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Found 286 results

  1. At North Beach’s Liguria Bakery, the Soracco family knows focaccia — and San Francisco, by Jonathan Kauffman, January 12, 2018, on sfchronicle.com.
  2. That would be my #1 option (YMMV) in Cleveland Park, then. Great news for Cleveland Park!
  3. La Favola

    La Favola opened recently in the old Ovvio space. The menu has pizza and mostly uninteresting Italian dishes. It's not red sauce Italian...I don't know what it is.
  4. Nothing makes me angrier than when I am at a restaurant that clearly doesn't care. $136 for POOR Italian food tonight, for four people: hard bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; bland insalata caprese with radicchio and other lettuces (no seasoning whatsoever - even Frank's recipe has salt); mediocre chicken parmigiana (heavy breaded chicken, bland sauce); bland, underseasoned flank steak cooked with rosemary and vinegar, served with bland fried potatoes and steamed broccoli, and watery balsamic vinegar-tinged gravy; gummy asparagus and mushroom risotto. I was dreading the food once the waiter served the bread. The "loaf" we received was hard as a rock. I had to soak the pieces I broke off in oil and vinegar to render it edible. The waiter handed us a plate of cookies and gummy bears along with the check. The wines were just "ok". We skipped dessert, paid the bill and went to Stella's for mascarpone-filled sponge cake. We went there so you don't have to. I wish I had brought my camera to document everything. Michaelangelo Ristorante and Caffe 579 Columbus Avenue (Union Street) North Beach ps. if it was up to me, I'd have gone elsewhere but that's what happens when you're with friends and they spend 15 minutes deciding on where to go. it's a behavior I've noticed is common in San Francisco. the New Yorker in me just wants to scream.
  5. Jul 28, 2017 - "At Venice Beach's New Pasta Palace Felix, Jonathan Gold Admires Noodly Views and Italian Cooking" by Jonathan Gold on latimes.com
  6. For all you Chris Bianco fans, here's an interesting article from the LA Times talking about his new LA project and book. As one of the folks who has made the Pizzeria Bianco pilgrimage, I'm super excited about the anticipated opening of a location in the ROW DTLA, a developing high-end, mixed-use area next to the Arts District. Excited enough, probably, to make the trip down with two kids under 3 (yeah, that excited)!
  7. Some more pix from a visit a couple of months ago: Porcini with blueberries and pecorino Grilled artichokes with lemon aioli Octopus with pesto Grilled asparagus, caprino cheese, pickled shallots Meatballs Green beans with pesto and pine nuts Chicken liver crostini Rather disappointing. Was dry and needed a bit more "oomph". Charred pork belly, served with sweet-and-sour onions Awesomesauce on a plate Raspberry crostata -- dry and crumbly. Not too bad though -- with two glasses of white wine, coffee and herb tea, came out to $120 pp (incl. tax and 20% tip).
  8. My son's baseball schedule has finally stopped, but had us traveling througout VA and beyond this summer. Last weekend saw us heading home from West VA via route 340. In an effort to avoid eating in West Virginia we headed into Berryville to try the rumored Neighborhood Italian Kitchen (NIK) offshoot. For those who are unfamiliar, NIK is probably the best restaurant in Winchester now that One Block West is going away. A strip-mall Italian-American joint that makes it's own mozzarella, cooks everything to order from scratch, and cuts no corners. NIK's Broiler room has opened just off the main strip in Berryville, conveniently located next to the ABC. In addition to the "regular" menu we have come to enjoy from NIK's Winchester, the Broiler room has added a selection of steaks, dry-aged in house. As with the NIK in Winchester, the prices are unbelieveable. $24 for a 20 oz bone in shell steak with your choice of side, and $13.95 for a chicken parm dinner large enough to serve two! While I can't comment on the ingredient sourcing other than to say that (a) mozz is made in house, and (b) suffice to say that the steak isn't wagyu and the chicken isn't green circle I can say that the dishes are made with care. We started with mushrooms oreganata and calamari, both of which were excellent - I prefer the sauteed calamari at NIK's Winchester, but was over-ruled on this order. The oreganata was well balanced between garlic, oregano and parsley - you'll often see versions leaning too heavily on the garlic, but not here. Mains were Rigatoni with Meatballs, Chicken Parm x2 and the 20 oz. shell steak with fries. The Rigatoni and meatballs were enjoyed - the bite i was able to steal impressed me with the brightness of the tomato sauce. The meatballs themselves were large but relatively light - I would guess a ground beef and pork sausage mix. The chickens parm were also excellent - the very same bright tomato sauce worked as well as a topping as it did in a more starring role with the rigatoni. Finally, my son inhaled the 20 oz shell steak, which came cooked to the requested medium rare, and with a generously charred exterior. The fries were potato wedges, and seemed to be made in house vs. the frozen variety. We were far too full to contemplate dessert, and left with basically an entire chicken parm dinner ready for the following day. The wine "list" is short and unremarkable, however they do have at least three offerings from Winchester's Escutcheon Brewing Co on tap, so I'd lean in that direction. We will be back.
