Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Saint Martha restaurant is pleasant surprise

Saint Martha interior

Saint Martha interior

It’s rare that a restaurant truly surprises you. Sure, I’ve thought that many dishes at many restaurants were good — very good, even. But to find what is almost literally a diamond in the rough is simply a delight.

That’s what I found in Saint Martha, a new restaurant in a Koreatown strip mall serving up modern American cuisine. Following in the footsteps of Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Trois Mec and Petit Trois, Saint Martha restaurant offers a fine-dining experience in an unassuming location. Named for the patron saint of cooks and servants, Saint Martha is the brainchild of the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel and TART restaurant team. Executive Chef and partner Nick Erven (formerly of Mess Hall) and General Manager and Sommelier Mary Thompson have put together a food and drink menu that would be impressive even if the restaurant weren’t in a strip mall.

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17

08 2014

Travelogue: Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Our third major stop in Greece was the island of Santorini. Yes, it’s touristy, but for good reason. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen and experienced. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back immediately!

Also known as Thera or Thira (you will find that many places have multiple names in Greece due to its history of invasions from other cultures), this is the island that you often seen in photos showing blue and white domed buildings perched high up on a cliff. That cliff is the side of Santorini’s famous caldera, which was formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.

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09

02 2014

Travelogue: the Peloponnese, Greece

Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal

After a few days in Athens, my husband, Rory, and I headed for the open Greek road on the Peloponnese. We hit up Corinth, Nafplio, Stoupa (for the wedding) and Ancient Olympia.

Driving in Greece

Driving in Greece wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. For one thing, the Greeks drive on the right side of the road, so we didn’t have to worry about driving on the left. There’s also a national network of highways that never seems to have any traffic, so that’s also a plus. It’s only when you’re driving through small villages — which we did on our way back to Athens from Olympia — that it gets tricky. Yes, some of the streets in Athens are small, but some of the “roads” in Greek villages are only roads in the academic sense; they really did not look like any road a car should be driving on!

Corinth

Our first stop was Corinth, where we stopped for pics of the canal (pictured above) before we made our way to the beach. Pro tip: while you can find English speakers in much of Greece, the folks who worked in the restaurants along the beach in Corinth did not speak English very well. We were surprised since Corinth is only an hour outside Athens. This made trying to find beach towels to buy difficult! However, we discovered here that restaurants often have beach chairs that you can use for free as long as you buy something, even if it’s just a drink. They have servers who come out to you, too. I wish we had this kind of service in Los Angeles as a matter of course!

A beach in Corinth

A beach in Corinth

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21

10 2013

Dine L.A. Restaurant Week Pick: GORGE

Beer Sausage

Beer sausage

There’s one more week left for Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, and if you’re going to go to one place, I suggest you try GORGE, a cozy house-made charcuterie and wine bar from Top Chef alumna Elia Aboumrad and pastry chef Uyen Nguyen (Le Cirque, Craftsteak, Restaurant Guy Savoy). GORGE is located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood just steps away from old-school rock hangouts the Roxy and Rainbow Room. Not exactly where one might expect to find such fine food, so all the more reason to patronize the place!

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27

01 2013

Upstairs, downstairs: Simmzy’s offers upscale food in a comfy space

Simmzy's Long Beach

Simmzy’s Long Beach

Want to have a nice meal with good food and drink but don’t want to deal with having to dress up? Then Simmzy’s is your place.

Founded by brothers Mike Simms, who also owns Tin Roof Bistro and M.B. Post, and Chris Simms, owner of Lazy Dog Cafe, Simmzy’s is a casual pub with an upscale menu — a gastropub, if you will. Chef Anne Conness works it out with creative (but not too creative as to be off-putting) dishes, such as the Bacon & Date Mascarpone Pizza and the addictive Blue Cheese Haystack (shoestring fries smothered in blue cheese dressing, garlic and spicy sauce).

