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Jamonera or Le Vertu for my one remaining night in Philly

In Philly for a conference next weekend for the first time. I'm going to Bibou on Thursday and Bistrot la MInette on Sat.

Can't decide if I want Italian or tapas for Friday night.

Which of these is more special/unique? Better atmosphere?


Nov 10, 2012
pepoling in Philadelphia

Best Doughnuts in CT?

YOU MEAN DONUT DIP?????? The only place in the world I go to for donuts. Decor is sooooooo retro and there are a billion different kinds. I LOVE DONUT DIP!!!!

Nov 02, 2010
pepoling in Southern New England

German in Connecticut

Old Heidelberg is so good that I drive 40 min. from Woodbridge to get there multipe times a year. The waitstaff is German, the food is authentic, the beer is great, atmosphere is perfect whether you are inside or out in the beer garden. GO THERE!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 02, 2010
pepoling in Southern New England

Best Donuts in MA

DONUT DIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG there are so many kinds and the interior is totally unchanged since the 50's. I go there any time I am passing W. Springfield on I -91

Restaurant L & E - Chester, CT

This is the restaurant that replaced the beloved Restaurant du Village. It is a totally different concept, so I was hoping it live up to the high standards set by its predecessor. Unfortunately, it was very disappointing when I tried it the other night.

First of all, the interior has been completely redone. The decor has no coherence whatsoever. There are absurd pictures of stylized farm animals on the wall, classical looking mirrors and a Corinthian column holding up the guest book, and a very modern-looking granite bar with strange mobiles made of utensils hanging above. It would be OK if the weird decor was "shabby chic" or antiques or something, but it came off as looking like they shopped the clearance section of Pier 1. It was also extremely loud - not necessarily bad but just a total change in crowd from RdV, which was quiet and classy.

There are 2 menus. The bar menu is served in the bar and in the dining room on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It consists of things like moules frites, a burger, a lobster casserole, and BBQ pork with macaroni and cheese. There was not a single vegetarian selection, or even anything remotely "light" - everything either came with fries, was loaded with cheese, etc. The prices were around $12-13. The dinner menu consisted of "small plates." You are instructed to order 2-3 of these. However, like the bar menu, there was nothing remotely "light" - even the "soup and salad" had to come with chunks of smoked duck breast. In this day and age, it seems very strange not to offer a single dish like a green salad, vegetable pasta, etc. The one pasta came with a rabbit sauce. I am not a vegetarian, but I certainly wouldn't eat 2-3 plates of meat based dishes. The prices were quite high. The pasta, for instance, was $16. For a "small plate??????"

I ordered the soup and salad, which was a wild mushroom soup with a little heap of shredded apple strangely placed in the middle of my soup bowl, and topped with the aforementioned duck breast chucks. The soup was really tasty and well done, but why they chose to put salad actually in the soup, making the soup cold and the salad soggy, is beyond me. My mother had the "egg in a hole" which was a completely butter-drenched piece of bread (it was literally transparent), grilled, with an egg in the middle. It had a little bit of smoked salmon with creme fraiche and salmon roe (misleadingly called "caviar" on the menu - just call it salmon roe if it's not the fancy stuff!!!) It was tasty enough, although it really belonged on a brunch menu, and it was pretty much the only thing a vegetarian could have ordered. It was worth maybe $7 or $8, but certainly not $12.

The bread we were served was 2 pieces of focaccia which were covered with melted parmesan cheese and too much salt and pepper.

I would never return here for dinner. You could not make a balanced meal out of the "small plates" because of the lack of vegetables and the prices are too high to justify the quality of the food. You could certainly sit at the bar, enjoy a drink with one of the small plates, and be full, as we were. The bartender seems to be a main attraction with his own menu of martini concoctions. However, because the door to the restaurant doesn't have an entrance way or even a curtain around it, every time anyone enters the restaurant, people seated at the bar get treated to a blast of icy air.

Much better idea to go down the street to the River Tavern, whose food actually makes sense and tastes coherent. This place spends way too much energy on trying to be "cool." I will be very interested to read the review when the NY Times comes around to this place.

