June 2005


Chicago | Illinois09 Jun 2005 09:20 pm

This north side Chicago bakery has moved to Andersonville (another north side neighborhood) and boasts wonderful baked goods as well as lunch and dinner fare. When you’re looking for the real thing in a smaller scale operation, give it a try.

My rating: Breads 2.5, Cicuses 2.5, Value 3.0
Overall rating 8 out of 15

pennies

5401 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 989-0151

Italian | New York | New York City09 Jun 2005 09:09 pm

June 05 review:

The emphasis here is good cooking with simple ingredients – and owned by you know who (check the food channel).

Let’s start with the wine selection – what more can I say than they had one of my favorite reasonably priced Italian wines (Gattinara region) – along with a multitude of exotic and higher end choices. The night started out right – the bread too a notable experience.

Sharing the pumpkin ravioli, braised beef (Barolo) with a side of vegetables, and a sinful dessert made this a memorable dining experience. Check their web site and read between the lines (the combinations of ingredients read more like prose than mundane menu descriptions).

Definitely a special occasion kind of a place – glad we can consider future trips to New York as all special occasions.

$$$

110 Waverly Place
NYC 10011
(212) 777-0303

RESERVATIONS AN ABSOLUTE MUST, AND CALL AT LEAST A WEEK IN ADVANCE.

www.babbonyc.com

New York | New York City09 Jun 2005 08:54 pm

June 05 review:

The Tavern on the Green on a sunny May afternoon is somewhat poetic – a private and peaceful outdoor setting amidst the hustle and bustle of New York. The place has maintained a good reputation over the years and is well worth a visit.

We each had salads (lighter fare realizing that we were planning a late evening with theatre and an 11pm dinner reservation at Babbo) and wine – with very good bread and excellent and friendly service. No trip to New York will be complete in the future without a visit here.

$$ to $$$

Central Park at West 67th Street
New York, NY
(212) 873-3200
www.tavernonthegreen.com

Garden open May-October

Italian | New York | New York City09 Jun 2005 08:33 pm

Review June 05:

When in Manhattan, why not take a chance. What a place (we were so disappointed in a hotel concierge recommendation the night before that we took a chance on our own instincts and New York Times suggestions).

Damian the head man is a French transplant (wife from Iowa – what an international world we live in – and he appreciates the excellence of Iowa pork tenderloin), and owners are French, Italian and (from) Belgium. But the food is nothing short of great!

Ask for Chris the waiter – an upper peninsula of Michigan transplant who graduated to al Doge after assignment at the American Girls’ Place – no comment.

Wine choices are varied and fair pours the norm.

The grilled vegetable appetizer was perfect – just enough oil with a sprinkling of cheese – and al dente. Definitely enough to share. No salad needed here.

Pasta entrees galore – all we tried were excellent. Check their web site for details. Bread is also excellent.

The two trips to Doge will go on record as some of the best food experiences we’ve had so far. We will return.

$$$

142 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 944-3643

www.osteria-doge.com

New York | New York City09 Jun 2005 08:19 pm

May 05 review:

The famous Sardi’s was our first night dining experience during our Manhattan getaway. What fun to be among the celebrities (that is, their caricatures on the wall). We chose a reservation right after playtime on Broadway (after around 8pm) and had the place to ourselves. Service was of course excellent, and the history of the place demanded a visit.

Wines by the glass were fine – and entrees acceptable but not the reason to come here. But then again, I have yet to try a rolled pasta entree I haven’t liked.

234 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 221-8440

www.sardis.com

Cincinnatti | Italian | Ohio09 Jun 2005 08:09 pm

February 2006 update:

Ok, this time the sauteed spinach/portobella/onion as appetizer, and cheese ravioli with tomato basil sauce and Italian sausage with mushrooms as entree, with good Pinot Noir and a banana bread pudding concoction for desert with good black coffee. You can’t go wrong here. I especially like their subtle approach to the addition of meats to their sauces – just right, not overdone and the portions are ample and not ridiculous. Go for it. Note: unfortunately the sausage dish mentioned below was no longer on the menu – don’t know why.

June 05 review:

My third visit here and discovered I failed to review it before – what a big mistake! This is first class food and circuses!

Prior visits brought me to chicken dishes with Gorgonzola, wonderful roasted garlic AND roasted garlic puree. No vampires in sight – does that make any sense? Wine choices by ths glass include cc, m, pn and cb for reds – all good.

But let’s get serious – you have to try their Salsiccia al Marsala (HOMEMADE and WONDERFUL Italian sausage with mushrooms in a marsala demi-glace). I have never had better sausage. It alone is worth the trip in this somewhat hard to find Cincinnati location.

My entree was Penne alla Cionni (with roasted tomatoes, portabellas tossed in olive oil & garlic with scallions and Gorgonzola). The pasta was al dente (though I specified this when I ordered) and combined the best elements of the multitude of ingredients in a well rounded presentation. You won’t go wrong with this one.

Next time I’ll have to judge their Linguine alla Carbonara; I just can’t get enough pancetta and eggs – maybe I was a farmer in a previous life.

Though I usually don’t have dessert, I did indulge in their Torta di Amaretto. Such a complex creation that I won’t bore you with the details – try it for ourself. Hint: it is a real challenger to Tiramisu.

$$

310 Matson Place
Quenn’s Tower
Cincinnati, OH 45204
(513) 251-6467

call for directions or look at their web site

www.pvista.com