Calamari

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Marc4022
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Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 7:01 PM
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I tend to be disappointed with this as an appetizer...perhaps my expectations are too high. But there is a place in Washington, DC, that serves awesome calamari. Believe it or not, it's a pizza joint.

Matchbox Pizza in Chinatown on H Street.

Sundancer7
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 7:15 PM
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The best I ever had was on the pier in Monterey Bay south of San Fran. That is one of the features in this area. I had it at the place that was at the end of the pier. View was super and the sea lions never stopped honking. They did it all night long. I spent the night there and they remind me of geese this time of the year. They bark all night long.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

Michael Hoffman
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 7:42 PM
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Please do not throw stones at me, but I have to say that I cannot stand calamari.

Sundancer7
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 7:47 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Please do not throw stones at me, but I have to say that I cannot stand calamari.

Why would we throw stones at you?

That is what taste is all about. Some folks like chocklate and others vanilla.

I personally do not care for turnips and others do.

Paul E. Smith
knoxville, TN

Adjudicator
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 7:51 PM
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I will add that I do not like it either, but that's probably because I have never had it prepared "right".

ScreenBear
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 9:42 PM
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For truly different calamri try it at Toscani's, Belleville, N.J. Served as an appetizer, Toscani's calamari is very lightly breaded and then sauteed in a balsamic.

It is light, crunchy, appropriately resilent, and a refreshing change from the thousands of uneventul calamaris that are deep-fried and then served with unremarkable marinara...not that I don't like it that way, too, when in the proper frame of mind.

Its just that calamari, since it has invaded the hinterlands, has become the new fried onion rings. It's now on everyone's menu. Doubtless it's bought frozen and already breaded. They drop it in the deep fryer. That'll be $7.95, please.

But Toscani's....I'm tellin' yuh....fuhgeddaboutit! If you're within driving distance and like calamari, do this favor for yourself.

carlton pierre
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 11/11/05 11:01 PM
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I've had calamari from Detroit to California and love it though some are better than others at making it to my liking.

RibDog
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 8:27 AM
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The best calamari I have ever had was in Barcelona and Mallorca in Spain. They will cook up whole baby squid and you eat the whole calamari. Very tender and tasted like it had been caught that morning.

John

porkbeaks
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 10:41 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by RibDog

The best calamari I have ever had was in Barcelona and Mallorca in Spain. They will cook up whole baby squid and you eat the whole calamari. Very tender and tasted like it had been caught that morning.

John


Ribdog, you took the words right outta my mouth. The whole family vacationed near Marbella a few years ago and all agreed that those baby squid were the absolute best we ever had. They were eaten with salt and a little vinegar; no marinara type sauce that I recall. When we got back to Florida, I made a lot of calls to seafood supply places but was told I'd have to go catch them myself.

Locally, the most consistently good calamari we find is at, believe it or not, Carrabba's. pb

Heartburn
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Sundancer7

The best I ever had was on the pier in Monterey Bay south of San Fran. That is one of the features in this area. I had it at the place that was at the end of the pier. View was super and the sea lions never stopped honking. They did it all night long. I spent the night there and they remind me of geese this time of the year. They bark all night long.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
[/quo
I believe the mame of the place is RAPPA'S
We have been there on a couple of trips
It is also the best I have ever had.
Sagud

berndog
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 12:14 PM
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One of my favorite appetizers, and I could make a meal from this. Although I also like it served sauteed in sauce at many Italian restaurants, my favorite is fried with different dipping sauces. Crispy and chewy at the same time. Yum.

NYNM
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 4:43 PM
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My Northern Italian grandmother often put fresh calamari (and scungilli) in her homemade tomato sauce. It was delicious, especially on her homemmade pasta. This "fried" calamari thing is a bit "yuppie" for me.

Sundancer7
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 11/12/05 8:27 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by SAGUD


Originally posted by Sundancer7

The best I ever had was on the pier in Monterey Bay south of San Fran. That is one of the features in this area. I had it at the place that was at the end of the pier. View was super and the sea lions never stopped honking. They did it all night long. I spent the night there and they remind me of geese this time of the year. They bark all night long.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
[/quo
I believe the mame of the place is RAPPA'S
We have been there on a couple of trips
It is also the best I have ever had.
Sagud


I think you are correct with the name of the Restaurant. I cannot qualify that it is the best is the world but the quality of the dishes we had were super. The setting was the best and the calimari (squid) was super.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

