Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

MIDCOAST MAINE

October 16, 2017

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There’s a reason they call Maine Vacationland. No matter the length of your stay or coordinates on the map, this postcard-perfect state grabs hold of your psyche whilst everything else melts away. Truth be told, we’ve been going to Maine for years, and easily a tradition we’ll continue for a lifetime more. An earlier Gilded Getaway found us in Portland, which in the short time since 2014 has exploded with such intensity that our travel compass is vehemently guiding us back for Getaway Guide v2.0. However, this trip had us craving a little more water, a little less land – we ventured farther up the rocky terrain, to an area the locals refer to as MidCoast.

Dotted with tiny coastal villages, each chock full of charm and character, the MidCoast region offers ocean vistas set against a backdrop of majestic mountains. Undoubtedly, one of the many reasons some of America’s most notable painters flocked to the region to capture the remarkable landscape for the rest of the world to see. Our admiration lies with time spent off the land, sailing along the coast past island after island, colorful lobster buoys as far as the eye can see. The natives are a hearty group, New Englanders through and through, some more salty than others, all eager to welcome visitors to their small slice of Vacationland heaven. Take Camden’s Schooner Surprise for example, setting sail in Penobscot Bay six months of the year, up to five sails per day. A crisp autumn breeze won’t cause this 99-year-old vessel to drop anchor, simply layer on the blankets, pack on the puffers and away you go.

Back on solid ground and as one would expect, the local fare epitomizes the freshest catch. Naturally, there’s seafood and lobsters galore, but what’s more exciting to a discerning palate is the new roster of restaurants that beautifully balance the bounty of land and sea. Nina June, recently lauded by Bon Appetit as one of 2017’s best new restaurants and of famed NYC restaurant lineage by way of Chef Sara Jenkins, does exactly that, all while overlooking a storybook setting below. Looking for a light lunch bite or packing for a picnic? Head to Main St. Markets in Rockland, pick up a handful of provisions and drive south to Owls Head State Park.

In these parts, we highly recommend a daily dose of Vitamin Sea, good for the soul and whatever else ails you.

If you’ve been following along on our recent travels, we declared an unabashed love affair with a certain New Orleans eatery. From the dream team that brought us Grand Banks, (i.e., a floating slice of heaven on the Hudson,) Seaworthy sits on equally hallowed ground. Brothers (and New Orleans natives) Miles and Alex Pincus, along with Adrien Gallo and Kerry Heffernan (all of Grand Banks lineage), partnered with famed Ace Hotel group to craft a new seafood destination in a town that knows a thing or two about the local catch.

Nestled in a historic, Creole townhouse, the NY-based interiors team at Home Studios reimagined a space that feels far from old salt and more maritime meets the mainland. Leather banquettes in blues as rich as the deepest ocean waters invite guests to lust over towering trays of the freshest catch and linger over craft-made cocktails. Rough wood floors with a perfect creak, wax-drenched tapers on many a mantle, and patinated walls that showcase tales of the sea via antique photos and paintings. On the third floor, an intimate dining room for private parties and social soirées. Truth be told, we’ve been drafting a list of excuses reasons we need to venture back to throw a seafaring shindig in this cozy cottage-like space.

It goes without saying, oysters are the trophy-piece at this NOLA restaurant, with special attention to wild-caught and sustainably harvested varietals from coastlines across the country – Gulf, East and West. Under Heffernan’s culinary direction, the team also spotlights a diversified menu of coastal species, often using underutilized seafare to support more sustainable fisheries. When it comes to ‘the Roll’, we’ll admit, we’re slightly biased. However, Seaworthy’s Gulf Coast Roll, a combination of gulf shrimp, blue crab, lemon and cucumber, gives our Northeast staple a solid run for the money.

On a long-weekend Gilded Getaway in the Big Easy, we dare to admit, we followed our sails to this chic ‘lil spot on more than one occasion. When time is tight, a double dip is sure sign of a worthy find.

Menu Musts

Cocktail | Sherman’s Cup

Assorted Oysters | At least a dozen (okay, maybe two)

Small Plates | Blue Crab + Fried Oysters, the Pork Belly too!

Large Plates | Gulf Coast Roll + Red Snapper

Sides | Hijiki-seasoned French Fries

Dessert | Espresso Crème Brûlée (Served with a side of beignets, why thank you.)

 

Seaworthy | 630 Carondelet Street | New Orleans, LA 70130

Images courtesy of Seaworthy and Roland Bello.

NEW ORLEANS

June 18, 2017

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It’s no secret, New Orleans has had its share of trials and tribulations. But like any great city grounded by its historical roots, layered with a resounding pride of the locals, it will make a comeback, and some may venture to say, find itself emerging head and shoulders above where it was before. When mentioning a visit to New Orleans, usually three things come up in conversation – the music, the food, and yes, the never-ending party. Hence, we knew we were in for good tunes, even better eats, and the rest is as they say, history.

