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Everything posted by Alberts

  1. Osteria Alberto, by the way, has a good selection of fresh fish, as would be expected. We had grilled whole Branzino as a secondo, a mediterranean fish similar in taste and texture to sea bass, with olive oil and lemon. No picture of this. Ate it too quickly.
  2. Not to rehash an old thread, but it may be that Bill's description of his pizza oven doesn't do it justice. We caught this shot of the oven on our recent trip to Piemonte. Is it a sign from above to make pizza? (That's Barolo (Bussia) in my wife's glass.)
  3. We agree. Had an excellent, if not exceptional, meal at Osteria Alberto. Pictured below is the special that night...pasta with mussels and fresh tomatoes in a garlic broth, also grilled vegetables. We had an uninspired octopus salad which was fine, but not much flavor. The service was outstanding (particularly as we were with kids), the place was easy to find (within a block of the big Ospedale in the Cannareggio), and mostly full of Italians. Overall, it was a good deal for unpredictable Venice.
  4. Sorry, I could of swore she said capra. By the way. Cold pool, warm weather. We missed you at the Dolcetto tasting in Barbaresco last night. Arrivaderci, grazie.
  5. Bill We could not agree more. Everything at Dalla Posta was as close to perfect as possible. The service is amazing... three staff roaming the room only as needed, each with an impecable knowledge of how the food was prepared, and the details of the wine list. I cannot imagine how they do it. Even after ordering the tasting menu, they served the mild goat cheese with balsamico before the first course, and a creme brulee before the panna cotta! I canàt wait to try more, but I am using up time at the free internet site here in Barbaresco. (Had to throw that in).
  6. We had the same experience there twice. At least the only waiter in the place was apologetic on one of the occasions. There was a lot more going on at the bar. The tables were neglected. We had Vin Santo and desert, which were fine. I will admit that it is hard to tolerate poor service when there are so many excellent choices in our town for other places to eat.
  7. Price check QFC Westmoreland (PDX), CR Sockeye $9.99/lb. He said it came in today. Smelled fresh.
  8. Definitely stay near the airport. Search Expedia or Orbitz using MXP as your search criterion. There are multiple decent hotels close by with free shuttles to the airport. The headache of getting from central Milan to Malpensa at four am isn't worth any price in my opinion. Just my two cents.
  9. For what you describe, I would second the Buckman Bistro. We had the perfect, I mean perfect, half roasted chicken there. Everything else was great, and the place is small, comfortable, and inexpensive. Two of us ate very well, with a moderate bottle of wine for $55.
  10. Grazie per le risposte! Excellent suggestions. I am assuming we will be using the A22 as the major artery to the north. Most exciting is that this area sounds relatively untouristed and there remains plenty for discovery. Are there any particularly scenic routes off the autostrada that come to mind? I have seen pictures of Val di Tures (off the S49) with a spectacular castle and interesting town. Last year we meandered through the hills of Abruzzo and found a friendliness just not there in the big cities. It is great to hear from those who have been there. Please keep them coming if you can
  11. I agree wholeheartedly. New Seasons is a treasure, not only for making organic produce practically mainstream, but labelling the site of origin. They also are willing to offer conventional items, in contrast to most of Wild Oats/Natures. The weekend sample table (at least here in Sellwood) is a lot of fun. The prices put Whole Foods to shame
  12. We are doing our preliminary research for a June trip that includes a week staying north of Verona in Fumane, in the midst of Amarone land. I'm wondering if there are some of you who have travelled, spent some time, etc. in this area, and particularly further north into Trentino Alto-Adige. Any "can't miss" towns, food sites, cheese coops, beyond-breathtaking scenery to enjoy while eating an amazing meal? I have searched the usual sites, but haven't seen much here on e-gullet. We have a house, a car and no plans. Thanks.
