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jugofresh – Miami, FL

I’ve decided when I travel it’s a good idea to research good juice/smoothie spots since it’s something I do at home on a regular basis and the healthy nutrients can’t hurt. I can across jugofresh in an article I was reading and without even mapping it out, stumbled upon one when exploring The Wynwood Walls.  I’m not a banana lover like most so I was immediately drawn to the Verano Fresh – coconut water, pineapple, mango, coconut meat, date and spirulina.  It was described as being hydrating, energizing and anti-inflammatory.  Perfect…and that it was!

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Navy – New York, NY

What a neighborhood gem!  So unassuming from the outside but cozy and sweet once you walk in the front door.  The staff couldn’t have been more amazing.  So accommodating and welcoming.  They truly made the experience twice as great.

Everything we ordered was outstanding.  The unique flavors stood out remarkably making each dish so interesting.  I kept taking bites trying to figure out what I was tasting.  I would order everything we had that night over and over again.  What a meal!  If only we lived there, they would surely know us by name.

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Crudo – coco-lime, avocado, pickled chili, cilantro

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Lettuces – puffed kasha, buttermilk dressing

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Smoked Mackerel – carrots, charred scallion, olive aioli

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Crispy Sweet Potato – olives, almonds, sumac yogurt

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Zucchini & Broccoli Fritters – nigella, mustard seed, dill

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Pork & Beans – smoked butterbeans, braised cabbage

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Carbone – New York, NY

Wow!  I don’t know where to start.  From the moment you walk into this restaurant you know you’ve made the right choice (actually, maybe the first clue was when the concierge at our hotel was shocked I actually got a reservation).  From the outside it’s completely nondescript.  You can’t see anything because there are drawn velvet curtains hiding what lies within.  When you open the door you feel as if you’ve stepped into an old Italian mobster hangout with some serious class.  The photos on the website do the decor and atmosphere NO justice whatsoever.

I loved everything about this meal.  The staff was great, the food was so flavorful that I had to tell myself to stop before I got too full and I loved the decor.

I have to mention that I had a little bit of order envy once I saw the woman next to me get her pasta.  I believe it was the Fettuccine con Fungi.  At first glance on the menu I assumed it was pasta with mushrooms when in fact it was fresh truffles on top…huge miss there but there’s always next time!  I highly, highly recommend the artichoke hearts.  They were the most flavorful presentation I’ve ever had and I could eat these all day long.  The Angel Hair AOP was loaded with flavor all the while being nice and light.  Tasty, tasty, tasty all around!

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Octopus Pizzaiolo

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Artichoke Hearts

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Angel Hair AOP

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Cheesecake

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Estela – New York, NY

We heard about this restaurant from our chef friends in Seattle and weren’t able to go last year so we made it a priority this time.  Definitely worth it.  Such a cozy intimate spot that makes for a relaxing dinner.

My husband LOVED the beef tartare.  There were crispy bits of sunchoke in it which gave it great texture.  I can never say no to burrata when I see it on a menu.  This one was topped on a delicious piece of grilled bread surrounded by bright salsa verde.  So good!

Our mains included the fried arroz negro with squid and romesco and the swordfish with avocado, Meyer lemon and almonds.  Both were outstanding.  Not one bit was left on our plates.  Dessert was just as incredible.  Panna cotta with vinegar and honey – perfection!

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Burrata with salsa verde and charred bread

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Beef tartare with sunchoke

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Fried arroz negro with squid and romesco

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Panna cotta with vinegar and honey

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Black Seed Bagels – New York, NY

What’s more quintessential New York than a great bagel?!  Well there are lots of things but I always try to find THE best bagel when I’m there.  Last year it was Russ & Daughters (delicious) – this year Black Seed.  Because I’m pregnant I couldn’t indulge in their homemade lox, however I tend to be a purist with my bagels anyway.  An everything bagel with plain cream cheese…it’s been my order for years.  This one didn’t disappoint and I would definitely go back.  Maybe for an egg sandwich next time.  Yum!

