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Give me your Best Baked Pasta Recipes (Please)

This sounds great! So you don't cover the pasta with foil at all? Also, let's say I used a 12 ounce package of ravioli... Around how much sauce/meatballs would I need? Give or take... I guess I could add some greens (chard, spinach or kale) to the mix to make it vaguely healthy? Thanks for giving me the 411 on this.

4 minutes ago
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Give me your Best Baked Pasta Recipes (Please)

Thanks so much for the suggestions and recipes so far! I need to read through your posts more thoroughly, but at a glance, I think my family would like the baked meatballs and ravioli concept for sure....The lasagna rolls I made from Giada had a bechamel sauce on the bottom vs. the stuffed shells I made with all red sauce...and the all red sauce shells definitely won. That being said, I am intrigued by the pumpkin ravioli idea. Keep 'em coming and thanks again! Oh yeah, the shells with swiss chard and mac 'n cheese recipes also look doable...

about 4 hours ago
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Brooklyn Pizza around Barclays

I agree with the recs for both Boboroncino and Wheated.... Both have nice bars and dining spaces (especially Boboroncino) though I think the pizza at Wheated edges out Boboroncino's.... I am not sure if either takes reservations though. Re: Brooklyn Central, it used to be amazing, but my last couple visits were very disappointing and not worth the $ inho. I think the pizza in terms of ingredient quality and consistency re: crust have both slipped. A lot.

I would also like to add Speedy Romeo in Clinton Hill to the mix. http://www.speedyromeo.com/ We ate there recently and the Midwesterner in me went crazy for the square sliced St. Louis pizza with Provel cheese (sort of like a refined Velveeta) and sausage--and the pickled green chilies they provided to top it with on the side. They have other pizza options if the thought of a Velveeta topped pizza is not appealing--plus we saw some gorgeous looking salads incl Caesar and Kale--go by and they allegedly make a mean burger and have some other entree type dishes on the menu... I only went once, but am scheming to return soon and I believe they do have a bar. I am not sure about their reservation situation either.

about 18 hours ago
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Give me your Best Baked Pasta Recipes (Please)

Hello All,

So I recently conquered my longheld aversion to making baked pasta. Up until this point, I had always associated it with a lot of prep that just wasn't worth the end result (dried out, overcooked noodles). Anyway, a few weeks ago, both ricotta and mozzarella were on sale at my supermarket and I took it as a sign (destiny really) that I should make lasagna. Ultimately, I wound up settling on Giada's lasagna rolls recipe with spinach and prosciutto. While I felt the prosciutto turned out to be way too subtle an addition, in general, it was a good dish. Even better though, were the sausage and kale filled shells I made with the leftover ricotta and mozzarella I needed to get rid of (made according to a combo of recipes incl. one from the blog Shutterbean). This dish sold me on the baked pasta concept and now I would love to make others. So now, I ask you, what are your favorites?

Thanks in advance!

about 18 hours ago
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Accessible restaurants near Byward Market

Hi,

I was just in Ottawa over the summer for the first time and we stayed in the Byward Market area (the Marriott Courtyard). We ate at a couple places nearby that we enjoyed. Mello's Supper Club--which is a diner by day and a pop-up supper club of sorts by night. We did not try the diner but had the chance to eat at the Supper Club (which I think is helmed by a different chef at night) on our day in town. It was by far the most affordable place we ate at for dinner and the food was pretty good--and the casual diner vibe made it perfect after a long day of traveling (from Brooklyn). I think the menu varies according to season, and the latest one is up on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MellosRestau... I am not sure if it is wheelchair accessible, but I can vouch for its proximity to the Byward Market and for the food.

Sidedoor is also near the Byward Market : http://sidedoorrestaurant.com/

It does a happy hour M-F I believe from 4:30-6:30--which includes a couple bucks off its tacos. We stopped by just for drinks and tacos--and while none of the tacos were all that memorable, they were decent and it was a fun place to relax and enjoy a couple drinks. They have a lovely patio but of course, now it would be too cold. We did not eat in the dining room and I am not sure how accessible it would be for you.

If you will have access to a car during your trip, I would be happy to recommend some other--further afield-- good eats we discovered on our recent visit...

