Mangia Monday at Trattoria Trecalori NYC

In a city where eateries come and go like taxis, a New York City restaurant lasts because it’s good or because it owns the building.  For Trattoria Trecalori it’s a gem in the Theater District.  I’ve been to Trecalori a few times in the past since it has moved around to several midtown locations but it’s been at 254 West 47th Street for just over eight years.

Recently, I dined with a friend and enjoyed a three hour long food orgy.  The place was crowded but we were never rushed from our table.  In fact, the staff was so friendly and welcoming, it was as if each person there was an old friend.

When our waiter saw that we were drinking without eating, he even reminded us we shouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach.  Talk about a good sales ploy because we immediately ordered Fritto Misto for an appetizer.  It’s a mix of lightly fried calamari, zucchini sticks, shrimp and peppers served with marinara sauce.  Next time, I’ll definitely order the fra diavolo sauce to kick it up a notch.  By the way, I washed it down with the creamiest espresso martini.  It was like a coffee milkshake.

Trecalori Calamari My friend opted for a special of the night which generally includes a fish dish, a pasta selection as well as a daily lasagna and ravioli special, all made in house.  Hers was freshly made spinach fettucine noodles with vegetables.  Since asparagus is in season right now, the chef rightly used it wherever possible.

Trecalori Risotto di MareI chose a menu regular, Risotto Mare e Terra.  It was a creamy tomato blend of scallops, shrimps and asparagus that was cheesy to perfection without being overbearing, garnished with just the right grind of black pepper.

Room for dessert?  Sadly not but we each enjoyed an after dinner sambuca and anisette.  While most entrees are in the $18-25 range, this wonderful foodie fest ran about $125 for two, with tax but without tip.  It was well worth it.

Trattoria Trecalori has been around since 1991 and at its present location for eight years…on Broadway that’s a hit by anyone’s standards.

New York CityPASS

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LBI – there’s no beach like home!

There’s no truer saying than there’s no beach like home when it comes to Long Beach Island and those from New York, New Jersey & Philly no exactly what I mean!  While it’s true that Italy’s Amalfi Coast may be beautiful, there is nothing like LBI before, during or even after a thunderstorm.  There’s a magical energy that just changes with the tide at this great beach escape.

LBI Exit 63LBI is 18 miles of nothing but sand and surf with a few honky tonk attractions to keep the kiddies happy.

LBI Beach EscapeThere’s the Old Barney lighthouse at the north end and the bird sanctuary to the south…still beautiful despite the lingering ruins of Hurricane Sandy.  In between, there is plenty of shopping and great restaurants, oh yeah, and people, lots and lots of people.  You see, I NEVER hit LBI during the season, Memorial Day to Labor Day.  My GPS won’t take me there.  I have absolutely no desire to travel the 18 miles from the lighthouse to the bird sanctuary in five hours or more.

Off season is the best on LBI.  The sand is white and clean and you can walk for miles without the noise of summer’s crowds.  Fisherman cast a line and sit for hours, hypnotized by the ebb and flow of the tide.


Places to Stay – Daddy-Os is the relatively new hip, boutique hotel. The Engleside Inn , The Sea Spray Motel & The Sea Shell Resort are also popular but your best bet is to surf the net and find a weekend rental.  There’s nothing like the rockin’ and rollin’ of a beach stilt house during a thunderstorm!

Places to Eat – The Plantation, The Greenhouse Cafe and Jayson’s Pancake House by far my favorite restaurants and there is a very friendly bar crowd that gathers at The Plantation most nights, even if you’re flying solo for a weekend escape.

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Mangia Monday at Da Gigino’s Sorrento

Da Gigino SorrentoFinding good pizza in Italy is not as easy as you might think…even in Sorrento, my home away from home.  I thought I knew all the great local joints for pizza but Ristorante da Gigino (Via degli Archi, No. 15, Sorrento) is tucked in a quiet alley off Via San Cesareo and the main Piazza Tasso.  Even my local friend had to ask directions to find it but the restaurant off the beaten path was worth it.

DaGigino PizzaDaGigino has the frenetic vibe of a Saturday night pizzeria in a busy tourist city like Sorrento.  The patrons are a mix of tourists who happen by and locals who know a good restaurant and the food is buonissimo.  I ordered a pizza with anchovies (pizza con alici) which was wood-fired to perfection, crispy crust, oozing with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and not-too-salty anchovies.  And yes, the giant pizza in this photo is meant for one person!  Ha, we were two hungry women who each opted for a whole pizza.

In good weather there’s seating outdoors under a canopy or inside where you can dine on two floors.  Not to worry, the strolling musicians who entertain throughout the evening will be sure to find you no matter where you are sitting.


Heading to Sorrento?

Our Italy travel specialist can help plan your journey!

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