and he was simply avoiding us.He could simply come and say " sorry my english not good" and leave it at that. But looking at us, and we asking him to come over and then turning away is simply rude.

I understand its a hassle for a non english speaker to be doing this but they are in the PEOPLE business and running away from people is simply not acceptable in my books.

Nov 13, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Piemonte Restaurants

Osteria Vignaiolo. We had limited time and i picked Vignaiolo over Veglio. I know you have been quite vocal about Veglio but i read mixed reviews especially lately.

Nov 12, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Piemonte Restaurants

We were in Alba for a few nights recently and got to try these three restaurants. We weren’t sure whether to include Alba in our Piemonte region and as suggested in this forum, it was definitely love at first sight. Now I understand what people mean when they talk about food in Piemonte region. There are numerous experiences to share but I will keep this post strictly about reviews.

Trattoria La Coccinella in Serravalle Langhe
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We were staying in Alba so the drive to La Coccinella in the night was quite interesting ! The dining area has traditional and cosy feeling. I don’t remember what I ordered for antipasti but I think it was rabbit. For primi I got the tajarin and wife got the gnocci. For secondi, I got the veal and wife got the fish. For wine, they recommended us a Barbera D’Alba from a wineyeard called La Vigne Di Ca Nova. It’s a swiss winemaker very close to the restaurant. We absolutely loved the wine and bought a case for home from the winery the next day. Usually, the food in this region is too rich for us but what I loved about this place was that there were options to order food that were not too rich. Also, it was a pleasure to have a host/server Alessandro who was confident in his English and could converse with us which added to the experience of the dinner. The overall bill was around 100 euros and it was a memorable experience and we will certainly go back.

Osteria la Torre
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When we parked our car, we thought the town looked quite interesting so we took a bit of a walk before the dinner. La Torre, in a pleasant way, has a modern décor. Some people I talked to didn’t find the modern décor interesting and perhaps could not relate to it for having come to dine at an osteria in middle of cherasco and not in the center of Milano! I thought that having eaten at all traditional looking restaurant, this was a pleasant change. They don’t have a menu and they recite it for you. I didn’t take too many notes. We ordered a Barbera D’Alba for 20 euros. For antipasti, I ordered a big plate which had Russian salad, veal tongue with tomato sauce and fried anchovies. Wife ordered eggs (like omelette) garnished with quite a generous shaving of white truffles. I got tajarin for primi and wife got the minestrone soup. I don’t think we ordered secondi. For desert we had peaches cooked in wine and panna cotta. The food was to die for. Also, for us, it was great that we could find items in the menu that we liked and were not laden with butter and oil. That being said the service was disappointing. The gentlemen, chefs brother, did not want to try to converse with us in English. We wanted to ask questions about the menu but he was simply avoiding us. In the end, we want to say thank you to him but he still avoided us. I thought all of this was very rude and it made us remember and appreciate the service at La Coccinella even more. I believe the total bill was around 80 euros. If i am back in the area i will definitely go back but this time with no expectation from the service.

Osteria del Vignaiolo
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We went there for lunch. Since we had the reservation we were lucky to get an outside table. The setting is mesmerizing facing the vineyard and feeling the cool breeze from the trees. I felt I was in a movie. We got the house white wine. The bread they gave was really really good. I had rabbit for antipasti and I thought it was a bit dry. The onion confit with the rabbit was perhaps not enough to make the dish well rounded. But what do I know ? I should be thankful to be eating at a top restaurant shouldn’t I ? For primi we tried the tajarin with ragu sauce and stracatto. The waiter/server were quite stressed out at lunch. Usually they walk away from you and pick up pace as they are away from customers sight but in this case they were pacing in and out. My wife thought that transferred the stress back to us (in a way). I believe it affected her too more than it should have but I agree that they should not be running around the guests. The total bill was around 65 euros. In general I thought that the food here was quite rich and there weren’t any not so rich options. If that does not bother you, I think the lunch setting is beautiful and one must try once.

