Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photos of Italy

My apologies for not posting more on my trip to Italy. I took a ton of photos and are still sifting and uploading to flickr.

If you want to view any or all of my photos thus far, click here.

The wild boar statue was a big hit amongst the tourists. We enjoyed wild boar with pasta at one of the local eating establishments. Yummy!

The Wild Boar
Wild Boar Statue at Mercato Nuovo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Trip to Italy

A few weeks ago my hubby and I spent two weeks in Italy. Needless to say, a great time. We decided to make our base in Florence (Firenze). A bit unconventional, I'll admit, but we enjoy really exploring an area and it was so much easier to make travel arrangements via Travelocity.

We stayed at the Hotel Monna Lisa which provided a decent room, a fabulous courtyard that sprung out for Spring, and served a buffet breakfast (included). Everyone spoke excellent English and taxis arrived 5 minutes after being summoned. I particularly enjoyed getting a pot of coffee and a pot of steamed milk every morning and making my own lattes.

Entrace from a tiny narrow street called Borgo Pinti

Painted ceiling at the entrace of Hotel Monna Lisa

Breakfast Room

Our room

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Courtyard in bloom

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Building bordering courtyard (enhanced)

Courtyard and view from our room window

We walked a great deal; climbed numerous stairs; took day trips to Pisa, Siena, and Cinque Terre; ate pizza, pasta, and grilled meats (among other things); and discovered new adult beverages such as Amari and Caffe Corretto.

Over the new few posts, I'll break out the trip by location.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Seasonal Pizza at Tastebuds American Bistro

Last night we walked over to Tastebuds American Bistro for dinner. We arrived early, which was good since we had no reservations and the place filled quickly after we sat down. We chatted with Patty, our favorite waitress about our recent trip to Italy (write up forthcoming). Since we walked, cocktails were ordered - both whiskey-based. Appetizers of duck-leek spring rolls and sweet potato gnocchi with pancetta and apple were consumed with gusto. And the last bottle of Duckhorn Decoy opened at our table.

For the entree, we shared the seasonal pizza special: Prosciutto, Arugula, Pear, Fontina & Riesling Reduction on a thin crust. Very interesting and tasty combination. Salty, bitter, sweet, and cream hit the palate all at once. Hubby said the riesling reduction became too sweet after a while, but I thought the pie held its balance. And once again, it shows the creative talent of the kitchen.

For dessert - espresso ice cream and chocolate ganache cake with Warre's Warrior Port. Mmmm!

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Unusual Treat

Arugula Ice Cream by pjpink
Arugula Ice Cream a photo by pjpink on Flickr.

Arugula ice cream. Served as an amuse bouche at Tastebuds American Bistro a few weeks ago. One in our party detested it; another, indifferent; hubby and I thought it was inventive and it did indeed taste like arugula.