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Barcelona / San Sebastian - Sep Itinerary

Would love an update/trip report if possible! I'm going to copy much of your itinerary, which looks amazing! We've got 2 days in Barcelona and three days in San Sebastian...reservations currently at Tickets and then, while in SS, we plan to drive to L'Auberge Basque (dinner), Etxebarri (lunch), and Rekondo (lunch). Of course we'll also hit pintxos using todopintxos.com...

Specifically, what should we order at the smaller places you list on your Barcelona itinerary? And were you happy with your choices?
Thanks!

Oct 13, 2012
nutella in Spain/Portugal

Willamette Trip Itinerary Advice Please

Thanks! This is very helpful! Any place special for brunch before we leave?

Jun 01, 2012
nutella in Metro Portland

Willamette Trip Itinerary Advice Please

Very excited to go for the first time this August for 2 nights. What do you think about this itinerary?
Also, in Napa we've hired drivers who will drive our rental car. Does anyone know of a company/driver who provides a similar service? Finally can somebody recommend the best place for a weekday brunch? Thank you!

First night - dinner at The Painted Lady

Wine tasting (leaving from the Allison inn)
1. argyle winery
2. archery summit
3. Lunch at Joel Palmer house
4. Domaine drouhin
5. JK Carrire (too much??)

Dinner at Jory

May 31, 2012
nutella in Metro Portland

Naples, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Rome - Long Trip Report (April 2012)

Ops sorry about that! Roma Sparita is the name of the Cacio e pepe place. The sorbillo we went to was Via dei Tribunali, 38

Apr 20, 2012
nutella in Italy

Naples, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Rome - Long Trip Report (April 2012)

Thanks so much to everybody who helped me plan our trip to Italy. I'm reporting to be helpful but I'm certainly no food critic so forgive me if I'm not 100% clear or I mess up Italian here and there. I just want to pay it forward since I get so much great info from others!

Naples:
Da Michele - classic naples pizza experience. Felt touristy because of julia roberts picture on 3 walls, but many italians were there also. They only have marinara or margherita and no wine, just beer. Shared tables worked out because the Italians at our table told us to order the double mozarella, one for each of us, which we would not have known. So inexpensive - pizza was 5 euros each. Wow I was really impressed by how different pizza in naples is from anything I've ever had. It's humongous, soupy and kind of seems undercooked in the middle. The fresh cheese looks like little separate puffed up coins, not the all over blanket cheese we're used to. We really liked it but I was frustrated by how quickly it got cold as I tried to eat it with a fork and knife. Looking around I noticed other Italians didn't seem concerned about that. I think maybe changing temp of the pizza throughout the meal is part of the experience. But I like hot pizza.
 
Scaturrchio - pastry, cakes etc Bourdain went here on No Reservations. There is a coffee bar in back so it's good for your morning coffee and pastry before heading to see sites in historic center. Delicious pastries and not expensive.  We got 6 pastries to go for 10 euros.
 
Sorbillo - pizza recommended on chowhound and by our concierge. It's near tourist attractions so convenient for lunch. They have the more usual array of toppings (unlike michele). H had margherita and I had funghi. Margherita was very good but my mushrooms were bland. I think this place is in guide books because I heard English a lot, but again there were more italians than tourists there from what we could tell. The service wasn't friendly but it wasn't bad either. I would recommend it for the same traditional style (like michelle). I tried cutting it in triangle pieces this time and that enabled me to eat more while it was hot :) Pizza again was so cheap - 5 euros.
 
Positano/Montepertuso:
Generally I just want to say that info I got on Positano not being a great place to eat were definitely correct. We didn't have any bad meals but nothing knocked my socks off the way it has in other cities. However I do want to say how friendly everybody was in our experience. Every place offered complimentary tomato bruschetta and limoncello. :) BTW, every place I note the bill it includes wine, water and cover.
 
