VanessaItalyinSF's Profile

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Napoletana Pizzeria in Mountain View

Grazie Wally- I searched for it but it didn't come up!

Napoletana Pizzeria in Mountain View

Just thought you guys would like to learn about this little place- if it was for me, I would have never set foot in a strip-mall joint called "Napoletana Pizzeria" smack on El Camino, with lights so low it looks like it is closed from the street. However, a friend of a friend of a friend (all from Italy) recommended it, and so I headed out there with my girlfriends (all from Italy as well), and we were shocked and surprised to find pretty good pizza Napoli style in the middle of suburbia!
The dough is chewy and elastic, the way it is supposed to be- not too thin (Roma style), not too thick (New York style), with the right amount of black blistering from the wood-fired oven, and the toppings are good- maybe not exceptional, but solidly in the pretty good category! Just a few pizza on the menu, we loved the Carcerato with delicious ricotta hidden in the crust (just around the edge), the Cafone (white with broccoli rabe and sausage) and the prosciutto e funghi, really well done without being too heavy. But more than anything, the dough is really, really good.
Link: http://www.napoletanapizzeria.com

Farro - Costco

I am surprised to read this, I love the Garofalo brand pasta, from Gragnano (Italy), same packaging and quality of the high-prized pasta you find in Italy- best pasta around.

Looking for good St Honore cake

So, I did a "St Honore Cake-Off", and I was determined to try out all the pastry stores mentioned in this thread. I started out with La Patisserie in Cupertino (I am in the Peninsula and it was easier), but I stopped at my second store because I found the REAL St. Honore and I have been craving it since. A small premise- both my husband and I and the friends we tried it with are from Italy, so we have a very distinctive idea of what we grew up eating in Italy. I am aware that the original is French, but I am unable to find good resources in French to determine how this cake is supposed to be originally made- the Italian version is sponge cake and millefeuille (puff pastry) filled with pastry cream and garnished with bi-colored whipped cream on top and caramelized cream puffs.
So, La Patisserie: I called ahead to ask how they made their St Honore, and they told me it was a ring of puff pastry filled with bavarian cream and whipped cream, topped with cream puffs. This cake was almost inedible, and it made me wonder about the quality of their products as a whole. The whipped cream felt like it was mounted with butter, it was stiff and it tasted awful. The cake was not mounted on a puff pastry ring, but on a choux paste ring, which despite my custom order for the cake tasted stale. I picked up the cake at 11am, so I was expecting this to be at least freshly made. I was wrong. The overall experience was so bad we abandoned the cake after a small slice and someone brought it to their office to finish it, it was so bad.
My second try was Emporio Rulli. Now, I consider Rulli the best Italian pastry shop by a HUGE margin, so I was hoping not to get disappointed. They were kind enough to deliver my order at SFO so I didn't have to drive to San Francisco to get it. Now, Rulli had exactly the cake I have had as a birthday cake every year since I was 3! They told me the cake was puff pastry and sponge cake, and it was. It was filled with pastry cream and topped with whipped cream, and all ingredients were extraordinarily exquisite. The cake was perfect- exactly the kind of cake you can buy in Italy. All of my party has been extremely pleased by the taste, freshness and quality of the cake. In the end I decided to stop my quest and just get my cakes from Rulli! I should also mention the Rulli cake was cheaper than the one at Patisserie for the same size cake. Not by much, but a bit cheaper.

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Emporio Rulli
464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

La Patisserie
19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA

Best Colombian food in the Bay Area?

Have you had any luck in discovering Colombian food yet?? Any updates on this topic? I am looking for Colombian food for a surprise party, but I would also be interested in finding grocery goods- Mi Pueblo really has slim pickings, and the only place I have been able to find panela online are ridiculously expensive....

Good baked goods AND good coffee, Southbay-- impossible?

You know, a cappuccino that has the right proportion of coffee and milk, an espresso done right instead of being bitter like most of the espressos you get around, a stovetop coffee pot like you would drink in an Italian house... things like that.

Good baked goods AND good coffee, Southbay-- impossible?

