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Cajun Emily

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    Ellicott City, MD
  1. Pasta Plus is pretty good, it was featured on the food network awhile back so unfortunately gets really busy now. Their menu is HUGE with lots of authentic looking pasta dishes. Baltimore has only disappointed. My favorite so far (moved here 3 years ago) is Aida Bistro in Columbia. It's in the strip mall of a business area but once you walk inside your impression chain-restaurant Columbia will be shattered. It's owned by a really nice American Italian couple with an extensive knowledge of wine and Italian food. Word of warning though it is not your typical American Italian cuisine - I think it takes more influence from Piedmont. Lots of big meaty dishes, risottos, and stuffed pastas. They do have some standbys like eggplant parm. The pasta is made there fresh by some old Italian woman, as well as the canolis. They have a frequently rotating 3 or 4 course small plate menu paired with wines. And it's gorgeous inside. Prices are decent, you could spend from $8 for a small plate of pasta to $25 for something like a veal shank. Needless to say, I recommend this place.
  2. Thanks! I guess I won't waste my time searching for the secret stash of good CT wines, and I'm sure there will be plenty of other Italian wines to choose from. We are going to Piedmont afterwards - this is something that started out as a side trip just to use up extra days, but more and more it's becoming the most anticipated - truffles, wine, fantastic restaurants, and more culturally in tune tourists.
  3. Please do report back after you experience this home food thing! I'm quite curious...
  4. Might not need a translation now, thanks Divina. I'll leave my bags behind...expect to be overwhelmed, watch for pickpockets, and stuff my senses full of chocolate!
  5. Anyone know if it is feasible to go just for the day? I had ~no idea~ this festival was going on during our stay and unfortunately all our plans center on Piemonte & Liguria during this time. Kinda far but... Not a clue how accessible Perugia is but if taking the train in the morning and leaving at night works I will be in chocolate heaven! We could stay for one night, however, hotel picking already look slim and undesirable/expensive. Also, the website says the festival starts the 13th but then says Chocolate Day is on the 12th. Is the 12th also a day worth going for?
  6. Can we come back to the good restaurant recommendations for Barcelona and Madrid? I have one day! A 24 hour lay over in Madrid! Arrival 2pm, leaving 2pm. Where should I eat?! I don't care if it's expensive or inexpensive I am mainly hoping for an awesome dining experience.
  7. Oh yes! Tersiguels - I live about 2 blocks from the restaurant so it's a shame that I haven't been back in over a year. It is a little expensive but I've been told the trick is to go for brunch on Sunday - you get the same dishes for half the price. I really need to eat there again. I got in a rut and frequented Peter's Inn a little too much.
  8. Thanks for the tip, I've heard about Miki several times and will definitely check it out. The wine made in CT is primarily white, and dessert, right? I guess red wouldn't pair as well with the Ligurian cuisine anyway.
  9. Despite the hordes of tourists visiting the Cinque Terre I am still going to spend three days there this October (5 days in Rome, 3 Piedmont). I've read plenty of threads on Restaurants but none on wine. Does anyone have recommendations for wine tours, wine bars, or just restaurants with good wine lists? I've read that it's nearly impossible for tourists to find the good Ligurian wine as it all gets drunk by the Genoese (Genovese? Genoans?), all the wine left for the tourists is crap. Is this true? Also, if anyone has any new experiences with restaurants in CT (since 2006) put your review here please!
  10. Patapsco Mike, Do you mean Cafe de Paris? I've never heard of Au Petit Paris - will have to look it up!
  11. Thanks for the tip. I emailed Paulo and got a very quick response from him. The tour is perfect - not too long or too expensive and Paulo seems like a really charming person. I can't wait, it looks like my husband and I will be on their "Autumn tour" in the middle of October. Do you know anything about the two castles they use for accomodations (Razzano and La Violina)? Also I wanted to say Gruetsi - Ich habe in der Schweiz gewohnt (Vitznau & Luzern) fur ein Jahre und habe Patisserie studiert. Ich glaube das der Dchweiz ist amschonsten Land in der Welt! Sorry, my German is getting worse and worse every day. thanks! Emily
  12. I agree that Mr. Karzai's restaurants are always good and inexpensive. Tapas Teatro isn't perfect but from my experience if you order a fish tapas you will not be disappointed. It would be nice to have some good French restaurants in Baltimore. I worked at Brasserie Tatin for awhile. I felt that it was overpriced and didn't stay true to a French Brasserie. I do like Cafe De Paris in Columbia. They got a new chef this year, French of course. The specials are always a good bet, last time it was Grouper with brussel sprouts and a wild mushroom puree. The super nice owner is always out and about chatting. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Peter's Inn in Fells Point. It's truly a gem. It received the same rating as Charleston's in Zagat's for food but cost's a third of the price. It's a strange little place really- sometimes a biker bar, very eclectic decor, small chalkboard menu that changes weekly. Great food - if you see any entree with cheesy grits on the menu get them! The grits alone are worth going for. Sometimes teamed with pan seared scallops, sometimes ribs, sometimes lamb chops. I love that place! It's tiny though and reservations are not taken. I've never had more than a 20 minute wait even on a Friday or Saturday for two people, however. I've been hearing a lot about Jack's Bistro lately as well but I haven't managed to make it over yet. Anyone? Emily
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