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lindatork's Profile

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First Lunch in Provence - help please

Oh no. Absolute no racing. Sloooow travel only!

Apr 16, 2014
lindatork in France

First Lunch in Provence - help please

thank you, Boredough. From their website it looks like La Table takes the final lunch seating at 1:15 so I am not sure after we land, get car etc that we will make it. le Potager du Mas looks beautiful! I am going to contact them. Spot on to the type of restaurant we are dreaming about for an intro to the region.

Apr 16, 2014
lindatork in France

First Lunch in Provence - help please

Thank you to all for the suggestions. Exactly what I wanted to know. Our flight arrives at 11:30 am. Is lunch in France late as in Spain - 2pm or so?

Apr 16, 2014
lindatork in France

First Lunch in Provence - help please

Sorry Parigi - my ignorance of French geography is showing. We will be staying our first two nights at Au Ralenti du Lierre at Village des Beaumettes 84220 Gordes France. It is halfway between Gordes and Menerbes (due south of Gordes). Does that clarify?

Apr 15, 2014
lindatork in France

First Lunch in Provence - help please

We are flying from Barcelona to Marseille in August for a 5-day explore of Provence (not nearly enough time). Anyway, we will be renting a car in Marseille and making our way on our first day to Beaumettes (north of Aix en Provence). We would like to have recommendations of a place for lunch either in Marseille or somewhere along the way or not too much off our path. Great view and wonderful food are our goals to relax into our holiday. We welcome any suggestions (it will be a Wednesday). Thanks!

Apr 15, 2014
lindatork in France

Lunch Suggestion on the way from Lisbon to Pinhao (Douro Region)

Thanks jmoryl. I looked up Ze Manel dos Ossos and unfortunately they are closed on Sundays (the day we will be traveling). Guess I will have to settle for leitao!

Dec 29, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Lunch Suggestion on the way from Lisbon to Pinhao (Douro Region)

Thank you Bimbog. Traditional suckling pig sounds awesome! I will look into it.

Meanwhile, do you have any recommendations for dining in Lisbon? We have a short time there, but probably want to do one night splashy with maybe a tasting menu and then another night local, local. Thanks!

Dec 27, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Lunch Suggestion on the way from Lisbon to Pinhao (Douro Region)

I have been pouring over this board getting fantastic suggestions for restaurants in Lisbon. I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a great lunch restaurant betwen Lisbon-Pinhao to break up our drive?

Thanks!

Dec 24, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Diver XO

Yes Erica - I am speaking about Amex. I have a platinum card and have used the concierge numerous times to make "hard to get" reservations. I have always been successful - Tickets in Barcelona, Diverxo in Madrid, Babbo in NY etc. I contact them well in front of the 30 day window and then let them call the restaurant at the proper time.

Thanks for the compliment on my blog!

buencamino1.wordpress.com

Jun 04, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Diver XO

If you have a credit card that offers concierge service you can try to get a rez through them. Worked for us and we did not have to sit and watch the clock/calendar!

For us, DiverXO was a good experience, not great. As I recall, they do have a couple of price points for their menus. Not cheap. Fun for a one-time experience. We preferred the tasting meal at Lieu however.

buencamino1.wordpress.com

Oh and Aleta - you KNOW how I feel about Tony. . .!

Jun 03, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville recommendations please (researched)!!

MADRID Juana la Loca for sure. We went twice and I would go again. Kind of expensive for tapas, but they are top quality. Consider Taberna Gastronomaquia (no website). Great owner/chef and food was inventive, delicious and priced nicely. Tempranillo for tapas/raciones. It is a very nice wine bar with great atmosphere and very good tapas. Poncelet Cheese Bar if you are into cheese. So many, many great places in Madrid!

lindatork
https://buencamino1.wordpress.com/

Apr 27, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Bar Mare Petit in Praiano

