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Barcelona Paella

I've tried to figure this out as well, and from what I gathered on the boards paella in Barcelona isn't that good. However, since I doubt my parents would ever return to Spain, we are going for paella at Can Majo. They have seating outside on a terrace, and are also near the beach I believe. I figured this would be a nice, beautiful way to kick off our Europe trip.

Jun 05, 2009
CGengomics in Spain/Portugal

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

Awesome, thanks! I just had my reservation confirmed at Josephine for 8pm on the 15th...I'm expecting it to be the best meal out of them all!

Also for those Hounds traveling soon, it might be worth to check recent prices on hotels if you haven't prepaid. My Barcelona hotel went from 115 Euro to 95, and I renegotiated my Rome hotel from 100 Euro to 90. Not that I'm expecting to actually save the money...it's more to splurge on additional delicacies.

Jun 02, 2009
CGengomics in France

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

I have a more general question for the Paris-experienced hounds out there: what are the main dishes one orders in Paris? I'll have my GPS with me to translate (slowly, and probably inaccurately), but other than steak & frites, what are the signature Parisian dishes? I have read veal is very popular. Foie gras, we will obviously have as well. But what words on the menu should I be paying attention to, and if I see them it is a "must-try"?

May 30, 2009
CGengomics in France

Reporting on some great eating in Paris

I believe Rotonde has a website that you can use to request a reservation, that is what I used. L'Ami Jean provides an email address, but I think the only way to Josephine is via phone.

May 29, 2009
CGengomics in France

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

Tony,

What a coincidence! We're going June 13th-16th, flying to Venice after, then going through Florence/Rome. I haven't been to Cinque Terre personally, but my roommates in Florence spent a weekend there. They said it was breathtaking, real memorable. They rented scooters for an afternoon and said it was a blast, maybe something you can look into.

I thought Joel Robuchon might be a bit too formal for my tastes, which is why I don't have it planned - I'm not sure a polo shirt and khakis would fly there, but there are many people on the boards who would know better than I.

Keep in mind (something I found pretty frustrating) a lot of places are not open Sat/Sun, even Monday. I think L'ami Jean fell into this category, as well as Regalade and Denise. You have an extra weekday though, so hopefully you can squeeze them in.

I chose Rotonde because it is around the corner from where we are staying (Central Hotel Paris, near the Montparnasse station). But, it is also supposed to have decent food, and is open on Sunday.

Josephine Chez Dumonet, I believe, only takes reservations two weeks in advance, so still waiting on them. L'ami Jean hasn't replied to my email asking for a lunch reservation either.

I like your casual eat and snacks list, definitely will add it to my itinerary. We have a place in NYC (Bouchon Bakery) who supposedly makes fantastic macaroons, but I didn't find them terribly delicious...maybe Paris will change this.

Gelato - wait for Florence and Rome!! Florence, two great places, Grom and Perche No. Try Perche No's biscotti gelato, absolutely out of this world. My last meal in Florence after living there for 4 months. Rome there is a place called Della Palma, I believe they're near the Pantheon, great stuff there. Had my camera stolen there, but I'm going back nonetheless.

Florence restaurants, there are so many. Acqua al 2's blueberry steak and pasta sampler are must-haves, in my opinion. There is a small neighborhood place near Piazza Girolamo Savanarola called Edi House, only open for dinners. Best pizza in Italy that I had, along with superb gnocchi. Trattoria ZaZa has excellent ribollita (Tuscan bread soup), another dish you must try. La Giostra is run by family with Hapsburg royalty blood, very quirky man but excellent crostini and champagne to kick off a solid primi and secondi. If you get tired of Italian food, go to Turkuaz, it's north of the Duomo. Addictive chicken/lamb kebabs (I had 10 and got a free t-shirt!). That's off the top of my head...I am sure there are tons more, just ask.

Rome, one place stands out: Il Tunnel. Small neighborhood joint, not in the tour books or anything, but BEST pasta I had in Italy. Home-made, perfectly al-dente, seasoned wonderfully, just delicious. Can't miss it.

I could go on but, getting tired and the bed is calling!

May 27, 2009
CGengomics in France

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

Thanks for the tip, will see if I can work it into the schedule.

I have a question regarding the amount of time it takes for lunch at L'ami Jean. I'm planning on arriving at noon for lunch, then taking the subway to Porte Maillot in time to catch the bus to Beauvais for our flight. I think we have to be at the bus station by 3:20. (6:50pm flight, bus leaves 3.5 hours before). This should be enough time to have lunch + travel to Port Maillot right? Thanks!

May 26, 2009
CGengomics in France

Relying on the Boqueria for meals - Smart?

