#Healdsburg

Recently I had a 24 hour trip to Healdsburg and boy was it fun! Never have I had so many activities packed into a weekend getaway. We traveled up to Healdsburg on a Saturday morning. The sun was shining for the first time in weeks which made me ever more excited. Our first stop was to check-in at Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites. This is the perfect spot to stay!!! It is right in Healdsburg square, very central to everything. In fact, two of the tasting rooms we visited were practically right beneath it. The suites consisted of three rooms with a common living room and kitchen. Oh yeah, and each room had its own bathroom – SWEET! It was so nice to have this amazingly comfy bed to head home to after a long day of wine tasting. It isn’t every day that I get a king size bed all to myself!!! I’d highly recommend it for a weekend stay, especially if you are going with some gal pals or on a couple’s trip. We had a nice little impromptu photo shoot before we headed out on our adventure.

First up was Siduri Wines. Their tasting room was gorgeous! They had the windows wide open and the sun shining through! Adam Lee, Winemaker, was there not only to greet us but to join us for our tasting as well. He was incredibly personable and funny! I enjoyed laughing with him as we tasted their amazing wines. I have to say, they have wonderful selection of wines and their food list is great too! We were each given sampling of all their food options. We have fried chicken, sliders, mixed nuts, and more! It was a pretty amazing start to the beginning of the day!

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Our next stop was over at Banshee. This spot was extremely hip! I think we were all taken back at the awesome decor and staff. Their rosé there was delicious, I even brought a bottle home. (Fun fact: if you join their wine club you get a free shirt AND you are able to order their rose in the magnum size!) This was definitely the hippest spot and is located just off of the square. We had a blast here sipping on rosé and picking what records to listen to.

After Banshee we had a QUICK 30 min break. Megan (The Urbanite Insight) and I went to check out the Shed. What an adorable place. We stopped in quickly to grab a cup of coffee, take some pics, and to make our wish list of all the goods we want to get!

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Our third wine tasting adventure of the day was at La Crema. I personally thought this was the most educational! We had a “Wine 101” class that taught us the ins and outs of the wine world. The biggest lesson I learned was all about the diurnal shift. This is a term that refers to the variation from highest to lowest temperature during the day. We learned how this affects what wine grows where and why. I definitely learned a lot in this visit! Also, we were able to try some delicious local cheeses. You all know I LOVE cheese. They have a stunning private room that I highly recommend for a tasting.

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After this full day I was feeling ready for a nap, but we headed back to our rooms for girl talk while freshening up for dinner. Our dinner reservation was at Valette. This was just across the square from our hotel. I hadn’t ever been before, but had heard amazing things. The lighting was perfect when we got there so we did a quick photo sesh – so fun – and then headed into the restaurant. We decided to give the five-four “trust me” dinner a shot. The chef, Dustin Valette, surprised us course of course with amazingly tasty dishes. Of course, we shared each dish which was my favorite part! I always love sharing plates because I get to try even more. I dessert was incredible, but I think my favorite was the Hawaiian Ahi Poke Style. I am such a sucker for Hawaiian Poke.  After stuffing my belly full of phenomenal food it was time to head home. We had and early start the next day with brunch and a visit to Reeve Winery!

The next day came early…. I slept SO cozy in the bed at Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites. I cannot tell you how amazing their beds are, so nice and fluffy. But my alarm went off and I had to be ready to rock at 9am. Our first stop was The Parish Cafe. We nom’d hard on French Toast, Eggs Benedict, Beignets, and other delicious goodies. It was the perfect start to the last day! Also, if you stay at 235 Luxury Suites it is within walking distance – woo!

Brunch concluded and we hustled on over to Reeve Wines. When we first drove up I was in awe of how gorgeous this place was! They had a private outdoor tasting set up for us with winemaker, Noah Dorrance. He is a complete doll. So knowledgeable of the industry and is very easy to talk to. We tasted our way through several different wines. All were overwhelmingly delicious.  We had a special treat after that – touring the estate house! All I have to say is HOLY CRAP. This is easily the most beautiful house I have ever seen. You can rent it too if you want!  I’m sure you clicked the link above, and I am sure you saw how damn beautiful that property is. You can clearly see why I probably took a thousand photos there. I didn’t want to leave! We hopped in the back of the truck and rode back down the hill to wrap up our tasting.

I was so sad to end this magical experience in Healdsburg. Emily Martin Events did a fabulous job putting together this impeccable itinerary. Our group was so lucky to be able to experience all these amazing wineries and restaurants. IMG_3164My aunt and uncle were actually up there a couple weekends after and I had them check out our spots! I’ve decided it’s a new goal of mine to travel up to wine country more. I mean, it’s only about an hour and a half away.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with another post. xx

Cheers!

