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Group Dinner in London - Need Help

thanks for the input so far - but slight change of plans. there is a guest of honor of sorts, and he has asked that we go French. I have heard good things about Otto's Restaurant - any feedback on that, or other ideas if we are going french?

Oct 18, 2012
vchipp in U.K./Ireland

Group Dinner in London - Need Help

Need a dinner place in London for a group of 10. It's a business dinner but with a fun group - and one that knows food and wine well. Several of us are USA based and several UK based. We want reasonably high end, but not stuffy. I have spent some time on the boards and could use some further help. Our office is in the City but we can travel a bit for the dinner (1/2 hour?). Here are some of the possibles I have - a mixed bag I know. Are these good options? What others might be suitable? Thanks

Texture
Bocca di Lupo
Brawn
Sketch
Pollen St Social
St John
Zucca

Oct 15, 2012
vchipp in U.K./Ireland

Help Please - Spur of moment trip to New Orleans - Need Critique

Great info - thanks. We are in FQ with no car, but no issues with long walks, streetcars, etc. Magazine Street is on the agenda. I assume Magazine shops are open Sunday, so maybe Sunday brunch at Coquette and shopping. Emeril's on Monday night sounds right. Sounds like August is your 'must try' recommendation and Brigsten's might not be worth the journey relative to closer options? Any good breakfast options in FQ?

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Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Oct 04, 2010
vchipp in New Orleans

Help Please - Spur of moment trip to New Orleans - Need Critique

My wife and I just planned a spur of the moment getaway without the kids and neither of us have ever been to New Orleans before. We will be there in a couple of weeks. We have traveled extensively and eat out a lot, with most of our fine dining history centered around NY and Boston. We need some authentic New Orleans experiences, BUT, my wife is semi-veg (fish, dairy ok - no meat). We have researched these and other boards and have some ideas, but would appreciate critique/alternatives to what we think so far:

Dinners - Green Goddess, Emeril's, Brigsten's
Lunch/Brunch - Coquette, CP
Breakfast - Elizabeth's

We have three days and will probably eat out 5 or 6 times (arrive sat early afternoon, depart Tues afternoon). Input appreciated.

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Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Green Goddess
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

Oct 04, 2010
vchipp in New Orleans

AMALFI COAST RESTAURANTS!

I was there a few weeks ago and posted a trip report - link below. We loved Il Ritrovo and A Paranza - good choices. Ravello seems to stir debates - we passed on Cumpa Cosimo just because we really loved being outside in Ravello and decided on wine and snacks outdoor at Villa Cimbrone. My advice - walk around Ravello and decide on the fly once you see it. For seafood specifically, A Paranza was quite good - if you have transport you might want to head to Cetara which is reported to have great seafood places (like Al Convento)

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/708440

Jun 16, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Amalfi trip report (long, with a brief recap at the end)

Loved the villa itself (villa alba d'oro), but it is not for the feint of heart. 160 steps! from road to villa every time you go out.

May 18, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Amalfi trip report (long, with a brief recap at the end)

Erica - CICA is a fish store on the outskirts of Amalfi (just at the start of the road up to pogerola/agerola). Fisherman go in with their catches and CICA sells them - we bought big tuna caught that day, fresh octopus and calamari. Brought it home and cooked up a feast. Really high quality stuff.

May 18, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Amalfi trip report (long, with a brief recap at the end)

Just wrapped up a week in Amalfi. Food was really good overall - for those not familiar the area is seafood, seafood, seafood. Here are so highlights by town (bearing in mind we were a group of 12 (6 couples) everyplace we went):

Atrani - dinner at A Paranza - one of our trip highlights - we let the chef call the shots and he brought us a series of seafood platters that were fresh, local, authentic and consistently excellent. Good pasta also.

Positano/Monterpertusso - dinner at Il Ritrovo - best dinner of the trip. Chef Salvatore came out and spent some time with us. The experience and food were exceptional. Here we went more with pastas and meats, all excellent. A couple of people got the seafood tasting menu and raved about each course. The tagliatelle with porcini was memorable. Lunch at Buca di Bacco in Positano was not memorable. ok food, relatively high prices.