Good Luck and Enjoy!

about 21 hours ago
brooklynsabra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

Original Poster here,

Fwiw, we recently returned from our one night stop-over in the Berkshires and I have to say, we ate very well! By default, since it was both Labor Day and Monday night, not to mention on the late side, we wound up at Alliumm for dinner--and I have to say, it must have been fate. I was skeptical, given our previous less-than-great Berkshires dinner experiences--and I was not crazy about the dining room where we were seated--which was so dark we could not see our menu or the food, (a pet peeve) but tried to keep an open mind. We ordered sparingly in case the food was disappointing: We got a kale salad, the sunflower seed hummus dish and a burger. The salads wound up being so fresh tasting and wonderful that we wound up ordering the farro salad app as well-also great. We shared the burger. Aside from the waaay too dark dining room, we were really happy with our meal at Allium, and would definitely return.

For breakfast we got donuts and the new biscuit sandwiches from Home Sweet Home-(we liked the donuts on our previous visit). The sandwiches were so-so, but the donuts were good... Lunch was great--Thank you to mjoyous for your mention of Berkshire Organics. We got a couple salads from the former chef of Riva--which we very much enjoyed--and we also were able to bring back lots of surprisingly affordable organic produce--a huge plus! For dinner, on our way home, we stopped at the Bistro Box (thanks again to mjoyous). This was a big, big hit, especially with my husband. We loved the truffle parm fries and I really, really liked my falafel burger--and my husband, his burger--our son got a nice salad as well...

Oh yeah, we got a mid-afternoon treat (hot chocolate and cappuccino mousse cake) from Chocolate Springs--a favorite from our prior trip--and it is still fantastic, ableit more expensive than I recall. We also brought back chocolate bread, cherry pecan pread and pizza crust from the ever-fabulous Berkshire Mountain Bread--another previous favorite... Yum!

The biggest surprise for us was Allium--which really delivered in terms of being the sort of restaurant I imagined there would be in the Berkshires on our first visit there.

At any rate, Thanks everyone for all your suggestions--

Help me get Excited about Ottawa's Food Scene!

Thanks everyone for your recs and suggestions... Looks like I will have to save Wesport Bakery for another trip... Any thoughts on the best schawarma in town? Keep in mind, we have some pretty great schawarma here in NYC...but I would be curious to know if there are any differences...

Help me get Excited about Ottawa's Food Scene!

I did see the ottwafoodies site... thanks! i will check out bank street...

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

Li'lBrownBat, on my previous visit to the area, I tried a couple high end--aka entrees in the 20's and up--restaurants (whose names escape me) and was so disappointed, it left me very skeptical re: trying others at that price point. By "great dinner rec" in the teens, I mean decent food with a pleasant ambience--I am not talking life changing; I am just very reticent to spend so much again--though am feeling tempted by Prairie Whale...

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

OP here... Thank you all for your recs! I'd love to reply to everyone individually, but just in case that does not happen, wanted to say thanks! Also, I did notice there are a number of pricier suggestions, and while they sound great, I do want to keep things as budget conscious as I can. while still having an enjoyable meal with some ambience...We will have just come from both Montreal and Ottawa where I am already struggling to maintain some sort of dining budget... I don't mind splurging in Montreal as much--I have a soft spot for the city I guess...but want to balance things out in Ottawa and the Berkshires if I can... I will post re: the restaurant we ultimately decide on--We will not be in Great Barrington until Sept. 1.

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

I did read about Elizabeth's and it sounded intriguing in spite of my usual reticence re: ordering pasta at restaurants...but it's closed on Mondays, which I should have specified is the night we'll be in Great Barrington. Those pretzel croissants sound pretty amazing. are they remotely on the way back to NYC? (I have not mapped out the trip that well yet...)

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

Yes, Cafe Riva! That's the place. It really reminded me of some of the brunch places in Chicago, where I lived before NYC. I do love the food scene in NYC, but have never been especially enamored of the brunch spots I have tried--Chcago obliterates them--and Riva was reminiscent of those places. Sad it is gone. Is it worth going to Berkshire Organics for sometthing to go? Thanks for the other recs as well! I did read about the Brooklyn connection re: Prairie Whale--but saw mixed reviews..It sounds worth trying (in spite of the Brooklyn Connection) based on your experience.

Affordable Bershires Dinner Recs to Satisfy a Somewhat Jaded Brooklyn Family plus other Recs for Food Stops in the Berkshires?

