May 28, 2013
January 9, 2013
January 4, 2013
Here’s a quick recap of eats and treats sampled in Washington, D.C. over Christmas with family and friends. Hope your holidays were meaningful and memorable!
September 30, 2012
You know one of my favorite things in life is Brunch. Yes, Brunch with a capital “B” because it’s just that important. I’ve eaten at several brunch spots in Austin, and I’m always looking for other incredible places to try with friends or family. I asked several co-workers for a brunch recommendation and they emphatically agreed I should try Olivia.
Being the A-type personality that I am, I looked up the brunch menu online to check it out. First thing listed: 2 farm eggs any style with bacon or sausage and frites. Typical. But what’s this? Three choices of Eggs Benedict? Promising. Then I saw it: Chai French Toast. Done.
I almost stopped reading the menu right there as I clamored for my phone to make a reservation. But my hungry eyes wandered further down the page, landing on the piece de resistance: Shrimp & Gouda Grits. “Sweet Jesus, where is my phone?!” screamed my inner foodie. Finally, I gained my composure enough to call Olivia and make a Sunday reservation.
Now, the reservation wasn’t just for me- it was my sweetie’s birthday on Saturday and we decided to make a weekend of it. I hoped that Olivia would be a wonderful birthday brunch spot and it did not disappoint. I ordered the Eggs Florentine while Jay ordered the “MACDADDY” (crispy pork belly, miso chili glaze, cilantro, green onion, scrambled eggs, english muffin, frites) and Chai French Toast for us to share.
The chai was bold but not overpowering in the generous portions of French Toast, and while I didn’t care for the Asian pears, the almond whipped cream was divine. The Eggs Florentine was also wonderful: eggs perfectly poached and dressed with rich hollandaise and delicate slivers of smoked shoulder bacon. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being phenomenal, we’d give Olivia an ecstatic 8-9. We will definitely be taking our parents and friends there when they visit Austin! If you have a special occasion coming up (like Austin Restaurant Week benefitting Meals on Wheels Sept. 30-Oct. 3), or just want to try out some place very special, Olivia is for you.
August 24, 2012
Dear Foodie Fashionistas,
Any time I visit the D.C. area I make sure I stop by Legal Sea Foods. I always have the clam chowder, but during my recent visit I went a little off the beaten path. Rather than having crab cakes or a lobster roll, I opted for the mushroom ravioli. Light, yet rich, it was the perfect switch up from the typical (but superb) seafood fare.
April 26, 2012
Here’s another place to see and be seen in your most fashionable attire, while dining on the most decadent bites prepared by some of the culinary world’s most talented stars. Guests at the Austin Food & Wine Festival include the Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Marcus Samuelsson and Texas’s own Tim Love. Be warned, tickets are a bit pricey, starting at $250 per person.
April 12, 2012
Here are two restaurants I love, Malaga Tapas & Bar in Austin and Samar by Stephan Pyles in Dallas. Both equally exotic and delicious, they’re perfect downtown hot spots to dine and shine in your most fashionable ensemble. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Samar, so the menu may have changed, but I’m sure whatever they’re serving is phenomenal. Malaga favorite: breaded and fried goat cheese drizzled with honey. It will change your life. Samar favorite: Potatoes and chorizo with egg. So good, it’s on the lunch and dinner menu. Enjoy!
MALAGA TAPAS & BAR
SAMAR by STEPHAN PYLES
February 3, 2012
I had the immense pleasure of visiting the Naked Mountain Winery in Virginia this past September. Nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia’s wine country, this winery is the perfect place to entertain family and friends. Once under the auspices of Bob and Phoebe Harper, the winery is now owned and operated by Randy and Meagan Morgan, a young couple with a deep devotion to the art of wine making.
Now, I admit I’m not much of a drinker (read: I can’t hold my liquor) but my in-laws were sweet enough to set up a double date for me and my sweetie at their favorite vineyard. So I braced myself for the series of headaches and tummy aches I knew were sure to follow dinner.
The dinner included carrot ginger soup and duck confit, followed by dessert: a warm fig crostata with vanilla ice cream. Every course was paired with a different wine, and I’m happy to say that the next day I felt perfectly fine (that’s how it goes with the highest-quality wines, so I’m told).
January 27, 2012
Breadwinners Cafe is another wonderful place to eat, see and be seen. Tucked into the posh corner of McKinney and N. Hall in Uptown Dallas, Breadwinners offers brunch, lunch and dinner, but of course, I went for the brunch. There was a line out the door, but our group of three didn’t have to wait very long before we were seated in the charming courtyard in the center of the restaurant.
Service was fast and friendly, and the portions generous and delicious. I ordered an iced Chai and the Texas Benedict, made with beef brisket hash, and my friends had the Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs and split a waffle.
If you’re in Fort Worth, Breadwinners is well worth the 45-minute drive east. Sunday Brunch is from 8am-3pm, so I recommend catching the early service at church and heading over to Breadwinners right after to beat the crowd. Valet is also convenient, and afterwards you can always get in a little cardio by checking out the shops at West Village.
January 20, 2012
In each city I visit, I religiously try to seek out the best it has to offer, not only with regard to fashion, but also food. There are a handful of places that are rather special to me for filling my plate and my life with beautiful memories shared with family and friends. In Fort Worth it’s Taverna and the vegan eatery Spiral Diner. In Dallas, it was Dralion (anyone remember that place?) Southlake: Trulucks, Washington D.C.: Legal Seafoods and Peacock Cafe.
I’ve been actively searching for that special place in Austin and I think I may have found it in La Condesa, a contemporary Mexican restaurant anchoring 2nd and Guadalupe. Whenever I strolled by, I found myself inexplicably drawn to it, the dimly lit interior masked by a soft veil of opaque curtains, the delicious aromas and music wafting, no, beckoning, on the breeze each time the door drifted open. And then there’s that curious blue staircase, bathed in the most deliberate shade of aqua, suspended in mid-air, mysterious, almost reverent. Interestingly, the staircase is positioned in such a way that anyone visiting the Malverde bar above La Condesa has no choice but to pass through the restaurant.
I finally stopped by La Condesa for dinner with friends. Inside, the amalgamation of wood, steel and glass is softened by sensuous lighting and a subdued palette of beiges and browns. Award-winning and A-List ready, you almost expect a credible starlet to descend the aqua staircase to dine amongst the other beautiful patrons.
Once seated, I ordered my usual glass of water with cucumber in lieu of lemon and the “Guiso de Hongos y Epazote,” or mushroom tacos. My friends and I struck up a lively conversation and shortly thereafter, our meals arrived. I continued to politely and attentively listen until I took my first bite. Then, the room went still, the lights faded and words fell silent. There was no one and nothing else in the room but me and my tacos. I swear, my spirit left my body, ascended that blue staircase, and I saw Jesus. In the club upstairs. Chillin’.
What I am trying to say is that these mushroom tacos are unbelievably delicious. Any meat eater would seriously consider vegetarianism after trying them. On my other visits I’ve also tried some of the crab appetizers and a watermelon martini. Glorious.
If you’re in Austin, I’m telling you, you must experience La Condesa’s immaculate confections.