October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Want to know the recipe for the perfect Sunday morning? Early bike ride through Venice canals, up on the boardwalk and along the beach, through the pier then down Main Street in Santa Monica. Pull over when you reach the Farmer’s Market for tunes, people watching and perfectly fresh food.
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
This weekend, the stars aligned to create the perfect time for a quick trip to California. Since my brother lives in Venice Beach, we always have a vacation and place to stay at our fingertips there. The flight out from Nashville is much easier than from the East coast so even leaving after work on Friday, I landed in time for dinner. I’m so glad I did because the restaurant was fantastic. It was an Italian spot with a Southern Californian twist called Superba that invites lingering late outside over wine (they have blankets table-side if you catch a beachy breeze). We chose the tasting menu which was served in a totally unique way- small plates style. Instead of everyone getting their own mini portion of each dish, plate after delicious plate was set down before us to share. It’s my favorite way to eat and with pastas made in house, the food was four stars.
In other news, today is Food Day celebrating real food!
August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sometimes I judge my hotel room by the bathroom. That’s where I spend most of my time in the room anyway besides sleeping! If I’m not getting ready to head out on the town, hopefully I’m already out there. In the case of the Wynn, Las Vegas, if all other signs didn’t point to over-the-top luxury (which they did), the bathroom sealed the deal.
Staying at the Wynn is a two-for-one deal since its sister hotel, The Encore, is right next door and the restaurants and pools are all accessible to both guests.
I am a novice gambler so even more than playing the tables, I just enjoyed people watching. Visitors run the gamut- families, old, young, foreign, american, bathing suits, cocktail dresses. Anything goes.
If gambling ain’t your thang, there are plenty of other ways to lose your money. Six pools in total (some even with swim-up casinos, if you want the best of both worlds), spas and high end shopping to rival Rodeo Drive. The spa at the Wynn was under construction so we headed over to the Encore which was voted one of the most beautiful by Forbes Magazine.
A gal could get used to this place!
August 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
Don’t even get me or any Philadelphian started on The Barnes Foundation–just watch The Art of The Steal and you will be outraged too. Since I attended high school near the Merion location, the former residence was a popular field trip destination. However, my mom had tickets and my brother was in from CA so the family was going to the new campus. The art is still incredible–an amazing collection of impressionist and post-impressionist work with the largest collection of Renoirs in the world. It should be an absolute top priority if you are planning a trip. After taking it all in, it was time for a great meal
We head to Porcini near Rittenhouse, a fabulous Italian BYO with melt-in-your-mouth handmade pastas. The space is very small and the tables get noisy, which I like. You’ll see the owners schmoozing the guests and it gives the all around feeling that you are at an enormous, Italian family dinner.
August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
What I thought was an even BETTER brunch experience out in Denver was Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. You can expect a wait (about an hour for 2) but that is fine because they have very cool, fun sidewalk games for all the people waiting outside like cornhole and sidewalk chalk.
We went to the Ballpark location which I admit was not my favorite area of the city but they have a few other locations that I may need to check out. The trip was worth the hike though. Inside, the place is hopping. The retro-futuristic (if that is a thing) booths are packed full of chic-edgy (if that is a thing) people. They have a great breakfast cocktail list and you’ll hear some fabulous Michael Jackson tunes that make you want to get up and dance. At breakfast. You can just tell everyone in there LOVES their job.
And then there is the pancake special everyday. Today it was Chocolate Chip with bananas and whip cream–to which we immediately said yes before even looking at the menu.
Then it was the Breakfast Burrito for me and the Breakfast Pot Pie for him.
Oh, and if I didn’t already feel like I was in San Fran, we passed this on the way home.
A beautifully hand-painted upright piano in the middle of the mall (probably leftover from this project). I didn’t take a picture of the sign but it said something along the lines of, “We invite everyone to sit down and play.” Make music. Make peace and love. Ok I improvised there; I love this city!
August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
This past weekend in Denver was a whirlwind of good times and good food. First off, the reason for the trip out there was the Big Denver Barbecue Block Party – the debut of the NY event in Denver. Two blocks of Arapahoe by the 16th street mall were shut down so people could wander the rigs and enjoy the band at the beer garden. Some old faces were there and some new like Jake Linzinmeir of Tomboy Tavern in Telluride.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Judi’s House, a Denver community committed to helping grieving children and their families and thoughts and prayers poured in for Jim N’ Nick’s to deliver for members of families of the Aurora shooting
The food was the perfect accompaniment to the gorgeous mountain views, clear skies, bluegrass tunes and a cold beer (like the brand new Red Hoptober out for fall).
The rest of the birthday weekend was spent enjoying the awesome city of Denver. There is a really cool city-wide bike rental system called B-Cycle that lets you pick up and drop off rented bikes at any of their numerous stations that operate like a parking meter. Not sure if Nashville is flat enough for a similar system…
And the cherry on top was a surprise concert at Red Rocks–something that has been on my bucket list for a looong time.
We also had some pretty great meals out that I will share this week.
July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last week, we took a short day trip to a new TN town for me, Memphis. Even though it was 2000° 102° outside, I managed to pry myself out of the car for long enough to take one touristy photo.
The rest of my free time I spent trying to figure out how to get to Mud Island and by the time I learned it was just a quick 10-15 minute walk across a bridge, I had about 30 minutes to be back out by Germantown. Maybe next time.
The good news is, I managed to get an excellent meal in (always). We were treated to a wonderful dinner at Interim restaurant by my fiancé’s amazing grandparents. They picked the spot based on Chef Jackson Kramer, who is native to Memphis, and his gorgeous open kitchen that lets the dining room see just how their food is being prepared.
And the food is so good, they have nothing to hide! At our table we had the Cheese Board to start (with sweet blueberries and figs, oh my!), the House Salad, Stuffed Mountain Trout, Angus Beef Filet, Beef Short Ribs, and the Duck Breast. All were delicious. We were there somewhat early on a Friday but the house was pretty full (especially with some private parties that they have in separate rooms) so if you plan on going, I would call in and make a reservation just in case.