So my family and I will be stopping overnight in Great Barrington en route from Montreal to NYC. We have spent time in the area before and really felly in love with Berkshire Mountain Bakery (two words: Chocolate Sourdough!) and also, Chocolate Springs in Lenox. We also enjoyed the hot dogs at Teo's and there was this restaurant in Pittsfield with the most amazing breakfast / brunch. I cannot recall the name, but I think it may be gone... It was sort of bohemian with really lovely food--I remember having corned beef hash... Oh yeah, we also liked Barrington Bites for cupcakes--and Home Sweet Home for Donuts.... But I digress... These were the positives on our last visit.

On the downside, we were really underwhelmed by all the restaurants we tried for dinner. Full discolosure, we're from Brooklyn where we are inundated with dining choices... At any rate, we ate at a couple higher end spots on our last visit that I cannot recall, except for their total lack of memorable-ness (i know it's not a word) We also ate at Baba Louie--which was fine--at least it was more affordable... For this visit, I would love a great dinner rec--not crazy expensive if possible (entrees below $20)-- in the Berkshires area. We pretty much eat everything, but I would love to avoid burgers and pizza--which we have plenty of in NYC... We'll have a car and are willing to drive beyond Great Barrington..I would also love recs for more places like Berkshire Mountain Bread. This will be our last stop before heading home to Brooklyn, so I'd love to bring home some treats!

Thanks in advance!

Help me get Excited about Ottawa's Food Scene!

I posted a few weeks ago re: food recs for visiting Ottawa and thought I'd give it another shot. In the interim, I've had a chance to "research" possibilities for our upcoming 3 day visit and at least from the menus I have seen, it *seems* like Ottawa may be much like D.C. (Washington) in the sense that restaurants are very pricey, with food that may not always live up to expectations. I have tried to whittle down some options.

Here is my list so far: Sidedoor, Next, and/or Murray's for dinner: I would really love a more affordable (entrees in the teen range rather than 20's and 30's) option or 2, but cannot ocme up with any, so any recs would be so appreciated...or feedback about my 3 choices...

I would also like to hit Susi Q. Donuts, Scone Witch, Art Is In, BeaverTail, the Byward Market.... Someplace for Ottawa's famed eggrolls (recs?) and also, Schawarma (recs?) Butter Tart recs would also be very welcome...even on the way to Montreal... I was also reading about the Westport Bakery, which sounds amazing. Is that on our way to Montreal? or perhaps on the way to Ottawa, coming from NYC?

What I'd love most though are some affordable dinner options. We will be staying near Byward Market, but will have a car and we're willing to travel for good *affordable* eats. We will be hitting Montreal after Ottawa, and I don't want to blow our food budget right away.

Thanks in advance!

Unheralded Brooklyn Restaurants

I am a fan of Boboroncino too--fun atmosphere with a nice outdoor patio and bar, and good pizza.... We used to go much more often--until Wheated opened in our neighborhood (Kensington), offering similarly good pizza and vibe--minus the outdoor patio, though...

On that same Franklin Ave. restaurant strip where Boboroncino is located, I really like Mayfield--which I guess you would describe as New American : a restaurant with a nice energy/vibe and really solid food that I don't hear too much about--I also like Guerros for tacos--on one of the side streets in that area--but really hate the cramped space and overly hipster-ish vibe. But the tacos are good--if a bit overpriced.

In Queens, I recently fell head over heels for UFC--Unidentified Flying Chickens --which serves amazing Korean Fried Chicken in Jackson Heights--I have tried a number of the go-to places in Manhattan and in imho, this place blows them out of the water. I am plotting and scheming for a chance to go back!

Jul 26, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Thanks so much for your report! Am so glad you liked Hometown! (their brisket in particular is great!)

And it looks like we are on the same page re: Do or Dine--which I think I tried to "save" you from... Seriously, I don't get the hype at all re: this place... Everything sounds great on paper but the execution is really, really lacking.

That passionfruit donut from Dough is one of my absolute favorites. If you come in the fall / winter they do a blood orange glaze that has that same sweet/sour tang--and it is equally amazing. There was a recent thread in which a couple posters didn't seem to get the appeal of Dough--but I love it and I don't even like donuts all that much.

Sorry to hear re: your mixed experience at Scratch. I mostly love this place,though on my last visit, I got some sort of breakfast in a cup thing that I really disliked--all the flavors were really muddled and I coudn't figure out what I was tasting. It really bummed me out and I have not gone back since...

The Kolachy place is fun--though I grew up with these in the Midwest and there is really no comparison (what I grew up with blows these out of the water).

And I totally agree re: that ramen burger. Fun to try once.