Have you ever been to Tootsie's? Again, in Palo Alto at the Stanford Barn (next to the hospital), but homemade pastries and Italian coffee are my kind of breakfast...

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Tootsie's at the Stanford Barn
700 Welch Rd Ste 118, Palo Alto, CA

Breakfast joints in Silicon Valley

Hi,
Anyone has been to Country Gourmet recently??? They seem to fit the bill for low-key double-stroller breakfast places in lower peninsula/ silicon valley!

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Country Gourmet
1314 S Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

ISO Delicious Sunday Brunch for 8, Preferably on Peninsula

At Donato's, don't skip any of the risottos. He's a master in that!

Pancakes in Lower Peninsula

Hello all,
my mom has been visiting from Italy and before she leaves she wants to go out for pancakes. We usually go to the Creamery in Palo Alto, but I'd be happy to explore a few new places- the catch is that we have twin four-month-old babies that tag along in a double stroller, so a place where we could easily accommodate them (e.g, the tables are not squished together a' la' St Micheal's alley, to be clear) would be ideal... location anywhere South of San Carlos but North of Mountain View. Anyt ideas?
Thank you!

Visiting Town for Only 3 Days: Quintessential Boston Eating Help!

well, you certainly made me laugh out loud!! I'm staying right by Copley Square, so tomorrow morning I will head into the library for coffee... and honestly, you guys are fending off quite well if I can say so- I've never had lobster this good or clam chowder this creamy and delicious- even when served in a sourdough bowl, well, it's not the same!!
Thank you SO much!

Visiting Town for Only 3 Days: Quintessential Boston Eating Help!

Thank you so much!! I will try to hit at least one of these places...

Visiting Town for Only 3 Days: Quintessential Boston Eating Help!

Hello all,

I'm visiting your very pretty city from San Francisco, where I usually post and review restaurants. Now I am visiting Boston (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and would love some recommendation for a quintessential Boston experience. Anything that is local and typical is fair game- and ethnic restaurants are not, unless you feel they are a must experience (I'm thinking he equivalent of Momofuku in New York!). I am also looking for a restaurant recommendation for the North End without ending up at a tourist trap. Help??

Thanks!

Hard to find Soft Cheese - Squacquerone

I buy crescenza or stracchino, which you can find in California both imported and California made. AG Ferrari, Draegers, and Cowgirls Creamery carry them-
http://www.italyinsf.com/2008/07/30/t...
Bellwether Farms makes a crescenza that you should be able to fin in SoCal...

How about Rimini and Ravenna?

Ciao Steve,

sorry for the delay- I use crescenza when I can find it- The Cowgirl Creamery carries it, and so does Draegers and AG Ferrari. Stracchino is a good substitute, too, but there's no place where to get Squacquerone outside Romagna! :)

Sep 28, 2008
VanessaItalyinSF in Italy

The Phoenix Pastificio- Help?

Can someone tell me where to find it exactly, and if it is still open? I keep on getting mixed reviews, and haven't been able to find a telephone number. Thank you!
Vanessa

The Refuge [San Carlos]

I absolutely agree. This place is wonderful- I had the best salame to date in any Bay Area joint, and the Pantelleria capers the mixed salumi plate came with were fantastic!

Foodie Destination on Lago Maggiore?

We will have a car, we don't know where to stay- depends on where the food is best! Hotel recs are appreciated, too!
Also, wanted to see if anyone has any experience at La Cinzianella in Corgeno. Very curious since reading Locatelli's book...

Jul 25, 2008
VanessaItalyinSF in Italy

Foodie Destination on Lago Maggiore?

My husband and I will be leaving from MXP, and we're looking to spend maybe a day or two on Lago Maggiore. We're both Italian and we love regional food. Any great meal that we should not miss to pick a town instead on another?

Grazie!

Vanessa

Jul 25, 2008
VanessaItalyinSF in Italy

food tours in italy?

