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nateco's Profile

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Tokyo Short Trip - Kappo and Shinjuku Izakaya

My wife and I are stopping in Tokyo for 4 nights as a prolonged layover on our way to New Zealand. This will be our first trip to Japan. Because it is such a short stay we are really just looking to take it easy and get a feel for the country, get over our jet lag, and relax at the beginning of our vacation. Will come back for a longer trip in the future and try to dig deeper, learn some of the language beyond the basic essential courtesies, get out of Tokyo, etc....but this trip we will just keep it simple.

Mostly not going the fine dinning and advanced reservations path this trip, probably a lot of noodles and izakaya. But would like to have one nice multi course meal to experience the presentation and seasonality and traditional Japanese cooking and ingredients. A kappo where we can watch the preparation from a counter sounds great to me, or some similar experience. Can anyone recommend a more traditional place with an emphasis on seasonal foods and ideally a higher likelihood for English being spoken so we can not just enjoy the taste and appearance, but also understand more about the dishes and preparation? I am not needing the best, just good quality ingredients and hopefully value (this will be on the front end of the trip, so trying to not kill our budget right from the start, so 10,000 yen or less per person would be great, but can do more if that is just not a realistic budget). The experience will be the main goal. We eat about anything, variety would be great, but would take recommendations in any traditional specialty. Fine with lunch instead of dinner, but seems the type of experience I am looking for with multiple courses may be less likely at lunch. Doing research I found Ginza Toyoda and Ishikawa both looked liked options on the higher end of what I hoped to spend and very formal, but figured I would ask here if anyone know of someplace maybe a little less famous that would be even a better option for me given what I am looking for (value, experience, and hopefully some English and conversation so we can learn a bit). Maybe a more local feeling place, even edging towards Izakaya would be fine.

We are staying at the Park Hyatt (in case you are wondering why I am asking for affordable restaurant and staying at an expensive hotel...it was free with hotel points ;), so hoping they can make reservations for us. The restaurant does not need to be near there though.

However, for near our hotel, can anyone recommend any casual Izakaya for evening drinks and snacks in Shinjuku? A place were we could lounge around for a while and not feel we are hogging seats after a long day of wandering and maybe a nice selection of local beverages (sake, shochu, whisky, or beer, we are equal opportunity). Again, some place more likely to speak english if they have a good sake or shochu selection or a more diverse and interesting menu, so we can ask questions and learn.

Thanks so much for any help. I hope I am not coming off as a travel wimp looking avoid challenges by seeking hotel bars and tourist restaurant. I am sure we will have plenty of experiences navigating Japanese menus and ticket machines with no English help, but it would be great to be able to have a couple experiences where we can converse with a chef, bartender, or server and have a learning experience. On a longer trip it would be inevitable to stumble on those type of conversations, but for such a short trip I feel I will need to be more proactive in seeking them out. I know so little about Japanesse food and culture, and there is so much to learn that I will not get out of the books I have been reading to prepare.

Any other advice along the same lines of experiencing the culture would also be appreciated as well. We are thinking of doing a day with a goodwill guide too.

THANKS! And sorry for such a long rambling post.

1 day ago
nateco in Japan

Best wine bars in Denver?

This would be a long walk from downtown, but you could look into the bike share and see if there is a station near there or not a bad cab ride. Satchels on 6th is close by and always has a fun (but small) wine list.

Also, trolley, I do not know Boulder real well, but the Kitchen Upstairs while not purely a wine bar has that feel and nice wines. I think the lack of wine bars in Boulder, and the relatively few in Denver, has to do with the general love of beer and liquor. So, places seem to be more multi-beverage focused than such a strict wine focus.

May 21, 2014
nateco in Mountain States

Best wine bars in Denver?

Row 14 is closest and has a nice wine list, and a very good happy hour. Food is ok, but there is better around so would stick with it for wine and apps.

Caveau Wine Bar is not a bad walk into the neighborhood east of downtown (uptown) and I think they have the most interesting wine list, and also a good happy hour. Several places to eat nearby.

May 21, 2014
nateco in Mountain States

Andouille in denver?

