Must Visit Foodie Spots of Seattle

Seattle truly is a beautiful place to visit. Its also a foodie’s haven. I traveled here over a year ago, but am still totally carrying the 5 pounds I gained from these few glorious days eating my way through Seattle.

I visited in June of 2016. After checking in to the Kimpton Palladian Hotel, I headed straight to the foodie spot Seattle is most famous for, the Pike Place Market. I didn’t stray too far from this foodie paradise for the reset of the trip. This place is amazing, home to the first ever Starbucks, the famous fish toss at the Pike Place Fish Market, and endless food vendors.

I'm in heaven. Gimme it all please. 🦀🐡🐟🍤🍣🍷🍩🍫🍾🍽

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I found a french pastry spot right outside the main market, Le Panier. Le Panier is a classic French boulangerie and patisserie. These are life changing pasties. I woke up at 6:30 am every morning of my trip just to get here and start my day with these pastries. I tried the feuilletés which are puff-pastry tart with savory fillings. I tried the Normandie of chicken, cheese and onion in a cream sauce and the Champignon with Mushrooms in a cream sauce. Truly a savory, rich, flaky treat. I of course also had a sweet option the á la Framboise a croissant filled with raspberry preserves. So delicious. I stuffed my suitcase with these before leaving and would travel back across the USA just to experience these pastries again (probably).

Bonjour, ohhla la

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just look at the flakiness left over. #pastry #flakypastry

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Another amazing spot is the watch Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. They make the cheese right on site in a huge vat. They claim to have the world’s best Mac & Cheese – and it is really good.

Pregaming dinner #macandcheese 🐄

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Being in Seattle I was on a mission for fresh salmon. I visited Duke’s Chowder House on South Lake Union to try the Off the Hook Stuffed Salmon. This salmon was extremely fresh and stuffed with Dungeness Crab, Wild Mexican Pacific Prawns, Havarti, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses. It was really good, bu there was six HUGE fish bones in it. SIX?! When I showed the waiter he didn’t seem to care :/

I also enjoyed a meal at the Crab Pot. The crab soup was exactly what I wanted it to be creamy and flavorful. The crabcakes were also delicious with fresh crab and the perfect seasoning.

Bikini season?! It's Dungeness crab season. 🦀> 👙crab bisque & crab cakes with orange marmalade

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I had a delicious, fresh sushi roll in Belltown at WASABI Sushi & Izakaya, Japense sushi.

The Barbie roll haha 😛 #sushi #Seattle #foodporn #foodie

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Seattle is of course known for coffee so I couldn’t pass up trying the flagship location of Seattle Coffee Works.

I asked the barista for something sweet #☕️ #seattlecoffeeworks #seattle

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I might also want to go back to Seattle to explore the outdoors. Its just a little breathtaking.

Mornin' Seattle

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💙

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🌊⛵️🗻 Lake Union Seattle.

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Okay one more. 🌲🌄#spaceneedleview #seattle #travel #sunset #westcoast

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As for the stay, I found the Palladian so quirky and interesting. Described as “eclectic accommodations that capture the gritty elegance of Belltown’s back-alley speakeasies, hip wine bars and chic urban boutiques,” it certainly is a place you remember. I’ve never met a Kimpton hotel bathroom that didn’t immediately make my jaw drop. This one had all my favorite elements gold, hexagon tiles and white marble.

As for the quirkiness, the paintings and art features paintings of vintage war profiles, with modern-day celebrities.  It’s pretty funny. I snapped a picture of myself laying in bed with my Leonardo DiCaprio pillow. I’ll save the internet from that one.

 

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Summer Visit to Gervasi Vineyard in Canton Ohio

gervasi vineyard lake

As I’ve raved many times before (first visit, second visit) Gervasi Vineyard, a winery in Canton Ohio, is simply amazing. The grandeur starts as you pull in the grounds, and doesn’t diminish in any detail throughout the compound. Seriously please just check out these 360 tours on the Gervasi site to see more of the space. The grounds feature plenty of spots to explore including the vineyards, lake, Marketplace gift shop, casual dining spot the Crush House, outdoor patio the Piazza and main Italian Bistro.

I was lucky enough to visit this past weekend for their annual 8th Annual Bellissimo arts & craft festival.

To me, one of the best things about a visiting a winery is the fun of a wine flight! The Brigante, their sweetest red is my favorite wine by Gervasi (besides the moscato of course).  It is is described as having an “assertive structure, complex berry flavors – ‘Bad Boy’ personality. I’m surprised that I like this wine so much because its not just sweet, but has another layer of something, maybe a smokiness, that I didn’t think I’d like so much. It is delicious. I can’t help but take another bottle home with us after each visit.

