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Aug 24, 2012 11:17 AM

What to order here?....Italy_Middle to Top

Thanks to all for your previous suggestions. We are traveling in a week and would love to hear your input on what we should order, as a must, in the restaurants that we have reserved? What are the dishes that are not to be missed and that you usually ahve at these havens. A recommendation for wines that you have had recently would also be lovely. Thanks!!!

Armando al Pantheon

Taverna dei Fori Imperiali


Flavio al Velavevodetto


Trattoria Pallotta (Assisi)

Ristoro di Lamole (Chianti_ Lamole near Greve)

Officina della Bistecca (Panzano)

Trattoria Sostanza (Florence)

Vini e Vecchi Sapori (Florence)

Da Gianni (Bologna)

Antique Carampane (Venice)

Fiaschetteria Toscana (Venice)

Vini da Gigio (Venice)

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  1. Da Gianni -- grilled mortadella

    1. Sostanza is Firenze is justly famous for its bistecca and its butter chicken.

      1. Carampane: Moeche
        Fiaschetteria Toscana: fried zucchini fiowers

        1. What to order? that is a difficult advice to give. Most important is order when you want to eat, what you like to eat. For example, Vini di Gigio has a very good Fegato alla Veneziana but if one doesn't like liver, then why bother. Personally, when I eat out, I tend to order things dishes that I don't prepare at home: rarely primi since soup, pasta and risotto are out mainstay for lunch in our apartment; never bacala manteco and fish in saor because they are common in most bacari, some just as goodi and much cheaper. First and foremost, I order the seasonal seafood from the lagoon: moleche (moeche), canoce, tiny squid, seppioline, schile and seafood that I don't usually find in San Francisco: scallop with roe, seppia, San Pietro, eel, razza, sogliola, rombo, monkfish cheeks, anything fritto because we never do any frying in our apartment.
          Specifics: the menus at FT and Vini di Gigio do not change much except when seasonal seafood and vegetables are available.
          Fiaschettera Toscano:
          antipasti: raw seafood plate, spider crab, saute tiny squids, beef filet carpaccio
          primi: if you like risotto, this is the place for it especially if the go fish is available
          secondi: grilled whole sole or rombo, fritto misto (especially if moleche is available), jugged duck.
          Vini di Gigio:
          antipasti: antipasto mixto mare (can share), baked scallops
          primi: tagliolini with crabmeat, pasta with duck ragu
          secondi: rombo with artichokes, grilled eel, duck buranella
          The following link described our recent dinner at Vini da Gigio; scroll about 2/3 the way down the post

          Antiche Carampane: the menu changes often and depends on what seafood are available. If you are interested in unique seafood from the lagoon, ask if there is any special that is not on the menu. I would order what you like to eat; skip the branzino and orata if they are farmed: aside from the lagoon seafood, order antipasto mixto mare (you can ask what it consists as it changes day to day), spider crab with olive oil and parsley; the saute San Pietro (usually with citrus), razza, roasted monkfish, fritto misto.
          As for wine: that is a complicated issue depending on what you are eating, wine preferences and how much one want to spend. Unless we are dining out with guests, we drink mostly the house wine or a simple bottle and drink better wines at home. My advice is to ask the waitstaff for their recommendations.

          4 Replies
          1. re: PBSF

            I have a question about the go risotto, PBSF - have you ever tried to make if with the frozen goby fish they sell in chinatown, I know its offtopic for this board. I love the go risotto too and theres a recipe in Veronelli's Venice cookbook.

            1. re: jen kalb

              I browse the San Francisco Chinatown fish markets occasionally but I have never found any goby fish, frozen or otherwise. Eel yes. I've made the risotto when there are gobies in the Rialto market during March/April/May and October , the usual time that I am in Venice.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Back to your post on goby fish, while shopping in SF Chinatown yesterday, I ran across a bin full of frozen goby (also the Vietnamese name of Keo) packed in a plastic bags from Vietnam. They are farmed, long and slender (about 6 inches with head), a different specie than those found in the Venetian lagoon. Didn't buy them.

                1. re: PBSF

                  Im going to try to use them for risotto when I get a chance. thanks for the report

            2. Roscioli = burratta with semi-dried tomatoes.