La Tagliata: recommended by chowhound and our driver. We took advantage of the free shuttle to the restaurant which is about 20 minutes situated above the town of positano. The shuttle is great (saved around 20 euro taxi both ways) but that's your first tip that you're not going to be the only tourist there. This is a family owned place with very friendly staff. We met the entire family when we walked inside. There is a 35 euro set menu and it's a great deal for the amount of food they bring out. They bring a huge antipasti/vegetable course, pasta course, meat course and dessert. Food was good - highlights for me were the sautéd vegetables (I asked and he said it was the flower of the cabbage) and the pasta with broccoli. I did not care for the meat course but H liked the sausage and the beef.  No seafood seemed odd to me but I've read on these boards that it's not terribly unusual.
The thing about this place is every table but one were tourists. At first this was a little scary for us but after spending more time in Amalfi and around I realized that's it's almost impossible to eat somewhere without hearing English. The towns aren't that big so there just aren't a ton of undiscovered places, and the ones that have better food are known and end up attracting all the visitors. I've read that, if you go further away, that could change. But we like many others couldn't make it to Cetara or further down the coast. So I think that, at least based on our experience, hearing lots of english and even having a menu that's translated doesn't mean deadly tourist trap.  
 
Da Leone: We got stuck in town for the day (instead of Capri...bummer) bc of bad weather so we made the best of it and walked around. Worried about eating so close to the tourist area in town we headed back out to da leone for lunch. I liked the ambiance there - it's a little more upscale - although other posts about it feeling like palm beach are right on. Everyone there was speaking italian which we thought was a good sign. We had pasta with squid and H had pasta with broccoli and clams. Both very good. Complimentary bruschetta with fresh tomatoes to start. A 17 euro bottle of wine* and tirimisu ended us up with 56 euro bill. I would recommend this for a slightly more elegant feeling meal. I would also note that Italians there were eating items not listed on our menu which made me feel like there was more than just what was listed on the menu.
* at this restaurant we asked for vino della casa (house wine) and they orought out a bottle of wine, not the usual carafe. We asked to be sure they had brought the correct wine and they said "yes, this is our wine." Later we got our bill and it was 17 euros. This was definitely a tourist trick because there were Italians drinking the usual carafe at another able. I think we should have been more persistent when they brought the bottle out and insisted on table wine,, not the wine of the house.

Barilloto del nonno: For dinner we went here based on chow recommendations and our driver. The octopus salad here was my favorite. Very clean and light. Also the ubiquitous complimentary tomato bruschatta was good. H had spaghetti with clams and mussels in light tomato sauce and I had spaghetti with claims in white wine and chilli oil. Both were good. The owner basically talked with us our entire meal which we enjoyed bc we like learning about contemporary italian life and politics. You must have the amazing chocolate cake here. It's like an undercooked brownie. Yum.
 
Bar Panza: While touring the cost we stopped at this bar in the main square of Amalfi. It was a cold day so I ordered ciocollato fondente. This is not typical hot chocolate. It's like a melted chocolate bar. When I first ordered it the waiter thought I wanted chocolates but I told him in italian I was asking for the drink and he again asked me if I knew how strong it was. He wanted to be sure I knew what I was getting myself into! :) H and I couldn't finish the one cup we ordered because it was sointensely thick and rich, but it was worth it.  Delicious looking pastries and jelly candies there also.
 
Cumpa Cosimo: lunch in Ravello at this place recommended on chowhound and by our driver. We ordered marinated anchoivies (delicious), vegetable soup and H had mussels with tomato broth. Everything was good. The matron of the house gave us complimentary tiramisu which was very nice.
 
Florence:
After too many days of rain and cancellations we rushed out to Florence. I'm so glad we did! I love Florence, the sky was clear, and we always eat well. :)
 
Bar above the westin excellsior (what's the name?): This was a new place for us so we went for drinks before dinner. The views at night are spectacular and the bar feels very modern and cool for such an old city. Well worth it for the views.
 
Sostanza: We love this place because it's exactly our taste when traveling in italy. Small, traditional trattoria with a small menu of items they do best every day. Shared tables and little fuss. The inattentive staff doesn't put us off - it somehow feels more real. Even though they get lots of non-Italians they haven't translated their menu. Maybe this is why I was put off in positano by their translated menus and English speaking staff? I'm used to having to struggle a little! Anyway we had the famous floretine steak for two - bistecca alla fiorentina - spinach with lemon and then my favorite fragoline with sugar and lemon. I have never seen fragolini in the US. I adore them for their texture and sweetness. We put down the entire kilo steak like champs and it was absolutely delicious. I think they overcooked the filet side a little (we like it rare) but they probably did that thinking we're Americans and would prefer it that way. Not sure. The bill was 91 euros because the steak was 55 and we had a large table wine.
 