Mak

 

 

 

 

#ZeroZeroSF

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I am definitely a pizza person. And I’m not one of those people that only like cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza, not that there is any issue if you are one of those people. I love to try anything on pizza. Living in SF I feel like I am exposed to SO MANY wonderful pizza places. My most recent pizza discovery was Zero Zero over in SOMA. The first thing that made me a huge fan was the fact that I could walk to it from my house. Yes, I am one of those snobs that is bias towards places I can easily get to from my house. We all know the struggle of commuting around SF.

ANYWAY, I headed on over to Zero Zero for an evening of delicious food, drinks, and dessert. Wait until to hear about the dessert below. It was incredible. I knew that the pizza here was supposed to be terrific, but I wasn’t aware at how many other options they have on their menu. We started off with some Marinated Italian Olives, Hamachi Poke Crudo, Brussels Sprouts, and Taleggio Stuffed Arancini. I could have eat the Arancini all night. If you haven’t had this before, you need to now. I tried to not stuff myself full of food because I knew we still had two more courses to go. The second course was filled with two different salad options. There was a Caesar Salad and a Baby Kale Salad.

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Ok, so the first two courses were great, but these next two were freaking amazing!!! We were presented with three different pizzas, and then three pasta dishes – gnocchi, spaghettoni amatriciana, and Fettuccini. The pizzas were divine. I managed to sneak home some slices of the Filmore Pizza to eat the next day (Fun fact- it’s almost just as good heated up the next day hehe!) 

After stuffing my face full of pizza and pasta we moved on to our fourth and final course – dessert! Not sure how many of you already know this, I didn’t, but Zero Zero has a build your own sundae bar. Come on, any restaurant that has this should be on everyone’s radar. It was so cool! We loaded brownies, sauces, and other various toppings on top of our ice cream. Not only was it extremely tasty, but super fun to make. I’m obsessed with this as a dessert option. 

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The evening was a incredible. A huge thanks to Emily Martin Events for hosting such a beautiful gathering. I probably gained at least five pounds being there, but it was worth it! Check back to the blog to hear about my next adventure soon. 

Cheers!

Mak

#KellerEstateWinery

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a dinner with Keller Estate Winery hosted at Belga. The event was hosted in the beautiful back room at Belga, and was filled with wine, food, and bloggers! An event is always off to a good start when you get greeted at the door with a glass of sparkling wine 🙂

During the beginning we were able to share oysters, crudites, cheese, and fries. All these were paired with delicious wines from Keller Estate. If I had to pick just one wine from the evening, I would say that the Keller State Chardonnay was my favorite. I sipped on this while enjoying my oysters and fries. (Fun fact – I freaking LOVE french fries, and the ones at Belga are some of the BEST in SF).

Before the food started rolling out we had a chance to hear from Ana Keller. She is the daughter of Arturo Keller. It was so nice she was able to join us and to hear more about her journey with Keller Estate. She shared so much knowledge with us, and it was clear she lives with so much passion for Keller Estate.
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We had a great time chatting while enjoying many courses of delicious food. We had mussels, croquettes, flatbreads, rotisserie chicken, and veggies on the side. Oh, and obviously there was dessert – chocolate and an amazing strawberry custard dish. Anytime I am at an event I always have the problem of wanting to stuff my face with every dish LOL… I am trying to be better at simply tasting each thing so I don’t get too full. I thought the chicken was cooked perfectly!

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Throughout the dinner we were able to sip on carefully selected wines from Keller Estate. It was very informative to hear why each wine was paired with each dish. At the end of the event I was lucky enough to take home a bag fill of treats – wine, olive oil, and soaps. I hope I am able to venture up to Keller Estate soon to explore their property and try some more yummy wines! Thank you to Emily Martin and the Belga team for hosting a beautiful event!

Cheers!

Mak

 

#CIACopia

I feel like lately  it’s been pretty clear on my Insta that I have a growing obsession with wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a wine-girl, but more recently I have been more adventurous about really embracing the wine tasting experience and trying new things. I was SUPER excited to have received an invite to the California Institute of America at Copia’s grand opening in Napa! This place is beautifully designed for exploring and experiencing food and wine. If this doesn’t have my name written all over it, I’m not sure what does…

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The BF and I headed up to Napa early Saturday morning, which kinda sucked due to all the flooding, but were amazed when we got there. The CIA Copia is a beautiful space. The building itself from top to bottom and inside to out is fascinating. Even before entering the building it’s impressive. In front of the building are charming gardens. (Fun fact: the gardens provide different herbs for the restaurant). I obviously made the BF stop and take pics of me out there (sorry not sorry, babe). It was too perfect. Once we walked inside I was taken away by all the natural lighting and wide open space. Such a stunning event space.

