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Everything posted by marktynernyc

  1. I've been focusing on northern italian cuisine lately. The meat sauce I've been preparing is a 1/2 and 1/2 of veal and pork with some carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary and just a little bit of pureed tomato. I was using fresh tagliatelle but by chance used fresh pappardelle tonight. Wow - what a difference. The sauce has been great -consistently ( don't use chuck in place of veal - trust me). The pappardelle got coated in the meat sauce/fat/grease - and yet the flavor of the pasta came through underneath. The tagliatelle was more of a complete package if that makes any sense. Has anyone else noticed this difference? Is a cream sauce or a meat sauce better with tagliatelle? Does anyone have a preference and why? If tagliatelle is used for thick sauces like pappardelle -how does one decide. I did feel the pappardelle dish was more hearty compared to the tagliatelle but flavor wise the pappardelle was hands down the winner. Was it because of the thick (wide) pasta that the meal felt more satisfying. I just bought Phaidon's pasta book and have been trying various pasta dishes. Your thoughts?
  2. That's what I was thinking but Venice being on the opposite side I wasn't sure. I think one place used salmon (???), another place a white fish of some sort, possibly trout (????) - both very thin - and I think another place did do a version with sardines. All had a coating - most were chilled and had that wonderful sweet sour cold going on - I thought it could be a great summer beach dish.
  3. Just got back from 2 weeks in Northern italy - Torino, Ballagio, Mantova and Milan. A good solid vacation - great meals, wonderful art, beautiful villas and gardens. And I promise a trip report - but i have a question: While in Torino - I had this wonderful fish dish - the fish was fried, then marinated in a sweet & sour marinade for 24 hours, served cold - sometimes plain, sometimes with onions and raisins. Similar to sarde in saor from Venice. Does anyone know the name of the dish I'm refering to? (And I thought the cuisine in Mantova was delicious - especially the uniquely spiced pumpkin ravioli) Thanks.
  4. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=97531 here's the link - nit the most elegant way...but it works (hopefully)
  5. I was in Bologna Nov 06, my last meal there was at: Da Bertino & Figli via delle Lame 55 "...My hotel suggested this my last night - one of the last places that serves traditional bolito misto. I was the only non-Italian in the place. Started with the tortellini in brodo, was a meal unto itself. The broth was amazing - clear but with incredible flavor. I loved slurping the tortellini. Did the bolito misto - which was an assortment of tender cuts of cooked meats. A great last meal in Bologna..." I posted my trip report - not sure how to make a link....Bologna is great. (off to Torino and Mantova in June)
  6. Didn't need or want to purge in public, or privately, while in Bologna. The walk to and from San Luca will work off the calories with no problem. If I remember correctly - the fish tank is still there. As for why I had a brief lunch in Ravenna.... ...la dolce vita
  7. antipasti : 5E- 10E primi: 10E - 15E secondo: 15E - 25E (including the white truffle dishes) desserts: 7E wine: 10E - 20E I usually had a 4 course meal and bottle of wine, bottle of water, maybe a digestif - prices range from 45E to 80E. I usually just rounded up the bill. guide books: Footprint, Bologna http://www.footprintbooks.com/ Cadogan Guides, Bologna & Emilia Romagna http://www.cadoganguides.com/ Touring Club of italy, Authentic Emilia-Romagna http://www.touringclub.it/
  8. Cucina de Museo, via Sant'Agostino 7, Modena It's a small intimate restaurant - maybe 8 tables at most and a small fireplace. I tried the 'creativo cucina' menu - pumpkin and bacalo, asparagus/mushroom flan, venison. For dessert a chestnut chocolately creation being that chestnuts were in season. The owner recommended a local lambrusco and as a digestif, the locally made walnut liquor. I would love to come back and have dinner here. Il Trovatore, via Affo 2/a, Parma near the train station They have reasonably priced 5 course meat and seafood menus. My waiter was wonderful - telling me the correct order to eat the cured meats - recommending a certain lambrusco - telling me about the region's foods. Started with a plate of various cured meats - followed by pumpkin spiced filled ravioli and spinach cheese filled ravioli. These were astounding - the pasta was so thin and delicate - the spiced pumpkin filling so fall like. For my secondo - beef cheeks - so tender. For dessert - a sample platter of various desserts of the restaurant. I recommend this place highly. La Rustica, Via Alberoni Giulio, 55, Ravenna near the train station A small trattoria - reasonably priced - easy to find. I had a quick bite here - a plate of cured meats, some pasta with fungi and couple glasses of the house red.