Gervasi wine Gervasi wine Gervasi wine moscato is my mantra

 

I am still fascinated with how gorgeous the Bistro restaurant is. It appears to have been designed with an attention to detail. From the looks of it no cost was spared on the hardware, finishes or decor, really creating a lovely ambiance. I was lucky enough to be treated to another amazing dinner here by my boyfriend 🙂 For dinner I enjoyed the Apple and Brie Salad with mixed greens, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a balsamic vinaigrette. My main meal was a delicious and rich pasta dish the Breaded Chicken Campanelle of garlic, shitake mushrooms, spinach, fresh tomato, garlic cream sauce.  My boyfriend had another great meal. The Mela Maiale a bone-In Pork Chop with blue cheese, creamy polenta, topped with brussels sprouts, pancetta caramel apple sauce – a pretty fancy dish for $22!

 

gervasi bistro gervasi bistro gervasi bistro dinner menugervasi bistro dinner menu

 

On this visit we were able to take a free behind the scenes tour of the winery in the Crush House building!

 

 

I love looking around in each building on the compound, the unique lighting really stands out to me! I see myself having a wine bottle chandelier of my own in the future.

 

As lavish as the decor is you’d think the menu would be too right? It is! Full of rich, rustic Italian fare, so many delicious choices. Check out the menu here. The best part of all of this? It is affordable. I’m serious. A trip here is a lot more affordable than the usual upscale Italian in downtown Pittsburgh.

It is hard for me to say if its the wine, the food, the scenery or the ambiance that keep me wanting more of Gervasi. I love it all.  Even the drive home through the fields of Ohio is great scenery. I’d love to stay here someday, everytime I call it is booked </3. I’ll keep waiting to see the inside of those villas. I would encourage anyone to check Gervasi winery out for themselves.

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Foodie Spots in NYC for Tourists

Foodie spots in NYC

Eataly, Flatiron

I have no shame for my completely schoolgirl boy band crush level of enthusiasm for Eataly. It is one of the most magical places on this earth. I’m sure of it. It’s definetly my most favorite food spot in NYC. Eataly is a foodie’s ultimate destination. It’s a gourmet grocery store full of produce, freshly prepared foods and pantry goods but that’s not it. The space features also features counters in which you can order a specialty items. They have a meat and cheese counter, butcher, exquisite bakery, Nutella coffee bar, fancy top of the line espresso bar, gelato bar, meat & cheese bar, fresh pasta section, plus my favorite a section full of fresh focaccia bread. Thers’ also 6 full fledged restaurants weaved insides the grocery sections and counters. It’s a huge food hall full of everything. There is nothing regular or ordinary in this foodie paradise land.

As soon as I land in NYC Eataly is where I want to go. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting multiple times over the past 3 years, but my favorite go to indulgences are the:  prosciutto cotto parmacotto & housemade mozzarella focaccia bread counter, followed by the SPAGHETTI Cacio e Pepe pasta or the QUATTRO FORMAGGI pizza & a glass of delicious white moscato at La Pizza & La Pasta restaurant , and then gelato or specialty latte to go.

eataly
Image credit eataly.com

NYC Eataly

eataly pasta
Image credit www.eataly.com

NYC Eataly cappuccino

I love @eatalyflatiron a whole latte 💓☕️

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Nutella latte #eataly #eatalynyc #nutella

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P.S. I’m also a fanatic for the Eataly Chicago location too 🙂

Step one de-board plane. Step two find Eataly. @obvi_g @julieciccaglione @eatalychicago

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Dean and Deluca, Soho

Dean & Deluca is similar to Eataly a gourmet grocery, but not exclusively Italian themed. It’s now a chain, with the first one established in New York City’s SoHo district in 1977. This spot specializes in gourmet prepared foods and imported treasures. There is a coffee station, fresh produce, specialty meats, seafood, bakery, cheese & charcuterie and sushi items. It is a beautiful space with white interiors, white marble everywhere, extremely high ceiling and unique architectural columns. It was 80+ degrees in the city when I visited last, so I treated myself to a iced matcha latte. This was my first time trying matcha and I loved it, really refreshing.

dean and deluca

Hopping on this matcha 🍵 bandwagon. #wheninnyc

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Ralph’s Coffee

Ralph’s Coffee was a charming coffee shop tucked in a corner on the second floor of the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store, in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. It’s closed since my visit, but was truly an exquisite and fun spot. The baristas looked like male models, but to my surprise were also genuinely friendly. It was the perfect spot to stop for a break during shopping days.

