Monday, June 19, 2017

ENGAGED!!








In the happiest moment of my life to date, Bob proposed!!

I don't typically gush about my relationship on the blog - but everyone wants to hear an engagement story so here goes...

He planned a surprise Memorial Day Weekend getaway to the Camden / Rockport area of Maine, a coastal region of New England we both had never been to. On the drive up we stopped for lunch in Portland - where I was surprised to learn that was not the final destination and our journey continued onward - North! 

Our road trip ended when we arrived at The Inn at Ocean's Edge, an incredibly romantic and beautifully kept oceanfront resort in the town of Lincolnville. We checked into our spacious room with a balcony overlooking the ocean and a gas fireplace set in crown molding; where a platter of chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of red wine awaited. At this point I sensed something was up. This place was NICE. Like, really nice. We immediately hit the infinity pool and hot tub for just a little too long before hurrying to make our dinner reservation at The Hartstone Inn in Camden Village. Our meal at this precious + historic inn was truly memorable. Bob outdid himself on day one of this trip (but still hadn't found the perfect spot to propose ;) )

The next day we decided to take the Maine State Ferry from Lincolnville Beach to Islesboro Island. We drove around the very pretty cove filled and quaint residential streets looping from North to South. At the southern most point we decided to park the car and explore. We were walking the beach and wandering along the rocky coves at Pendelton Point overlooking Penobscot Bay, relaxing and taking photos (us in sweatshirts are "before" photos). It was sunny and breezy, quiet and romantic. Next thing I know I'm looking at a shiny shell on one of the rocks and I had a feeling....the ring was nestled inside, so I handed the shell over to Bob, we hugged and kissed first, then he took a knee.... 

ENGAGED!! 

We walked the beach some more gathering sea glass and shells before heading into town for lunch. Dark Harbor "town" on Islesboro consists of three shops - an old school deli / ice cream counter, an antique store, and a fine home decor shop. 

Little did I know there were even more sweet surprises in store for me this weekend. He really went all out - and I've been on cloud nine ever since!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tentua di Biserno @ Grill 23

One of my favorite things about keeping up with this blog is the discovery and opportunity regarding anything new. This includes tasting elegant, luxurious, expensive Italian wines on a Tuesday evening in an opulent wine room at Boston's classy steakhouse Grill 23. No, wine tastings are nothing new around here, neither is Grill 23, but these wines and exposure to the region where they are grown in Tuscany certainly are new-to-me. A sweet Italian man named Marchese Lodovico Antinori proudly presented to us his latest wine making project; Tenuta di Biserno, a unique blend leading with Cabernet Franc.

The Biserno Estate thrives in Western Tuscany in the coastal area of Upper Maremma among the hills of Bibbona, a small wine village bordering the more famous Bolgheri. The wild, rugged terrain only more recently tamed by winemakers is now home to vineyards and olive groves that stretch down towards the Mediterranean Sea. 

Lodovico decided to plant exclusively Bordeaux with Cabernet Franc in greater percentage - followed by Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and an almost abandoned varietal - Petit Verdot. The estates soil is rich in minerals, silt, alluvial sand, and clay - terrifically distinct, complex and produces some truly remarkable wines. Here's a look at the five beauties we tasted paired with an excellent three course meal.

Caesar Salad | brown butter croutons, anchovy marmalade


Il Pino di Biserno 2012 - (SRP $75) intense nose with dark berries and plenty of sweet spicy notes. Concentrated palate with beautiful depth and length.


Il Pino di Biserno 2014  - (SRP $75) notes of red cherries with underlying oak adding spice and complexity. Elegant and harmonious palate with fine round tannins and a long polished finish.


Boneless Ribeye | roasted mushrooms with sherry, confit shallots, sauteed spinach w garlic + olive oil.


Biserno 2012 - (SRP $175) their eponymous wine, only the finest grapes are selected resulting in a thought provoking intensity and complexity with notes of plum and blackberry followed by toasty spice. Elegant palate with fine rounded tannins. 

Biserno 2010 (SRP $175) - deep ruby red, scents of blackberries, freshly ground coffee and licorice. Elegant structure to the palate with fine grained tannins, balanced acidity and a mineral-y feel with a lengthy finish.


Cheese Selection | with cranberry peacan crostini, membrillo, honey comb, black pepper apricot chutney
Chevre Berger du Haut Bearn (Goat) Pyrenees, France | Gruyere Reserve AOC (Cow) Friebourg, Switzerland  | Pecorino di Pienza, Gran Reserva (Sheep) Tuscany, Italy 


Lodovico 2011 - (SRP $419) A rare, unexpected assemblage, this wine is all about the full bodied, rich texture and complexity, balanced by a fine acidity. 

Wow, this wine is exceptional. All of them were!


Combining the unique terrior with the cooling influence of the sea, Upper Maremma plays host to some of most famous and celebrated wines of Italy, and I felt incredibly lucky to taste Lodovico's wines among a spirited group of wine lovers. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

element Seaport Hotel


Hi guys! Hope you all had a fantastic long weekend. Memorial Day Weekend is always one of my favorites! I am here today with a little staycation action from the Friday before last, where we checked into the Seaport District's element Hotel. Although we only checked in for one night - a fun night out in the neighborhood at that; element by Westin prides itself on being an extended stay hotel catering to guests who are in town for a few days to a few weeks or longer. Of course, it worked out for one evening just as nicely! We relaxed in our light filled executive suite before heading across the street to meet friends at The Lawn on D. A few beers + cornhole games later we took a five minute Uber ride into Fort Point for dinner at the always excellent Sportello





The element by Westin is a clean + modern hotel. It's eco friendly, dog friendly, a 10 minute drive from Logan Airport and in the center of the booming Seaport District. Although some of the views from our room present more industrial / parking lot areas, rest assured the scene is not far. The rooms are sharp + spacious. Our one bedroom suite felt minimalist as opposed to cozy - sparse on decor with just a few pieces of abstract wall art and muted gray tones throughout. 




What I loved:


That Kitchen! The earth-toned glass backsplash literally saves the day. It is awesome to know that a fully equipped kitchen exists here even thought we didn't put it to use. There's a refrigerator, dishwasher, range top, microwave + it's stocked with cookware, dishware and utensils so you could easily prepare a full meal. 

The Bathroom - So much room to spread out in this spa inspired space with a rainfall shower head and Phamacopia Natural products. The one thing missing?! Bathrobes! I love when hotels give them, and most mornings at home I always cozy up in my bathrobe first thing.


Complimentary Breakfast Bar - That egg sandwich was so key and took the standard breakfast buffet up a notch in my book. I also treated myself to a bowl of Lucky Charms from the cereal bar. Bob had scrambled eggs, bacon + a waffle. 


Additional Features (we didn't have enough time to take advantage of): indoor pool, fitness center, a grill on the patio + bikes to borrow. If we didn't have a somewhere to be the next morning I would have loved to hit up the pool and gym.


I'm now thinking more staycations are in order. Boston has so much to explore and I really enjoy being in-the-know about all the hotels be them new or old and what they have to offer. Thanks so much to element by Westin for the inspiring and restful Seaport staycation!


391-395 D Street
Boston, MA 02210

Our stay was complimentary, all opinions are my own