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Everything posted by scordelia

  1. My article was published (my first one!)! Hooray! And I do have some Florentine restaurant recommendations including the new Osteria del Pavone which is amazing--lampredotto ravioli is now a thing and it must be tried. http://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/florence-in-winter/
  2. Brews N Bites in Danville has become my road trip saviour with nice vegetarian options and fun, relaxing vibe. Now I always stop there when driving through central PA.
  3. We are taking our family to Springfield to see the Lincoln Museum. Where is a good place to eat on a Sunday night? My kids are very adventurous eaters, so it does not have to be "kid friendly". Money is no object.
  4. Thank you for the suggestions! We ended up at the Lake Avenue Restaurant in the DeWitt-Seitz building. It was a little spendy, but really good--wonderful bison bone marrow and great fish. And conveniently, it is next to the Smokehaus--I picked up a few goodles to take home!
  5. I dropping my son off for Outward Bound and want to give him one last good meal before he enters the wilds for a month. Where should I take a hungry teenager, with a sophisticated palette?
  6. scordelia

    Savory peach ideas

    Chicken Augusta--delicate, little ground chicken patties sauteed in butter and wine and served with a grilled peach half.
  7. I recently purchased a house with KitchenAid double wall ovens--electric. They are awful! They have a single element, in the top of the oven, which means they are lousy for baking. I have calibrated the damn things, put pans on the top rack and pan of water on the floor when I bake, etc, etc, and I have had it! My DH is getting a nice bonus and I asked for new ovens. Which one is best? They have to fit in my existing space of 27". I need something bakes cakes and souffles really well, so I think I need a bottom baking element that is hidden. I do not care about Sabbath mode or anything else for that matter except cooking food well. It would be nice if it came in white or ivory. Budget is up to $3000 but I would rather be less spendy. I am not a brand snob. Thanks!
  8. So, the family trip to Williamsburg is complete! We stumbled upon the Charles City Tavern on Route 5 (9220 John Tyler Memorial Highway) and it was so good that we went twice! The owners, Cate and Mike, could not be more fun. She pours a mean drink and loves to chat. The tavern is located in a beautiful 1889 farmhouse on a real, working farm including real working farm cats who come to visit the diners and barn swallows nesting on the porch and swooping through the lovely garden. But enough about the lovely ambiance, check out the food! Plump fried oysters, shrimp and grits, melt in your mouth veal chops, great desserts!
  9. We are taking the kids to Williamsburg, so I suppose an evening at Williamsburg is must, but what else is good? And I definitely want an evening at a low brow crab shack. My kids are 8 and 14. The 14 year old is adventurous and will eat anything.
  10. My husband and I are spending a week in Languedoc. We are staying in Olinzac and plan to visit Narbonne, Carcasonne, Toulouse, Moissac, Conques and Albi to name a few. Where should we eat? We also will be cooking at home, so what local delicacies cannot be missed? Oh, and we plan on sampling plenty of the local vintages, so wine rec's are very welcome as well. We are flying into Toulouse on a Saturday and will be tired and hungry, so a nice but not too heavy lunch rec would be very appreciated as well as a place for a special last dinner in Toulouse the night before we leave. I look forward to everyone's suggestions. Thanks!
  11. We went to Sanford for our 10th anniversary. What a great place! We had the 7 course menu (I'll have to post the courses later). And it's a great deal--at least compared to Chicago restaurants. Milwaukee seems to be becoming a bit of a food town.
  12. We are going to Nassau on business and mostly have corporate dinners, but we are going to have a couple of free nights. We are staying at Atlantis and are looking for authentic Bahamian cuisine on Paradise Island or in Nassau--the more casual and authentic the better. Thanks!
  13. My husband and I have to go to Carlsbad for a business thing and we have one free night. A friend recommended a seafood place in Del Mar that is a real seafood and beer place with picnic tables covered in newspaper and pitchers near the ocean. Just what we want...but he cannot remember the name of the place! If this sounds familiar to you, please let me know. Thanks.
  14. Just returned from Cape Cod where I sampled many more fried clams--and I have found a place that measures up to my beloved Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor...drum roll please...The Friendly Fisherman in Eastham on Route 6! The clams are plump, fresh and not overly battered, loads of juicy bellies and perfectly fried. The portions are very generous. The plate is high at $20 but could easily feed two. The FF does provide a lemon wedge and tartar sauce and will, upon request, provide extra lemons (I like lots of lemon juice) or malt vinegar. My only small criticism would be that the batter could use a touch more seasoning. The Thirsty Whale's batter has a little bit more kick. I also would highly recommend the fried scallops and the lobster roll at the Friendly Fisherman. Unlike most fried scallops, these were big diver scallops, not the puny bay ones, and instead of batter, they were just dusted in seasoned flour and fried to perfection. For $15, you get a dozen big scallops! The lobster roll has been voted the best on the Cape, and it is justly deserved. It is a big sweet, loaded roll with a single piece of lettuce, just enough mayo, perfectly toasted with just enough butter. The lobster roll is a little pricey at $16, but perfection has its price. They make a damn fine crab roll too. I did not like their clam chowder though--too thick and floury. For a fine clam chowder, I nominate Catch of the Day in South Wellfleet, Route 6 and Ann & Fran's in Yarmouth, Route 28. Both chowders are nice and creamy, not too thick, generous with the clam and not too loaded with potato. Catch of the Day also has nice grilled items like swordfish and blue fin, fine sweet potato fries and grilled veggies and a good selection of steamed and raw seafood, as well as a good fish market. Catch of the Day also has fried items, but frying is not their specialty. Go to Catch when you are tired of fried food and want something lighter and grilled and bit more finesse. The Friendly Fisherman also has an excellent fish market, so you can have lunch and then pickup some fresh caught blue fin to grill for dinner. Conveniently, the Friendly Fisherman is next to a liquor store that sells single beers (so you can enjoy a nice cold one with your fried clams) and has a decent wine selection.
