Italian Archive

Thursday

22

January 2015

2

COMMENTS

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Part 2

Written by , Posted in Restaurants, Travel

On our second day in Rothenburg Ob der Tauber I woke up early to catch the sunrise. This is one of my favorite times to venture out in any city because the streets are always so empty and peaceful. I walked along the outer wall on the east side of the town as smoke began to rise from the chimneys, catching a glimpse of the fiery skies through the small openings along the wall.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Sunrise

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Sunrise

Eventually I made my over to the opposite side of the town to watch the sun come up and light the countryside below. So beautiful, and I had it all to myself.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Sunrise

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Sunrise

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

I made my way back to our hotel to grab a quick breakfast with the rest of the group. We spent the rest of the day shopping and exploring, with a beer and wine break in between. We found a great restaurant near our hotel that had a rooftop patio, the perfect spot to soak up the sun and blue skies above. Before dinner we stopped into Zur Höll – literally ‘to hell’ – for a drink on the recommendation of the Night Watchman. This cozy little bar/restaurant is in one of the oldest houses in Rothenburg and the food looked delicious – the space is small so I would definitely recommend a reservation.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Zur Holl

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Zur Holl

For dinner on our final night in Rothenburg we had reservations at Cafe Michelangelo, an Italian restaurant about a 5-10 minute walk from the Market Square. The interior was very modern, definitely a change from the rustic style we’d become accustomed to seeing on our trip. All the food here was great, but I’d recommend skipping the pizza and going for the pasta, especially the Rigatoni al Forno – straight from the oven and filled with a whole lot of gooey, delicious cheese. They also have an entire menu page devoted to black truffles, and who doesn’t love a taste of those delicious fungi?! I’m pretty sure I could’ve eaten schnitzel and spätzle every day of our trip, but a taste of Italian was the perfect change of pace.

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Cafe Michelangelo, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg was easily the cutest town we visited on our trip and also the best place to pick up a few beautiful German mementos.  The drive from Munich is under 3 hours, so it is definitely doable as a day trip, but I enjoyed being there at night and in the early morning before all the tourist buses rolled into town. If you’re visiting Germany I highly recommend planning a stop in Rothenburg, this is a medieval gem you don’t want to miss.

Tuesday

14

October 2014

2

COMMENTS

Restaurant Caffé Bocconi, Berlin

Written by , Posted in Restaurants, Travel

On our last night in Berlin Mike and I had dinner at Restaurant Caffé Bocconi, a small Italian restaurant and café in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. I found this restaurant through TripAdvisor and it was a serious winner. The owner, Fabio, who you will likely meet upon arrival, is originally from Sicily and had a corporate job that he just wasn’t too fond of. So, he decided to do what made him happy and opened this little jewel of a restaurant in Berlin!

When we arrived at Caffé Bocconi we were immediately greeted and seated by Fabio himself. It was a beautiful night so we were able to enjoy dinner al fresco at one of the handful of tables on the outdoor patio. Once we were settled in, Fabio came back to our table and talked to us for a good 5 minutes about the menu. As I mentioned, Fabio is originally from Sicily so most of the dishes are made with a Sicilian style. Fabio explained how they make their tagliatelle and gnocchi fresh every day and went on to give us details about each dish on the menu – this did not make it easy to choose what to order! We decided to take it slow (in true European style) and start with a bottle of wine while we pondered the menu.

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

We finally settled on our order and started with an antipasto mix for two along with the Caponata Siciliana. Caponata is not a dish we would usually order, and we actually didn’t order it at first. Fabio’s explanation of how they had just roasted all of the beautiful vegetables that morning and how the flavors are so rich and delicious stuck in my head and I eventually waved him over and told him to add it on. Quite the salesman, that Fabio!

Well, I’m glad I went with my gut (and Fabio’s glowing recommendation) because the caponata was absolutely amazing! Not to say that the antipasto wasn’t amazing, because it was – I mean, look at the picture! But let’s get back to that caponata – straight up, knock your socks off, delicious. There was so much flavor packed into this warm mound of vegetables that I may have moaned once or twice after taking a bite. This is not to be missed when dining at Caffé Bocconi.

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

After our two starters we could have easily had dessert and called it a night, but we still had two pasta dishes on their way. Mike and I shared the gnocchi with mint pesto, nuts, and cherry tomatoes, and the tagliatelle with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and guanciale. The gnocchi were perfectly light and both dishes were fresh and packed with flavor. Fabio sources the guanciale straight from Sicily and it’s not available anywhere else in Berlin which makes the dish even more special. I will say that the mint pesto has a distinctive taste that might not necessarily be for everyone. Mike and I both enjoyed it, but I think we preferred the tagliatelle a bit more.