I am headed to Canada soon--not Toronto, sadly...but we're going to Ottawa and Montreal--and I am trying to get a feel for Ottawa's food scene..such as it is..

Thanks again for the detailed report!

Jul 26, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

I am not sure if the Red Hook Ball Fields would be worth a detour. There was a time I would have said, "definitely," but a few years ago, the city cracked down with regulations and a number of vendors dropped out. The tacos and papusas are still good (based on my experience last year--I have yet to return this year)...but you have to time it so you don't have to wait in line forever (perhaps earlier?) and there isn't the variety of food choices there once was....

Maybe check it out if you happen to be in the area...but don't go out of your way... If you go, it is helpful to bring a blanket to lay on the grass and make a picnic out of it.

Jul 16, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Doughnut Plant Prospect Hts.

I think both Dough's donuts and Donut Plant's need to be eaten fresh to fully appreciate them. Once the playng field is leveled, as it were, I'd rather eat a donut from Dough any day. I think what you refer to as frosting is more like glaze--and if you stick with the more tart flavors you will never be disappointed. I have not enjoyed their chocolate version all that much...or the afforementiond coconut.... though their cafe au lait flavor is lovely. I just think that served ultra- fresh, their pastry component is better than Donut Plant's....

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Doughnut Plant Prospect Hts.

Thanks for letting us know about this, Jen... The original location is just a few blocks from my bro's place on the LES... and I am a fan of their square-shaped coconut-cream filled donut...but not much else.

I much prefer the fluffy, pillowy donuts from Dough in Bed-Stuy....but with the caveat that I get them directly from their bakeshop and eat them fresh. I made the mistake of buying from elsewhere and they are not the same...they have to be fresh. If you are lucky enough to be able to make the trek to Dough... their tart, citrusy flavors--like lemon poppyseed, passionfruit, hibiscus, and blood orange--are the best IMHO. But I digress...

I actually prefer the coconut donut from Donut Plant over Dough's version and will be looking forward to their opening--though am sure it will be a mob scene--since the LES location is always packed with people incl. many tourists.

Jul 14, 2014
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Best Casual Ottawa Eats?

Thank you, Yq214 and bytepusher.... I am open to "fine dining" in Ottawa...but don't want to get burned in terms of paying big bucks only to be disappointed... My tween is a fairly adventurous eater and fine with dining somewhere more formal-ish...but if it makes more sense to stick with casual eats I am good with that (NYC has an amazing ethnic food scene and offers some great budget options that are often more satisfying than some of the higher-end choices...so we often eat that way...) At any rate, thanks for the recs and interesting explanation re: egg rolls!

Best Casual Ottawa Eats?

So I recently posted re: other food-centric cities beyond Toronto that would also offer some fun activities for my tween... It looks like, at this point, that we will combine Ottawa with a couple days in Montreal. There seems to be a lot to do in Ottawa for my kid--so I am sucking it up... even though I am not really feeling their food scene...(My apologies if I am mistaken, but it *seems* like they may have a few gems here and there...but foodwise, it is a city that is very much a work-in-progress. At any rate, I was thinking we'd do most of our splurges re: food in Montreal (we have been there twice before) and seek out more casual spots in Ottawa.

I read thus far, that the city is renowned for its schawarma, Beaver Tail pastry and egg rolls? So I am open to recs for those and any other specialties / local cuisine. We're from Brooklyn and pretty much have it all here...so any unusual / unique to Ottawa/Canada eats are really what I am looking for.... I was also reading about Susi Q. Donuts.. Are they worth trying? Are there any outdoor food markets worth visiting? Fun supermarkets (where we often pick up local treats on our trips)?

Thanks in Advance!

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

Wow. I hadn't checked this thread for a few days! Thanks all for your responses! I will need to sort through them...

Moderately Priced (about $20-25 American per entree or so) French restaurant in Montreal?

Vabou, yes, I think I was torn between Lemeac and LaLoux on our last visit... happy to hear Lemeac has my beloved liver. i have across the other recs that were suggested too, though Au Cinquieme Peche may run a bit more than we want to spend... but thank you!

I was just reading about Brasserie Bernard in the Outremont area--from the same people who have Restaurant Holder, the place I so enjoyed on my first visit... Has anyone been? I am also open to lesser known gems in out of the way neighborhoods... Since we will have a car and have been to Montreal before, I am very much open to exploring non-touristy neighborhoods. Many thanks again!