Olivers on 6th makes their own, been a while since I bought it so can not really recall anything about it, but I am sure if you call them they can answer questions.

Mar 05, 2013
nateco in Mountain States

Puebla: Mercado de Sabores Poblanos

I have not found any chowhound posts mentioning this newer market of food stalls. I found an article about it here:
http://www.puebla-mexico.com/mercado-...

Has anyone been? Does anyone have any comments about the quality of food compared to fondas and street food around town in more traditional setting? Looks to be set up for tourist, not locals, but I am fine with that if it is good! Looks like a fun place to go grazing.

Any specific stalls to look for?

Thanks,
Nathan

Feb 08, 2012
nateco in Mexico

Cuernavaca and Taxco

Excellent advice, and very appreciated.

And thanks for the safety warning RE Cuernavaca, I was not aware that this was an area of concern. Will be sure to stay somewhat on the tourist trail there.

Feb 08, 2012
nateco in Mexico

Cuernavaca and Taxco

I didn't find much searching for recommendations for these locations. Can I please get some recommendations? I would love to hear about any good Mexican eats, traditional or modern, not really looking for international. Anything from street/market food to high end.

Thanks for any help!

Nathan

Feb 06, 2012
nateco in Mexico

Rosso de Montepulciano - Similiar Wines

I really love this wine for the price, but you just can not seem to find it in the Denver, CO area. Nobile de Montepulciano of course fit the flavor profile (same grape, similiar, but "more"), but not the price point.

Anyone have any recomendation, maybe some chiantis that use the same Prugnolo grape or regions in Tuscany that develop wines with that similiar flavor profile, and that would fall in what I call my every-day drinker range (<15ish) , which I think of as smoother and more elegant than most chiantis.

For now, I guess I will have to just suffer through the Nobiles.. I am loving it, but my wallet not as much.

Dec 01, 2011
nateco in Wine

Seasonal Specials - Tuscany, ER, Piemonte, Liguria

Thanks for the concern and information. No, we are planning to take the train in from La Spezia. Will probably look to stay in Riomaggiore and hopefuly at least the Via dell'Amore will be open and from there it will be easier to take a day trip if we get restless and all the trails are closed. Will probably be in Parma before and watching the weather. If it looks like more rain, we will postpone or go somewhere else. Right now, it looks like sun next week when we will be in that area. Hopefully we can make it, and enjoy some focaccia, wine, and views.

Thanks

Nov 08, 2011
nateco in Italy

Seasonal Specials - Tuscany, ER, Piemonte, Liguria

Thanks! Walnut gelato is a favorite, will be on the look out for that! Same for anything with pumpkin.

Yes, I have been tracking all of the flooding and reading everything I can find. We are just remaining flexible as far as where we are going and when. We were planning to hit Cinque Terre and were prepared for rainy and grey anyway (good excuse to rest for a while and drink some wine with a view), but obviously not the horrible damage and loss of life, which is so very sad. Right now, we are thinking we are still going to visit, but will keep a close eye on the weather and news. Hopefully the forecast sunny weather will come soon.

Nov 07, 2011
nateco in Italy

Seasonal Specials - Tuscany, ER, Piemonte, Liguria

Great topic just posted about seasonal specialties in Rome. Would people be kind enough to expand it to outside Rome for me. I know there are a lot, and many regional, but what are some highlights I should be on the search for in Tuscany, ER, Piemonte, and Liguria? I will be traveling from the 12th through the end of November

Truffles will be first on my list.

The post on Rome mentioned it has been a bad year for mushrooms, is that true further north as well?

Thanks! Nathan

Nov 07, 2011
nateco in Italy

Minneapolis Hound seeks best hotel lobby bar in Denver

Panzano in Hotel Monaco Denver. Good cocktails, nice wine list, and awesome happy hour

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Panzano
909 17th St., Denver, CO 80202

Oct 08, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

looking for authentic Mexican herbs in Denver or substitutions

there are a few Rancho 'Lborios in town, google for addreesses, they are all ptetty much the same. They also have awesome freshly fried tortilla chips!

the market off colorado is just a neighborhood market, but handy if you are close, their fajitas mix isadictive, citrusy with anchiote, not tex mex.

