Sid Cundiff's Profile

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Milan Report #1: Emilia e Carlo

Fred Plotkin I thank for the recommendation of Trattoria Emilia e Carlo, where I ate 03.ii.11. The website is www[dot]emiliaecarlo[dot]it . I should tell readers immediately that this is a restaurant specializing in Tuscan cuisine; it just happens to be in Milan.

I had a very nice supper here (“dinner” to you Yankees). The location is central Milan, on a side street near the Castello Sforzesco and the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. The website has a useful map. The photos on the website reflect well the actual appearance, though perhaps not the size, which is on the smaller, intimate size. A menu in English was available. I was greeting with a glass of sparkling wine as I studied the menu, and the service -- English speaking -- remained good throughout the meal.

I ate:

1. For the small pre-appetizer, a tiny cup of Zucchini pureed soup with Caprino cheese. Small, tasty, and and a good introduction to what followed.

2. The appetizer: Tuscan raw ham with roasted bread with tomatoes, celery salt, and stuffed with artichokes. In Italian, Prosciutto toscano tagliato al coltello con pane abbrustolito al pomodoro, sale al sedano e cuori di carciofi. Just what an appetizer should be: very tasty, not too large, and preparation for what follows. Some diners may think that the salt is a bit heavy; it didn’t bother me. The tomatoes had pepper to the degree that I like it.

3. The Pasta: Paccheri from Gragnano (Campania) with fresh Tuscan sausage (chopped fine) with spicy homemade olive oil. The sauce had parsley. A good sized serving. It was very spicy yet not overwhelming. It had more sausage than pasta. I was quite satisfied.

4. Yarrow Fillet of Cinta Senese with foie gras, and artichoke and Parmesan cheese in a sauce. This in Italian: Millefoglie di filetto di Cinta Senese con foie gras e carciofi e salsa al parmigiano. In the positive sense of the word, I’d call this “unique”. The foie gras was cut into small pieces, added to thick slices of the Cinta. The artichoke and Parmesan sauce helped make this a wonderful dish.

5. Washed down with Montifiore d’Alba Pianpolvere 2000 Barolo wine.

6. very good chocolate parfait

7 finished with the restaurant’s excellent recommendation for a grappa: Sibona la Grappa di Barolo.

I ate well here and can recommend this restaurant. My bill, over half of which was for the expensive wine, was 200 Euro.

Emilia e Carlo
Via Giuseppe Sacchi, 8, Milan, Lombardia , IT

Mar 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Lecce suggestions asked

This will be my last request -- at least for Italy -- for a while. You folks at Chowhound have been and now are a great help. THANKS!

I’ll be in Lecce next month for two days, and I’d welcome Chowhounds' judgement of the restaurants below – taken from Michelin, Fred Plotkin, and posts on Chowhound. I’d welcome also any further suggestions. I'm looking for fine dining and/or local cuisine.

These three restaurants are most frequently mentioned:
-- Alle Due Corti
-- Osteria Degli Spiriti
-- Cusina Casereccia, which seems very small. Would the proprietor welcome someone who came solo?

Also mentioned from various and sundry sources are:
-- Mamma Lupa
-- Borgo Antico
-- Picton
-- Da Guido & Figli
-- Barbablu
-- Alvino bar and caffe
-- Gelateria Natale
-- Avio for coffee

I also need recommendations for a good bakery in Lecce to buy a loaf to eat on the ferry to Greece.

As always, thanks.

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Bari recommendations wanted

This report on Bari is a big help. I'm glad that the old city isn't dangerous. I'll report on my experience. Thanks!

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Venice in Feb

Warm thanks to those of y'all who replied. With your help, I pray that my culinary experience in Venice will improve. I'll post my experience.

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Your judgement on my Rome plan

A big THANK YOU to those who replied. I've been to Rome many times, and y'all's experience seems to mirror mine. As for places that I haven't tried, I'll strike Augustarello from my list. I'll definitely return to Il Convivio.

Y'all's advice helps very much. I'll post my experience.

