Laguna Salt Company

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Happy Tuesday guys! Today I’m taking a little break from the normal local flavor to share a recent discovery that I’m really excited about. Anywhere I go, I am always on the hunt for new things to try in the kitchen. From spices to cooking tools, it’s something I really enjoy scouting out whether I’m at a flea market, on vacation in Key West or walking through my local William Sonoma. I recently came across Laguna Salt Company and knew that I had to investigate more. Full disclosure – I’m a huge Blake Lively fan and came across Laguna Salt while browsing her new lifestyle site Preserve. I’m not sure if it was the photography or just the recipes that popped into my head while thinking about all the different salts, but I was instantly drawn in. For my first purchase I chose an Artisan Salt Collection, which I think will be a great place to start. I will post back with an update once I receive the package and put this gorgeous collection to use!

(Images via Laguna Salt Company) 

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Oola, San Francisco

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On a recent weekend trip to SF I managed to squeeze in a quick dinner at Oola, one of my favorite spots in the SOMA area! More than just an awesome menu, Oola Restaurant & Bar is also known for it’s sleek and modern design. The space was created by award winning architect Suhil Shatara with interiors designed by Jabarra Athas, and custom lighting by renowned artist Malcolm Cressy. It’s very San Francisco, industrial, modern, and trendy all at the same time. Here’s a look at our menu for the night!

Our Menu:

Serrano Pepper and Bacon Mac & Cheese – Sriracha Honey Sauce

Brussel Sprouts – Bacon, Brown Butter and Fleur de Sel

Ginger Soy glazed Baby Back Ribs – Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw

All Natural Niman Ranch hamburger – Brioche Bun, Grilled Red Onion and Fin herb Fries 

Next time you find yourself down on Folsom Street for a game or startup event, I would definitely take the time to stop by Oola. I tend to find myself ordering lots of sides, but will say the Niman Ranch burger was pretty incredible. Don’t miss out on that mac & cheese either! Checkout their website for more info on the space, catering, ordering online and more – Oola-sf.com. (Interior image credit: Zagat)

 

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The Pub at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

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Our Sunday ritual since moving to Las Vegas has been to pub crawl as often as possible. There are so many new places to try, you can literally just pick a direction and walk! So last weekend we set out in search of snacks and found ourselves at The Pub at Monte Carlo. Being known for their massive beer selection we opted to try a fun banana bread beer and a apricot ale. Both ended up being great choices!

Our Menu:

Giant Wood Fired Pretzels - Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce, Yellow Mustard, Whole-Grain Dijon

Chicken Tenders - Choice of Buffalo, BBQ, Teriyaki or Garlic Chili Sauce, Served with Pub Fries and Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing

Mac & Cheese - Cheddar Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Toasted Breadcrumbs w/ Bacon

Wells Banana Bread Beer - if you are a banana bread fan like me, this is a must have!

Pyramid Apricot Ale

We had a wood-fried flatbread in mind for dinner but ended up getting so stuffed by the appetizers that we couldn’t do it. So word of advice – the apps here at The Pub are HUGE! Especially their amazing pretzel dish. I’m sure that we will head back another weekend to try more of this extensive menu out, and I would definitely recommend stopping by next time you are looking for a great low key meal on the strip! Also a tip for locals – grab one of their half price beer cards, you can use it for great discounts and 50% off beer on Sundays.

 

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Citizen Cider, Burlington VT

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Happy Monday guys! Today I’m back to share a quick look at Citizen Cider out of my hometown Burlington VT. I was lucky enough to spend the past two weeks there with my family, and definitely enjoyed my fair share of this awesome beverage!

The Citizen Cider Story: Citizen Cider was founded in 2011 by Justin Heilenbach, Bryan Holmes and Kris Nelson. In 2011/2012 Citizen Cider launched its flagship brand, Unified Press, and produced a total of roughly 5000 gallons.  We spent the summer of 2012 trying to figure out how to make and get more cider to the people. We worked on a plan with Stan, the owner Happy Valley Orchards in Middlebury Vermont, and we produced 28,000 gallons in our second year. Now, in 2014, we have opened up our new space on beautiful Pine Street in Burlington’s South End and are working to quadruple our production and make 100,000 gallons in our expanded space. We now make and market eight different hard ciders.

Our Menu:

A Tasting – Wit’s Up, Northern Spy, Citizen’s Cellar: Pear Wild, The Full Nelson, The Dirty Mayor

VT Cheese Board – 3 local cheeses, bread from O Bread Bakery and a house fruit preserve

The brand new tasting room located on Pine Street in Burlington was just as cool as any tasting room I’ve visited in the entire Bay Area or Napa. I might be biased because it’s home for me, but it was all done so well! With a communal table setup, a large bar, and great music, this was definitely one of the best evenings I spent at home. I would definitely recommend the tasting so you can wrap your head around the whole cider concept. I can’t wait to see these guys on the west coast!

 

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RM Seafood, Las Vegas

RM_Edit1 RM_Edit5RM_Edit3RM_Edit7RM_Edit6RM_Edit4RM_Edit9RM_Edit8Over the past few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to experience Chef Rick Moonen’s cuisine on several different levels. First was a date night at RX Boiler Room then the latest Sunday Night Supper at MTO Cafe! Most recently was another fun night at RM Seafood. It was my first visit to this sustainable seafood restaurant and it ended up being a fantastic meal, as expected!

Our Menu:

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake – fresh blue crab, carrot salad, chipotle aioli

Rainbow Roll - crab, avocado, cucumber, big eye tuna, albacore tuna, king salmon, fluke

Endless Summer Roll - tempura king crab, spicy tuna, cucumber, big eye tuna, lemon, jalapeño

Asparagus w/ poached egg

We kept it somewhat light with the sushi, but ended up leaving full as could be.  Along with creating a killer menu, Chef Rick really has a handle on the perfect atmosphere for each of his locations. This meal was made even better by the relaxed vibes and underwater like blue candles on each table. I’ve heard great things about the fish & chips as well as the Maine lobster rolls and can’t wait to go back to try out a few more dishes!

 

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