Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Feasting Pretty: Taberna de Alabardero (Washington, DC) Fall Menu

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Travel opens your eyes to many things. It could be getting out of your comfort zone, getting to know yourself better, and understanding another culture. For me, the best way I learn about another culture is through their food. Food tells a story. It also tells history through a dish. Spain is a country that is close to my heart. It’s the first place I traveled with my husband and where if I admit now, I fell hard for him. As we discovered Spain, its history, and culture, it was the food where the lessons of traveling hit home.

As I attended the fall tasting menu at Taberna de Alabardero it took me back to Spain and falling in love and feasting. Taberna de Alabardero is a 26-year old Spanish fine dining restaurant in DC. Walking into the restaurant, I was taken back to Madrid, Barcelona, Jerez, and Seville. All that was missing was the sound of flamenco. Chef Romero is from Madrid, but his dishes are influenced from all over Spain. I remember tasting the Monkfish and thinking this has a hint of sherry. In Jerez, we went sherry tasting and I can still taste the luscious liquor. I grew up with a very adventurous food father. I was the only kid that would eat the “weird” stuff. As an adult, I think the curiosity has helped expand my palette. I’m willing to be adventurous and explore. In life and on the plate.

The fall menu at Taberna de Alabardero was as exceptional and delicious as any dish I had in Spain. I plan to go back with my husband so he can reminisce about Spain a little closer to home. All I ask is when are you making your reservation?

Delicioso!

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{Cod Carpaccio with Wild Salmon with pistachios, capers, olives, and tomatoes.}

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{Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Almond Garlic Pistachio Sauce}

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{Scallop with Bacon in a Cuttlefish Reduction}

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{Hen Noodle Soup with Poached Quail Egg}

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{Monkfish with Crab Cream}

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{Yellowfin Tuna Tataki with Potatoes and Bell Peppers}

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{Lobster paella}

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{Veal Sweetbread with Chanterelles}

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{Coulant of Red Berries}

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Le Weekend

Gray Malin

November is flying by which means Christmas is around the corner. I love the Christmas season, but I’m grateful that my family doesn’t go crazy for Christmas. It’s about family and not the gift. This week has been tiring. I know I gained an hour of sleep, but I still don’t feel like I’m adjusting well. Plus, the sun is setting before 5pm and I’m not feeling that at all.

  1. Most people know I love to travel, but hate to fly. Then I read an article like this and guess what? It makes me hate flying more. Will that stop me? Nope but the hate is intensified.
  2. My friend Andrea wrote a great story on cornrows and cultural appropriation.
  3. I really want to try relaxing with an adult coloring book, but I don’t want to add another hobby to my already never-ending hobby list.
  4. I went kind of nuts when I discovered these Beekman soaps. Natural, moisturizing, and good.
  5. I can’t wait to make this dish. It’s perfect for the chilly and rainy weather we’ve been having.

Photo: Gray Malin

 

Evan Healy French Rose Clay Mask

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I discovered Evan Healy products at the National Products Expo a few months ago. The expo all types of natural products, but my thing is the beauty. The lovely people at Evan Healy gave me a flew samples and I blew through them fast, but I had to give them a real “try.” I went to Whole Foods with a friend to pick up the signature item I wanted – the French Rose Clay Mask.

I am slowly incorporating natural products into my skincare and beauty routines. I’m glad that more green beauty products are actually pretty to look at. I remember when they were hideously ugly and lacked the prettiness I need in my products.

Evan Healy gives me pretty packaging and they actually work. I have been using this mask every week for a month and I am still in love with it. It’s different than lots of masks because you have to mix it with water. I like to think it makes the application feel more like a spa. And I always use a brush now because I’ve ruined many a manicure with remnants of a goopy mask under my nails.

My next Evan Healy purchase will be the Rose Day Moisturizer. I plan to use it in the spring because it’s not heavy enough for my skin in winter.

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Le Weekend

Throw Kindness Around

I’m currently in New York City but headed home shortly. It’s been a quick trip full of shopping, good food, and lots of laughter. I can’t wait to relax tonight with my favorite boyfriend, Netflix. It’s been a great week because it wasn’t super cold. I don’t mind this mild weather at all. I’m looking forward to seeing my other boyfriend, James Bond too.