Will you be staying in Praiano? We did. We also loved Hostaria Il Pino http://www.hosteriailpino.it/ (did a cooking class there that was really fun) and Vivaro Wine Bar http://www.vivarowinebar.it/ - both in Praiano. At Vivaro there is one guy - Gennaro - who is the chef, server, bartender, etc. No menu - he cooks whatever is good that day. We put ourselves totally in his hands and had an awesome meal of sesame encrusted tuna and spicy seafood pasta. Had the best parmesan ever for dessert. He knows his wines and found us a couple of great bottles.
We also loved Hostaria Bacco http://www.baccofurore.it/index_en.asp in Furore. We did a wine tour at Marissa Cuomo Winery and then had lunch/wine tasting at Bacco. Outsdanding. I think it was a 3 1/2 hour lunch.

Linda
buencamino1.wordpress.com

Apr 13, 2012
lindatork in Italy

Bar Mare Petit in Praiano

Just back from a week in Praiano. Bar Mare was #1 on our list of favorites. The family that runs it is warm, welcoming and fantastic. The food is killer. We never used a menu, but just asked Salvatore to feed us. He never disappointed. Seafood is fresh, fresh, fresh. Mama makes the cakes and the limoncellos. You will not be disappointed. Yes, they are open for lunch.

Apr 09, 2012
lindatork in Italy

Naples - Pizza at Sorbillo's HUGE disappointment

Ok - what am I missing? On our way back from a fantastic eating voyage in the Amalfi Coast (report to come a bit later) we spent a night in Naples specifically to get pizza. From all the accolades on the internet we honed in on Pizzaria Sorbilla on Via Tribunal.

We were more than willing to wait our share of time, but fortunately, only had to wait about 15 minutes on a busy Saturday night around 9pm. Great - let's do it! We were directed upstairs and shown to a great table where the patrons were happily munching their pizzas and appearing to have a wonderful time. Our server was pleasant enough and took our order for one margherita pizza and one with olives and capers. We were only 2 persons and the pizzas are huge, but they are so inexpensive (3-8 euro each) that we decided to get 2 in order to try a wider variety.

It literally took 5-7 minutes for our pizza to arrive! That should have tipped us off to the main problem. The pizzas were so drastically undercooked that they were not even pleasant. The crust was rubbery and soggy with no sign of the crispness we were craving. The cheese/sauce were and ok taste (nothing fantastic), but so runny from being undercooked. I promise we kept trying to like the pizzas and find what all the hype was about, but we just could not understand.

Unfortunately, we have no other pizza in Naoles to compare this to since we only had one night. Is this a fair representation of Neopolitan pizza and maybe we just don't care for it? Or has the hype been overblown so much that quality has slipped considerably? Did we just catch them on an "off" night?

I do not wish to offend any Sorbillo afficionados with this review, but am honestly curious if our pizza experience was the norm. For now my vote for Best Pizza still remains with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix Arizona!
I

Apr 09, 2012
lindatork in Italy

Splurge restaurant in Madrid

Thanks Maximilien. Gastro was also on my short list. I am hoping to get a few more opinions as well!
(now I am wondering what the old website looked like. . .)

Jan 17, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Splurge restaurant in Madrid

I am looking for the perfect "splurge" restaurant in madrid to celebrate my daughter's 25th birthday. Have looked at Club Allard, Terraza del Casino, Diverxo, Santceloni, Ramon Freixa. . . I am looking for outstanding food - preferably a tasting menu w/wine, fantastic setting and impeccable service (not stuffy). We have dined at Cinc Sentits (Barcelona) and absolutely loved it - looking for something that will "wow" us in the same sort of way. Speaking Spanish is no problem. We want to feel welcomed and pampered. Suggestions? thanks!

Jan 15, 2012
lindatork in Spain/Portugal

Best Cuban-style whole fish?

Can anyone give me quick help on finding a great Cuban restaurant that serves Cuban-style whole fish? Just visiting for a few days - remember having fish like that last time I was in the area, but don't remember where! We don't need fancy, but good atmosphere and great food are neccessary. Thanks for quick response so we can hopefully go tonight!

