Category Archives: Restaurants

A Night in Raleigh

This morning I left rainy LA

and these snugglers

and headed to Raleigh, North Carolina for work. By the time we arrived, it was late and we were ready for food! We headed to Heron’s located in The Umstead Hotel. The restaurant serves American food made with local, seasonal ingredients (i.e. they grow their own lettuce in a garden in the back). The menu was interesting (very meat and game heavy), but they were very accommodating and catered to our requests.

For a small starter, they served two different amuse bouche: a vegetarian option with cucumbers and one with a small piece of toast topped with salmon puree. Both were light and delicious.

For my first course, I got a Farm Lettuce Salad (Local Goats Cheese, Figs, Wildflower Honey, and Walnuts). It was fresh, fresh, fresh! Another great salad was the Caesar (I loved how they plated it).

For main courses, I had the Risotto (Melted Leeks, Buffalo Parmesan Tuile, Black Truffle Cream) and another hit at the table was the Vanilla Spiced Sea Bass (Fingerling Potato, Braised Tat-Soi, Fennel Confit, Parsnip-Lobster Bisque). My risotto was very rich, so I only had a few bites and the sea bass was a little too sweet for my taste, but both were cooked well.

And finally dessert. None of us were too hungry for sweets, but the restaurant offered a few interesting options. On the left are the Sweet Potato Fritters with Sweet Brown Butter and Cream Cheese and on the right is “Cheese and Beer,” Edam, Poached Quince, Chestnut Puree, Bass Ale Ice Cream, and Hazelnuts. The fritters were basically doughnuts, but the “Cheese and Beer” was something I had never tried before and was similar to a light apple streusel. Delicious!

Leaving to head back home tomorrow night, but hoping to grab some quick pics of Raleigh tomorrow. I am loving the colder weather here in the South!

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What I Ate Wednesday 19

Well guys, another Wednesday is upon us. This past week brought a lot of fun (birthday dinners, parties, costumes, candy, and cupcakes). And Q and I are now less than 4 weeks away from seeing each other. Knowing that we are actually going to see each other in the month of November is crazy and seriously hard to believe! I have so much excitement and some nerves (something about not seeing someone for 6 months makes me a little anxious in a good way). The official countdown has begun!

And now on to the days food:

Breakfast – 8:30AM

I love that I whip out my pumpkin two days AFTER Halloween, but with the chilly weather this morning I thought I would try some pumpkin oats. In the mix: coach’s oats, water, almond milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, almond butter, a pinch of salt and some raisins.

Lunch – 2:30PM

I waited waaay too long until lunch and was starving by the time we ordered food in our meeting. I had a slice of vegetable pizza and an Italian salad from BJ’s. Both were good and I was full for a long time since I overstuffed (eating while starving = eating too much).

Dinner – 7:00PM

Din Din

Me = super excited to see some old friends

For dinner, I met a few girlfriends at Terroni, an Italian restaurant on Beverly Blvd. across from The Grove. I got an arugula salad with mushrooms and cheese to start and also had a piece of Margherita pizza. The menu was mainly pizza and pasta and I wasn’t hungry enough to enjoy some pasta, so a simple pizza was a good choice. For dessert, we split the nutella fritters which weren’t as great as I had hoped, but still a treat.

Hope everyone is having a great week, tomorrow I am back with a giveaway! See you then!

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What I Ate Wednesday Part 17

Hello from cloudy New York and Happy Wednesday!

Since I am on the go this week for work, food has been more carb and treat-heavy than I normally like it to be. But since I am indulging, I am enjoying every bite instead of feeling guilty (no point in beating yourself up after the fact).

Breakfast – 8:30AM

My breakfast was granola and greek yogurt (hooray for being different!), but I went through the morning thinking it was Thursday and totally did not snap a pic! So instead, a little breakfast collage of recent eats.

Lunch – 12:30PM

Lunch was at Fred’s (located inside Barney’s NY). I loved this menu – a huge selection of delicious salads (chopped, shrimp, tuna, etc.) and also a mix of great American food (chicken, pizza, fish, burgers, etc.). I got the Nice Guy pizza to share (sausage and red peppers) and the Palm Beach Shrimp Salad (shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado, tomato and hard boiled egg) for my main course. Both were delicious. The pizza is so fresh you can taste it and the salad was a great filling lunch and I loved the green goddess dressing they used.

Dinner – 7:30PM

I was starving by the time dinner rolled around, but was happy to go to Morandi, a restaurant I had wanted to try when I was in New York in July. It is rustic Italian cuisine and I thought the food was great although the restaurant was about a thousand degrees inside. I got the Insalata di caolini di Bruxelles (shaved raw Brussels sprouts with percorino & hazelnut dressing) and the Linguine alle vongole (pasta with clams, white wine & green garlic). Both were delicious, but the Brussels sprout salad was something truly unique that I had never had before- crunchy, nutty, light and refreshing. I would go back to this restaurant and order that salad over and over again.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

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A Saturday That Felt Like Sunday

Since I took yesterday off of work to show Tina around, I was totally thrown off today and thought it was Sunday all day. I am sort of excited to have an “extra” weekend day tomorrow to do all of my errands.

Outside of Whole Foods getting the second Almond Milk Latte of the weekend (thank you Tina for this new $4 addiction)

The day started with a baby shower for a girlfriend at The Ivy at the Shore (one of my all time favorite restaurants). There was a set menu with a few choices for starters and entrees. I went with two of my favorites- the caprese salad and the lobster ravioli, but was really debating the grilled veggie salad with chicken since I dream about that dish (so fresh and healthy). My choices were amazing, this restaurant never seems to disappoint!