  9. Situated on Lake Anne in Reston, Kalypso's Sports Tavern, with expansive outdoor seating across from the dock area and water. Plaza is dated due to the concrete theme of 1970s construction, but there are several recent additions to the area which all appear to be fairing well. Had not been here in some time but found ourselves there Sunday and decided to give it another shot. Outdoor seating area was nice, umbrellas are a little worn and could use a cleaning, but the open-air area was nice. They have improved their ordering system so it is automated and very efficient. From Humus appetizer to dinner salads, entrees and kids meals, everything was fresh, and nicely prepared. Service was efficient, and food came out quickly and hot. Lucky for us they had live music Saturday evening starting at 5:30 PM, which was great for atmosphere. Place was decently busy and when we departed around 7, there were people waiting to be seated.
  10. Annnnd... The New Bridge has closed and re-re-opened as "Denim and Pearls", a nominally Italian restaurant. The New Bridge team is out (save for the building owner) and Chef John Payne is in. We stopped by for lunch on Monday, and see very little reason to return, sadly. DnP is not ready for prime time. We ordered fairly simply and were seated to the back of the sparsely populated dining room. Our group ordered a "housemade mozzarella" salad with heriloom tomatoes, basil and balsamic to start, two meatball subs, pasta with meatballs and fettuccine alfredo with flank steak. Our server took our order, brought us drinks, and we waited. And waited. And waited. At the twenty minute mark (for a salad, mind you) we asked our server if the salad would be forthcoming. At this point the lunch could have been rescued by a sympathetic word or an update - basically any interaction. However our server returned about ten minutes later with our full order. One of our group pointed out that we had asked for the salad to start, and was given a shrug in response. That aside, the mains were pretty solid, save the fettuccine. Meatball subs were a generous portion of pretty light meatballs in a bright tomato sauce, and the spaghetti and meatballs were basically the same, sans bread. Nothing groundbreaking, but acceptable. The fettuccine came topped with three slices of flank steak, cooked far beyond the requested medium rare. The alfredo sauce was fine, but the plate had a coating of balsamic vinegar around the rim and under the sauce. I now know why you rarely see alfredo sauce combined with a heavy dose of balsamic vinegar. Blech. The dish was a total failure. Between the overcooked steak, long wait and subpar fettuccine I don't see much reason to return until we hear that the ship has been righted, or this location has yet another iteration. Cafe Torino provides a reliable, if atmosphere-less option for Italian-American cuisine in Warrenton.
  11. This place looks good - Capo Deli Pictures on Yelp look great, especially the bread, and prices are not obscene. $9 a lb for eggplant parm. $9 for smaller sandwich, and $11 for sandwiches that appear to feed two hungry people. Open til 3AM - 4AM on weekends. 2007 me would be so happy right now.