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29

07 2012

Fall wine tastings at Monsieur Marcel

From SallyKitt via Flickr

Monsieur Marcel, the gourmet market at The Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, is hosting a series of wine tastings this fall. It costs $30 to $35 to reserve a spot, and in turn, you’ll receive a gift certificate for the full amount of the tasting that you can then use toward the purchase of any of the market’s imported wines. Here’s the lineup:

Tuesday, October 18
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
South of France with a white, rosé and three reds from lesser-known regions
$30

Tuesday, October 25
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Four Côtes du Rhône red wines, including a Chateauneuf-du-Pape
$30

Tuesday, November 1
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Champagne and vin mousseux: two sparkling wines and three bottles from the Champagne region
$35

Reservations are required to secure a space in each tasting. Call (323) 939-7792 to get your spot.

17

10 2011

It’s All About the Crust: Urbano Pizza Bar

Selvatica Pesto Pizza at Urbano Pizza Bar

Selvatica Pesto Pizza at Urbano Pizza Bar

What goes nicely with beer and other libations? Pizza, of course!

Urbano Pizza Bar, conveniently located next to Library Bar at 6th and Hope streets, offers a great food option. With pizza crust that’s perfectly chewy and crisp at the same time, as well as good side dishes and respectable beer and wine lists, Urbano is a new go-to for downtown revelers.

Chef Brad Winnaman, best known for his baking skills with stints at La Brea Bakery and Campanile, has created a menu focused on Neapolitan-style pizza and some stand-out bread, which obviously includes the crust and extends to grilled bread topped with crushed tomato sauce and/or hearty meatballs. Winnaman has had help from Top Chef alum and The Gorbals chef Ilan Hall, who was on-hand the night we visited.

Urbano Pizza Bar

Urbano Pizza Bar

Ilan Hall

Ilan Hall

Our favorite pizzas included the seasonal Scimmietta made with pureed pumpkin spread across the crust topped with applewood-smoked bacon, scallions and goat cheese, as well as the Selvatica (shown above) made with basil pesto, slow-roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil leaves and burrata. While the Selvatica was more traditional in flavor, the Scimmietta was a nice departure from the norm.

We were also impressed with the side dishes, especially the Mozzarella Trio and charred corn with balsamic butter. The Mozzarella Trio includes burrata with roasted tomato and basil pesto, smoked mozzarella with grilled radicchio and crushed tomato, and mozzarella with cherry tomato and basil oil. All were complementary combinations. And the charred corn took on a whole new dimension of flavor with the balsamic butter, which melted all over the corn and created a savory, creamy, smoky concoction.

Mozzarella Trio

Mozzarella Trio

Charred Corn with Balsamic Butter

Charred Corn with Balsamic Butter

Hall plans to continue helping out with the menu for a while longer, but rest assured Winnaman’s delicious bread will be a staple at Urbano. Paired with a glass of California central coast wine or a pint of locally brewed beer, such as the Craftsman 1903 Pale Lager, you’ll have a tasty meal.

Note: This was originally posted on LAist. This meal was hosted.

26

09 2011

Travelogue: California’s Central Coast, Part 1

The view from Highway 46 from Paso Robles to Cambria

I’m back! Rory and I have returned from our honeymoon, which we split into two parts: the California central coast and Oahu, Hawaii. This post will focus on the first half of our trip.

While both of us had driven to and from Northern California many times, neither of us had spent much time on the central coast. And because Rory had a short film screening at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, we decided we would take our time — a whole week — to drive ourselves up there, stopping along the way to enjoy our beautiful state. And what a beauty she is. The cute towns, the gorgeous coastline — I would do this drive again in a heartbeat.

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23

05 2011

How to celebrate National Drink Wine Day

Wine Glasses

Wine? Why not! Photo by Christina Lam.

