Girls on Food

Wine

Poppin’ Bottles in NYC: Air’s Champagne Parlor

Champagne is the unequivocal celebratory drink! And, let’s face it — during the not so celebratory times, a Champagne-filled flute somehow makes everything better.

New York City is the one city in the world where you can find any kind of specialty. You like macaroons? There’s a bakery just for that. Are bagels your thing? You can find virtually any flavor at a specialty bagel shop. Amused with the science behind sex? There is a museum dedicated to that too! Is bourbon your drink of choice? There are bourbon bars galore. Cocktail bars? One on every street corner. But a space solely dedicated to the tasting, enjoyment and (education) of my favorite drink: Champagne? Genius!

Naturally, when I heard such a whimsical place existed, I knew I had to check it out. At Air’s Champagne Parlor, you can pop bottles from across the globe, without ever leaving their adorable spot in the West Village.

Air’s Champagne Parlor
127 Macdougal Street, New York, NY 10012
http://www.AirsChampagneParlor.com

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AltaMed East LA Meets Napa & La Rioja + OC Meets Napa & Mexico

After much debate and consideration I was able to narrow down the awesome (pescatarian friendly) bites and beverages from AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa & La Rioja as well as OC Meets Napa & Mexico. The events were incredible fundraisers with proceeds supporting health care for uninsured patients (from AltaMed). I couldn’t believe how huge the event was and was happily jumping from one table to the next in my attempts to try everything.

My Favorite Food Picks!

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Nerano Hosts Their Inaugural Monthly Wine Dinner

Nerano, an upscale Italian restaurant owned by the Toscana Restaurant Group in Beverly Hills, hosted their first in a series of monthly wine dinners.

For this inaugural dinner, in their swank BG Lounge, Nerano’s Sommelier Samantha Johnston and Executive Chef Michele Lisi teamed up with Marchesi Antinori Wines ambassador Alessia Botturi to pair their wines with a five-course dinner.

Nerano & The BG Lounge
9960 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
http://www.neranobh.com/

This dinner was what dreams are made of for an Italian food and wine aficionado. Not only does Nerano have a solid reputation in LA as one of the favorite eateries among Hollywood power-players, but Antinori is also a company that can trace their history back to 1385, making them one of the oldest Italian wine producers. This Italian wine powerhouse is 26 generations owned and popularized in the US in the “Super Tuscan” boom of the 1970’s.

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Weekly Wanderlust 7/7/17: Five-Course Dinner at Nerano in Beverly Hills, Paula’s Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and The Ainsworth in NYC

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we’ll bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

The BG Lounge | photo credit Rob Stark

Julianne here:

I am so excited for Nerano and Marchesi Antinori‘s Italian Wine Dinner in Beverly Hills. For this dinner, Executive Chef Michele Lisi and Sommelier Samantha Johnston of Nerano team up with Wine Ambassador and Sommelier Alessia Botturi of Marchesi Antinori. 

This five-course dinner tasting menu paired with Italian wines by Sommelier Samantha Johnston will commence on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 7 PM, in The BG Lounge. 

Pricing for Nerano’s Antinori Wine Dinner is $140 per person, inclusive of the wine and menu, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Advance reservations required and there is limited seating available for this event, make a reservation here: 310.405.0155 

Nerano & The BG Lounge
9960 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Here’s a sneak peek at the menu for the evening:

The evening reception begins with Stuzzichini – Crostino Di Pomodoro Verde with Apulian Burrata & Green Tomato Marmellata and Bruschetta with Grilled Rustic Crostino, Diced Campari Tomato, Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano paired with Col de Salici Rosé Brut NV.

Followed by Antipasti  Crudo Di Ricciola with Pacific Yellowtail, Crispy Capers, Fresno Chili Peppers, Rainbow Micro Greens & Citronette paired with Tenuta Guado Al Tasso, Vermentino 2015and Burrata Caprese with Heirloom TomatoesApulian Burrata, Tomato Confit & Arugula-Pesto paired with Castello Della Sala, ‘Cervaro,’ Chardonnay 2014. 

Next is the Pasta course of house-made Orecchiette with Colorado Lamb Ragú, English Peas, Tuscan Mint & Fiocchi di Burrata paired with Guado al Tasso, ‘Il Bruciato’ 2015. For Secondi – the main course – Tagliata di Manzo, USDA Prime New York Steak with Yukon Gold Potato Focaccia & Sautéed Spinach paired with Antinori ‘Tignanello’ 2014.

Completing the dinner is a Dolci of Panna Cotta e Frutti di Bosco – Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Wild Berries, Orange Zest & Vin Cotto paired with Fattoria Aldobrandesca, ‘Aleatico’ 2011.

I will be on our Instagram @girlsonfoodblog providing stories and live content, so make sure you’re following us!