ScreenBear
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 11/13/05 1:03 AM
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Sundancer,
You jogged my memory. One of the best calamaris I ever had was at a place in the Cannery Row area, also. It was breaded and fried, served as the accompaniment to eggs at breakfast. The restaurant was an old fish cannery turned into a large, airy restaurant. I thought about it for years, being a big Steinbeck fan and all.
The Bear

Sundancer7
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 11/13/05 7:40 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by ScreenBear

Sundancer,
You jogged my memory. One of the best calamaris I ever had was at a place in the Cannery Row area, also. It was breaded and fried, served as the accompaniment to eggs at breakfast. The restaurant was an old fish cannery turned into a large, airy restaurant. I thought about it for years, being a big Steinbeck fan and all.
The Bear


Apparently the squid in that area is very prevalent. It is available almost at every restaurant. Some do it better than others. I cannot say that what I had was the best but it certainly was very good.

One thing I can say is that the setting in the Monterey Bay is that the view is super.

I also enjoyed the aquariam there. It may not be the largest but in my opinion, it is the most beautiful I have ever visited. One of the neat things of this feature is the outdoor view.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

Scorereader
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RE: Calamari - Mon, 11/14/05 10:37 AM
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Marc4022 - thanks for the nugget on Matchbox Pizza's calamari! I will have to give this a try. This is the 2nd time I've heard good things from that place.

I also like to get the fried calamari at the DC fish market (SW Waterfront). It's a great snack to have while I pick up fish and seafood.


njdchef
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RE: Calamari - Mon, 11/14/05 11:24 AM
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Denino's in Staten Island, NY the best I have EVER had, crispy not rubbery and their Marinara is damn good too with a little red pepper flakes added. I think I will go there tonight

Williamsburger
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 11/16/05 4:25 PM
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Cut and pasted from a post I made several months back (possibly my first!):

I was visiting my sister in Chicago about 4 yrs ago and we went to a restaurant in Greektown (sorry don't remember the name - Pegasus?). They cut the calamari very thin, you could almost see through it. Very lightly breaded and very crunchy. I don't remember if they served it with marinara sauce, but I doubt it. Last time we were there they were out. I cried (but the Sambuco made up for it - almost).

Here in Williamsburg VA there is one place that makes very good calamari - Cornerstone Grill. They serve the "tentacles" as you all have been saying. They serve it with a spinach ailio (sp?) type of sauce. One cavet - their service is ...I was about to say "quirky", but no it's just bad. They only reason we go there regularly is because some friends of mine bellydance in the bar once a month.

Another very good place in SE VA for calamari is The Baker's Crust (Richmond and Va Beach). Again, not a marinara sauce and uses all the bits. Apparently they use a little graham cracker in their breading for added crunch and a little sweetness.


Cathy

Ashphalt
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 12/21/05 11:21 AM
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Daily Catch in Boston and Brookline. Best fried calimari ever. No red sauce needed.

saps
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 12/21/05 12:24 PM
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Calamari at Union Square Cafe in NYC, with a graham cracker type coating that caramelizes around the calamari. Served with a spicy anchovy aioli.

Sauteed calamari at Bruna's in Chicago. It's best when drizzled with a sweet balsamic vinegar.

tmiles
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 12/21/05 12:51 PM
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I think it can be very good, or not so great. Maybe it is hard to prepare, or maybe people just like it different ways. For example, a place that I otherwise like serves it wih a big pile of hot yellow peppers, and adds hot sauce to the coating. (yuck, IMO). I only ordered it once, and will not get it again, but everytime I go, I see other folks order and enjoy it.

ken8038
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 12/21/05 1:01 PM
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I may have posted aboout this place before, or maybe it was some other NG, but the best calamari I know of is at the appropriately named Rocco's Calamari, in Brooklyn NY, Ft Hamilton Pky and 64th St.
Noisy trattoria, "Whaddayuz want" service (but competent), great Italian food. And a totally Brooklyn experience. ---Ken

lleechef
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 12/21/05 5:55 PM
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I have posted many, MANY times here, singing the praises of The Daily Catch/Mangia Calamari on Hanover St. in Boston. Without a doubt BEST calamari I have ever eaten. They do it fried. They do it in sauce. They make calamari meatballs. They stuff it. You can get it in red or white (garlic and olive oil) sauce. They make the best lobster/seafood Fra Diavolo. The place only has 10 tables.....and no bathroom.......gotta go across the street to the Cafe Vittoria. If I had only ONE meal to eat on the East Coast, it would be at the Daily Catch!

