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Brooklyn Series – Part One [Restaurants]

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi all –

I know you’ve missed me…. apologies. Well, I don’t really feel bad to be honest. I’ve been busy – judge me if you’d like. SO I am going say from the onset that I am not a real Brooklynite, I live in Williamsburg – which is the NYCer version of Brooklyn, HOWEVER, I am still in love with this city and want to share some of my favorite restaurants I’ve found so far on my journeys through the better borough:

Dumont

Alright, so Dumont A) is close in proximity to my apartment which helps B) has killer food C) has an adorable back garden I always resort to when parents, dates, non-BK friends come over the bridge. Definitely try the crispy artichokes, Dumont salad, OUT of control mac and cheese entree (yes you heard right) and Dumont Burger, duh.

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Fabiane’s 

Once you get over the fact it’s unfortunately ON Bedford Avenue, which is the main drag and hub for all non residents, you’ll fall in love with this unassuming French cafe that not only offers incredible baked egg dishes (my favorite is the eggs, feta and pepper combo with a phenomenal toasted baguette) but also a good inexpensive spot for low key dinners with cheap wine and turkey meatloaf. Count me in.

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Stone Park Cafe

Yes, just…. yes. Go immediately. Charming, local favorite nestled in Park Slope offering incredible dinners without any fuss. Some dishes worth trying ASAP include: the shaved brussel sprout salad, beet “tarte tatin,” swiss chard raviolini (helloooo) and the roasted chicken with a mushroom tagliatelle.

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The Pines

Located in Gowanus, which has become a sick spot to spend a night in, this funky, fast-buzzing restaurant is totally unique, confusing and delicious all at once. Since the menu changes every day and we sat at the bar when dining there, everything behind the kitchen doors, was more or less presented to us. I remember having some incredible octopus with pickled pepper, scallop with watermelon, sablefish with manila clams and great bread with house cultured & caraway butter.

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 Hunter’s Restaurant

While I still think this Cobble Hill new American restaurant has some kinks so work out, I think it has a ton of potential. Check out the red quinoa risotto, grilled kale salad with couscous, squash with pesto tagliatelle and the chicken with the new potato salad. I wish it was a bit bigger, as the tables are all super close to one another but hey, beggars can’t be choosers with NYC real estate man.

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Bravo TV – Thanks for all that you unfortunately do for us

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I don’t want to begin this post by apologizing for my ridiculously long hiatus, I’ll just leave it at that my work, new Brooklyn residence and dog have taken over my life in a very, very good way.

One thing I have taken up since having moved over the bridge is falling victim to watching  extremely, mind numbingly stupid shows on Bravo i.e. Shahs of Sunset, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Millionaire Matchmaker. Since I know I’m not alone in my adoration for these shows, I thought I’d rundown my thoughts on each of them (yes, opinions included clearly):

Shahs of Sunset

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While I can’t guarantee that the show will be returning for another season, I will say it has been one DAMN entertaining season. These women are nuts, well more just GG but they all can’t seem to get out of each others way. Just STOP attending Persian get togethers when you know some of the people you utterly despise will be in attendance – it’s VERY simple!!! Also, GG constantly pulling out knives on the show… when is Bravo going to step in and yank that nutcase out of the cabana and put her into a psych ward?? While I hate to admit it, I am in love, love with Lilly. She’s freakishly Barbie doll-esque, apparently loaded and “too cool” for alcohol – I want to be her in a nutshell. Reza is of course my favorite  – he’s real, not perfect and level headed. I think he should do his own spin off show like Rachel Zoe’s assistant got!

Real Housewives of Atlanta

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What else can I say other than that I’m totally addicted to this show/season/group of women – WHATEVER. No, I don’t watch RHOW of Miami or LA or Jersey, but these women have just trapped me into this superficial totally outrageous fairy tale and I’m in for life. I adore Cynthia – she’s so hot and level headed. Kandi and Porscha mean well, they’re not all too exciting or bright for that matter but they both don’t have any ill intent. Phaedra, Kim and Kenya all need to get their heads checked out – they lie, are completely delusional and off their rockers. Kenya kills me – what is that woman’s deal? Where is her alleged money from anyway? And her boyfriend Walter? I mean…… come on….. For anyone who watches the show they know just how batshit that woman is.