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy


A big THANK YOU to those who replied. Your advice helps very much. I am particularly honored that Fred Plotkin replied. I'll post my experience.

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Need 3 restaurants in Siena

Sorry that you cancelled your trip, yet for the record:

In March 2010, and upon recommendations from Chowhounds, I ate very well in Siena here:

Hosteria Il Carrocio, small, for dinner ("lunch" to you Yankees), Sienese, which had tourists, but good for the money. Near the Campo.

Ristorante Grotta di Santa Caterina: small, for dinner, Sienese, and the best for the money that I had in Siena.

L'Osteria, small, supper, Sienese, good with friendly service. And I got an extra shot of grappa. When I was there, only Italians

Osteria Le Logge, supper, fine dining, expensive, and the owner chose for me a splendid Barolo wine.

Jan 29, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Your judgement on my Rome plan

mbfant: I had remembered your earlier mention of Vecchia Locanda and Grano, and so I ate in both places back in March 2010. Both were quite good. Trusting in your judgement, I'll strike Agustarello from my list.


Jan 25, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy



First, thanks to all of you who have commented on my other listings for me Feb. trip!

I will be in Trani, Apulia, another place that seems to be a bit off the Chowhound well-trodden path. I tried to do my homework and didn't find much. I plan to see the Cathedral in the morning, and then spend a leisurely long lunch (“dinner” to us Southerners), especially with local cuisine. Give me you judgements on the following and then give me any other recommendations:

FRED PLOTKIN’S Italy for the Gourmet Traveler recommends:
Antica Osteria del Teatro, Via Statui Marittimi 60 0883/41210

MICHELIN ITALIA 2010 recommends:
Il Melograno, via Bovio 189

CHOWHOUNDS recommend
La Nicchia
Torrente Antico

Thanks beforehand.

Jan 24, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Bari recommendations wanted

Dear fellow Chowhounds:

Bari seems to be fairly far off Chowhounds’ desired destinations. I did my homework, yet found few listings for Bari in the past year. I’ll be there for a day and a half next month.

My train arrives in Bari at 13:02. After checking into my hotel, I’ll need a place still open for lunch (“dinner” to Southerners). I’ll be visiting the Basilica of St. Nicholas. Are there recommendable places in the Citta Vecchia? Is it safe to linger in the Citta Veccia?

Otherwise, I’m looking for regional cooking, and on Friday seafood. So tell me your judgement about these recommendations:

MICHELIN ITALIA 2010 recommends:
-- La Pignata, corso Vittorio Emanuele 173
-- * Bacco, coros Vittorio Emanuele II, 126
-- Ai 2 Ghiottoni, via Putignani 11
-- Al Soros Preferito, via Vito Nicola de Nicolo
-- Osteria dell Travi “Il Buco, largo Chyrlia 12

FRED PLOTKIN, Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, recommends:
-- Lo Sprofondo, corso Vittrio Emanuele 111
-- Al Focolare da Emilio, Via Principe

-- Le Vecchio Mura
--Di Cosimo, Via Modugno Giovanni 31, Bari

OR tell me of another recommendable place.
Thanks again!!

Jan 24, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Your judgement on my Rome plan

Thanks, CJT. I’ll note Il Mozzicone. Perhaps there’s hope for this section of Rome!

Jan 24, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Venice in Feb

Fellow Chowhounds, I’ll be in Venice next month, staying at a hotel in the north, on the Fond. Nuove.

I’ve general found Venice sublime on the eye and blah on the tongue. Y’all can maybe help me. My criteria are location, fine dining, and/or local cuisine. I’ve done my homework, looking over y’all’s posts for the past year. Here is my Venice plan, awaiting y’all’s yeas and nays and additions:

Saturday dinner (“lunch” to you Yankees)
I’ll be in Murano and maybe Torcello, which means Burano is also a choice
– BUSA-ALL TORRE Campo Stefano 3, Murano. Been here before, and satisfied, though some chowhounds have negative feelings.
-- Any other place in Murano?
– LOCANDA CIPRIANI, piazza Santa Fosca, 29, if they have opened for the season.
– Any place in Burano?