Ashphalt
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 12/23/05 11:32 AM
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lleechef,

Aren't you exaggerating with the 10 tables? When I was there this past Summer I thought it was closer to five. And no A.C. (so I may have lost the ability to count). But the food was sublime. Nephew from Oregon had never had soft-shells, good calimari, or black pasta and loved them all

Brookline location may have space for one more chair, and does have A.C. We had about 11 people for my law school graduation and they made us promise to be done by 7(ish) so they wouldn't disappoint all their regulars. Our New York guests who have travelled in Sicily say the food is absolutely authentic.

berndog
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 12/23/05 2:00 PM
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I love calimari. My favorite is fried, although I also like it simmered in a good marinara tomato sauce. At our department Christmas luncheon a few weeks ago, there were appetizers for our group, which included fried calimari. It was some of the best I've every had. The place was a local bar and restaurant called The Summerville Grill, at the foot of St. Paul Street right off Lake Ontario.

wheregreggeats.com
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 12/23/05 2:15 PM
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The fried at Joe's Pizza in Northampton, Massachusetts is superb.

lleechef
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RE: Calamari - Fri, 12/30/05 6:57 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Ashphalt

lleechef,

Aren't you exaggerating with the 10 tables? When I was there this past Summer I thought it was closer to five. And no A.C. (so I may have lost the ability to count). But the food was sublime. Nephew from Oregon had never had soft-shells, good calimari, or black pasta and loved them all

Brookline location may have space for one more chair, and does have A.C. We had about 11 people for my law school graduation and they made us promise to be done by 7(ish) so they wouldn't disappoint all their regulars. Our New York guests who have travelled in Sicily say the food is absolutely authentic.

Well, I was thinking there were 10 tables for TWO, so if you have to push them together, that makes 5!
I have an "in" with the chef (he used to work for me) and the waitress, if she's still there and the owners Paul and Maria are good friends of mine, so I never have to wait! Paul and Maria own a calamari wholesale place on the Boston Fish Pier, so that's why everything is SOOOOO fresh! In fact, the chef originally started working for Paul and Maria, cleaning 2000 pounds of squid a day!

Sundancer7
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RE: Calamari - Sat, 12/31/05 2:28 PM
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Never debate with Lleechef as she knows her stuff. She has been everywhere, worked everywhere and done everything any chef has done. I find her to be roadfood's most informed food person.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

lleechef
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 01/1/06 6:31 AM
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Thanks for the compliments Paul! Anybody can debate with me! But I have been IN LOVE with this restaurant for many, many years. All the pasta is cooked to order, the calamari is divine! When I arrive I immediately go into the open kitchen and give a big hug and kiss to the chef. A plate of fried calamari arrives on the table, even though we haven't ordered it.........simply served with lemon wedges. The clams in "white sauce" are hand shucked littlenecks tossed with their own juice, linguine, garlic, white wine and parsley, served in the sautee pan it was all assembled in. A meal of perfection, clean and simple, delicious and perfect. I have said several times here, "If I only had ONE meal to eat in Boston, it would be at The Daily Catch"

ScreenBear
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 01/1/06 12:29 PM
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lleechef
If you're ever in Belleville New Jersey, I'd be interested in your opinion of the special calamari appetizer at Toscani, my favorite Italian restaurant. I've touted it elsewhere here, often. It's lightly breaded and cooked in a balsamic.
The Bear

GeoNit
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 07/19/06 11:18 AM
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Lleechef, do you have any opinion on the DC's second location?


http://foodpage.us/44369?showmap=1

http://foodpage.us/43794?showmap=1

lleechef
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RE: Calamari - Wed, 07/19/06 2:41 PM
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GeoNit, There used to be a Daily Catch on Northern Ave. but it is now gone because of the renovations to that area. I believe that Maria and Paul finally did open another restaurant in the new court house at the other end of Northern Ave. I have never eaten at the Brookline one, my favorite is the original restaurant on Hanover St. in the North End.

CoastFan
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 12:05 PM
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Quote:
The best I ever had was on the pier in Monterey Bay south of San Fran. That is one of the features in this area. I had it at the place that was at the end of the pier.



Paul, you probably didn't eat at the place named below if you got your calamari at the end of the pier. In the opinion of many, including yours truly, Abalonetti on Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, is THE place for squid.

