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Sid in Rome 27 March -09 April 2015

Oh no! I hope you feel better soon! I have been waiting for your reviews so that I can make some final tweaks to my Rome dinning itinerary!

Apr 09, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

@cathleenmarie

Thanks for your tips! I do have almost all my restaurants booked now and it is very similar to my original list. I have added Emma for lunch on the first day and Roscioli for lunch on the second day. So yes, I am going to Roscioli after all! I figured that even if lunch doesn't turn out to be perfect we still have all afternoon to stuff ourselves with gelato or maybe a second lunch somewhere haha. I picked Il Convivo for the splurge meal in Rome so I won't be going to Il Sanlorenze or a Jewish Roman restaurant this time.

For Florence, I picked Da Ruggero over Zeb. Mainly because of the counter seating issue, but also wanted to drop by this Kitchen supply store called Desinare.

For lunch in Siena I have considered the following restaurants based on my research on this forum:
L'Osteria
Antica Osteria Da Divo
Hosteria Il Carroccio
I tre cristi - seafood
liberamente - young fun wine bar facing piazza
La Torre
Ristorante Grotta di Santa Caterina

I ended up picking Da Divo because the interior looks nice and it's open on Sunday. If you are going on other days you probably have more options.

Mar 30, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

@ckjgo1
I probably can't make it to Da Roberto because it is a bit of a detour from our planned sightseeing route. We will stick with Il Leccio after all. Any recommendations on what to get at Il Leccio?

Mar 24, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Wow, while I appreciate this in-depth discussion about the wine list at Il Convivo, I certainly am not knowledgeable enough to understand which wines are "over the hill" or are "mediocre vintages."

I am simply looking for a good dining experience for my family, with decent wine, but nothing over the top. What's a good wine budget for 5 people? 100 euros? 200 euros? My parents are not really big drinkers, but they will certainly have some wine for the occasion.

Mar 15, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Any suggestion for Sunday lunch in Siena? I just realized that I Tre Cristi is not open on Sunday.

Right now the choices are:
Antica Osteria Da Divo (interior looks nice)
Hosteria il Carroccio
L'osteria
Liberamente (more relaxing lunch facing the Piazza?)

I wanted to go to I Tre Cristi initially because I figured we probably want some seafood after all the Tuscan meals in/near Pienza.

Mar 11, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Do you think I need to make reservation for Ciampani? Or can I just walk in?

Mar 10, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Haha so funny you mentioned Ciampani as I am browsing their menu like, right now! I think this is a good choice. Go a little light on Tuesday lunch and do Il Convivo at night. Thanks sid!

Mar 10, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Thanks for the tip Jen and Dale.

Yeah the airbnb host can't let us check in any earlier because someone else is staying there and unfortunately I can't cancel without penalty so we are stuck with it. They will let us drop our bags at 11am so I don't think it's too long of a wait, considering it will take time to go through immigration, baggage claim and traffic into the city. After a 12 hour flight I don't think we will be too active on the first day anyway so I just want to stay close to the apartment in case they need a nap or rest in the afternoon.

We love to cook at home, but I think we will be too busy seeing the sights/ shopping (for home decor since they are moving into a new home, any tips? ok wrong forum I know) during the day, and have no time to cook. I know that 2 restaurants a day may be exhausting, but I think we can try to order light at either lunch or dinner. We certainly won't order a bistecca at every meal.

I read somewhere here that Hosteria Giusti isn't open on Monday, correct me if I am wrong. I figure I want something simpler for lunch that day anyway. Anywhere I should stop along the drive from Castelnuovo Berrardenga to Modena? If not I will probably just try to arrive Modena around lunch time and eat in town.

I google mapped the whole trip and checked all the driving times. It says it will take 2 hours to drive from Modena to La Spezia. It is another 1.5 hours to drive from La Spezia to Florence, on a Tuesday, which doesn't sound too bad. In reality will it be a lot more than 1.5 to 2 hours?

Mar 09, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Ok, just realized that Piperno isn't open on Monday. I will probably go to Emma for lunch and La Campana for dinner.
Any suggestion to lunch on Tuesday (near Spanish steps area)? I figure my family probably doesn't want to eat pizza 3 lunches in a row.

Mar 09, 2015
darbi in Italy
1

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

OK, thanks for the tip. I will rethink my breakfast option. Maybe I will just find a cafe on a Piazza Navona and just wait it out. Thank you.

Mar 08, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Sorry for being unclear before, apartment located 5 mins from Piazza Navona, near the intersection of via dei Cappellari and via del Pellegrino.

Mar 08, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Yes, I am also looking at other breakfast option like Casa & Bottega, Cafe Camilloni (trip advisor says it's closed?) and Coromandel. They seem fairly close to the apartment. Considering my flight lands at 7:30, probably get into the city at 9:30-10am. I just need to wait an hour or so which is not bad. If I must drag 5 pcs of luggage into the restaurant, so be it.

What hours will Pizzarium be not crowded? I can try to adjust the timing accordingly.