Tina went to take a class at Pure Barre in Brentwood and then picked me up from the baby shower. Since she hadn’t eaten we stopped by Planet Raw, a raw food restaurant in Santa Monica, so she could grab some lunch… all I’m going to say is this restaurant is more of a “Tina” place than a “Koko” place although the coconut shake I had was delicious (and $15!).

I dropped Tina off at the airport and we promised to see each other again soon. I was going to go to her Dailey Method studio opening in December, but unfortunately that is when Q is here for his leave. Instead I am planning to head out in January to see her and attend a Breast Cancer event she is planning at the studio. After the airport, I came home and saw we had some browning bananas and popped some banana chocolate chip muffins in the oven. Recipe coming tomorrow!

I can’t believe Tina’s trip is already over. I loved this weekend not only because I got to spend time with Tina, but because I got to be a tourist in my own city. I tried new restaurants, new activities, new drinks. It was really fun to go outside of my box for a few days and the weekend really showed me that I should be doing it more often.

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Brunch at Luna Park

For our girlfriend Jess’s 27th birthday we decided to do a big bottomless mimosa brunch at Luna Park, an American restaurant on Wilshire Blvd and La Brea. We normally go to Luna Park for dinner, but none of us had ever been for brunch and thought it would be a fun spot.

The birthday girl:

Yes, she is a foot taller than me…

The girls:

Luna Park has delicious dinner food and a great brunch menu from chilaquiles to fried egg sandwiches to traditional breakfasts (think pancakes, bacon, and eggs). I had the fried egg sandwich without bacon (I know, how could I?), and it was just perfect. Not too greasy or salty and on slightly toasted Sourdough. The chilaquiles were great too and just spicy enough for my taste.

They also have  $13 bottomless mimosas and sangria as well as big Bloody Marys, which is a requirement for a birthday brunch. The restaurant puts cute little trinkets on each drink, a touch that I love.

For dessert, we brought in a blue velvet cake from one of our favorite bakeries/restaurants, Milk. And we decorated it with our drink trinkets. I highly recommend this blue velvet. It is basically a red velvet cake made with blue food dye and with frozen blueberries on top and in between the layers. Pretty much to die for.

Here’s the whole gang (minus Naomi) in our booth:

And this is what happens after too many bottomless mimosas and coffee:

Model poses in the valet lane.

Overall it was a perfect day with great company and a fun way to spend a birthday. We will now definitely be adding Luna Park to our usual brunch list. (And I’ll be full for a week from all the food!).

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Dinner at Locanda Veneta

Since I was out of town last weekend, the girls agreed to move our weekly dinner from Friday to Monday to accommodate me. They are the best. Since it was Dine LA week, we wanted to try somewhere new, so we chose Locanda Veneta, an intimate Italian restaurant on 3rd Street. Once we got there we actually all decided to order off the regular menu instead of the Dine LA special one (haha). The food was outstanding and we had a great time catching up, as always.

My outfit:

The gang:

Jess & Ashlee

Me & Lily

The Food:

Appetizers

Fresh bread and pesto

Clams in white wine sauce with garlic bread

Entrees

Spaghetti Funghi e Gamberi (Spaghetti with mushrooms and shrimp)

The Special: Chilean sea bass with lentils and a salad

Spaghetti with Lentils e Pomodori al Forno (spaghetti with lentils, spinach, roasted tomatoes and garlic)

Confetti al Gorgonzola con Salsa di Tartufo (ravioli stuffed with gorgonzola cheese in white truffle and mushroom sauce)

Desserts

Panna Cotta

Amaretto Cheesecake

The food was amazing, very authentic Italian and everyone was pleased with their choices. My favorite was Ashlee’s Spaghetti with Lentils… will definitely be ordering that next time! Oh and the Amaretto Cheesecake was INSANE. A must try!

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Dinner at Fig & Olive

This week is Restaurant Week in LA which means a ton of amazing restaurants are offering prix fix menus for great rates. Last night I went to one of my favorite LA restaurants, Fig & Olive, with my girlfriends Ally and Connie. Connie actually used to be (well I guess she still is) my little sis in my sorority at USC (we love each other).

Ally in a cute Missoni for Target shirt (jealous)

Me & Connie

We started with an olive oil sampler and bread (over there on the left), which was amazing. Then we had a plate of mixed crostini (fig and manchego cheese/ bresaola, goat cheese, black olive/ prosciutto, ricotta, fig/ mushroom, truffled artichoke/ crushed tomato, olive oil/ salmon, ricotta, citrus). They were all amazing and the perfect size so each of us could have a bite.

Appetizers- I got the zucchini carpaccio (zucchini with olive oil, parmesan and olive oil), It was delicious and light (great replacement to a salad). Ally had the Mushroom soup (up in the top of the picture) which was really rich, but good.

Connie had the carrot soup which was light and refreshing.

For main courses, I had my favorite dish at Fig & Olive, the Penne a la Funghi (al dente pasta with mushrooms in truffle oil and topped with parmesan). Something about those flavors just goes so well together, I am still dreaming about it!

Connie had the Grilled Steak Skewers and Cous Cous.

Ally had the Poulet Aux Legumes de Provence (chicken breast with veggies).

For dessert, we all got the Creme de Pot which was too die for. Homemade kit kat bars dipped in chocolate mousse and cream. This dessert was SO delicious and a perfect size (not too overwhelming). Overall, it was a great experience and a great night with friends.

Tonight I am off to another Restaurant Week dinner at Locanda Veneta, yum!

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