  9. Del Cacciatore via Caduti di Casteldebole 25 http://www.ristoranteilcacciatore.com Their specialty is game - a 10E taxi ride from Piazza Maggiore. The best antipasti carts my whole trip - everything was just a notch above in quality/flavor/tenderness. The wild boar had a touch too much clove. The grappa trolley has 150 bottles. This was my only dinner where I didn't open my book once - I felt so relaxed and at ease. I recommend this place highly. Torre de Galluzzi Corte Galluzzi 5/a Started with cooked asparagus with parmesan - the asparagus had unfortunately been cooked to a point of such limpness - not a good start. Followed with a huge bowl of tortellini in brodo - which was just right to take the chill off me. Followed with a beef carpaccio salad with shaved parmesan - which was fantastic. Da Bertino & Figli via delle Lame 55 My hotel suggested this my last night - one of the last places that serves traditional bolito misto. I was the only non-Italian in the place. Started with the tortellini in brodo was a meal unto itself. The broth was amazing - clear but with incredible flavor. I loved slurping the tortellini. Did the bolito misto - which was an assortment of tender cuts of cooked meats. A great last meal in Bologna, I highly recommend this place.
  10. Franco Rossi Via Goito, 3, Bologna Disappointing - all the dishes were heavy handed. The breaded veal with parma ham, cheese and truffles was so heavy laden. They also have a John Grishman menu - in his latest novel the restaurant is mentioned. The highlight of the meal was an Italian family celebrating a birthday at the table next to me - they insisted I join them for cake and prosecco. Cesarina via Santo Stefano 19/B, Bologna http://www.ristorantecesarina.it/ Near San Stefano. Started with a plate of various antipasti - not bad. The couple next to me had order asparagus - which looked gorgeous. Tortellini in a pomodoro sauce - not bad but after the first bite wished i had ordered the ravioli with pumpkin. For secondo - guinea fowl with roasted vegetables. The waitress recommend the house sangiovese/cabernate blend. Cesari via de Carbonesi 8 Started with lardo e crostini - which was one of my favorite dishes of the region. For a primi - tortellini filled with spiced pumpkin - another regional favorite. For my secondo - cheese flan with white truffles. I had a local lambrusco as a counter point to all the rich food
  11. Gigina via Stendhl 1b, Bologna This was about a 10E taxi ride from the Piazza Magiorre. Lots of Italian families having dinner here - very lively. Started with a beautiful plate of rare roast beef , with a squeeze of lemon - followed by taglitelle with ragu sauce and then veal in a balsamic sauce. Caminetta d'oro via de'Falegnami, 4, Bologna http://www.caminettodoro.it/ Wonderful lite rifts on local recipes - started with a simple green salad with delicate baby vegetables and shaved Parmesan. Spinach ravioli in a light cream sauce with carrots and peas - the pasta and the sauce was so light and delicate - delicious. For secondo - rabbit with some roasted vegetables - perfectly cooked. Dei Picari via Emilia-Ponente 459, Bologna www.latavernadeipicari.it A rustic tavern - about a 10E taxi ride from the Piazza Maggiore. When tasting his mortadella, I finally understood that American baloney is a very poor cousin to mortadella. The filling for his homemade tortellini in brodo - made me pause. And his tortellini were small - not plump. The lamb was tender and well prepared. I recommend this place highly. Grassilli via del Luzzo 3, Bologna near due Torre Creativo cucina. The polenta gnocchi with a lamb ragu (I think) were especially good and hearty. Different and intriguing rifts on traditional dishes.
