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ilmangiatore's Profile

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Good Single Malt and dinner?

The Duke of Perth has a huge single malt list and even serve flights so you can try a few at a time. It's not too far from the Gold Coast. They have all you can eat fish and chips Wednesday and Friday that are real good too.

Sep 17, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Where is the best Canolli in Chicago?

Pasticceria Natalina in Andersonville (5400 block of north Clark) hands down. I've eaten a lot of canolli in Italy and these compare to the real thing. They also make sfogliatelle, which are ridiculously good.

Aug 07, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Deep Dish Pizza (no chains)

I just tried the stuffed spinach from D'Agostinos and thought it was great. I usually get the thin crust from there but figured I give the stuffed a try.

Aug 02, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Stainless steel grill, is it worth it?

Thanks for the tip. I've done some research and found that this is a heavily debated topic with no clear winner. If that's the case, I'll take your advice and use the extra money for some accessories I will need.

Aug 01, 2007
ilmangiatore in Cookware

Stainless steel grill, is it worth it?

I've decided on buying the Weber Spirit 310 grill. From what I've heard, it's the best bang for the buck and it will last for a long time. There are 2 models of the grill, one of which has porcelain flavorizers and cooking grates and one that has stainless steel. Are the stainless steel grates and flavorizers worth spending an extra $100 for? Is stainless that much more durable and easier to clean?

Aug 01, 2007
ilmangiatore in Cookware

Downtown Hot Dogs?

Gold Coast Dogs has a few locations in the loop and they make a pretty good Chicago Style Char dog. If you google them, you will be able to find their webpage.

Jun 22, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Help with choosing between these Rome restaurants

Da Giggetto is the best restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. They make traditional roman food with the addition of Jewish Artichokes (carcioffi ebraio.) Their artichokes are possibly the greatest food on the planet. However, it is a restaurant as opposed to a trattoria so the price will be higher. If you want a more traditional Roman feast, ie $30 all the food and wine you can eat, try a trattoria in Testaccio.

Jun 20, 2007
ilmangiatore in Italy

Outdoor Engagement Party Spot??

I'm not sure how many people you are planning for but Enoteca Roma has a beautiful backyard garden. If you have 6 or more guests they will put together a full tasting menu for $25 a person. I did this once for a friend's birthday and they brought out a charcuterie tray, bruschette, salads, pizze and paste. They brought as much as we wanted and it was really a fun way to celebrate.

Here's a link to their website: http://www.enotecaroma.com/

Jun 18, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Good Italian Sandwich

Bari's is the best. If you work in the loop, Fontino's and Mangino's are both good too.

Jun 17, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Grills under $500, Ducane or Blue Ember?

I've never owned a grill so this is new territory for me. I'm looking for something that will last through the cold Chicago Winters. Does anybody own either one of these grills or have reasons why I should or shouldn't buy?

Thanks for the advice.

Jun 13, 2007
ilmangiatore in Cookware

Where to get the best Bigos

My buddy spent some time in Poland and swears by the stuff. Does anybody know who serves up the best Bigos in Chicago? Thanks

Jun 11, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

If you were moving to Chicago and didn't have a car...

I'm a life long north sider and I agree with you that there is much more abundance of affordable eating in those neighborhoods. Also, the neighborhoods are real nice and cute. River West/West Town is little rough around the edges; however, they have their share of great places. The difference is that the North side will have 100 of everything to choose from and RW/WT will have only 1 of everything (each one being very good.) There's Flo, Bari, Byron's (bet hotdogs), Butterfly, D'Agostinos and Coalfire. That covers your Mexican, Italian, American, Asian, and Pizza and it's all affordable. That's a lot of great places in a tight radius.

Jun 08, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

If you were moving to Chicago and didn't have a car...

I have to take this opportunity to talk up my new neighborhood, River West. River West is pocketed between the river and kennedy expressway (east/west) and roughly Chicago Ave. to Grand (north/south.) It's a short walk to all the dining in Wicker Park, West Town, and Grand Avenue little italy (bari foods!!!). It's also real close to Isaacson and Stern's fish market, and the Fulton Market district. There's great transportation, blue line, chicago ave bus, halsted bus which makes it easy to go anywhere.

Jun 07, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Gibson's or Morton's? Out of Towner looking for the Quintessential Chicago Steakhouse Experience

I've never had a bad steak at Gibson's and every out-of-towner I've taken there has left happy.

Apr 20, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Best Steak at a Non-Steak House

The Hanger Steak at Bin 36 is great.

The porterhouse for 2 at Gioco is amazing. They cook it in a wood fired oven so it has a great smokey flavor and serve it with tons of fresh rosemary. You will need help eating it though.

Apr 11, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Philly Cheese Steaks

I don't think that you really want an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. I've tried them at Pat's, Geno's, and Jim's and they are all like chewing on a tire. It's probably why Rocky's jaw looked funny. If you want a good cheesesteak in Chicago, Philly's Best is probably #1. If you work in the loop, there's a place called The Works in the food court at 200 N. Clark. Their chicken cheesesteak is good and I bet their regular cheesesteak is good too.

Apr 11, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Bachelor Party in Montreal

I'm from Chicago and the other guys from New York. I was reading the chowhound board and it seems like we might be dissapointed in Montreal Steakhouses? Maybe it would be better to do something more characteristic of Montreal. Also, something more affordable than the Que de Cheval. Unfortunately, I can't expense this party.

