Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Newport Beach Wine and Food Fest at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

IMG_0128There were over 200 wines being poured and lots of bites from local restaurants here in OC. I probably drank double what I ate, but….. no regrets.

Wine and food fests are pretty much my favorite thing ever, because really what’s better than being outside in sunny weather drinking and snacking?

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IMG_0084 IMG_0085Anyone else there as well? It was such a wonderfully done event, although more water coolers would probably have been useful considering the number of people. I’m already excited for next year.

Personal favs of the event? Pasta from Filomena’s (see above), roasted veggies from True Food Kitchen, brut champagne from Louis Roederer, and the wine from a local classic, Hi-Time Wine Cellar. ūüėČ

Thank you to the Newport Beach Food and Wine Fest for having me!

 

Happy Tuesday! xo

 

If you were at the food and wine fest as well, tell me what your favorite part was!

Scenes From the Weekend

Hi loveys! I hope your Monday’s off to a great start! I feel like it flew by entirely too fast, per usual….sort of like all of January, really. Can I go back to Maui yet?

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend….

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Wise words, a la Sea Legs, a cute happy hour spot in Huntington Beach. 

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I present to you: January in southern California. I KNOW. I got in my long run along the Newport Beach boardwalk -out ¬†and back along the water for a total of 8 lovely miles. I was hot (wearing long sleeves in January while Santa Ana wins are blowing¬†= rookie mistake) and my legs were really tired still from Wednesday’s speed work, so my pace was riding the struggle bus for a good chunk of the¬†run. I committed myself to just feeling blessed that I could run outside in sunshine while the majority of country was facing frigid temps, though, and it actually worked at making the run actually enjoyable even though I was internally frustrated at myself. This whole “running because I¬†can” mantra is a win-win, folks.¬†

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Saturday morning before heading to a baptism, I spent some quality time in Starbucks writing and working on the blog. It was bliss…. There’s such a peace to getting some writing on an early morning and just taking time to¬†reflect…. with a vat of caffeine.

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Have you guys tried this cab before? Saturday was a first for me, after my boyfriend picked it out solely for the¬†label (“because it had a bear breathing fire…”), but we both loved it!¬†It was very smooth and reminded me of chocolate covered raspberries, which is never¬†a bad thing to be compared to, if you ask me.

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Finally tried Social in Costa Mesa for brunch! Oh maaaaan, you guys! SO good. I loved the vibe inside, and the food was delicious. They bring items out as they’re ready because plates are meant to be shared, which was the only mildly disappointing part of our meal, but only because I don’t share food. ūüėČ

IMG_5731Afternoon coffee date at Pappalecco in Hillcrest (San Diego)¬†with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. This place has the strongest coffee… I was literally jittery for hours afterwards from it!¬†

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I wrapped up¬†Sunday with a lil Pure Barre action! My legs were shakin’ like crazy (perhaps also due to the aforementioned crazy coffee….?), and were total jello for the rest of last¬†night.

xo

How was your weekend? Share some of your fav moments! Mine was blasting Taylor Swift while walking to meet friends Saturday night… in public, singing out loud. No shame when TSwizzle is involved…¬†

Colonial Williamsburg

Sooooooo as I mentioned yesterday, I spent the whole weekend in Colonial Williamsburg.

For my birthday. And yes – I thought that was an excellent way to ring in age 26.

See, when I was little, I was kind of obsessed with American Girl books and American history (cough-nerd-cough) and used to beg my parents to bring me to Colonial Williamsburg. Almost twenty years later and my parents finally decided to make good on their promise, and they + Meg (my best friend from high school who lives in Richmond, for new readers).

Meg’s sweet rain gear, because it rained 99% of Saturday.. Thanks, Hurricane Isaac.

We did all of the typical stuff you would expect a tourist in Colonial Williamsburg would do. Think sightseeing and listening to Thomas Jefferson chat about independence. You know, the usual.

Colonial sipping chocolate, which tasted like straight, thick chocolate syrup.

Our meals were pretty delicious, you guys. We got lucky picking some great restaurants/taverns (<–colonial folks LOVE taverns apparently).¬†

(Dinner Saturday night at Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill ¬†– known for fantastic seafood, although I had steak(I don’t like seafood). And noooo- not everything was Paleo. Like Reese’s Pieces ice cream? Yep.

FYI, Williamsburg is gorgeous, especially right around College of William and Mary, right near where we stayed. 

 

Can I go back to college?

Mmmk, thanks. I had a blast running around the campus Sunday morning (you know, the one time it was NOT raining).

Last stop:

Williamsburg Winery! Awesome.

We enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch, which was a great way to wrap-up the weekend.

Plus further proof I should move to a vineyard. 

Right?

 

Where we stayed: The Cedars of Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast (super friendly and clean in an ideal location right near the historic district and the College of William and Mary Рdefinitely recommend!)