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Giada – Las Vegas, NV

During a fun 48 hr getaway to Vegas with some girlfriends, I got the opportunity to indulge in Giada’s new restaurant which was conventionally located in my hotel, The Cromwell.  I’m a huge fan of Giada’s food and have been wanting to try her restaurant for a while now.  I can whole heartedly say it did not disappoint.  Everything we had was so flavorful and different.  Even the butter was upgraded with mascarpone and lemon.  Hello delicious!

Standout dishes include the grilled artichokes with lemon aioli, the imported burrata with balsamic salt and the tortellini with pea pesto, pancetta and mint.  The desserts were divine!  I can’t remember exactly what they were but they were seasonal and such a great end to our amazing meal.

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Orzo Meatballs with parmesan pomodoro

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Grilled Artichokes with lemon aioli

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Wood Roasted Mushrooms with toasted marcona almonds & ricotta salata

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Imported Burrata with balsamic-salt

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Arugula, candied lemon, crispy pancetta & parmigiano-reggiano

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Tortellini, pea pesto, pancetta & mint

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Ravioli, lobster, asparagus tips & tarragon

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Pappardelle, pork ragout, parmigiano-reggiano

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Spaghetti, shrimp, lemon & basil

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and for good reason…I’ve brought another Good Eater into the world:)  Welcome Maxwell!  At 8 months he’s taking the food world by storm and so far has lots of favorites, making his mama proud.  Stay tuned for some new restaurants and recipes to come!

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Gott’s Roadside – St. Helena, CA

Formerly known as Taylor’s Refresher, Gott’s is THE burger spot in town!   There are 3 locations in the greater Bay Area – The Ferry Building in San Francisco, The Oxbow Market in Napa and here off of highway 29 in St. Helena.  Most burger joints just offer the expected – hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, shakes, etc.  Not the case here.  There’s everything from your traditional bacon cheeseburger to shrimp tacos and chinese chicken salad.

On a recent visit with my husband and some friends, we all chose something different.  I went for the Spicy Chicken Sandwich which was very satisfying however I could have used a little more kick!  My husband went classic and got the Bacon Cheeseburger which was perfect, juicy and everything you would want in a cheeseburger.  I definitely had to steal a bite:)  Along with fries and onion rings (the best I’ve had!), we splurged and also got the special zucchini fries.  How can you say no to something that has “while they last” in parenthesis next to them?  I’ve been on a zucchini kick so I really liked them however when looking back at my pictures I realized what was missing…the home made ranch sauce they said came with them.  Darn!  Next time.

The cute picnic area out back where we enjoyed our insanely indulgent lunch

Bacon Cheeseburger – American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles & secret sauce served on a toasted egg bun

Spicy Chicken – grilled, chili spice-marinated chicken breast, sliced avocado, Mexican slaw, cilantro sour cream & charred jalapeño mayo on a toasted sourdough roll

Zucchini Fries

 

 

 

Anchovies & Olives – Seattle

This has got to be one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Seattle.  I used to frequent Oceanaire when it was downtown but now that it’s gone I’ve had to find my seafood fix and Anchovies & Olives definitely does that and more.  It’s one of Ethan Stowell’s amazing restaurants.  Each is pretty different in flavor and style but this one stands out the most being that it’s only seafood on the menu.

The menu has just been expanded to offer more of each course – Chicceti, Crudo, Primi and Secondi.  It’s not uncommon for my husband and me to order some of our favorites off the menu every time (the Bigoli is always amazing!) but on our last visit we tried a few new dishes.   Some were hits, a couple were misses…below are the highlights…

*Ethan (the server not Stowell) is great…if you can sit in his section do!

Ahi tuna, avocado, hot coppa, pickled radish – this dish is normally served with Escolar but the Ahi was great!

Grilled octopus, potato, orange, Fresno chili

Sea scallop, red pepper, tomato, mint, lime

Potato gnocchi, octopus & prosciutto bolognese, mint, oregano

Here I go…the food journey begins!  Although I will be sharing my favorite and newly explored restaurants with you, please feel free to send me your recommendations as I love to indulge in new food all the time!

My goal is to simply share with you what I love, not what I don’t.  I don’t care to share negative experiences or food with you rather open your eyes to what I think you should try if you haven’t already done so.

Enjoy!

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