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Rosé is always in season in this house. While I curse the weather outside, I can sit by the fire with a glass of summer, cozy, warm, and dreaming of boating and wine country. It doesn’t hurt that Rosé is so good with food. This past long weekend we made tuna steaks with a delicious ginger sesame sauce (recipe to come) and I thought a bottle from the Dry Creek Valley would be a nice throwback to our last visit to Sonoma County.

Martorana Rose of Zinfandel This 2014 Martorana Family Winery Rosé of Zinfandel was the perfect pairing for the tuna. Dry, with lots of fresh mineral/stone notes and a hint of strawberry, for me this was the perfect style of Rosé. Not only was it delicious, but it went really well with the hearty tuna steaks and the spice and saltiness of the marinade.

The wine also brought back great memories of visiting their friendly tasting room on a scorching hot late summer day, a day where we also visited Truett Hurst for a glass of wine by the river. Bliss.

Healdsburg Truett Hurst Martorana wine tasting Sonoma County wine country

For other Dry Creek Valley wine posts:

Lambert Bridge Winery

Amista Vineyards

Dry Creek Valley (a VERY old post!)

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Tags: Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine of the week, wine tasting

With family all over the place, we tend to travel for just about every holiday. While I love seeing family and mixing things up, it can also be a bit of a slog to always have to hop in the car for a traffic-laden ride or to deal with airport crowds during the holiday season. Making fun little stops along the way on road trips can make them feel a little less like a chore and more like an adventure.

On our way home from Christmas in New Jersey, we found ourselves hungry just over the border in New York state, and when I say hungry, I actually mean my blood sugar dropped and I needed to EAT now or harm someone. That happens to everyone, right?

We pulled off the highway in Newburgh, New York expecting to land at a Dunkin’ Donuts or diner, something that would be quick so we could be on our way again. Instead we drove right past North Plank Tavern, a sweet old house with a bright, friendly OPEN flag flying from its doorway.


North Plank Tavern

The cheerful outside against the gray December sky called to us, and since we had plenty of time before dinner plans in Boston, we decided to have a sit down meal and to take our time, something I am not very good at.

We walked inside and were instantly charmed by the narrow doorways and dark wood. We popped our heads in the dining rooms first and finally settled into the empty bar, where we were soon welcomed. My photos aren’t great as I was trying to not have my phone out during a meal, something I want to get better at, but they do give an idea of this historic tavern’s look and feel.

North Plank Tavern

North Plank Tavern North Plank Tavern historic tavern

According to our host and the North Plank Tavern website:

The Tavern has a storied past.  It was  originally built as a hotel along a plank road, and became a Tavern and boarding house.  During prohibition, the Tavern continued to serve alcohol and operated as a speakeasy.

The boarding house was owned by Mrs. Sauer, whose name and photo can be seen in photos above. The space was enchanting; I love history and trying to imagine what things were like in different periods. It also felt a wee bit creepy; I am a strong believer in lingering spirits and always hope to encounter them in old houses! Except my own that is. . .

I love the above photo from the restaurant website, a trap door with Prohibition-era liquor underneath.

North Plank Tavern old fashioned doornautical decor

For an old tavern, I expected the menu to match, with classics and pub-type food. We were pleasantly surprised at the gourmet aspect of the restaurant.

Burrata Tomato Salad

The brunch menu featured an INCREDIBLE truffled Burrata salad with oven-roasted tomatoes. It was absolutely to-die-for and even better because it was NOT what I expected when we stopped for food.

My husband had the slab bacon (naturally) with eggs and home fries, all also excellent. The North Plank Tavern has a big smoker out back, where the bacon was made, it the bacon was delicious. So smoky, meaty, tender, so much better than regular old bacon.

The service was lovely, and the vibe was relaxed. We’ll be planning drives around meals here in the future. I can’t wait to check out the dinner menu,

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Tags: Food, historic restaurant, history, New York, New York State, North Plank Tavern, speakeasy, tavern, Travel

I hope you are having a nice holiday season! I’ve been busy visiting family and wrapping up a very busy work year but wanted to share a few favorites from the Christmas season to keep the cheer alive, especially as the weather in Boston has turned downright gross! Wishing you all a Happy New Year . . . see you in 2016!

Four Seasons Boston Wandering Boston and taking in the decorations at the Four Seasons


Old South Church Boston

Listening to choir practice and feeling thankful at the Old South Church

 Christmas lights

Driving around Milton looking at the beautiful Christmas lights Christmas tree

bubble lights

Loving the old fashioned Christmas decorations on my mom’s Christmas tree

milk and cookies Milk and homemade cookies every night before bed

kerrygold cheese  Incredible food gifts like this package from Kerrygold, makers of the best Irish butter and cheese ever. I received this as part of the Kerrygold blogger network, but we basically don’t buy any other butter ever. It’s the best.


family Spending so much time with my niece and nephew! I spent a week at home, which is the longest amount of time I have spent there in many, many years.



Cuteness from my mom’s new rescue kitten, Gabby


pomegranate for Champagne

wine Pomegranates and Champagne, what a delicious and festive combo!


IMG_1958 Christmas dinner prime rib string bean casserole Christmas dinner favorites, including prime rib with horseradish sauce and the classic string bean casserole. I love it.

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Tags: Christmas, family, holidays, lifestyle, NJ, Travel

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