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Romantic Dinner in Sorrento, suggestions?

Although it is not in Sorrento, I can highly recommend Don Alfonso. We spent a night there last year and had an amazing lunch. I would return for dinner in a heartbeat. The entire property is lovely, very cozy and romantic and the food was outstanding.

Aug 27, 2014
ekc in Italy

Piedmont: Any Interesting Producers Other than Wine

I checked my old notes and came across this entry - a place we didn't have time to visit:

Cascina San Cassiano (Siamo in Localita San Cassiano 4), a food production facility which makes vegetables in oil, starters, ragout, sauces, james, fruit in syrup, etc. They also have a showroom in the Gallo Wine Gallery (Via XX Setembre 3, La Morra)

It is also mentioned in this report:

Aug 25, 2014
ekc in Italy

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

Here is a list of restaurants that are closed for august:


Reservations at Sostanza are necessary, but I believe they are closed for August.

Aug 19, 2014
ekc in Italy

Bologna, Florence, Rome, Praiano Off the Beaten Path

To echo what Jen said, if you want off the tourist trail on the Amalfi Coast, you need to go south to towns like Vietri Sul Mare or Cetara. One of our favorite restaurants is Acquapazza in Cetara, where I have heard nothing but Italian spoken among the other diners.
We had a tour and lunch at Vigne di Raito, a lovely winery in Raito, which is a "suburb" of Vietri Sul Mare. They will arrange transportation from the ferry dock in Salerno to the winery and back. The ferry from Positano to Salerno takes just over an hour.

Aug 14, 2014
ekc in Italy

Lucca, Italy - Pizzeria da Felice, Antica Drogheria, La Bonta

Thanks for reporting back! Leaving for Italy in a month and hoping to finally try cecina/farinata this trip!

Aug 13, 2014
ekc in Italy

Bologna, Florence, Rome, Praiano Off the Beaten Path

A second vote for Fred Plotkin's Italy for the Gourmet Traveler. I believe the most recent edition has a red cover. Quite invaluable. I have it at home and photocopy the pages for the cities/regions I am traveling to and bring the copies with me.

Aug 13, 2014
ekc in Italy

Trip Report: One Week in Puglia

Thank YOU for reporting back! We are thinking of visiting Puglia next year and will definitely include your recommendations on our list.

Would you mind providing the links for the masseria where you stayed and Yelena - the cooking class sounds wonderful!

Aug 01, 2014
ekc in Italy

More Piemonte Recs

No problem!

Jul 31, 2014
ekc in Italy

More Piemonte Recs

A winemaker friend of mine (who has a very good food/wine palate) lives near La Morra and when friends of ours were visiting Piemonte last year, she provided me with a list of her restaurant recommendations for the area. With so many good Piemonte posts lately (thanks Allende and Henjef85!), I thought I would post the list for future reference.

Osteria Veglio, 0173 509341 simple real piemontese osteria, beautiful terrace, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday

Osteria del Vignaiolo, 0173 50335, great little osteria, closed on Wednesday and Thursday

Osteria More & Macine, 0173 500395, simple but very nice wine bar/ oseteria right in the centre of town closed on Tuesday

Ristorante Bovio, 0173 590303 breathless location, really really nice cuisine, awesome deep wine list, closed on Wednesday night and Thursday

Ristorante MassimoCarnia, 0173 56355, modern food with great wine list, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday lunch

Osteria Fontanazza, 0173 50718, amazing location and view over the hills, simple good food, closed on Thursday

Ristorante Felicin, 0173 78225 old traditional restaurant with an amazing wine list of old vintages, closed on Sunday and Monday lunch

Trattoria La Posta, 0173 78120 traditional restaurant, good wine list, closed on Thursday and Friday lunch

Osteria la Saracca, 0173 78922 the most amazing location for a very cool wine bar, closed on Wednesday

Osteria la Salita, 0173 787196, simple easy going osteria, closed on Monday and Tuesday

Vineria Centro Storico, 0173 613203 simple wine bar, with nice food, great for a snack or a quick stop, closed on Monday

Ristorante La rosa dei vini, 0173 613219, traditional cuisine with an amazing inexpensive wine list, closed on Wednesday

Ristorante le Torri, 0173 62849 very nice restaurant with beautiful view on the hills, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday lunch

Locanda del centro, 0173 462502, simple place good for a quick light lunch, closed on Wednesday night and Thursday

Osteria la cantinetta, 0173 56198, local cuisine with a very relaxed atmosphere, closed on Wednesday night and Thursday.