  1. If you haven’t read the craziest story to hit Twitter last week you should. It seems something for the movies and it just might be made into one.
  2. I love wine. No. Seriously. I have a deep admiration for vino and can’t imagine my life without it. I’m trying to stick to a wine buying budget. It ain’t happening. And this is another reason why.
  3. I never met a list I didn’t like. I use Evernote for lots of them, but I probably should use the notes section on my phone for restaurants.
  4. Momofuku finally opened up in DC. I have a reservation next week and can’t wait. It better live up to the hype because I loved my experience in NY.
  5. Giada has a new cookbook which means I can’t wait to cook from it. Between her and Ina, I’ve learned so much about easy and fast meals.

Testing Out Tria Age-Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser

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I’m all for working on skincare without doing something too radical. I’m not against fillers and botox. For me, I don’t want to use them. So I will test out, swab, swipe, smear, rub, and press. When the lovely folk at Tria asked me to test their Tria Age-Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser I said sign me up. For the next month, I will be testing the Tria to see if it lives up to the hype.

I will say the reviews are great and I haven’t been this excited to try an electronic face device in a long time. The one thing I love about the Tria is the size. It’s so tiny and is a great size for traveling.

Stay tuned.

Oak by Absolut Vodka

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As a wine girl, most people don’t think I drink anything else. I enjoy a good cocktail with fresh ingredients and even better liquor. Absolut Vodka is a major vodka brand and is currently on my bar cart. So when they asked me to try their barrel crafted oaked vodka I was skeptical. Vodka. Being oaked?

Seriously.

If you are going to oak vodka, my expectations are going to be high. I expect it to be smooth, can stand alone on its merits, and doesn’t need a mix to make it taste good. Needless to say, I don’t want my vodka any other way now. Absolut Oak is so smooth. At first I tried it with cold apple cider in a cocktail, but the best way in my opinion is straight up on the rocks.

Here’s a great recipe for a fall gathering. Talk about a grown-up hot toddy.

  • Half a bottle of Absolut Oak;
  • One gallon of apple cider (fresh is the best);
  • Thinly sliced Honey Crisp or Fuji apple;
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes;
  • Serve in a mug with an apple slice on top; and
  • Your guests will thank you.

Wellness Wednesday: Seek Retreats

Seek Retreat

It’s that time to start planning 2016 adventures of sun, sand, and surf. Three of my favorite things. One retreat group I like is Seek Retreat. Seek Retreat handles your lodging, your wellness, and your workout. They have retreats all over the world and you select one according to the destination and you will be on your way.

I always advise people when they are planning to attend a retreat solo to go with an open mind. I’ve met some of the best people in the world on a yoga retreat or wellness vacation when I was by myself. Also, you learn so much about yourself traveling alone. You discover the real you.

One of my favorite yoga teachers Mary Beth leads a retreat in Sayulita every year through Seek Retreat and it’s on my list to go in 2016.

Bespoke Tailoring with Kathryn Sargent

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and learning the art of  tailoring from Kathryn Sargent. You might say to yourself “tailoring?” Yes, I know. It may seem small or something that is not on your radar, but it should. We currently live in a world of cheap and fast fashion. I know. I’ve been there and bought the pieces. Now, I’m like no way. I’m done. Bespoke tailoring is very different than fixing a hem. It is custom clothing made to your exact body shape and only for you.

The Jefferson Hotel in DC has partnered with Kathryn and their distinguished clientele to create a partnership for bespoke tailoring. Kathryn was on hand to present the craft of bespoke tailoring, showcase a few items for her American clientele, and explain the bespoke process.

Kathryn spent 15 years working with one of London’s premiere Savile Row tailors to learn the craft. The work is impeccable and if I ever have the money I would live in custom clothing and a few pieces from Kathryn.

Kathryn Sargent Bespoke Tailoring
No.6 Brook Street
1st Floor, Mayfair, London, W1S 1BB

{Roses and wine at the Tailored Tea event with Kathryn Sargent.}

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{Details. Hand stitched.}

IMG_3714{Very English natty tweeds.}

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