I'm a Canadian Chowhound from Toronto and I will be heading down to Floyd, VA for the Jamboree on May 17th. I'd love some help narrowing down my food choices.
I promise to post reviews...
I'll be in Alexandria for 2 days (May 13th & 14th) and then planning to head west along 66 and then down Skyline Drive. I'll be stopping in Charlottesville & Staunton on my way to Floyd. I'll be heading back to Canada along 81 and then up 99.
Since we'll be driving I'm willing to explore for good food experiences but I'm trying to stay away from different ethnic cuisines that I can get in Toronto.
After trolling the boards & my other trusted sites I have a mixed bag of potential stops. I'm considering the following options:
A long overdue post on my trip to Pizzeria Defina on Roncesvalles.
A friend and I went there specifically to try the Margherita Pizza but I selected them because the menu descriptions for their pizzas, salads and small plates sounded yummy. I was disappointed.
I ordered the Burratta salad for a starter. Typically, I avoid these types of salads in restaurants because they rely so heavily on the quality of the ingredients. But I had just had a lovely caprese salad at The Pie Plate in Niagara-on-the-Lake and it was tomato season so I thought it was worth a shot. The tomatoes were pink! And some of the cheese had a weird aftertaste.
The Margherita pizza is advertised as San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, parmigiano reggiano and basil. The tomatoes seemed to be canned (a blessing given the tomatoes in the salad?), the fior di latte was struck by the same inconsistent flavour and the parmigiano reggiano seemed to be missing completely. The one thing it had going for it was the texture of the crust - done just right and nicely charred. It left me thinking that the person manning their giant pizza oven (seriously, they seemed to pull dozens of pizzas out at a time) knew what he was doing but the need to improve the quality of their ingredients.
The service was prompt but when we made comments about the cheese, they were completely ignored.
So, despite the fact that Pizzeria Defina is conveniently located around the corner from me, I'm going to be searching for a different pizza joint to haunt.
I actually found the tree stump stools more comfortable than the bar stools at the high tables.
As for the food, I was generally impressed. There were definitely elements in the plating and use of ingredients that reminded us of Lee (at a fraction of the price).
I got the cucumber salad, fish special and banana fritters and was pleased with all my choices. The whole sea bream with the banana blossom salad was good; it was a daily special but I see they're repeating it again today. I hope it (or a similar whole fish dish) makes it on to the regular menu.
I had tastes of various other dishes. The laksha was good; my friend who spent some time in Singapore said it was the closest to authentic. The chili salt tofu was great and I don't usually care for tofu. Great texture and the seasoning was good. Not too spicy.
I'd skip the Hainanese chicken - plain boiled chicken with the sauces served on the side; it read the best on the menu but definitely underwhelmed in person. The Ice Kacang was good but needs to be served in a bowl instead of a plate. Watching my friend chase ice around her plate was amusing, though.
Despite not having a liquor license they had some interesting mocktails on offer and offered plenty of free ginger tea. I'll definitely be going back once they have their liquor license.
I will be in Venice from Oct 1-4th, staying on the Fondamenta di Cannaregio.
With such a short trip I want to make the most of my time. In fact, the itinerary so far is restaurants with some site seeing maybe accomplished between meals. :0)
I've done my research but I would appreciate advice from my Chowfriends.
Reservations have been made for suppers:
I've come up with a short-list of restaurants for lunches but I'm having trouble narrowing it down. We don't arrive until mid-day on the 1st, so we really only have 2 lunches.
There will be 2 of us and we prefer to get "authentic" Venetian food as much as possible. Local ingredients, seafood and seasonal vegetables and good technique preferred over complex plating or fancy preparation. I'd prefer a sit down place where we can have a more leisurely lunch. The atmosphere does not need to be romantic - I want to fall in love with the people and city of Venice not my platonic travel mate.
The list so far:
I know Bancogiro is closed on Mondays. Are any of the other restaurants?
Ristorante Terrazza del Casin Dei Nobli is another restaurant we're considering, dependent on if we get to spend time in Dorsoduro.
Advice is appreciated.
I agree that the food was quite good for a restaurant that has only been open for a few days.
There were a few interesting flavours like an unexpected hit of tangy-ness in the devilled eggs and grilled cheese sandwich. Some flavours need a little tweeking - I've concluded that Rod needs to use an older and sharper cheddar in the mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwich.
You can tell he's paid attention to small details that will pay off. Like the bottle of homemade ketchup that comes with the fries and a small bowl (was it chutney?) served with the pork.
I will definitely return.
A friend & I will be in New York from July 30 to Aug 6th. I've been given the responsibility for picking all the restaurants and I need help from my fellow Chowhounds.
For the most part I'd like to focus on food that we can't get or don't do well in Toronto as well as my Chowhound picks (Degustation, Sushi Yasuda, Balthazar. Will I be able to get reservations at this late date?)
We'll be going to one of the Best Fuzhuo restaurants (leaning towards Forsythe St not Eldridge St) since we don't get Fujian in Toronto and a lot of latin food. I want to try the fish tacos at Pinche Taqueria. Would you recommend Dos Caminos or Tulcingo del Valle? What are your recommendations for empanadas and cuban?
It's likely that we're going to stay in Manhattan for the entire time. So, while I'm sure there's great latin options in Spanish Harlem and the outer boroughs we're not likely to be out there on this trip. (but why would you post those recs on this board anyways....)
What other food choices would you recommend?
When I lived at Yonge & Wellesley I was a weekly visitor to the 519 Yonge location of Red & White. My usual was the chicken shawarma plate with extra tabouleh. Sadly, I think things have gone down hill since the owner opened the second location closer to Dundas. He spends most of his time down at that location and at home with his family (which is understandable since he used to work all hours of the day and night).
I really enjoyed the salads (but then I like things that are very vinegary) and I think their pickled turnip is the best in the city. The rice is OK but can sometimes pick up a chemical taste in their take-out containers. The chicken which used to be awesomely tender and wonderful can sometimes be over cooked and crunchy. It largely depends on the time of day and how busy they are.
Still, if I lived in the neighbourhood I would probably be stopping by there regularly on my way home from work.
When I planned an event like this I used the Meile showroom. I can't recall the cost though.
So, I was happily reading the Home Cooking board and forgot all about my pasta. Ewww...over cooked pasta!
Since it's pasta, I'm going to toss it and start again but it did get me thinking...
Any tips/tricks you can share for recovering food that's been cooked too far?
Help me impress my friends!
A friend recently asked me to track down a new restaurant called Fuggedaboutit (or similar) that's located on King St or around King St.
Anyone know this restaurant?
I'm planning to make pork chops tomorrow night. The side dish will be potato pancakes.
Any suggestions on how to prepare the pork chops?