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Best restaurants in southern Marche

Hello Marche experts: I'm looking for really special restaurants between Grottammare and Porto Recanati, preferably on the coast, but possibly including Fermo. I've read about Il Baccaro and Chalet Papillon in Porto Sant'Elpidio; Damiani e Rossi in Porto San Giorgio; and Emilio in Fermo. Does anyone know anything about these restaurants or have any other recommendations in that region? If anyone has eaten in any of them, and can recommend specific dishes typical of the region, that would be great as well. Thanks for any help.

Sep 12, 2011
lldirect in Italy

Casual West Village birthday

Thanks for these. I'll check them all out. Also, I've heard Gusto has a table in the wine cellar that might work. Anyone know about that?

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Gusto
60 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

Aug 25, 2011
lldirect in Manhattan

Casual West Village birthday

I want to plan a birthday celebration for 11 people on Sunday evening early. Since we're all west-siders I'm thinking West Village. I'd like to stay around $50 per person. If we go east, I was thinking about 'Inoteca. Anybody have any suggestions for something comparable on the west side, preferably downtown?

Aug 25, 2011
lldirect in Manhattan

Torrisi Italian Specialties

Has anyone been there for dinner? Any estimate on wait time for four people on a Thursday? Does anyone know if there's a "good" time to get there to ensure no wait? Is it worth it?

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Torrisi Italian Specialties
250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Aug 31, 2010
lldirect in Manhattan

Dublin dining near Abbey Theatre

Well, just heard from PG. They're booked all that day too. Wow! It's worse than NY.

Nov 17, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

Dublin dining near Abbey Theatre

We've got Saturday night tix to the Abbey and had hoped to have a pre-theatre dinner at Chapter One. Sadly, they're fully booked (Dec. 12!) Any suggests about where to go to get good food near the theatre? Alternatively, I'm considering trying to get into Patrick Guilbaud for lunch that Saturday and then we'll skip dinner. Thoughts?

Nov 17, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

San Juan Report on Marmalade & Loquillo

Thanks, Miss Needle. It did occur to me that it made no sense for the restaurant to be named "Il" anything, since it's Spanish and not Italian. I pondered that for a minute before typing it in incorrectly anyway. Shame on me. I'll check next time. Whatever the name, whatever the number, the food was yummy.

San Juan Report on Marmalade & Loquillo

I'm sorry to be the dissenting voice, but having returned from my weekend in PR, I feel like I have to post mho. We drove the hour from El Conquistador resort to San Juan anticipating a marvelous meal at Marmalade. Maybe our expectations were too high. The place looked nice enough, but a little shabby -- peeling paint, exposed wires, water stains on the ceiling. Not a big deal, but surprising (although, again, we may have expected too much). More importantly, the food was...fine. We each got a four course tasting menu and except for the signature white bean soup almost everything else was good enough, but not great. Each dish seemed to have at least one ingredient that was a little off. The gnocchi were lovely but the accompanying short ribs, while tasty, were tough and chewy, while the garnish of beet crisps stuck in the sauce were superfluous and soggy. The ceviche was fresh enough, but overpowered by grapefruit. The red snapper poached in a clear plastic bag came to the table in the bag where it was delicately snipped open under a deftly tied bow, leaving me a plate full of plastic bag which kept nipping at my sleeve cuffs as I ate. Even the dessert of warm strawberry crumble was rather nondescript stewed berries with a couple of slabs of pie crust mixed into it. Everyone else has raved so much about the place that I have to think it might have just been an off night. That said, I have to add while the food was disappointing, the service was lovely. The staff was friendly and attentive and in spite of the fact that we've eaten better, we had a perfectly nice time.

For me, the real find in PR was Loquillo Beach. On the advice of our concierge we went to Il Parillo which is probably kiosk no. 2 or 3. We had a fabulous meal of whole steamed snapper, stuffed with rice and squid cooked in its own ink. The young friendly waiter explained the native dishes like mofongo etc and we had a little of everything. The drinks were delicious, the food was great and the cost was cheap. We were surrounded by happy Puerto Rican families and could see the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. For local color and food, couldn't be beat.

As for the El Conquistador, the resort is fine but don't eat there if you don't have to. As others have said, the restaurants are over priced as are most hotel restaurants, but worse, the food is just plain bad. The outside bars have good drinks and stupendous views, but get a car and get out if you can.

HELP ME CHOOSE IN DUBLIN

Thanks to all. I've got a good list to go on and I'm making my bookings. Don't know if we'll have the time to get out of the city, but if we do, I'll know where to go. I'll report when we're back.