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Chang’an Restaurant and Bar in SGV

One of the best things about living in the San Gabriel Valley is the sheer abundance of Chinese food (which just so happens to be my favorite cuisine!)

So I was more than excited to have to opportunity to attend a tasting at Chang’an Restaurant and Bar along with some other LA foodies.

Chang’an Restaurant and Bar
227 West Valley Blvd, #358 (Hilton Plaza Top Floor), San Gabriel, CA 91776

Chang’an is literally a hidden gem, tucked away on the 3rd floor of an unassuming strip mall. I had a little difficulty finding it at first, and I hope others won’t be discouraged by its elusive location, because this place is certainly worth seeking out!

Upon entering, I was greeted by Minda Zhang, who along with her husband, Hao, runs the place. Her enthusiasm and passion for her restaurant was evident in every dish that I tried, as you’ll soon see.

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Joey Wölffer’s The Road We Travel Pop-Up Shop at Platform LA

A couple of my favorite things: Wölffer Rosé, Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider and jewelry!

Whenever I’m in NYC and dining out, I always order a glass of Wölffer Estate’s Rosé and/or my absolute favorite, the No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider. It’s very common to find in NYC restaurants and bars. I’ve always wanted it to come over to the West Coast though!

While Californians still can’t purchase Wölffer Estate wines in their own state, we do have time to shop for new clothes at Co-Owner Joey Wölffer’s pop-up, The Road We Travel at Platform LA. Joey curates a Hamptons-meets-boho collection from an array of her favorite luxe designers.

If we can’t sip on a glass of Wölffer Estate Rosé in LA, we can at least dress like we do! I had a moment to chat with Joey about this pop-up among other things.

Joey Wölffer and myself!

Joey Wölffer at Platform
8830 Washington Blvd, #101, Culver City, CA  90232

JG: How will this pop-up be different from your Sag Harbor and Nantucket locations?

JW: My ascetic is always the same. But LA is sophisticated and glamorous, so for this pop-up, I added a little sparkle to my boho ascetic. I haven’t been able to showcase here, so I’m very excited for that. When Platform reached out to me, I thought “to be amongst these other brands is so great.”

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Wine, Music & The New York Skyline: The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery 

Summer is almost here and nothing is more synonymous with New York City and summer than a classic rooftop with panoramic views of the city. It’s rooftop season and I’ve been ready for it since I swore I’d put away my sweater for the last time (which was literally less than two weeks ago – I swear). But alas, it seems as though the warm weather is finally here to stay! Let’s sip some Chardonnay, shall we?

The required elements to create a perfect rooftop are unobstructed city views, plenty of comfy couches, great music and an incredible crowd. That’s what I found when I stopped by The Crown in Lower Manhattan, Hotel 50 Bowery’s awe-inspiring rooftop, for the kick off of The Good Measure Tour II this past Wednesday, June 14.

   

The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery 
50 Bowery, New York, NY
http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/new-york/new-york-city-hotels/50-bowery/

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The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Alexander Steakhouse in Pasadena

As your editor-in-chief, I have a new goal here at Girls on Food: I want to make steakhouses and haute cuisine well… hot again.

I’m not saying steakhouses and other fine dining establishments suddenly became passé, but my Instagram feed is inundated with rainbow/freak/junk foods and I’m just over it.

I believe the reason these foods are so popular on social media is because they’re cheap and easy to obtain. They photograph well with their bright colors and craziness. An influencer can budget out their Instagram shoots easily. I get it. I respect it, I just want to deliver our readers a different perspective.

But while I set the bar a little higher for myself and continue to grow my palate more into the world of finer dining, I promise to not get too bourgeois on anyone. I will never forget my McDonald’s roots. And don’t worry, we’ll maintain plenty of comfort food content here at Girls on Food. (holla at Fatboi Tendencies)

I had just gotten out of a foodie event (I wouldn’t dare say which one) with a lack of fantastic bites. I decided I just wanted a steak and glass of red wine. So I went to Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena on total whim and my evening was redeemed times infinity.

Alexander’s Steakhouse
111 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
http://alexanderssteakhouse.com

The Alexander’s Steakhouse mini-chain has locations in Pasadena, Cupertino, San Francisco and Tokyo, with Patisseries in Cupertino and Mountain View; they also own By The Sea in Palo Alto. Alexander’s Steakhouse serves classic American steakhouse cuisine with a Japanese influence. The San Francisco location was at one time a Michelin-starred location, but has lost the star since. (inspectors, get back in there!)

The Pasadena location is a posh, dimly lit spot, tough on me as a blogger for photos (I did my best here at the last minute!), but fantastic for a date night. Right when I walked in, the service was very attentive and precise, without a stuck up attitude.

I wanted to go all out and try The Chef’s Table Experience ($200 per person), a custom tasting menu, but that is quite the endeavor as it’s intended for a party of four guests. This option requires a reservation (by phone or in person) in advance. Sure, it would’ve been fun to have Executive Chef Matt Bata all to myself, but the Chef’s Tasting ($175 with an optional $75 wine pairing) was the next best available option and I was so happy I went with this 8 course tasting.