Gelateria alla carraia (other side of ponte  alla carraia): really creamy and delicious. Had my favorite nicciola (hazelnut)
 
Mario's: This small lunch place is basically the reason we ran up to florence. We adore it.  I go to Mario every time I visit. I love their friendly staff and rustic small authentic feel. Tortellini pasta with meat sauce is my favorite, but the ribollita is dense and beautiful also. Got there 20 minutes before they opened and they let us sit inside and wait.  On one trip we ate there so many times that they actuallyinvited my entire family to eat downstairs in their private wine cellar. It was such a treat!
 
Gelateria Neri: My favorite gelato place for more exotic flavors, I had the ricotta and fig and the rice. Sooo good. H had the nicciola which was also great.  
 
Generally, I always try to find a bakery for a piece of torta della nonna when I'm in florence. It's delicious and this time I found it at the inside market near San Lorenzo.
 
Rome:
Perilli: Recommendation by chowhound on the carbonara thread. I was worried because it's listed by fodors so I thought it might be super touristy. We arrived at 7:30 and they weren't open yet. Strolled around and returned closer to 8 and there were two people already seated inside. This turned out to be our best meal of the trip. The carbonara was the best I've ever had for sure but also the best pasta of the trip, maybe of my life. The yellow color is different than I'm used to - I would guess because the egg yolks here are a stronger yellow. It's creamy and perfect with rigatoni (my fav pasta).  H said he would have prefered more bacon in his but I think that's just because they split a bowl into two portions at the table and he ended up with less. After that we shared ossobucco with peas and an artichoke. The ossobucco was delicious and tender with ample marrow. H, who doesn't like peas, couldn't get enough of these. And the artichoke was great - slightly minty with lots of olive oil. For dessert H ordered tirimisu and I had fragoline with vanilla gelato. I love those fragoline! Only snag of the meal was actually paying the bill (67 euros) which took 40 minutes.
 
Dagnino: favorite pastry/coffee shop with an emphasis on southern italian sweets. It's a nice place to stop for coffee and a pastry.
 
Nonna Betta: lunch in the jewish ghetto for fried stuffed zuchinni flowers and fried artichockes. Also ordered the taglietelle with artichoke and botarga and H ordered falafel wrap. The zucchini flower was golden brown and stuffed with cheese which we both really liked. The fried artichoke wasn’t my favorite. A little too crispy and not a ton of flavor. H loved the falafel – it has a yogurt slightly tahini tasting sauce on it wrapped in a kind of flour tortilla. I have always wanted to try botarga since I saw it once on a TV food show, but alas I did not care for it. I was surprised because I don’t mind fishy things and i enjoy cabiar. But the combination of fishy and sticky was not working for me.
 
Roma Sparita: Recommended on Bourdain’s “Layover” for cacao e pepe. We like going to travestevere for dinner when in Rome because it’s quiet and feels a lot less touristy.. We had prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, fried stuffed zucchini blossom and Cacio e pepe. The pasta was awesome! For dessert we had creme caramel and fragolini with whipped cream. BTW, the same thing happened here with the wine that happened at da leone. Again we asked for red house wine and they brought out a bottle of wine, not the usual carafe. We asked to be sure they had brought the correct wine and they said "yes, this is our wine." In this case it was only 8 euros so we didn't complain, but I was annoyed that they took advantage of us again because I saw Italians with carafes when we left. I think the problem is we asked for house wine instead of asking for table wine. But that shouldn't really be an issue because we got the right wine every other place we ate. Oh well

Now I am off to detox! Need a few carb-free days to fit back into my jeans. But it was worth it :)

Apr 20, 2012
nutella in Italy

Restaurant picks for upcoming trip to Naples & Amalfi...help!

So if you had to choose two of these in/near Positano, which would you prefer? I'd like to have different dining experiences, so maybe somebody can recommend two that are different from each other? Of course, quality of food and service would be paramount; I am not as concerned about having a view as I am with having excellent food...thanks again!

• Saraceno d'Oro , Viale Pasitea,254,
• Buca di Bacco, Via Rampa Teglia, 4,,
• Donna Rosa, Via Montepertuso,97-99,
• La Tagliata, Via Tagliata, 22,

Apr 01, 2012
nutella in Italy

Restaurant picks for upcoming trip to Naples & Amalfi...help!