Amalfi - we stayed on the outskirts of Amalfi and used the town both for dining and provisions. If you need seafood to cook at home - the main Cica location outside of town sells the best seafood we have had in quite some time - right off the boat - awesome quality tuna, octopus, etc. Lemon products of all types (granita, gelato, etc.) are unbelievably good a A Sciula right off the main square. The fancy pastry shop in the square was excellent - although we heard the pastry shop in Minori is even better. We had pizza at twice at Taverna di Masaniello, in a quaint square off of the main square. It was absolutely tremendous - the brothers that run the place are a blast (one of which, Andrew, also has a good art shop in the main square in Ravello) and pizzas are classic for the region - thin crispy crusts with lots of topping options. We also had dinner and a couple of lunches at Al Pesce D'Oro, which was closer to Conca dei Marini and quite near our villa. Salvatore is a wonderful guy and the place was great for pizza, antipasti, seafood - all round good spot. Finally - we had a lunch in the harbor at Lido Azzurra - good quality seafood in a nice setting, but a bit overpriced. Not a surprise based on the location.

Pogerola - we went up the hill from Amalfi - had dinner at La Capaninna then drinks at Gerry's Pub. The square is cute and we were the only non-locals to be found. The dinner was good, not great, with some real winners (pork and porcinis) and a loser or two (tough calamari). Gerry's was fun - he insisted on setting up karaoke for the over-lubricated women in our group, which effectively drove out the locals.

Ravello - spent several hours there but no time for a full meal. The place is beautiful and we did really love the snacks and wine at Villa Cimbrone.

Road trip to Sorbo Serpico, Avellino to Feudi di San Gregorio Winery. - This was spectacular. the winery tour was great and the restaurant was far better than the best of places in the Amalfi area. Not sure if they have a Michelin star, but they should. We had a several course lunch that ran the gamut from potatoes with truffles to sweatbreads to porcini risotto. Admittedly we got special treatment because one in our group was a wine importer and big client of the winery, but the food was spectacular in all regards.

Recap -

Extraordinary - lunch at Feudi di San Gregorio winery in Avellino area

Excellent - dinners at A Paranza in Atrani and Il Ritrovo in Monterpertuso. Wine and snack break at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello.

Really good - pizza at Taverna di Masaniello in Amalfi, most anything at Al Pesce d'Oro in Vettica (Amalfi)

Mixed bag - La Capaninna in Pogerola, Buca Di Bacco in Positano and Lido Azzurra in Amalfi.

Ciao!

May 17, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Any good reasons not to go Elux Icon range?

We are closing in on a range decision for our new kitchen and are thinking Electrolux Icon is a good value in the 48". We need to shave some $ from the budget and this may be one area. For less $ than the big boys (Wolf/Viking/Therm/etc) you get dual fuel with 2 self cleaning convection ovens. Burner output obviously isn't Blue Star, but seems good. Overall it seems like the best bang for the buck. Most online posts I have found are relatively positive - just wondering if anyone has first hand experience that would indicate it might not be a good way to go. Thanks.

Mar 29, 2010
vchipp in Cookware

Anyone familiar with Italian ranges? ILVE, Fratelli, etc.

I have been researching ranges actively and had posted some questions a while back. I remain uncertain as to direction - I really want a stylish range with good performance, but also want quality. I ruled out Viking and Thermador based on quality issues experienced by several friends. Wolf seems an easy choice, but is the extra money worth it? I will probably go with 36" - or possibly 40 or 42 for the makers that have those. Probably can't get a 48" into our new kitchen plan. Someone recently directed me to EuroChef USA, noting that the Fratelli Onorfi and ILVE Majestic lines are great values. Found limited feedback on Fratelli and almost none on ILVE. Any hounds here have any experience/opinions with these? Also considered induction, but I really love the aesthetics of a range. We might add 2 induction burners somewhere else if we can, but pretty set on a range at this point. Dual fuel not critical. Input appreciated.

Mar 11, 2010
vchipp in Cookware

Almost final eating itinerary....your thoughts?

meant to say I fratellini in my last post, not I fratelli

Feb 26, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Almost final eating itinerary....your thoughts?