Mar 08, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Yeah. I was being hopeful that if I eat breakfast at a nice hotel, they probably won't make us drag the luggage to the restaurant and instead will ask us to leave it with the concierge. If so, I can just leave it there for a few hours. I should probably confirm this with the hotel before I attempt to do so. I considered dropping the luggage off at the Termini but seems kind of far from the apartment. The owners have agreed to let me drop off the bags at 11am, so I figure I should just go to a place near the apartment, have coffee/breakfast/morning gelato and put the bags down ASAP.

I'm having second thought about Roscioli. Since re-reading some posts on chowhound it seems like it is cramped and hit/miss. Maybe I should just do La Campana and Piperno (or Ba Ghetto? oh the choices!) the first day. Between these three which one is better for lunch/ dinner?

sidcundiff, I have bookmarked your prospective list for Rome and am looking forward to hearing about your report on the trip!

Mar 08, 2015
darbi in Italy
1

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Thanks for the recommendation! Read up on da Roberto and it seems like a great place with focus on sourcing the most local ingredients, a good addition to my list. Maybe I will swap out il leccio for this. Thank you.

Mar 08, 2015
darbi in Italy

Celebrating Mom's Big 60! Please critique Rome/ Pienza/ Florence itinerary!

Dear Chowhounders,

After reading through many good posts on Chowhound I have compiled the following eating itinerary. We will be a group of 5 (plus my husband who is only joining for parts of the trip), staying in Rome 3 nights, Pienza 3 nights, Castelnuovo Berardenga 1 night, Modena 1 night, and finishing in Florence 3 nights.

Many thanks to sidcundiff, minchilli, mbfant, jenkalb, allende, parla and many others. The discussions on this board helped tremendously!
If there are must-get dishes at any of the restaurants below please enlighten me! Thank you!

We want to do 2 splurge meals during this trip. We have already confirmed Osteria Francescana (hence the big detour), the second one can be in Rome or Florence. Il Convivo or Il Sanlorenzo or somewhere else?

Rome (Apartment near Piazza Navona on Via dei Cappellari)

May 4 (Mon) – Piazza Navona, Panthon, Trevi
Breakfast: Flight lands at 7:30am and since we got airbnb, we can't check in till 2pm. I was hoping to grab breakfast at a nice hotel and hopefully keep the luggage there until our check-in time. Preferably a hotel with a view near the apartment. Anyone with experience in this? I was thinking Grand hotel de la Minerve or RAPHAEL HOTEL or DOM Hotel. Any thoughts?
Lunch: Want something near the apartment for quick check-in, La Campana? Piperno? I have never had Jewish Roman food, so any suggestions (Fried Artichoke!) will be great!
Dinner: Roscioli, maybe pick up some stuff for breakfast since it’s a gourmet shop

May 5 (Tues) – Spanish Steps area
Lunch: Pizzeria Leconcino or something near Spanish Steps
Dinner: Splurge meal TBD or Jewish Roman Food?

May 6 (Wed) – Vatican, Colosseum
Lunch: Pizzarium
Dinner: Armando al Pantheon

Tuscany (based in Pienza, Hotel La Bandita)

May 7 (Thurs)
Lunch: Drive by Orvieto and eat at la Palomba
Dinner: Hotel Dinner (seems pretty relaxing, family style dinner)

May 8 (Fri) – San Quirco D’orcia, Montalcino, Sant Antimo Abbey
Lunch: Il Leccio @ Montalcino
Dinner: Il Rosselino @ Pienza

May 9 (Sat) – Montelpucino, Monticchiello, Pienza
Lunch: Osteria La Porta @ Monticchiello
Dinner: Latte di Luna

May 10 (Sun) – Siena, Castelnuovo Berardenga (Hotel Borgo San Felice)
Lunch – Sunday lunch in Siena, Antica Osteria Da Divo or I Tre Cristi?
Dinner – Our hotel restaurant’s (Poggio Rosso) reviews on tripadvisor are very mixed, I was thinking about doing a cooking class with Nonna Ciana which includes dinner nearby. However, at 100 euros a head I am not sure if my entire party (esp. my dad) will appreciate this.

May 11 (Mon) – Modena
Lunch – Long drive from Castelnuovo Berrardenga to Modena, any suggestion for lunch along the way?
Dinner – Osteria Francescana

Florence

May 12 (Tues) – Cinque Terre, Florence (Hotel on Via dei Servi)
*I have been to Cinque Terre twice before and know that a day trip doesn’t do it justice. However, I don’t know when my family will travel to Italy together again and Cinque Terre is simply too lovely to miss.

Lunch – Osteria da Billy @ Manarola, ate here on my honeymoon 4 years ago and it was the most memorable meal in Cinque Terre for me. If there’s something better please let me know!
Dinner – After a long day of driving, we probably want something casual and close to the hotel. La Cucina del Garga? Or Cipolla Rossa?

