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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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