Nov 13, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

HELP ME CHOOSE IN DUBLIN

Okay, that settles it. We'll do Thornton, Chapter One, Winding Stair, Pearl and fill in with some of the others for lunch depending on convenience. You've been an enormous help. Thanks. I'll file a report when we get back.

Nov 05, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

Good food in or near El Conquistador in Fajarda, PR?

We'll check to see if there's a Perla connection at the hotel. I'll report if we find anything interesting in the area. I'm excited about Marmalade and hope it meets up to all the praise. Thanks again for all your help.

HELP ME CHOOSE IN DUBLIN

Thanks for the good advice. Chapter One is definitely on the list now. Winding Stair seems to be mentioned on this site often enough even though they're are a few dissenters, so I'll try that as well. We'll check out Bentley's too. Do you think we should skip Thornton's and Peploe if we do Chapter One? What about Bang? Wish we had time for more...sigh...

Nov 04, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

Good food in or near El Conquistador in Fajarda, PR?

Just caught up on the postings, so again, thanks. I did make a reservation at Marmalade and we'll try to talk to Peter. I eat everything but my daughter is kosher, so she won't eat meat or shellfish but she will eat fish and anything vegetarian. So I'll call ahead and see if he can prepare two separate tasting menus. We're excited. I'll let you know how it goes. Also glad to know about things to do if Fajardo in case we get tired of spa pampering. Do you know any places to eat in Fajardo? Or do you know anything about the restaurants at the El Con resort?

Good food in or near El Conquistador in Fajarda, PR?

Thanks, Spyturtle, just what I needed. I've already booked my car and I'm making my restaurant reservation now.

HELP ME CHOOSE IN DUBLIN

We'll be in Dublin for a long weekend in December and after filtering through threads and recommendations have come up with too many choices: Chapter One, Thornton's, Peploes, Pearl Brasserie, Bang, Winding Stair and The Unicorn. I've almost eliminated Unicorn since we go to Italy often and eat well there. Since we live in NYC, we get good ethnic food so we'd prefer places that feel more Irish. Price isn't a big concern but good food and attitude is. Also, has anybody eaten at Wilde in the Westbury Hotel where we'll be staying? Any thoughts about what we should skip (or add) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Oct 29, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

Good food in or near El Conquistador in Fajarda, PR?

I'm taking my daughter for a weekend of badly needed (she got a divorce!) r & r to the El Con, primarily to make use of the Godlen Door spa. I know there are many restaurants on the property but can anyone rate them? Is it worth renting a car and driving to San Juan to try some of the places recommended on this site like Marmalade or Chayote or Pikayo? Are there any good restaurants outside of the resort but near enough to get to without a lot of trouble? Any advice would be appreciated.

Dinner in Cambridge

We're visiting our daughter who is studying at Cambridge University for the summer and want to take her out for a great dinner. We've heard good things about The 3 Horseshoes, The Rupert Brooke and The Plough Coton. Anyone have any thoughts on these or other good restaurants? Thanks.

