Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Wine lining the walls at the restaurant Cul De Sac

A waiter slicing the table bread

Table bread

Red lentils soup

Pasta with home made pesto sauce

Marinated eggplant

Jamie says:  It seemed like it was taking a long time for them to call our number to be seated, but we finally got in.  We ate at Cul De Sac (Piazza Pasquino, 73- near Piazza Navona), which is cool because we live on a cul de sac at home.  The restaurant had a local-vibe and a good feel.  The outdoor seating looked pleasant, and inside there were bottles and bottles of wine lining the walls.  When someone ordered a glass or bottle of wine, the waiter would use a pinching tool to reach over a table to retrieve the right bottle.  It was also so cool to watch them slice the bread for the table, too.  The waiter opened up a drawer and pulled out a knife to slice the bread on a board.  He would cut half the bread and let the rest fall into the drawer.  It was definitely an experiential dining experience.

The bread had a nice hard crust and sour dough-like inside.  I ate so much of it, filled up before the food came.  I ordered the “red lentils soup” which was pureed (with oil which rose to the top a little) and had a hint of hotness (probably from red pepper).  I also ordered the “pasta with home made pesto sauce,” which was amazing.  The pasta and pesto both tasted homemade, and there were generous amount of tasty pesto.  I couldn’t eat it all right then, but when I got home the second stomach opened up and I practically finished it.  Mom’s eggplant was amazing; it was  marinated and had a strong vinegar taste- just like my Grandma’s eggplant.  After dinner, we called it a night and went to bed with full stomachs.

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J's salad

J's arugula pizza

K's antipasto

Jamie says:  We ate dinner at on a side street (at the restaurante Giannino) not far from the Duomo and our Florence “home” (aka hotel room).  I ordered a salad which turned out to have a rainbow of  veggies on top and an arugula pizza with some black olives. The pizza crust was  thin compared to American pizza.  We enjoyed eating outside.

Kathryn says: I was craving meat and cheese, so I ordered the antipasto platter for dinner. It came with thick slices of salami, paper-thin prosciutto, two blocks of provolone, arugula, bruschetta, chicken liver pate (which I gave to Mom since I’m not a fan of liver) and a little bowl of artichokes with olive oil and cooked mushrooms on the bottom. It was salty and oily and pungent – everything I was looking for (except for the liver, of course). Afterward, J and I met some nice Italian locals and chatted on the steps of the Duomo. We picked up a few more Italian words, like tesoro, which means darling.

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Red house wine

Fried zucchini flowers

Grilled vegetables

Pasta dish with olives in red sauce


Pear pecorino balsamic ravioli

Trattoria Da Garibardi

Jamie and Kathryn say: We were delighted to show Mom and Dad to a charming restaurant we found- Trattoria Da Garibardi (Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 38r – 50123 Florence, Italy; tel. 055212267; website: www.garibardi.it; email: info@garibardi.it). It served gluten-free pizza and pasta too – a rare find in the United States and in Florence. We sat outside under the cloth umbrellas. We shared a half liter of red house wine. We were also thrilled to order our first fried zucchini flowers, which Elizabeth Gilbert raved about in Eat, Pray, Love. The zucchini flowers were paper-thin with a light, salty fried coating.

J says:  I ordered grilled vegetables (it was nice to have some more veggies in addition to all the bread/pasta in the Italian meals) and a delicious pasta dish with olives and a red sauce.  With some parmesan cheese on top it was moto bene (very good).

K says:  For my appetizer, I ordered a salty, flavorful caponata of small chunks of oily eggplant, red peppers and green olives. For my main dish, I enjoyed pear pecorino balsamic ravioli. It was a nice, thinner pillow pasta with a savory mix of pear preserves and ricotta cheese drizzled fancily with light zigzags of balsamic vinegar reduction. Afterward, we wandered through the nearby paper store