Where we ate: Aroma, the King’s Arms Tavern,¬†Berret’s; Williamsburg Winery

What we did: The usual – check out the main Colonial Williamsburg website for all the attractions and museums, which (in my opinion) you can definitely accomplish in one day

Wine in the Park

So. Last night.

It was one of those magical summer evenings that don’t unfold nearly close to how you might have predicted, but in the best way possible.

Some friends and I gathered at the Sculpture Garden on Capital Hill for some¬†Jazz in Park¬†(remember when I went¬†last year??)…. and somehow when I woke up today my apartment looked like a wine-tastic frat house.

 

Hmmm.

 

We started with a great spread of snacks and sangria (they sell pitchers at the event), plus a bottle of wine I may or may not have snuck in. It’s a summer tradition! You practically HAVE to.

A few plastic glasses of wine later and we were laughing in the grass and Tide-To-Go penning each others’ butts on the streets of D.C.

Yeah – don’t ask.

Oh hey Christina – glad your Tide-To-Go pen came in handy.

Anyways, somehow we ended up at my apartment consuming MORE wine, getting kicked out of bars, and (attempting) to relive our college glory days, right down to delivered pizza.

And somehow I’m now missing a package of string cheese?

Ahem.

And in case you’re wondering, (almost) 26 year olds are NOT equal to 18 year olds. Nope.

Not even close.

Guess who’s feeling their ages this morning? Heeeello.

Don’t worry though – we still made it to get a bagel sandwich this morning. I’d have snapped a photo for you guys, but I think I was still drunk on sangria.

Bikram yoga later is happening and it’s going to be GLORIOUS. I smell a detox coming.

 

Happy weekend!

 

Tell me about YOUR weekend plans! 

 

Review: The Curious Grape

Wine.

That one word summarizes my entire weekend. Goodness, folks.

I’m now on a wine sabbatical.

Anyways! This past Friday I was lucky enough (with Meg, my partner in crime since high school) to get the opportunity to have dinner at a wine shop and restaurant called The Curious Grape. For those of you who live in the Arlington,VA/Washington, D.C. metro area, this place is located in Shirlington, i.e. this adorable new neighborhood that I want to pack my bags and move to immediately.

Their mantra, according to the owner, is¬†“Bringing wine down to earth.”¬†Everything is pretty reasonably priced because you can do half orders of most dishes, so I can see how that holds true. And I have to say – the staff (including the owners) were SO nice and very friendly during our visit.

This place does not kid around about their wine love. First up I ordered a Viognier from Michael Shaps winery (local!), and Meg selected a Torrontes from Argentina. Both were very smooth and ended up being the perfect choices.

Then we got to eating, aka Meg and my main hobby.

Cheese plate, tailored for white wine drinking. (The first two on the plate are goat cheeses, aka my favorite)

SO good! Because of my lactose intolerance I have generally steered clear from cheese other than on pizza (let’s be serious) for the last few years, so I can’t even tell you the last time I just ate a meal of straight cheese and bread. This was fantastic though.

Appetizer one rocked my socks.

Braised pork empanadas with cilantro, pumpkin seed salsa & crème fraiche on the side. Holy moly.

Appetizer two, Meg’s choice, was fried green tomatoes with tuna.¬†

Personally, I think the empanadas were the winners in this race, although both dishes could have use a teensy bit more flavor in my opinion. The empanadas, although really tasty, only packed a flavor punch when dipped in the accompanying salsa/creme fraiche (which was very good!).

By now obviously it was time for another round of wine. For me, a glass of pinot gris from Oregon and for Meg gruner veltliner from Austria.

For our entrees we both ordered the half orders per the recommendation of the waitress, who I’m pretty sure thought we both had not eaten since 1992, My eyes flew to the chicken dish automatically… and I know, I know -chicken?! Boring. But this chicken was way more interesting than anything I usually create in my own kitchen.

Ahem: spice-roasted chicken with green onion polenta, braised kale & tomato.

Yes – KALE. I’m so healthy.

This was delicious. And a pretty big portion despite being a half size.

Meg ordered the scallops and cleaned her plate.. I’m not a seafood fan, so I didn’t taste anything more than the black rice (<–never had that before!) on her meal.

Desserts: 

…and a mango/blackberry tart with a chocolate crust.

Why stop at one dessert when you can have two, right? Simple logic.

They were both pretty good, although to be honest I was already very full by the time dessert rolled around, AND I’m actually not a big sweet dessert person (despite loving to bake). Meg was a big fan though. ūüôā

The Curious Grape is also a wine shop (duh), so there were lots of bottles to choose from in the wine shop section of the store.

Ugh, so fun. I can’t thank The Curious Grape enough for hosting me!

And did I mention I followed up Friday with a wine fest and then wine dinner on Saturday?

Yeah.

I can’t look at a bottle of wine for another month, but man that was goooooooood.

 

How was your weekend??

 

 

*Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this dinner at The Curious Grape by a restaurant/food PR company, but the opinions and photos were 100% my own. The check was compensated, but it was NOT based the promise of a positive or negative review.

 

 

 

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