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Christmas in Rome

A "frugal traveling experience"? Ha! I know *exactly* what you mean. Two years ago, I might have been all over that, but I gave that up in May of 2010. Not like I'm traveling in seven-star luxury these days—just that frugality's now a personal matter, not a professional one.

In any case, it's nice to know about 12-euro fixed menus, especially in Asino d'Oro's part of Monti, where I want to show my wife some of the cool shops. Mostly, we're trying to eat lunches out and dinners home, although that requires some smarts when it comes to shopping at markets (Piazza Vittorio's the closest, but I want to check out Testaccio's, too). Often, however, those smarts are lacking—cf. today, when our jetlag (translation: lack of foresight) left us bereft of ingredients. So we ate at Da Danilo, a place everybody knows but is still pretty good, and happens to be a five-minute walk from our apartment. The carbonara con tartufo bianco was a beautiful pick-me-up after a day spent with a crank toddler on my shoulders; particularly liked how meaty the shreds of pancetta were. Good wine (Bassarossa, I think), and copious platters of meat. The kid ate almost none but the degustazione di cioccolato (I know! Strange, huh?), but since we were stationed in the empty basement I don't think anyone noticed.

Tomorrow: Lunch near the Colosseum at Nerone (thoughts?), and a placid dinner at home.

—Matt

Dec 26, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Christmas in Rome

UPDATE: So, after all this help, we wound up... going to Conad and cooking dinner at home! Actually, it was great fun—a simple dish of pappardelle with a beef ragù, plus a salad of rucola, mushrooms and parmigiano with a lemon dressing. A crisp white wine to go with it. Everyone happy! That's a decent Christmas for this Jewish-Buddhist-atheist family.

Now, where do we eat for the next two weeks? That's the big question!

Dec 26, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Christmas in Rome

Ah, beautiful, just what I needed to know! We arrive on the 25th, shortly after noon; it's good to know we'll be able to pick up groceries *somewhere* that day. Thank you!

A friend with kids, however, has recommended three open places we check out that night, and I'd love to hear your thoughts:

Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia
Matricianella
Da Pallotta a Ponte Milvio

If you had to choose one that would satisfy hungry, adventurous parents and a well-behaved, noodle-loving toddler, which would it be?

—Matt

Dec 13, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Christmas in Rome

Oh, trust me: if we could eat at our apartment, we would! But we are arriving that day, and since virtually every grocery in town will be closed, we will have no food to eat. That is, unless you can recommend a grocery or supermarket between Piazza Vittorio and Porta Maggiore that'll be open! Otherwise we're going to have to go out. Nowhere fancy, of course, although most of the places that are staying open seem to be of the fancier sort, as opposed to the homey trattorie we'd prefer.

Dec 12, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Christmas in Rome

Hi Katie,

Any official updates on this? Any of these spots that you'd recommend taking a freshly jetlagged 3-year-old to?

—Matt

Dec 12, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Rome on Christmas Day?

Great! I will be patient. Any truth to the rumor that restos in the old Jewish ghetto stay open?

Oct 22, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Rome on Christmas Day?

My wife, 3-year-old daughter and I happen to be arriving in Rome on Christmas Day, and I'm trying to find a good restaurant that'll be open then (and, you know, suitable for a young family with a toddler). For what it's worth, we've got an apartment over near Termini, but are of course pretty mobile. And my Italian is decent, too, though far from fluent.

Any recommendations?

Oct 20, 2011
worldmatt in Italy

Unusual, incredible corn dishes?

OP here. Just wanted to say that although we've sort of diverged from the initial question, I really love reading all these responses, and will try to get myself to Buckland/Shelburne Falls, Bread Euphoria and maybe Sharpe Hill for some corn. Thanks!

Unusual, incredible corn dishes?

Earlier this summer, I posted a link asking for great corn farmers in southern New England, and the response was very nice: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788607

Now that corn season has really started, I wanted to ask around to see if anyone's eaten any great or unusual corn dishes at any restaurants. Ideally, I'd like to find some incredible renditions of the classics, like corn chowder or succotash, but I'm also curious to see if chefs are doing anything new with sweet corn. Or is there maybe some Vietnamese or Indian restaurant incorporating corn into those cuisines in a surprising and delicious way?

Or maybe there's another way to put the question: If you're driving around New England for a week, what is the one corn dish you absolutely must try?

Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

I may very well wind up in NY, too. So hard to limit myself when I hear about good corn!

Wondering: Are there particular roads through southern New England that are going to have a particularly high number of farm stands? I remember going across Rt 9 a couple of years ago, between East Brookfield and Amherst, and hitting half a dozen.

Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

Awesome. Here's a link to a Google Map I'm putting together of everywhere that everyone recommends: http://j.mp/j7eUA5

Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

Awesome! I'm google-mapping everything mentioned in that thread. But... what about Massachusetts? I mean, CT corn is great, but let's be fair to my native lands, too. Anything worthy up there?

Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

Chowhound for story prep? Of course! Can you think of a better place to do research? ;)

As for cooking, I'm totally with you—the less cooking the better. But still... there's succotash to consider, and tomato-corn salads, and chowder, and... who knows what else? Also, I'm curious to know if any "ethnic" restaurants are making use of New England's delicious sweet corn in new ways: shaved-ice toppings, dumpling stuffing, etc. Come across any of that?

Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

Hi there,

I'm writing a story for Saveur magazine for which I'm planning a mid-August romp around New England in search of amazing growers & cookers of sweet corn. I know these things depend a lot on the season, the weather, & personal taste, but I'd love to assemble a decent list of places to check out in southern New England (and northern, too, but that's another board).

For farmers, I'm looking for taste, obviously, but also history, innovation, and adaptation. The NY Times did a story a while back on a cool-sounding farm in Pawcatuck, CT <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/nyr...>. But surely there are others worth visiting?

And for chefs, I'm looking both for innovators and traditionalists, at restaurants both high- and low-end. And talented home chefs are as good (and in many cases better) than the pros.

Finally, if anyone has ever come across interesting (and delicious) brands of canned or frozen corn (especially local brands), I'd like to hear about them.

Any ideas? I'm getting hungry just thinking about the trip...

Cheese, cider and snowshoeing: Where to spend 2 days outside Montreal?

Okay, I'm sold! That was just what I needed to make up my mind. Thanks, finefoodie55!

Cheese, cider and snowshoeing: Where to spend 2 days outside Montreal?

Looks delicious! An aptly named restaurant. But...

What about food over near Mont-Mégantic? The snowshoeing looks amazing over there, and some nice places to stay, but any great food spots too? Doesn't have to be fancy or high-end—a tavern-style place with hearty food and good cider works for us!

Cheese, cider and snowshoeing: Where to spend 2 days outside Montreal?

Elsewhere on this board, I've been getting advice about where to eat with my brother during a week's stay in Montreal. Well, we're also planning to spend a couple of days outside the city, snowshoeing by day and eating good cheese and drinking great cider by night. Ah, who am I kidding? We'll be eating cheese and drinking cider by day as well.

Anyway, we're not quite sure where to base ourselves for this. I've read that Mont-Megantic has great snowshoeing, but I can't quite figure out how the food and drink is thereabouts. Is there one perfect location—maybe even at some grand old country hotel—that will satisfy our cravings for Québécois deliciousness amid the great outdoors?

A week of Montreal dining for two hungry brothers?

Oh, man, this is exciting! Thanks for all these recommendations so far, although it's going to be tricky to sort out which we absolutely have to do in what is really a limited amount of time.

Also, and this will probably annoy the moderators, but my brother and I are also looking to do a two-day trip outside Montreal in search of cheese, cider and snowshoeing. I'll post on the appropriate board, but if you've got recommendations, I'd love to hear them, too.

A week of Montreal dining for two hungry brothers?

My brother and I are heading up to Montreal in February to, well, pretty much hang out and eat for about a week. We're both married guys in our 30s—he lives in Minneapolis, I'm in Brooklyn—and don't get to see each other much outside of holidays. Anyway, we're trying to assemble a list of places to eat that represents the best of what Montreal has to offer. So, naturally, we're turning to you Chowhounds.

What we're looking for is a balance of fancy and lowbrow — filthy but delicious poutine, and some crazy haute treatment of, I don't know, elk?—but one that's very Montreal. Basically, whatever amazing dishes and ingredients we can't get in New York and the Twin Cities.

Thoughts?

Best Thanksgiving in Asia?

If you could spend Thanksgiving anywhere in Asia, where would it be? I'm thinking food-wise, of course, and wondering not just where to get the ultra-traditional US of A meal but if there might also be a country/city/restaurant that does an amazing adaptation with local ingredients/techniques.

—Matt

"Low-end" Asian fusion in Vancouver?

Ah, some nice suggestions! Thanks! I think those Yoshoku-ya-type places will be an interesting contrast with the HK-style cafes.

How far do I want to take it? Well, I've adjusted the name of this discussion to better reflect what I'm after—low-end stuff, which seems more naturally evolved than, say, the high-end fusion restaurants. I love how things like borscht wind up on Hong Kong menus, for example. And I think (from what I've read) that Lion's Den may be putting jerk chicken in their okonomiyaki. I like it when fusion comes from the ground up, rather than top down—i.e., some fancy chef throwing kaffir lime leaves into braised short ribs is less interesting than some small Thai restaurant deciding to long-braise short ribs in a massaman curry. Does that make sense?