The Millionaire Matchmaker

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This show is awesome, stupidly awesome. I love Patti – I thought before I watched the show that I’d absolutely despise this chick but she is super good at her matchmaking job and gives these men who clearly have never had instructions from any women before, great advice pre-dates. The women who sign up, I can’t deal – I mean… every one of them has boobs bigger than the size of my head and dresses shorter than my underwear. I would never be seen on a show vying for an unattractive millionaire’s love, but with that being said, I don’t think I’d get a call back even to begin with – so that’s that.

The Voice and American Idol – My Predictions for Top 3

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I will preface this post by stating that I am not musically inclined OR knowlegdable. I will give myself some credit, however, by noting that I’ve been an avid “reality TV music watcher” since the beginning of Idol’s existence (crazy how fast time flies). This year, both The Voice and Idol have totally sucked me in and forced me to watch each and every week – other years, I can’t say that’s been the case. My love for Idol comes and goes – The Voice, on the other hand, has been a favorite of mine since last year’s debut season.

This year, I think both shows have SOLID stand outs as opposed to years past. There are clearly some people that everyone knows will be in the finale unless a wild card appears which always, as you know, adds another level of excitement and entertainment to ANY show.

I’ll start with Idol since I have a three top picks and then my prediction for the winner:

Jessica Sanchez

I mean… let’s be serious here for a minute. If for SOME ODD REASON Jessica doesn’t win this season of Idol what’s the likelihood that she won’t become even bigger than the winner whoever that may be? Jessica has been singing since it seems she was old enough to hold a mic. She has mastered the art of looking, acting and singing much older than her actual age exposes. I think she will win, however, Joshua has a VERY good chance of winning as well. I think it will be a very close neck and neck race to the finish of this season, that’s for sure.

Joshua Ledet

All of you know by know that I am a huge R&B/Soul fan – anytime people can belt to the high heavens, I die in happiness. Joshua, again looking and singing much older than his actual age, has been a consistent top pick throughout the season. He’s vocally incredible and able to really command the audience, even more so than Jessica in some ways. As long as he keeps it up, he will be in a battle with Jessica for the title.

Phillip Phillips

If I could pick a winner based on my OWN personal music preference oh…. and looks (HELLO) I’d pick Phillip as the clear winner. He is SUCH a unique singer with an incredible sense of creativity when it comes to his renditions of every song he performs. He’s stuck true to his style of music and his personality and I applaud that. I think he will be a Ray LaMontagne-like successful singer regardless of if he wins or not – hello, he’s not even 22 yet… awkward…..

Now on to The Voice, I love this show for so many reasons (take a peek at one of my recent blog posts dedicated to my love for it if you so desire). I think this show has some really strong contenders as well as some singers that I truthfully don’t understand HOW they’re still on the show. Regardless, again, I think Team Adam will be taking one for the team this year. Christina has a strong singer, Jesse Campbell, who will be in the top two undoubtedly, but I don’t think he has the overall vibe that The Voice is looking for.

Pip Arnold (Team Adam)

Pip’s undoubtedly my favorite. He’s young, he’s fresh and he’s unbelievably talented. Adam was spot on for keeping him in the running after the battle rounds: he really can sing out of a suitcase. I think he has the potential to win the entire competition as long as he sticks to younger songs and does not go the theatrical/older ballad route.

Tony Lucca (Team Adam)

Tony has a special spot in my heart – forever a Mouseketeer in my mind. I love him and I think he will remain in the contest until the final few. Do I think he’ll win? Um, no not necessarily, but I do think he has a shot at it if he really begins to WOW everyone. At the moment, his performances are “passing” – they need to be “over the top” to win at a music competition of this caliber – that’s just my opinion though of course.