Oct 18, 2009
pepoling in Southern New England

Underwhelmed by Bistro 63/Monkey Bar, Amherst, MA

The only reason to go here is for the bar.

May 27, 2009
pepoling in Southern New England

I tried Modern Apizza (New Haven)

Everyone here who loves NH style pizza:
You MUST try Bella Lisa's on Rt. 80 in North Branford.
It is better than New Haven places and they make their own everything, including their absolutely delicious sauce (which they put plenty of on the pizzas - one of my pet peeves is when there's not enough sauce or the sauce is bland)
I grew up on this pizza, so I'm biased, but even my boyfriend, a complete New Haven pizza fiend, admits Bella Lisa's is the best. The owner says he gets those comments a lot, that people don't bother to go to New Haven anymore. It's tiny and dumpy inside, but there's NEVER a wait, and the pizza is worth it. Also on weekends they make bread from the leftover dough which is also amazing.

For those who love offals, which are your favorite?

1. Tripe - if it's on the menu, I get it. The texture is so delicious, just the right mix of chewy and tender. My favorite food of ALL.
2. Liver in any form - calf's liver done very rare..chicken livers on a salad...mixed w/ heart and lung in beuschel...liver dumplings...
3. Tie between headcheese (does that count?), tongue, marrow
Sweetbreads and lungs are good too.....don't care for kidney. smells like uh...what comes out of it.

Jan 20, 2009
pepoling in General Topics

What's up with Killingworth, CT?

Madison: Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale - get the fried shrimp
Chester: Sig's is good, Restaurant du Village = my fave restaurant in CT, Lupo also very good
Clinton: Maru
Go out of your way to Bella Lisa Route 80 just past Guilford in North Branford - better pizza than New Haven.

Anyone Tried Liv's Oyster Bar Yet? Old Saybrook, CT

I was there a couple weeks ago. The food was good, but I felt the restaurant tried a little too hard to be "cool." Don't serve me my bread in a cone. It was also inconsistent - the calamari appetizer, which was the best my dining companions had ever had - was gigantic, enough to share. My salad appetizer was microscopic, which I don't mind since I like dainty portions, but someone with an appetite would not be happy. A smoked salmon appetizer likewise was miniscule. Main courses were more consistent, overall good, not incredibly expensive.
But.....service was horrendous - inexperienced, unprofessional staff, everything brought out at random, uncoordinated times. Unrelaxing. I want to like the restaurant - we certainly need more decent places to eat - and the quality of the food was good - but it's going to take time for them to straighten out all the kinks. I'll wait.

Places to eat near Vatican?

Right across the street from the line to get into the Vatican Museums is a great gelato shop - Old Bridge Gelateria - great flavors, and HUGE portions!!! Any time near the Vatican is an excuse to go here for me.

Mar 04, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Rome for 3 days

LOL your list looks almost exactly like mine did when I was going to Rome last month. Only made it to Colline Emiliane, though, but we loved it. It's rather bright and not romantic inside, but the food is delicious, reasonably priced, interesting, and the service was good. I would have to add Matricianella to the list - it was mentioned so often on this board and in books I was excited to go, and I found it lived up to the expectation - delicious, good prices, very Roman, nice atmosphere...

Mar 04, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Dress Attire - Colline Emiliane

Yes, we loved it. The portions are generous and the food is of high quality. We enjoyed a buffalo mozzerella and tomato sandwich, and a salad with ham and parmesan cheese. The menu is huge so there is a lot to choose from. The desserts are also to die for - try the apple tart/cake thing - it's amazing.

Mar 04, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Dress Attire - Colline Emiliane

Sunday lunch we had at Gina, right by the Spanish steps.
Dinner we ate at Margutta Ristor'arte (vegetarian restaurant, but extremely gourmet) on via Margutta. Both we loved, and are easy to get to via subway.

Mar 01, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Dress Attire - Colline Emiliane

I was there last Saturday. My mother and I just had on sweaters and black pants. I don't seem to remember seeing anyone really dressed up, I think you will be fine. Also, travelling in Rome in the summer, it is so hot that most people really dress pretty casually. I always wore the same thing all day sightseeing and going to dinner.

