Saturday, April 12, 2014

San Francisco, CA - Slanted Door

Slanted Door is Charles Phan’s nationally-acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant that anchors the north-east corner of the historic Ferry Building Marketplace, home to San Francisco's largest Farmer's Market. This upscale Vietnamese Restaurant originally started in the Mission District and became such a local hit that it had to move downtown. Floor to ceiling windows give way to breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island from most tables.

The 175-seat restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, has a full bar with signature cocktails, and offers outdoor seating. The menu ranges from Vietnamese street food to complex meat and seafood entrees.

Here's a look at what we devoured:

Barbecued willis ranch pork spareribs, scallion, cilantro, honey-hoisin sauce:

Cellophane noodles, green onion, dungeness crab, sesame:

Crispy branzino, tamarind, ginger, crispy leek, thai basil:

Grass-fed estancia shaking beef, cubed filet mignon, watercress, red onion, lime sauce:

Organic chicken claypot, caramel sauce, thai chili, fresh ginger:

Cotton candy:

Valrhona chocolate & peanut butter cream pie with peanut crumble:

Take time to enjoy the view on your way out!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Sausalito, California - The Trident

On a recent visit to San Francisco my friends and I decided to get in the car and take a little road trip to neighboring Tiburon and Sausalito. We pulled over first at this promontory point along the road to take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge (above).

Our first stop was Tiburon, which reaches out into the San Francisco Bay. We had a walk along the water and visited some of the boutiques in town.

After all of that walking around we had worked up an appetite, so we got in the car and drove to Sausalito for lunch. We landed at The Trident restaurant, which is located smack on the water in a building that was originally built in 1898 to house the San Francisco Yacht Club.

 You really can't beat the location and the extensive menu covers all tastes.

Mahi fish tacos:

Classic fish and chips:

If you find yourself in the San Francisco area, I highly recommend a drive out of the city to visit these two picturesque towns.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cambridge, Massachusetts - Giulia

I've been keeping this a secret for awhile, basically because its impossible to get a reservation, and quite frankly, I get angry when anything (like other people) comes between me and my food! Giulia has now become a "must-dine" every time I go home to Boston. Considering my family lives in the North End, the holy land of Italian restaurants in Boston, it is saying a lot that instead of walking out our back door we get in the car and drive all the way to Cambridge for our pasta fix.

Giulia is named after the historic street in Rome, Via Giulia, and the kitchen is helmed by Michael Pagliarini, who used to be the head chef at Boston's Via Matta.

A special thank you to my former Italian professor at Boston University, Barbara Lloyd, for introducing me to this neighborhood gem.

I order the same thing every time I go: the homemade papardelle pasta with wild boar and trumpet mushrooms ...

... with some Cannonau from Sella & Mosca:

... followed by the pistachio gelato with marinated cherries and pizzelle:

**If you can't manage to get a reservation, you can always skip lunch and head to Giulia right when it opens at 5:30pm as the 15 or so seats at the bar are first come first served. I've also noticed that the turnover time for these seats seems to be around 7pm, so give that a shot.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

London, England - Vogue Festival 2014 with Valentino Garavani

On Saturday I attended the Vogue Festival 2014 at the Southbank Centre on the Thames here in London. The two-day event, sponsored by Harrods, was filled with interviews and discussions with some of the world's biggest fashion icons, as well as workshops, performances, makeovers and book signing sessions.

Here shoe legend Manolo Blahnik signs copies of his book:

Make-up artists and hair stylists were on hand for beauty makeovers ...

The Vogue Shop was filled with books, posters, jewelry and other goodies ...

Harrods was on hand to whip up green smoothies ...

And the main event on Saturday evening was special guest Valentino Garavani in an hour-long talk with Alexandra Shulman, Editor in Chief of British Vogue:

Valentino spoke about the origin of his favorite color, Valentino red, (inspired by the many women dressed in red at an opera he attended in Spain), his love for London (where he claims you can find the best dressed men in the world), his penchant for gardening (roses being his favorite), his five pugs (he started out with one and when she had puppies they were so cute he decided to keep them all), and his movie The Last Emperor (which he originally hated because it showed him as "hysterical and screaming").

Here Valentino shares his advice on how best to live life (more of a sound bite than a visual, sorry): 

"To believe in what you have, to appreciate what life gives you, to try to be optimistic, this is a very good thing, and ... to be happy."


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Megeve, France - Le Lodge Park

Le Lodge Park, a four star hotel located in the center of Megeve in the French Alps, is a picture perfect alpine hideaway to sleep, spa, drink and dine. Nestled around the corner from the main shopping center and a quick walk from the ski lifts, the log cabin interior of Lodge Park, with its roaring fireplace, tree trunk tables, Scotch plaids, antlers, and cow hide chairs just screams cozy. 

We stopped in after an afternoon of shopping for a champagne aperitivo before dinner:

I also returned the next day to book a spa treatment and have a lazy lunch ....

Black truffle scrambled eggs:

Organic risotto with ages parmesan:

I highly recommend stopping in to Le Lodge Park, whether you choose to stay in one of their beautiful rooms, or even if just for some apres ski action.

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