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What's your favorite Italian meal and why?

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What is your personal favorite Italian dish and why ? That is, what do you most admire about it, compared to numerous other Italian dishes.

If this has been discussed before on this site or forum, can anyone please give a link to any good threads.

Also what in your opinion, are currently the other best and most interesting sites and forums, for discussing Italian cuisine and culture.

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What is your personal favorite Italian dish and why ?    That is, what do you most admire about it, compared to numerous other Italian dishes.

Very good question......

Do you really have three weeks free? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

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There was recently another thread on this exact topic (but I haven't been able to locate it to get the link (though I didn't spend too much time on it either).

Some memorable dishes I've had in Italy include a pizza with artichoke hearts in Milan, fritto misto of fish in Venice, my first experience with pasta alla carbonara in a little roadside trattoria in the middle of nowhere in Molise and, my favorite, pasta aglio olio con pepperoncino that was fixed for me by my friend Roberto in Castel San Vincenzo, also in Molise. All of these were revelatory to me at the time.

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Some good links for Italian food are

www.italianfood.about.com/food/italianfood/

www.cucinait.com

www.gamberorosso.it/

www.italiancookingandliving.com

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SPQR do you have the name of the restaurant in Venice as this city is a minefield for gourmets as there are so many very bad tourist restaurants you have to be very careful.

However if you find a good one then it is a dream.

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SPQR do you have the name of the restaurant in Venice as this city is a minefield for gourmets as there are so many very bad tourist restaurants you have to be very careful. 

However if you find a good one then it is a dream.

Alas, I don't have the name of the restaurant. That meal happened in 1973, during my first visit to Italy, and I was a just graduated high school student who knew nothing about food and who was fairly wide-eyed at everything I was newly experiencing in Europe.

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Pasticcio di Maccheroni con pasta dolce from Emilia-Romagna. It's a festival dish that obviously based old tradition of cooking. A sweet shortcrust pie filled with pasta, sauced with custard/bechamel flavoured with porcini, chicken livers, sweetbreads, truffles, proscuitto a few spices and other bits an pieces. Sounds weird, tastes great (Unless you are called Steve Plonicki - Pie and Pasta!). Also great fun to make.

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My Shrimp and Pesto Ravioli with sauteed shitakes and shallots and sherry cream sauce, even though it lacks culinary relevance... :hmmm:


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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My Shrimp and Pesto Ravioli with sauteed shitakes and shallots and sherry cream sauce, even though it lacks culinary relevance...  :hmmm:

As long as it's got culinary irreverence.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Cod in Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine and saffron sauce ('Filetti di baccalà alla Vernaccia di San Gimignano con millefoglie di patate al forno con salsa allo Zafferano di San Gimignano'), Ristorante Dorando at San Gimignano.

and..

Mezzelune di pronola e speck al radicchio, Ristorante Pigna in La Punta.

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my favorite Italian dish?

whateve's in season in the town I'm in.

I agree with Charles.

Having said that when you talk about 'favourite' I have to take everything into consideration and NOT just the quality of the food. Who you were with, where were you, what kind of atmosphere, service, uniqueness of place etc ad nauseum, is also important, IMHO!

So, one of my favourite places to go is a restaurant called Maison de Fillippo in Entreves (+39 (165) 869797 - closed Tuesdays - MUST book in season) just outside Courmayer. Why? Because, in addition to ribbing people on Egullet, I love skiing and this is the ultimate skiing restaurant. Packed with skiers (many are French coming through the Mt Blanc tunnel), everyone's partying and lots and lots and lots of mountain food. The atmosphere has to be seen (and heard) to believe. The food is definitely NOT Michelin but with 32 different antipasti coming to your table, THEN the pasta choice, THEN the main dish, THEN the dolci THEN La fruttaTHEN the Coppa dei Amici (a wooden cup with 4 or 6 spouts filled with a very alcoholic coffee liqueur that everyone shares, each with their own spout, hence the name cup of friends) you have to pace yourself well. This is the complete opposite of nouvelle cuisine!

As I say it is NOT the best (for me there's no such thing) but it's certainly memorable. Craig if you live near Varese you should drive up for a night it's about 2 1/2 hours for you.

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This leads to the inevitable question - what is Italian cooking? Eating in Bari or in Balzano are quite different experiences. Our house is in Lombardia is in the same town my wife’s parents live in, her mother grew up there, but her father is from Trentino (in Cles for those Teroldego fans out there). What they eat is a mixture of the two regions. My wife’s best friend’s parents are from Calabria and moved to Lombardia before she was born – their kitchen is still totally from their home region even after 30 years of living in the north. My wife’s family eats risotto several times a week; her friend has never had risotto at home. They live five kilometers apart.