Feb 26, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Restaurant Recommendation - Florence

We just ate at an incredible restaurant in Florence. It's called L'osteria di Giovanni, and it's on via del Moro, number 22. Has anyone else tried this place? We were hesitant because we saw the menu posted and the prices were quite a bit higher than the average in Florence. But it looked nice inside, and it was our last night in Italy.

We didn' t make reservations but went around 9, and there were a few tables left. Had the mixed antipasto: Prosciutto, Salame, Finocchiona, Sheep Ricotta, Crostini with Chicken Livers, Crostini with Colonnata Lard - tons of food, but I had to eat it all it was so amazing. Especially the ricotta cheese and prosciutto. It was enough to share, but I was glad to have it all for myself!! The Caprese appetizer was also delicious. Pasta course spaghetti with cherry tomatoes was delicious - more interesting than it sounds - and the 'Rabbit Braised in white wine with Grapes and Green Olives' was also delicious. Chocolate cake was the best I've ever had.

We HIGHLY recommend this restaurant for a more upscale dinner in Florence...and would be interested to know if anyone else has been here or read about it in a guidebook.

Feb 24, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Eating out in Rome

I was in Rome Feb. 18-22. Here's the report...

Vecchia Roma Enoteca, via d. Madonna d. Monti: ate lunch here on Saturday, very small neighborhood place, full of Italians, trippa alla Romana was outstanding, as was zuppa di verdure, hearty vegetable soup. Bruschette also good.

Colline Emiliane: dinner Saturday. Brightly lit, small restaurant, seems they were turning people away all night so we were glad we made reservations. Tagliatelle bolognese were delectable. A mushroom pasta was also nice. Desserts nothing special.

Gina, via di San Sebastianello, right near Spanish steps. Enjoyed a great lunch here, fresh mozzerella and tomato sandwich, salad, amazing apple tart dessert was out of this world, recommended by one of the very friendly waitresses. Not cheap.

Margutta Vegetariano, north end of via Margutta. Our original plans for dinner fell through, so we went here on the recommendation of the girl working at our hotel. Since my mother is vegetarian, I agreed, and was so glad! This is a lovely restaurant, spread out and quiet unlike most Italian places, lovely atmosphere. Everything was delicious, very carefully prepared, and something like 75% of their food is organic. It was very un-crowded, didn't need a reservation, but the food was really exceptional.

Matricianella: dinner Monday. Went here with a group - everything we had was delicious. Excellent prices, traditional food cooked perfectly....yum.

Gelato: Old Bridge Gelateria, across the street from the line for the Vatican Museums. If you're bored waiting to get in, go across and eat humonguous portions of delicious gelato. The 2 euro cup is gigantic!!! Or go after the museum, and eat across the street in the Piazza d. Risorgimento.

Bakery/cafe: Panella, via Merulana south a few blocks from Santa Maria Maggiore. Delectable pastries, breads, coffee (tables to stand at) and a gourmet food shop. Go for breakfast, get a jam filled croissant. Excellent hot chocolate.

Feb 24, 2007
pepoling in Italy

Eating in Italy - Costs

I travelled around Europe this summer after finishing grad school, staying in hostels and travelling with a Eurail pass. Like you, I wanted to experience the local cuisine as much as possible.

In Italy, I spent on average about 25 Euros for dinner. That included house wine, appetizer (shared), first and second courses. You could spend less by not eating so much food. You definitely don't need 3 courses, I just wanted to try everything. In France, it was about the same, I usually got the set-price menu for around 20 Euros, then wine. I saved money by not getting dessert in restaurants - usually not very good anyway.

Lunch is best enjoyed by shopping for bread, cheese, meat, and fruit at the market and having a picnic. That might cost 5 euros. However, if you like to eat at a restaurant, I'd budget about 10 euros for a main dish and a glass of wine.

If you budget 20-25 euros for dinner, 10 for lunch, and 5 for breakfast, you will eat *very* well.

Feb 24, 2007
pepoling in Italy