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Category: Travel

Dining Out: Old School Italian

Perhaps it is my age, or maybe it is my history. But I love dining at traditional, old-school Italian restaurants where the recipes are passed down through the generations. These restaurants are focused on quality of food, not cutting edge presentations, glitz or glamour; just the food. I remember the first time I went to one of these restaurants. I was sixteen, and my grandmother took me there for dinner after I passed my driver’s test and got my license. That was at Ann & Tony’s in West Jefferson, Ohio. Dining out was a big deal as a kid in my…

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Recharge and Refresh on The Cape – Part 1

We all need time to recharge and refresh our batteries. As one who works for myself and out of my home, work is always just a few steps away screaming, “your clients are waiting” or “your readers are waiting.” It is a constant that is hard to ignore. Thus I usually end up working every day at least a little bit, and that is ok. I love what I do so work only feels like work when I am behind schedule. Did You Miss Me? I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last post. Today, it feels like…

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Kelly Fleming Wines * Our Tasting Experience

This post about Kelly Fleming Wines is a collaboration with my friend and fellow blogger Amber Burke of www.winetraveleats.com. She is based in Napa and well connected. Our friendship was online based for months before we actually met, but once we did at the Wine Writers Education Conference (WWET), we quickly went from online friends to family. Gary and I could not have had the magical experiences that we did without her, and we are forever grateful. Now we talk all the time, so it only made sense to share this experience jointly. Amber Comments: One of the things that…

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Frank Family Vineyards * A Celebration

Frank Family Vineyards But first some background When one runs at lightning speed for most of his career in television and movie making, it is no surprise that Rich Frank ultimately became the President of Disney Studios. At that level, it is also no surprise that he would want and need a home away from home that is far enough and close enough to allow for rest and relaxation. In 1990, Napa Valley was the logical location choice with the purchase of a mountaintop vacation home in the heart of Rutherford with fruit already growing on the property. Rest, and relaxation…

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Napa Valley: A Wine Lover’s Playground Pt 1

Last week, I had the good fortune to be one of twenty-nine writers to attend the inaugural Wine Writers’ Educational Tours conference. It was held in Napa Valley, California. Over the course of forty-three classroom hours in four days we visited nine wineries, walked four vineyards, and tasted over 130 wines. We learned from fifty of Napa Valley’s best and brightest winemakers, winery and vineyard owners, vineyard managers and wine educators. As if that is not enough the sampled wines included 23 grape varieties from all 17 Napa Valley AVAs*. They ranged in age from 40-years old to just bottled. While I was…

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New Wines and Great Food

Even as someone who thrives on trying new places, I still need to visit some of my old haunts now and then. It is fun to see what new wines they are pouring and to try something new on the menu. In this post, I am sharing two such experiences. The first is about the incredible new wines I found. The the second a fantastic take on “Eggs Benedict.” @goat.sheep.cow.north One of my favorite old haunts is the wine bar and fromagerie goat.sheep.cow.north. “Old” here is a relative term because it has not even been open for two years yet. No matter…

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Bistro À Vin and Pannakakor

Oy, what a delightful but packed full weekend. It started on Thursday with the soft opening of the newest wine bar in Charleston, Bistro À Vin located at 40 Archdale Street in the heart of the shopping district just a block or so off King Street behind Charleston Place Hotel. On Friday, I had to begin preparation for my Dinner for ten on Saturday evening. Then I had my Saturday morning wine class which was awesome learning about several regions in France and blind tasting two wines. I am getting better at this but still not great. Saturday’s dinner party…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part 2

I know it has been a couple of weeks since the Charleston Wine and Food Festival ended but I still wanted to share my experience in the Culinary Village because it is such an essential aspect of the festival. So here is my take on the Village. Let me say from the outset that I had a blast on Sunday and I will definitely be back next year. There are a few aspects of the Culinary Village where I offer what I hope is seen as constructive criticism. That by no means is a bad thing just my humble opinion…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part 1

The Charleston Wine and Food Festival (CWFF) has been a mainstay event in town for the past 13 years, but I had yet to attend.  The event tickets are pricey and can add up quickly if you want to dig into the festivities. I decided this year I would stick my toe in the water and go to a couple of events and I am sure glad I did.  Much of my experience this year was through connections with passes, but that will change next year because this was an absolute blast. This year’s festival started on Feb. 28th and ran through to March…

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Joey Tomatoes Rocks The Italian Deli

As someone “from Off,” (aka not being from Charleston) I used to laugh when Charlestonians would say they never go to Mount Pleasant. It is just too far.  It’s 10 miles to Whole Foods and 15 miles to the nicest shopping mall in the area if you still do that sort of thing. So really it is “not far.” But now after 14 years, I have found myself saying the same thing. That is until I found Joey Tomatoes. They say “the best Italian deli south of Jersey.” And since the owners are from New Jersey, they may be biased, but they…

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Felix Cocktails et Cuisine

Thursday Evening: Part Deux (two) Rarely does the ambiance and interiors of a restaurant transport you to the place of inspiration as much as the proprietor desires. That is not the case at Felix Cocktails et Cuisine on upper King St. While it is nondescript on the outside, it is perfectly French on the inside from the art and decor to the tables, the music and the uniform for the staff.  Oh yeah, and then there is the food which completes the journey. The only thing that could make it more authentic is a staff with French accents, but that just…

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Slovenian Wine Tasting at EO Exchange

Thursday evening was a great night to be a wine and food blogger. My friend Karen and I started our outing with a stop at Edmunds Oast Exchange for the Thursday evening wine tasting. This is a super deal and should not be missed. You make a $5.00 donation to the charity of the week, and you taste four wines in a walk-in style tasting. Ask all the questions you have running through your brain. Then buy some wine. They have excellent volume discounts. This week they were tasting Slovenian Wine from Movia. After the tasting, we headed to Felix Cocktails et Cuisine for…

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Cariñena: An Unfamiliar Wine Region: Pt 1

Finding Cariñena: Part One At the Wine Blogger’s Conference back in November, I had the pleasure of attending a seminar presented by Lyn Farmer, a James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer about the Cariñena D.O.P. wine region in Spain. Never heard of it?  Don’t feel bad; I am not sure many at the conference had either. Winemakers in the region have been producing wine for thousands of years, but doing so flying under the radar. Some of the larger producers in the area want to change that and have begun a big push for recognition. This seminar was one of the…

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Tasting Recap, Little Big Thing & A Recipe

Wine Tasting Recap, A Fantastic Little BIG Thing, and A Bonus Recipe This past week was absolutely amazing. The week started with a birthday brunch and drinking bubbles. And because you asked, I also have a bonus recipe for you.  I am posting the Frittata recipe at the end of this post.  Next, I have a Little BIG Thing that is a  fantasmagorical find. I am super thrilled about it because it allows me to move towards no longer using plastic storage bags. Then on Thursday, we had the Pinot Noir Wine Tasting that was a raging success at Monarch Wine…

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