Nov 12, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

My restaurant itinerary for Alba

This is our plan so far. What do you guys think? We will reach Torino this Sat afternoon. We are going to be in Bra on Monday for the cheese festival. In the evening we will check-in with our B&B in Alba.

Monday night Dinner - Il Centro in Priocca

Tue Lunch - L'Osteria del Vignaiolo in La Morra while we enjoy the beautiful scenery.

May be after lunch we can go to regional enoteca in the castle outside Grinzane Cavour.

Tue Dinner - Ristorante La Volta Rossa in Alba

Wed lunch (If we don’t go back to Turin) - Da Renzo

Anyone know of a vineyard that we can check out on Tuesday before/after lunch? I don’t want to pay for a tour and wine tastings.

Sep 16, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Asti Vs Turin as base for Piemonte

DavidT, thanks ! can you share what is your main reason for suggesting to visit a bunch of small towns ? I am not sure what is exactly that you want me to experience.

Aug 28, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Asti Vs Turin as base for Piemonte

Hi barberinibee, Thanks for your suggestions. This is about food ! The reason we are going to Piemonte is for food and wine. However, thats not the sole purpose of the trip and i am not looking to revolve my entire trip around michelin rated restaurants. Hope chowhound considers this as legit.

I like your idea about Torino. I have posted this on the frommers forum and my post is on the top of Italy and Malta forum.

Aug 28, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

What is the recipe for this Lombardy Pasta ?

We ate at this Michelin rated Trattoria called Il Volto in Iseo in Lombardy last year. My wife was vegetarian at that time and the chef made something for her that was not on the menu. I tried it and felt that was the best pasta i had in my entire trip to Italy. I think about it from time to time.

Now i am not asking you to believe its the best pasta in Italy. I am just asking if anyone can look at the picture and sort of guess what the ingredients and the recipe would be ? I would like to give this a try at home. Since it was not from the menu i am unable to look it up. I took notes from time to time but as fate would have it, i dont have this in my notes ! UGH

Aug 28, 2013
TkNeo in Home Cooking

Asti Vs Turin as base for Piemonte

Hi everyone, just wanted to ask the people what they thought is a better location , Asti or Turin , for what we like to do.

As a summary, we will be in the area for 16 days and here is the itinerary (Feel free to critique). We are reaching Milan on Sep 21. This will be our third trip in 3-4 years so obviously we love Italy.

Lago D'Iseo -> Turin/Asti -> Lyon -> Avignon -> Genoa/Santa Marghertia with 4 days/3 nights in Turin/Asti. We will have a rental car so this itinerary will be a loop.

We like architecture, people watching, shopping, good food and wine and not too many tourists.

City - We don't like staying in the countryside nor do we like major cities. We like the middle. To be more specific, last year we really liked Bologna as it was a very walk-able city, not too big and not too small and had a little bit of everything. Rome was too big. I worry that Turin might be too big or Asti might be too small ? When in the area we only plan on going to Asti, Alba and Turin.

Food/Wine - We love eating good food and wine. Last year when we spent a month in Italy, we loved the Piemonte wines during our stay around Lago d'iseo. Regarding food, we get tired of restaurants with too much presentation so we like to eat at simpler places that make flavorful dishes with simple ingredients not requiring a complex palette.

Don't like to be in too much countryside...Like seeing people, shopping areas, coffee shops, architecture, and of course have a good lunch and dinner.

Aug 28, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Is the food in Piedmonte region too creamy ?

Hi barberinibee, its you again ! You recommended me quite a few restaurants in Bologna last year. I went there with a million expectations and as fate would have it , it was end of July, and all chefs were on vacation. The only restaurant that was open was Teresina. It was great and we had 3 out of the 6 meals there !

Now about Torino, I see its not your first choice in Piemonte for food and wine. Can you tell me what city is ? I am asking "your opinion" here so this way we don't get into region wars.

I did order the Fred Plotkin's book and hope to read it before our trip.

Aug 21, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Is the food in Piedmonte region too creamy ?

Thanks David and Jen for your responses. David, i read the article yesterday !