  12. "Bicycle Thieves" is the simple story of a poor Italian man, his son and a stolen bicycle. It is one of the finest films I have ever seen. Considered by many to be a masterpiece of Italian neorealism, the movie is bleak, beautiful, sad, joyous, hopeful, moving and sublime. I was confused when I started searching for this film online, because it is also called "The Bicycle Thief." Both titles refer to the same film. They are merely different translations of the Italian title. "Bicycle Thieves" was adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini from a novel by Luigi Bartolini. At 69 years old, the film does not seem dated. It is a timeless tale that still feels fresh and relevant today. One of the earmarks of neorealism is the use of non-actors. Neither Lamberto Maggiorani , who plays the father, nor eight-year-old Enzo Staiola, who portrays his son, were trained actors. Both give magnificent, moving performances. Staiola is irresistible as the little man, trying as hard as he can to keep up with his father as they search the streets of Rome for the bicycle. He has the most expressive eyes, and is able to communicate a full range of emotions with a simple glance up at his father. I felt the deep bond between these two, and the scene where they share a well-earned meal of mozzarella sandwiches is one of the best moments I have seen captured on film. Shot in black-and-white, the film is lovely looking, with artistic images of the grittier side of Rome. The story is simple, yet compelling. I was completely caught up in the tale, and felt as if I was running alongside the pair, racing against time, trying to help them find the bicycle and a way out of their life of poverty. "Bicycle Thieves" reminded me a lot of the French film "The 400 Blows," a movie that I adore. I highly recommend these two films. Watch them both. You won't regret it.
  13. I've made a couple of lasagnas lately, and want to try a professional version to see how mine measures up. Anyone recommend a (local) place that has a good one? Not looking with one with excessive dairy, would like one balanced. I am especially interested to check out the texture of the noodle. Thanks.
  14. Recently, I had a very bad experience with a professional group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington. Despite repeated attempts to address the issues during dinner, there was poor to simply inadequate service. We had pre-set menus. In theory, everything should have been seamless. However, it was miserable! Some people received salads; some people didn't. A bread basket was placed on only one side of a very large table when there should have been one bread basket on each side of a round table. Servers were surly at best and seemed as though our party was an after thought despite the fact that our dinner had been planned months in advance. Oh, and the worst of all, a guest at one of our tables was a mindful eater. Rather than ask if the guest was finished with their plate, the server picked up the guest's plate - still half full of food - and promptly placed another plate on top mashing the food down. This act prevented the guest from asking for a 'doggie bag'. The first time my organization had a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington, all aspects of the dinner from service to food were outstanding. Therefore, we made plans to return a few months later. Needless to say, we will not be booking a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla again and will definitely advise others not to think of dining there. Does anyone know if there is a problem between the FOH and the Chef/Owner? It seems as though there are signs of a major calamity in progress. The decline in service, in less than 6 months time, is stunning. There are many other options, but we like to develop a rapport with restaurants and become regular customers. The location of La Perla is very convenient, but we will travel to experience good service and food. Washington has plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from and we are giving up on this old guard restaurant. Does anyone have recommendations for Italian restaurants in DC where group dining is a wonderful experience? Thanks for all recommendations.
  15. Family dinner last night at Paulie's. A few things to know going in: It's counter-service, which is a surprising choice (to me) for a restaurant like this, but seems to be a fairly popular model in Houston. It is small and tables are first-come first-served. Portion sizes are mind-bogglingly big, and a half-portion of pasta will be enough for 2 meals. The panzanella salad in no way resembled any panzanella I have encountered before, and was essentially a spinach salad with a few croutons in it. Not bad, but not what we expected. Again, the portion size was crazy, and I would suggest a half portion to share between 2 or 3. The Caesar salad my in-laws got was the better choice, and perplexingly had a higher crouton to roughage ratio than the panzanella. The kids happily devoured spaghetti and meatballs. A couple small bites I had were good...a smooth, fairly sweet sauce with light and well-seasoned meatballs. At $8 for a "small" that 2 kids only finished half of, this is a ridiculous value. Cristina's creste di gallo was served with that same tomato sauce, kicked up with some red pepper, pickled onions and half moons of sweet Italian sausage. The sausage itself is nothing special, a finely ground and tightly packed version with a good dose of fennel and caraway (but not too much). My mother-in-law had the skirt steak served with a side of pesto gnocchi. The steak itself was described (by my MIL) as "a bit chewy, but hey, it's skirt steak," and the gnocchi I tasted were good - medium density and coated in a solid standard basil pesto. I think I won the night with my bucatini Amatriciana, which was smoky, and spicy, with a good amount of sweetness from the tomatoes. This is the must-order dish as far as I can tell. With prices that are $11 or less for "small" portions of pasta that are really enough for 2 people, the value at Paulie's can't be denied. The pastas are reportedly made in house, and were all decent, though I prefer a bit more al dente texture. Reasonable people may disagree though, as my wife thinks my "al dente" is too chewy. There are a number of well-priced beers by the bottle (local bottles priced at $5), and Italian wines by the glass ($10-15) and bottle (all in the $40 range). Paulie's is a neighborhood gem that I would compare favorably to Frank or Supper in NYC. Dinner isn't going to blow your mind, but it is solid, and perfect for a family-style night out.