This is all fantastic. Thanks for the insight. "Touristy to the max" is certainly not what we're looking for so we'll pass. Is Donna Rosa the same since it's so close? Thanks again everyone!

Mar 31, 2012
nutella in Italy

Restaurant picks for upcoming trip to Naples & Amalfi...help!

I've been trying to dutifully researching to come up with a list of possible restaurants for our trip. Here are my list of finalists. We are staying in Naples and Positano. Any input is greatly appreciated!! Also, we are taking a day trip to Capri and a day trip driving around Amalfi. Any suggestions and how to plan our meals on those days would be awesome. Thanks!

Naples:
• Di Matteo, Via Tribunali, 94, Naples,
• Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale 1, 80139
• Cantina di Via Sapienza, Via della Sapieza 40-41, (for lunch only, I believe)
• Scaturchio, Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 19 (pastry)
• Pizzeria Pellone, Via Nazionale, 93 80143 (Bourdain went here on "No Reservations.")

Positano:
• Barilotto di Nonno, Via Laurito, 13,
• Barillotto del Nonno, Via Laurito, 13,
• Saraceno d'Oro , Viale Pasitea,254,
• Buca di Bacco, Via Rampa Teglia, 4,,
• Il Ritrovo, Via Montepertuso, 77,
• Donna Rosa, Via Montepertuso,97-99,
• Taverna Del Leone, Via Laurito, 43, 84017

Mar 30, 2012
nutella in Italy

Naples Report

Sounds like a great trip! What is the name of your favorite gelato place? Thanks.

Mar 30, 2012
nutella in Italy

Must eats in Positano, Capri and nearby?

also forgot to include

• Il Ritrovo, Via Montepertuso, 77, Positano, Campania 84017, IT
• Donna Rosa, Via Montepertuso,97-99, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

Mar 12, 2012
nutella in Italy

Must eats in Positano, Capri and nearby?

I've done some reading and here is the list I have going for Positano. Does anyone have updated information on these restaurants? Also, has anyone eaten at Il San Pietro? I see recs to just do drinks there and eat elsewhere. Is it not worth the cost? Thanks!
• Da Vincenzo
• Barilotto di Nonno
• Taverna Del Leone
• Barillotto del NonnoT
• Buca di Bacco

Mar 12, 2012
nutella in Italy

Must eats in Positano, Capri and nearby?

Going to Positano and its neighbors for a couple of days and would love some recommendations on where we should eat. I would so appreciate any ideas - from must eat trattorias and pizzerias to bakeries and gelato. We haven't planned where we're going to day trip, but Sorrento/Capri is definitely one day. In fact, we could plan our day trips around great food or markets if they're worth it! Thank you!

Feb 12, 2012
nutella in Italy

Private Room for 35 people in miami

Anyone know of a restaurant that has a private room for 30-40 people where we can spend around $60 per person (plus a cash bar)? Looking in Miami/Miami Beach. THANKS!

Nov 04, 2011
nutella in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Fancy Organic Dinner?

Thanks! Exclusively organic isn't necessary...

Dec 15, 2010
nutella in Manhattan

Fancy Organic Dinner?

I'm looking to send friends to a really nice celebratory dinner. They are into organic food. Any stellar recommendations. Price isn't important...just great food. I heard Pure Food and Wine is good but I'd love personal recommendations. Thanks!

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Pure Food and Wine
54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

Dec 15, 2010
nutella in Manhattan

Dog-friendly lunch for a foodie in Napa?

These sound perfect! THANKS

Aug 20, 2010
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Dog-friendly lunch for a foodie in Napa?

I'm looking for a beautiful place to have a delicious lunch with my well-behaved small dog. Any recommendations? Wine is not important as I'm pregnant. We booked Brix but they just called and said they don't allow dogs even though they have an outdoor patio. Thanks!

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Brix
7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

Aug 20, 2010
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa Valley, with dog

I do appreciate your input but I'm looking for lunch, not wine, as I'm pregnant. Any good dog-friendly lunch spots? Thanks! :)

Aug 18, 2010
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa Valley, with dog

I'm looking for a beautiful place to have a delicious lunch with my well-behaved small dog. Any recommendations? We booked Brix but they just called and said they don't allow dogs even though they have an outdoor patio. I'm pregnant so we're looking for good food instead of good wine on this trip. Thanks!