Saturday supper
– for fine dining: OSTERIA DA FIORE, calle del Scaleter 2202 Has a Michelin star. Is the star merited?
– another fine dining place?

Sunday dinner (“lunch” to you Yankees). Someplace after Solemn Mass at San Marco:
– TRATTORIA ALLA RIVETTA, Ponte San Provolo, 4625 Been here before, and satisfied
– TRATTORIA ALL MADONNA, calle della Madonna 594
– another place, near San Marco, and mid-range in price?

Sunday Supper, after Solemn Vespers at San Marco
– AL COVO, campiello della Pescaria, 3968, Castello I ate here 6 years ago, and liked it.
– another fine dining place?

Thanks beforehand.

Jan 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Trip Report: Campagna, Basilicata, Puglia

thanks for your report on Lecce, where I'll be next month.

Jan 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Your judgement on my Rome plan

Fellow Chowhounds: I flatter myself in thinking that I know Rome well, and I follow closely the Roman entries on this site. Yet many of y’all know it far better. Here is my plan for dining in Rome next month, looking for local cuisine and /or fine dining. Your yeas and nays welcome:

1. Monday dinner (“lunch” to you Yankees)
I’ll be in the Vatican area, which by experience is a gastronomic wasteland. Yet I ate March 2010 cheaply and reasonable well at IL MOZZICONE DEI F.LLI POGGI, Borgo Pio 180, where I had good liver.

-- Six years ago I ate well DA BENITO E GILBERTO, Via del Falco, 19 Is it open only for supper?
-- And last March I ate very well at DA CESARE, via Crescenzio 13, yet it appears closed on Mondays.

2. Monday supper:
-- Last March I ate very well at VECCHIA LOCANDA, Vicolo Sinibaldi 2. Some of y'all like it as well.
-- I’ve always wanted to try SORA LENA, via Ponte 4
-- Ten years ago I ate well at DA PIPERO, via Monte de Cenci 9 , yet some recent Chowhounds, have not given it a thumbs up.

3. Tuesday dinner (“lunch” to you Yankees)
I’ll spend the morning either at Santa Agnese fuori le Mura or on the Appian Way. Recommendations welcome, because I don’t know these areas well.

Otherwise, I get back inside the walls and make a choice among
– ARMANDO AL PANTHEON Some of y'all like it as well.
– ENOTECA CORSI, Via del Gesù, 87
– AUGUSTARELLO in Testaccio, where I’ve never been. Is it the ne plus ultra for tripe? I really liked TRATTORIA DA OIO A CASA MIA, Via Galvani, 43-45 several years ago.

Yet I pine for outstanding Spaghetti Carbonara, in whatever style it may be prepared. Your suggestions welcome.

4. Tuesday supper
fine dining at Il Convivo, where I’ve always eaten well.

Thanks for your yeas and nays and any other suggestions.

Jan 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Rome Dining News Update

Thank you! I'll be in Rome next month, arriving on a Monday and departing on the following Wednesday. This helps!!

Jan 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy


First, a general statement. You folks on Chowhound have been a great help to me in the past. Now I'm in the final stages of a trip next month to Milan, Venice (where I've rarely eaten well), Rome (about which I'm fairly well informed), Bari, Trani, Lecce, and on to Athens.

I know Milan was discussed extensively in a very recent post. I'll try to make this one a bit more specific, with my own criteria:

1. I need restaurants in the center city, my hotel on the via Spadari, near the Duomo.
2. I am interested in fine dining, and/or
3. authentic local cuisine.

Help me find restaurants that meet these three criteria. I'll arrive on a Thursday and depart on a Saturday morning.

I've tried to do my homework:

Michelin Italia has these recommendations with these stars:
** CRACCO, via Victor Hugo 4. Some of you have also recommend this place
** TUSSARDI ALLA SCALA, piazza della Scala 5.
Fred Plotkin mentions a place with the same address: MARINO ALLA SCALA. Are they two separate restaurants or the same?
* JOIA, via Panfilo Castaldi 18fish, rec by Plotkin also for fish. Judging from a map, it looks a bit further away. Fish, because I'll be in Milan on a Friday.

