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Food/Wine

Dublin’s Cleaver East & The Exquisite Dishes of Oliver Dunne

November 24, 2014 by  

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I have another great restaurant discovery for you from my most recent trip to Ireland. Situated on East Essex Street in the heart of Dublin sits Cleaver East, which is a beautiful blend of history, charm and traditional fare with a twist. While they have a full bar and apparently their cocktails are one of the main draws, their wine list is outstanding as well. I dined at the bar, which I’d recommend if you’d like to learn more about the local scene. My neighbors, one English engineer, and two locals were tackling one cocktail after another while I got comfy with mostly deep, bold reds for the majority of the evening, that is after a couple of white wine pairings with seafood appetizers earlier in the evening. Note the word earlier – this was one of those evenings that went on for hours — I’d recommend starting out here for dinner but then heading back up to the heart of Temple Bar for post dinner drinks. It sits in the historical district of Dublin just beyond the popular Temple Bar area, where night life is bustling into the wee hours of…

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5 Must Try Brunch Places in New York’s Harlem

November 24, 2014 by  

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I love discovering new New York finds if you haven’t noticed and have been exploring off the beaten path neighborhoods outside of traditionally known Manhattan restaurants or the more trending little bistros in the East and West Village. Over the past six months, we’ve been diving into the Bronx, from Charlie’s in the South Bronx to  to Portofino in City Island (there’s more we plan to cover on Arthur Avenue and City Island btw). I love Brooklyn and recently took on the brunch and foodie scene in Harlem. Meet 5 wonderful picks for cuisine in an up and coming trending Harlem neighborhood on the East Side (around 125th and Malcom X/Lenox Avenue). In that area, the quality of cuisine is going up as the demand for it does. While it may still cater to clientele who love comfort food, there are some surprises along the way. Parking is fairly easy and you can also get there via the 4,5 and 6 trains and get off at 125th Street. RED ROOSTER Located in the heart of Harlem, Red Rooster serves comfort food celebrating the roots of American cuisine and the diverse culinary…

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10 Immersive Language Learning Holidays

November 23, 2014 by  

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In today’s globalized world, one of the most valuable and rewarding skills you can possess is the ability to learn languages and speak foreign tongues. Multilingualism opens you up to authentic travel experiences, new professional opportunities, greater cultural understanding and friendships with people from across the world. Whether you’re learning your second language or your fourth, whether you want to speak a lingua franca like French or an obscure tongue like Welsh, the best way to learn a language is to be surrounded by it. The following programs not only give you a solid grounding in foreign language skills; they also immerse you in local culture and all it has to offer. learn languages Photo courtesy of Cooperative School San Pedro.

1. Learn Spanish & Hike Volcanos In Guatemala

Situated in the stunning Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, the Cooperative School San Pedro offers far more than just Spanish language lessons. Grow your fluency in Spanish in and beyond the classroom with salsa lessons, hiking, kayaking, zip-lining and film nights, as well as lots of information on Guatemalan history. Room, meals and classes start at $160 per week. learn languages

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Finding Homemade Canadian Cooking in Taipei

November 20, 2014 by  

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Being a Canadian who has lived in Taiwan since 2006, I can say with confidence that there has been a distinct lack of good Canadian fare available in Taipei. In other words, it’s tough to find restaurants in Taipei that offer ‘True North’ dishes like poutine, smoked meat sandwiches, and breakfast skillets. Thankfully, Whalen’s has had us covered since the summer of 2012. Salad with Raspberry Vinegarette Dressing John and I have eaten at Whalen’s in Taipei’s Daan District on numerous occasions, although we’ve yet to visit for brunch or just drinks. I’ve never had a meal at Whalen’s that I haven’t enjoyed. In fact, we like the food at Whalen’s so much, it has been listed on my list of favorite restaurants in Taipei since January 2014. It’s going to stay there for 2015, too. They make a lot of things from scratch, so items like their homemade salad dressings and hand-cut fries really stand out. Have I mentioned value for your money? Yes, they’ve got that covered too. The portions are so big, I always find it hard to clear my plate completely. You definitely get your money’s worth when you eat at Whalen’s. Last week I was invited to…