  16. New York press and food fiends have been raving about Pasquale Jones, a tiny restaurant in NoLita serving pizza and other goods from a wood burning oven. Not wanting to deal with the crowds or a wait, we headed there for lunch on Sunday. Despite suggestions from my cousins to get the clam pizza, @MichaelBDC and I decided to split an order of radicchio salad, a margherita pizza, and a half bottle of red wine. @MichaelBDC and I love a well thought out and dressed salad and the radicchio salad was great and a nice start to the meal. The pizza was...fine. Given everything I had read and heard about the pizza at Pasquale Jones, I was really expecting something transformative or at least a pizza that made me rethink all other pizzas but I was disappointed. The ingredients were very good and high quality but the execution was lacking. I generally don't mind or even notice less than perfect pizza, but was surprised to find a noticeably soupy middle. At $21, I wanted a do over but we forged on. The wine was a dry red, likely a chianti, that was definitely overpriced. But then again, we were in Manhattan. Sadly, this meal was a disappointment, our sole lackluster food excursion during our long weekend in NYC. If I lived in lower Manhattan, I would be willing to give Pasquale Jones another chance, especially to try some of the pastas and entrees at dinner. However, since my trips to NYC are annual or semi-annual at most, I would much rather return to old favorites and explore some new-to-me places.N
  17. Had one of the best brunches I've eaten in a long, long time Sunday 2/5 morning. Wm. Mulherin's Sons is at the corner of Master and N. Front St in Fishtown in a historic building that was formerly the offices for a 19th century whiskey manufacturer. We were seated in a room behind the bar with a real (=wood) fireplace that was stoked continuously throughout the morning. Although seating was a little tight (18 inches between two-tops) you could still focus on your companion without too much distraction from the parties on either side of you. My bloody mary was mixed well with fresh horseradish, giving enough of a kick to pull me through my hangover. We started with the warm pound cake with banana, whipped ricotta, dark rum and cinnamon. I took a bite and just stared at it for a minute. My wife had to ask me if I was ok. I was, just stunned at how good it was. Although it had the potential to be treacly, it was the perfect amount of sweet. My wife got the frittata with truffled burrata, smoked pancetta, mushrooms and potato. She raved about the burrata, and the truffle flavor was perfect in its subtleness, unlike so many places where it overwhelms the rest of whatever you are eating. The rest of the fritatta balanced the ingredients nicely in a substantial portion. I ordered the Eggs on Volcano, their version of Uova al Purgatorio. Th two poached eggs come on top of a spicy tomato sauce (the heat coming from long hot peppers), guanciale and creamy polenta. Again, everything was in balance. The heat from the sauce was not insignificant, but also not overwhelming. Break the eggs and mix everything together and enjoy. The service was top-notch, with the whole team of servers responding to requests (more cream for the very good coffee, more water to quell the spice of the tomato sauce). A neighboring table had an infant and some formula leaked from the diaper bag onto the bench and coats of the family. The manager rushed over before the mother looked up, grabbed the coat and rinsed it off, while another server helped clean up the formula leak. They were on top of everything. When we return to Philly, we are definitely going to go back to try dinner. Or maybe bring some friends along for the family-style brunch which consists of a 24oz dry aged porterhouse, potatoes and a dozen eggs (scrambled or over easy).
  18. Although a discussion was never started on this place, I guess its demise will be reported by my post. There is another dining casualty at Montgomery Mall new "dining deck" (credit, Bethesda Magazine). It was not around long enough for me to give it a try. Pizza looked good enough though. The sit down dining area never looked full to me.
