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Élephante – Santa Monica, CA

The restaurant scene is very different in LA – no surprise there – but when we showed up for brunch at Élephante we were met by a hostess stand on the sidewalk and then directed to the elevator to the roof.  I felt like I was in my 20’s showing up to a club!

The space is beautiful – think Mediterranean meets Cabo – at least that was my take.  Earthy tones and natural materials, cacti, plants, water features, fireplaces, gorgeous central bar and then the view…the restaurant is completely open on one side facing the beach and ocean.  They definitely killed it on the space!

For food we ordered the Green Eggs and Avocado Toast.  Both very good, not super filling, but great flavors and beautiful presentation.  I’d be so curious to see what this place is like at night, not to mention the dinner menu looks delicious.  Go if you can get in:)

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Green Eggs – soft scramble, zucchini, avocado, arugula, parmesan, salsa verde

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Avocado Toast – crispy chili, lemon, sung olds, herbs

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Ralph’s – Paris, France

Imagine The Ivy transplanted to Paris and then add beautiful Parisian waiters – yes please!  I was first recommended Ralph’s by an acquaintance that lived in Paris for years.  And then I read mixed reviews online, some thought it to be overrated while others couldn’t give it enough praise.  I already had a reservation for lunch and thought best to make my own opinion.  It was lovely!  Everything about it.  Set in a beautiful outdoor courtyard in the middle of the Ralph Lauren store, it’s comfortable and so relaxing.  The food did not disappoint either.  We couldn’t resist the cute little lobster rolls for a starter (a special that day) and then I couldn’t resist the lobster salad.  Stunning!

I have a hard time recommending lunch spots in Paris to friends simply because I find it fun to just stumble upon cute little bistros while out and about.  This would be an exception though if you’re looking for a nice civilized break in the day.  Reservations recommended.  Enjoy!

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Trokay – Truckee, CA

You never know what you’re going to get in mountain towns but until recently gourmet hasn’t been on the top of the list unless we’re talking about Aspen or Vail Colorado.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than juicy burgers, a cold beer and a greasy spoon diner for breakfast when I’m near the mountains but this was a very pleasant surprise.  Molecular gastronomy mixed with a bit of comfort food as well as classic French dishes.  Very unique, very seasonal and very well done.  If you’re looking for a nice night out don’t overlook this place.

You have three menu choices at Trokay.  The Prix Fixe Menu for $85 (4 courses), the Chef’s Tasting Menu for $145 (10 courses), or the A La Carte Menu.  Although a lot of the items we ordered were on the Prix Fixe Menu, we decided to order off the A La Carte Menu to get exactly what we wanted.

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Baby Heirloom Beets with Redwood Hill Farms Chèvre, Candied Native American Black Walnut Vinaigrette and Petite Mache

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Maryland Soft Shell Crab Tempura with Pickled Fresno Pepper, Creole Remoulade, Fried Capers and Heirloom Lettuces

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Kauai White Shrimp a la Nage with Piri Piri Beurre Fondue, Local Gristmill White Polenta and Baby Corn

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The Lobster Roll Restaurant – Amagansett, NY

Yes, this is the same place where they’ve filmed The Affair on Showtime.  I’ve never seen it but immediately when I posted a picture on Instagram, friends started asking and because of the posters and mention on their website, I know it’s the spot.

My husband and I spent a couple of days in the Hamptons this summer and rented a car one day to explore up the coast.  We discovered that each town has it’s own cute feel.  While driving to Montauk we couldn’t help but notice this place on the side of the road and immediately turned in for a lunch stop.  Good choice us!  What do you order when the restaurant has a HUGE sign on it’s roof advertising it’s lobster roll?  A lobster roll of course!!!  Mmmm mmmm…DE-licious!  I wouldn’t really mess around with much else but that’s just me (my husband did have a tasty crab cake to start).

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Sadelle’s – New York, NY

I first got wind of this place through an article in Lucky Peach magazine.  I quickly went online to read people’s reviews and honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.  Some people raved while others claimed it was grossly overrated.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous that I might get the stink eye if I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my turn to order but a year later my husband and I finally ventured in (it took a year because we are out-of-towners – we’re not that lazy) and ate in rather than ordered to go.  What a beautiful space!  It took me forever to decide what I was going to get but I finally committed to the Leo – eggs with house salmon and caramelized onions topped with créme fraîche, fresh dill and chives.  Yes!  Oh…and I forgot to mention my bagel and cream cheese on the side.  I couldn’t help myself.  I mean the whole reason we went was for the bagels right?!  My husband got the house salmon which was actually the most beautiful tower of bagel accoutrements – house salmon, tomato, cucumber, onions, capers, dill, chives and avocado.  I’m already looking forward to going back this winter so I guess that tells you what I think about it.

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Workshop Kitchen + Bar – Palm Springs, CA

One of my favorites in Palm Springs!  This time I was with a group of girlfriends and we sat outside which was so lovely (hence the dark photos sorry).  Because there was a good group of us, we were able to order a lot of plates to share.

Not pictured was the Valrhona Flourless Chocolate Terrine with salted peanut butter ice cream and housemade marshmallow – do I even need to say how good it was?

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Crispy Local Goat Cheese, braised lentils, glazed beet, scallion

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Roasted Heirloom Carrots, Temecula farms avocado honey, avocado oil, black garlic, county line farm baby mustard greens

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Wood-Fired Pizza – daily special

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts, red currants, rising c ranch pomelo pipits, cabernet vinegar, pumpkin seed oil, pecorino romano

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Marinated Baby Market Beets, local arugula, weiser farms carrot, harry’s strawberries, dill créme fraiche, grilled rye

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Market Veggie Enchiladas, poblano roasted peppers, spaghetti squash, kale, grilled tomatillo sauce, cotija cheese, topped with a fried egg

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Grilled Organic Jidori Chicken Diabolo, spicy mustard rub, sage red quinoa, rapini with garlic

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Local Goat Cheesecake, ha’s pear compote

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The Wandering Goose – Seattle, WA

Why don’t I go here more often?!  This place is ridiculously good.  I was in the mood for a biscuit sandwich this time which didn’t disappoint.  I added homemade sausage to it and ate every crumb on my plate.  I’ve had their Little Gem Salad with fried chicken in the past and that was equally as scrumptious just not as breakfast savory.  Don’t hold back here – let yourself be tempted by the gorgeous cakes and treats – just don’t count your calories.  You’ll want to try them all!

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The Easy – egg & cheese biscuit sandwich with sausage added

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