Jul 29, 2009
lldirect in U.K./Ireland

Report from Positano

Just returned from another fabulous week in Positano and have some updates to share.
The first night, we went back to Max, which we enjoyed very much last year. Thumbs down!! Even though it's still being recommended on this site, we found both food and service hugely diminished from the year before.
Instead of our usual trip to Buca di Baca, we went across the steps to La Cambusa and were absolutely thrilled. We had dinner with an Italian-American named Francesco Carpegna who lives in Positano and seems to know everyone including the entire staff at La Cambusa. At his suggestion we ordered off the menu -- a whole fish for five people prepared "aqua pazza" style which is cooked with tomatoes and herbs in a small amount of water/white wine. We were presented with the whole cooked fish which was then perfectly fileted into five servings and was absolutely delicious. (We did, however, continue our daily visits to the gelato stand under the Buca de Baca).
On our third day, we went on the most magnificent hike I've ever taken with the above mentioned Francesco. He does walking tours throughout the region and is a fabulous, knowledgeable guide who gets you places that are off limits to most tourists. (You can check out his website at www.walkingwiththegods.com.) We hiked three valleys with amazing primoridial vistas, some of which can only be accessed with a licensed guide. The hike was challenging, but doable even if you're not in great shape and is well worth it. After coming to Positano for years, I had no idea these places even existed. At the end of the day, we were too tired to travel far afield for dinner and Francesco suggested we try the Poseidon Hotel which was a flight of steps up from the apt. we rented. In all the times I've been to Positano, it never occurred to me to eat there and it was a lovely surprise. The restaurant is on the second floor terrace and has a wonderful, romantic view. Better yet, the food was glorious. We had a divine vegetable soup that was just pure fresh produce cooked al dente with herbs and broth. Fish in a lemon sauce was what the Amalfi coast is all about. Service was lovely too.
I wanted to try Don Alfonso since I've heard so much about it. Sure enough, Francesco was a friend of the owner's daughter-in-law, called ahead and got us special treatment. Even with the loss of a star, the food was great, but even better was the atmosphere. Don Alfonso's wife Livia, (elegant in leopard pants, leather jacket and sneakers!) trolls the dining room making sure everyone is happy, as she so clearly is. After dinner, she insisted we visit the wine cellar which was fashioned from an ancient Roman cistern which Don Alfonso discovered when he fell into a hole while walking on his property. Then, she plied us with gifts from their organic farm including olive oil, pasta, and jarred tomatoes. I'm sure we got some special treatment because of the connection, but anyone who showed an interest was equally rewarded with a tour and products. I was informed that there's a new 2 star restaurant in the area (I think it's called Il Capitano but I'm not sure) but the totality of our visit was so special, I'm glad we went to Don Alfonso and highly recommend it. They also run an inn and cooking classes connected to the restaurant, which had the cooks in my family salivating.
Although they've had plenty of mentions on CH, I'd never been to Bruno or Il Ritrovo so we tried those as well. The food was good at both places and the atmosphere fun, but not star quality. Although I did have a pear-ricotta cheese cake at Il Ritrovo that was to die for.
One last mention -- on our way back we stopped in Rome and walked by a pizza joint that had Italians standing in line around the block waiting for tables, so of course, we tried it the next night. It's called Da Baffetto and probably everyone who has been to Rome knows about it except me. Anyway, it was, indeed, the best pizza I've ever had in my life.
Can't wait to do it all again!

Jul 11, 2009
lldirect in Italy

Back to Positano

Thanks for the feedback. We like Buca for sentimental reasons but you've convinced me to do La Cambusa this year and I'll definitely get the shrimp/tomato dish. We eat at Chez Black, but I've never had their fish soup so I'll try it. Now I'm excited about trying Cumpa Cosimo and Il Ritrovo too. This is our sixth year back and it's fun to still be discovering new places.

Jun 16, 2009
lldirect in Italy

Back to Positano

We're returning for a week to Positano and would love to try some restaurants we don't know along the Amalfi Coast (we have a car). We've been to Villa Maria in Ravello, but never tried Cumpa Cosimo - is it worth giving up the view? We're also considering Don Alfonso in Sant' Agata and Il Ritrovo in Montepertuso. Are they both worth a trip? Last year, we ate at a restaurant with a view across the street from Dona Rosa, but we've never been to Dona Rosa. Should we go? We love Max and Buca di Baca in Positano, and Da Gemma in Amalfi, but we're open to other suggestions in and around Positano. Also, since we're prone to drifting, I haven't made any reservations ahead of time. Will these places be hard to get into the last week of June if we don't reserve right now? Thanks for all help.

Jun 15, 2009
lldirect in Italy

Help with menu at No.9Park

Based on Chowhound advice, we're having our daughter's graduation celebration here next Friday. Since we're going to be more than ten people, we have to go with a special prix fixe offering of 3 choices per course. I need help from anyone who's eaten here.
Appetizers: I need to choose from Fluke sashimi, mixed baby lettuce salad (which probably ought to be a fallback choice), poached asparagus with sea urchin, or ramp vichysoisse with house smoked trout. Anyone had any of these? Or is there some other appetizer I should beg them to put on my menu?
Entrees: Since I'll have lots of Jews, I'm going to skip the pork belly they're offering. Anyone had the native hake? Smoked Scottish Salmon? Colorado Lamb Saddle? Truthfully, none of the descriptions sound fabulous, but I'm praying it's better in the execution. Again, should I beg to have a different regular menu item included?
Desserts: Choices are Cherry Clafouti, Apple Creme Brulee, Grapefruit Tart or White Chocolate Cremeux. I get to pick 3 of the 4. Same question: any favorites I should try for?
Since it's hugely expensive, I hate to make a mistake. Someone please tell me that this place is as great as they say so I won't have anything to regret!!