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

We couldn’t leave without a little something sweet so we ordered the warm chocolate pie for dessert. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the best chocolate pie I’ve ever had, we probably should have gone with the tiramisu, but paired with a small apéritif courtesy of Fabio it was still a satisfying end to an overall fantastic meal.

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

Lion + Maven | Caffe Bocconi, Berlin

For those that are in Berlin or just passing through, I think it’s pretty obvious that I highly recommend stopping in for dinner at Caffé Bocconi. The small, intimate space and very personal service make for a wonderful experience. If you’re able to plan ahead I would definitely make a reservation, especially on the weekends. Buon appetito!

Restaurant Caffé Bocconi is located at Schlüterstraße 74 in Berlin’s Charlottenburg neighborhood. Reservations can be made via e-mail (caffebocconi@gmail.com) or by phone (+49 30 31998384).

Thursday

3

July 2014

0

COMMENTS

The Pink Door

Written by , Posted in Restaurants, Travel

We only had one night in Seattle which made narrowing down our choices for dinner pretty difficult! Between reviews online and separate recommendations from my chiropractor who used to live in Seattle and one of Mike’s co-workers, we chose The Pink Door, an Italian-American restaurant in Pike Place Market.

The Pink Door, Seattle

Yes, the entrance is literally a pink door! The restaurant is located down the narrow Post Alley right in the heart of Pike Place Market. When it’s nice enough to dine al fresco the views from their outdoor patio are fantastic! Along with their mouth-watering menu they also offer some pretty lively entertainment on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights – trapeze artists and a cabaret show! We dined on a Friday night so unfortunately we missed it, but it definitely looks like it would make for an evening to remember!  If you look in the photo below on the left hand side you’ll see a swing above the tables – they perform right above you as you dine!

The Pink Door, Seattle

As you can also see from the photo above, the Pink Door is a super charming place. They’re great at accommodating smaller groups (we had 6) but this is also a perfect setting for a romantic night out. I also mentioned the views from the patio – a great place to stop in for lunch if you’re in the market!

Alright now…on to the food! Everything on the menu sounded delicious so it was very difficult to narrow down our choices. With a little help from our server we decided to start with the Sautéed Calamari with spinach, tomatoes, garlic, and wine; the Piatto di Prosciutto with La Quercia Berkshire & Leporati prosciutto di Parma & mozzarella di bufala with extra virgin olive oil; and an order of their Pappardelle al Ragù Bolognese with a slow simmered meat sauce and fresh pasta. All fantastic choices but I was most fond of the pasta – it’s hard to beat homemade pasta topped with a hearty bolognese.

Calamari, The Pink Door, Seattle

Prosciutto, The Pink Door, Seattle

Pappardelle, The Pink Door, Seattle

For our mains the table took a few separate paths – the men went with the Double R Ranch Peppercorn Crusted Ribeye Steak, 2 of the ladies went with a salmon special, and I went off the menu and ordered their Cioppino served over linguine. Everyone loved their dishes. I tried bites of each and can concur that they were all very good, but I will admit that I thought mine was the best. I wanted seafood and I wanted pasta so our server told me they were able to do their staple Cioppino and serve it over linguine – perfect! It was so flavorful, with fresh seafood and a bit of spice…it was everything I was looking for in my first night out in Seattle!

Steak, The Pink Door, Seattle

Peppercorn Steak, The Pink Door, Seattle

Salmon, The Pink Door, Seattle

Cioppino, Linguini, The Pink Door, Seattle

After our plates were cleared we decided we had a little room left for dessert. When we looked over the dessert menu we realized that it was not going to be easy to choose – so we did what anyone would do and ordered a little of everything to share! We had two of their specials – a mascarpone cheesecake and a butterscotch custard. We also had their popular Cabaret Cake, or “Boobie Cake” as it’s nicknamed, and a trio of gelato. I enjoyed each dessert (as I usually do) but if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be either the chocolate cake or the gelato. The chocolate cake was like a flourless chocolate cake (very rich), so you really have to be in the mood for chocolate with this one. Overall, each dessert was fresh and full of great flavors, just like the rest of our meal!

Mascarpone Cheesecake, The Pink Door, Seattle

The Pink Door, Seattle

Chocolate Cake, The Pink Door, Seattle

Gelato, The Pink Door, Seattle

All in all we had a fantastic dinner at The Pink Door and were in agreement that it was the perfect pick for our one and only dinner in Seattle!

 

The Pink Door is located at 1919 Post Alley in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

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