I’ve returned from New York… eating, shopping, visiting friends, and working…

20120820-225118.jpgDrinking lots of Rose…

And a cocktail or two..

Seeing some art at The Whitney

Eating A LOT…

Prune  |  The Fat Radish  |  Inoteca  | Ippudo  |  Eataly

And a wee bit of  shopping

Once I get my head back on straight I’ll share some more details!
The etsy shop has been busy with all of these September weddings!



Between travel, work, and a few side projects I’ve been away from the blog, but I thought I’d do a quick ‘instagram’ recap of the trip to get back into the swing of things.

We Shopped….

The Muji Store in Chelsea.
No trip to Muji is complete with out a new pen and notebook.

We Ate…

Every bite at Prune was amazing. Particularly the sardines with triscuits and mustard, and the radishes with sweet butter and salt from the bar. We also had a braised octopus with shaved celery that was the BEST octopus I’ve ever eaten. Ippudo was just right and hit the spot as always with ramen noodles, pork buns and shishito peppers…

We had street food and an embarrassing amount of late night pizza…

We Drank & We Laughed

We Walked Around Exploring

And We Worked Of Course…

Friends are always asking for suggestions when traveling to New York so here’s a quick list of what we hit:

To Eat : Txikito, Piadina, Eataly, Ippudo, Prune, Sushi Samba 7, Le French Diner
To Shop : Muji Store, ABC Carpet & Home, and  Joe Fresh

I’ll be sharing more from the trip and  ‘Market Finds’ soon. Stay tuned!

Sunny San Francisco

We’re back from San Francisco and finally recovered! We had amazing weather, and it’s safe to say the trip was pretty perfect. The first night we ate messy delicious crab, rode a cable car and had drinks at Whiskey Thieves.

1. Painted Ladies   2. I loved these scenic drive signs   3. Shoe garden in Alamo Square             4. Miette   5. Painted wall in lower haight   6. Our GoCar

Friday morning we took the first ferry out to Alcatraz. The prison and island were impressive with stunning views of the city, and lush plant life. That afternoon we checked out the
Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro. We browsed the stalls of the Ferry Building, had crispy egg rolls and pork buns from Out the Door, downed a few oysters, and a salumi cup from Boccalone.

1. View from Alcatraz ferry   2. View from Alcatraz   3. Aloe garden   4. Aloe trees
5. Succulents   6. View from Alcatraz

We then headed over to the Haight which was full of hippies (gutter punks) and hipsters. We did a little shopping, but I was ready to scoot pretty quickly after we stood at Haight and Ashbury, saw the former Grateful Dead house, and picked up a few records at Amoeba.
Next stop was beautiful Golden Gate Park where we saw buffalo roam, and I snapped tons of photos at the dahlia garden outside the Conservatory of Flowers.

1. Strawberry Hill   2. Strawberry Hill Pond   3. Windmill at Golden Gate Park    4. Swans on the lawn of the Exploratorium    5. Palace of Fine Arts   6. Strawberry Hill, Golden Gate Park

We finished the night with dinner at Firenzie by Night in North Beach. A no frills Italian restaurant where the meal was moderately priced, and the service and food were great. We started with bresaola, had the famous gnocchi, and veal parmesan with eggplant.
On Saturday we rented a GoCar for the day, and while I’m sure we looked hilarious, it was totally worth it. We cruised all over town (at a top speed of 30 miles an hour) with a guided GPS built into the car.

1. Baker Beach   2. View from Twin Peaks   3. View from GoCar   4. Twin Peaks
5. View at Crissy Field   6. Crissy Field

That night we took it easy and hit up a burrito spot our friends recommend, El Farolito in the Mission.  It was super delicious and ridiculously cheap for the portions. Next door I picked up a few things from an indie store called Artillery Apparel Gallery, and then we turned in early for the trip to Muir Woods and Napa.

1. View from golf course   2. Crossing Golden Gate Bridge   3. Rainbow tunnel
4. View from lookout point  5. View from beach   6. View from our GoCar

Sunday’s first stop was Muir Woods, and we arrived right when they opened at 9am so the woods were quiet and beautiful. Tour buses and loud mouths were pouring in as we were leaving making me thankful we’d arrived early. They had a great gift shop where we picked up some goodies for friends and family, and had a berry scone and coffee from the little cafe.

1. tree   2. tree   3. tree   4. us!   5. banana slug   6. more trees!

We were starved when we pulled into Napa and had a quick bite at Gotts (big tasty burgers and garlicky fries) before hitting the wine tastings. Our friend Adam recently started working at a winery in Napa, and was nice enough to set up a few wine tastings for us. Corison, Frank Family, and Quixote were all excellent, but Quixote was especially fun. It was off the beaten path, and the buildings were designed by quirky Viennese artist, Hundertwasser. The wineries were crushing grapes and the air smelled of berries. I always imagined going to Napa someday, but never thought of how the air would smell. The trip ended on Sunday night with a unforgettable dinner at Ad Hoc.

