Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Tripe

tripe
Tripe alla parmigiana, grilled bread, soft herbs at Balena in Chicago, Illinois.

Long before offal was in vogue in this country, I once (Once!) tried tripe. I was a kid attending a very Sopranos-like gathering at a friend’s home. Trays of old-school Italian and Italian-American delights were spread out buffet-style for guests. As I made my way down the line, I happened upon one that appeared to be yet another tray of saucy, cheesy goodness with some sort of protein, so I greedily heaped a healthy serving on my plate. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but even before someone told me it was tripe, I knew it wasn’t for me. Since then, to the joy of more adventurous eaters, tripe and other forms of offal have taken center plate, if you will, at restaurants. Beyond frugality, offal offers diners different tastes and textures, and enlightened chefs consider it the best way to honor the animal — by carefully and creatively using every bit. Tripe, otherwise known as the lining of an animal’s stomach, typically cow, is turning up on scores of menus. While I won’t be ordering it, many folks are. Find out they’re saying about this offal offering.

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “Our dinner was like an evening in the French countryside. The sweetbreads on the menu were done perfectly. The tripe on special was very flavorful. These items are not commonly found on U.S. menus.”

Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon: “The menu has unique preparation of Italian favorites, and everything we ordered was just great and flavorful. Best tripe I’ve had, including Batali’s.”

Babbo Ristorante, New York, New York: “Sweetbreads are to die for, the best tripe ever, testa luscious and unctuous as anything you’ve had. Hard to go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.”

Cafe 2825, Atlantic City, New Jersey: “It’ s traditional Italian done very well. My husband adores their tripe.”

Charlie Bird, New York, New York: “Run, do not walk before word gets put. This place is amazing!!! Tripe was to die for!”

* COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Our party tried some favorites — squash blossom-truffle oil flatbread from the wood burning oven, housemade pate, tripe, and beef cheeks. All were delicious.”

Da Silvano, New York, New York: “Great food, great service, best tripe alla fiorentina, and best for people watching. ”

* Daniela’s Restaurant, Naples, Florida: “Food is prepared a little different than in my region of Romania, but very good. Tripe soup is to die for! We will definitely be back.”

Franco, St. Louis, Missouri: “Our server recommended the tripe appetizer. My wife and I were intrigued by the offer to sample fried cow stomach (tripe, for the unknowing), and it was exceptionally well prepared and delicious. ”

Le Virtu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The tripe keeps me coming back! The first time I had it, I wanted to cry because it tasted just like my mom used to make on Saturday afternoons. Please never take it off the menu!”

Maialino, New York, New York: “I am a foodie and a Rome native. Thus, I was looking forward to dining at Maialino. I had the tripe as an appetizer. Romans make the best tripe, and the tripe at Maialino did not disappoint. Excellent.”

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Trash on the Tasting Menu; $2K Dish of Pasta; Deceptive Calorie Counts + More

The only way I could afford to order a $2,000 plate of pasta is if it came with a side of $1,970.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* One man’s trash is another man’s tasting menu. Ingredients that would have wound up on the compost heap are being heaped onto diners’ plates. [Washington Post]

* A pasta dish that’s seriously rich. And at $2,000 a plate, it ought to be. [NYPost]

* Counting calories? You may not want to count on the posted counts at restaurants. [ABC News]

* Food allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Find out how to dine out without falling ill. [TimesFreePress.com]

* Iron man. Salt Lake City chef Viet Pham of Forage defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. [Standard-Examiner.com]

* Worst. Tip. Ever. A disgruntled taxpayer passes the buck to a server. [Gawker]

 

Eight Dishes That Should Be 86’d; Caveman Cuisine; An iPhone As Dinner Date; Ellen and Lady Gaga to Open Eateries; Best New Restaurants in Canada

An OpenTable diner snapped this cellphone picture of the Geico cavemen dining at Sauvage in Berlin.

Dining and restaurant news…

* Give me liberty. The Liberty Tavern, that is. That’s where President Obama dined with four fortunate supporters last week. [Obama Foodorama]

* Your time is gonna come. And by come, the HuffPost foodies mean go, for these eight played-out dishes. [HuffPost Food]

* So easy a caveman could eat it! Food from the Paleolithic era is all the rage at a restaurant in Berlin. Bring your own club. [Daily Mail]

* In the foaming. Is molecular gastronomy hurting fine dining? I doubt it, but some people in D.C. seem to think it is. [NBC Washington]

* “And, my Blackberry will have….” You’re not dining alone if you have your smartphone. [Washington Post]

* And if you don’t have a smartphone? You can hire a dining companion, if you happen to be in Vegas. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Vegas, so maybe this isn’t as weird as it sounds? [Las Vegas Vegas]

* Somebody bring me some water. Apparently, it’s what most folks are drinking while dining out. [NY Daily News]

* The Art-ful Gaga. Lady Gaga’s father is set to open a new restaurant with Chef Art Smith (Art and Soul). Because of her aversion to the telephone, we’re hopeful it will be on OpenTable. [Delish]

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Trendspotting: Awful Offal; Fish Goes Green; Forkage Fees Make Author See Red; Restaurant Diners to See Fewer Tomatoes, and More

* It’s the awful side of offal as Rocky Mountain oysters show up on more menus. Blech. [The Atlantic]

* Move over green eggs and ham: Fish is getting in on the action as well. [Chicago Tribune]

* A restaurant asked Cake Bible author Rose Levy Beranbaum to fork over cash for a “forkage” fee for a — you guessed it — cake. [Chowhound]

* Some restaurants have secret menus that anyone can order so long as you know the secret names. Trust me when I say you’ll probably be better off if you don’t indulge in any of these things. [Coupon Spy]

* Cold weather has killed a lot of tomatoes and they’re in short supply at restaurants. [CNM]

* Restaurants in Dallas are going green. [Dallas Morning News]

* Restaurants in Chicago are serving pretzel bread. [FortWayne.com]

* It’s patio season in Beantown. [Grub Street Boston]

* Garlic goes green — literally. It’s already a vegetable, so it’s not like it’s not “green,” but some varieties are also actually green. [Los Angeles Times]

* Want to find sustainable fish? There’s an app for that. [Miller-McCune]

* More restaurants in New York are going green with rooftop gardens. [New York Magazine]

* It’s tough to keep kosher in Connecticut. [The New York Times]

* Restaurants have better house wines. [The Reporter-Vacaville]

* You can take a nap in Napa after you dine on first-rate cuisine, thanks to top-notch inns with equally impressive restaurants. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Bars and booze are bringing more business in to restaurants. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

* The Star Tribune has had a food section for four decades and in that time, they’ve, admittedly, endorsed some pretty silly trends. [Star Tribune]

* Taiwan restaurants take sustainability a step further. [Trendspotter]

* Our diners up north have the skinny on what’s going to be trendy in food in the future, which has already arrived, apparently. [Vancouver Sun]

* A DC restaurant goes dark but not in the bad way. [Washington Post]