Wine with a view: The Napa Valley Wine Train
I’m not sure if there’s anything better than a nice glass of wine and a lovely meal. Oh wait, there is – having that wine and meal while on the Napa Valley Wine Train traveling through the gorgeous wine country. I have only read about the famous food and wine tour of Argentina. Better than that? Yes, and having Ryan Gosling as your sommelier, but let’s not get carried away.
Recently I was lucky enough to be a guest on the Napa Valley Wine Train. For any of you unfamiliar with this iconic attraction, it’s a three-hour trip – via gorgeously restored vintage rail cars – through the beautiful Napa Valley. While traveling you’re served a gourmet lunch (or dinner) and wine from the local wineries. If you’re fortunate like we were, your wait person will have extensive knowledge of the surrounding region and can give you a quick education on the various vintages – this was pretty helpful for a wine novice like me.
You would think that with everything going on – The train! The scenery! The wine! – the food would take a backseat, but you would be mistaken. Their menu is first-rate, and I was impressed to learn that they are committed to using sustainable foods in all their dishes. I had their excellent Coriander Breast of Chicken with Baby Arugula that was in a light peppercorn sauce – a very generous portion that I could barely finish (especially since I wanted to save some room for the desserts that I’d heard everyone buzzing about.) For my wine choice, I went with their suggested pairing, a 2008 Romililly Pinot Noir that was the perfect accompaniment to my meal. Read More »
Dublin at Night, River Liffey
We chose Bar Italia for dinner because I wanted a salad. Too many days in Dublin eating fried foods and I was starting to feel bloated. Bar Italia’s entrance is covered with awards and recommendations, so we thought it was a safe bet. The restaurant also has a beautiful location right beside the River Liffey fairly near Temple Bar, but on the other side of the river. Read More »
Starbucks: Coffee hour and happy hour in one place
My dream is about to come true: I can head into Starbucks in the morning for my double-tall-dry-cap and stay until the evening and order a nice dry cab. Because Starbucks will soon be selling beer and wine at four to six new or remodeled stores in Southern California. Clear off one of those comfy leather couches, people – I’m moving in.
The new alcoholic selections – slated to be in the region by the end of 2012 – will also be accompanied by new “premium food” items that will include savory snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads. Scheduled to also come to a small group of locations in Atlanta and Chicago, the boozy menu is already being tested at Starbucks in its hometown of Seattle, and offers beers for $5 and wines by the glass for $7 to $9 in five locations in that city and one in Portland, Oregon. Beer choices include Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and the wine menu features a Pinot Noir from Oregon, a Prosecco from Italy and a Malbec from Argentina. Can I still order that as a tall, slightly dry and with no foam? Read More »
A steak worthy of drool...and then some.
Where do you go when you want a fancy date in the Woodlands, Texas? Time and time again, I heard the same answer: Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill. So when it looked like I was going to have a fancy date, that’s where I said I wanted to go.
Now, I’m a girl who likes a good steakhouse. But I expect said steakhouse to provide a fantastic steak. Gallagher’s, Smith & Wollensky, Ruth’s Chris — I don’t just want it cooked to order. I want to cooked to perfection. I heard Perry’s would provide just that. I may have been anticipating that hunk of beef more than I was my date.
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