Fred Plokin's fine book recommends:
SAVINI, Galleria Vittorio Emauelle II
BOTTIGLIERIA DA PINO, Via Cerva 14, lunch only, low prices

Chowhounds have recommended:
AL MERCANTE at Piazza Mercanti

Please tell me if the places above meet my criteria. And tell me about any other places that do the same. Thanks beforehand.

Jan 22, 2011
Sid Cundiff in Italy

PUGLIA'S SALENTO--Report of 2 dinners near Otranto and one in Lecce

Thank you so much for this report. I'll be in Lecce in Feb 2011 before sailing to Greece. Thanks, in fact, for all your reports abut Puglia. It's an area not mentioned as much as others on Chowhound.

Oct 30, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Not to miss restaurants in Florence, Sienna , Orvieto and surrounding

I was in Siena for three days in March 2010. Thanks to LotsC (above) and other Chowhounders, I ate well in Siena, and at these places: Hosteria il Carrocio, Ristorante Grotta Santa Caterina, and L'Ostera, and for the big bucks place: Osteria le Logge. The other three are small, reasonably priced, and with an emphasis on the local cuisine. The very best for the money was Grotta Santa Caterina, and the best and friendliest service was at L'Osteria where the owner, after one Grappa, the gave me a 2nd free.

I will believe gladly that the other recommendations of LotsC -- L'Aquila, il Capitani, and Le Campane -- are worthy.

Oct 30, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Foodie in Venice for 8 nights(Costello neighborhood), need help...

mbfant: Unless you have not already done so, please review these restaurants. My own experience after four winter visits: It's hard to find an outstanding meal in Venice. I've found some, but with much luck and big bucks; I've never eaten as well there as in Rome, Naples, Sorento area, Siena, Pisa, even Florence -- another touristy town.

Oct 30, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Carol Coviello-Malzone, _Flavors of Rome_ ??

I saw, I bought, I read. It's a book for American beginners. The first two chapters are introductory and correct misconceptions: that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine, every region having its own (at least that's my way, not the author's, of saying it); and that Italian-_American_ isn't Italian-Italian (e.g. oil oil for bread).

The next chapter is about "rules of eating in Italy", again is useful for beginners.

Chapter 4 introduces, in 3 pages, Roman cooking.

Chapters 5 and 6 are the author's recommendations for restaurants in Rome. Chowhounders will quibble with some of the choices, affirm others, and lament some omissions Folks new to Chowhound will wish to use the search engine to see Chowhounders' own views of particular restaurants.

The author rightly cautions that even the best restaurants might have a bad night; I've never had a bad meal at Il Convivo (not in this book), and what I have eaten has been worth the high price; some other Chowhounders differ. The one time I ate at Colline Emiliane, I wasn't all that impressed; not so some Chowhounders.

My complaint about this otherwise useful-for-beginners book: only 96 pages. Perhaps the author wishes to spare fliers the extra expense for luggage.

The Glossary at the end is useful, albeit basic. Still, it's no replacement for our own M. Fant's _Dictionary of Italian Cuisine_

Oct 30, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Gelato in Rome, Florence & Venice?

Amen. Granted, gellato in Rome is a passionate topic for Chowhounders. There are many shrines for supernal gellato. For me, Giolitti is the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Mecca, the Holy Grail. The service might be wanting; you can't complain about the ice cream.

Oct 24, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Carol Coviello-Malzone, _Flavors of Rome_ ??

Has any Chowhounder read Carol Coviello-Malzone, _Flavors of Rome: How What & Where To Eat In The Eternal City_, published Sep 29, 2010 ? Can any of y'all recommend it? Is the author a Chowhounder? A book review is requested.

I've been away for a while, and perhaps this already has been discussed yet missed by my use of the search engine.