There are so many wonderful dishes it seems impossible to recount them all. Then there is the difference between restaurant food and home cooking. It is staggering to think that a country the size of Arizona can offer such a myriad of cooking styles.

My favorite dishes?

My wife’s grandmothers Vitello Tonnato – it absolutely melts in your mouth

The risotto con funghi at Peca Vecia (Veneto)

The orecchiette with anchovies, rapini and bread crumbs at Torrente Antico in Trani (Puglia)

The simply roasted chicken at Oasi degli Angeli in Cupra Maritima (Marche)

The apple strudel at the pasticceria on the piazza in Cles (Trentino)

The panzanella (bread salad) made by Maria Flora Fuligni and nephew Roberto Guerrini Fuligni, who own the famous Brunello estate of the same name. (Tuscany)

The Osso Bucco at Trattoria Campagna in the woods outside Arona just above Lago Maggiore (Piedmont)

The pasta al forno made by our friend in Palermo, Loredonna. (Sicilia)

and on and on and on…………………………..

What’s my favorite dish? I like to believe that I have not had it yet.

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As I say it is NOT the best (for me there's no such thing) but it's certainly memorable. Craig if you live near Varese you should drive up for a night it's about 2 1/2 hours for you.

Can't wait, but I have to. I am currently tied up in Chicago on business for the next month or so ---- when I get back I am on my way! Hope its not too late!

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Following the principle 'show don't tell' here is a web-site describing a delicious meal I had near Rome.

Enjoy! 

Meal at Santa Severa

Thanks that was great - my mouth is watering now. I will add this to my list.

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Considering how much you guys like Italy, this thread is certainly lacking specifiity. Let's see if I can add anything. The thing I like to eat best in Italy;

Grilled Scamponi- Anywhere on the Campania coast. They are juicy little suckers and the burnt shell imparts a nice char flavor to the meat. Drizzle with some olive oil and shower with herbs and it makes a great simple meal.

Beat Pastas

Riso al Salto at Alfredo Gran Bernardo in Milan. So flavorful that it is almost worth eating it a grain at a time. Perfectly al dente so you have something to chew on

Polenta Rosso at da Cesare is comfort food extraordinaire. Polenta with a raw egg in the middle that has a red yoke. I can eat it for breakfast. In truffle season you can really gild the lily

Bombolloti Sparacedo at Alberto Ciarla in Rome - Pasta coated with a sauce made from a finely choppped broccoli/asparagus like vegetable. Sort of a dry (meaning not much liquid, nit tasting dry) as the sauce really clings to the pasta. But the most unique tasting pasta you will ever have

Best Italian wine

1961 Giacomo Conterno Monfortini - I think I can still taste the finish on this wine that I drank almost a year ago. One of the great wines of the last century. If you can find a bottle with good provenance, it's worth the price you have to pay as it is half the cost of the top '61 Bordeaux yet this offers much more then half the quality

1961 Gaja Barbaresco - Possibly the most finesse I've ever experienced in a wine. Hard to find a good bottle these days but when I first started collecting they were around.

1978 Giacomo Conterno Monfortino - Again storage is an issue but good bottles of this wine are simply staggering. I'll stick my neck out and say this is better then the '61. A monster of a wine with the complexity to match

1982 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tilden - A worthy successor to the '61. So polished but so much depth. Not ready to drink yet but 5-10 years and it will be perfect. I ran into a sommelier friend of mine recently and he asked me what I have been drinking lately. When I mentioned this wine to him his eyes bugged out of his head and he said 'That wine rocks!"

1982 Aldo Conterno Gran Bussia - Waves of fruit and waves of complexity. Astonishing finish. Looooooong. Signor Conterno himself was so happy when I raised this wine with him on a recent visit. So many people fawn over the '85 which is a modern, easy to drink vintage. But the lovers of classic Barolo know that the '82' will drink long after the '85's are dead

I could list some more wines, but these wines were especially good. I wish they used better corks in the old days in Barolo and cared more about storage. The wines are great but they are often in lousy condition.

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This is hard. It's important to note that I've had more great food in Italy in private homes than in restaurants. I reserve the right to change my mind any time I feel like it. This may result in additions; rarely, if ever, subtractions. In no particular order:

-coniglio, roasted or stewed, especially at Da Bona, Casoli di Camaiore

-grilled fish, Alla Furatola, Venice

-fritto misto, Da Fiore, Venice

-spaghetti alle vongole on the beach, Forte dei Marmi

-filled foccaccia & pizza, Pietro, Forte dei Marmi

-truffle pie, Dodici Apostoli, Verona

-entire meal at San Domenico, Imola, 1984*

-entire meal at La Chiusa, Montefollonico, 1984 (we begged for mercy at about course 24, not including desserts)*

*I'd have to dig out the notes on these last two.

