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Peter Rodgers

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Everything posted by Peter Rodgers

  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.?
  15. Any recent reports or guidance on Lin's? Thinking of heading there for lunch this week.
  16. Rodney's is solid. it usually has at least half a dozen varieties, mostly local. The guys at the bar are knowledgeable and can teach you through the process. Blue Water does oysters well, but the prices are much higher.
  17. Think again. If you really mean what you say about seeking food first, at least a few days in Piemonte is the hands down choice, especially in July when all you will see in Tuscany and Umbria are Americans (I'm one too, but I recognize our limitations). If you scan this board, you will find restaurants to fill up lunches and dinners for a week and if you don't have more than a few days, you will agonize over the choices. Stay at the Castello di Villa near Isola d'Asti and wander from vinyard to vinyard to work up an appetite. For plenty of diversion, spend a morning or two in Alba visiting the market (Saturday) and the fabulous wine shops and food stores. Were I you, I would plan meals at Antica Corona in Cervere, I Bologna in Rochetta Tanaro, Il Centro in Priocca, Tre Stelle in Barbaresco and Trattoria della Posta in Monforte d'Alba. Or try one of several terrific places in Acqui Terme (having trouble pulling the names up, but see earlier posts under my name) or the new Guido in Pollenzo. If you get bored, the Lake Country is just 90 minutes away. Have a great trip!
  18. We had chance to meet Rob Feenie and his wife during a weekend at Sonora Resort last August. At least in that setting, he was a very normal guy. We had a rare opportunity to talk with a professional about the restaurant scene in Vancouver and elsewhere, had a chance to see Feenie do a brief but excellent cooking demo and get a sense of his aspirations -- of course nothing was said about his business issues. I agree with the previous comment that Feenie will land well, whatever the travails of his recent partnership may have been. The business world is full of restaurant wannabees, so that money should not be a problem. And it seems clear that Feenie has a bunch of new ideas about cooking and restaurants (from his comments, fancy food a la Lumiere is not in the offing). With David Hawksworth's transition to a new venue, it portends to be a very interesting period for those of us who love the food scene in Vancouver.
  19. Lexma90 I know most of the restaurants you visited and found your comments interesting. We first discovered La Ciau five years ago and loved it, but two recent visits (one post renovation) were exceedingly disappointing. By way of contrast, we have had some great meals at Antica Corona, but we much prefer it at lunch when it tends to be far less crowded, with the result that the service is very attentive.
  20. This is a major development on the Vancouver restaurant scene. David is such an extraordinary talent that it seems a virtual certainty the new venture will be a fabulous success.
  21. I would skip Giardino da Felicin. My far and way first choice would be I Bologna in Rochetta Tanaro. Google it to get the address and phone number. Steeped in tradition, fabulous wines and completely family run. Another good choice would be Il Centro in Priocca.
  22. The Sun Sui Wah on Main Street just switched to the "by the order" method, except for Saturday and Sunday. They are doing a great job, although, when we recently tried Sun Sui Wah in Richmond, all of the dim sum were bland. Also very good are the Fortune on 41st and Oak and Shiang Garden in Richmond. Not quite so good but much better than Kirin are the Jade in Richmond and the Gingery, also in Richmond. If you are interested in Shanghai dim sum, the absolute best is Chen's in Richmond.
  23. I think the only great restaurant missing from this list is I Bologna in Rochetta Tanaro. Would love to have the chance to try them all -- abeit, I think we've covered several dozen over the years.
  24. Went to the Sun Sui Wah in Richmond for dim sum last week to find that they had changed the format from carts to direct orders (a change that seemed to portend well), but everything coming from the kitchen seemed off the mark, bland. Clearly more than the style of service has changed. Anyone have insight? By way of contrast, the dim sum sampled at Fortune on two trip were excellent (especially the steamed dim sum) and our dim sum at the Sun Sui Wah on Main Street were successful. Fortune is underrated, we think. We also had dinner at Chen's (wonderful), lunch at The Place (great xiao long bow and pot stickers) and tried the new Shanghai Wonderful. The last was quite a contrast to the former Shanghai Wind in terms of ambience, but the food seemed familiar, as were the staff. If pushed, we would rate Chen's over Wonderful, however.
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