Jesse Campbell (Team Christina)

I don’t dig his whole “I’m homeless” story – I get that he probably is in fact not an owner of a home, however, I don’t like when people divulge all of their lives hardships before the first commercial break. Jesse has SO MUCH talent that to be honest, he never had to really even mention that he needs the money and fame bad – he can win this without that heart string effect.

 

 

What I Drink When….

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I want to relive my very hazy college years 

SoCo & Lime Shots I was also considering the oh-so-delectable Kamikaze shots, but I could only source a gross blue colored shot photo so I thought the SoCo & Lime would do JUST fine. Boy those shots never went down hard, but come 1am you for sure regretted cheering with your friends and polishing off five of them. I wonder what would happen if I attended a work event and ordered rounds of SoCo for my co-workers? Don’t think that would go down smoothly – literally and metaphorically.

 I’m at a sports bar and only cheap alcohol and wine are available

Bud Light on Draft, UGH – don’t get me wrong… maybe once or twice a year I crave a glass of beer. Other than that? I’d prefer pretty much…… any other type of booze thrown in my direction. I hate regular beer with a passion – I probably would opt to stay sober and go home alone, than to polish off five glass of Bud heavy. No thank you. I do think the whole liking beer as a girl thing goes hand in hand with liking sports too ….. yeah, maybe that’s why I’m not a fan of beer. I can’t tolerate most sports involving balls and bats.

 I want to emulate my late grandfather 

Pimm’s Cup cocktail while I didn’t get a chance to “formally introduce myself ” to my Pop Pop, I do know that one of his all-time favorite drinks is the Pimm’s Cup. Seeing as that I have NO liking for sweet, sugary drinks, I opt towards more savory and satisfying ones which leads me to my love for Pimm’s.  I think I’m channeling him every time I order one – don’t worry though, I don’t channel him all too often!

 I’m pre-gaming before a night out with my girlfriends 

Vodka, Soda & a Lime – obviously – do I really honestly enjoy this staple that EVERY GIRL IN AMERICA DRINKS? Um, no – not necessarily, however, it does provide the following benefits: a) it’s a lower calorie option b) it’s clear so you automatically look cool c) you can have three and still feel somewhat in charge of your evening d) your hangover is less ridiculous than it would be had you opted for the wine/beer/shot combo

 

I want to pretend I’m a Parisian or more likely when I try to be seductive

 Full-bodied glass of Merlot or Malbec wine does many wonderful things for your body. It calms you down, apparently helps boost your daily intake of antioxidants and provides you with a delicious beverage to consume with mostly any dinner-time meal. I personally love Chardonnay, Malbecs and Merlots, I’m a fan of both sides of the playing field. 

  I want to impress my friends with all that I’ve learned from “work”

 Glass of either The Glenlivet, Redbreast or Chivas #client – yeah, at this point I can honestly say “I know my shit” when it comes to most of the dark spirits on the market. I am the girl who helps lead tastings for large-scale whiskey and scotch companies, pretty sick gig right? From my two years working for these brands, I’ve come to enjoy some a lot but more so, respect the category as a whole. I enjoy scotch over whiskey – I love the smoke, Halloween-esque smells and taste of scotch rather than oakier whiskies. I am also Scottish so perhaps I am a bit (ok very) biased.

Chicago, My New Found Love Interest

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Feast

I’m the first one to search for local’s favorite spots when traveling. I have yet to dine at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami or Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas – just not my scene. I much prefer to find an off-the-beaten path joint that’s known for good food and local company. Feast fulfilled both of those desires for me. I loved the home-like feel of the restaurant and the laid back environment. The three variations of bread in the bread basket were all incredible and I never comment on bread bowls. Some stand out dishes included the Chicken Tortilla Soup with fresh chicken, avocado and homemade tortilla strips and the Bacon Seared Brussel Sprouts.

