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Old 07-17-2014, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Let's talk Italian

What are your most favorite, and least favorite, Italian restaurants

Chains included
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

Perché vuoi parlare italiano?
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

You can do it in English, but I know better than to stop you when you're on a roll
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

Io giudico restaraunts italiane con le loro salse. Normalmente cerco di ottenere un campionatore per vedere se sono nulla di buono. Se questo non è disponibile, allora scelgo la salsa Alfredo. Se ha un sapore come si è fatto con vero formaggio, poi tornerò. Se no, allora pago il mio assegno e non tornare mai più.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

All of that being said, there's a couple of small places like Giuseppi's in Hilton Head that I like.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

Never been there

As far as chains go I like Carrabas, we've never had a bad meal there

My least favorite has to be Olive Garden, they're pretty awful

Non-chain: Tosca in DC is pretty amazing, also a place in Houston called Coppa is good
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Never been there

As far as chains go I like Carrabas, we've never had a bad meal there

My least favorite has to be Olive Garden, they're pretty awful

Non-chain: Tosca in DC is pretty amazing, also a place in Houston called Coppa is good
The Carrabas I have been to have been pretty good. I like Olive Garden well enough, but I normally only get the Zuppa Toscana when I go.

And if you like Zuppa Toscana, it is damn simple to make at home. http://www.food.com/recipe/olive-gar...-toscana-38298

I can make a 5 gallon pot of that stuff, and it's gone in a few days once the in-laws come over and steal some.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

To me, it seems that all the Italian chain places are close enough in quality that you're better off just picking the cheaper place. I do enjoy going to Alodia's off of North Lake Drive. I would much rather have their food than one of the chains. That said, the best Italian food I've had came from homemade meals from friends whose family had recipes passed down from generation to generation.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

http://alfredosatlanta.com/

This place is legit. If you're ever in the A-town check it out
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Originally Posted by spareparts View Post
Never been there

As far as chains go I like Carrabas, we've never had a bad meal there

My least favorite has to be Olive Garden, they're pretty awful

Non-chain: Tosca in DC is pretty amazing, also a place in Houston called Coppa is good
I call BS on not liking olive garden ... everyone always says that but then goes and eats there..
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

Figaro's in Chicago and Tiramisu in San Francisco were my 2 favorites. Figaro's was owned by grandfather and is no longer there was one of the favorite dining establishments for members of the Chicago Outfit. When I was 6 or 7 I met Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and some of their entourage there as well. They as well as many other celebrities would frequent the place.

Tiramisu was a joint that was down an ally in San Fran and if you didn't know about the place you would probably never find it. However, if you didn't have a reservation you could never get in. In fact the door was locked and only opened for people with reservations. Not sure if this place is still in business. If it is you've got to go.

As far as chain Italian restaurants, I am not a fan whatsoever. I go when I have to, but if I had to pick a chain it would be Carrabba's. Their pork chops are pretty good.

Mostly I cook Italian at home. In fact every year we have a ton of people come over for a outdoor/pool party and I cook old family recipes and the children make their own pizza's. Everyone take home a jar of sauce/gravy that has been handed down for generations. In high school I would jar my mothers sauce and sell it to my friends for $5.
People have asked for the recipe and have asked why I don't market and sell this stuff in stores but I am sworn to secrecy.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

^ Sorry for such a long post above, but Italian cuisine is my forte.

I have yet to find a restaurant that can beat what I can do myself. I do look for that one special place in the Southeast that has that true Italian experience and flavor.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Never been there

As far as chains go I like Carrabas, we've never had a bad meal there

My least favorite has to be Olive Garden, they're pretty awful

Non-chain: Tosca in DC is pretty amazing, also a place in Houston called Coppa is good
But I haven't been to olive garden in like forever. It's like dining in the home of a delightful Italian stereo type. 1000 cocky cash if anyone gets the reference.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

I know what your saying but listening to it in the bathroom is a little much - right?
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Originally Posted by Cocked & Locked View Post
I know what your saying but listening to it in the bathroom is a little much - right?
If this was in regards to my post, I don't think we are on the same thing.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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All of that being said, there's a couple of small places like Giuseppi's in Hilton Head that I like.
Great Pizza.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

As far as chain restaurants - Carrabba's and Maggiano's are in a league of their own. While I enjoy Maggiano's for their pasta entrees, Carrabb's get's the nod for me. All the rest are playing second fiddle.

Carrabba's alfredo sauce is made in per order in a sautee pan with a ladle of heavy cream and ramano cheese. Also, they have the best Mushroom Marsala sauce I've ever had. I know they make that inhouse with fresh mushrooms - has proscuitto in it and all. I've gone to several Proprietary "family owned" Italian joints that whose marsala sauce tasted like it came from a can. Also, if you like mussels and have never ordered the Cozze' en Bianco at Carrabba's, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Everything from Olive Garden is pre-made and comes out of a bag. I've never had a pasta dish at Olive garden that didnt taste like something I couldnt microwave - and the pasta itself is never served al dente, even upon request.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #18
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Originally Posted by markymark550 View Post
To me, it seems that all the Italian chain places are close enough in quality that you're better off just picking the cheaper place. I do enjoy going to Alodia's off of North Lake Drive. I would much rather have their food than one of the chains. That said, the best Italian food I've had came from homemade meals from friends whose family had recipes passed down from generation to generation.
Alodia's is good food. Great service. Different take on tiramisu that came from the owner's grandmother's recipe. Tonella's in Ballentine is also pretty good. My two favorite Italian restaraunts would be Fulton Five in Charleston and Rabia's in Boston's Northend.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:05 AM   #19
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

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Originally Posted by cocky0 View Post
All of that being said, there's a couple of small places like Giuseppi's in Hilton Head that I like.
Is that the pizza place with all of the Pittsburgh memorabilia?
If so, I totally agree.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: Let's talk Italian

Best Italian food I ever had was this small restaurant in the Western coastal town of Jaco, Costa Rica. The Alfredo sauce was to die for.
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