  12. Restaurants: Enoteca at Tamburini The enoteca at Tamburini has various sampler plates of cured meats and cheeses - plus a wide variety of wines by the glass. Be sure to try the lardo. I found the lambrusco to be a nice second fiddle to the food - it didn't upstage the food. The Sangiovese/cabernet blends were pleasant also. This was a great introduction to the foods of the region. Re Enzo via Riva di Reno 79/d, Bologna My first dinner in Bologna. Started with a plate of cured meats - the smoked duck breast proscuitto melted on my tongue. The pasta with white truffles was so fragrant. The lamb had a balsamic glaze of some sort with flecks of rosemary and slivers of chestnuts. For dessert - something chocolatey and chestnut I think. The recommended cabernet/sangiovese blend opened up nicely and was 12E. Even though it was a Saturday - the place never filled up. Trattoria Meloncello Via Saragozza 240a, Bologna This seems to be one of the few restaurants open on Sunday - I was going to have lunch on my way up to San Luca. I didn't have reservations and the place was packed.
  13. Bologna: Porticos - there is something about the space defined by the porticos, which is only for pedestrians, that is wonderfully civilized - the alternating bans of light and shadow, the m.c. escher-like visual of endless porticos. The ocher, mustard, and rust colored buildings glowed in the pale autumnal light - the handsome strutting Italian men, the well put together Italian women, lots of university students. The Piazza Magiorre was a hub of activity - jazz band, people talking, kids playing, bicyclists leisurely peddeling their way through. A chocolate festival took place in the piazza for most of the week - chocolates filled with lemoncello, aceto balsamic. grappa, sambuca, etc. I found most of the churches to be pretty straight forward - nothing extraordinary. Bologna is a great base to do day trips to various nearby cities and you can get back for dinner. The weather for the entire week was unseasonably warm to slightly cool - just a light jacket, occasionally a sweater. The information office at the train station was extremely helpful printing out train schedules. If you're not up for a big dinner you can always try one of the bars in the early evening which put put out " free cicheti" , as long as you have a glass of wine or two. Modena: 20 minute train ride from Bologna. The duomo is a UNESCO heritage site - a combination of Romanesque and Lombard styles. The interior is moody and mysterious. The choir and the crypt have wonderful sculptural details. Be sure to check out the farmer's market - even the heads of lettuce are works of beauty. Lots of chic and expensive shopping - they don't call it the mink city for nothing. Parma: Unlike Bologna and Modena - I noticed there weren't many - if any - porticos in Parma. The duomo's exterior is Romanesque - the interior ceiling is painted in the Mannerist style, very colorful and a sense of giddiness compared to the solemnity of Modena's duomo. The pink exterior of the baptistry, next to the duomo, gives no hint to what lies inside - a gothic vaulted space almost entirely covered with medieval art - breath taking Ravenna: About an hour and a half train ride from Bologna. The mosaics in the churches, basilicas, baptistry,mausoleum, etc are gorgeous. Make an effort to see the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, which is a suburb of Ravenna.
  14. Was in Bologna from Nov. 4th to the 12th. This was a really great vacation - slept late, drank and ate a little too much, day tripped to Modena, Parma and Ravenna, really forgot about work. For me, Bologna gets closer to the Italian essence compared to tourist oriented cities like Rome, Venice and the Italian Riviera. flight: Flew Alitalia from JFK on Nov. 3rd. Once again - spent about 45 minutes taxing and waiting to take off. This seems to becoming a regular occurrence. The flight went smoothly - the in-flight meal was actually good though the individual screens did not function properly. I was happy reading and sleeping. Connected through Milan - had about and hour and half between flights - no problems. Arrived in Bologna around 11:30, as did my luggage - hopped in a taxi, 12 euro later, was dropped off at Albergo Centrale. Return trip went overall smoothly - the only bottle neck was going through passport control in Milan. hotel: Albergo Centrale http://www.albergocentralebologna.it I paid 75 euro for a double used as a single - it looked out on to the street (della Zecca) but was quiet. The room was a tad dark but the location can't be beat - two blocks away from the Piazza Magiorre, a 10-15 minute walk to the train station. Werter and his staff helped with dinner reservations, etc. Great location.
  15. Here's a picture of peka. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/11544825..._3361_26880.jpg (I know there's another way to post this picture but it's not obvious how. )
  16. "....the dish is called Peka (sp?) it is sometimes called the Croatian national dish and it is quite an elusive thing to find on the islands...." Peka, I think in loose terms means, under the bell. I've had lamb and octopus cooked in this method on Brac and Hvar. While the lamb was good the octopus was fantastic.