Also: Is there an ideal HK cafe to get my borscht on in? I've heard good things about Cafe Gloucester, but are there others?

"Low-end" Asian fusion in Vancouver?

I'm going to be spending a few days in Vancouver next week, and I'm trying to track down some truly interesting Asian fusion restaurants. Now, normally, I don't trust the term, but it seems like there's some cool places, like Lion's Den (Japanese-Caribbean), Japa Dog and the Hong Kong-style cafes that do noodle soups alongside pork chops and spaghetti.

Is there anything else like that that I should check out?

One perfect day of eating in Lyon: need suggestions!

Thanks for all the advice, Chowhounds! Here's the piece that resulted from this:

http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.c...

The one thing I didn't have space to include (besides some great oysters, €6.50 the half-dozen at Les Halles) was Bernachon, an amazing chocolate maker. Try the salted-caramel chocolate bars, €5.60 apiece. Mm!

Jul 16, 2009
worldmatt in France

Low-cost Paris bistro lunches

I'm going to be in Paris for several days at the end of May and beginning of June, and I'm trying to build up a list of affordable lunch places. I'm most interested in French places (classic, modern, regional or Spanish- or Italian-inflected) with set menus (appetizer, plat du jour, dessert) for around 10 euros, give or take a euro or three. Can be anywhere in the city, but should be, you know, delicious!

I'll throw out one I went to last year that I really liked (and which is no secret): La Gazzetta, near the Marché d'Aligre. Very precise Basque-influenced cooking: fresh, bright, light flavors, chic interior, and the lunch menu was 14 euros (the high end of what I'm looking at). Very satisfying meal!

Also, I guess I should ask this: Is there any way to an enterprising tourist to acquire the "lunch tickets" that French employers distribute to their employees?

Looking forward to hearing your ideas—and then tasting them!

May 17, 2009
worldmatt in France

One perfect day of eating in Lyon: need suggestions!

Mm, sounds great! I can always do oyster counters. Know a cafe with particularly great coffee or pastries?

Now I just have to figure out dinner...

May 17, 2009
worldmatt in France

One perfect day of eating in Lyon: need suggestions!

I'm going to be in Lyon for just one day at the beginning of June, and I'm trying to figure out where to have a fantastic breakfast, a wonderful lunch, and a mindblowing dinner, plus assorted snacks and drinks along the way. Would love to hear all of your thoughts and fantasies, keeping two things in mind:

1. It needs to be somewhat affordable. Dinner really can't be more than €30 per person, and lunch half that.
2. I have no car.

Ideas?

May 12, 2009
worldmatt in France

Unusual aperitivi in Milan?

I know the aperitivo subject has been much discussed in this board, but I'm about to go there with my wife (and our 6-week-old daughter) and am wondering if there have been any new developments.

Specifically, I'm looking for:

• unusual drinks/cocktails—is anyone mixing up new inventions or brilliant twists on old classics?
• unusual scenes—we know aperitivi can be very fashionista, but are there other worthy scenes: industrial, academic, punk, whatever?
• unusual food—I've read about humongous buffets and free sushi, but are any places taking a different approach to the food? Maybe other cuisines, or different preparations, or up-and-coming chefs making their names with free bar food?

Again, I know the classics have been covered in other threads, but I guess I'm looking for the outliers and experimentalists. Any suggestions?

—Matt

Jan 17, 2009
worldmatt in Italy

Lunchtime: Portland pit stop?

I'm nearing the end of a five-day road trip from Connecticut to Seattle and will be passing through Portland just about lunchtime today. I'd love to eat something great, something to contrast with all the heavy, burgercentric meals still sitting in my belly -- but I also don't want to go too far out of my way. (Still need to reach Seattle eventually!)

Any recommendations?

--Matt

Feb 08, 2008
worldmatt in Pacific Northwest

"wet" burritos in NYC?

Frugal Traveler here. I vote for Lupe's, too, though it's been years since I've eaten there. Will have to grab a burrito there and reminisce when I get back...

Jul 21, 2007
worldmatt in Manhattan

Vietnamese food in OKC

Hi there,

I'm a road-tripper who's going to be spending tonight and the next few days in Oklahoma City, eating as much Vietnamese food as I can. (I'm desperate for something other than meat-meat-meat!)

I've been reading up on the offerings around Classen Blvd, and I'm ready for sandwiches at Banh Mi Bale and pho at either Mr. Pho or Pho Hoa (which one's better, and why?). But I'm also wondering about other specialties and regional variations. I know there's at least one banh cuon outlet—Banh Cuon Tay Ho—but are there others that might be better? Are there any Hue-style restaurants? And is there anywhere that makes a perfect canh chua—sour fish soup (cannot be made with salmon!)?

I look forward to hearing and sampling your recommendations!

Cheers,

—Matt