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Peter Rodgers

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  1. Great report. As we plan to be in Piemonte in the spring, would love to have the address of da Gemma, unless it is obvious once one finds one's way to Rodino.
  2. Looking for a venue for a upscale meal. Have not tried Lumiere since it passed into Daniel Boulud's empire. And have only been to West once since David Hawksworth's departure (and before the new chef really took hold). Would appreciate thoughts from those with recent experience.
  3. Will be joining friends for a couple of days on the Island next month. Please share thoughts on where to dine, find casual lunches, etc.
  4. Congratulations, you covered a very representative sampling of the Vancouver dining scene, minus the New York clones (DB and Market). For your next trip, I would strongly recommend (1) La Quercia, a very promising and relatively new Italian bistro and (2) a lunch or two at one of the Shanghai restaurants that now are so popular in the Chinese community(e.g. Chen's in Richmond). Pending David Hawksworth's return to the market (not until 2010 at the earliest, it seems), I think that Fuel is probably as good as it gets on the high end (again not counting places run by chefs from elsewhere). Finally, if you liked VJ's and are ever in Houston, try Indika. Very similar awesome, modern Indian food -- but without the long wait.
  5. Don't want to complicate your life, but if you have the patience to catch a cab, the real choice in Kits, next to Maenam, is Fuel. Probably the top restaurant in the City right now -- and if you do, don't miss the pork belly, which is one of their specialties.
  6. I would second the recommendation on Da Renzo -- it is to my mind the most consistent of the Piemonte area's wonderful collection of restaurants. Go at lunch, when you likely will get the most attention. I would add Il Centro (Priocca) and I Bologna (Rochetta Tanaro) to the list. Cesare is a crapshoot, because of its inconsistency, although probably worth the visit for the baby goat that he roasts in the dining room. We have had a number of disappointing meals at La Ciau del Tornavento lately. I think its gotten too big for its britches. Finally, for a real sleeper, try La Luna nel Pozzo in Neive.
  7. Took a group of 15 to La Pietra Cucina last night and was very pleased. The chef clearly brought his Babbo roots to Atlanta. Pastas (I had two and tasted several others' pasta choices) were superb -- I especially liked the restaurant's clone of the Babbo version of linguine alle vongole. Wine list was very short and needs work, the service was little spotty and of course the bulk of the restaurant is still an empty space, but based upon this try, I'd go back in a flash.
  8. While Alba is a wonderful place to stay and wander (especially on market days), the best restaurant options require a car and short drives into wine country. I would consider heading for Antine or Vecchio Tres Stelle in Barbaresco (20 minutes away), Il Centro in Priocca (15 minutes away) or Antica Corona da Renzo in Cervere (a bit further, but the best of all in my judgment). Lunches are likely to be more enjoyable than dinners. And just think of the great Barberas, Barbarescos and Barolos you can order with those truffles. P.S. Keep it simple when ordering your truffles -- egg dishes work very well, as do simple fresh pastas like agnolotti del plin and taliarin.
  9. We will be flying into Malpensa late in the afternoon later this coming month and are looking for a convenient place to stay and dine. Anyone have recent dining experience at Villa Crespi?
  10. All true. Would never make decisions on where to eat in Italy based upon the Viaggiatorre portraits. However, what an archive for menus and pictures! And in fairness, some of the places surveyed look like they might add to the core inventory of target restaurants for folks like us.
  11. For those who love Italy and the great, authentic Italian food, check out Viaggiatore Gourmet at: http://www.altissimoceto.it/. Though mostly in Italian, it gives readers a virtual tableside seat at most of Northern Italy's great restaurants and quite a few elsewhere, together with complete menus, wonderful photograhy and periodic video presentations that will introduce you to owners, chefs and the preparation of meals. Be sure to go to the archive to find the restaurants you know (and investigate those your read about) and then keep track from there. The site is updated with new reports (and reports on wines) several times each week.
  12. For the benefit of those other than Barolo, here is what I said on the UD Blog: "I’ve not seen the review, as I refuse to pay the Globe $ 4.50 for a single article, and only heard of it after paying a visit to Mr. Geraghty. However, having dined at West last Saturday, I suspect that Ms. Gill was not being overly unkind. Compared to what we’ve come to expect, the kitchen has a long way to go. Among my disappointments: (i) an odd, cold raviolo of spot prawns that did not work at all (the citrus sauce hid any hint of the fish); (ii) a gummy risotto; and (iii) a middling partridge (the confitte legs were excellent though). This was the new menu just introduced last week — I think perhaps the new chef might want to start again. Service remains up to par and the front of the house generally still shines. I didn’t mind the prices for food, but as before, the wine prices are way above the local restaurant market." I would add that I went to West on a mission to decide whether to book there for a family celebration later in the month and decided that it would be better to celebrate elsewhere. This is not to suggest that I wish West and its new steward anything but the best. I have had consistently terrific experiences at West and like its siblings, especially Araxi. But when a restaurant occupies a price point on this exalted level, it is not unfair to expect special results. I am an Easterner with a second home in Vancouver. I do not expect Vancouver to replicate New York (which sets the standard in my judgment), but over ten years I have found an amazing level of creativity in the Vancouver restaurant scene -- exemplified by great talents like David Hawksworth and, in his better moments, Rob Feenie. When you put these folks together with the most vibrant Asian food in the Americas, Vancouver is unique for those of us who would rather spend our time eating and thinking about food more than much of anything else. Of course, this spoils us. Perhaps the proper thing to say is that Warren Geraghty has a challenge ahead of him. I hope that he succeeds.
  13. Heard that there was a review in the Globe & Mail. Anyone have a copy?
  14. Would be most interested in hearing of the experience of those who have sampled Warren Geraghty's cuisine since he took over the stoves at West. Difficult to tell from the menus posted on West's website, what has changed. Is Chef Geraghty on his game or still easing in? What changes, if any, have been made in concept, approach, service, etc.?
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