Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
PM1111

What's your favorite Italian meal and why?

Recommended Posts

I've eaten at the Locanda Del Isola on Isola Camicina albeit 20 years ago. It's that touristy place on the small island in Lake Como that you have to get to by boat. They do that silly fire ceremony in the middle of your dinner. I don't remember the food as being anything special though.

I do note that Robert S.'s and Peter's lists seem to be more about dining experiences they remember fondly because of the setting (like isn't the spaghetti & vongole on this beach wonderful, or, hasn't the airport prepared my fritto misto well) then particular dishes that might hold up to a worldwide standard outside of the spectacular (or homogenized if we are talking about the misto) ambiance. I mean part of my liking the scampone on the Amalfi Coast is because of the terrific ambiance when sitting on a terrace overlooking the sea. But what makes me pine for them is the fact that you can't really eat them anywhere else. They taste unqiue and they are indiginous to that part of Italy. How about people are more specific about the dishes they ate and where they ate them? And Shonfeld, that your two classic meals happened 18 years ago doesn't do a great job of supporting your contention about Italian cuisine. Mind you, I said cuisine, not food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do note that Robert S.'s and Peter's lists seem to be more about dining experiences they remember fondly because of the setting.............

Sorry, but I will not post my comments on this nor my opinion of the author's taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Steve's comment is reasonable. On the other hand, I am utterly unable to divorce food and drink from their context: I supose I'm an absolute relativist.


Edited by Kikujiro (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's because you don't really know. From what I see, you have listed a tourist trap in Lake Como, and the mixed fishfry at the Milan airport. Yum, thems eats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think Steve's comment is reasonable. On the other hand, I am utterly unable to divorce food and drink from their context: I supose I'm an absolute relativist.

Why would you want to? Might as well eat in a labroratory with a white coat on.

What's food and wine without a little romance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing wrong with a little romance. And I agree it makes the food and wine taste better. Not in actuality, but that's how you feel about it. But that goes to support my theory that a large part of the reason that people like the food in Italy, is because they like being there. And as a cuisine all by itself, it is somewhat plain, albeit often tasty because of the quality of the ingredients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tastiest main course I had in a restaurant last year was Osso Buco with Parmesan Risotto at Incognico on Shaftesbury Avenue in London. This isn't actually an Italian restaurant. It's more of a French brasserie, but this dish sung of Italian flavours- veal, olive oil, oregano, lemon zest, red wine, parmesan, abrorio rice. The meat was dark and winey and glossy and had been cooked so that it came peeling away from the bone without disintegrating.

The risotto was wickedly rich and creamy, like a savoury rice pudding. This dish was the best Osso Buco I've ever had and it really opened my eyes to how good it can be.


Edited by Tonyfinch (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do note that Robert S.'s and Peter's lists seem to be more about dining experiences they remember fondly because of the setting...

And Shonfeld, that your two classic meals happened 18 years ago doesn't do a great job of supporting your contention about Italian cuisine. Mind you, I said cuisine, not food.

Seven of the eight experiences I mentioned offer no setting, just the name of the restaurant. But even if they had focussed on setting, which they didn't, isn't that part of the dining experience? I brought up the clams on the beach because they are taken out of the water and brought to the table. Each one is as big as your little fingernail. The table is set in the sand, under a stretched piece of canvas. Somebody boils some water, there's a pan, some wine, some parsley, some oil, and the next thing you know, you're sitting there in your bathing suit having a perfect ten eating experience. Didn't you just write a nice little story about eating in a market somewhere in France?

If I hadn't dated those two meals, you wouldn't have known any better. Similar experiences are available today. But for the umpteen gazillionth time: eating - excuse me - cuisine - in Italy is not about what you call "classic", by which you mean French high style dining. I can only recal one really disappointing meal in Italy, at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. Not because the food was bad, but because the place was pretentious, trying to be something out of place.

It's nice that there's some Italy talk on the boards recently. Come along for the ride. Or don't. But don't keep trying to grab the steering wheel.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had Spaghetti Vongole at a number of places along the coast in Italy where the clams are the size of your thumbnail and I know how good they can be. But I was asking for more specificity because I'd like to know good places to eat at when I travel. Although I am also needling you guys because your lists seem woefully inadequate based on your claims about the food. And I have never eaten in Enoteccha Pinchiorri despite three trips to Firenze because I projected the type of meal you have just described. So I get it. I am just looking for a good list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can only recal one really disappointing meal in Italy, at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. Not because the food was bad, but because the place was pretentious, trying to be something out of place.

On our honeymoon my wife and I were treated to a meal at EP by some friends. It was a 4 hour plus meal, with a tasting of French wines. The following night we dined at La Chiusa in Montefollonico-

The contrast in styles at such high levels of food was very interesting- both meals were well executed and delicious, but La Chiusa was much better because of the "feel" of the restaurant.

not a bad two nights, either way-

and this was our first taste (La Chiusa) of truffles in Italy- Tuscan, but still wonderful- probably my favorite single dish if I had to pick one.

Cheers,

Charles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am also needling you guys because your lists seem woefully inadequate based on your claims about the food.

I'm the last one to object to a little needling, but this assertion doesn't even merit a reply.

As for your list, I think you've got quite a few names by now. But face it, you're going to come home bitching and you know it. Go to France. Write nice stories. Repeat.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve –

Spectacular wine references and comments. The drinking of such wines leads you down the path to Nirvana.

