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Venice, Florence & Rome oh my!

just booked our hotels... now i gotta map out restaurants and a site seeing itinerary...
venice: hotel antiche figure
florence: hotel delgi orafi
rome: hotel artemide

May 22, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

Venice, Florence & Rome oh my!

Thanks guys! I'm definitely going to start looking into these recs. We just cut our stay in italy from 10 to 7 days, so less $ spent on hotels = a little more leniency to eat, but can't do il ridotto 2x or anything.

Is il ridotto really worth the price if my mom doesn't eat much seafood? Is it worth skimping on other meals? I mean is it really delicious to the point that you're going to request it as your last meal? The reviews make me want to go... ahhh but I don't know if I can really afford 175E+ + wine? so confused!

I've been to il latini before, and i loved it. There were a lot of americans, and study abroad students as well, but the owner (? man in his 50s probably who wrote the bill at the end) came and sat with me and my friend with a bottle of prosecco and a platter of dessert. I loved the experience of the old lady picking who gets to come in, i thought the food was delicious, and sitting at the communal tables was fun. I'd love to share it with my mom.

Thanks loves!

May 12, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

Venice, Florence & Rome oh my!

Thanks for the links, but they tend to go towards the higher end places, especially the great binge of 2009.

are your 4 rome suggestions in my budget?? If so, which meals do you recommend?

May 12, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

Venice: The Great Binge of '09

Hi Joe,

I'm taking my mom to Europe for a month in july, and will be spending 3 days in Venice. I've read the whole thread, and am absolutely jealous of your dining experiences. During my last visit to Venice, I fell for every tourist trap in the city! Horrible/expensive dining experiences along the grand canal, and i honestly don't even remember having lunch in the city.

We're going to be on a strict budget since we're going to be abroad for a while, but I think your reviews of il ridotto have convinced me to splurge for a night. Do you have any recommendations for relatively inexpensive lunches? Around 20E PP? We're fine with a panini shop, pizza, pasta, or salads. We'll definitely try il refolo (sp?), not sure for lunch or dinner though (outside table!).

Reservations will be made as soon as my travel agent gives me my dates! :) So excited.
Thanks in advance.

May 12, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

Venice, Florence & Rome oh my!

I'm taking my mom to europe in July (I'm in my 20's, she's in her 50's). We'll be in italy for 10 days - 3 days in venice & florence, and 4 in rome. I'm mostly worried about venice, as I remember it being fairly expensive / having bad experiences.

The only place where I had memorable meals was in Florence - il latini and osteria del porcellino, and this one other place in a hotel that i can't remember but was oh so delicious! We just kept asking the waiters at each restaurant where to eat next. Last time in venice we got caught in all the freakin tourist traps, especially at the restaurants along the grand canal with the waiters trying to drag you in. In Rome we had a lot of pizza and pasta, but nothing special.

Seeing that we'll be spending a month abroad, we're going to be on a budget. I've been looking on the boards, and everyone says "make lunch your main meal, and graze for dinner".

My mom is NOT a big seafood eater. She'll eat fish like sea bass, and shrimp, but won't touch squid or muscles. I personally love seafood, and will try anything once.

So I'm looking for recommendations on places for lunch and dinner, and specifically what dishes to try. Budget let's say 15-20Euros PP for lunch (no wine), and 30Euros PP for dinner (no wine). Is this reasonable?? I was able to splurge more when I went to italy a few years ago since it was for a shorter period of time, so we never looked at the prices even though we didn't go to super high-end places. We don't want anything fancy, just good food and decent portions- pizza, pasta, seafood, risotto, salads. Family run places are great too, my mom likes warm and cozy. We can definitely do panini/salads for lunch, and can grab gelato for dessert to save. Please remember to include what dishes to try, and what the experience was like. Do we need reservations, if so, how far in advance?

Thanks in advance loves!

May 12, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

Florence

I had one of the best dining experiences in Florence. I'm no critic, and cannot name different spices/ingredients in food, but I do know good food when I taste it.

Try a place called il latini, near the duomo area. They have two seatings a night, and people swarm around the entrance. An old lady (presumably the owner) comes out and picks who gets to go inside. If you're a large party you can get your own table, but we were 2 girls and were seated at a table with 8 others. It was 5 courses, and pretty much a fixed menu. They let you choose between 2-3 choices for an 2 appetizers /pasta/meat/dessert. The staff was young, and spoke english as well. There were many study abroad students there. Our waiter was great, he explained the whole menu to us, and told us what to choose. It was one of the best meals I've ever had. They also have huge jugs of house wine on the table. Towards the end of your meal this older chubby man (probably the owner's son) comes around and writes you your bill on the spot. As people started to leave, the owner and the waiter came to our table and brought over a bottle of lemoncello. They sat down and started drinking with us and brought out more dessert. I believe our whole bill was 40Euros, whereas others had been charged that amount per person.

We asked the guys at il latini where to go the next day to eat, and they recommended osteria del porcellino, near the golden boar statue. I had the sea bass. delicious!

May 12, 2010
DaisyDaisy in Italy

3 girls, 2 days, 1 night in San Francisco

Thanks lucymom!

I think we're going to stop by Koko Cocktails for before dinner drinks.
Unfortunately my travel buddies aren't down for dimsum. We'll try to stop by Tokyo Go Go, and for dinner we'll be heading to Tommaso's.

Mar 04, 2010
DaisyDaisy in San Francisco Bay Area

3 girls, 2 days, 1 night in San Francisco

Hi everyone!

