Monday, August 29, 2011

For the love of purple teeth...part one

Mr. F and I are looking forward to vacationing in Seattle and Walla Walla next month. We've already started a list of our favorite restaurants and wineries that we'd like to revisit with friends and family.

One of our first stops off the plane will be, "Where Ya At Matt". We've been dreaming of this Creole food truck and drooling in anticipation of tasting their po' boys and beignets again.
     Where Ya At Matt food is one of the things I miss the most about Seattle.

We're also excited to eat cuban sandwiches at Paseo, oysters at Walrus and Carpenter,

taste wines at Portalis, eat thin-crust pizza at Veraci Pizza, have tantalizing garlic eggplant at Sichuan Chinese and maybe even have dim sum at Jade Garden, if we have time.

We cannot wait to visit Woodinville especially:
Efeste. They have has so many wines that we really really enjoy. Surprisingly, we've been able to find the Big Papa and a few others in Chicago!
Source: via Emily on Pinterest

I wish they'd pour the Emmy, but I doubt it. It's only available to wine club members and has been sold out since the spring.

Pomum has the best interpretative of Spanish wines in Washington State.
Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Ross Andrew has a neat space between Mark Ryan and Amavi/Pepperbridge, so we love this strip of wineries immensely!

Mark Ryan winery has style, in addition to making delectable wine. The Grey Album cover on the wall and the Indian motorcycle remind you of a cool living room, while the wine speaks for itself.

Even the names of the wines have pizazz. My favorites are the Water Witch and Dead Horse! Source: via Emily on Pinterest
Mr. F's favorite is the Lonely Heart, without a doubt.
Source: via Emily on Pinterest
     It's been a standout since we first tried it a few years ago.

Adams Bench is one of the most beautiful and small wineries in Woodinville. They source from Red Willow, one of the oldest vineyards in Washington.
Source: via Emily on Pinterest

If there's time and they're open on Saturday, we'd love to revisit Stevens and go to Grand Reve for the first time.

Tomorrow, I'll post more about what we're excited to revisit in Walla Walla!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My new dream travel destination-Sorrento, Italy

Today, I found the ideal Italian boutique hotel called, La Minervetta, located in Sorrento, near the Amalfi Coast. 

Sorrento is known as the "Land of Mermaids".

I would love to visit this coastal town and view the Mediterranean Sea from the cliff tops. The town looks magical and romantic. 

If we go here, we'd be excited to try all the regional food and wines! 
» Aglianico del Taburno (DOC) 
» Aversa (DOC) 

» Capri (DOC) 
» Castel San Lorenzo (DOC) 
» Cilento (DOC) 
» Costa d'Amalfi (DOC) 
» Falerno del Massico (DOC)
» Fiano di Avellino (Apianum) (DOC)
» Galluccio (DOC)
» Greco di Tufo (DOC)
» Guardia Sanframondi or Guardiolo (DOC)
» Ischia (DOC)
» Penisola Sorrentina (DOC)
» Sannio (DOC)
» Sant'Agata dei Goti (DOC)
» Solopaca (DOC)
» Taburno (DOC)
» Taurasi (DOCG)
» Vesuvio (DOC)

Apparently spring is a good time to go to Sorrento! I would love to go when the orange and lemon trees are in bloom. 

Where did the week go?

This week went by so fast! Wednesday, I met a friend for mani/pedis after work! Thursday, we met friends for creole food in Lakeview. Friday, we met friends for sushi at Coast! We had delicious sashimi, sushi rolls and flourless chocolate cake for dessert!
Today, we laid low and read on our balcony, enjoying the sunshine and skyline! We made pizza too, but it didn't turn out very well. Now we're curled up on the couch with the cats. How was your weekend?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

100 Best Washington Wines 2011!!

Wow, one of my favorite lists was just published! It's the 100 Best Washington Wines 2011 By Sean P. Sullivan Oh my goodness, we just found number 7 at a local wine shop! I bet it's been sold out in Seattle for a long time! We also have number 1, Cayuse Cailloux in our wine storage locker! I got it for my husband as a special treat on his birthday.
Photo: Erik Skaar
1  Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2008 $70

97 Points  In the late 1990s, Christophe Baron set about making a series of highly rated syrahs that would transform the Washington wine industry. Today he is still a syrah maker in a class by himself. Case in point: this intensely aromatic wine with floral and savory notes, minerality, light funk, saline, and black olive juice.

2  Reynvaan Family Vineyards The Contender Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2008 $60

96 Points  Cofermented with marsanne to provide extra depth and texture, this syrah sings of the region where its fruit was grown, with distinctive meat, earth, and savory notes.

3  Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2008 $130

95 Points  Exceptionally polished tannins and brooding aromatics of black cherry, dark fruit, floral notes, spice, and chocolate are capped off by a lingering finish.

4  Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard Yakima Valley 2008 $95

94 Points  Brothers Billo and Pinto Naravane of Rasa Vineyards hold math and engineering degrees from top universities. But it is their artistic talents that are on display in this breathtaking bordeaux-style blend (61 percent cabernet sauvignon, 39 percent merlot) from DuBrul Vineyard. Just a baby now, this wine promises to mature beautifully in the cellar.

5 Figgins Estate Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2008 $85

94 Points This blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot is aromatically compelling with scorched earth, black currant, red fruit, and dark licorice. The palate is dense and elegant, both structured and light on its feet.

6  Reynvaan Family Vineyards The Unnamed Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2008 $45

94 Points  Like those in the Contender (number two on this list), the grapes for this wine come from the Reynvaan family’s In the Rocks vineyard in the southern section of the Walla Walla Valley. It’s aromatically explosive with stargazer lilies, sea breeze, savory notes, and olive juice, and the palate is plush and expansive with iron and umami flavors.

