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Food/Wine

2 Restaurant Gems on the Monterey Pacific Grove Penisula

December 3, 2016 by  

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If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or go there on business or pleasure, you’re bound to drive down the coast, whether you’re heading to the infamous Big Sur, driving down to Los Angeles or just want a long weekend away on the peninsula along the coast south of Santa Cruz, which serves gems like Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Located a stone’s throw from the more well-known Monterey is Pacific Grove, a ten or fifteen minute drive away. Photo credit: Beach House. Tucked in a grove, it’s a lovely place to reflect, meditate, take a walk and finally have dinner. If you’re off on a romantic getaway or just love serenity and stunning views, then the Beach House at Lover’s Point is your spot. Steak lovers can head into directly into Monterey and check out Whaling Station Steakhouse. We review both of them from our recent visit in November below. Be prepared to be hungry after seeing our oh so luscious food photos. Beach House at Lover’s Point When you drive up to the Beach House at Lover’s Point, you’re immediately struck by its view of the ocean in all directions. It’s…

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The Pelican, the Princess and the Pizza

November 24, 2016 by  

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In November, the Princess learned that unless she wanted to be losing them, she’d best use her “floating holidays” by the second week of December or she would be kissing those days “good-bye”. So, like the respectful royalty that she is, she put in for the time off and we got our buddy, Jimmy John (alias JJ), involved with our plans for silliness and merrymaking, and decided that a trip down to Monterey to do some bike riding along the coast would be a nice way to spend her time off. Being the pizza and pastry lover that I am, though, I can’t drive down to Monterey, without a stopover in Capitola for a thin-crusted slice of pizza from a joint named, “Pizza My Heart” or a pastry from “Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria”. So, the three of us agreed, before hitting Monterey’s coastline for bike riding, that a detour to this quaint beach town – known more for its steep cliffs and colorful houses and hotels, than its pizza joints and bakeries – was definitely on the agenda for the day. The Princess and I had never been down to Capitola during the Christmas season and were pleasantly surprised to…

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The Atlanta Foodie Guide to Delicious & Decadent Bites

November 8, 2016 by  

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If you’re a foodie lover, you’re probably noticing that we’re doing more and more Foodie Guides in addition to our coverage of food/wine events and of course restaurant reviews. We try to curate an eclectic list of eateries, markets, cafes and upscale restaurants where you can find a blend of authentic and local, sustainable, organic and farm-to-table, and dive joints that serve dishes you’ll remember for weeks after your experience. We did an Atlanta Foodie Guide last year which largely focused on the lesser known Atlanta neighborhoods, at least if you’re a tourist who is new to exploring this southern American city. We covered Castleberry Hill, Five Points, Fairlie Poplar and Sweet Auburn, including Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Our focus last year was on Tasting the South, from Appalachia, Barbecue, Creole and Cajun to Gullah and Low Country Cuisine and one of our picks from last year is on this list. I spent more time in Buckhead (also stayed there), this past Fall, so more of my discoveries are in this trendy chic more popular area of Altanta although I cover some other foodie gems as well, including the Buford  Highway Farmer’s market…

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Behind the Scenes With Georgian Wines

October 30, 2016 by  

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Fall is such a great time to visit Georgia but wine lovers will be pleased to know anytime of year works. To be honest, Georgia was one of those places that really intrigued me as a traveler and yet, up until earlier this fall, I had no set plans to visit. Now that I’ve been, however, I can’t imagine NOT visiting. Every day was an opportunity to meet new people, gaze upon century old buildings and churches and best of all, literally drink my way through Georgia….the country, not the state. Despite being a small nation—there are about 4.5 million inhabitants—Georgia has no shortage of lush landscapes, jaw-dropping views and delicious cuisine. What impressed me most, however, was the wine. Not only does it taste like no wine you’ve ever tried before, but there’s such love that goes into every bottle. So, for my fellow foodies, here are 5 fast-facts you never knew about Georgian wine.

