Is Tuesday too early to start dreaming about Sunday brunch?
Yeah I don't think so either. You all know I have an ongoing list of restaurants I want to try and I swear every time I check one off another gets added! Turn recently opened in the .ZACK building in Midtown. .ZACK is a multi-purpose event space, there's also a new cocktail lounge, Sophie's Artist Lounge and Cocktail Lounge, that opened that I want to check out! The coolest thing about Turn is that it's record themed. The chef and owner used to be a DJ and the walls are decorated with records and there's a solid playlist of music streaming throughout the restaurant.
The cocktails were tasty and there were some unique breakfast offerings. We started with the paloma and mimosa to drink. Fresh squeezed juices take the cocktails up a notch. And of course I've never been able to pass up a biscuit and Turn offers a whole flight of them. The lemon-lavender biscuit was my favorite, with honey and seasonal jams.
The dill hollandaise on the L.E.O was a nice twist on the traditional eggs benedict. My boyfriend got the arepa which was the perfect savory breakfast, spicy chorizo with a yummy chili verde. There was an attention to detail on every dish that I appreciated and would expect from the chef who used to work at Cafe Osage (another brunch spot favorite!). The great thing is that this is another spot that now serves brunch during the week! They're open Tuesday-Sunday. But if you're out for Sunday brunch and you feel like continuing your day in Midtown, I suggest walking over to Urban Chestnut's beer garden for a complete Sunday Funday! Is it the weekend yet?
Well we are SOME how already in middle July. Where in the world did this year go? I'm just weeks away from my 29th birthday and I feel like I just celebrated 28. But I always feel like its important to check in on those little new years resolutions at this time. And I'm doing...ok. Check out my resolutions here.
There are two that I am definitely kicking butt on. First, travel to a new city. Check and check! My Italy trip took me to several new cities and it was incredible. From small towns to bigger ones, it was such an incredible adventure. I still want to hit up a couple of new spots here in the states. I just returned from Cape Cod for a wedding and its so beautiful up there. I really would love to make it out to California this year and visit a new part of wine country or go hiking. The camping trip on my resolutions still needs to happen...
The other resolution that is going strong is working on growing my Instagram following. I started the year with around 1500 and a couple weeks ago I went over 2000. Its not a massive growth but I know it's organic. The biggest thing I've done I think is incorporated more hashtags. I can 100 percent tell the difference when I use hashtags. Also I've done what I want others to do, and that's comment and follow other like minded Instagrammers. From fellow reporters to food bloggers to girls that have similar aesthetics, it really is all about building a community. And as someone who's made several real life friends through Instagram its such an incredible community.
The next resolution I am going to check off my life (for both this year and last...) is to FINALLY take that photography class. In fact I think I'm going to go sign up for one right this moment. There's no time like the present right? How are you doing on your resolutions? Have you gone back and checked in on them? And if you're struggling, well we're only half way through with the year, plenty of time!
Happy Friday friends! We made it! In the TV business there is no such thing as a holiday weekend, so no shortened week for this reporter, but it was a fun one. I got to cover Fair St. Louis for three days and while it was hot and crazy reporting in all four shows, its not a bad gig to listen to music, watch fireworks and eat funnel cake while getting paid for it. But I am seriously looking forward to a relaxing weekend hanging out with family and friends, and FINALLY editing all my Italy photos. Currently starting that process with a glass of rosé and some cherries. Anyone else obsessing over the summer fruit and vegetables? Like I am eating zucchini every day and gobbling up as many cherries and peaches as my heart desires. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I promise to have those Italy guides up on the blog soon!
Its officially summer! And I am back from vacation after eating my weight (and then some) in pasta and gelato, so that means it's salad time. This is one of my favorite salads to whip up when it's too dang hot to turn on the oven or even the grill. It's inspired by a similar salad on How Sweet Eats blog and can easily be customized with what's in season. I cannot wait for our garden to get going because this is even more incredible when the zucchini and tomatoes are picked fresh.
I keep thinking about all the incredible tomatoes in Italy. We had a caprese salad almost every day. I can't wait to share more about the trip in an upcoming post. We had the most incredible time, and there were so many things I wish I had known before going. But I have so many photos to edit and I'm still crazy jet lagged so the post will come soon I promise!
Back to this salad. The honey-lime-garlic dressing Jessica from How Sweet Eats made is what takes it over the edge. And its great to bring for lunch at work because the longer it sits, the longer the chickpeas soak in the deliciousness of the dressing. And after vacation, I definitely need to be bringing my lunch to work...
Chickpea + zucchini + tomato salad
Mix the chickpeas, zucchini, tomatoes and shallot in a bowl.
In a sauce pan, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and minced garlic. Heat over low heat, whisking until the garlic starts to sizzle. Take it off the stove and pour over the other ingredients. Top with fresh basil. Let sit in fridge for a half hour (or longer!) to let dressing adsorb. Enjoy!
Can we just talk about how I realize how old I'm getting when I stay out after work and have two beers and feel like death the next morning? Anyone else? College me would be so disappointed. Well this morning was especially rough because I woke up bright and early for a 7am yoga class. I almost silenced the alarm and went back to bed, but I am SOO glad I didn't. It was a free yoga class at the brand new Kiener Plaza. (If you haven't been yet, go, it's gorgeous.)
The organization Yoga Buzz put on the free sunrise yoga class and it was so amazing to see so many people wake up to do a little good for their bodies. Have you ever heard of Yoga Buzz? It's an organization working to make yoga accessible for all. I recently did a story about their latest endeavor on KMOV. I mentioned it in my Daily Delights post last week but wanted to share more.