Apr 25, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

Since we're going to be 7 for lunch and we need reservations I'm staying away from Neptune. I checked Massimino's website and it looks really good. They take reservations and are open for lunch. So that's a real possibility. But if we do Italian for lunch that would obviate Sorellina or Davio's for dinner, since I don't think we should do Italian twice. Anyone have an opinion on Craigie's for dinner for ten people? Or should I stick to Sel de la Terre for lunch and Davio's for dinner?

Feb 15, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

I absolutely will -- of course that won't be until May.

But, in the meantime, it's actually become a little more complicated. I have a couple of kosher people in my party meaning no meat or seafood in restaurants. I looked at the menu at Sorellina and noticed there were exactly two dishes that didn't contain meat or seafood. But after all of the above, I was loath to give up so I emailed the restaurant to see if they would modify the dishes to accomodate my picky eaters. I'll let you know if I hear back and what they say. If they're negative about it, I might end up at Davio's after all since they have plenty of grilled fish to choose from. Although someone said it was really noisy and I'm worried about that. Oy. The quest for just the right meal is never ending! And in the end, it's probably just us chowhounders who care... But that's what makes you all so special.

Feb 13, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

Good to know. But if we do Sorellina for dinner, we'll probably stick to non Italian for lunch. So unless there's some reason we can't do it (or I get a post that tells me I'm crazy), I'm going to reserve Sel de la Terre for lunch and Sorellina for dinner.

And the thing I love about this site is that, unlike my husband, nobody minds if you obsess ad infinitum about where you're going to eat. Bless you all.

Feb 13, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

Since the graduation is in the morning and I'm not sure how long it will take, I don't think we can go anywhere that does not take reservations. Obviously, the North End will be busy that day, and I've no doubt many others would be ahead of us, so planning to get anywhere early to avoid a wait would be impossible. After checking out Sel de la Terre, it seems like a perfect place for lunch and they take reservations. So unless some poster tells me I'm crazy, I'm going to book it. Thanks.
As for dinner, I've heard mixed things about Scampo food and that the room is incredibly noisy, but I'll check out the private room.

We probably won't want to go back to the North End for dinner so Back Bay or Beacon Hill or I guess anyplace else we can drive and park with ease is fine (sorry, I obviously don't know Boston). Friends in Boston are lobbying for Da Vinci or Davio's. Bristol Lounge has also been suggested but it looks kind of stuffy -- am I right? Sorellina has also been frequently mentioned. Of those four, which would you chowhounders pick?

Feb 13, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

You're right BBHound, the NE commencement is May 1 but it's a Friday. I also absolutely agree I must make reservations for both lunch and dinner way in advance since other parents will have the same idea -- which is why I'm inquiring now.

We will be only six or seven for lunch and probably around ten or eleven for dinner. Cost is not an issue. (She's got a GPA of 3.8 so she deserves the best!)

So I'm still looking for that perfect lunch-dinner combo. Since you seem to be the expert on the North End, Bachslunch, can you recommend a good place near the Garden for lunch that can accomodate us and where I can reserve in advance? Again, since we'll be doing the big dinner thing, it doesn't have to be as spectacular, just something pleasant, easy and accessible. Then depending on what type of food it is, we can pick the dinner place.

Thanks, all.

Feb 12, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

Thanks. Clear and definitive. I'll check them out.

Feb 12, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Grad redux: North End lunch

I posted before, calling for help to pick a place for a post graduation celebratory dinner. Turns out, the graduation itself is at the TD Banknorth Garden, which I'm informed is in the North End. So that means I'll need to find a place to feed my crew a light lunch around there. I looked at a few suggestions for North End restaurants but they all seem to be open for dinner only. Anyone know a good place for lunch around there? Then, to complicate matters, if lunch is Italian, dinner needs to be some other ethnicity. I'd love a definitive suggestion for a one-two punch: light but good lunch near the Banknorth Garden and fabulous dinner somewhere easy to get to by car in Boston. Thanks.

Feb 12, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Graduation dinner

Oops. I just checked Zagat and see that Prezza is only open for dinner, so that's out. Now I'm look for a "can't beat it" recommendation for lunch in the North End for after the ceremony, and a dinner anywhere not too inconvenient for people in cars for a celebratory dinner that doesn't duplicate lunch. You're a swell bunch of folks for hleping. Thanks.

Feb 11, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area

Graduation dinner

I'm thinking about Prezza for lunch. Which leaves dinner open and I'll check out your suggestions. Thanks to all for your help.

Feb 11, 2009
lldirect in Greater Boston Area