Itinerary confirmed, we sensed it would be darn near impossible to have a less-than meal in NOLA. And while there’s crawfish and cajun aplenty, we had a mission to find the pulse of newer eateries in The Big Easy. With coastal fare a staple in our daily diet, the Crescent City did not disappoint. We fell head-over-heels for one of the most adorable seafood haunts we’ve ever laid eyes on. (In fact, she was so memorable, we’ve decided to dedicate a separate post to her entirely.) High atop our destination list? Balise, a corner gem in a Creole townhouse on Carondelet. Barely a foot across the threshold, you’ll witness the work of our pals at Stitch Design Co., whose discerning eye for details left no stone unturned in complementing the equally amazing food of James Beard award-winning Chef, Justin Devillier.

In cities like New Orleans, the best found spots are typically discovered off the beaten path. In a concerted effort to avoid the aforementioned fête interminable, we decided to trade the hubbub of Bourbon St. for the quiet charisma of the Garden District. Lead by Katrina of NOLA Architecture Tours, (who just so happens to be a native New Englander), we soaked in side streets chock full of Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian homes, many with humble secret gardens, all oozing with Southern charm. Not to be missed in this beautiful ‘hood? Loomed, a New-Orleans based textile brand that had us filling our carry-on with all the pretty pestamels. Lest you forget, you can also find their wares at Sunday Shop, a short walk away in the Lower Garden District.

All-in-all, our most recent Gilded Getaway had something for everyone – well-crafted cocktails, oysters by the dozen(s), did we mention there was a Marsalis too? Heading to NOLA? Bring your sunnies (or pick some up at local shoppe Krewe), find some shade and settle into your own gentle, slow and easy-going way of life.

 

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When you come from New England, it’s always, “Time to make the donuts“. Since opening its doors earlier this year, Knead Doughnuts has been satisfying the sweet tooths of downtown Providence daily. Considering it’s the brainchild of Bolt Coffee Company co-owner Bryan Gibb, would we expect anything less than elevating a beloved breakfast treat to new standards?  Tucked into the ground floor of 32 Custom House, Knead brings from-scratch baking to life on the fringe of Providence’s financial district.

Deeply rooted in the trifecta of doughnut craftsmanship – old-fashioned, cake or brioche, Knead offers a rotating menu of classic, no-frills flavors. With an approach the team renders ‘timeless’, there’s no need to get caught up in fleeting fads of culinary cuteness. Glazed or filled, with a fritter or two if that’s more your fancy. Our personal fave? The Brown Butter Toffee, a brioche base coated in brown butter glaze and topped with house-made pecan toffee.

Have a carb-craving, but simply can’t get out? Thankfully, Knead knows the feeling and happily delivers. Lodging at The Dean, or spending an afternoon at the Museum? Both PVD hubs for Bolt Coffee Co. have Knead Doughnuts on repeat, served with a lovely shot of espresso (thank you, Bryan). Moreover, they’re so darn delicious, we may need to upgrade our Providence Gilded Getaway Guide to version 2.0.

Knead Doughnuts | 32 Custom House St., Providence, RI

RALEIGH | DURHAM

June 7, 2016

GildedGetawayGuideRaleighDurham

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The unofficial start of summer, (aka Memorial Day,) is already a thing of the past, and with the bonafide summer solstice fast approaching, (cue ice cream cones, lobster rolls and sand-to-surf activities), no better time to get back to blogging. It would appear we can’t get our fill of travel these days, so as we’ve been known to do before, we’re rollin’ from one Gilded Getaway Guide straight to another. ‘Say Hello’ to Raleigh/Durham. Two-thirds of North Carolina’s ‘Research Triangle’, the cities, almost always linked in conversation like inseparable besties, have been popping up in travel literature, design guides and culinary commentary for quite some time – a telltale sign that something proverbially delicious is bubbling below the Mason-Dixon.

Durham, nicknamed the Bull City, home of Duke and old-school tobacco, is the smaller of the two, yet keeping pace with its neighboring city to the south with urban development unfolding at a rapid pace. Enter The Durham Hotel, a mid-century modern space reimagined by one of the country’s hottest design firms. Originally a downtown Durham bank, now one of the city’s places to-be-seen, (did someone say killer rooftop, Counter Culture coffee, and an insta-worthy al fresco shoe shine?), it was only fitting we rest our heads at this boutique bombshell.

Raleigh, the North Carolina capital, home of NC State ‘State’ and the birthplace of president Johnson, has its finger on a creative pulse running rampant through the city. You may dare to venture that Ashley Christensen knows a thing or two about dining in Raleigh, the James Beard winner and local tastemaker has several downtown eateries – relative newcomer Death & Taxes one of the reasons we packed our bags in the first place. When an eatery lives up to the accolade and fires on the trifecta of dining perfection (taste, service & design), it’s the rare moment where you stop the manager on the way out, offer a hand shake and congratulate the team on a job well done.

Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Raleigh/Durham, we highly recommend carving out some time for a mini-getaway. No time for a sit down meal? Grab a bite-to-go at Standard Foods Grocery, or satisfy your sweet tooth by tracking down Two Roosters Ice Cream, mobile scoops never looked cuter. Style and shopping more your fancy? Raleigh Denim Workshop does textiles right, using locally sourced denim that brings Made-in-America pride back to one of the state’s oldest industries. Worthy of gilded acclaim, the eateries, shoppes and cultural gems included in our most recent guide are the gold standard in creative ingenuity.

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