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The main reception area was filled with different wine vendors for tastings. We had such a blast walking around to different wineries to experience what they had to offer. There was even a photo booth, which was tons of fun! It was nice to have a chance to explore around a bit before we attended a live cooking demo. We were Class with Amanda Freitag 3 Copia photo credit John Barkleylearning to make cheese – burrata and mozzarella! The demo room was great because it is set up as theater style seating with an open kitchen down in the front. There are big TV screens around the room so you can see up-close what the chef is doing. There are many different interactive cooking demonstrations. If you’re interested in checking one out take a peek at their website.

After the demo we headed into their private room for a cheese and wine pairing. This part was fun as I was able to reconnect with old blogger friends, as well as have the opportunity to meet new bloggers – and OBVI enjoy some amazing cheeses and wines. My favorite wine throughout the day was a Pinot by Lola. The strawberry aromas and hints of vanilla made it stand out.

The whole day was a great experience filled with tons of friendly faces, wine, and cheese. I would highly recommend the next time you’re in Napa to check this place out, even if it’s IMG_2027just to walk around. Check back at the blog to hear about the rest of my weekend in Wine Country.

Cheers!

Mak

#WenteVineyards

Happy cows really do come from California…. I learned this at my visit to Wente Vineyards a couple weeks back. Their cows are fed a bottle of wine daily – this was one of the many fun facts I learned from Chef Mike during lunch.

The BF and I went to explore Wente Vineyards a few weeks back, when we actually had a sunny weekend (that’s a rare occurrence nowimg_1904 for all my friends that don’t live in the bay area). It was amazing! The afternoon started with an incredible lunch at The Restaurant. If any of you plan to go, I HIGHLY recommend making a reservation to sit outside on their patio. They even have heated lamps to make it enjoyable if it is on the cooler side.

So, I am a big fan of a surprise menu. It is more fun for me when the chef makes whatever dishes they think are best and send them out for you to try. It’s too much pressure when I have to make all the decisions on my own LOL… Anyway, shortly after we sat down Chef Mike came and talked to us about Wente, his journey getting there, and what it’s like to work there. He is an extremely down to earth and approachable guy. We laughed and chatted for probably close to 30 minutes before actually getting down to the ordering. I jumped on the opportunity when he asked if we wanted him to make us a four-course menu for lunch.

I sipped on my glass of Sauvignon Blanc while enjoying salad, scallop, pasta, and pork belly dishes. We also were able to try a couple of their desserts – these were off the hook! Over all, my two favorite things were their twice-cooked pork belly and their scallops. Both dishes were cooked perfectly. It was difficult to share as I wanted it all to myself, HA.

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After we enjoyed our drool-worthy lunch, we heading on over to the tasting room. Little did we know that our tasting would take place during a walking tour of the property, which included the wine cave, ½ acre garden, and event space. img_2035(Fun fact – during the summer Wente transforms the lawn into a concert venue! They have had artists such as Train, Colbie Caillat, and Third Eye Blind. How fun!) Needless to say their wine was amazing. I walked home with a bottle of Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. I think that many wineries have great wine, but you need to have an amazing team to make people want to come back. The team at Wente is top notch – friendly, knowledgeable, and creative. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out!

 

Check back to the blog to hear about my weekend in Napa & Santa Rosa. Posts and pics will be up soon 🙂 Even though it POURED we had a fab time, and I now have plenty of recommendations.

Cheers!

Mak

#VDayTreats

Wine and chocolate, what a wonderful pair. Use these two words together and you’re sure to get my attention. You know, I like to drink wine but I’ll admit I don’t know much about it. I’m not great at guessing what fruits or flavors are used to make the perfect glass. But hey, isn’t that sort of what wine tastings are for? To further your knowledge of wine? Any who, that’s how I see them and why I like them so much.

Last week I was able to check out Cameron Hughes wine. This guy was super cool and his concept is great. The philosophy of the company is “great wine doesn’t have to be expensive.” How true! Now keep in mind that they don’t own any vineyards. They work on finding the BEST wines and figuring out the best price. It makes it so I can go and buy a $100 cab for $25 if I want. Cool right? 