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Learning All Things Grapes & Wine During Harvest Season in Virginia

November 19, 2014 by  

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vineyard Sepia-toned movies like French Kiss, Sideways and A Good Year paint a romantic image of life on a vineyard. Who wouldn’t want to abandon beige office cubicles for sunny rows of grape vines? Or exchange suit pants for jeans? After a blissful five-day stay at Antigua Residencia, a lovely hostel on a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, I decided I needed to see for myself. I contacted (read: cyber stalked) Stinson Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia about volunteering for a couple days during harvest season. A family-run operation, Stinson is an eco-friendly boutique vineyard at the foot of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. As I pulled up the gravel drive, past the old farmhouse overlooking the colorful fields beyond, it was as if life was imitating cinematic art. I quickly shot my boyfriend a text insisting we buy a vineyard. Two days later, exhausted and sore, I had a hell of a lot of respect for vintners and a much more realistic view of what it actually takes to produce a perfectly balanced bottle of wine. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the dream of replacing office retreats for harvest parties. As Ben Franklin said,…

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Old Town Temecula, Where Culture Meets Arts

November 18, 2014 by  

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old town temecula It seems you can’t travel anywhere nowadays without seeing McDonald’s, Subway and Chick-fil-A. Recently, I was invited to a wedding in a place known not only for its homegrown wines and beers, but an Old Town where by law only artisan vendors are allowed to open storefronts: Temecula, California. In fact, after wandering the historic neighborhood and its main Old Town Front Street, where every single space seems to be a local restaurant, purveyor offering free samples or antique shop, I became convinced this was a culture carnivore’s heaven. old town temecula Closeup of horse-drawn wagon; Old Town Temecula, California. Photo courtesy of Lowe Llaguno via Shutterstock. To prepare, I jot down a few potential stops and addresses. Once I park my rental car and find myself standing in front of a series of craft shacks selling handmade jewelry, candles and blown glass, it becomes immediately apparent no itinerary is needed. My first stop, which also ends up being my favorite even after the day is over, is the Temecula Olive Oil Company. Walls lined with olive oil, balsamics, rubs and salts greet me, as…

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Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival & Private Cooking Classes

November 18, 2014 by  

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  mexico_cancun_wine-food_2015The fourth annual Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival takes place March 12 through 15, 2015, in several venues on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It will include two dozen events featuring Mexican, Spanish and other world gastronomy. Honored chefs include Spanish legends Juan Mari Arzak, Joan Roca and Eneko Atxa. Chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Rafael Zafra will accompany the trio to prepare five-course meals paired with Spanish wines in a dinner held March 13, 2015, at Live Aqua Cancún. The festival will also showcase the top 10 female Mexican chefs in a five-course “Divas of Mexican Cuisine” Gala Dinner on March 14 at Secrets The Vine, home to a wine wall that holds as many as 3,000 varieties of wine. The dinner will be paired with Mexican wines for a celebration of Mexican cuisine (included on UNESCO’s list of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage). The Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort will host the Gourmet Tasting Village, which will feature not only food, but tastes from more than 35 Mexican and international wineries. Other festival events includes a tribute to French cuisine with the…

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Indianapolis’ Annual International Festival

November 18, 2014 by  

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More than 50 ethnic and cultural groups have banded together to stage the annual International Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 1976. You can munch their way around the world, sampling traditional foods from close to two dozen culinary traditions, including Indonesia, Mexico, Germany, Taiwan, Italy and more. Of course there’s also continuous entertainment, an international marketplace, a Naturalization Ceremony, Parade of Nations, cultural booths and games. It all takes place starting on November 21 weekend in the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. Public hours are 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow (November 21, 2014), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday (November 22, 2014) and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (November 23, 2014). Photo: Indie.gov.


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