food tour

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If you missed part one of our Savor Healdsburg Food Tour, you can check it out here.

After SHED, we headed to the Williamson Wines tasting room on the Healdsburg Plaza. We had tasted here before, but I was excited to sit down and taste wine with our fun group. I always love tasting wine with new people; it’s fun to discuss what we get from the wines as well as likes and dislikes.

What I love most about the Williamson tasting room is that they have a food and wine pairing experience. Each wine is paired with a little bite, which you are meant to try alone and again with the wine to see how the flavors are brought out in each. It’s really fun, like a little food and wine pairing light bulb goes off with each taste.

Williamson Wines

In total, we did six food and wine pairings at Williamson, and while I loved them all and could write about them all, I’ll share the highlights to hopefully keep your interest. Smile  Maybe I should start doing wine tasting “outtakes” to include those I loved but didn’t feature? Blog writing for days!

A few Williamson Wines pairing favorites:

Chantilly Chardonnay with a Mango Stilton Cheese – the gentle butterscotch notes and lemon meringue-y notes in the wine were great on their own. The fruit in the cheese brought out more fruit notes in the wine, and as with all the cheeses, a little saltiness made for a memorable (in a good way) contrast.

Enchant Trinity GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) – The wine is fruit and spice and luxurious texture, a fireplace wine for sure. It was paired with pure heaven: Dubliner Irish Cheddar, Balsamic Garlic Jam, and Truffle Salt. How good does that sound?! The spices in the wine and the earthiness of the little snack were perfection. This wine is recommended for big dishes like pot roast and short ribs, which I plan on mastering this winter.

Seduce Cabernet Sauvignon – This Dry Creek Valley Cab is fruitier than its Napa Valley counterpart and lacks those sometimes over-the-top mouth-drying tannins. The pairing was a piece of Dubliner topped with blue cheese, pecan, and honey. Since the wine had such nice fruit, the nuttiness and saltiness of the blue cheese was a tasty contrast, and the honey brought out the natural juiciness of the fruit. Yum.

wine and food pairing

We didn’t want to leave Williamson; it’s a great, comfortable tasting room on Healdsburg Plaza, well worth a visit. It turned out to be a good thing that we moved on though, as our next stop may be my new favorite Healdsburg restaurant.

 

Bravas Healdsburg

Bravas Bar de Tapas is so much fun. They have a gorgeous outdoor seating area and bar and space for making huge pans of paella. We kicked our time at Bravas off with their white sangria; it was well into the 90’s, and this drink was pure refreshment. I loved the little hint of bitter from the grapefruit!

At Bravas things got even more festive! We shared plates of Cider Braised Chorizo and Padron Peppers, a Watermelon and Tomato Salad, and a Tostada with Onions, Raisins, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic, which is basically the best thing ever. Crunchy, salty, creamy, sweet, this tapa had us all swooning. Everything was so delicious, and the California sun did not hurt! I can already tell each Healdsburg visit will include time at Bravas.

Bravas Healdsburg

Bravas Healdsburg

Our final stop was Moustache Baked Goods for our choice of a sweet treat to end the food tour. We were all stuffed from the goodness we got to try throughout the afternoon, and I think every last one of us got dessert to go.

meyer lemon cupcakes

maple spice and bacon cupcakes

Moustache Baked Goods

I decided to go with the Dry Creek Peach because I love the Dry Creek Valley, and the peaches were in season and perfection. The cupcake was pretty amazing and left me wishing we had left with a box. This is another place I will visit again.

I love how this food tour opened our eyes to so many Healdsburg businesses we hadn’t met before. Savor Healdsburg Food Tours offers a couple of different options, and I will be taking the other tour on our next trip.

Many thanks to Tammy for hosting us and making our day so delicious and special!

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Tags: Bakeries, Caliornia, Dry Creek Valley, Food, food tour, Healdsburg, Healdsburg food tour, Restaurants, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Tasting Room, wine country, wine pairings, wine tasting, winery

Book a spot now, because Boston’s newest food tour is going to fill up fast. On Friday I was fortunate enough to be invited to Boston Food Finds’ inaugural Beacon Hill/ Back Bay food tour. I worked my work schedule around taking Friday afternoon off, and while it made for some overwhelming moments during the week, it was 110% worth it.

I met the tour group at 1:15 in the swanky lobby of the Liberty Hotel, and we then made our way down the stairs to Lydia Shire’s Scampo for an unforgettable experience.

Scampo

Scampo’s GM gave us a complete tour, pointing out some of Lydia Shire’s personal touches, like this chandelier, which she shipped to the hotel by individually wrapping each of the crystals by hand. It is in Scampo’s beautiful private dining area which can also be part of the main dining room when groups are not using it.

Scampo

Our tour even brought us into the small kitchen where all of Scampo’s magic happens.

Scampo

We got in their way a little, but everyone seemed happy to see us!

Scampo

When we arrived back at our seats, we were presented with gorgeous plates of food. A perfectly fresh tomato, topped with soft mozzarella, a chiffonade of basil, and balsamic and olive oil was paired with spicy local arugula. Scampo uses local ingredients whenever possible.

caprese

The best part of our visit to Scampo was meeting Lydia Shire’s son, Alex. Alex showed us how to make the naan bread for Patrick’s Naan, which we then got to devour. Alex also chatted with us about his incredible future culinary plans, his mother, and his family. He was delightful and makes some tasty naan!

Scampo

Patrick’s naan is house made naan topped with arugula, prosciutto, and saba sauce, a reduction of red wine, clove, juniper berries, and cinnamon. It was crunchy, salty, spicy, and sweet, all in one bite. Our tastes of Scampo definitely have me wanting more!