  17. I'm pretty sure the titki bar is called Buza great pictures poots.
  18. This place is located on Scedro - a small island located across from Zavala. Can't vouch for it but it does sound interesting - not to mention secluded: http://www.adventure-island.net/English.html The area between Jelsa and Verboska is Vitarnja - supposedly lots of little coves. As for other islands - Vis might be another consideration. I only did a day trip there but am staying in Komiza this September. http://dalmacija.net/komiza.htm For real remote - Lastovo http://www.lastovo-tz.net/index.html. One other option might be a 'robinson caruso' apartment i n the Kornati - up near Zadar. I liked Brac however it's one of the most popular tourist resort islands. An overlooked nearby island is Solta - I haven't visited yet but.... http://www.solta.hr/eng/index.htm Not sure if you're in the US - but if you are, you may want to call or email the Croatian Tourism Board in NYC - they have great free beautiful brochures and could probably help you narrow your focus. Croatian National Tourist Office: http://us.croatia.hr tel. 800-829-4416. Free brochures and maps. Any other questions feel free to ask.... -Mark
  19. Are you opposed to renting an apartment? July (and August) are peak season - hotels are probably very hard to come by now. For laid back - Zavala and the other villages in that area are secluded, you'll need a car though. There is an area near Jelsa that locals really like - I'll have to find a map and check the name - but once again, you'll have to rent an apartment. There are also some villages east of Jelsa that are very secluded - check: http://www.hvar.hr/ http://www.island-hvar.net/
  20. I've been going to Croatia for the past 4 years (trips reports have been posted). Going back again this September for 2 1/2 weeks - Trogir, Komiza (Otok Vis), Stari Grad (Otok Hvar) and Podgora (Makarska riviera). Hoping to participate in the grape harvest. Try to get to one of the central islands. I would recommend Trogir over Split as a base - it's only 30 minutes north of Split. What to eat? Prust. There's a salty moist feta like cheese that I really like. The Pag cheese I think is okay. Octopus and lamb cooked under a bell. Scorpino is great. Fruti de mare risottos are good. Black risotto can be quite good if properly done. The organic fruits are so juicy. Marinated anchovies. I've not gotten to istria yet - maybe next year - if possible for truffle season. Croatia is wonderful.
  21. Megan - Cerny Kohout has moved since I ate there (back in October 2002). It is now located - I believe - in Praha 1 - central Prague. http://www.cernykohout.cz/ I'm hoping maybe next spring to get back to Prague (and Cesky Krumlov). Let us know how it is if you decide to go.
  22. I went to Le Calandre (from Venice) this past November - bought my ticket at the station that morning, grabbed a taxi from Padova after viewing the frescos by Giotto. Interesting and playful meal - the cheese cart is fantastic. I did one of the menu degustatcion and requested local wines at their suggestion.
  23. http://www.sugiyama-nyc.com/ Sugiyama was my epiphany. I have been back 4 times - of those 4 only 1 didn't elevate me (it may have been the company ). It's a understated restaurant - not overly designed. One of his signature dishes is monk fish liver with quail egg, which you mix and then drink. His miso soup is so fragrant. The cuts of his fish - the progression of the dishes - his meals are wonderfully choreographed. My last meal was during the Japanese New Year - I did the chef's omakase - he presented some many new dishes. I have walked out of his restaurant 2 feet off the ground. I'm waiting for the right reason to go back.
  24. I just got back from La Paz. The seafood tacos at Bismark Cito on the malecon: pescado (20 pesos), cameron (15), langosta (50), smoked marlin (20), scollops (30), oysters in chipotle (30). You can load them up with various salsa slaws - you could make a whole meal out of two tacos (I yearning for some seafood tacos for breakfast now). A dozen oysters on the shell, 130 pesos. Took day trips to Todos Santos, Bahia Magdelena and San Jose. I'll post a brief trip report later on.
