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New York NY, NYC eats

Union Square Cafe, New York, NY

[flickrset id=”72157603357433508″ thumbnail=”small”]

I have dined at the Union Square Cafe several times and have never been disappointed in anyway.  The menu is always “Fresh” and creative. Service is friendly and professional.

Food, Italian, restaurant, Roma, Rome, Rome eats

Taverna Trilussa, Rome, Italy

We have been to Travena Trilussa several times and that alone is saying something. There is a good mix of locals and tourists in this rather large restaurant.

The food is solid homestyle Italian and served in very large portions. They have a very nice selection of  Prosciutto as you walk in you can see them aging.

We tried many dishes here and always seem to come back to our favorites the Prosciutto and Carbonara. The service is friendly and adequate.

Asian, Brooklyn NY, Food, NYC eats, restaurant

ZUZU Ramen Brooklyn NY

When I heard one of my Flickr contacts was taking on a new position as Chef at ZUZU Ramen in Brooklyn NY, I knew I had to visit. I loaded up the car with four hardy eaters and set out to try everything on the menu.

The Amuse-Bouche of Tataki of Bonito Loin Pickled beet salad Chilled Tomato broth  the chef really out did himself.

The first included:

  • Mini Pork Buns with Braised Pork Shoulder, Scallions, Cucumber & Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Seaweed Salad with Mesclun Greens, Cherry Tomatoes and Citrus Vinaigret
  • Pan Seared Pork Dumplings with  Shiso Seed Dipping Sauce

I love pork so I was a very happy camper after eating these wonderful first courses.

The mains included:

  • Hot & Sour Ramen with Shrimp, Tomatoes, Thai Basil & Lemongrass
  • ZuZu’ Ramen with Charshu, Slow Cooked Egg, Bamboo Shoots & Seasonal Vegetables in a Smokey Dashi Broth
  • Green Curry-Miso Ramen with Charshu,  Slow Cooked Egg & Seasonal Vegetables

We inhaled all the the mains; they were that good.  I’d have to say  the “Green Curry” is my favorite.

The house special desert was a refreshing ice cream dumpling.

I can’t wait to get back to ZUZU to see what Scratch has got in store for me next.

Food, Italian, Italy, restaurant, Roma, Rome, Uncategorized

Da Bolognese, Rome, Italy

If you feel like dinning among the world’s celebrities then when in Rome do as the Roma’s do and people watch at Da Bolognese.  On our way in for lunch one day we saw “Sly” on the way out.


We have dined here several times and while not excellent it is consistently good. The most outstanding dishes are the Bolognese of course, pounded veal as well as the fruit Gelato dessert which is also very picture worthy.


The service is excellent although they do tend to cater to the celebrities and regulars.  I could recommend many restaurants in Rome with better food at a more reasonable price however If you want to be seen and don’t mind the large check for adequate fare then I would recommend Da Bolognese. It’s a bit stuffy so leave the children at home this is not a family friendly place unless you are Tom Cruise.


Lori’s loves the pounded veal so I know I will be returning soon, so I have to go to work……      CIAO…

B&B, Food, Italian, Italy, Tuscan

Locanda dell’ Amorosa, Sinalunga, Italy

Le Coccole dell’Amorosa

Nestled in the small village (this means hard to find) of Sinalunga in our favorite region of Italy; Tuscany is Le Coccole dell’Amorosa located in the hotel Locanda dell’ Amorosa. This restaurant is one of the fine dining highlights of the region. We tried to book our reservation well in advance however we were politely declined due to the fact that they give their hotel guests first priority for seating. This is when it’s nice to have some friends in the area. Lori called our Italian friends who know everyone and they made a call or two and we were in. We arrived in the evening and really did not have a chance to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Inn. Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed and seated at a table tucked away in a quiet corner of the brick arched dining room.

We settled in and selected the wine. I was on a Brunello di Montalcino kick this trip and therefore I ordered one. I don’t recall the producer however I do recall them having a good selection of reasonably priced choices. They graciously presented me with their special house wine Borgo Amorosa as a gift to take home. We really enjoyed it.

The first course choices all sounded so good it’s a good thing we brought Josh my stepson and his guest along so we could order them all and not look like the Tuscan pigs we were about to eat. All the pork and poultry came right out of their own backyard.

All other ingredients are sourced locally so that you are being served only the freshest Tuscan food available. For the first course we had fresh smoked pork that was thinly sliced and served with a fig jelly, a fresh pork pate and fried mozzarella. They all tasted as good as they looked.

I must mention just prior to the first course arriving Lori went to sit in the lobby due to the fact she was not feeling very well but the food was coming so we carried on and ate her meal for her !