Over the course of the event I was able to try seven different wines.  

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Genet Brut Esprit Champagne, $29 This is a ‘Friends of Cam” wine. Not ours, but available on chwine.com

Lot 411 Moscato d’Asti, $13

Lot 529 Santa Maria Chardonnay, $14

Lot 539 Oregon Pinot Noir, $13

Lot 508 Los Carneros Syrah, $19

Lot 575 Washington State Red Blend, $16

Lot 606 Rutherford (Napa Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon, $29

My top three favs were the Chardonnay, the Moscato, and the Pinot Noir. The Moscato had me wishing it was a warm summer day and I was out on the boat. This would make the perfect summer drink for me.

 

Following the tasting was a special announcement. Cameron Hughes is partnering up with Christopher Elbow Chocolates for a Valentine’s Day treat! They are pairing a nine piece chocolate set different wine options. (Fun fact – ordering starts January 31st so you can have it in time for V Day. Check out their gift page for more deets! You best believe I have already sent this info over to the bf…. I am trying to make it easy for him!) These chocolates are super delish too. I was sent a box as a thank you gift at work and they were a hit! My team and I spent the afternoon trying all their unique flavors.
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I’m not too sure what I will be doing for V Day yet. I’ve been dropping hints about a weekend in Napa 😉 who knows if the bf has actually caught on to these hints. Stay tuned to hear what I end up doing. And if you haven’t started planning your V Day yet, don’t worry. I just gave you the perfect gift! 

Cheers!

Mak 

#JerseySF

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza.

Pizza is easily on my top five favorite foods, along with popcorn, sushi, burgers, and donuts. Actually, maybe I have six. Pancakes are another favorite of mine. ANYWAY… I was delighted to check out Jersey on Second Street in San Francisco. jerseyThis place captures Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal’s childhood through their diverse menu serving pizzas, pastas, salads, and more! (Fun Fact: These brothers have created a SOMA empire consisting of Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor & Hope. Def check them out!)

This invite was particularly special. It was a smaller more intimate group that allowed me to catch up with old friends, and better get to know new friends. We dropped our bags and headed on over to the kitchen for a sneak preview at the Rosenthal brothers tossing a pie… HA, like my pizza lingo? My stomach started growling while we were watching all this food being prepped. Little did I know, we had 13 dishes coming our way. I didn’t know I could eat 13 dishes!

Here is the skinny on what I liked the most.

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1) MEATBALLS – I am sure you’ve all seen my meatball post by now. If you haven’t, check it out on my Insta. I LOVE meatballs, and boy were these good. I wish that I could make these myself, but I am a beyond terrible cook. Out of all the appetizers and salads we had this one was my fav.

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2) LASAGNA – Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? When I left this dinner I
hopped on the phone with a friend and ranted for at least five minutes about how much I like lasagna. Def heading back to Jersey for when I have a craving.

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3) TAYLOR PORK ROLL – A pizza with pork, fried egg, mozzarella, and provolone is divine. This heavily dish was amazing. Although I am still a little unsure what exactly Taylor Pork is, I love it! After inhaling this pizza (along with three others) I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle dessert.

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4) BOTH – Honestly, I couldn’t pick between these if I had too. We had a cannoli with vanilla bean ricotta saved chocolate, and Three Twins Ice Cream with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Can’t say I’ve ever had ice cream with olive oil, but heck yes I would do it again.

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All jokes aside, I was so full after this meal that I couldn’t eat again until the following afternoon. I’m not sure if I have ever eaten that much in one sitting before. I think Jersey is a hidden gem in SF and that it should be on people’s lists to check out. I found it nice that they aren’t JUST a pizza place. There is so much more on that menu has to offer.

I’ve been doing a ton of eating lately and have a bunch more exciting events coming up. If there are any suggestions of places I should check out, feel free to comment them below! Stay tuned to see a recap of what I am up to. For right now, I’m headed over to Ritual Hot Yoga to get my sweat on. This place is how I can afford to eat so much without gaining a million pounds! 🙂

Cheers!

Mak

#PalmHouseSF

Often times I get asked the question, what is my favorite restaurant? Each time I return the question with another question, for what type of food? I have favorite brunch places, dinner places, on-the-go lunch places, and bars. It is a fully loaded question. There is rarely a time when one places comes to mind for brunch, lunch, dinner, and/or drinks. However, there is one spot in the Marina that ALWAYS pops into my mind when searching for a fun place to go, Palm House.