7  Rotie Cellars Northern Blend Red Wine Columbia Valley Washington State 2009 $40

94 Points  An endlessly fascinating aroma profile with floral notes, game, mineral, ash, black olive, and savory notes. The palate—meaty, rich, full of savory flavors and earth—is followed up by a seemingly endless finish.

8  DeLille Cellars Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2007 $135

93 Points  This is a beautiful wine with the structure to go the distance. Its palate is dense and perfumed with cherry flavors and firm, ripe tannins.

9 Grand Rêve Vintners Collaboration Series II Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Red Mountain 2008 $50

93 Points Grand Rêve Vintners is the “great dream” of businessman Paul McBride and Red Mountain superstar vineyard manager Ryan Johnson. Their Collaboration Series wines pair top makers from around the state with fruit from the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. Here Ross Mickel of Ross Andrews Winery offers a compelling southern Rhone-style blend of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre.

10  Cadence Bel Canto Red Wine Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain 2008 $55

93 Points Though it is already alluring with floral notes, earth, mineral, dark fruit, and light chocolate, this blend (67 percent cabernet franc, 25 percent merlot, and 8 percent petit verdot) needs at least two years in the cellar.

We've visited Delille and Cadence to tasted their amazing wines before, and we hope to taste at Grand Reve next month! We are also huge fans of:

16  Betz Family Winery Besoleil Red Wine Columbia Valley 2009 $45

93 Points  Grenache is making waves in Washington, and winemaker Bob Betz’s 2009 Besoleil red (in which grenache is blended with syrah, mourvedre, and cinsault) makes excellent use of the evermore popular grape. Fresh raspberries, game, pepper, mineral notes, and milk chocolate dominate the nose; the palate is full of fruit and ample tannins.

17  Adams Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley 2008 $60

93 Points  With each vintage, Adams Bench winemakers Tim and Erica Blue take strides forward. This blend of cab and merlot is bold and lush with firm tannins. Allow it to age two years if you want to taste it at its peak.

 19  Efeste Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2008 $49
93 Points  Winemaker Brennon Leighton used vines (from the Kiona, Klipsun, Sagemoor, and Weinbau vineyards) averaging 31 years in age to create this dark, glass-staining cab. It’s locked up tightly at present with aromas of mineral, the darkest of fruits, earth, and violets. Let it age: This is a lay-me-down wine if ever there was one.
We love being wine club member's at Efeste! They have a wine named Emmy too!

26  Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Red Wine 2008 $55

92 Points  Age this blend of merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon for two or more years—it is tightly wound up at present with rich fruit flavors and grainy tannins.

27  Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2008 $42

92 Points  Fielding Hills owners Mike and Karen Wade have established themselves among the state’s best since planting their Riverbend vineyard on the Wahluke Slope in 1998. True to the house style, this is a rich, layered cabernet accented with sweet spices.

28  Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2009 $36

92 Points  Winemaker John Abbott of Abeja (Spanish for bee) has spent almost 20 years crafting wine in Washington. Simultaneously alluring and elusive, this 100 percent chard makes the most of the fruit and isn’t overly oaky, and has subtle and textured fruit flavors and a persistent, apple-filled finish.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love this look: orange

It almost feels like fall, in Chicago, even when it's 70 outside. I saw this outfit and loved this look, immediately. Zoe Saldana, 33-year-old actress, wore Cushnie et Ochs as she went on the talk show to speak with Jimmy about her latest film, Colombiana, due out in theatres on August 26! [source]
This orange burst is perfect for autumn. Anthropologie has a fun Whirligig Dress in a similar color. The Hugo Boss Fall 2011 collection has orange flair too. [source]

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Foodie weekend

Saturday morning I slept in and I woke up to my amazing husband bringing me Grahamwich's nutella and banana croissant sandwich and cider donut, in bed.It was utterly delectable. If you're ever in Chicago, you must get something from Grahamwich. We cannot wait to try more of their sandwiches!
For lunch we stumbled upon a great BBQ place called Pork Shoppe.  Mmm, the pulled pork and brisket were amazing. We will definitely be back soon. 
We were so full of yummy BBQ that we were not hungry until after 6, so we snacked on panko crusted tofu and ground mustard that Mr. F whipped up.
 Around 7pm, we took the Red Line to Paulina and met friends in Roscoe Village for a backyard BBQ. We had bacon wrapped filets, corn on the cob, potato salad, and chocolate lava cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dinner. Mmm, I wish I remembered to take a picture, but I was having so much fun, I forgot!

This morning we met our friends in Chinatown for Dim Sum! It was so exciting take the L and see another part of Chicago, that we'd never been to before! We went to MingHin on South Archer, right off the Red Line. I love hum bao but my new favorite is creamy egg yolk bun! We also had Su Ma, Shrimp Dumplings, Chicken Feet with Special Sauce, (there was Tripe on the table that I didn't try), Stick Rice in Lotus leaf, two kinds of BBQ pork buns, Pork with Preserved Egg Congee, Malay Sponge cake, Sweet Custard Rolls, BBQ crepe, and Spare Ribs.
Thanks to our friends we tried new foods and new places in Chicago!There was a festival in the square next to the restaurant that we walked by....
 A few hours later, we took the Red Line home in a food coma,  the scenery was amazing,and I stopped to take pictures of beautiful flowers on our walk home.

After a siesta, we took the Brown Line to meet our friends in Uptown for pho!We were highly entertained by a non-stop talking little old lady that sounded like a Southern gentleman. We transferred to the Red Line and went to Tank Noodle I had the delicious curry chicken sandwich.  [source: Tank Noodle website] We had so many great dishes that I can't wait to go back again. 
Mischief Managed. 

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