Table Fifty-Two

I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed my time at Table Fifty-Two. From the amazing Vermont-style house decor and feel (literally the restaurant looks like a home from the exterior) to the welcoming kiln in the center of the restaurant that cranked out the most unbelievable items: oozing gooey mac and cheese, bacon and jalapeno cornbread cakes and of course, some pizzas as well. The line cook who prepared everything by the bar that I dined solo at, kept me company alongside one of the restaurant owners. Some standouts were the Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Lo Mein Noodles, the Frogmore “Fisherman Stew” and oh – my – god the side of cauliflower. Yes, I said cauliflower – cauliflower with pepperoncini, bacon and white cheddar…. words can’t describe.  

Tortas Frontera

Since when do airports have legitimately great Mexican food?! While on my way back to JFK, I stopped in O’Hare’s lunch cafeteria for an early lunch. I couldn’t help but see an array of fresh salsas and chips on display in the window… what if there was actual quality Mexican in here was what I thought. Boy, was the food delicious. From incredibly seasoned chicken and steak to three variations of homemade salsas and chips, I definitely recommend trying this restaurant for a happy last reminder of Chicago.

Aritzia

I really don’t like shopping, I can preface this as such, but when I find staff that is just incredibly and genuinely nice, you can’t help but want to stay in the store for hours and play dress up. I was given millions of “Taylor-like” outfits to play around with and even a 800 dollar jacket which for the time being, isn’t a purchase I’ll be making but fun to try anyway right? I got a great fitting pair of khaki J Brand’s and a beautiful black ruffle blouse. Their collection of Hudsons, J Brands and Citizens are extremely noteworthy – also, the way in which everything is paired for display makes you pretty much NEED to purchase “outfits” not only pieces of clothing. Just found out they have a shop in SoHo, cannot wait to spend money I probably shouldn’t there as well.

Tempo Cafe

I have become such an advocate of relying on Yelp comments to help pick breakfast/lunch spots while traveling. I wouldn’t go so far as to book a dinner reservation based on Yelp comments, I trust Opentable and Zagat more for that – but regardless, I trust Yelp’s opinion. Luckily, I took their word on trying Tempo Cafe – it’s a diner of sorts, but not a chain (luckily) that offers THE COOLEST cask-iron skillet omelets for a scary low cost of $8 for enough food to feed any army. I ordered various oversized omelets during my stay in Chicago and can say with confidence, everything including the massive pancakes looked and taste incredible. The meals also come with some fruit on the side – which is something you LUST for after polishing off FAR TOO MANY EGGS and cheese in one amazing looking skillet.

Rockit Bar & Grill

I usually don’t comment on night life in other cities or even really within New York since I’m up to drink wherever – ironic seeing as that I work in the spirits industry and attend many wonderful events at the coolest mixology bars. I guess when it comes to the weekends though, I’m just up for some loud music, sleazy scenery and a good environment. Rockit fufilled all of my checks off the list – it was loud, people were tacky, the music was and the drinks weren’t complicated by any stretch of the imagination.

Corner Bakery Cafe

Even before you place your order at Corner Bakery, your mouth is salivating and  googley-eyed. Every single pastry looked like it was baked by my mom this morning at my home – incredibly delicious pastry selection. In addition, they have amazing hearty breakfast sandwiches and lunch options. Some of the most delectable sweets included their signature Cinnamon Creme Cake, Cinnamon Pecan Rugalach and Maple Pecan Bars.

 

 Sable Restaurant & Bar

For the launch of my client, Redbreast Single Pot Still Whiskey’s latest brand, Redbreast 12 Cask Strength, we conducted a semi-informal tasting lunch at Sable last week. Not only was I incredibly impressed with head bartender, Mike Ryan’s ability to make a Redbreast cocktail that was both innovative and refreshing, featuring: ginger ale, sherry, lemon juice and Redbreast 12 year old. The food served throughout the tasting was incredible but there was one standout dish: the Sweet Corn Creme Brulee – yes you heard right. I have never enjoyed corn this much in my life and I’m a corn fan to begin with! It took the stereotype of creme brulee having to be a sweet dish and turned it on its head to make it a savory one – incredible.