I opted to not sip the night away with the wine pairing, since I drove out from Culver City. But next time, I’m taking an Uber out to be safe! I had a glass of Robert Foley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011. Perhaps not the perfect pairing with seafood and lighter courses, but boy was it beautiful once the steak came out.

  • Editor’s note – the Chef’s Tasting menu could have slightly changed with the season, but they told me it doesn’t change up that much. So if you’re reading months later, the menu may have altered.

 

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Happy #nationalroséday From Girls On Food!

From Editor-In-Chief JULIANNE:

Dear Rosé,

Although I had tasted you several times in my early to mid 20s, honestly… I just wasn’t that into you…until I picked up a cheap bottle of you at Trader Joe’s in West Seattle back in 2012. Over the next 5 years, I’d grow quite fond of you; sipping on a glass of you pretty much everywhere I go. 

Everything about you is a delight to us here at Girls on Food; your pale pink color, your dry, light-to-medium body and that fruity aroma. If this we were together in a movie, it would be Love, Actually and we’d all confess our love to you the way Andrew Lincoln’s character did to Kiera Knightly. To us, you are perfect.

My favorite rosé is Cloud Chaser. It’s my go-to whether I’m watching Real Housewives of… well, Anywhere, or enjoying a home-cooked meal. It’s one of the most versatile rosés I’ve ever come across.  

With #nationalroséday approaching tomorrow, a bunch of the Girls on Food wanted to share our favorite rosé bottles and recipes.

Congratulations to your growing success!

XOXO,

Julianne

VICTORIA: The Rose scene is new to me. I wanted to get into it like five years ago when I became a Bravo Housewife junky. I couldn’t find any unless it was a champagne version. Nowadays it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE.

Vinudilice caught my eye from the artistic label and the fact that it’s grown in the highest vineyard in Europe. The small (.35 hectare) vineyard is more than a century old and it’s on the side of a volcano named Etna in Sicily. It’s an up and coming area in Europe and the producer Salvo Foti is truly gifted in every aspect of the wine making process. I was lucky enough to meet him last year. He’s an incredible person and makes incredible wine. He uses old school techniques and even has a donkey working in the vineyard!

Fun fact: No refrigeration, yeasts or filtration are used in the winemaking process.

This bottle is acidic with a hint of tangerine and grapefruit. I’m not shy about being hard on wines and I can’t seem to complain about this one. It’s balanced, refreshing and sexy. A totally different style than the norm of rosé today.

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A Very Bazaar Evening, Indeed: Julianne Explores The Bazaar by José Andrés

The not-so-mellow month of May is going strong for LA Times Food Bowl in Los Angeles. Patrons of this month long festival are indulging in all things food and beverage, including various markets, tastings, workshops and even documentary screenings, that are taking place in multiple locations all over LA and surrounding areas.

I checked out one of the finer, more avant-garde events, the A Very Bazaar Evening, hosted by The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. Friend to Girls on Food Meagan and I explored this spot together, which is famous for modern tapas.

Culinary Director José Andrés is a Michelin-Starred and James-Beard Award winning chef, often credited with bringing the small plates (tapas) and trend to the US. If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with him, please do yourself a favor just watch videos of him on Youtube.

Head Bartender Billy Yoder

This intimate event was set in their tapas bar, Rojo at The Bazaar and featured many different tasting stations. In addition to modern takes on classic tapas and wine, many stations explored creations through avant-garde techniques, which Chef José Andrés is famous. This event was a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

“At Bazaar by José Andrés, we want you to see the process”, Head Bartender Billy Yoder told me, as he infused smoke into his A Fire in Jerez cocktail. This cocktail with Whistle Pig Rye, San Emilio Sherry, lemon, rosemary, applewood smoke is right up my alley since I love smokier cocktails.

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Hermosa Beach Fish Shop: Fast-Casual With Something For Everyone

I always feel my best when I’m following a pescatarian diet. I may post the best burgers in town, but in my off time, I try to limit my proteins to ocean and plant based ones. When I was invited to taste items from the Hermosa Beach Fish Shop menu I was relieved, cause after so many meat-packed tastings, I was excited to try some lighter bites.

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop 
719 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
http://thefishshophermosabeach.com

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Bites by the Beach: Leona in Venice, CA


When Leona opened in the summer of 2015, I was there for their first brunch. I loved the casual, yet sleek vibe and the inventive, seasonal menu. Not to mention that adorable cookie stand? Too cute! So what’s next for one of Venice’s most-beloved spots?

Former Sous Chef Jennifer O’Neil, now Head Chef, is leading the way at Leona with a new menu and is introducing new concepts to the restaurant.

Leona
123 W. Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://leonavenice.com 

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