  19. Hello All! My name is Mia Gatto, I own Dolce Mia, an upscale Italian dessert company, and have known Don Rockwell for over 25 years (although we also haven't seen each other in that long) - Don encouraged me to post here about my company, so here I am! I've always loved food (all cuisines) and gourmet cooking, it's actually a "family-inherited" passion which I got from my parents who immigrated from Sicily in 1964. Which brings me to Dolce Mia...we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and now are re-launching as we partnered with an excellent bakery manufacturer, Bread and Chocolate, in Alexandria, who will make and distribute for us throughout MD, DC and VA. We are very excited! I attached our press release. Please take a look at our website www.dolcemiadesserts.com. We are strictly wholesale at this time and are looking for high-end restaurants, hotels, specialty grocers and cafes, caterers, etc, that may be interested in carrying our product. On a more personal note, I'm looking forward to getting to know you all and learning a lot from you! Thank you DonRockwell.com! Mia DM.press.rel.12.5.2016.docx
  20. 45. Moonlight Cafe Incredible.Charming.. Courteous.Warm. Delicious. These are are just a few words to describe my new fav place to eat. I knew I was in for an great meal when I was seduced by the aroma of sauted garlic as I was parking my car. Moonlight Cafe is a tiny cafe in Dover, Pa that probably seats roughly 40 people at one seating. The size of the dining room is propably smaller than your average Doctor's office waiting room. The kitchen is open,so if you are lucky enough to be seated close to the kitchen , take it. Two whirling dervishes, disguised as highly proficient cooks knock out rapidly incoming tickets like a well oiled machine. Everything is prepared a la minute. I ordered the Veal Piccata, and watched the chef dust the veal and saute it just minutes before it arrived to my table. perfection. Briny capers dotted all throughout the dish with the brightest lemon sauce coating perfectly a dente spaghetti. But wait, what did I start off with? I know its well past summer ,but I could not resist ordering the Caprese salad. The star, the mozzarella. I was expecting buffalo mozzarella, but was pleasenty surprised by what I got instead. If I didnt know any better, I would say they used ricotta salata. Mozzarella ++ as I refer to it. It had a saltiness to it, that I found to be yummy. Rather gourmand term for crazy delicious. The plate was finished off gluttonously with torn basil, and drizzled with a sweet Balsamic reduction. Superb! the desserts naturally delivered a sweet ending to a rather perfect, rustic Italian meal. A slice of Limoncello spongecake. The only missing detail would have been to finish with an Americano. But I do not think they had a Cappucino machine. all in all a most pleasant meal. Ill be back, many times over. Bueno Appettito!!! kat I would have included a photo, but max mbs wont permit it. --- Edit: Im not sure how I missed it, but they do in fact serve espresso based beverages! Perfection!!!
  21. Didn't want to head down to the Village, so stuck with Da Tommaso. Very happy with it...baked clams, veal parm, linguini with white clam sauce...all exactly what I was looking for. Short walk to the theater, so that worked out well too. I'll have to try Piccolo Angolo when I have a bit more time in the city to compare.
  22. I received the following e-mail via a Silver Spring listserv this morning: Trattoria da Lina is a new Italian restaurant coming to Takoma Park in early 2017. The project will take over a former office space and add another option to Takoma Park's growing dining scene. Construction is well underway for this 55 seat restaurant in the heart of the Takoma Park commercial district. The restaurant's design is rustic and cozy with brick and wood and inspired by the casual eateries of the owner's motherland.The menu will offer a wide variety of pasta dishes, including traditional favorites and authentic creations, plus steak and fish options too. The restaurant will host a full bar. The owner is Marcello Minna, area restaurateur with 20 years experience and partner in Magico, the group behind Takoma Park's popular Dolci Gelati Cafe. Minna plans to staff the Trattoria with a team from Italy. Trattoria da Lina 7000 Carroll Ave Takoma Park, MD 20912 202-446-4167 Minnamarcello@yahoo.com
  23. Becco was pretty good (not amazing, but solid) the last time I was there (which was several years ago). It is mobbed pre-theater, and then pretty empty while everyone is at their shows.
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