Thanks for the advice, very helpful! I think I'm going to go with the following plan:

Thursday 6/11 - Arrive at hotel around 4pm, wander down to Boqueria, snack around, dinner at Can Majo at 8:15.
Friday 6/12 - Restaurant San Joan, visit Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, wander around, dinner at Paco Meralgo

I'm also looking at Cinc Sentits, but not sure how to work it in. I might drop Can Majo in favor of Cinc, but having a paella on an outside terrace near the beach sounds like a nice way to kick off the vacation!

May 22, 2009
CGengomics in Spain/Portugal

Relying on the Boqueria for meals - Smart?

Afternoon all,

I'm visiting Barcelona for a couple days in June with my parents. I've reserved one dinner (paella at Can Majo), but intend on having the other two lunches/one dinner at the Boqueria. In my mind, I imagine it as a gigantic building with hundreds of food stalls, where we can browse around and pick-and-choose what to try. Is this notion correct? Or should I be looking to reserve actual meals at sit-down restaurants?

I've tried searching Boqueria on the boards but the Chowhound search engine has been down for a couple days for me. Any suggestions/tips are much appreciated. Thanks!

May 21, 2009
CGengomics in Spain/Portugal

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

I don't think I ever ate at Buca Lapi, but I had bistecca at Il Latini, it was fabulous. However, my friend who just went back said they've become a lot more touristy, and push a lot of other less-impressive entrees (like roast beef, roast lamb, mass pre-fixe stuff). La Giostra was a pretty awesome experience, with the Hapsburg prince storyline. Excellent crostini, but I don't recall the primi/secondi to be that memorable.

The pasta sampler and blueberry steak at Acqua al 2 is among the best meals I had in Florence, can't miss it. Trattoria Anita also has superb food, went there three or four times. For gelato, our favorite spot was Perche No and their biscotti, absolutely fantastic. EDI House, a pizza place near my apartment, was the best pizza I had in Italy. Their gnocchi was superb as well. I would recommend going to Esselunga, it's like a wonderland compared to US supermarkets. I believe the deli counter has jamon iberico, which I was too poor to try (something like 120 Euro a kilo). But even the budget prosciutto was great, and fresh baked baguettes that are still warm (I remember hiding the baguette under my coat on my occasions to keep it warm as we walked back to the apt.).

Ah...the memories!

May 21, 2009
CGengomics in France

Paris Culinary Plan - Thoughts/Advice

Hi fellow hounds! I'm going back to Paris in mid-June (swung through in 2006 for 3 days while studying abroad) and bringing my parents along for the trip. I'm looking to give them the full Parisian culinary experience (and myself as well, since I was a poor student living on crepes and gyros when I went, sleeping four people in two beds!) I'm trying to split up three dinners and three lunches, and have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for: cuisine that exemplifies French cooking, reasonable prices, and semi-casual atmosphere. I wrote off the famous Michelin starred places because we won't be packing anything more formal than khakis and a polo. I'm having trouble finding places that are open on the days we'll be there (Sat/Sun/Mond/Tues), but I've narrowed it down to the following plan:

Arrive Saturday evening, staying in Montparnasse area: dinner at Monsieur Lapin or Le Parc Aux Cerf (close by, hound suggested)
Sunday lunch - swing through a market/bakery/etc on way to Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Germain, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower
Sunday dinner - La Rotonde (good words on the board, open on Sunday)
Monday lunch - head to Les Halles, work through Louvre/Champs de Elysees/Arc de Triumph, head up to Montmatre
Monday dinner - Josephine Chez Dumonet
Tuesday lunch - L'ami Jean, flight at 6:50 to Venice

If you have suggestions or better ideas (food/tourism/anything), please feel free to let me know!

Also, I can give you recommendations for Florence, as I studied abroad (more like ate abroad) there for 4 months.

May 20, 2009
CGengomics in France

Birthday Ideas for the Foodie Dad

To clarify further, my dad (in all likelihood) has the cooking ability and experience to run a restaurant. However, that lifestyle did not fit for our family.

He hasn't had any formal training, so I believe the things I'm looking for most are 1) something that will teach him new things and 2) something that will allow him to indulge his cooking passion.

The most interesting thing I've seen so far is this: http://www.astorcenternyc.com/class-b...

Thanks!

Aug 01, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Birthday Ideas for the Foodie Dad

I recently saw an ad for the "New York Culinary Experience" at the FCI, and immediately thought that it'd be a great birthday present for my dad, a professor by day and home chef by night. However, when I saw the price tag of $1500, it didn't seem terribly feasible. I'm trying to find something similar, but for about a thousand dollars less, give or take. Hopefully an alternate, cheaper weekend culinary experience is available, but even highly recommend class at one of the culinary schools would be good. Any ideas?

Aug 01, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Pink Berry or Red Mango? [moved from Manhattan board]

I find Red Mango to be much more satisfying. It does have a thicker, creamier consistency and is tangier with more yogurt flavor.

Apr 28, 2008
CGengomics in Chains

Not too pricey lunch with parents for special occasion

L'Ecole at the French Culinary Institute is also a low-price high-quality option.