Need a cocktail or punch bowl? Palm House. Need an easy place to grab a filling dinner? Palm House. Need a trendy and sociable brunch spot? Palm House. It is definitely a weekend go-to of mine.

I was invited to Palm house to experience their NEW seasonal menu from Chef Brenen Bonetti. He did an incredible job wowing me with each bite! I walked in to a beautifully decorate table with colorful punch bowls, adorable place cards, and several little rubber duckies. (Fun Fact: Palm House serves several drinks filled with rubber duckies. These cute little guys even have a name – Donald Palmer!)punch-bowl

Once I got over snapping pics of my festive place setting it was time to start enjoying the food. YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY! The menu was split into four different sections – snacks, entrees, sides, and dessert. The coconut prawns – DAMN they are delicious. Coconut prawns are not typically a dish I would choose to order, but Chef Brenen knows how to make these tasty AF. I followed this with a fried chicken slider. Whoever invented these deserves a reward for a couple reasons – 1) they are the perfect size and easy to eat, 2) the mango-chipotle bbq sauce was on point, and 3) they are so full of flavor! Sliders are one of my favorite foods so I am extremely picky on which ones I actually like.

Anyway, I continued to stuff my face with some mac&cheese, Brussels sprouts, and several other items (check out my pics to see the goods). I enjoyed a few more cocktails, from punch bowls to margaritas to watermelon Food Spread.jpgcocktails. I was getting quite full when it was time for dessert. It came out and I knew there was no saying no. They
brought out delicious beignets and these huge ice cream cookie sandwiches! Yes, I definitely tried both. Needless to say I left feeling stuffed.

I highly recommend giving Palm House a try! You will definitely see me there again. I’ve got some travel coming up this month, so make sure to stay tuned to what states I’m eating my way through.

Cheers!

Mak

#EatDrinkSF

WOAH! that was my reaction as soon as I stepped foot into this magical food land.

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For those that don’t know, Eat Drink SF is San Francisco’s premier annual food, wine, and spirits festival that celebrates the Bay Area’s world-class chefs and restaurants. Top restaurants from all around San Francisco gather for a weekend full of food, drink, and entertainment.

I walked in and my mouth dropped in awe. The decor was gorgeous, the food smelled amazing, and the atmosphere was popping! After taking a few pics by the main entrance display we quickly headed over to try the food. The first table we tried was Delarosa. They had these amazing meatballs, and if you know me you know I LOVE meatballs. I drooled over this for a solid 30 minutes.

Each vendor had beautiful dishes, and the cocktails were just as stunning. The Hanger One table was my favorite cocktail. I love a good vodka drink 😜 Super Duper also had a killer space. They brought in their ice cream truck and set up the space to be similar to a backyard bbq – picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, and even corn hole! (Fun Fact – I even won $100 to Super Duper! Crazy, I know!) 

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We walked around for hours admiring everyone’s delightful treats, drinks, and prizes. I waddled out of Eat Drink SF completely stuffed and with a bag of sweet prizes and gifts. This year was my first time at the event and you can definitely bet I will beedsf3 back at it next year. It rocked!!!

I’ve got a lot coming up in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned to hear where else I pop up.

Cheers!

Mak

#CredoSF

Last night I attend an amazing dinner by Celebrity Chef Brian Boitano at Credo Restaurant. The best part is that this dinner benefited Bay Scholars. This organization exists to make it possible for promising low-income scholars across the Bay Area to have access to and flourish at successful college preparatory Catholic high schools.

The night started off with a fun cocktail hour in the downstairs part of Credo.I’d definitely recommend checking this space out for hosting happy hours. This walls were decorated with clever quotes all around the room. Of course the first thing we did was take photos with our drinks in front of the quotes.

 

After a bit of mix and mingling we headed upstairs to a beautifully decorated room, and I was ready to eat! It started off with an amazing salad filled with the tastiest arugula I’ve had in a while. Arugula Salad

Chef Brian Boitano came over right before the main course. He is incredible. Not only is he a very talented chef and athlete, but also a great people person. The conversation flowed easily as he told us a bit about himself and the food he was serving. It was such a treat to meet him. His main course, halibut, was delish!

 

Throughout the event I was able to visit with old friends, meet new friends, and indulge in some incredible food. I’d say it was a successful event! 🙂 (Fun Fact: we even got to take home a copy of his cookbook “What Would Brian Boitano Make?”)

This week I’ve got a bunch going on, so stay tuned to hear more about my gin tasting, yoga doing, and food loving events! If you haven’t already, make sure to follow along on my Insta Story, I may be slightly addicted. 🙂

Cheers!

Mak