  25. I went to Brac and Hvar at the beginning of September - a good friend decided to join me this trip. The weather was perfect - once again, a very relaxing and restorative vacation - my friend now understands why I keep going back. Sorry this is so late - work, holidays and closing on an apartment got in the way. If you would like to hear about what we did - please let me know. Here are the restaurants we ate at: BRAC Konoba Gust, Frane Radica 14, Bol, Brac http://www.bol.hr/index.php?ukljuci=taverna%20gust For our first dinner on Brac, I suggested we go to Gust - which is located across from the Hotel Kastil. I had eaten lunch here 2 years ago, on a day excursion from Hvar, and had been yearning for their salted sardines ever since. The dalmatian ham (50 kn) was as good as ever. I was in heaven regarding the salted sardines (6 kn a piece) dense and slaty but with a slice of onion the salt seemed dimenished. My friend found them a bit too salty and made comments about my impending blood pressure problems. For mains I had spaghetti de fruttie de mare (65 kn) - which was pretty good, and my friend had grilled calamari (230 kn /1 kg - his serving came to 92 kn). The only true dissapointment for the evening was the house wine (1 ltr, 60 kn) - which seemed to be flavoured with apple (dare I say Boone's Farm?) Another day, due to possible inclement weather (which never transpired) we decided to have lunch here. We both started with lobster salad (60 kn). A generous plate of lobster meat, served plain, with shredded lettuce surrounding - it was just as delicious as I remember from 2 years ago, especially with a light drizzle of olive oil. I also ordered the marinara - marinated anchovies - which were pleasent. For mains - my friend order the rump steak with french fries. My friend was surprised how well prepared and flavorful the steak was. And the fries were perfect. I order fruti de mare risotto - which was full of mussels, clams, shrimp, a couple scampi and toothsome rice - very good. This time we order a couple bottles of Prosip Cara - 175 kn - which went really well with the meal. You can sit outside or inside, which has a cozy konoba feel to it. Taverna Riva, Frane Radica 5, Bol, Brac I was a bit skeptical of this restaurant at first - concerned that it might be a bit of a tourist haunt - I was proved wrong. Almost every dish was delicious - the octopus salad, the mussels, the fish (dorado, scorpino), octopus under the bell. The only dish that didn't impress - the marinara (?), marinated anchovies - which were okay, nothing exceptional. The wines recommended were perfect. For our second dinner we had 'octopus under the bell'. The octopus was so tender and cut like fillet - the sauce was wonderfully rich - the potatoes, carrots and baby eggplants were beautifully carmalized. Another very interestng dish was a special type of mussel that had a a growth (cork) that you had to remove to open it - the mussels arrive to the table closed - the meat was pale white. The setting along the water's edge was sublime. They also serve lunch. Highly recommended. Vrsalovica dvori, M. Vrsalovica 4, Bol, Brac This restaurant was recommended by a few locals - well prepared home-style cooking. Not much ambience - rather straight forward. We started with salads. For my 1st course I order the black risotto - the ink giving a depth of flavor that is hard to describe - the rice had just the right firmness. We both ordered scampi - generous plates of scampi arrived and we dug in. The meat was dense but soft and sweet. We order 1/2 liter carafs of both the house white and house red. Ribarska Kucica A. Starcevica, Bol, Brac After debating where to go for dinner - my friend and I decided we wanted to eat along the water's edge and decided to try Ribarska Kucica. The service was warm - the evening filled with laughter and the soothing sound of the waves. I started with gnocci in gorgonzola sauce with dalmatian ham. Dense - rich - warm - filling. A nice contrast to all the seafood i had been eating. For my main - whole grilled fish (dyntex, I think) - not as sweet as scorpino or light as orada - but dense and meaty. We ordered a couple pinot grigio type white wines. Toni, Dol, Brac http://toni-dol.netfirms.com/index.html After visiting the Stone Cutting school in Puscica (highly recommended), we made our way along the north side of the island towards Postira - took a left and head inland through mandarian groves and vineyards. There is only one road in Dol and Toni is located on it. Upon our arrival we were offered brandies and figs and the brother showed us around their konoba. Another brother came out from the kitchen with a octopus draped over his left hand and asked if we would like to start with ocotpus salad as a starter - yes. Yes we said. My friend ordered dorada and I order lamb for our mains. The octopus salad was perfect - a drizzle of olive oil, a squirt of