I'll be back in Rome in February before going on to Greece via Lecce. Lucky me.

Oct 24, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Rome - 2 Days in October

In 2006 I had splendid carbonara for my pasta course in Testaccio at Da Oio a Casa Mia, Via Galvani 43-45, and the coratella (lamb's organs in a stew) for my meat course. The carbonara is more eggy and peppery than I've found elsewhere.

Yet as MFant suggests, Carbonara is prepared differently though out Rome, and for different tastes.

Sep 11, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Bad Service at Il Convivio, Rome?

Away from Chowhound for almost two months, I have spent the morning today trying to catch up. And I have a number of reviews still to do for Siena and Rome from last March.

Since 1998 I've dined nine times at Il Convivio, Rome. I've always had the very best of service. I should add that I don't mind my service starched, and I don't need to always have someone smiling at me. So I was shocked to read a review from August last by a Chowhounder who had, by report, deplorable service.

Have any of y'all had similar negative experiences at Il Convivio in, say, the last two years?

I was there last March 2010. I'll try to get a review posted soon.

Sep 11, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Rome - 2 Days in October

You might wish to do a search of this website with the word "carbonara". Our own MFant had a good judgement when I asked about carbonara back on 09 Jan 2010.

Sep 11, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Siena Recommendations Wanted

Thanks, Ruth. My meal there was fine, and the owner have me a 2nd shot of grappa, even though it was my first time there.

Sep 11, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Siena Recommendations Wanted

Thanks, LotsC. Your recommendations made my day. I too have been away for a while. I posted some time back "Siena Report #1. I'll get to Siena #2 shortly.

Jul 31, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

Siena Report #1 Al Mangia

With this post I’ll begin reports on my experience in Rome and Siena, 26.iii. - 04.iv. 2010. The nutshell on Al Mangia first: If you want to sit in the Campo and enjoy the view and street life, this is the place. Otherwise, you can dine better in Siena. Not that the food is bad; just that I ate even better elsewhere.

Date, Sunday, 28.iii.10. My order (and pardon my spelling):
1. Sfogliata di spinaci e fontina alle cream formaggio.
2. Pici senesi “alla Mangia”
3. Tagliatel di Manzo al rosarino with olive oil.
4. vegetables au gratin
5. wine: Brunello di Montalcino “Col d’Orcia” 2003
6. table bread
7. apple torte

My bill for one person: 132 Euro, 61 of which was the wine.

ad 1: a pastry filled with spinach, with a creamy cheese sauce. Quite tasty, almost like a spinach Beef Wellington with a sauce.
ad 2: a bit too greasy for my taste
ad 3: steak cut in strips, rare, with olive oil, salt. Tasty.
ad 4: a tomato and zucchini dish with grated cheese: nothing special
ad 5. The wine was very good, full-bodied, splendid finish. Yet maybe a bit too young. In general, the wine list was too short; one would think that in this area one would be offered not a wine list but a wine book!
ad 6: also nothing special
ad 7: all that the restaurant had for dessert.

It turned out to be too cold to eat outside, and outside is what I would otherwise recommend. The inside is nicely done; yet if you're solo, don’t expect to be seated at the window to enjoy the view. Lots of Gringos, one of whom, a lady from NY or NJ, had a loud voice (but the restaurant can’t be blamed for that). Several of y’all Chowhounders told me what I put in my nutshell above. Y’all were right.

Tomorrow, time permitting, Hosteria il Carrocio

Jun 19, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

High End Italy Restaurants

Yes, Il Convivio most definitely. And the wine steward knows his stuff. Last March he matched for me a Barolo wine with a meal. I ate with the gods!

I've been twice to Camponeschi, last in 2004. It certainly offers a fine view, if you're eating outside, and the service was good. The food is good; there are better places for what MFant calls the top-top.

May 22, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy

menu translator

Dark Uncle: I've used neither of your ##1 or 2. I've almost always found our own Maureen B. Fant's _Dictionary of Italian Cuisine_ to do the job.

May 22, 2010
Sid Cundiff in Italy