Apr 03, 2007
ilmangiatore in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Bachelor Party in Montreal

I'm sure we'll do our fair share of the "usual," and I might start another thread asking for a good breakfast buffet suggestion. That's a good idea.

We will, however, want to do one (somewhat) classy night - something nice for our buddy. I think a steakhouse would be perfect.

Apr 03, 2007
ilmangiatore in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Bachelor Party in Montreal

Hello Canadian Chowhounds,

I will be spending a couple days in Montreal for a bachelor party in May. I haven't been to Montreal and was hoping somebody could give a couple good restaurant and lodging recommendations. If you were organizing a bachelor party for a friend, where would you want to eat? What neighborhoods are best?

Thank you

Apr 03, 2007
ilmangiatore in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

best wine bar in Chicago?

Just to add, I love Enoteca Roma. It's best to go on a nice day because they have a great patio in the back and the bar area is tight and tends to get crowded.

Mar 27, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

A good bagel on the mag mile

Have you tried Eppy's Deli at 224 E. Ontario? I've been there for lunch but noticed they have a good selection of fresh bagels too. It's the most authentic deli near Michigan Avenue so it's probably a good bet.

Mar 27, 2007
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

New Yorker looking for pizza in Chicago

Take her to Al's or Jim's up near UIC.

Nov 09, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Out of Town Hound Needs Stuffed Pizza Advice

Edwardo's stuffed spinach. It's good.

Nov 08, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Out-of-town hound needs advice on dinner & breakfast places

LaVazza is an Italian coffee brand that opened a few cafes in the loop. They're espresso/cappuccini are as close to Italy as I've had outside of Italy. If you want a cornetto and cafe it's a good, quick breakfast option.

Nov 03, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Where to Go for the Best Hot Dog

I don't think anybody has mentioned it but the Polish at Jim's is the closest a dog can get you to Nirvana.

Nov 03, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Uber-Chowhound visits Chicago -- need steak, expectations high

The best steak is not at a steakhouse. It is the porterhouse for 2 at Gioco. It is a 40 ouncer cooked in a wood fired oven and served with bunches of fresh rosemary. It is charred on the outside and has an incredible smokiness because of the wood oven. Aside from that, Gibson's is consistently good.

Oct 22, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

The Hidden Gems of Florence

Has anybody mentioned il cibreo? It is a pricey restaurant, however, attached is a wine bar serving primi and secondi from the same kitchen as the restaurant. I had a great bottle of wine, a crostini con lardo, and a wonderful oxtail dish. It was very reasonably priced, and very very good.

Also - the very well known and touristy Il Latini is very good. I know that it is nice to stay away from tourist places, however, il latini is an experience to have if you've never dined in Firenze.

Oct 21, 2006
ilmangiatore in Italy

Rome recommended food stops [moved from Ontario board]

one thing that I forgot. If a you are up and in the neighborhood...between midnight and 10:00am is a bakery open that serves a sorchetta doppio schizzo. I won't complete the translation, but the second half stands for a "double load." The sorchetta is a flaky/chewy pastry and the double load is fudge sauce and whipped cream. It is amazing. It is also an after the club type of place so there's a good chance you will make some friends.

It's just a 5 or 10 minute walk from piazza repubblica on via cernaia 47. It is also very close to Trimani Wine bar/shop. A very famous and great wine bar/shop. If you happen to go out and want a late night roman snack I promise you will not regret it. Or, if you have a late dinner at Trimani and stick around until it opens you will have a great dessert.

Oct 21, 2006
ilmangiatore in Italy

Where to Go for the Best Hot Dog

Ever since Byron's on Clyborne and North closed there is no definitive answer.

Oct 20, 2006
ilmangiatore in Chicago Area

Rome recommended food stops [moved from Ontario board]

This could be a very long answer. But the short of it is, pick your spots and time to sit down to an expensive\elegant meal becasue some of the best food in Rome can be had for cheap.

The street food is incredible. Pick something up and have a picnic and Villa Borghese or the little known but absolutely amazing Villa Pamphili. Stop into a salumeria (Antico Caciara Trasteverina, via san francesco a Ripa 156ish) for a sandwich with the best cheeses and meats imaginable for 3 euro. The owner, Roberto, is the nicest man in Rome. Go to lo zozzone near piazza navona for a sandwich made on pizza bread (Pizza Bianca - a Roman specialty.) And try any of the pizza rustica places you see that look good. Every corner has a little pizza place that no matter how full you are might draw you in. Eat a porchetta (whole roast pig with garlic and herbs) sandwich from a vendor. Also - stop at a market and buy a peach and some other fresh fruit.

Rome is known for pizza so have a pizza. The best is Da Baffetto #1 on Via Governo Vecchio - it runs adjacent to Via Vittorio Emanuelle and is near Navonna. A close second in Pizzeria Ivo in Trastevere.

One of the Roman specialties is Jewish Style Artichokes - deep fried artichokes. I like them at Da Giggetto which is in the Jewish Ghetto. It is also a nice restaurant to sample traditional roman food.

If you have time, the best meals are found in the towns (castelli) in the Roman hills. Take a day trip to Frascati and stay for dinner. Find any little place without a menu and let them start bringing you whatever they made that day. It will be inexpensive\delicious\memorable. Also in the castelli is Castel Gandolfo, Marino, and Ariccia. In Ariccia you can find a traditional roman style restaurant called a Freschetteria. Inexpensive, abundant, good food.

Oct 20, 2006
ilmangiatore in Italy