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House wine

J's Soup

J's Pork

K's Pasta Carbonara

K's Chicken and Sausage

Mom's Cheesecake

K's Gelato Cake

Ristorante Vecchia Firenze - outdoor seating

Kathryn says: After a wonderful day of eating and site-seeing, we found a goldmine of a restaurant for dinner tonight – Ristorante Vecchia Firenze (Borgo Degli Albizi, 76R/18 – 50122 Florence, Italy; tel. 0552340361-2; vecchia.firenze@libero.it). We ate outside. J, Mom and I shared a half liter of red house wine and Florence’s typical white, slightly dry table bread with oil and vinegar. For my prima (first course), I savored a delicious pasta carbonara  – spaghetti in a light, slippery egg sauce with chunks of flavorful panchetta (salty pork). For my secondi (second course), I ordered “spit,” which is rabbit, pork and chicken, but I asked them to hold the rabbit. The chicken had a crispy, seasoned skin and was the tastiest I’ve had. It came on metal skewers with sausage. I ended with a slice of vanilla gelato sandwiched between two thin pieces of chocolate cake with chocolate sauce drizzled on top. It was pretty good, but Mom’s dessert “took the cake” for the night. It was a cheesecake which tasted like spongy, moist vanilla cake with a brown sugar crust and confectioners sugar on top. On the way home, we wandered into a church for a few minutes to listen in on its late-night organ concert – perhaps in celebration of the Feast of the Blessed Virgin that day. And then we all went to bed with smiling stomachs that night.

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Sausage, panchetta and mushroom, and mushroom pizza at Antica Pizzeria Del Duomo (Florence, Italy)

Empty pizza tray (Antica Pizzeria Del Duomo, Florence, Italy)

Italian beer (Antica Pizzeria Del Duomo, Florence, Italy)

Jamie says:  For a late night dinner (we still hadn’t adjusted to the 6 hour time change), we shared pizza and a beer from Antica Pizzeria Del Duomo [P.zza S. Giovanni, 21r. (Duomo) Florence, Italy; tel. 055210719].  We had sausage, panchetta and mushroom, and mushroom pizza.  The Italian man behind the counter took the pizza cutter to it and divided it up.  Despite the fact that I voted against the sausage pizza, I’ll admit, it was the best.  We sipped Mom’s Italian beer and sat on little chairs in the very small restaurant.

That day, we wandered the streets of Florence and visited a few churches.  On our way home we saw a parade pass by our hotel- it was for Mary’s birthday.  We could hear the music and whistles and clapping outside of our window.  K begged me to check it out.  I gave in…

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Alitalia chicken penne, tomatoes and mozzarella, fruit, crackers, cheese, and roll

Jamie says:  K and I boarded the plane for… Italy!  Soon after, our Alitalia airplane dinner was served.  My first thought- what small portion sizes!  My second thought- no dessert?  Despite the small size, dinner was pretty good- chicken pasta with veggies (the highlight of the meal), a hard roll (slightly stale), cheese (made the bread palatable), fruit (a few bites worth- I put the grapes and the cheese on the bread and found it quite enjoyable), crackers (I didn’t think I’d eat them, but hunger called, so I dipped ‘em in butter), some powdered milk (I’m saving that for later).  I ate everything on the tray…still hungry.  I pulled out the pretzels and cracker mix that I saved from earlier in the flight, ate it, and called it a night.  I actually got some good rest.

Alitalia airplane breakfast

A few hours later… breakfast time.  Yogurt, a hot apple pastry pocket, and Milano cookies.  Not your typical breakfast meal.  I didn’t think I could eat it for breakfast, but forced down a few bites and saved the cookies for later.  I think my body hadn’t quite adjusted to the time change yet.

It was 9 hours and 14 minute flight.  In a nutshell, I ate, slept, read, and ate some more.  The time flew by.  Kathryn made friends with the Italian flight attendant who seemed to like her.

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Scruby's BBQ in Davie

Scruby's BBQ in Davie

Baked Beans with Pulled Pork

Baked Beans with Pulled Pork

Chicken, Ribs, Garlic Toast, and Sweet Potato

Chicken, Ribs, Garlic Toast, and Sweet Potato

My Plate- A Sampling of Everything

My Plate- A Sampling of Everything

Jamie says:  My all-time favorite BBQ restaurant is Scruby’s BBQ (8990 W. State Road 84, Davie, FL 33324; tel. 954-370-2774; additional locations in Pembroke Pines and Tamarac).  When I was younger, I went to the Pembroke Pines location with my family and Grandparents.  We now try to go to the Davie location at least once when we come home from school.  When you walk into the restaurant, the first thing you see is the big open pit grill with meats cooking to perfection; the first thing you smell, is the aroma of quality smoky BBQ.  For some of the best meat, I recommend their baby back ribs ribs, chicken breast, and pulled pork.  They are moist and incredibly flavorful.  On the table, they offer many bottles of BBQ sauces to choose from.  I always top my meat with the sweet BBQ sauce- it is my favorite.  For side dishes, their baked beans, garlic toast, and sweet potato with cinnamon sugar butter are all outstanding.   Although we just went, I can’t wait to go back.

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