1. Grapes on the Vine   2. Quixote Winery   3. Quixote Winery  4. Frank Family Winery
5. Corison Winery   6. Grapes!  7. Quixote Winery   8. Reynolds Family Winery
9. Quixote Winery colorful barrels

View the complete photo album from the trip here!

MAD Exhibit: Otherwordly

While in New York I squeezed in a trip to the Museum of Arts and Design to see  Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities.
I’m amazed by miniature, tedious mediums because I myself can’t bear it. I need instant gratifications and big strokes. These small-scale models had immense detail and the photographs of them were unreal.

These miniature artist studios were one of my favorites.
Jackson Pollock at work…

Chuck Close in his studio…

A mini medieval tavern.

There were a lot of other interesting pieces and you can see more photos and watch interesting videos on each one. The Exhibit closes this Sunday (September 18th) so if you are in New York, GO!

New York Eats

The main event while in New York was eating as always. I seem to be hitting up places I’ve already been and only trying one or two new spots. Unfortunately this trip didn’t include my usual trip to the French Diner, but there were plenty of other tasty things to make up for it.
The standout meals of the trip were:

House-Made Pizza porcini cream, Fontina, crimini mushrooms, fried garlic, aleppo
Seared Sea Scallops Mangalista ham, white asparagus, lemon thyme dressing, pumpkinseed oil
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri, parmesan potato puree, haricot vert & tomato salad
We ate at the bar and washed it all down with the house Sangria which is very dangerous. Beware.

Roasted Bone Marrow with a parsley salad, sea salt and grilled bread.
Whole Grilled Branzino with fennel oil, gros sel, and citrus.
Mascarpone Ice Cream with salted caramel croutons

Ipuddo (worth the wait as always)
Hirata Buns – Pork Steamed buns filled with your choice of pork, chicken, or shrimp served with Ippudo original spicy buns sauce
Shishito   Flash-fried Japanese peppers with yuzu salt
Akamaru Modern  The original “Tonkotsu” noodle soup topped with Ippudo’s secret “Umami Dama” miso paste, pork chashu, cabage, kikurage, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil

Bar Pitti 
The BEST sautéed Spinach with garlic
Chicken Paillard with endive, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil.

This was a perfect summer dish, and I definitely want to give it a try.

‘Inoteca Liqouri
This restaurant is at the Marcel where I’ve been staying in New York, and I finally went down for a drink and a bite to eat. I can’t stop thinking about the Truffle Egg Toast with Bottarga

image from Umami Lover

And to drink, the Three Two Three
Rosemary-infused Hendrick’s Gin, Fresh Fruit, Basil, Reduced Balsamic Vinegar and Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

I also had San Loco tacos, Clinton Street Bakery, and a couple not so memorable meals, but all in all good eats!

*click the pics for the original source

Off to New York…

It’s that time of year again, when I head to New York for the NYIGF.
I’m missing the Alexander McQueen exhibit (tears were shed) and haven’t managed to seek out any other exhibits just yet. Hopefully something good is happening while I’m there. The only thing I have planned so far is a trip to Pear River Mart for these…

I’m planning my sister’s DIY backyard wedding and I’m thinking they’ll be perfect for the photo booth. As usual I’m sure there will be all sorts of other goodies I’ll need when there.
The second thing on my list is Torrisi Italian Specialties NY. I saw these guys on No Reservations and love what they are doing. It’s an innovative menu that uses local ingredients and changes daily. After a long day at work I’m totally into just sitting down and being served without making any real decisions about the meal.

Super early flight so I’m off to bed!

ON THE BAR * Summer Cocktails

While in Baltimore, Maryland for a wedding this past weekend I had a cocktail that I can’t believe hasn’t crossed my lips sooner. The rehearsal dinner was held at Woodberry Kitchen located inside Clipper Hill.
The interior was perfect, and we sat in this beautiful private room with long family style tables. The tables actually fit in the crevices you see in the wall to the right.

There were two signature cocktails served, and while the Hibiscus Margarita and the Government Mule (a twist on the Moscow Mule) were both tasty, the Government Mule really stood out. From the super cold copper mug to the fresh lime zest on top, it was refreshing and delicious. Woodberry Kitchen makes the ginger beer in-house so I’ll have to be happy getting the recipe somewhat close with a store-bought ginger beer. It’s definitely on my list for recreating this summer, and I’m on the look out for the copper mugs that really add to the chilliness of the drink.

Prairie organic vodka
house made ginger beer
ginger-lime simple syrup
serve with lots of ice and fresh lime zest on top in a copper mug.

Find more beautiful photos of the restaurant here.