  15. XYZ is great. Also go to the Thirsty Whale on Cottage St in Bar Harbor for fried clams--these are the best fried clams in the whole world. I kid you not; I have made it a life mission to find clams as good as these (there is a little place in Truro on Rte 6 that comes pretty close). Also, head down to Northeast Harbor and take the mail boat over to Little Cranberry and enjoy a prime lobster roll (this one requires a knife and fork) at Puddles on the dock. Then you can walk off your lobster on the very pretty island, buy some lovely pottery at the co-op and check out the local historical society which is very interesting. I also recommend the Burning Tree in Otter Creek on Rte 3. They specialize in local, seasonal cuisine--excellent.
  16. This past March, my husband and I traveled to Provence and one day, we had lunch at La Forchette in Avignon. Heavenly lunch and the highlight was this amazing coconut sorbet for dessert. It had such an intense flavor and wonderful texture. Here is what I tried, and it is good, but lacks to the intense coconut flavor. I should also mention that I have never really made anything with coconut (excepting my very fine coconut layer cake), so I am unsure as to how to coax the flavor out of it. I used: 14 oz coconut milk 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup sugar 8 oz milk 2 tbl flake coconut I combined the coconut milk, salt, sugar and coconut flake and stirred until the sugar dissolved and chilled for several hours. Then I stirred in the cold milk and made the sherbet. I realize that this is a sherbet base rather than sorbet. Even though La Forchette called it a sorbet, it seemed richer than a sorbet--more like a sherbet, and on that front, I think I was correct, but the intense coconuttiness is lacking. It was still a very nice ice cream. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
  17. Okay, this July we are driving from Chicago to Cape Cod. We plan on leaving at 4AM which means that we will be hitting the Ohio border around 7AM. I think we will want a good breakfast at that point. Any suggestions for quaint, local breakfast spots just off the interstate in eastern Ohio? Thanks!
  18. Given the insanely high cost of airfare and the decidedly mediocre level of service one receives on an American airline, my family has decided to drive to Cape Cod from Chicago. We figure that we will be in Pennsylvania in time for lunch on I-80--probably more western PA than eastern. Does anyone have a fun lunch recommendation? We are at a loss since The Farmer In The Dell is no more. We are looking for local and reasonably fast (no time for a four course gourmet lunch, must make it to Greenwich by evening). Quality burgers, sandwiches Amish--all good. Thanks!
  19. I certainly hope that Hot Doug's puts the Joe Moore back on the menu. That was a delish dog!
  20. Yes, I like traditional, classic food, and I'll eat anything--no problems with fish, offal (except brains), any meat or vegetable, and I am really looking forward to experience true Provence cuisine. I am not a big nouvelle fan. I adore Chateau-neuf du Pape and we were hoping to hit some wineries too. Thanks! Dear Scordelia: We have been Frankophiles for over 30 years and share your enthusiasm for visiting Arles and the south of France. We are also Chicago eGulleteers!!! You seem to have definitive food preferences. You are excluding French nouvelle cuisine and foams. Foams are a Spanish food influence, not French. Can you articulate what foods you do want to sample while visiting this area in France? March will be a delightful time for visiting the South of France. Would like to help you assess eating options but more specifics are needed. Judith Gebhart ←
  21. We are going to Provence in March. I think we are renting a house in Arles area--so where to eat? What to eat? What can't we miss? I have been to France, but never the south, so we are very exicted! It's also my birthday (big 40) so any very traditional splurges to reccommend? (no foam, no nouvelle) Thanks!
  22. Warmed chips are the best! When we go camping, I'll saute some steaks in my cast iron skillet, then as my husband carves the steak, I'll quickly saute some Cape Cod chips in the steak juice. Super tasty!
  23. I took one for the team! I was driving from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana for a funeral and pulled over to grab a bite in Kankakee. I had the Bruschetta Burger--one of the new, bold offerings courtesy of Tyler. Applebee's described a pure Angus beef burger with pesto and tomato on foccacia and served with garlic fries. First, Applebee's insisted (over my strenuous objection) to serve me a medium burger (policy). The "foccacia" was soggy, and the burger a bit greasy, and I wished for more tomatoes. The fries were very good--well seasoned with a sprinkling of parsley and fresh parmesan. In short, my meal was average and overpriced. There are other chain places off the interstate that offer better food and value.
  24. I love those little Maine shrimp. I remember the first time I made them for my mom when she vistied me on MDI; she thought they were cooked because they are so pink when raw. One of my faves with them was to make a risotto. Use the shells to make stock and go. The nice sweet shrimp are perfect.
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