Patrick's Naan

Once we said goodbye to the folks at Scampo, we headed just across the street to another air conditioned refuge, Savenor’s. The Saveor’s brand is over 65 years old and has been a Boston favorite of many, including the Kennedys and Julia Child, who bought the meat for The French Chef from Savenor’s for 11 years.

Savenor's

Savenor’s is gourmet to the hilt. Their cheese case had me drooling, and their butcher shop is known for its unusual offerings like kangaroo, alligator, and bear bacon, as well as its high quality beef. We were treated to sandwiches made with wild boar and yak!

Savenor's

Savenor's

I have been to Savenor’s before, and it is definitely a place you can spend an hour or more, browsing around and planning the perfect dinner party.

My final stop on the tour, because I had plans to meet a friend, (but only the halfway point for the actual tour!) was Beacon Hill Chocolates. I have been wanting to visit Beacon Hill Chocolates for some time, and I was so happy that it was part of the tour.

Beacon Hill ChocolatesBeacon Hill Chocolates

Beacon Hill Chocolatesmacarons

Once inside this gem of a boutique, we were presented with multiple sweet treats including chocolate orange ladybugs that were decadent and as smooth as silk. We also got to sample gelato and to bring home either a brownie pop or S’more pop and another sample of chocolate. We were treated so well, and each sample was sweet perfection.

chocolate covered marshmallows

 

Beacon Hill Chocolates

After I left them, the tour went on to the Copley Square Farmers Market, Turner Fisheries, and Sweet cupcakes. If the second half was anything like the first, I would imagine everyone had a great time.

The Boston Food Finds Beacon Hill/Back Bay food tour was well organized and perfectly paced, with delicious, manageable samples of each culinary destination. Founder and tour guide Audrey had done her homework and was able to share lots of fun facts with us. It was definitely a special experience and one I would recommend.

If you were to put together a food tour, what area or cuisine would it focus on?

 

Disclaimer – I was invited on this tour as a guest and therefore did not pay for the experience. However my opinions and observations are entirely my own.

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Tags: Beacon Hill, Beacon Hill Chocolates, Boston, chocolate, Food, food tour, Savenor's, Scampo

Did you know Boston had food tour just for its East Boston neighborhood? Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t either. But last week, I got a sneak peek of Taste This Eastie Eats Food Tour. . . I am hooked on food tours!

I was excited to be able to join the tour on a gloriously sunny Friday, right before a long weekend. It made it even better that I know the new tour guide, blogger and  Red White Tasting Crew friend Brian.

The tour meets near the water taxis outside the Marriott Long Wharf. Once our group arrived, we hopped aboard the water taxi for a quick ride across Boston Harbor. What a great way to start the tour!

water taxi

Boston skyline

Once we arrived in the East Boston boatyard, we learned a little bit about the area including the unique art installments there, and then headed to Eastie’s beautiful waterfront green space, Piers Park where we got started on the food.

First up, macaroons from St.  Emilion Macaroon Co., the oldest continually operating macaroon company in the US. Not only were the macaroons scrumptious, light fluffy, with that lovely macaroon chew, but the proceeds go to support the St. Thomas Choir School.

St. Emilion macarons

Sitting in the sun, learning about the macaroons and Piers Park was a perfect start to the tour, which then brought us to the adorably funky 303 Café.

 

303 East Boston

Multiple times while sitting in the cozy, relaxed café, I wished it was closer to me. I would totally make it my office! With a killer weekend brunch menu, 303 will definitely be getting a repeat customer in me.

As part of the tour, we sampled one of 303’s signature dishes, ChicaChica Boom Boom Firecracker Chicken, hot, crispy chicken in a spicy sauce with a caramelized onion aioli. More like spicy BBQ chicken, these hit the spot and made my spice-loving taste buds very happy. The caramelized onion in the aioli offered sweetness and a bit of creamy respite from the heat.

spicy chicken

After we said out goodbyes to the friendly staff at 303, we were on our way again through East Boston, passing by a bunch of neat sites including this former firehouse that now houses Zumix, an incredible organization that empowers city youth through music.  East Boston music program

Our next stop was up in the air due to the filming of a movie in East Boston. Looks like the Boston area is becoming Hollywood!

Luckily, Dough was open. I soon learned that this is another must-visit place in East Boston.

Dough , East Boston

Dough

As a Phish fan, the décor made me smile (going to my first show in MANY years next week!). And as a sandwich fan, the food made me very happy.

sandwiches

The ingredients were so fresh, and the flavor combinations were creative and enticing. I especially loved the curry chicken salad, but as you can see, Dough offers a ton of different options, really something for everyone!

curry chicken salad sandwich

Dough menu

After cooling off over sandwiches, we headed to our final stop of the day, passing some interesting landmarks on the way including this mural which outlines the cultural history of East Boston. Lots of different immigrant groups have made their way through the neighborhood over the years!

East Boston

Our last stop was a place I have been wanting to try for awhile, Ecco. With its dimly lit interior, extensive cocktail menu, and sleek furnishings, Ecco could be right out of the Back Bay, but it boasts East Boston prices.

Ecco menu

For our tour, Ecco was dessert, cold cups of coconut ice cream, a welcome relief from the sun and heat outside.

coconut gelato

In the future, the tour will include more stops; as I mentioned this was a sneak peek. Still, I thought it was brilliant. I loved the food portions; a full meal at each place is just too much for me.  And I really loved discovering East Boston, its eateries, green spaces, and friendly residents, especially the kind woman who walked me in the direction of the boatyard on my way back. If I can get lost, I will! Smile

Is there a neighborhood of your city or area of your town you would like to explore more?

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Tags: Boston, Food, food tour, Travel

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