Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An Italian road trip & finding gems along the way {Il Mulino del Porticello}

Mulino del Porticello Capo Vaticano Ricadi

A last minute search for accommodation in Calabria turned into a favorite highlight of this summer's Italian road trip

We were en route from Basilicata to Sicilia, only looking for an overnight stay along the way, when we spotted this incredible family compound near Capo Vaticano on AirbnbAfter browsing just a few photographs we booked for the next day. And after an exhosting day of driving and sightseeing along the way we found our way down a rugged country road to the grand surprise that was Il Porticello

Airbnb Mulino del Porticello Capo Vaticano RicadiIl Mulino del Porticello Capo Vaticano Ricadi

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Il Gemellaggio Toscano {part 2} & an enchanted garden in Montalcino


If you have been following this blog, you may recall another Tuscan dinner earlier last month, part one of a so called "gemellaggio" - a twinning of sorts based on the European concept of connecting two regions, sharing experiences, recipes and making new connections along the way.

We full heartedly embraced the concept with our friends Clelia and Andrea of Agriturismo Il Baciarino when we accepted the invitation to a dinner in Raffaella Cova's enchanted garden outside of Montalcino.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Il Gemellaggio Toscano, a seafood dinner with {mostly Italian} friends

Cucina di Andrea Vetulonia Il Baciarino

I am a late adapter to Instagram, for years rolling my eyes about the concept of snapping photos with a cell phone - and therefore not realizing how exciting a community I would "meet" until finally joining last year.

After a year of connecting virtually with an interesting group of people from around the globe, this dinner was an exciting first ~ organized by the amazing Katja Meier, who I had met last year via Instagram when we realized we both had a connection to a small agriturismo in Maremma:  Il Baciarino, the host of this memorable dinner ...

Cucina di Andrea Vetulonia Il Baciarino

Monday, April 13, 2015

An classic oven and an ancient taste of Rome in San Francisco { Montesacro }

Montesacro SF Pinseria
A first sneak peek at one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in San Francisco this spring, at least on my radar ~ say Benvenuto to Montesacro Pinseria Romana e Enoteca !

Montesacro is not only the first pinseria romana* to open in the United States, it's also a striking restaurant space: classic tile, peeling paint, rustic chairs and the dining room's centerpiece, a gigantic vintage bread oven, make it feel like the space has been there forever. Crazy side story: not even the landlord was aware of the15x15x8ft oven, excavated during renovation and over 100 years old, that was hidden behind solid walls of sheetrock for the past decades. It turns out the oven was once part of a restaurant operation at one point spanning 20+ venues all across the city.

at Montesacro Pinseria Romana in San Francisco - photo by Julia Spiess

Friday, April 10, 2015

Springtime in the city & dinner with Diego


If you have been following this blog, you might already know Diego {he's made appearances herehere and here}. His mom is French, his dad is German, he is growing up in San Francisco and his beloved nanny is Latina, so he's not just tri, but actually quad-lingual ~ a fact that amazes me every time I get to spend time {& have conversations} with this little guy.
The other weekend we shared the dinner table at his parents' home, where a beautiful spring table had been set for an impromptu sunset dinner ...


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SAVEUR Blog Awards '15 nominations announced { please vote! }

Saveur Blog Awards '15 Best Home, Style & Design Coverage #savblogawards

Last weekend brought some exciting news: I was thrilled to learn dinners with friends had been named a finalist in this year's SAVEUR Blog Awards {Best Home, Style & Design Coverage} ~ so first of all, a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all who nominated this little blog!

On top of that I am beyond excited to be surrounded by such an illustrious group of nominees from all over the globe ~ my friend Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome {Best Culinary Travel} along with all-time favorite blogs Orangette {Best Writing}, Apt.2B Baking Co. {Best Baking & Desserts}, Kraut|Kopf {Best Design}, happy yolks {Best Writing}, two red bowls {Most Delicious Food} and so many others ... 

To join the conversation {& hopefully chime in on the final voting}, please head over to SAVEUR Blog Awards '15!

Follow along on Instagram ...

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all photos © dinners with friends

{ for good karma, please kindly ask before pulling an image & please link/credit when re-posting }
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