I first had calamari when I moved to Monterey oh so many years ago. The restaurant had a number different ways of preparing it, including what is sometimes called "poor man's abalone": lightly breaded and fried.

http://abalonettimonterey.com/index.htm

ctrueder
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 1:01 PM
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I had some deep fried calamari once . . . it looked like onion rings. I told my wife that it was GRRREAT!

Then, she told me what it was, and I thought I was going to throw up!

I know that this "scenario" is trite, but it's the way I felt at the time! Squid (and octopus)is one of the ugliest creatures on the planet, in my opinion!

However, over the years, I have learned to accept it . . so long as it is FRIED.

doggydaddy
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 3:52 PM
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===The restaurant had a number different ways of preparing it, including what is sometimes called "poor man's abalone": lightly breaded and fried.===

That was one of my favorite ways of eating it. I have not seen calamari steaks in a long time. I suspect that they come from very large squid. I would get the steaks pre-tenderized, sort of like a cube steak. We cooked it in an egg batter with wine, lemon and butter.

As for the regular calamari, I am seeing a lot of it served with hot peppers and marinara sauce. That seems to be the standard around here.
My favorite way was at a Chinese restaurant where I would order it in a tempura batter with a Hunan sauce. It was light, crispy and mildly spicy enough to bring a tear or two to your eyes without being that overwhelming. Pass the rice...

I was just looking at my take-out menus from the local Chinese places and none of them carry calamari. Shrimp is the only seafood in these parts.

mark


bbqjimbob
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 5:30 PM
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My wife and I love the calamari at Carrabba's Italian Grille. They serve it with the traditional marinara sauce, and- my favorite, with a spicy Italian pepper and lemon butter sauce, which they call Calamari Ricardo.

Ciaoman
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 7:20 PM
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Best fried squid I ever ate was at Villa Pensa, a terrific, family-owned restaurant on Grand Str. in NYC's Little Italy--sadly, it closed a few years ago. Served right out of the fryer, with a flour crust that melted in your mouth, all you needed was a squeeze of lemon--tender sweet perfection. I've never tasted its equal. The rest of the menu was terrific too...especially any of the vegetable "contorni" (side dishes) and Southern Italian pastas. So good.

pmrkr2
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RE: Calamari - Sun, 07/23/06 10:43 PM
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friend of mine just told me about a place on staten island (new york) that does calamari pizza pies. i'll be going out and trying it soon and will report back.

salsailsa
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RE: Calamari - Mon, 07/31/06 10:24 PM
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I love calamari- have had it done in small rings dusted with flour and fried served with pesto sour cream dip, big rings done with italian breading and marinara dip, chinese salt and pepper squid cut into chunks and fried and grilled with house made bbq and honey mustard sauces. I worked at a restaurant that used to put five spice in the seasoning- it was tasty.

The only stuff I detest are those pre-breaded elastic bands that places serve. I always ask if a resto breads their own or not after making the mistake of just ordering too many times.

AndreaB
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RE: Calamari - Tue, 08/1/06 8:36 AM
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I like the calamari fried crispy with lightly spiced batter, and served with cocktail dip. The heavily breaded or battered elastic bands, no.
Some of the best I've had were at the restaurant on the Anna Maria City Pier in Florida.

Andrea

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RE: Calamari - Tue, 08/1/06 9:16 AM
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Calamari is best when it has been prepared fresh rather than frozen.
Usually, the only fresh calamari that you will find is on the west coast.
However, if the many restaurants that serve fried calamari around the country
would "soak" them in milk overnight, they will end up with a product that has the texture of fresh, unfrozen calamari.

Jennifer_4
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RE: Calamari - Tue, 08/1/06 10:37 AM
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Best fried calamari I've ever had was at Rose's in Morro Bay.. only place I've ever had it where they didn't overcook it.. pay a little extra to get it with the best garlic fries in the world. Not just chopped garlic thrown on top like some places, but it tastes like garlic is cooked into the fries.. YUM!

txtwister
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RE: Calamari - Tue, 08/1/06 12:21 PM
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We met friends for dinner last night at their choice, Spaghetti Warehouse, a chain that screws up everything (IMO) except their very more than passable canneloni and the one true standout; fried calamari. It's lightly dredged in peppery flour (doesn't seem battered) and served with aioli and marinara. We're currently located in landlocked western TX but I developed my love for good fried calimari in FL, CT and NY, and this is among the best I've ever had. It's always tender and perfectly fried. In fact, I consider it a wonder of nowheresville dining, because it always seems fresh. Everything else at that place seems as if it came out of a plastic bag or freezer case, but that calimari is truly outstanding.