Sixteen at Trump Hotel

 I was able to enjoy lunch at Sixteen during my stay at the Trump Hotel last week also for business. The hotel was delightful and beautiful and the restaurant was no different. I ordered a Roast Chicken with Sunchokes and Mashed Potatoes – I tried also some of the restaurant’s waffle fries with truffle, amazing as well. The decor on its on takes your breath away with floor to ceiling windows – it’s a must stop for lunch.  

 Henri Bendel in Water Tower Place

Henri Bendel just takes me back to my childhood – my mom would always keep her makeup and hair accessories in the signature bags. I love Bendel – while overpriced, they do have such an array of upscale jewelry and accessories to splurge on. The staff in the newly opened Chicago store were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.

Credit: Racked Chicago

 

 

The Voice – My Two Year Long Obsession

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm

It’s kind of funny…. living alone (again) has turned me into a TV watcher, much more so than when I had a roommate. I watch Morning Joe while getting ready for work every morning, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives between work and dinner time and  either The Voice or American Idol from dinner to bedtime. I’m really cool, no need to say it.

I loved The Voice season one and was apprehensive to see if the second season could keep up and it most definitely has. Instead of analyzing all of the various contestants and judges (no one cares about Carson so he’s not included regardless), I thought it would be funny to just list off my running thoughts about this season:

1) I predict Adam and Christina’s team will be the Final Two left in the competition

2) In the end, however, I think Christina’s team (gag me now) will reign supreme this year

3) Blake is adorable and a very successful country music singer, but I have to confess, his pick of musicians just sucks in general – the latest “duel match” of singers who sang “Ironic” was pretty much a sing-off comparable to one you’d stumble upon in a dive bar anywhere in the USA

4) I  wonder every episode if Christina has a) a stylist b) a mirror c) any ability to withstand eating food at this point d) what she’s thinking when it comes to her “fashion accessories” and wardrobe choices 
5)  I want to do inappropriate things to Adam Levine pretty much every time the camera pans on him
6) Some of the top contenders in my opinion include: Tony Lucca, Sera Hill, Jesse Campbell, Tony Vincent and RaeLynn
7) The duel between Anthony and Jesse was epic – I wanted to take both home with me to wait until I find a husband just so that I know I’d have two confirmed amazing performers for my future wedding
8) Christina, while you have a great voice – everyone doesn’t want to hear you since every single song the contestants – this isn’t your competition, it’s theirs – just saying 

The Girl That Fell From The Sky – Book Review

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

You know those books that just grip you from the beginning and don’t allow you to do anything else until you’re done reading it? The Girl That Fell From The Sky was undoubtedly one of those types of books. The book was both extremely compelling and unbelievably heartbreaking all at once.

The book, written by Heidi Durrow, is a story centered around a horrific tragedy: a helpless mother, Nella and her three children that shockingly fall off the ledge of a high-rise in Chicago. The only remaining survivor, Rachel, is left in the world alone and forced to move in with her grandmother (who she detests) and her aunt (who she admires). In addition to being the “new girl,” Rachel being mixed-skin evoked confusion with her fellow classmates and at times blatant acts of racism.

The story is told from four different view points: Rachel, Nella, Nella’s boss/Super for her living situation and “Brick,” the boy who saw the tragedy land right on his doorstep (literally) and in front of his eyes. Each of the character’s take you through their own life experiences before the tragedy occurred and of course, how it affected them following the event. There were themes of alcoholism and drug abuse, racism and violence weaved throughout the story, told through the eyes of the different point of views.

While the story begins in an unbearably sad tone, the story concludes with a sense of hope and closure. The Girl That Fell From The Sky sucks you in immediately with readers longing to know, throughout the novel, why the family fell off the ledge? Who orchestrated it? If Nella did it, what could have been so bad that a mother would be willing to kill her entire family? The story demonstrates that regardless of where you’re from, your ethnicity and skin tone play a larger role than they should even in the 1980’s when you’d think racism against a mixed-colored girl would be far non-existent.

I suggest reading this story – preferably begin reading at 10am and don’t move until you’re completed probably around dinner time. Trust me, you won’t forget reading this book.