Thanks to Chowhounders -Third stop Mike and Patty's! Fourth stop - Oleana!

Thanks Gretchen. We have gotten really smart about ordering, especially on this New England trip. We just got home from New York and felt very good about our abilities to try many things, be completely satisfied and yet not be so stuffed as to not enjoy every bite. Our general MO for 3 persons was to order 2-3 apps and maybe one entree and dessert. Or we also sometimes just ordered 4-6 apps to share (oftentimes the apps are more inventive. . .) You can read our full report on the blog mentioned in the top post.

Jul 12, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

Thanks to Chowhounders -Third stop Mike and Patty's! Fourth stop - Oleana!

Funny your username - this post was actually written by my daughter janel, who is currently living in Madrid, Spain! We're originally from Arizona.

Jul 07, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

Thanks to Chowhounders -Third stop Mike and Patty's! Fourth stop - Oleana!

Adored it! Wouldn't call it innovative, but the intimacy of the atmosphere is impossible to top, and the sammies were expertly executed. Would go back next time we're in the area.

Jul 07, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

Thanks to Chowhounders -Third stop Mike and Patty's! Fourth stop - Oleana!

Two more great recommendations from Chowhounders, For breakfast we had our heart set on Charlie's Sandwhich Shoppe, but when we got there we discovered it was closed for vacation. Not to worry - we had a backup plan. We made our way to Mike and Patty's (yes, there is an "s" on the end. I think that when a restaurant is a person's NAME, then most put an "s" when referring to it i.e. "We ate at Joe's last night." If it is not a persons;s name, then it stands alone i.e. "We ate at Pizza Hut last night.) That is my take on the debate anyway.

I am going to cut and paste our review of both Mike and Patty's and Oleana (no "s"!) from our blog. If you would like to see pics (and don't mind wading through other stuff) you can go to: http://buencamino1.wordpress.com/

MIKE and PATTY'S

Mike and Patty’s is quite possibly the smallest dining establishment we’ve ever seen, seating precisely seven hungry breakfasters. The kitchen is open and bustling with four very coordinated cooks, scurrying to piece together the sandwich orders that simply don’t stop coming in. Folks in the know steadily stream in from the street, mostly youngish sorts with a touch of hipster, and plenty congregate with their precious edibles perched on surrounding curbs.

We, however, are destined for a coveted inside spot, and soon enough manage to snag the catbird seat at the bay window.

I’ve repeatedly read that the Bacon and Egg Fancy is the sammie of choice, but can’t keep myself from the Breakfast Torta given the rundown of mexi-ingredients: fried egg, salsa roja, cheese, chiles poblanos, potato, frijoles negros, and (generous) avocado. While the cooks somehow squeeze it all into a browned, chewy bread roll, I eyeball the array of hot sauces and consider what species of tastebud masochism will most delight me this morning. Several healthy dashes of Tapatio later and I’m reeling.

MP opts for the Green Madame, a more vegetable-y take on the classic croque, most notably featuring garlicky broiled collards. Seen in the background is John’s simple Bacon and Egg, which he describes as the best possible rendition of an Egg McMuffin.

OLEANA

Similarly rumbling are our demanding tummies, so we mosy towards our second culinary destination of the day: Oleana, a modern Middle Eastern restaurant whose menu already has us dreading the prospect of having to decide. We wait briefly for the privilege of a table in the outside garden, replete with curled vines emerging from glass bowls hanging from branches above and firework bursts of blooms below. MP and I open with aperitifs, a Paopao (sparkling wine, strawberry, pink peppercorns) for her and a Champagne cocktail (champagne, lemon rind, sugarcube, bitters) for me. Delicious. We feel resplendent, and lucky to be here.