May 13 (Wed)
Lunch – Tempted to go to Zeb, but counter seating doesn’t make sense for 5 people. So maybe Da Ruggero is better.
Dinner – Buca dell’Orafo

May 14 (Thurs) – Last day in Florence
Lunch – Sostanza, also ate here on my honeymoon, everything was delicious except I can’t say that the bistecca was the best I’ve had. Any suggestions to the best bistecca in Florence? Il Due G?
Dinner – Il Santo Bevitore, good choice for the final meal?

That’s the list so far. Nothing is set in stone except for Osteria Francescana. I really want to make this a special trip for my family as we rarely take such long distance trip together. Thanks you all in advance!

Mar 07, 2015
darbi in Italy

Amsterdam this weekend, 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinner

OK after a little more research on the forum and a few calls across the ocean, De kas is definitely not possible (haha figures! i'm the type of person who calls restaurants 1 - 2 months ahead for reservation)... Anyhow, I decided on dinner at Blue Pepper for one night, the other night I wanted Bathazar's Kitchen but found out that they're only open for 3 nights a week? (wow what kinda restaurant is that!) Anyway if anyone can suggest something similar, like, casual elegant setting with simply good food that would be great (and of course, possible reservation/ walk-in). Thanks!

Feb 12, 2008
darbi in International Archive

Amsterdam this weekend, 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinner

Looking for some help here. My boyfriend and I are going to Amsterdam for less than 36 hours. We've both been to Amsterdam before but we didn't have much luck in finding anything better than frites and mayo. It was really our fault that we didn't do much research on food because we were with a group that had less inclination for culinary adventures.

A little background on us, we've lived in New York City for over a year and had been fortunate enough to sample some of the best restaurants in the city: per se, le bernadine, babbo, gramacy tavern etc. We are quite obsessed with good food and are generally very adventurous, anything to from fine dinning to a hole in the wall place in chinatown.

This time in Amsterdam I decided to do a little more research. I know it's already a little late for reserach but I've been too bz at work and this trip kinda came as a last minute thing.

What are the chances of me scoring a table at a good restaurant this weekend?? (a quick browse through this forum scareams De Kas?) I would like to have at least 1 fancy/romantic meal in Amsterdam since it's our 4th anniversary.

We also want to sample Indonesian food at some point. After that, we're open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Feb 12, 2008
darbi in International Archive

Per Se AND French Laundry Veterans: Is FL worth trying?

Yeah I think $250 a head is quite hard to justify even though this is for a special occaion (my bf's bday) and god knows when I will go to the wine country again. I've been reading a lot of postings and the reviews (for both Per Se & French Laundry) are either GREAT or OVERATED. So it's making it even harder for me to decide. Now I think I may stir up a storm by saying that I think most ppl who think the food there is great is b/c they are millionaires or they do not frequent as many good as restaurants as other chow-hounders, and the ppl who think the food is overrated are either feeling the pain in their wallet or knows that there are plenty of places where the amount of money your pay equate to the food/atmostphere/service fairly. Comments?

Jan 30, 2007
darbi in San Francisco Bay Area

Per Se AND French Laundry Veterans: Is FL worth trying?

Hi, I am going to visit the Wine Country in a couple months and I made a reservation at French laundry but am wondering if it's worth going. I have been to Per se about a year ago but I thought it was a little over-rated. I probably caught myself with impossible expectations due to all the hype. My bf who ate at Per Se with me, had a cold that night and could hardly taste anything. He's dying to go back to Per Se but we haven't had the chance. Any thought on French Laundry?

Jan 30, 2007
darbi in San Francisco Bay Area

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

wonder why everyone here are so against cafe d'alsace? I ate there 3 times within the past 4 weeks and I thought the food were consistently good...

Dec 28, 2006
darbi in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

Babbo (if you can get a table), Tia Pol (Tapas), Cook Shop (organic american), Cafe D'Alsace (french bistro)

Dec 28, 2006
darbi in Manhattan

Je' Bon noodle shop

I order from there once in awhile. Considering where I live is a delivery deadzone (15st & 3rd) this is a decent choice. The food is nothing to be excited about but hey, it is cheap and at least edible (no offence but, I wouldn't say it's well-prepared chinese food).

Dec 27, 2006
darbi in Manhattan

restaurants serving seasonal veggies and game?

I went to Picholine 2 weeks ago and they have a pretty comprehensive game menu. I didn't try it myself but I think the food there is decent (just try hard not to focus on the decor of the place). It didn't really wow me but maybe their game is different.

Dec 27, 2006
darbi in Manhattan

Need some help from Babbo veterans

I did the pasta tasting menu with the wine pairing at babbo the first time I went. Our reservation was at 10pm and we tried to starve ourselves the whole day before going (which may not have been such a good idea). The pasta tasting (if i remember correctly) is 5 courses of pasta and 3 courses of dessert. It was a VERY filling meal, by the time the 5th pasta came I was barely able to eat, and definitely feeling the wine. I was surprised by the amount of wine they poured, they pretty much poured a full glass for every course. So by the end of the meal I was definitely out of it. If you can drink a lot, I think the wine pairing is a pretty good deal, I think it's $50 extra? All in all I think it was a very delicious meal. I don't think you can get the same pasta anywhere else.

Dec 21, 2006
darbi in Manhattan