Image Credit : http://www.ralphlauren.com/us/en/magazine/designing-a-new-brew

ralph coffee nyc

☕️ with Mister Ralph Lauren. Follow more of my NYC adventures on my snap stories at @moscatoismymantra

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The Plaza Food Hall

The Plaza Food Hall is a food spot of NYC that offers a “collection of fine food purveyors, as well as counter-style dining options.” Similar to Harrods of London’s famous food hall, this spot is glamorous featuring stations offering high-end versions of fun foods like sushi, pastry, pizza, salads, noodles and more. My favorite spot is Luke’s Lobster. The menu features fresh lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls, along with a selection of chowders and bisques. My go-to order is the “Luke’s Trio” of half a lobster roll, half a crab roll, and half a shrimp roll.  The seafood is so fresh, sweet, buttery, and seasoned perfectly. The rolls are served on light, fluffy perfected toasted rolls. Definitely another must stop spot in NYC! I mean you’re going to be hungry after exploring the Plaza, imaging you’re Eloise herself – right!?

theplazany.com
Image Credit : theplazany.com

Shrimp roll, lobster roll, crab roll sliders 😛

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Shrimp roll, lobster roll, crab roll sliders 😛

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Sneaking around at the Plaza as if I'm Eloise herself

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Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

Grammers this is your place! Such a fun spot for truly delicious, Instagram-worthy food! I bet everyone takes a picture of their food here. Black Tap is a funky spot featuring 90s hip hop and mostly bar seating. It is worth the wait!

The Greg Norman Burger of wagyu beef, house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese & arugula is award-winning & delish! I also enjoyed the Cookie Shake, it’s vanilla frosted rim with cookie crumbles topped with a ‘cookiewich’, crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.

🍨🍪😛

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Pret a Manger

Pret a Manger is an international sandwich shop chain, originally based in the United Kingdom, commonly referred to simply as “Pret”. They “create handmade natural food avoiding all the obscure extras common to so much of the ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ food on the market today.” I lived here during my semester abroad in London and always do at least breakfast or lunch here when in NYC. They’re not as common as Starbucks of course, but if you’re in Manhattan you’ll find them every 5-10 blocks or so.

I love their sweet caramel lattes, unique sandwiches and “Pret Pots” which are little pots of yogurt + goodies.  Two of my faves are the “Little Pot of Goodness: a sweet little pot of goodness; smooth Greek yogurt layered with freshly sliced apples and topped with brown sugar, granola and warming cinnamon.” Or the “Bircher Muesli: the perfect pot for breakfast: shredded apple, smooth Greek yogurt , granola and honey, topped with pomegranate seeds and lightly toasted almonds.” Some of my favorite sandwiches are the: “Balsamic Chicken & Avocado” or the “Pret’s Tuna & Cucumber”.  Another to go is the Honey Tangerine Juice, which comes in the cutest little bottle.

 

 

Pret a manger 😍👍🏻 #☕️

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By the Way, a Note for Pittsburgh Yinzers Visiting NYC…

Looking for a piece of the burgh while visiting NYC? Our signature Yinzeritas (margarita + mexican beer) are called Bulldogs in NYC!

Great weekend #🌃 called a bulldog in NYC not a yinzerita #sopittsburgh

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P.S. Fun NYC Snap – I’m working on getting my handstand back!

#🌆 #handstand #yoga #urbanyoga

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Foodie Weekend in Ocean City Maryland

foodie spots of Ocean City Maryland

I don’t know about others, but to me vacation is all about relaxing, exploring, and most importantly indulging in delicious food. I recently spent a long weekend in every Pittsburgher’s default beach vacation spot, Ocean City Maryland.  I’ve been lucky enough to visit the area a handful of times and have begun to develop a list of favorite restaurants to indulge in Maryland’s famous blue crab.

       3 Foodie Spots in Ocean City Maryland

1. The Crab Bag

The Crab Bag is definitely an Ocean City institution along Coastal Highway. It’s famous for it’s namesake, fresh Maryland crabs steamed crabs delivered to the table in brown paper bags.  It’s a casual spot with mostly outdoor dining on picnic tables and super popular. They don’t take reservations or have call ahead seating, so be prepared to hang out at the bar while you wait a bit for a table. Totally worth the wait though!

The Crab Bag menu is hue and features everything seafood related to Mexican and ribs. I’m totally the fan that visits exclusively for the crab.  They have both a cream of crab soup and a traditional Maryland style crab soup. In my latest trip I of course had creamy crab soup. They also offer the two mixed, which I would have never thought of.  We also indulged in the Crab Bags Famous Crab Dip describes simply as “crab meat, cheeses, and spices.” That’s exactly what it is. Really heavy and indulgent but delicious. I enjoyed a crab cake and hush puppies and the table ordered 6 jumbo sized steamed crabs. I don’t mind cracking open the crabs if I don’t think about it too much. It’s fun to get into the experience to tackle one, but the dedication to make it through 5 is a lot! The crab is truly delicious though. I guess I understand the experience of cracking crabs its kind of like a treasure hunt…?