After a consultation with our waitress, we decide on sharing a selection of six meze – small exquisite dishes perfectly tailored re: Law of Diminishing Returns:

Hot Pepper Labne (yogurt) with Olive Oil and Dried Mint
Octopus and & Olive Shish, Smoked Green Wheat Salad, Skordato (pictured above
)Tuna Kibbeh Nayeh (tartare) with Turkish Spices, Pickled Onion & Herb Salad
Sultan’s Delight: Tamarind Glazed Beef & Smokey Eggplant Purée with Pinenuts (pictured below left)
Vermont Quail with Baharat, Barberries, & Pistachio (pictured below right)
Ricotta Loukoumades, Roasted Asparagus, Hazelnut & Maple Labne (pictured below center

It’s exactly the sort of restaurant experience I adore – scores of new flavor combinations, both strong and subtle, all beautifully presented in small portions in an intimate, comfortable setting. The hot pink is beet, by the way, which is somehow spiked throughout with sweet and pungent citrus. We go wild over the texture of the octopus, which has clearly been grilled but bears zero resemblance to my rubbery Rocky Point attempt several years back. We guess at a pre-boil, which is later confirmed by our waitress; she explains that it’s also raked over a Spanish-style washboard such that the flesh is even further tenderized before hitting the coals. The short rib of the Sultan’s Delight falls apart when prodded into a heap of tamarind, the intensity of its flavor matched and augmented by the depth of the darkly-flavored smoked eggplant purée.

I’m skipping a lot of oohs and ahhs here, partially because I wouldn’t order a single one of these dishes again were we to get the chance to return to Oleana – each one of them was so outstanding that I feel absolutely obligated to sample six completely new plates next time, with enormous confidence that they will be just as extraordinary.

We began to be pelted with fat raindrops late in the evening, an a migration inside took us to the bustling kitchenside bar. It is busy but not hectic, and appears impeccably organized – a necessity given the volume of orders coming in all at once. For once, we’ve saved a spare space for something sweet (it was decided as soon as the waitstaff mentioned “Pastry Kitchen”); John, self-proclaimed hazelnut-fiend, selects the Chocolate Hazelnut Délice with Hazelnut Cocoa Nib Tartlet and Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream. MP and I split a goblet of Moscato and all three drift off into bliss.

Thank you again for the fantastic suggestions!

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Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Pickled Onion
355 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA 01915

Jul 07, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

Thanks to Chowhounders - First stop - Neptunes! Second stop - Reginas!

Wow. The suggestions on this board are spot on. I had asked for help with our brief stay in Boston and received many great suggestions. We arrived in Boston yesterday afternoon and headed out immediately for Neptune's.

The original plan called for us to hit the restaurant late (around 2) thinking that the line would be shorter. As it happened, we arrived around 12:45. No one was taking names (they were short a server) so we just waited in line. (a little inconvenient, but 2 in our party took off and I gathered them back via text when I was first in line) We waited about 45 minutes. Not bad.

We loved the atmosphere. My daughter who came from Madrid to meet us said it has a "buena pinta" - a nice look or feeling. I agree. We were asked if we wanted a table or the bar. We opted for the bar to be able to watch the action.

We started with a bottle of Cava and things only got better from there. I know nothing about oysters except that I adore them. We decided to order 3 each of 3 different varieties so we could all compare. They were brought on a beautiful display and we were told that the order of the oysters was clockwise from how we ordered them. Cool.

First up were something "Royale". Medium salty, large, succulent. Yes. Then came the Peacock Cove. Less salty, smaller, clean finish. Last were the Kushi (don't remember the spelling). Tiny, very round, cucumber finish. We loved them all.

We only ordered two items on the menu to split between the 3 of us. We are believers in the "Law of Diminishing Returns" when it comes to food. The first few bites are the best. We ordered the Buttermilk Johnny Cake with Tuna Tartare and Caviar and also the Warm Lobster Roll.

