Monday, November 12, 2012

Virginia Bloggers at Flames 231

Back in October I participated in a Virginia Bloggers gathering at newly opened Flames 231. I met some lovely fellow-bloggers who are just as enthusiastic about photographing food as I am. Yeah! And I also enjoyed some very yummy food from the restaurant.

Flames 231 is located in Shockoe Bottom north of Broad Street in the revitalized Richmond Cold Storage buuilding. They serve a variety of Mediterranean-influenced items, including wood-fired pizzas. For this outing I had the Jabri Hummus accompanied by wood-fired flatbread. Lots of flavor and something I would definitely order again. I also had the Pugliese Pizza with red sauce, mozzarella, oregano, and onions. A stellar pizza. Flames 231 also serves paninis, pastas, and salads. I briefly saw the wine list and there were bottles I would order. The place has a full bar as well.

I want to thank Danny Taormina (executive chef) and The Firestarter Group for hosting us!

Below are a few photos of the event.

Flames 231 and the wood for the pizza oven
Interior of Flames 231
Danny Taormina
Our lovely waitress
Virginia Boggers
Fabulous Hummus
Flatbread for Hummus
Pugliese Pizza - Yummy!

I had a great time meeting folks and eating delicious food. And I will return in the near-future with hubby.

Note: The Firestarter Group provided the hummus for the table, but all other items were purchased by individual Virginia bloggers.

SOJ - October 2012

I missed going to the South of the James Market this past Saturday because I was boxed in by the Richmond Marathon. In October the market had some lovely offerings and featured a new band: Haze and the Transients.

Beets for You


Haze and the Transients

Leafy Goodness

Loaded Red Wagon

The Sweetest Little Pepper Around

At the Market

If you have photos of any of the local markets, please add them to the flickr group.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunset Sail on the Margaret Todd

The most memorable experience we had in Bar Harbor turned out to be the sunset sailing cruise on the Margaret Todd. The ship is a four masted schooner with red sails. And while we would have enjoyed the sunset sail no matter what, we lucked out and saw the most spectacular sunset I have ever experienced. The cruise lasts about 1 1/2 hours and will run with or without wind. A big shaggy black dog named Maggie is also on board along with a musician who has minimal talent. The cost is $37.50 per person.

I wanted to share some photos with you. I hope you enjoy.

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Where to Eat in Bar Harbor Maine

We enjoyed visiting Bar Harbor, Maine. Lots of shops and restaurants. During September, as long as a cruise ship wasn't docked, the town was peaceful. Acadia National Park was nearby. All of the elements to make a great vacation spot for us.

In this post I will focus on the places we ate at. All of these places I would recommend.

First up is Jordan Pond House located within Acadia National Park and the only one that we drove to. We attempted to get lunch there a couple of days and the place was so packed that we opted for somewhere else. We did take advantage of the afternoon Tea and Popover service. A pot of tea of your choice served with two piping hot popovers along with butter and strawberry jam. Delightful.





Another lunch spot that would also be great for dinner is Blaze. They have the only beer that I can really tolerate on draft: Franziskaner. We shared lobster tacos and a tomato and basil wood-fired pizza. We sat outside and enjoyed the sunny weather.


Lobster Tacos

Wood-fired Pizza

We discovered a from-scratch bakery for breakfast called Morning Glory. Lots of locals hung out here, too.

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For dinner we visited four very different places and had a lovely time at each one.

Mache Bistro is a tiny French restaurant and very popular. We were very fortunate to obtain a cozy table for two after a brief wait (long enough to order a glass of wine). We started with Marinated Olives and then proceeded to devour Beef and Shrimp over Mashed Potatoes and Duck Confit over Creamy Polenta. The wine was a Saint -Emilion from Bordeaux. Dessert, a shared Creme Caramel. An awesome meal.






The following evening we trekked to The Looking Glass Restaurant. It was just out of town and up a steep hill. A bit dark walking back to our hotel. The place itself was a large octagonal structure with blond wood and glass all around. The patio also had a fire pit. During daylight hours, the view should be stunning. Since we worked so hard getting there, we started with a Manhattan. Then had House and Caesar Salads. A Simi Cab was ordered for dinner and our entrees consisted of a Mixed Seafood Grill (scallops, shrimp, and lobster tail) and Filet and Lobster Tail (special for the evening). To fortify us for the walk back we finished up with an Irish Coffee. Wonderful food and a great place for folks who want more of a traditional menu offering.

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The next night we decided to try this Italian place tucked a couple of blocks away from the main drag called Mama Dimatteo's. The place was not very busy, but the menu looked decent, so we took a chance. We ordered a Beronia Rioja for the meal and had traditional Italian dishes - Bucatini Bolognese and Veal Parmesan. Both well executed and tasty.

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Veal Parmesan

Our last night we spiced it up with a trip to Havana. As the name would lead one to believe, the space is colorful and airy. I had a true rum and cola with a Mexican Pepsi (made with sugar instead of corn syrup). We then ordered Lamb Meatballs and a Cuban-influenced Tuna Torte with Crispy Chips for appetizers. To enjoy with dinner we ordered a Stag's Leap Petite Syrah. For entrees we had Seafood Paella and a Filet Mignon with Chili Peppers. To end our meal we splurged on a flight tasting of ruby port: Ferreira 2000, Warre's 1997, Churchill's 1994, Warre's 1980. What an incredible opportunity. We have seen port flights before, but never a vintage flight. And a 1 ounce pour of each was only $22. Our order peaked the owner's interest and he visited our table to chat about port. Sipping wonderful port was a fitting end to our vacation.

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Don't ask me for a favorite. I would go back to any of these depending on mood and what I had a hankering for. We were fortunate to find so many places that we truly enjoyed.

Bar Harbor offered us everything we wanted from a vacation spot - natural awesomeness nearby, great places to eat and drink within walking distance. I recommend going during lulls in the season. I imagine the place can be a zoo during peak times and would leave a very different impression.