My wife and I were in Florence in 2008 and we had a great meal at La Giostra. Best porcini mushrooms we had on our whole trip and the pasta dish with pears was awesome. We also had a memorably good meal at Trattoria 4 Leone. Incredible Pappa al Pomodoro there. We spent more time outside Florence in Tuscany so don't have much else to recommend - but I will say if you need a quick sandwich and glass of wine there is a wonderful hole in the wall called I Fratelli not far from the Duomo. Unique and wonderful.

Feb 26, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Amalfi Coast Dining - Help Please!

My heading is spinning from Amalfi Coast restaurant research. Heading there in May with 5 other couples - a group of 12 that is determined to eat and drink its way into bliss.

We are staying in a villa in amalfi and expect to venture out a bit. Please comment on some of our initial dining thoughts.

Montepertuso - probably Il Ritrovo for dinner
Cetara - probably lunch - should we go to Acquapazza or Al Convento?
Big night out - Don Alfonso? Da Gemma? Da Vincenzo?
Others - looking a A Paranza, Hosteria Il Pino, La Brace, Barilotto di Nonno
Any experience with la Capaninna (Pogerola) or Capo D'Orso (Maiori)?

I guess I just want to hear opinions of where I shouldn't miss during a week in Amalfi. Thanks!

Feb 12, 2010
vchipp in Italy

Dual Fuel Range - Help!

wow - thanks for the info. hadn't spent time looking at induction but it certainly looks interesting. what are generally considered the best induction cooktops? (looks like a much different list than the gas makers) miele? viking? electrolux? kenmore? thermador?diva de provence? just when i thought my head was spinning from range research i should probably look at induction...

Feb 08, 2010
vchipp in Cookware

South Shore Updates?

Anything new and exciting on the south shore? Would love to hear peoples' current favorites (restaurants and/or specific dishes). I have a pretty consistent rotation of "go to" places (Tosca, Caffe Bella, Saporitos, Bia Bistro, Fat Cat, Square Cafe, El Sarape) but would love some fresh ideas. Thanks

Feb 05, 2010
vchipp in Greater Boston Area

Dual Fuel Range - Help!

We are about to do the long awaited kitchen remodel and we plan to go with a 36 inch dual fuel range. I have read a million posts on multiple sites and can't seem to find any consensus on a good performing, highly reliable range. My list originally included the usual suspects (Wolf, Viking, Dacor, Thermador, DCS, etc.) and I also looked into AGA, Bertazzoni and Fratelli.
Every range seems to have a wide range of fans and detractors. I will say that service and reliability complaints have me shying away from Viking and Thermador. I want high power on the burners as I do a lot of cooktop stuff, rest of the family are more into baking - hence the dual fuel. So for high cooktop output, solid and even-heating oven performance and top notch reliability - what is my best option? Probably willing to sacrifice some performance for best reliability. Input appreciated.

Feb 04, 2010
vchipp in Cookware

Fine dining in clearwater area?

thanks to all - sounds like I need to ditch the kids several nights and try all three!

Mar 27, 2009
vchipp in Florida

Fine dining in clearwater area?

Thanks - leaning toward cafe ponte. Any additional feedback from others on Hapa would be appreciated.

Mar 26, 2009
vchipp in Florida

Fine dining in clearwater area?

We will be in clearwater beach in april and a couple of nights we will head out without the kids.

After reading a bunch of posts we were thinking about the following;

Restaurant Hapa
Belleaire Grill & Wine Bar
Cafe Ponte

Are these good choices? Any better suggestions? Thanks

Mar 26, 2009
vchipp in Florida

Clearwater Beach recommendations

I will be staying in clearwater beach in april and am looking for a mix of family friendly and more upscale eating options. I have read many of the posts and am thinking about the following - would appreciate comments and alternatives.

family breakfast/lunch/casual dinner - Marina Rest., Clear Sky Beach Cafe, Beach Shanty, Cooters

mexican - casa tina dunedin

italian/pizza - umbertos of long island, pastino's, vincenzo's

mom and dad only - Restaurant Hapa, Belleaire Grill and Wine Bar, Cafe Ponte

Mar 19, 2009
vchipp in Florida