The mains were awesome: Sliced Grilled Tuscan Beef, Grilled Tuscan Pork, Roasted Whole Leg of Lamb and a Braised Lamb Shank. With four mains and only three of us eating it’s hard to imagine we had room for dessert but it was a birthday celebration so we pressed on with homemade ice cream and a special birthday cake.

We had a truly fine dining experience in Tuscany. The service was magnificent. While we were enjoying our meal the friendly staff was serving hot tea and tending to Lori.

We will surly return to Le Coccole dell’Amorosa so Lori can order two meals to make up for the one she missed !

Food, Italian, restaurant, Roma, Rome eats

Ristorante Rinaldi al Quirinale , Roma, Italy

We were sent to try this Restaurant by some American friends of ours. Having been to Roma hundreds of times I am always a little reluctant to try recommendations from infrequent visitors but these were people who do travel a lot and know good food. Please be advised there are many places in Roma to eat however there are a lot of tourist traps with bad food.

Fish was exceptionally fresh and service excellent. For an antipasto we had the fish assortment it was excellent, pasta was homemade with a nice pink seafood sauce and the secondi of grilled seafood (sea bass and prawns) was also great. We had a side order of Puntarelle it’s a Roma specialty which was to excellent. The house complimentary dessert of  dough with powdered sugar cookies was excellent so I recommend stopping there, the 4 cake assortment looked great but did not taste as good as it looked.

The waiter was a little pushy towards expensive items on the menu and the wine was unreasonably high priced ( a 7 Euro bottle for 40 euro which I had at another ristorante for 20 later on the same trip, not that I’m opposed to paying 40 euro for wine it’s just the value that bothers me a bit).We had a good time and don’t regret going however I don’t think I would return. Although there was a good number of Italians’ I don’t believe they were locals. It’s a shame this would have been a great find if they did not have a tendency towards taking advantage of tourists. Lori on the other hand feels I’m being a little harsh and the fresh fish is worth a return.

Ivan Klugman : The Photo Gourmet

Food, Italian, restaurant, Roma, Rome eats

Ristorante Scarpone , Roma, Italy

This visit we tried a place called Scarpone in Rome. We were told that the Pope eats here during the day on Sundays so off we went. It’s a truly local family place across from the park where a stroll after lunch on a nice day would be lovely however please don’t try it after a rainy day or you will be wading in mud as we did.

The first course offering on an antipasto table looked too good to refuse. For the main I had the bistecca alla fiorentina after seeing all that fresh meat and the wood fired grill it seemed like a must try item. It tasted as good as it look, I could cut it with my fork it was like butter soft with that wonderful wood grill taste (not any smokiness which I don’t care for) they cooked it rare so if you like it cooked more please ask them. Lori decided to have pasta for her main it was Fresh Pasta with Shrimp Sauce I don’t think there are any words to make that sound any better than it does already and it was awesome. Desert was a simple Fragolini (mini strawberries pick in the wild) with homemade ice cream and a Lemon cake made in the house with lemons from Sorrento.

The whole dining experience was great including the friendly service. We had an enjoyable lunch even though the Pope was not there this Sunday. I will certainly return I had my eye on a grilled veal chop.

Ivan Klugman : The Photo Gourmet

Food, Italian, Italy, restaurant, Tuscan

Trattoria Latte Di Luna, Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

This is one of my favorite places in the world to dine. It’s not Michelin # star dinning but good down to earth Tuscan food featuring the town’s special Mailino (young roasted suckling pig). We have been there several times and in fact have introduced our Italian friends form Cortona; Enzo and Bianca to it. In February when we visited Tuscany last we asked Enzo and Bianca where they would like to lunch and they said Latte di Luna. I don’t think there is much more I can say about their endorsement other than they both have worked in the Hospitality industry in Tuscany and this is one of their favorites as well. Let’s get down to the food.

First let’s discuss the local Pasta it’s called Pici its fresh hand rolled thick spaghetti like form with a texture that is beyond discription. Well we know the Pici is a must the next choice is the sauce. I always choose the Wild Boar sauce, Enzo being a man also went for the meat. Lori and Bianca choose the Pomodoro which was excellent candy like fresh tomato sauce exploding in every bite. As wonderful as it was Lori still liked my Wild Boar sauce better. As we say Daddy’s is always better. So what did she do? Order a side of Wild Boar Sauce. The secondi of course was Maialino which is heaven on earth, buttery inside of the cripsy skin. In regard to wine the best local wine is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano the producer of choice today was Polizano although I also like the Avignonesi as well. The combination of great friends, Maialino and the vino made the 18 hour journey worth every second.

Of course there are wonderful deserts, plenty of Limoncello and Grappa.

I highly recommend Latte di Luna for great food and friendly service.

I can’t wait to go back !!!

Ivan Klugman : The Photo Gourmet