Aug 05, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

looking for authentic Mexican herbs in Denver or substitutions

Look for it fresh, I have never seen it dried. I have bought it in denver, but I have also gone to pick some up and not been able to find it, not sure if it is seasonal or just an inconsitent supply.

In general, when looking for more obscure latin american ingredients, skip Avanza which does not have a great selection. Try out Rancho Liborio's produce section. Or, Azteca on colfax in aurora. I think I saw it recently at the little groccery between home depot and whole foods in Glendale on Colorado boulevard, but it is a small place, so would not go out of the way to check it. I would try calling ahead.

Dried Avocado Leaves can be a sub in some recipes, and are a great ingredient on their own.

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Avanza
1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

Azteca
2462 N Old Mill Loop, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814

Aug 01, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Specific Denver recommendations wanted - please help!

Satchels on 6th opened recently and is a great space with really good food.
www.satchelson6th.com/

Euclid Hall is also anothwer recent addition.

Jun 06, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Restaurants Suggestion for Denver, Colorado Near the 16th Street Mall

East 17th, Uptown, just a short walk, will have a more local feel as well. Steubens, Olivea, and others.

Jun 05, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

One amazing dinner in Denver - Help?

Denver is not known for Thai food. You will find some decent thai here, but nothing great. Chada does have the nicest overal ambiance I think, but US Thai in Edgewater just west of downtown is typically given higher marks for its food. But it is more of just a diner atmosphere.

Our best ethnic food is Mexican, Vietnamese, and Korean... in my opinion. You can find a lot of Vietnam's and Korean in your price range, just do a chowhound search for favorites. A more upscale and modern take on vietnamese that would be in your range is Parallel 17, would make for a great meal, and nice patio. Federal blvd has the more traditional places, New Saigon is a lot of peoples favorite, I like Dalat (less crowded, less rushed).

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Parallel 17
1600 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

US Thai Cafe
5228 W 25th Ave, Edgewater, CO 80214

New Saigon Restaurant
630 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

Jun 05, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Truffle Hunting and late Nov Fairs in Piemonte

That is great info, thank you!

Looks like I will be there for both a garlic AND a leek festival! May as well save money and skip the romantic hotel, sounds like I will not be needing it...

May 27, 2011
nateco in Italy

Truffle Hunting and late Nov Fairs in Piemonte

Great, thanks! For some reason I was thinking the Asti fair was earlier, that is great news.

May 26, 2011
nateco in Italy

Truffle Hunting and late Nov Fairs in Piemonte

Does anyone know of a guide, or a guide source, to go on a truffle hunt in Piemonte? We will be there this year in November. Pretty open on location as the trip details are still mostly unplanned. There is a post to chowhound from 2007 (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/380747) with some good leads, but I figured it was old enough it was woth asking again.

Also, the most likely weekend for us in the area is November 20th. Anyone know of a good truffle fair that weekend? The big Alba and Asti fairs will not be going. I did find a coulpe smaller looking ones but not really find any details to know what to expect:

San Sebastiano Curone truffle fair: http://www.comunesansebastianocurone....

Murisengo truffle fair:
http://www.fieradeltartufo.com/home.aspx

Thanks! There is a lot of great info on hear about the area and I am really looking forward to it!

May 25, 2011
nateco in Italy

Park Hill Area, Denver

I may be a little late, but some ideas if you have not found them. For things in the overall area just go with the regular recommendations, but a couple specific area recommendations you may not find in a general search:

Spinelli's Market on 23rd and Dexter has awesome sandwiches, and pretty good pre made meals ready to stick in the oven.

Tacos y Chorizo on Colfax and Cherry. A pretty good taco stand, best in the immediate area in my opinion. And very friendly.

On Saturdays the church at Colorado and 26th does a sidewalk lunch BBQ often. Very cheap and pretty good.

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Spinelli's Market
4621 E 23rd Ave, Denver, CO 80207

May 09, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Bars in Park Hill?