Some 2012 Movie Reviews

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Man on A Ledge

I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go see this movie. I think the antibiotics I was on MUST have caused some lapse in my movie-picking judgment. The movie wasn’t awful but it was most definitely NOT memorable whatsoever. A man is more or less on a ledge from the 5 minute mark on to the end of the film. Even Shia LaBeouf shirtless on a ledge playing the guitar couldn’t keep me entertained that long, sorry. I think in the end it was a cool concept but in reality the plot was really thin and not fully described until the end of the movie and at that point, all you’re hoping is that he just jumps off the ledge already.

Fandom Menace Podcast

Woman in Black

I stopped watching the Harry Potter’s come the second premiere, but I will admit Daniel Radcliffe is really good at one thing – being creepy and being around other living and mystical beings that are equally as creepy. I am a huge horror movie fan as I’m sure most of you know at this point and really take to any cheesy horror film that can capture my attention for a two hour duration. Woman in Black most definitely is a cliff hanger of a movie minus the running up the stairs instead of down and any real gore which is more than FINE with me. I am so not into the Saw Trilogies – why would I spend MONEY to go see a movie where a saw is slowly drilling into someone’s brain for an hour and a half? ALL set – thanks though. I think this movie really played on the old horror movie plot of a haunted house and what may reside within. If you’re up for a scary but not gory horror film… or you really miss Harry Potter movie releases, I suggest you go see Woman in Black.

Fan Pop

Safe House

So, I’m not typically a Denzel fan – my brother and dad are both hooked on literally anything he cameos in. I am a woman, so maybe it has something to do with it but I just don’t typically like his action-packed “superhero” movies. I wanted to see Safe House though since I thought the previews looked awesome and well…. Denzel and Ryan on the large screen for two hours can’t be THAT bad. While I’ve seen much worse movies, I don’t think I’d ever re-watch Safe House – it lacked a plot for the most part and was a blood shed of a film. The movie starts out with 40 characters and ends with 1 remaining – and no I am not promising you Denzel rises above them all – you’ll have to see it for yourself, sorry Charlie.

Huffington Post

Extremely Loud Incredibly Close 

If you have ANY OTHER PLANS for the duration of the day? Don’t go see this movie. It is extremely dark and intense – not saying it’s not worth seeing but you most definitely can’t plan to do anything uplifting afterI am clearly advising from experience after having seen it on a Saturday afternoon – the last thing I wanted to do after was enjoy a fun weekend night out. The main little boy in this movie should have won every accolade imaginable – he held this movie entirely. Tom Hanks was clearly great for the short duration he lasted in the film as well. I think there is something to say for JUST how dark and sad it was without really any uplifting or comical bits – September 11th didn’t have moments of happiness either. That time in our history was extremely depressing and heartbreaking for our entire nation. So while I kid about it being a really dark movie, I can’t blame it for not incorporating any comedy into the mix since nothing about that tragedy, in my opinion, was funny whatsoever. 

Lil Miss Movie

My Winter Food & Drink Escapades

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Rubirosa

Serious Eats

I have to be honest, I’m hard to please when it comes to dinner. I have very high expectations of restaurants and my experiences there – even pizza shops. I was told this NoLita spot was a must-try and luckily I ended up taking someone’s word for it and haven’t looked back since. Within the past two months I must have been three times if not more, that’s awkward… oh well. Some stand out dishes include: Vodka Pizza, Minestrone Soup, Brick Pressed Chicken with Black Kale and Figs, Black & White Tagliatelle with Scallops, Shrimps and Mussels and who can forget ONE OF THE BEST desserts I’ve ever consumed: Apple Crumble with Salted Caramel Gelato. Bring me back now, please and thank you.

Celsius at Bryant Park 

Google

Aside from the fact that the bar only serves Pernod Ricard products (cough, clients) I adore this great bar. I will miss it come summer time for sure. Who WOULDN’T like an “igloo” inspired bar with all glass windows over looking the ice skaters at Bryant Park? I mean, come on. I also love the bartenders/servers attire – bright blue bubble jackets. I’m sure they don’t find them as amusing as I do when they’re running around all night hot as hell in a big blue bubble jacket. Regardless, I’d suggest you stop by before it closes for the season or make it a point to go next winter.