This Friday, Feb. 18, is National Drink Wine Day. Now, we all know that you don’t need a special reason to drink wine, but now you can say you’re doing your civic duty when your boss asks why you’re having that bottle — er, glass — of pinot at 10:00 a.m.

Here are a few ways to celebrate.

While not technically happening on National Drink Wine Day, Pourtal wine bar is hosting tonight a screening of the documentary “Merlove: A Documentary about Merlot” with writer and director Rudolf McClain. As you watch, sip on some of the bar’s merlot Merlove and white wine Labor of Love-themed wines. Screening is free, but the wine costs money.

Pourtal
104 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

On Friday, downtown Los Angeles’ Corkbar will offer a specially-priced flight of three wines for $10. And if you check in on Foursquare and unlock the Swarm badge, you’ll get extended happy hour specials, including $2 off drafts, $8 select wines and half-priced select appetizers, for the rest of the night.

Corkbar
403 W. 12th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Also, Napa Valley Grille in Westwood will host Friday a “Guess the Grape” game led by Wine Director Christina Sherwood. Guests will be invited to sample a grape varietal not listed on the menu, and if they answer correctly will be rewarded with a complimentary glass of wine. Free wine, woo!

Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Ave. Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90024

16

02 2011

Bits and pieces: Artisanal L.A., Barkley Pet Hotel, The Food Event

Bakelab goodies. From Bakelab.

Artisanal L.A.: This weekend-long shopping, tasting and educational event comes from those who brought you the L.A. Street Food Fest and Unique L.A., so you know it’ll be fun. Artisanal L.A. will showcase the city’s finest local, sustainable and handmade edibles, including treats from Bakelab, Cake Monkey Bakery, Bonadea Drinks, Scoops and The Oaks Gourmet, among many others. For $10 (advance purchase; $15 at the door), you’ll get unlimited entry for two days to enjoy all this plus local craft beer and spirits tastings, a one-of-a-kind tote bag for the first 1,000 attendees, arts and crafts workshops, speakers and chef demonstrations, giveaways, Pitchfork’s Mud Baron giving out seedlings, and gift wrap hosted by Uncouth Gourmands benefiting the LA Regional Food Bank. Partial proceeds will benefit Los Angeles Unified School District’s Edible School Gardens.

The Cooper Building
860 S. Los Angeles St., 11th Floor Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Oct. 23 and Oct. 24
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa: Billed as the Ritz-Carlton of pet hotels, The Barkley is opening up this weekend in Westlake. While there are other shi-shi pet hotels, including D Pet Hotels, what makes this place unique is its inclusion of birds and exotics in its description of “pets.” Now you can house your dog, cat, bird and snake all at the same place! There are overnight accommodations, grooming and spa services, day camp, obedience training, and pick-up and delivery service. The full-service day spa services include baths, body massages, mud-masks and “pawdicures.” Prices start at $45 per night. Not too shabby, huh? If you’d like to check it out, there will be sneak preview tours this weekend with entertainment, auctions, raffles and food with all proceeds benefiting local pet charities. Advance tickets are free with registration.

The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa
31166 Via Colinas
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Preview tours Oct. 23 and Oct. 24
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Grand opening Oct. 25

The Food Event: Los Angeles magazine’s annual event will also be celebrating the magazine’s 50th anniversary and its November “Mexican Food Lovers Guide” issue. The day will feature chefs, culinary experts and sommeliers with lots of unlimited food, wine and other treats, including the Top Chef Masters panel in the Conversation Lounge. Some of the luminaries scheduled to appear are Susan Feniger of Street and Border Grill, Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant, Laurent Quenioux of Bistro LQ, Ian Blackburn of LearnAboutWine and more. On top of all that is the location of the event, Saddlerock Ranch in the Malibu hills, home to Semler and Saddlerock wines. Nice!

Saddlerock Ranch
31727 Mulholland Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Oct. 24
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
$95 in advance (for $5 more get a one-year subscription to Los Angeles magazine, too); $110 at the door

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10 2010