Oh, yeah, and fresh fruit marinated in artisanal grappa.

This is silly. That's just the very tip of the memory iceberg.


Edited by Robert Schonfeld (log)

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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About 8 years ago,I spent 2 weeks on the island of Pantellaria,with a friend who lived there and her boyfriend[who grew up there].We ate at home mostly-lots of Very fresh fish,and it was a revelation.Flounder,shrimp,sea urchin-fish with couscous.And he made great pizza,in an oven outside,facing the sea.Also,my 9 course fish lunch on the Amalfi coast-especially good were gamberoni dressed with a little balsamic ,pasta with colatura and incredible tomatoes,salt crusted fish.This winter,boar ragu with polenta in Arrezo.There's some...

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This is hard.  I reserve the right to change my mind any time I feel like it. This may result in additions; rarely, if ever, subtractions.

Great selection.

Here's just a very small selection of mine:

Spaghetti cooked with sea urchins on the Isola D'Elba.

The complete meal at Il Carpaccio (+39 (02) 29405982) in Milano (rather than read the menu just ask the owner to bring it all on - you won't get ripped and the wonderful food keeps coming, it's unforgettable - give him my regards, tell him I'm the little English guy who comes in with a different girl each time, he'll remember - he's Italian).

Il Vecchio Portico a very local trattoria in a small town called Chiari near Erbusco (yes, THAT Erbusco but one tenth of the price) that has a wonderful selection of very fresh Antipasti).

A truck stop (literally!) just before you hit the Autostrada Milano/Torino at Santhia. Great meat dishes.

Interesting set meal (uniquely without a pasta course - SP should like it!) at Locanda Del Isola on Isola Camicina (the only island on Lake Come) complete with wonderful views (the same view you see during the last Star Wars film).....Craig?

The 32 different appetizers brought to your table at Maison De Fillipo including 2 different kinds of Tumin (a Val D'Aosta/Piementese cheese which is kept in a bottle of oil for as long as pos), 7 different Salami's, Bagna Cauda (another specialite of the mountains - a sort of oil fondue where you dip and cook various fresh vegetables) - see previous post for contact.

Eating fresh grilled Langostini in a side alley in Venice.

Eating pizza or calzone almost anywhere in Italy that has a wood-burning oven and no stranieri.

Eating pasta with lobster, clams, calamari etc etc in the open air looking across the bay in Santa Margarita di Ligure (you can't miss the place, it's above a fishmongers across the road from the sea front, so the fish is really fresh).

Staying with a friend at his parent's converted farmhouse in Tuscany where the whole family arrived on a Sunday and each one cooked a speciality! The meal lasted four hours and the family served up everything you can imagine, finishing with Vin Santo and Amaro's. (Incidentally, Craig, this friend actually lives in Legnano and I've stayed there quite a few times - typically Italian town, no single historic restaurant but each one there is miles better than Locatelli, IMHO).

Having very fresh Fritto Misto in the, wait for it, self-service restaurant in Rome airport!

Eating in a small tunnel just before you descend into Amalfi - magic.

Eating Sardinian specialties in Arbatax (Sardinia) - especially the fresh fish and the Sardinian bread and wine.

Sorry, I could really go on and on and on.

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Now THAT's a fine post Peter. And useful too. Without rehashing your views on Italian food in the UK........ where IS the best Italian food in the UK?

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Eating pizza or calzone almost anywhere in Italy that has a wood-burning oven and no stranieri.

apart from you, I presume :raz:

Otherwise, I agree with Tony: Peter's best post to date. Thanks.

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Now THAT's a fine post Peter. And useful too. Without rehashing your views on Italian food in the UK........ where IS the best Italian food in the UK?

Unfortunately there's not many places.

Personally I like Metro Pizza in Battersea. Ask Alberto to put something together for you and you'll get to try various tasty antipasti and I'm sure he'll also do the Spaghetti Frutta Di Mare with lobster, clams, calamari etc. Very good.

Amazingly I've never tried the pizza as it's a long way to travel for me so I don't go as often as I want so when I do go I eat 'the works'.

In a previolus thread that was somehow deleted I remember that you reminded me about setting up an Italian night. I hadn't forgotten, I was waiting to go and see Alberto and see what he could do. Problem with Metro Pizza is that's it's not easy to get a reservation for 2 let alone 22!!

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Eating pizza or calzone almost anywhere in Italy that has a wood-burning oven and no stranieri.

apart from you, I presume :raz:

Otherwise, I agree with Tony: Peter's best post to date. Thanks.

Thanks.

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