Global Epicurean tailors short culinary excursions to order. If you just want to learn how to make pasta, and then tour the fish market and enjoy a wonderful meal, then the Romagna trip is for you!
www.globalepicurean.com contact info@globalepicurean.com

Jul 15, 2008
VanessaItalyinSF in Italy

Tigelleria Ristorante Chowdown Report, Campbell, Thursday 1/10

Just made it to Campbell to try La Tigelleria, and I am walking away impressed!! Can we say hurray for something different, finally? Tigelle are a great way to have an informal dinner, and the owners encourage their patrons to take their time and enjoy dinner. They admit themselves they don't have the fastest service around, but in all it was a really pleasant experience.
I think they changed their menu recently, as it now includes appetizers and pasta dishes. Also, the plates of charcuterie and cheeses are "pre-made", meaning you can pick a selection for a fixed price. We opted for the trio, salumi, chesses and grilled vegetables, and it was accompanied with a selection of spreads, all quite impressive.
We ate more than we should have, with tigelle coming out warm as soon as we finished a basket.
A wonderful dinner sprinkled with Lambrusco, unusual and really good! We're going back just to try their dessert menu!

Best Croque Monsieur in SF?

I'll take it outside the city limits: Cesar in Berkeley makes a stunning one- really, really memorable!, and Bouchon in Yountville... delicious!

Looking for South Bay upscale-ish options

Village Pub in Woodside was really really good on our visit, Manresa is always a great choice, and I am dying to try Chez TJ. If steak is an option, Pampas in Palo Alto, or Forbes Mills steakhouse in Los Gaots- yummi!
Also, upscale-ish is Evvia in Palo Alto- Greek, and with wonderful fish!

Best Italian Restaurant

Two places really stand out in the city IMHO for good, solid regional Italian food- Perbacco, as recommended by many, and Farina, which seems to be a little bit more popular among Italians than among locals. Perbacco is closer by the St Regis, and you'll want to try braised meats and the agnolotti dal Plin, as well as their cured meats. At Farina, don't miss the pesto pasta and their focaccia di Recco. Amazing!

00 Flour for Pasta Dough

Lucca in the Marina (on chestnut) carries it, as well as Mastrelli's at the Ferry Building. Good luck!
V.

Best Northern Italian

I just had dinner at Farina last night, and I was awestruck. Terrific meal, everything was delicious- even took there two Ligurian friends visiting from Italy (why would I take them there, you might ask, when they have that food everyday at home? Good question, but in brief, I wanted to try it and make sure I had a good second opinion!) and they were impressed by the focaccia di recco, the salame (that's my specialty, being from Emilia Romagna), and the pasta al pesto- all was stunningly great!

BTW, when I asked about the salame di Felino they served us, the server told me they import it. I was pretty sure salame is one of those things that can't be imported at all- does anyone know if it is possible?

Thanks!

Best Northern Italian

I would go for Perbacco for the best Northern Italian fare (to me, the best Italian period!). Everything on the menu is pretty good, but don't pass on the Agnolotti dal Plin and the braised meats.
Cheaper and less formal is Ristorante Milano in Russian Hill.

On The Haunt for Great Italian Places in San Francisco and Beyond

I think you're right, I haven't been clear enough when I say that someone should be from Italy- I just use it as a reference point for "modern" Italian cuisine, as opposed to Italian-American. A lot of establishments in the city don't have people from Italy on staff, but people who either trained there, lived there, or something to that extent.
So, that's what I am looking for, thanks Robert for pointing out my poor phrasing!

On The Haunt for Great Italian Places in San Francisco and Beyond

I am compiling a list of all original Italian restaurants in the Bay Area. I have most of the big names (Perbacco, Incant, A16, La Ciccia, Quattro, Farina, etc), and some smaller places (Ristorante Milano, La Pizzeria, La Strada, E' Tutto Qua, etc). Now I am looking for off the beaten path recommendations, neighborhood places that serve a true Italian fare.
General "requirements": Someone in the kitchen or in the management team is from Italy (usually an indication of modern Italian fare as opposed to Italian-American cuisine); menu doesn't include Alfredo sauce or chicken on pasta; place is generally pleasant.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana -- coming to the Embarcadero?

One of the best chef in Peru, excessive $ investment, opening at Pier 1. Projected opening- Mid August. Can't wait!