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I swear the weeks are flying by faster as each month passes, and I don’t know where the time has gone since my last blog post. My travel schedule has been pretty hectic, and my husband has also been traveling a ton for work. As a result, lots of other things have gotten put on the back burner. I miss my Boston blogging community!

One thing we have made an effort to do is to venture out of Dorchester for dining out, which can be difficult, especially when it’s dark and cold and Dorchester has so many great restaurants. Boston has such a great dining scene these days that it can be overwhelming, so we have been keeping a list of places to visit.

Where in Boston have I been lately?

Haley Henry

A catch-up date with an old friend at haley.henry wine bar was the perfect way to while away several hours on a blustery November night. The space is so cozy, and while our food was a bit hit-or-miss, I was a huge fan of the wine tots and pickled vegetables. The wine, however, is really where it’s at here. We went with staff recommendations for all of our wines, and they steered us in delicious directions.

While I don’t normally love Gamay, I have been thinking nonstop about one we tried from Isabelle & Bruno Perraud. It was the perfect suggestion, and it would be an incredible Thanksgiving wine.

Haley Henry

haley.henry is definitely a place I could see myself spending wintry afternoons, especially as a respite from holiday shopping.

Haley Henry

With all of our travel, fitting in date nights to reconnect have been more important than ever, and finding good places close to the airport has been helpful. I had been dying to visit Reel House in East Boston, and after a recent airport reunion, we fell in love with the beautiful space, great service, and delicious seafood.

Reel House

Tiki drinks and twinkling white lights and nautical decor won us over. Seafood charcuterie was a fresh and creative treat, perfect for sharing. The service was super warm and friendly and made us want to stay forever. This will definitely be a new favorite post-business-travel spot.

Reel House

anoush’ella in Boston’s South End is a place I now crave regularly. I kind of knew I would when I started to read the menus online, but it was truly love at first sight and first bite.

anoush’ella

I love the casual atmosphere of the space and the quick arrival of the food, which doesn’t take away from a relaxing experience. I sipped a delicious whiskey and grapefruit cocktail while devouring delights from their labne and m’anoush menus. I absolutely love yogurt in savory dishes, and this labne is super thick and tangy with perfect toppings.

anoush’ella

A sweet m’anoush to end the meal was stuffed with marshmallows and Nutella and was gooey and warm and perfectly delicious. I saw many people coming into anoush’ella for takeaway orders; if I lived in the neighborhood I would be tempted to go in several times a week!

anoush’ella

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, Food, food blog

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that our first or last (okay, sometimes both ways) stop on our way to a Sonoma County getaway is at the beautiful and bubbly Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards. It is simply the best place to celebrate the start of a holiday or to look back on an amazing time as it sadly comes to an end. Trust me, I have cried more than once on their property. . .

This past weekend, while I was on a girls’ trip to Sonoma County, Gloria Ferrer kindly hosted my group for a tasting and so much more, and it was glorious. It’s truly a magical spot, and we sipped on our favorite wines and ate delicious cheese as we took in those views and the end-of-summer summer sun. It’s just a must-visit spot.

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It’s not always easy to make it out to California, but if you live in Boston, Minneapolis, or Denver, Gloria Ferrer is coming to you, in the form of their Glorious Bites Challenge.

About the Challenge:

Gloria Ferrer is on a mission to find the most glorious appetizer in the country. With the help of four expert foodies, we’re coming to a city near you in search of an appetizer that pairs perfectly with our Sonoma Brut. So channel your inner-foodie and submit your signature appetizer recipe!

What could be better than spending an evening enjoying food, wine, and friendly competition?

I will of course be at the October 3 Divine Design Center Boston event, and I hope you will get your tickets now and join me for a taste of wine country in Boston. This event promises to be memorable, and really one-of-a-kind.

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Thank you again to Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards for hosting us and for the opportunity to attend Glorious Bites in Boston next week!

 

Take a peek at past visits!

Sipping in Sonoma

Wine Country Bliss

Just Outside San Francisco 

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Tags: Boston, events, Sonoma, sparkling wine, wine

Our week in an Italian villa seems like it happened  forever ago, and while I am behind on blogging and blog reading and have a TON of travel coming up (Sonoma, Baltimore, Hilton Head, New Orleans) I still want to get some of these planned Italy posts up. Looking at amazing food, wine, and scenery doesn’t really go out of style, does it?

Living the villa life meant that we had not one, but two kitchens to use for making meals, something I always love to do when traveling. On our first full day in Italy, we went to the market to stock up on essentials for the week, including mineral water, wine, chocolate and sunscreen. All you really need. . .

We also took advantage of the incredibly fresh and affordable produce, meat, and bakery sections, pulling together bread, apricots, figs, tomatoes, and various types of meat and cheese for a lunch feast. This is the best way in the world to eat, in my book.

lunch at the villa  

That day, meat and cheese and veggies and pool time and naps led to a wander to nearby Lake Trasimeno, which was absolutely beautiful. My only regret of the trip was that we didn’t get to take a boat out on the lake. We did get to the lake in time for Aperol hour, complete with free, deliciously salty potato chips. I love the simplicity of cocktail snacks in Europe!

Aprol Spritz Lake Trasimeno

Our plan that day was to have dinner with some family members, but when there wasn’t room for us, we instead found the most romantic, authentic, delicious, delightful restaurant in the town next to our villa.

Osteria La Pergola was so charming and the perfect spot for a long date night dinner. None of the patrons left the entire time we were there. 

osteria la pergola

A team of two women were handling the cooking, serving, wine pouring, everything! We did our best with Italian words here and there, and there was a lot of pointing and laughing (in a good way) as we communicated across language barriers, all in the name of amazing food.

ravioli

Local bubbly, “Ca de Sass” Colli del Trasimeno, was celebratory and the perfect pairing for my pesto and cheese ravioli and then the molten chocolate cake that we just had to have.

sparkling wine Italy

Say yes to the cake and the espresso and bubbly. . . that’s my motto!

We eventually grudgingly pulled ourselves up to pay and leave, and our gracious hosts gave free limoncello and warm handshakes. It was one of those special evenings that usually only happens by accident.

limoncello

Our walk out of dinner and into the town square was pure magic.

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The next day was a travel day, and after homemade pastries at the villa, we headed to Avignonesi for wine tasting. You can read all about it here.

After that we had plans to meet a group in the stunning city of Montepulciano, which could be a post all in itself. This one, will focus just on the lunch we had, where our group of 16 took over a small cafe in the piazza. Wrangling that many people was chaotic, and I didn’t even get the name.

I did however settle in with a cold local beer. The heat in Italy made their lighter beer selections perfect especially in the afternoon when you just wanted something truly refreshing.

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The menus were huge and offered all sorts of pizzas, sandwiches, and other items, but we decided to go with various plates of cold food to share. Mountains of bruschetta, marinated vegetables, beans, olives, and more kicked off our meal.

dining in Montpulciano

bruschetta

And then we dove in once again to the local meats and cheeses. This was one of the best lunches ever. If you get to Montepulciano, this cafe was on the right, just in from the piazza, with a more formal sister restaurant across the narrow street.

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This just covers a few of our meals in Italy, and as time allows, I would love to share more. In the meantime I will be dreaming of Tuscan sun, wineries overlooking sunflower fields, and endless plates of Italian treats.

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Tags: Food, Italy, Travel, travel blog, Tuscany, wine

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