We generally dont like super rich food but the last trip to ER was in end of July and the heat made things difficult. That one day in Parma, we had been driving for 2-3 hours from Brescia and then walked 30 min in the sun to find Restaurant Parizzi and they did not have AC and it was just a bad set up. Regardless the food was too rich for our liking and i guess we enjoyed the food in Brescia and Liguria more due to focus more on the fresh fish, prawns, and other seafood than meats braised in butter.

Despite that, I want to try Piedmonte. I have traveled a lot in Europe and fell in love with Italy so i do want to explore and find out what the fuss is all about when it comes to food and wine in Torino etc. Plus end of September would be cooler so the richness would be less bothersome.

Can you guys make suggestions on how we can convey this to the chef. In principle, i don't like tinkering around with the chef's preparation because i feel if i knew what would work then i would be the chef myself ! But i think it will be helpful if i can know how to request dishes to be made with less richness ? Can i ask to use Olive oil instead of butter etc ?

Thanks !

*A topic for a different day would be how do the Piedmontese stay in shape after eating so much butter ???

Aug 21, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Is the food in Piedmonte region too creamy ?

We spend 3 weeks in Italy last year and ate lot of good means in Brescia, Bologna, Liguria, and Tuscany. From what i remember we loved the food in Liguria and Brescia but the food in Bologna and Tuscany, although amazing too, was a BIT too fatty for us (perhaps too much cheese and oil and butter). I especially remember a meal in Parma at a michelin rated restaurant. I had a Rabbit Ravioli with some sauce and pecorino cheese. It was a hot summer day and the food felt too buttery. We are foodies but, in general, dont like meals full of lard, cheese etc..

We are now planning on spending 3-4 days in Turin (with food and wine being the reason) as part of our Italy trip around end of September. (I am excited about the truffle and grape harvest season) From what i read, it appears that Piedmonte cooking is more traditional and creamy. I am afraid, that despite the fact that many people call Turin the new food capital of Italy, we might not like it.

And Turin is known for the slow food movement. Does slow food mean lots of butter and lard and all that stuff ?

Can someone help me addressing these concerns. The help will be really appreciated.

Aug 21, 2013
TkNeo in Italy

Restaurants In Parma

I would like to add my review of Ristorante Parizzi. We ate lunch there in the end of July. The restaurant had a strong upscale touch to it. The food was great. I got Rabbit ravioli and nettles with gravy, pecorino cheese, fried zucchini and my wife got Ravioli filled with greens and served with Parmesan Cheese. The food with a bottle of water and a glass of wine for both of us, ended up being 50 Euros. Not bad.

However, you could easily spend 200 euros for two people, something i dont see justified at this place. A couple of areas which really bothered us. It was 40 degrees outside and their AC was totally lame. It felt like a toy air conditioner, totally ineffective. Secondly, i think the service was a bit too much. After a couple sips of water, they would come over to refill the glass. I felt i am being watched ALL the time. Come on, some privacy please. On my way out, our server handed me a brochure of the apartments owned by Parizzi for our next visit to Parma. No way i am staying with them.

All in all, the food was good but the experience was not. I would not come back.

Sep 03, 2012
TkNeo in Italy

Bologna updates: December 2011 (restaurants and markets)

Thanks for the suggestions. I am noting them down. and will give you an update once i come back.

Jul 25, 2012
TkNeo in Italy

Bologna updates: December 2011 (restaurants and markets)

Thanks for your reply. I am leaving for a 3 weeks trip to Italy in a couple days so its too late for changing plans. But i am going to Bologna and read your reviews so hopefully i will have some good meals. That being said, I don't have a palette as complex as yours so i hope i am still able to appreciate the food as much as it should be.

Jul 25, 2012
TkNeo in Italy

Bologna updates: December 2011 (restaurants and markets)

Hi barberinibee, thank you for such a lovely and detailed article. I loved reading your post in Sep 11 as well. I noticed that you mentioned even though Bologna is regarded as the foodie paradise, it is not and if the reason is food one should consider other regions. Can you tell us what you consider is the best foodie paradise in your opinion.

Jul 24, 2012
TkNeo in Italy