The 1961 Gaja brings back a particularly sweet memory. In the early eighties when no one here had heard of Gaja, I had the pleasure to play a small part in introducing his wines to Chicago. Two or three times a year Angelo would come to Chicago, I would pick him up at the airport and for three or four days we would hit the road with a bag full of samples. It is hard to imagine Angelo now going from retail store to retail store where they would taste his wines out of plastic cups, often not considering them seriously because they were Italian. On his first trip his English was – shall we say – lacking, but within three years his English was excellent and he was an emerging superstar. I resent his jealous detractors now because I remember the hard work and dedication it took him to accomplish all he has done.

The 1961 Gaja recalls a unique evening with Angelo and the special man that was our host. In the early 80’s, Italian dining in the United States was a culinary wasteland (some would argue this is still so but that’s for another thread). Marv Magid was the ‘food soul’ of the growing Lettuce Entertain You empire and had created what at that time was the best Italian restaurant in the United States, the long gone Avanzare.

In 1984, Marv invited about fifteen of his best customers for a dinner to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of Avanzare. The guest of honors for the evening where Angelo and Neil Empson, the outstanding shipper of Italian wines. Marv had been planning the evening for many months and we had obtained from Angelo two cases of his 1961 Barbaresco just for the event. The evening was a sumptuous affair and when the first of the evenings two main courses arrived the waiters began pouring the 1961 into oversize balloon wine glasses.

Now these waiters had been trained by Lettuce Entertain You and there are many things they drill into you there, but one thing every server knows at Lettuce – never let the water or the wine glasses get empty. With military precision they keep the wine coming and with equal dedication every one at the table kept drinking that spectacular wine. By the time the second main course was finished the twenty of us had consumed all twenty-four bottles – not a drop was left in a glass.

Needless to say a good time was had by all.

Marv Magid was a great gentleman, a great lover of fine food and was the food conscience on the management side of Lettuce Entertain You. Unfortunately, Marv was killed in a helicopter accident during his honeymoon in Hawaii not too long after this incredible evening. Lettuce was never the same without him.

The 1961 Gaja Barbaresco is a wine of history as when Angelo took over the winemaking - his first vintage was 1973 – he changed everything. It is a dramatic comparison to compare the 1961 to the powerful and oak laced 1982 Sori Tilden. I hope I get the chance.

Now for me this is a great Italian food memory. I don't remember what the dishes were and I am sure by my standards today they weren't great, but the experience heightened my appreciation of serious dining and the symphony that can be created by food and wine served in harmony and enjoyed with others of like mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my favorite Italian dish?

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

you said it man! - great way to define italian food.

i dont know who said this - but your reply reminded me of it - "french cooking is about the chef, italian cooking is about the ingredients"

now that im thinking about the question, cappelletti in brodo is one dish which when properly made leaves you speechless. in a way so simple yet contains a level of taste-refinement which is hard to find in other dishes.

-che

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have had the '82 Sori Tilden 3 times in the last 2 years. And I agree it is made in a modern style which includes aging in oak barrels. But some wines are so good and have such breeding that they rise above it and this is a wine that has the stuffing to do so. The Guigal LaLas are also made in a modern, okay style but, the wines can be so powerful and complex that those aspects of the wine are almost like affectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well I have had the '82 Sori Tilden 3 times in the last 2 years. And I agree it is made in a modern style which includes aging in oak barrels. But some wines are so good and have such breeding that they rise above it and this is a wine that has the stuffing to do so. The Guigal LaLas are also made in a modern, okay style but, the wines can be so powerful and complex that those aspects of the wine are almost like affectations.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the 82 Sori Tilden. I only have 4 bottles left and I am waiting a few more years before drinking them. On a very sad note the bottle that I opened lasted year was corked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Il Carpaccio ... with a different girl each time

Did the girls give up because of the food or the guy??? :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Hey Peter - are the girls all Italian - you know same taste in women, wine and food?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Il Carpaccio ... with a different girl each time

Did the girls give up because of the food or the guy??? :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Hey Peter - are the girls all Italian - you know same taste in women, wine and food?

Good question but as you live in Italy you should know better than to ask that question :smile:

No, I have never taken an Italian women there although I have taken Italian friends.

I think the girls must have given up because of the guy. They got tired of smooth sophistication (as you do). :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter P:

I will spend one night in Milano in less than one month. I want to try some traditional Milanese stuff and for sure risotto al salto. Do you think Il Carpaccio fits the bill? And could you tell us where it is located. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By alacarte
      I recently took a trip to Northern Italy, and was delighted to find that the cappuccino everywhere was just wonderful, without exception. Smooth, flavorful, aromatic perfect crema, strong but not too strong.
      Aside from the obvious answer (duh, Italians created cappuccino ), what makes Italian capp so fantastic, and how do I duplicate the effect here?
      I'm wondering if it's the water, the way the coffee is ground or stored, the machines used....I'm baffled.
      Also noticed that the serving size tended to be smaller than what I'm used to -- i.e. a small teacupful vs. a brimming mug or Starbucks supersize. Not sure why that is either.
      Grazie mille for any insight on this!
    • By Modernist Cuisine Team
      The Modernist Cuisine team is currently traveling the globe to research pizza and different pizza styles for our next book Modernist Pizza.  Nathan and the team will be in São Paulo and Buenos Aires soon. We'd love hear from the eGullet community—what pizzerias should they visit while they're there? You can read more about our next book Modernist Pizza here. Thanks in advance, everyone! 
    • By scordelia
      My article was published (my first one!)! Hooray! And I do have some Florentine restaurant recommendations including the new Osteria del Pavone which is amazing--lampredotto ravioli is now a thing and it must be tried.
       
      http://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/florence-in-winter/
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...