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Brix
7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

Aug 18, 2010
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Aquitaine/Basque food tour

Is this the Olhabidea? http://www.olhabidea.com/present.htm
Thanks.

Feb 14, 2010
nutella in France

Where to stop on my drive from Paris to The Basque Country?

This is INCREDIBLY helpful! Thank you very much. I am definitely reconsidering the drive after reading these posts. Thanks again!

Feb 14, 2010
nutella in France

Pays Basque in March

Do they serve lunch? Do you know what the general price for lunch would be?

Feb 09, 2010
nutella in France

Where to stop on my drive from Paris to The Basque Country?

I'm going to spend 4 nights in the Basque Country and 4 nights in Paris this June. After considering how to get from CDG airport to San Sebastian, it occured to us that it might be better to drive there and stop over somewhere one night along our way. Since this is a food trip, we'd love to pick our stops based upon the food. We're not into fancy cuisine - just something amazingly delicous, authentic and casual is what we're after. I would prefer not to drive too far from Paris the first day to our overnight destination. So that would mean the bulk of the driving in the second day. So maybe 2 or 3 hours from Paris, stay over night, and then drive the second day to San Sebastian with one or two stops for more good food. But I'm flexible and would love any suggestions!!

Thanks in advance!

Feb 09, 2010
nutella in France

Napa in one day...huge foodie who doesn't know much about wine...

Thanks all! This is fantastic.

More details: we are driving from San Francisco on saturday morning. We plan to stop at the Farmers Market for an early breakfast before driving into Wine Country. I would love a plan for where to stop along the drive. I thought we'd visit around 4 wineries and then go to the hotel. We are staying Saturday night a the Westin Napa. Then we checkout on Sunday, have brunch and head out.

Thanks again!

PS: A Chef friend of ours recommended Schramsberg...would love to work that in to our day.

Aug 13, 2009
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa in one day...huge foodie who doesn't know much about wine...

Hi there. We're spending Saturday in Napa and need help. We love to eat and are huge foodies, but we don't know much about wine and are a bit intimidated by the whole Napa Valley tasting thing. We're looking for places to visit that will welcome us regardless of our intensity/knowledge level. If anybody knows of a nice plan for the day (driving in one direction and stopping along the way would be ideal), that would be great!

As for food, we're planning on eating at Ad Hoc for dinner and Bouchon for brunch the next day. If that's a bad idea, please tell me! I see Bouchon reviews aren't great lately. Should we go somewhere else for brunch?

Thank you!

Aug 13, 2009
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa for a day...huge foodie who doesn't know much about wine

Hi there. We're spending Saturday in Napa and need help. We love to eat and are huge foodies, but we don't know much about wine and are a bit intimidated by the whole Napa Valley tasting thing. We're looking for places to visit that will welcome us regardless of our intensity/knowledge level. If anybody knows of a nice plan for the day (driving in one direction and stopping along the way would be ideal), that would be great!

As for food, we're planning on eating at Ad Hoc for dinner and Bouchon for brunch the next day. If that's a bad idea, please tell me!

Thank you!

Aug 12, 2009
nutella in Wine

San Fran - eating out with my dog?

Awesome!

Jun 14, 2009
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

San Fran - eating out with my dog?

Thanks! I found this on that thread: www.diningwithsophie.com

Would still love to know which of these places has great food too. Thanks!

Jun 13, 2009
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

San Fran - eating out with my dog?

Hi all. I'm very excited to visit San Fran in August. I will have my small dog with me and would love to know where I can eat well with his company...on South Beach (where I live) it's easy to eat out with a dog. Small dogs are permitted anywhere there's outdoor seating. Is this true in San Fran? Can you please recommend great breakfast/brunch and lunch places that allow dogs? I would especially love places with organic/local ingredient emphasis, although that's not a strict requirement. THANKS!!

Jun 13, 2009
nutella in San Francisco Bay Area

Sardinia, Casa Tua, Scarpetta or somewhere else?

You can see my post today about my disappointing experience at Scarpetta...

Jun 13, 2009
nutella in Miami - Fort Lauderdale