Food Cities beyond Montreal & Quebec City?

thanks, finefoodie55--we have actually been to quebec city and loved it; we also spent a day on the isle d'orleans--where we bought some amazing black currant salad dressing among other things--but it was really rainy--so i know we missed out a little and i would love to return. in quebec city, we went to a highly recommended creperie (i don't recall the name) and our server suggested a visit to charlevoix--it sounded lovely--and i have long wanted to go whale watching!!

all of this being said, my tween was a bit bored in quebec city with all the eating and walking around and not much else to do (that i could find anyway--there were little things here and there for sure , but nothing like montreal or toronto--though again, my husband and i loved our trip there!) and aside from whale watching, i am not sure what else i could find for him to do--so a return to this area may have to wait until it's just me and the husband.....and i look forward to it!

Moderately Priced (about $20-25 American per entree or so) French restaurant in Montreal?

So I have been to Montreal twice and am likely to return again this summer. It has become a bit of a tradition to try a French restaurant during our visits. During our first visit, we went to Brasserie Holder (I think that was the name) and I remember really liking the energy in the dining room and the food (I still recall loving the calf's liver I ordered--I am a huge fan of liver!) On our next visit we went to LaLoux, which was much, much more low key. I remember enjoying our meal, but nothing stands out about what we ate--it was just solid.

I would love to try someplace new on this visit--nowhere stuffy or pretentious--somewhere family friendly--though my son is fairly adventurous (loves charcuterie, pate, and recently, liver...weird kid). And speaking of liver, I'd love a place that serves calf's liver, which truly is a treat for me. Many thanks!

Is Au Pied De Cochon Still Good?

This was a restaurant my family and I really enjoyed on a previous visit a couple years ago-both food and atmosphere--and I am wondering if it is worth a return visit to try other things? I had chosen this over Joe Beef--which sounded a bit chaotic--especially with a kid-- with its only in French chalkboard menu.... I am curious re: Joe Beef still, but would return to Au Pied if it's still as good as I remember... Thanks in advance!

Food Cities beyond Montreal & Quebec City?

A huge thanks to everyone for all your recs! Am now leaning toward maybe staying in Montreal and doing a day trip, perhaps to Val David (per Deborah's rec--thank you), with all its restaurants etc. Though we have been to Montreal twice, I am realizing we were never visited the Planetarium or Science Museum, which my tween would enjoy... and we have a hotel there we love (Hotel de L'Institute) with the best beds ever--across from Mme Claffoutis (Love!) So that is what I am thinking now....though am still open to more recs. Many thanks!

Best Ontario Food Cities--Beyond Toronto?

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the amazing recs! I am particularly drawn to the idea of Hamilton--I did a little "research," and their food scene sounds interesting, indeed. It is also close enough to Toronto to maybe do a day trip there... We really loved Guu on a previous visit to Toronto. I would love to return and maybe go to Second City's summer matinee for families--which we also loved on a previous visit... I would also need to figure some more tween-friendly forms of entertainment... I found it interesting to read that there is some sort of "rivalry" between Toronto and Hamilton?

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I actually remember going to Portsmouth very briefly for a quick refueling as a pit stop on our way home from Portland a couple years ago--I recall it being a cute town that we wished we had more time to explore--so thanks for that rec.

We also spent a little time in Burlington for dinner while in Vermont on another trip. We went to American Flatbread which we very much enjoyed, but now apparently, there is one in NYC... We also did the Ben & Jerry's "tour in that area;" not much of a tour, really, but fun for us all. In fact, we love tours like that and have gone to the Pez Factory in CT, Jelly Belly in WI, and a small chocolate factory in the Finger Lakes... if there are any others in NE, I'd love to hear about them!

As for Camden / Rockland, that area sounds interesting foodwise for sure and I am going to look into it. Thanks!

Also, like the idea of the going to a big Arcade like the one suggested. My kid loves stuff like that and also bowling, mini golf, batting cages, go karting etc

If we wind up in NE (Canada is also on the table..or maybe we will combine them as we often do) I will report back!

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

Hello All,

So I am a Brooklynite with a love for road trips up North to escape the hellacious NYC heat every summer. One summer, we spent a couple days in Portland, ME and really fell in love with the food scene there. Are there any similar cities we should consider for a visit? Even better if there are other things to do to entertain a tween who is totally over his parents' perpetual quest for good eats.

Thanks in advance!