January 22, 2008

My past week was quite rich with little jaunts out of town. Go tablehopper go! I was on a non-tablehopper assignment and needed to check out Nick’s Cove and Cottages in Marshall (I know, this is such horrid work—when will these tedious duties ever end?). I just have to tell you, if you’re looking for a dreamy escape during the winter, the cottages are IT (and with the wintertime rates, see if you can afford a waterfront one!). Imagine stunning views of Tomales Bay, a toasty wood burning stove, heated bathroom floors, gorg linens, deep soaking tubs… and total peace. It was like I was at a cozy cabin that has been in the family for years. (I wish.) I wanted to move in and write my book. Pat Kuleto really knows how to do it right.

Also got a chance to head to Sonoma this weekend for the Feast of the Olive Dinner at Ramekins during the seventh annual Sonoma Valley Olive Festival. The multi-course dinner (try eight) was a great way to try some dishes from local chefs (and Sonoma wines, too). Bruno Tison of Sante Restaurant at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn totally blew me away with his refreshing combo of wild shrimp, hearts of palm, asparagus (crazy early), Cali osetra caviar, and Olive Press Limonato olive oil aioli. Dude. And Dana Jaffe of Saddles Steakhouse had a side dish that was so scrumptious, a gratin of turnip, yam, and Asiago. The barbera port from VJB Vineyards & Cellars totally won our table over as well.

I managed to hit lovely weather during both trips, so it made me think January can actually be a fab time to travel—well, if you get lucky. And if you do, jeez, it’s stunning up north. It only took us 45 minutes to get to Sonoma. Think about it. And get outta dodge! Speaking of, I hope you enjoy this week’s recap of where I ate and drank during my recent jaunt to NYC. I heart NY.

Ciao ciao,