Georgia is called the “Cradle of Wine”

Let’s start with the basics. Kakheti, Georgia’s main wine-producing region, is called the “Cradle of Wine,” because the locals have been producing wine for 8,000 years. Yep, right; For more than 8,000 years, the Georgian people have been growing vines on the…

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Valenti & Co, for Mouthwatering Northern Italian Dishes with a Twist

October 23, 2016 by  

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For those of you who have been to the San Francisco Bay Area or live here, chances are you have your favorite foodie spots and even return to them often if you had a great experience. Because I travel so much, I’d have to say that perhaps that’s more the case with me because when I return from a trip, I tend to want to hibernate and not be in “exploration mode,” the way we are when we travel. That means that I don’t review as many San Francisco or Silicon Valley restaurants as I’d like although we do weekend getaways to places like Sonoma, Carmel, Los Gatos, Napa, Mendocino and even further like El Dorado Hills and Lake Tahoe. Recently, we headed up to Spirit Rock, a fabulous meditation center about an hour or so from the city. Be sure to read my write-up on our experience — it’s such a beautiful place surrounded by nature and serenity on all sides. Nearby are the darling little towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo California, both of which have some fun restaurants to explore and on a future…

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Piano Nobile, When You Want Exquisite Food in a Czech Countryside Chateau

October 3, 2016 by  

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Ever want to dine in a chateau? How about a chateau in the Czech countryside? What if the restaurant was ranked the fifth-best restaurant in the Czech Republic, at least according to Maurer’s Grand Restaurant Guide? Meet the ever so delicious Piano Nobile, which is the main restaurant of five star property Chateau Mcely which I had the fortune of staying at towards the end of my stay in the country this past fall. Above, a scrumptious whipped creamy concoction that I tried upon arrival – it is combined with orange and crispy chocolate that just pops in your mouth!! The executive chef Honza Štěrba and his team focus on preparing five star gourmet experiences, which includes a seasonal à la carte menu and a degustation menu. During the summer, the chateau patio with its view of the surrounding countryside is the perfect setting for lunch or dinner — I comment on more than one occasion in my review of Chateau Mcely, that the patio is my favorite room in the castle despite the fact that the formal dining room is oh so lovely and divine that I did have a cup of tea…

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The New York Coffee Festival & Beyond!

October 3, 2016 by  

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Should you ever have the opportunity to attend a Coffee Festival – anytime, anywhere – jump! Forget about the consistently endless arguments as to the benefits – or not – of caffeine. There is no rationale to coffee – it’s as basic as washing your face and brushing your teeth. The bright scent of brewing/perking coffee starts our day.  The question – “Coffee?”   Followed by “how do you take it?” creates a warmth, a comfort zone – and our individual preferences DEFINE us.  Ever notice how an intimacy is immediately established once you recall someone’s coffee choices?  Such a telltale sign of friendship is this important information – an entrance into our lives, a signal of a caring person now in your orbit.  Sounds like a Hallmark card – when you care enough to remember how they take their coffee. Now regarding that “cuppa Joe.” We have reached a new level of global sophistication with coffee.   Not so long ago, coffee was an American phenomenon, we practically invented the “coffee break.”   Today it’s more like “tasso Giovanni” – so embraced by the world.  And a delicious coffee festival, such as The New

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Re-Awaken Your Palette at Prague’s Michelin-Star La Degustation

October 2, 2016 by  

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Ready to meet the ever so divine Michelin Star La Degustation in the heart of Prague? Centrally located, but conveniently away from Charles Bridge and even the Charles itself, there’s no noise on the streets around you as you find your way there. Rather than Uber or tram it even though I was running a little late, I decided to walk, old fashioned map in hand. Despite taking a few wrong turns, I managed to get there easily enough from my river walk in about 15 or so minutes. There’s no real prominent marking and it was dark when I arrived (note: a 9:30 pm seating — it’s not easy to get a reservation here, so book well in advance) . Even after asking a few people who worked in nearby cafes, they didn’t quite know where to send me. After noticing a bit of graffiti on a building wall, I assumed I must be on the wrong street, but sure enough at the very end, on the corner with very little else around, lies the home of La Degustation. Once you walk through the doors, your mood will be transformed and that’s even before you make it to your seat. They…

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