PEr FYI

June 10, 2018

Eataly Caffe, New York City…I died and went to Italian Heaven

Disneyland for Italian-food lovers, Eataly is an Italian-food marketplace which sells all things Italian. There’s a fishmonger and butcher (and vegetable butcher) and an espresso bar, a wine store, a cheese store, a cooking school, a kitchenware department and a great deal more. There is a restaurant at Eataly that serves fish. There is a restaurant called Le Verdure which serves only vegetables. It is bruschetta city there. There is a pasta area. And there is a first-come-first-served bar area, La Piazza, where you can stand at a marble-top table and drink wine or eat salamis and cheese as if in Venice.  From the bakery behind the pizza ovens: good breads. From the chocolate station up front: dessert.

Eataly serves up delicious dishes while offering a bite of Italian authenticity. The Prosciutto croissant with tops which are golden and flaky is packed with plenty of pleasantries. The Italian prosciutto was delicate, sweet and adds flavor to every bite. The wonderfully airy apricot croissant was irresistible pleasure! This one is truly a breakfast in bed item.

A word of advice – if you’re waiting for a table to open up at the restaurant, browse around the store but don’t buy anything. Your stomach may protest, but your wallet will thank you

Eataly is an answered prayer. It represents a step forward for Italian food in New York. It is now my new “happiest place on Earth.” This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 28, 2018

Modern Pastry Shop, Boston…the local favourite

Want to get off the tourist trail and enjoy Boston like a local? Then do Boston like a real Bostonian.

What Modern Pastry Shop does, it does expertly. This fabulous, family-owned Italian bakery is filled with delicious sweets and treats. I was a bit overwhelmed with the choices. They have everything for everyone but the Italian pastries are the best. There was a sizable line was out the door but it does move relatively quickly so you can be in and out within 15 minutes if you head in knowing what you want. Service could be better, though.

Please note the word “Favourite”. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 14, 2016

Lido di Manhattan Ristorante & Bar, Los Angeles…vodka pasta at a Kitchen Nightmares restaurant

Whether you’re craving a simple plate of spaghetti and meatballs, or an osso buco that melts in your mouth, there’s an abundance of Italian restaurants in Los Angeles. Wanting to go beyond specialty pizzerias and ho-hum red sauce joints, I landed in Lido di Manhattan Ristorante & Bar at Manhattan Beach.

The restaurant itself is beautiful, with a modern, spacious layout. The menu itself is pretty extensive and looks very enticing. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I ordered Lido’s famous vodka pasta – prosciutt0, basil, shallots, garlic, Lido’s famous spicy vodka sauce, tossed with penne. It was good but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Overall I would rate it as so-so. The food was okay. The service was fair

After dining here, I’d found out that this restaurant was featured on Kitchen Nightmares Season 3 Episode 5. Who would have thought?! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 30, 2015

Zenzero, Kuala Lumpur…had high hopes for this place, however, food was uneven

Had high hopes for this place, however, food was uneven….just okay, and brings the pleasure of eating down.

It doesn’t matter if your date is your spouse of 25 years and co-parent of your five kids, the beloved you’re wanting to propose to, or just somebody you just met at a bar, the small and cosy Zenzero is the sort of restaurant that is a lovely date restaurant and a place to sit and watch the chef assemble his pasta. No matter how beautiful the room, there is something indescribably melancholy about an empty restaurant – and on this Tuesday dinnertime, Zenzero was so devoid of other diners, all I can do is not to weep into my capacious linen napkin.

Disappointing. Just distinctly average, not overly impressed. Service was good, so there was a silver lining. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 4, 2015

Otto Ristorante, Singapore…you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied

Smallish but tastefully and stylishly furnished dining space, the intimate Otto has a modern, upscale feel. The top notch service was every bit as thorough and professional without being overbearing, a cut above many other places of the same calibre.

The authentic Italian food was so good you’ll want to lick your plate clean and one of the better Italian places I’ve tried recently period. Complimentary bread is served upon arrival. Be sure to try the freshly baked warm, soft, moist and crumbly foccacia with onion. The herb crusted New Zealand lamb cutlet with red pepper passata is run-to-the-hills-singing-hallelujah-to-the-Almighty astonishing.  It’s a simpler-than-usual treatment for the gorgeous meat but one that will make you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it this way. The Atlantic cod tagliata – “taggia”olives crust with sweet garlic is unassumingly satisfying. The magnificent hunk of grain fed beef tenderloin with bone marrow sauce and porchini mushroom is good, it is very, very good.

The simple-but-elegant Otto is very much a special, date-night destination, where the art of classic, Italian fare is elevated. The staff are friendly and you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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