The Johnny Cake was sublime. Such an unusual concept - a soft, delicious Johnny Cake with crispy edges (very important) and an awesome tuna tartare with some kind of creamy element in it. Caviar added a salty finish, One person in my party loved this even more than the lobster roll.

You all already know how great the lobster roll is. I had never had one before and now I probably never will again unless it is from there.

I had read that the service can be lacking, but we found evidence to the contrary. While our server was extremely busy, she was quite pleasant and helpful. The experience was fully satisfying.

When we left around 2:30 there was still a line outside. . .

Dinner was pizza at the original Reginas. We also loved the genuine atmosphere at this place. The somewhat brusque service seemed to go along with the setting. We ordered one 18" pizza with sausage, peppers and carmalized onions. Fantastic. Loved, loved, loved the crust especially - crispy bottom, great taste, not overdone with sauce. Maybe not the absolute best pizza I have had (that honor still goes to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix where I live), but a solid contender. We are eager to pit it against pizza from Grimaldi's in Brooklyn when we visit there in a few days.

Today we are heading to Charlie's Sandwhich Shoppe for breakfast/brunch and Oleana's for dinner on the suggestions from this board. I will report back when I can.

Thanks!!

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Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Jul 06, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

Yay! I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions. Yes - 2 nights only - not enough time at all to give the city its due. Next time. That's why I want to make sure to spend my eating time well.

BTW - I keep sending my daughter the suggestions and she is jazzed now about Oleana and Neptune's. NOTHING like them in Madrid.

I will report back upon our return. Thanks again!

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Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Jun 13, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

I agree about the Clam Box, but we will be gunning it for Neptune's! I need to come back already!

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Clam Box
789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

Jun 12, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

Wow. Now it is getting interesting! Took a look at Oleana and am completely intrigued. I think you have just "ruined" my best laid plans. haha How does this sound?

Tues - late lunch Neptune
late pizza at Regina's

Wed - breakfast/brunch - Mike and Patty's
dinner Oleana

Hope to fit in Modern Pastry, too.

Again - we only have 2 nights in Boston. Even though we are initially flying in to Boston, we are immediately picking up a car and driving to NH. It will be early evening.

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Modern Pastry
257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Jun 12, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

I was already thinking we would share the lobster roll.

Are you from Madrid?

Jun 11, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

"after the lobster roll and fries at neptune, you may not need it!"

"need" is a relative term. . .

Jun 11, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

Yeah - I started looking at Legal and then immediately got turned off when I saw it was a chain. Probably not fair, but true.

Jun 11, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

thank you, chef. Yes - I had previously looked ate the links you provided - they are very helpful.

Your description of Neptune being "fun because it's v.small and packed, and it's in the No.End, which is a very unique neighborhood for Boston and the U.S" has hit home with me. Sounds like our kind of place. I believe we will stick with the original plan of heading there for late lunch on our first day (weekday).

I also agree with you about Coppa being "on the order of" what is in Spain as far as concept. Doesn't rule it out completely for us. Still on the fence. I looked at ECG and can't really get a feeling for the place - can you tell me more about the vibe?

Hungry Mother looks awesome - very different from anywhere else I have been reading about. Could be a possibility.

How about a rec for a pizza joint for late evening on the day we do lunch at Neptune's?

"Are you headed elsewhere in New Eng. after Boston?" Yes. We are coming from AZ to Boston and immediately driving to New Hampshire for a family thing. Then back down to Boston to spend a couple of days, then on to NYC for about 4 nights before returning. Can't wait to get on the other side of the US!

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Hungry Mother
Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Jun 11, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area

So little time, so many choices. . . I need help!

Thank you, Jenny. Kind of what I was thinking - my ignorance of the East Coast is showing. I figure ocean=great fish!
I appreciate the comment regarding Modern. From my searches, I was beginning to see the light on the Mike's vs. Modern debate. Now I am just now sure how we are going to fit in all this eating!

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East Coast Restaurant
1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

Jun 11, 2011
lindatork in Greater Boston Area