I'm coming up to Santa Clara to celebrate a birthday. We're going to head up to SF on a Saturday morning, staying near the gates of Chinatown, and come back Sunday afternoon. We're 22-24 y.o. This is what I need:

1) ideas for bars/lounges: We can do "trendy", but we're not looking for something with a huge line out the door/impossible to get into (we may do bottle service if the place warrants it). We don't want a dive bar either. Prefer that there's music playing (and maybe a dance floor, but not a full out club). We don't want a restaurant bar or a bar that serves food. Doesn't necessarily NEED to have a view. We just want to have a good time, good mixed drinks (vodka & gin drinkers) at lets say 10-12$ a drink, top 40s music, something a little more spacious and not so crowded. We pretty much want to get drunk and have a blast. I tried looking on places like city search, but most of the bars have old reviews. We are willing to cab it to places, so don't limit us to just that chinatown area.

2) 1 dinner: A nice place, not a "chain" or anything super expensive. Willing to spend lets say $35 per entree, not including drinks. Things we like: italian, seafood, chinese/asian, big sushi fans (creative rolls mostly, but we do eat sashimi as well). We're not looking for THE BEST place with the BEST view (aka $$$$ tiny portions), but something do-able for a group of 5-8 (where once again, we can drink). Something unpretentious yet yummy.

3) 1 lunch spot: I really want to dry dim sum, but no one in our group is Chinese / aka we dont want to look stupid and not know what we're ordering. Otherwise I'm sure we can just find something as we walk around. So where do we go, and what do we order.

4) clam chowder: who has the best creamy chowder? Are there any "late night" vendors?? yumm or any taco truck type places after the bar??

Okay, thanks guys.

Mar 01, 2010
DaisyDaisy in San Francisco Bay Area

34th & Lexington

Yay i'm so excited, thanks for all the recs. I'm comin in this week, so i'll keep i'll let you know how your recs turned out! keep them coming, as i'll have internet access.

any great street carts to try?? i've read a couple of chowhound posts, and i definately want to try to Halal brothers (?) for their lamb &chicken

don't forget, we're also site seeing, so we'll be all over town

Dec 31, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Manhattan

34th & Lexington

We're in our early to mid 20's (and all females). We've all got different tastes in going out, so I think we're mainly going to stick to lounges (cocktails and martinis), maybe a relaxed bar (there's a beer drinker with us), and a club or two over the weekend.

For clubs, I've heard about Cielo & Marquee... any other suggestions? We don't want to get stuck in line for 20 hours.... but would like it to be somewhere nice, trendy

Dec 31, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Manhattan

34th & Lexington

sorry should have noted that we're in town for about a week...

Dec 30, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Manhattan

34th & Lexington

any specific suggestions? I think we'd be down to try some indian food one night. What's your favorite place & what meal do you suggest?

Dec 30, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Manhattan

34th & Lexington

I'm coming to town with a few friends. It's my first time in new york and we're looking for good places to eat.

We're pretty much up for everything, burgers, pizza, italian, chinese, japanese, mexican. We'd like to eat at moderately priced places($20 plate), but are up for a splurge on 1-2 of the nights. We'd also like breakfast/lunch suggestions!

Can anyone also recommend good bars in the area?? Willing to go to different parts of town as well.

Dec 30, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Manhattan

Steak in LA

think - girl's night including a few chowhounders (celebrating my birthday) .. upscale... girls who love a medium/medium-rare steak, appetizers, sides , dessert coffee & wine of course. an overall good meal, not just "good meat". Something more social, yet yummy where we won't be left disappointed.

definately not Damons or anything of the sort etc..

Sep 29, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Los Angeles Area

Steak in LA

I'm looking for a good steak house, but there really seems to be mixed opinions on a lot of places.

Ruth's Chris Beverly Hills vs. Pasadena.... is there really a difference since it is a chain?? I've only been to the Beverly Hills one - what's the atmosphere like in Pasadena, the outside seems to be more "modern".

Mastro's?? Chain again.... friend had a good experience there.

Cut?? Recently on Bon Appetite's top 3 steak houses in the US

STK? overrated?

HELP!

Sep 28, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Los Angeles Area

POP Champagne and Dessert Bar (Pasadena)

it's on union st, near fair oaks. I've driven past it for the past few months and it doesn't look like it's open (and there's no sign of it opening any time soon). The outside looks nice, but you can't really see inside to see if construction has been completed or not. it's kind of just sitting there with a pretty door and logo..

Sep 13, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Los Angeles Area

Late Sunday night drinks (Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena environs)

I really don't think Big Foot Lodge + Blue Room are places to go after a wedding at castaway....

there really aren't many upscale/cute "just drinks" places in glendale/burbank.

Palate and Carousel are great for dinner, but I'm not sure "just for drinks". Far Niente has a bar located next to the dinning room (but with a separate entrance) called Bar FN. I haven't been on a sunday, so I'm not sure what the sunday crowd is like, probably minimal and a 30+ crowd.

You can even stay at Castaway. There's a huge outdoor patio with fire pits. Self-seating. Average drinks, great view. It's been cold lately, so make sure you have a coat.

I'd definitely say head to the pasadena area.

Sep 13, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Los Angeles Area

24th birthday dinner/drinks

Hi,

I'm looking for a place to do my 24th birthday for 5-7 people. Somewhere semi-trendy and a place where we can stay and drink the night away. Previous birthdays have been held at J Lounge, Geisha House.

food type: american, steakhouse, french, italian, japanese, chinese, maybe even mexican.

also willing to consider a restaurant and a nearby bar.

location: pasadena, hollywood, downtown la, beverly hills (don't really want to go to westwood or santa monica).
budget is probably 40$ for a plate (drinks not included).

Sep 12, 2008
DaisyDaisy in Los Angeles Area