Oh ya, forgot the Cork House and Solera on Colfax. You will often have no one to talk to but the bar tender, but both usualy have friendly ones and they both have good happy hours for wine and occasionaly will have a small crowd. And Cork House has an awesome patio now that it is patio season again!

May 09, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Bars in Park Hill?

Sorry, but that is not a great bar area, I am up there as well. Park Hill has a historey of being very anti liquor license, although it has gotten better in the last few years.

The closest is probably the Berkshire in Stapelton, it has a nice bar area and some good wine/beers/food. There is an Irish bar there as well that has never appealed to me.

The Cherry Tomato does have a bar (down on 23rd at Dexter). But it really is not a place people go just for a drink.

Other than that, you really need to go to Colfax to find a good bar. The Elm is ok. The bars over by the Bluebird are a good mix, about one for any mood with Mezcal, Goosetown, Atomic, R-Bar, PS, Lost Lake, and even more within a few blocks. All an easy bike ride, a longer but very doable walk.

Pary's on 28th just got a liquor license, I have no idea what it is going to be. In the old Satchels at 28th and Fairfax. So keep your fingers crossed!

By the way, check out the Gelato place down there at fairfax and 28th. Good gelato, very friendly.

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Mezcal
3230 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80206

Cherry Tomato
4645 E 23rd Ave, Denver, CO 80207

May 09, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Lizano Salsa in Denver

Has anyone seen this Costa Rican salsa anywhere in Denver? I have checked Avanza and a couple groccery stores in east denver with no luck.

My girlfriend wants me to cook her Gallo Pinto.

Thanks,
Nathan

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Avanza
1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

Apr 13, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Fresh pork belly in Denver metro?

I have been really happy with the quality of the belly (and really everything) from Oliver's Meat Market. They have always had it when I needed it, but never hurts to call ahead.

Oliver's Meat Market
1718 East 6th Avenue Denver, CO 80218-3616 - (303) 733-4629

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Oliver's Meat Market
1718 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Apr 13, 2011
nateco in Mountain States

Five Points / Lower Downtown advice (Denver)

Nothing that I can think of is a real close walk. About a mile to anything, including Jonesy's or the ballpark area.

Jonesy's is a great choice, and has a good beer list with usualy a few pretty unique special selections from local breweries. Draft and bottle.

Steubens is just another couple blocks.

Panzano has a great happy hour.
http://www.panzano-denver.com/files/m...

I have not been to The Lobby yet, but it is on my list and looks like a good happy hour
http://www.thelobbydenver.com/happy-h...

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Panzano
909 17th St., Denver, CO 80202

Nov 13, 2009
nateco in Mountain States

Looking for Hinged Pate Pan in Denver?

Thanks for the advice. I am still bummed about Cooks Mart closing, you would think Denver would be able to support a store like that.

Good idea on the Restaurant Source, that is very close to me, and a road trip to Boulder for a visit to the Peppercorn (and a beer or two on the mall) will be a good back up.

Thanks again!

Nov 12, 2009
nateco in Mountain States

Looking for Hinged Pate Pan in Denver?

Does anyone know of a place that would sell a hinged pan for making Pate en Croute, in Denver? Something like this one:

http://www.fantes.com/images/23701loa...

Thanks!

Nov 10, 2009
nateco in Mountain States

Grilled Corn with Cayenne, Lime, and Cotija

Mayo is with out a single doubt used in mexico. At least where I had it last in Oaxaca where every vendor had a giant tub of mayo on their cart, and I believe it was the same in other areas I have been. It may also be served in places with crema, but that is not the only way.

This is a wonderfull dish. I have served it at a fancy dinner party as just the kernels in a bowl with side dishes with all the fixings for people to add. Went over very well, and was easier/cleaner to eat. That dish is actualy called esquite, and also a street food in mexico.

Sep 01, 2009
nateco in Recipes

Estilo Chihuahua en Denver

A new Mexican restaurant just opened on east colfax called Durango's. It is at 8135 E. Colfax . May have some of what you are looking for. Pretty diverse menu.

I just had a great pozole there and remembered this post from a while back. I will definitly be going back to try some other items. Also, very friendly staff.

Jun 07, 2009
nateco in Mountain States