lemon - the flesh was tender. My friend's fish was perfectly grilled - the lamb was okay. Glasses of homemade prosec followed along with figs.We sat underneath an arbor of kiwis. Highly recommended. Vinotoka, Jobova 6, Supetar, Brac We were here for lunch so crowds were minimal. The patio area looks over a leafy park - dinner in the eveing would an enjoyable affair. I started with octopus salad - tender meaty chucks of tentacles slathered in fresh olive oil. For my main - mussels that were plump, juicy and instead of being red-orange they were pale white - the white wine broth was soaked up with some fresh bread. HVAR Menego Vl. Dinko Kovacevi, Hvar Grad, Hvar Dinko's food still reflects good quality and flavor. New item this year - stuffed peppers. We order prust, octopus salad, a house salad, marinated anchovies and stuffed peppers. Dinko spoiled me my first year with his marinated anchovies - though sadly for me he has not repeated the dish exactely but still serve tasty variations. My friend didn't warm up to the place or food - he thought everything was pickled (marinated I said) and the prust hanging from the rafters smelled a bit musty (I didn't smell anything). The wine once again had a certain yeast/bread like quality to it - very unique. Golden Shell Petra Hektorovica 8, Hvar Grad, Hvar Ivo is still serving great food - my friend and I started off with salads and hen order whole grilled fish - scorpino and orada. A bottle of red plavic rounded out the meal. For dessert Ivo treated us to home pear brandy - golden nectar with a punch. Will be back again next year. Jurin Podrum Duonja kola, Stari Grad, Hvar Started with the octopus salad - tender chucks of flesh mixed with juicy tomatoes and a restrained sprinkling of parsley. 2 years ago I had the lobster spaghetti here - I have been trying to get back to Jurim Podrum every time I've returned to Hvar because it was so good. This year I was able to get back and see if the lobster spaghetti was a good as I remember. While not as light as the first - this version was a bit more hearty but still good. Get a table outside on one of the quiet lanes, sit back, relax and enjoy a long leisurely lunch. The food is well prepared and straight-forward. I'll be back next year. Eremitaz Stari Grad, Hvar http://www.stari-grad-faros.hr/eremitaz/ I had my last meal here. Located on the north side of the bay, overlooking the sea - I started with frutti de mare risotto followed by double stripe bream (which were small in size) - being that I rode a vespa, I only had a 1/2 liter of house white. Wish I had ordered scorpino or orada for my last meal - but was still full from lunch - good setting. Knoba Humac Humac, Hvar http://www.humac.info/ Konoba Humac is located east of Jelsa. You'll have take a rock filled, dirt road to reach this konoba but the effort is well rewarded. The setting looks out towards Brac - you sit beneath trees amid a cluster of stone houses. Order a glass of the strong red plavic and take in the view, and let the tranquilty of the setting work it's magic. All the food is locally produced. You must order 'under the bell' type dishes in advance. I started with salted sardines which were bathed in fresh olive oil. The lamb was incredibly tender and juicy - the thinly sliced grilled potatoes slightly smoky from the grill. The home made plavic wine is robust and strong. Highly recommended. Knoba Dvor Dubokovic Pitve, Hvar Located in Pitve - which overlooks Jelsa. We arrived about an hour before sunset and retreated to the upstairs table which has an incredible view looking out over vineyards towards the island of Brac. After complimentary aperitifs of homemade brandies - we started with salted sardines and a bottle of their red (which was very good). We meandered down to where the octopus under the bell was cooking and talk with Mr. Dubokovic. Back upstairs we had shells buzara - which was mussels, clams and scampi in a tomato-wine broth and another bottle of red. The shelsl were okay - the mussels were a bit small and gritty. The 'octopus under the bell' dish was more rustic than the version at Taverna Riva in Bol but just as good. The flesh was so tender and meaty - the potatoes and carrots roasted beautifully. For dessert we had some home made brandy. Highly recommended. Konoba Lovrincevic Dubovica, Hvar Dubovica is located on a secluded bay and can only be reach by footpath. There is only one restaurant in the cove. We swam, caught some sun, the gentle lapping of the waves lulled us to sleep, sailboats drifted on the horizon. We retreated under the palm thatched roof and ordered octopus salad, grilled orada and a liter of house white. The real insight was when I order a glass of prosec - last year it was a deep ruby red, this year a light pink. When I asked about the color - the waiter said, "a new year, new grapes, different color".
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