  13. It is always polite to be complementary first, but I'll save that for now to take the opportunity to deride what seems to be considered a great place, but we found to be just the opposite: Lemongrass. This was one of the worst, no wait..the worst, meal we have had, without question. My wife and I love Thai food, to the point that Thai was our choice even for our wedding reception. Everything was wrong with our dining experience. We ordered some standards, Tom Ka Gai, Mussamon curry, Pad Thai, nothing too fancy, as we figure, if you do the standards well, it is probably a good place. The Tom K
  14. Speaking only for my family... growing up it seemed like the attraction of the Chinese food was (now this is late 60s, early 70s mind you) that they minced the pork so small that if you wished and imagined hard enough, -and even though you actually ordered the pork-, you could almost make believe it was chicken. It was about as risky as it got.
  15. Where, by the way, if anyone cares, Oregon White truffles (Tuber gibbosum) are in abundance, and at only $5/oz, a bargain. As I earlier mentioned, I have never tried truffles, in Alba, and I'm just guessing I'm going to hear that Oregon truffles are no comparison. I can take it.
  16. Great descriptions. I am getting the sense of it. Bill, in Piemonte, do they market the white truffles with the same ubiquity as the black ones in Umbria, ie truffle oil, truffles preserved in oil, truffle oil on pizza, truffles in cheese, etc. etc. etc.? If so, do any of these products capture the essence. And if not, is there any way to experience the white truffle in the off season in your region, June for example?
  17. Ah. Perhaps Freud was right, that the pleasure of eating is just a manifestation of a way to sublimate the sexual instinct...or could it be the other way around?
  18. In the autogrill store just south of Florence on the A1, we encountered a man, dressed in suit and tie, sampling large chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano. Strange that I've never seen that at a U.S. truck stop. What a great country they have!
  19. Perhaps that could be addressed on another thread. Interesting topic.
  20. I'm going to swallow my pride with this request, but surely this is the place for the answer. Having travelled throughout Umbria, and enjoying in some quantity the black truffles of the region, I am wondering if someone can describe for me the difference in flavor, character, culinary use, etc between the white truffles of the northwest and the black truffles of Umbria. Are these completely different creatures? I will admit I have never had the opportunity to try white truffles, and I wonder what to expect. From what I have read on this board, I would expect something, perhaps, that defies d
  21. Interesting ideas. I was in San Francisco over the summer at the Ferry Building Market, which has a refurbished interior, now with stalls for merchants. There was a wine store highlighting local wines, an olive oil kiosk for local oils (Sonoma Valley), as well as a butcher stall. I think that Cow Girls Creamery also had a semi-permanent stall. It would great to see something like this in Portland, but built into a pre-existing structure. The new market planners are intending to construct a new building. I have been to Pike Place in the winter and I love it just the same. I would never count
  22. Thanks for the info. Regarding the public market, they have a website www.portlandpublicmarket.com. I got on their mailing list, and there was word that a city council hearing would take place in the past week regarding the location of the market across the street from the Saturday Market. I don't know if it actually happened. I love the idea of a community market year round, but I am afraid that the produce would be primarily wholesale stuff, much like Safeway. As I understand it, that is the situation with the Pike Place Market, very little being local.
  23. You could sense the gloom at the market last weekend. One more to go. Rumor has it, and only rumor mind you, that the Sunday Hillsdale market will stay open on a limited basis over the winter. Anyone heard anything? Also, I am aware, that a couple of the regular market vendors deliver boxes all winter long. Has anyone done this? Granted, I will miss the market experience, but it might be nice to support the farmers in the off season. We end up at New Seasons Sellwood for organic produce. I have been a little disappointed with the quality of Limbo.
  24. Agreed. The quality and variety of Italian places in our town is amazing... which is not to take anything away from the Nana Kat's experience.
  25. In my humble opinion, the quality of Il Fornaio has been good on the two times I have been there (Denver and Portland). The problem I have with them is that I'm sure they would do just fine without me. I can't help but think that the $50 or so spent on dinner there would have been better spent trying to support the independent restaurant struggling to make a go of it, by doing something unique. Osteria La Spiga in Seattle, Il Piatto and Piazza Italia in Portland are good examples.
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