 

2. The Hobbit

The Hobbit is a fine dining on the bayside of north Ocean City. As named, this Ocean City restaurant is themed after J. R. R. Tolkien paired with a  setting featuring stunning bay views. The dining space is elegant and understated with the view as its main feature of course. There are tiny pop ups of Hobbit inspired decor pieces if you look closely at the hanging art or the lamps. These are not at all costumey and add tiny bits 0f character to the space. I’ve shared my amazing first experience here.

This recent visit we again enjoyed the lamb lollipops. This is a dish of delicious, buttery grilled New Zealand lamb chops, with sweet potato hash and honey aioli. Seriously delicious. For my main meal I enjoyed the swordfish fresh catch, sauté of fresh Maryland jumbo lump crab, fresh corn, bacon, and fresh vegetables, finished with beurre blanc sauce. The piece of swordfish was huge and perfectly cooked! I really enjoyed the mix of sweet corn, bacon and asparagus too. My BF really loved his veal pistachio of veal medallions, prosciutto, roasted pistachios, mushrooms, shallots, Madeira, and cream. I was treated to a few bites and can say the creamy sauce was definitely rich and delicious. Kind of like my dad’s mushroom brandy bacon cream sauce.

 

3. Parched Pelican

I love brunch. Coffee, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hash browns and biscuits are some of the best things about the world – to me at least. Lucky for me my BF agrees 🙂 We seriously researched our brunch options for this quick trip.  After searching Yelp through an overwhelming amount of options we decided on a spot that looked fun with plenty of options to choose from, the Parched Pelican. I wasn’t expecting this spot to be as well designed as it was.  The restaurant features so many unexpected trendy  decor details, not the usual beach kitschy. every light fixture was different with a different type of Edison bulb. I was smitten with the look from the moment I stepped into the entryway; which actually featured a light fixture made with colored wine bottles and colored light bulbs – speaking directly too me.  I’m totally planning to make my own DIY version.

 

 

For my breakfast I ordered the Marylander crafted biscuit which is eggs, sautéed jumbo lump crab, Chesapeake hollandaise, and jack cheese on biscuits. The dish was good, but the “fresh buttermilk biscuits handcrafted daily from scratch,” were dense, tough and inedible. I was a bit disappointed. My BF ordered whiskey plantain brioche french toast with glazed plantains, toasted coconut and Jameson caskmates whiskey sauce. It was enjoyable, sweet and savory unique meal.  Glad we tried the dishes we did.

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Coquette Patisserie of Cleveland Ohio

Coquette Patisserie

While visiting the Cleveland Flea last Saturday, my friends and I took a break after shopping for a sweet treat. Coquette Patisserie is a bakery & bar that specializes in French pastries, macarons, cakes, confections, savory small plates, and craft libations. My friend had actually discovered the spot through adorable Instagrams of their exquisite-looking cheeseboards. The space is very quaint with Parisian-inspired decor and display cases full of treats almost too pretty to eat.

I treated myself to a “Coco Loco” of genoise soaked with dark rum and topped with toasted coconut, all enveloped with coconut mousse. I already love coconut and rum, but this was truly delicious. It tasted similar to that of a cheesecake, but without the heaviness.

After an early morning start, nearly three hours of driving, and shopping all morning I was exhausted. I ordered a fruity tea to revive myself, which I was really excited to try. It  was served it a pretty glass teapot with the sweetest tea timer. Fun, but I’m pretty sure it was just an Argo brand tea mix I have at home though. Next time I’ll try something different.

My three girlfriends ordered champagne, a cheeseboard and french macaroons. They enjoyed the bubbly, but the macaroons were extremely stale. The cheeseboard was definitely grammable. The cheeses were as delicious, as picturesque. We’d suggest asking when the pastries were made before ordering and asking for additional toast if its too hard for you to enjoy.

This is a great place to try on a weekend afternoon for a relaxing sweet treat. The decor throughout the indoor and outdoor seating areas is very charming. The staff was also whipping up some fancy and beautiful drinks while we where there, that I’d love to try.

I’d love to return sometime to bring my mother and try more of the pastries. Definitely check out the Coquette Instagram if you’re into pretty food & drink snaps!

 

New seasonal quiche: roasted @rittmanorchards asparagus with Brie

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