Sunday, September 14, 2014

A fun Sunday sunset with Vin Social {Grand Banks Oyster Bar}

Grand Banks Oyster Bar NYC

Last Friday I headed to New York City, on invitation by the lovely Karen & Sara of Vin Social, to capture Vin Social's fabulous Sip & Sail wine tasting event the following evening. 

Unfortunately, the event ultimately got postponed due to inclement weather {new Sip & Sail date is September 27th}, so we made up for the loss with an impromptu sunset dinner at Grand Banks Oyster Bar the following evening. The fabulous new oyster bar is located aboard the historic F/V Sherman Zwicker,  a huge salt bank fishing vessel on the Hudson River and the last of a large fleet of schooners that fished the Grand Banks of the North Atlantic. Docked at Pier 25 in Tribeca, we got to enjoy glorious sunset views of the Hudson River, from the Statue of Liberty to the Jersey City skyline …

Vin Social NYCGrand Banks Oyster Bar in NYCVin Social NYC at Grand Banks Oyster Bar NYC

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Discovering Capay Valley & a picnic lunch at Riverdog Farm {Nopalize Seasons}

Nopalize Seasons Riverdog Farm {photo © Julia Spiess 2014}
Nopalize Seasons Riverdog Farm
Last Thursday came with a generous invitation: to join Chef Laurence Jossel of Nopa & the Nopalize team for their second Nopalize Seasons event - a curated series of unique events and excursions - all with a common theme, sharing access to local growers, producers, makers and discovering the origins of our food. The day's destination was stunning Capay Valley, a tour of Riverdog Farm & an amazing picnic lunch prepared with Riverdog Farm produce & meats by Chef Laurence Jossel & team. 

Nopalize Seasons Riverdog Farm {photo © Julia Spiess 2014}Nopalize Seasons Riverdog Farm {photo © Julia Spiess 2014}

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A rustic retreat & dinners with Mount Tamalpais views

Airbnb Rustic Retreat in Marin County
This summer we really started to embrace airbnb for spontaneous getaways {e.g. some early summer days at a tiny a-frame on the Russian River} So when this unique artist retreat, high up in the Marin hills, popped up in this week's listings, it made a perfect destination for a last minute escape across the bridge. Working from an art filled home nestled under ancient oak trees, enjoying total peace & quiet {just 35 minutes away from the city}, watching the coastal fog roll in and out around Mount Tamalpais - all while prepping easy summer dishes in the well equipped kitchen ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A mid century aperitivo in Palm Springs

While in the desert last week, we received a surprise invitation to a fabulous mid century Palm Springs home for a mid week aperitivo. Mary Kay & Eric live in the quintessential Palm Springs home - from the cactus garden out front to the shaded courtyard with pool and amazing views of the San Jacinto Mountains in the sunset ...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy summer cooking & refreshing cocktails in the desert {Ferragosto}

Last week we managed to take the office on the road, escaping to a favorite hideout in the desert for some lazy days in the sun and to visit our friend Nancy {plus Hector & Carbón} and spending the days leading up to Ferragosto coming up with an endless list of easy summer dishes. Plus, the perfect summer cocktail ...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fabulous summer night aperitivo & dinner in San Francisco {Una Serata a Roma}

Negroni Sbagliato 54 Mint Tablehopper Una Serata a Roma Campari

If you have been following this blog, you may have noticed my fondness for the Italian Aperitivo tradition, the ritual of {mostly bitter} pre-dinner cocktails accompanied by a couple of stuzzichini meant to stimulate the appetite. It's become my favorite way of sharing time with friends, be it a spontaneous birthday aperitivo in the desert, a rustic spread at a friend's barn in the country, an alfresco aperitivo in an enchanted garden or a casual weekday aperitivo with {mostly Italian} friends.

Last night we got to attend a special Aperitivo - Una Serata a Roma, an amazing Roman feast of aperitivo, cena, vino & digestivo hosted by the fabulous Marcia Gagliardi {aka Tablehopper}. It was a perfect evening - a rare balmy summer night in San Francisco with aperitivo served on beautiful Mint Plaza followed by a scrumptious Roman meal prepared by the talented Mattia Marcelli of 54 Mint.

Una Serata a Roma at 54 Mint54 Mint in San FranciscoTablehopper Una Serata a Roma at 54 Mint San Francisco hosted by Campari

all photos © dinners with friends

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