Apr 22, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Living in NYU dorms this summer need recs

As a graduating NYU student, I've spent the past four years scrounging for good food in the Village. Some places that I can suggest are:

Mamoun's
Dosa Cart (might be MIA due to construction)
Kati Roll Factory
B&B Sandwich Bar/Tonnie's Mini's
1849 (20 cent wings)
Indian Bread Co.
Bleeker St. Pizza
Pio Maya
Zen Sushi
Rai Rai Ken
Otafuku
Oyama
Calexico Food Cart
Chicken & Rice Cart in front of H&M in SoHo
Sammy's Halal Cart on Broadway and 4th
Bleeker St. Pizza
Grey's Papaya (once will do)
L'Annam
Food Cart in front of Gould Plaza
Pinkberry/Red Mango/Yolato
B&B Sandwich Bar/Tonnie's Mini's

It's a shame the park is being renovated. Hopefully they'll finish before she leaves.

Apr 22, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Babbo: Secondi or No?

Thanks for the info Kathryn! I studied abroad in Italy for a semester, so I absolutely love high quality pasta; I might just eat two Primi myself! Per your advice, I think I'll bump it up to 3/4 antipasti, 4/5 primi, and 2 secondi. Two of us have rather large appetites, and the other two are average. Also I'd love your opinion on some things that I have my eye on so far (and have read on the boards as being generally can't-miss):
Antipasti
Lamb's Tongue
Tripe
Pig's Foot Milanese

Primi
Mint Love Letters
Stained Pappardelle
Goose Liver Ravioli
Beef Cheek Ravioli
Gnocchi

Secondi
Sweetbreads
Duck or Guinea Hen

Thanks!

Apr 21, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Babbo: Secondi or No?

Would like to ask the collective Chow wisdom: is getting a Secondi at Babbo worth it, or should you load up on Primi selections? Going in a couple weeks, planning to order 2 Antipasti/4 Primi/1 Secondi for four people, but may cut out the Secondi in favor of more Primi if there's a consensus.

Apr 21, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Max Brenner E. Village

One place that could be really fun for a family trip is the Dessert Truck, on University Place a block from WSP.

Apr 21, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Max Brenner E. Village

I found the chocolate pizza to be very good, along with their Italian hot chocolate. However, I'd suggest ordering less than the amount you expect to eat - the chocolate gets overpowering pretty quickly!

Apr 21, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Large Group Dinner: Basso 56/LandMarc/Crispo/Provence/Borgo Antico

I'm arranging a group dinner for 22 people - including 5 vegetarians. I've heard positive reviews about the above restaurants, and want to finalize a decision soon. At this point, I'm leaning towards LandMarc since I think it will provide the best "graduation" celebratory experience, and is the most reputable restaurant on our budget (no more than $100/pp including tax/gratuity). Although a lot of Italian restaurants are possibilities, a few of us spent a semester in Florence so our Italian tastes are spoiled. This said, we have no particular cuisine in mind. Are there any restaurants in Manhattan that I haven't covered that I should look into? Thanks!

Places I've covered:
Davidburke
Blue Ribbon
Beacon
Tratoria Alba
Companile
Alto
Bar Boulud
Tocqueville
Le Cirque
Buddakan
GT
EMP
Lupa
Otto
L'Ecole
Fleur De Sel
Country
Lucien

Apr 20, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Dinner at L'Ecole

Have reservations at L'Ecole next week for dinner and am wondering: is there anything to avoid on the five-course menu? Any tips to ensure decent service and/or a competent student chef to cook the meal? I'm perfectly happy with eating whatever is offered, and I'm sure it'll be delicious, but any advice to make the experience less of a roll of the dice is greatly appreciated.

Apr 19, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Dinner for party of 22 for around $100pp?

Also, I have reservations for dinner at Babbo and lunch at GT. My only concern at Babbo is how much to order for 4 people, two with large appetites, one normal, and one light. I was thinking 2 antipasti (tongue, foot), 3/4 primi (cheek, liver, mll), and 1 secondi (sweetbreads). Would it leave us all full and satisfied?

As for GT, the lunch menu seems a bit scarce - what's the "can't miss" GT lunch? Thanks!

Apr 18, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan

Dinner for party of 22 for around $100pp?

Hey there,

Myself and some friends are planning a nice, decently expensive group graduation dinner for the middle of May. We'll have 22 people total, including 5 people who are entirely vegetarian. Our budget is around $100 per person including tax and tip. I currently have a reservation at Borgo Antico, which I've heard good things about. What are some other restaurants that might be suitable? I've already tried:
Bar Boulud
Le Cirque
Alto
Otto
Victors Cafe
Metro Marche
Cafe Gray
Thanks in advance for the help!

Apr 17, 2008
CGengomics in Manhattan