Osteria La Cantinella, 0173 56267, local cuisine, easy family atmosphere, nice open terrace, closed on Monday night and Tuesday

Osteria Rossobarolo, 0173 56133, simple and nice wine bar/ osteria, closed on Monday

Ristorante Ca’ Del Lupo 0173 617249 great location, nice food, closed on Wednesday

Osteria dell’ arco, 0173 363974 osteria from “slow food” movement, closed on Sunday and Monday (during October and November open also Sunday)

Osteria la libera, 0173 293155 great osteria in the centre of town, great food, kind service, closed on Sunday and Monday lunch

Winebar Vincafe, 0173 364603 good for a stop for a drink when you are walking around town, closed on Monday

Ristorante Enoclub, 0173 220629 beautiful restaurant / wine bar in the centre, closed Sunday night and Monday

Osteria la Torre, 0172 488458, lovely local osteria, specialized in snails/escargots menu, closed on Monday

Dubert, 0172 487049, cool young atmosphere if you want to grab a quick easy snack with some real good charcuterie and other simple creative plates, closed on Monday

Ristorante Tornavento, 0713 638352 one star Michelin, beautiful location closed on Wednesday and Thursday lunch

Ristorante Profumo di Vino, 0173 638017, young atmosphere, traditional food, closed on Tuesday

Trattoria II Risorgimento, 0173 638195, local trattoria, simple piedmontese food, closed on Monday

Trattoria antica torre, 0173 635170 simple traditional food, lunch always open, dinner only by appointment

Ristorante il centro, 0173 616112, one Michelin star, local great food, extensive wine list, closed on Tuesday

Ristorante all’enoteca, 0173 9595857, one star Michelin, really great food, closed on Sunday and Monday lunch

Ristorante il marsupino, 0174 563888, out of the beaten path, but the trip is worth for food and wine list, closed on Wednesday and Thursday lunch

Ristorante il Verso del ghiottone, 0173 742074, out of the beaten path, very good, closed on Monday and Tuesday

Ristorante Villa d’Amelia, 0173 529225, one star Michelin, traditional food with a fancy modern touch, closed on Monday and Tuesday lunch

Trattoria da Gemma, 0173 794252, the most traditional restaurant ever, food served on a tray, real mama’s food, simple house wine list, closed on Monday

Trattoria la Coccinella, 0713 748220, a lovely place in the higher hills of the Langhe, stunning food w great wine list, Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday lunch

Trattoria Dai Bercau 0172 470243, local trattoria, simple piedmontese food, closed on Monday

Buon Appetito!!

Jul 30, 2014
ekc in Italy

Alba Truffle Day(s) for Idiots

And Zig, if you want to visit Altare, I am sure we can arrange something. :-)

Jul 30, 2014
ekc in Italy

Alba Truffle Day(s) for Idiots

I will be happy to - once I have time to re-type the list (she sent a .pdf).

Soon, I promise!

Jul 30, 2014
ekc in Italy

Gatto Nero in Cernobbio (Lake Como)

Will be staying near Cernobbio for a couple of days in early October and found a recommendation for Gatto Nero on 2008 thread on this board. Has anyone visited Gatto Nero recently and can comment?

Any other recs for the Cernobbio area?

Jul 30, 2014
ekc in Italy

Alba Truffle Day(s) for Idiots

OK Zig, I finally received a reply from my friend Silvia Altare and here were her two suggestions for tours in the area. The said both ladies were great and to certainly use her name.

TASTING TOURS® di Aprato Silvia
Via degli Alpini, 6 -14019 Villanova d'Asti (AT) ITALY
Tel. +39 0141 948467 - Mob. +39 393 6353479
info@tastingtours.it - www.tastingtours.it

or second option


Silvia also sent me a list of restaurant recs for her area (and I can attest that she has a very good food and wine palate) that I will email to you, to supplement Allende's always excellent suggestions.

