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Old 03-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #21
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Italian Cuisine in the USA

Would enjoy hearing your points of view ...

A few of the Italian restaurants that we had eaten in on our yearly trips include:

1) Los Angeles: Valentino´s which was owned by Sicilian Piero Selvaggio when we had dined there back in 1990´s ...

2) Manhattan: Felida´s

3) Manhattan: S P Q R

4) Manhattan: Ennio and Michael´s located at: 539 - 541 La Guardia Place, off the corner of Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village

5) Manhattan: Mario Batali´s Restaurant located on Mac Dougal Street, in Greenwich Village

6) San Francisco: Alioto´s on Fisherman´s Wharf and regional Sicilian

7) Whippany, New Jersey: Il Capriccio

8) Manhattan: San Domenico ( luxurious - special occasion )

9) Sacramonto, California: Biba ( Chef Biba Caggiano )

10) Washington D.C. : I Ricchi ( Tuscan style cuisine )

Has anybody eaten in any of these ? Would really like to hear your points of view ?

Margi.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:58 AM   #22
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Chains are NOT my cup of Coffee

Thanks for your post and forewarning on chain mentioned above.

I have never eaten in a chain restaurant ... Believe me, it is not my cup of coffee --- I say coffee verses tea, because I am not a fan "fast drink" tea bags ... nor tea from Lipton´s ... It reminds me of when I was a kid, and had a flu, and mom gave us tea with a tsp. of honey --- unpleasant to say least.

I do however, appreciate a real Earl Grey however, without milk and without lemon ... steeped in true British fashion ... with a watercress sandwich at 17.00 hrs. High Tea Hour ... Lovely tradition.

Chain food, is just not for me ... I do not chain it ... I enjoy and respect traditional and home made Italian cuisine too much to see it tortured.

Margi. Cintrano.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #23
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My two favorites are in San Francisco, Scomas on Fisherman's Wharf for Italian seafood, and Stinking Rose in North Beach for everything else.

At Scomas I used to order Snapper Romano but they took it off the menu. I emailed them to complain and their chef sent me the recipe so now I make it at home my own self. One of my other favorites is their cioppino, which is arguably the best on the Wharf, and their crab louie is also excellent. I think for my next trip I am going to try their Prix Fixe Dinner, but it will be difficult to choose between the Broiled Wild Pacific Swordfish with Tuscan White Beans, Pancetta, Tomatoes & Organic Rainbow Chard and the Seared Wild Mahi Mahi with Sautéed Spinach, Dungeness Crab Ravioli & Fried Leeks.

At Stinking Rose I usually order eggplant pramigiana because it's too troublesome to make it at home for just me, but just about anything on the menu is good.

Oh, one other favorite was Borrelli's on Long Island, where I always ordered Malangnone a la Sicilian, but I haven't been there for over 20 years and it doesn't appear to be on the menu any more. Fortunately I have the recipe for that, too! I will make this for guests, but not just for me. Maybe I should. They grow beautiful eggplants here.

We went to Scoma's years ago in SF. If I ever go back, I will try it again. As I recall, it took about 20 minutes before anyone came to the table. I noticed Stinky Rose is in Bev. Hills as well. Will put it on the list. Thanks. :)

P.S. JPB, you know, I knew you were joking with me.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #24
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We went to Scoma's years ago in SF. If I ever go back, I will try it again. As I recall, it took about 20 minutes before anyone came to the table. I noticed Stinky Rose is in Bev. Hills as well. Will put it on the list. Thanks. :)

P.S. JPB, you know, I knew you were joking with me.
Glad you played along. Sorry you do not enjoy a nice broiled veal chop.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #25
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Glad you played along. Sorry you do not enjoy a nice broiled veal chop.
;-) Hahahahaha.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #26
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Lots of favorites.

In Rome, there is a little outdoor cafe right next to the Pantheon called "Di Rienzo". The food itself is good, but not spectacular. It's the atmosphere and the view that are memorable.

In Venice, we loved "Le Mistra" on Giudecca island. It's run by a happy German man. Not really any menus to speak of. The German came to our table and introduced himself as the owner. He said "you like fresh Lobster?". We said "yes", so they made up a family size platter of pasta with lobster sauce. It was excellent. They also had a squid sausage of sorts that was colored with the ink. Great place. I wonder if it's still around.

Locally, we have a couple of restaurants I like.

For everyday Italian, there is a teeny tiny little restaurant called "Giuseppe's". Hard to get into because they only have a handful of tables. They specialize in southern Italian fare. Lots of pasta. Lots of red sauces. I have never had a bad meal there.

For a more upscale dinner, we also like "i Nonni". Their prix fixe menu with custom wine pairings can't be beat, but you'd better bring your personal Brinks truck along when you dine there.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #27
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Steve,

Thanks for your post. Yes, the place that you have mentioned on the little island of Guidecca and the German gent --- we had been there a couple of years ago ( 2010 October ) and it was there then. Phenomenal. They specialise in shellfish and seafood.

I was in Minneapolis and St. Paul in 1994. I recall some fine Italian especially in Minneapolis and Chicago --- which was the 1st stop on that trip before moving to Europe.

Thanks for posting. Appreciate.
Margi.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:38 PM   #28
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There is one chain that we will never return to again. Macaroni Grill. Karen ordered a clam dish that they served with unopened clams. It got sent back. They brought out the same dish and the clams were open. Open via prying, busted pieces of shell from thier efforts included.
I dont' mind paying for a dish, but I don't want to have to do the work of the kitchen in order to eat the food. Don't serve me shrimp with the legs and shell still on. I want to be able to pick up the food with my fork and put it in my mouth. I would have called the manager over and asked for a clam knife to open the clams. You would have gotten the dish for free.

For me it is Applebee's. I went to two different ones in two different cities. Both time I ordered my steak med. rare. It came to my dish ice cold inside. Barely seared on the outside. I sent the dish back both time, asked for mac and cheese in its place. One sent out a dish that was still frozen in the middle. By then I gave up. Got the whole meal free. Was with my sister. She didn't have to pay for her meal either. And the coffee was on the house. How kind.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:52 PM   #29
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My favorite Italian restaurant is in the North End of Boston. There is a little restaurant with only about four tables. I never order Spagett. and meatballs when I eat out. The gravy is too raw. But this place knows how to make it right. Don't know the name, just that it is off the beaten tourists path. The first time there I ate there they sent out as complmentary two meatballs with the gravy on them. They had it right. All day simmered. Now I take all out of town friends there for a true Italian meal. Even my friends from California who were born and raised in Italy. Everytime they come to visit, that is the first place they asked to go to to eat. The next day it is to the Union Oyster House. That is where JFK used to spend his Sundays reading all the Sunday newspapers from around the country.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #30
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I would have called the manager over and asked for a clam knife to open the clams. You would have gotten the dish for free.
If clams or mussels do not open via the cooking process, they are not to be served, period. They are dead.
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