Osteria Morini

New York Mag

Ironically enough, I was supposed to try Mornini last year around this time but we didn’t have reservations so we opted for another restaurant which sucked. Luckily, a year later, I finally got around to booking dinner there in advance and boy am I happy with decision. Dinner was absolutely delicious. We had the Artichoke/Cranberry Bean Spread with Crostinis, Calamari with fresh Tomatoes, Parmesan and Kale, Bouillabaisse of sorts, orgasmic Yam Raviolis and this Chocolate Hazelnut Custard… oh, my god. Go right now.

Tartinery

Architect CO UK

Also located in NoLita this spot is a great choice for some romantic wine – or you know, if you’re mom comes into town and we have some time to kill before our dinner reservations. Either or right? The restaurant itself looked gorgeous even though we didn’t dine there. I’d definitely recommend stopping by at the bar for a glass (or four) with some very attractive looking Italian waiters catering to your vino needs.

Aldea

Noisette NYC

I have heard great things about Aldea for a while now so I’m glad I was able to recently try it. While I’m not usually a fan of Croquetas, these were amazing with a roasted garlic aioli, the Mussel Soup with Fennel was incredible too . I had the Chatham Cod with Braised Chickpeas and Tomatoes – also incredible. Highly recommend this restaurant for anyone who loves fish in any context.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Tacky I know, but it’s somewhat true. While I have no intention of moving back to New Jersey any time soon, I do find a sense of comfort when I head back in my SUV to the Jersey Shore – judge me all you want. No, I live nowhere near where the show is taped and no, I have no friends with diamond studs or gelled hair from home. The town I grew up in has tons of heritage with generations upon generations staying put and growing their ever expanding families in the town – making themselves somewhat hometown heroes.

This weekend I went home for some gum surgery, while that part CLEARLY wasn’t enjoyable – the trip home was. I thought it would be worth snapping some shots and stealing some that showcase what makes home, home for me and what exactly I love about my hometown.

My Last Remaining Pug, Wally

I had three fat little pugs at one point: Winston, Webster and Wally but time brings old age and unfortunately sickness so now, we only have Wally as our little remaining soldier. I think he’s just starting to take a liking to me – only took 12 years, no big deal. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, by any means – I’m not sure if he’s even able to respond to his name being called still but hey, I love him anyway. 

Wawa

For those of you who automatically don’t sigh and long for a sub from this chain? You’re clearly missing out. Wawa is a DE/NJ based convenience store I guess you could call it – but it’s so so much more to locals in NJ. I can remember every day of the summer for over a decade walking over to Wawa for turkey subs and Lemonade Iced Tea – no shoes, no tops just bathing suits and a ten dollar bill in hand. They made customized subs/hoagies before every other massive store/food chain began offering such customization. I will forever be endebted to Wawa. I’d like a turkey whole wheat shorti sub with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, grated parmesan, spicy/whole grain mustard with an extra side of pickles – PLEASE AND THANK YOU

 Local Dive Bar Trips

My best friend and next door neighbor since I was born has always been my partner in crime – whether it came to dressing up in yellow Harriet The Spy attire to spy on our neighbors growing up, to laughing in the corner of our local dive bars behind the jukebox. There is something to be said to local beach town bars – they’re grungy but boy do they provide a large amount of entertainment/ enjoyment. You have such a combo platter over the summer of “better than you” out of towners living down on the beach for the summer mixed with all locals who really don’t like them but know our town economy depends on them. Always a fun night out to say the least. 

Margate Beach

So I have somewhat of a nice set up – I have a home now on the water in South Beach and live ten minutes from the ocean in New Jersey. Granted, it’s my sailing/water phene father’s doing. Nonetheless, I don’t think I could own a house without having water somewhere nearby once I settle down. The beach in Margate is my home – it holds so many memories from my childhood and through today. The best times to go are the months leading up to the summer rush and after everyone heads back to Philly – it’s your own personal beach, nothing compares.