Jul 30, 2014
ekc in Italy

Roe - worth every penny

Great - thanks for the tip!

Jul 28, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

From YYZ (Toronto) to PDX

To your SE Division crawl, I would add a stop at Bar Avignon. It is a little further down, but has been killing it lately IMO.

Jul 28, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

Roe - worth every penny

Yes, they are now open Wednesdays. As far as I know, there is only the 4 course (where you get to choose between 2 dishes for each course), or the chef's menu, which is everything on the 4-course menu (unless I misunderstood the server).

When we mentioned how we enjoyed the caviar, and how difficult it is to find in Portland, he said they would likely allow us to come in and just have caviar if we called ahead.

Jul 25, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

Roe - worth every penny

I know we are late to the party, but we finally made it to Roe last night. We had the 4 course dinner with the caviar supplement (anniversary splurge) and I have to say I was pleasantly shocked at how good it was.

We eat out quite a bit, and it is difficult to surprise us (in a good way). But I was surprised, not by the quality of the ingredients (not hard to get here in PDX), but by the inventiveness of some of the dishes and the level of service. It felt like a tiny Portland version of Le Bernardin. Of course, starting with caviar helps!

So here is a brief rundown of some of the dishes (from my foggy memory, not notes):

Little T's bread with a selection of salts (citrus, bottarga and anise)
Caviar, with the usual accompaniments (but disappointing blini)
Dashi broth with tiny enoki mushrooms
Ceviche of calamari (and maybe shrimp?) in a light sauce with vinegar and thai chilis
White tuna with shaved frozen foie gras and a light truffle ponzu sauce
Lobster with Uni in an uni sauce topped with bits of shrimp toast
Lightly smoked salmon over a corn relish
A slice of perfect Delice over a bed of granola (for lack of a better word) with a tart cherry sorbet - amazing combination.

We opted for the wine pairings (which we rarely do) and they were spot on. The flavor profile of the dishes were all over the place (cevice to uni) and it would have been impossible to choose one bottle of wine that would have worked with all of them.

Obviously, I can't recommend it highly enough. Now excuse me while I go buy my lottery ticket so I can afford to eat there every week (menu changes weekly).

Jul 24, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

Alba Truffle Day(s) for Idiots

Are you thinking of a tour of wineries, or other sights in general?
I have a winemaker friend in La Morra and I can ask her if she knows of anyone who conducts tours in the area.

Jul 24, 2014
ekc in Italy

Alba Truffle Day(s) for Idiots

I will certainly defer to Allende regarding the Truffle Fair. We were near Alba during the fair in 2010 but did not attend (long story).

One of the best truffle dishes we had during that trip was at Villa Tiboldi outside of Canale (127 Case Sparse). Cheese souffle topped with truffle shavings. They bring out the truffle, weigh it, and start shaving - you decide how much you want. Fantastic restaurant with a gorgeous view over the surrounding hills. Highly recommended.

Jul 23, 2014
ekc in Italy

Dining recommendations in The Alta Badia (in The Alto Adige) 2013

Thanks for a great report Allende! We will be staying near Bolzano for a few days in late September, so was very interested to read this!

Jul 21, 2014
ekc in Italy

Honeymoon in Italy (Genoa, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Venice, Tuscany, and Florence)

I wholeheartedly endorse a meal at Cavallino Bianco. It was one of the best lunches I have had in Italy. Where else can you have a selection of various ages of culatello that is made in the basement?! There is a charming little glass room off of the corner of the restaurant that is just big enough for a table for 2 - it would make a very romantic lunch spot.

Jul 18, 2014
ekc in Italy

Honeymoon in Italy (Genoa, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Venice, Tuscany, and Florence)

Just to make sure I am getting this straight, after staying in Rapallo for 3 nights, your itinerary is as follows:
Bologna - 1 night
Venice - 1 night
Modena - 1 night
Verona/Vincenza - 1 night
Bologna - 1 night
Then Tuscany and Florence

Is this correct??

Jul 16, 2014
ekc in Italy


Are you looking for recommendations for Praiano itself, or neighboring towns as well?

Jul 13, 2014
ekc in Italy

Recent Positano trip

Gillian, definitely worth a revisit, although i wouldn't recommend taking the shortcut in the dark after dinner without a flashlight and sturdy shoes!

Now I can spend afternoons at Da Adolfo and dinners at Le Sirene!

Jul 04, 2014
ekc in Italy

Recent Positano trip

Just returned from the annual week in Positano and we tried a couple of new (to us) places that we enjoyed.

Lo Guaracino, which is located on the walkway to Fornillo Beach. We called and made reservations about an hour before we wanted to eat and were seated at a table with a lovely view of the water and Fornillo Beach. This was a Thursday night and there were tables available at 9:00, but I would guess that we got a table with the view because we called ahead. Two of the standout dishes were Paccheri with a local lobster and veal cutlets in a lemon sauce (we were craving meat after many nights of seafood). The pizzas looked and smelled wonderful and we would have tried one but we had pizza for lunch on the beach earlier in the day. One of our waiters told us they had just started having live music in the evenings in the bar, which we heard later. It would be a lovely spot to sit and listed to music and have a drink in the evening. Really enjoyed the location and the view and the service was good.

Hotel Le Sirene, on Laurito Beach. Long story short, it turns out we know one of the family that owns the hotel and when she found out we were going to be in Pos, she emailed me and told me that they had just taken over management of the hotel and invited us to dinner. When I inquired how we were to get to the restaurant (envisioning the 400 stairs to get down to /up from the main road), she said that they would send their boat to pick us up at the dock in Pos.

After a lovely 10-minute boat ride, we arrived at the hotel and were seated at table on the expansive terrace with a lovely view of the sea and the sun setting over the hills behind Pos. After a glass of Prosecco and fresh-fried olives and sage leaves, we started with a caprese salad and grilled octopus. Both were very good but the octopus was definitely the highlight for me. Lovely char on the outside but still moist on the inside. We then had a stuffed gnocco in a simple sauce of sauteed cherry tomatoes (Sorrentino style?) and a fantastic dish of ravioli stuffed with ricotta and lemon zest in a light lemon sauce topped with a grilled langoustine (King Prawn?). To wash it all down, we had a 2009 Produttori Barbaresco (38 euro). We finished with a classic chocolate lava cake.

After a little lemoncello and staring at the sea digesting the wonderful dinner, we hopped back on the boat and had a moonlit ride back to Pos. Definitely a highlight of our trip!!

I will see if I can find my receipts, but I know at Hotel Le Sirene the apps were around 10 euros each and the secondi or pasta were no more than 20 each.

I confirmed that they will send the boat to pick up anyone who wants to have dinner - you just need to call and let them know what time you would like to be picked up. The number is 089811580.

Once I get pictures downloaded off my phone, I will try to upload a few here.

Jul 02, 2014
ekc in Italy

Traveling from Florence to Venice - Places to stop for food?

Take your 2 extra days and add one each to Florence and Venice.

Love Nerbone in the market in Florence and can't wait to try the "improved" market as well. Sostanza is always a fave in Florence, but not sure of availability in August.

Antiche Carampane and cichetti are musts for us in Venice as well.

Jun 16, 2014
ekc in Italy

20 hours in Portland, 4 adults 4 kids (2-8yrs)

I would second the recommendation of Little Big Burger for lunch - there is one less than a block from Powells. You could even get it to go and walk 2 blocks to the Park Blocks where you can sit on the park benches and eat and the kids can run around.

Jun 13, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

feedback on Paley's Place and Farm Cafe?

Paley's is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland. In fact, I will be dining there again tomorrow night!

Jun 13, 2014
ekc in Metro Portland

Milan to Siena - recommendations along the way?

I would absolutely spend my first night at Antica Corte Pallavicina. Beautiful place out in the country. Amazing local product. One of my favorite spots in Italy.

Jun 10, 2014
ekc in Italy

Capri & Positano

I have to go, but on my list for this year's Pos trip is Lo Guaracino. It is on the pathway to Fornillo Beach, has a great view and the food is well reviewed. A favorite of a couple of regular posters.

In the morning I love to go to the bar under Buca di Bacco and have an iced coffee and roll for breakfast, sit on the stools (outside) and watch the town come to life.

Jun 04, 2014
ekc in Italy