They are creating a living yoga studio at Earth Dance Organic Farm School in Ferguson. (Another awesome community treasure, check out their gorgeous produce at the Ferguson Farmer's Market). They are revamping a green house into a yoga studio with a "carpet" of plants and herbs. How fun does that sound!?! They will have a couple of work days to help create the space throughout the summer, you can find info here (and donate!), with the hopes of it being completed by fall.
BUT in the meantime, don't fret, they are helping get our minds and bodies ready for summer for FREE several times a week, They will be doing the Kiener Plaza yoga classes once a month this summer and the last two weeks I've been going to their free lunch class at the Cortex Commons. It was a perfect mid-day escape. A half hour of yoga on the lawn, surrounded by sunshine, the smell of coffee roasting at Ronnoco, and the sound of the Metrolink whistle blowing. They also have a free class at Ballpark Village on Wednesday evenings. But so far the early morning class has been my favorite. There is nothing like watching the sun rise over the Arch.
Thanks to Yoga Buzz, I checked off the first item on my Spring Bucket list! With summer quickly approaching I need to step up my game to check off all my goals!
Summer has officially arrived in St. Louis. We've had the heat, the humidity and the crazy storms this week. While I don't love being sweaty at work, I honestly love the blanket of humidity that hits you when you walk outside in St. Louis. Yes...I realized I am probably alone in this this. But Monday night we went for late night drinks after work and I love that it's still 80 degrees at night. I'm also one of those people who waits until its completely unbearable to turn the AC on. I just love have the windows open! Anyone else with me on that? I know once my boyfriend gets home this weekend that will change, he does not like to be hot. So this week I have totally been taking the time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, whether it was a meeting outside at the new Kaldi's in the CityGarden or savoring every bite of the most amazing ice cream sandwhich from ChaCha Chow. My friends and I also went to an outdoor yoga class (for free!) at the Cortex Commons. Speaking of free yoga, one of my favorite stories this week was about the collaboration between Yoga Buzz and Earth Dance Organic Farms. They creating a Living Yoga Studio in a greenhouse! How cool is that? Watch the story here.
Happy Friday friends, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
"I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance." - Nora Ephron.
Nora Ephron so perfectly sums up New York for me. It's a city that steals a little bit more of my heart every time I visit. It's a city I'm not sure I could live in, but it's one of my absolute favorite places in the world to visit. And you don't need a long visit to become swept away in the sights and sounds of the city. I've never been to New York for more than four days at a time, so I always divide and conquer. Don't try to see everything in a few days, pick a part of the city and really experience it. It wasn't until my fourth visit that I ever saw the Statue of Liberty. This trip, the focus was Lower Manhattan.
My dad and I arrived Friday morning for our whirlwind 48 hour visit to see my sister. She lives in Brooklyn so we often spend a lot of time over there when I visit (which I LOVE), but this time, we stayed in Union Square and only once went above 59th Street. We dropped off our bags at our hotel, W Union Square, and feeling famished after an early morning flight we were thrilled to see the farmer's market in Union Square filled with amazing options. We opted for some sweet pastries to hold us over before lunch and then headed straight for the High Line. The High Line is an elevated train track turned park and it is one of my favorite things to see. This trip was the first time seeing it in the spring and the landscaping and flowers made it even more beautiful. We started at the end near the Standard Hotel. (Last time we ended there, and the beer garden at The Standard is a MUST.) We walked to 27th street to meet my sister for lunch at the Hotel Americano. The restaurant inside the hip boutique hotel features French food with a Latin twist. High ceilings, modern decor, the space was gorgeous, and with a glass of wine for lunch, we were officially kicking off our New York weekend.
My sister works at an art gallery so after we walked her back to work we peeked our heads in a few of the galleries in Chelsea including the David Zwirner Gallery. You could spend a whole afternoon just seeing galleries.
But we wanted to see more of the city. Note about my dad, he's an old school guy, so armed with a printed out copy of the New York Time's walking tour of Greenwhich Village, we headed back south to Bleecker Street. The walking takes you up and down the streets of the Village, pointing out history of the buildings and hidden gems like the entrance to Chumley's, a prohibition era bar that was popular with famed writers like Steinbeck and Ginsberg. You'll pass by the new and the old, cute boutiques alongside famous restaurants, eventually ended up in Washington Park. Watch a round of chess in the park, or find a grassy spot to sit and rest your feet.
We walked back to our hotel, where we were greeted with complimentary prosecco in the lobby. We grabbed a seat at the bar of the restaurant inside the hotel, The Irvington, for a drink. A DJ was already spinning in the lobby area.
Dinner Friday night was at Gramercy Tavern. The Danny Meyer classic has long been on my list. The dining room is a prix-fixed menu, but the bustling bar area has tables and you can order a la carte off the menu. I was slightly disappointed in the service, but the food was exceptional. I wanted to lick every last drop from my shrimp and carrot stew. And the beignets for dessert were a dream. We tried to go to Dear Irving (a gorgeous bar with rooms based on historic time periods) for cocktails after dinner but it would have been a crazy long wait. Tip for the future, make a reservation. So instead we went to a wine bar next door and met up with two of my sorority sisters. Doesn't matter where you're drinking when you're catching up with old roommates.
Saturday morning we woke up to a monsoon. Not just rain, but a drenching downpour. Instead of hitting the farmer's market like we planned, we went to Covina for breakfast and then hopped in a cab to the Met. The museum was obviously everyone's rainy day activity, but the line outside moved quickly. It's been more than 10 years since I was in the Met and I didn't remember just how massive it was! We picked a few exhibits to hit including the Impressionists and European paintings. We also saw the incredible Temple of Dendur. Egypt gifted the temple to the US after we helped save it from the rising waters of the Nile, so it's a full temple in the middle of an incredible room in the Met. And I was so excite we were there for the Rei Kawakubo exhibit. Its the Costume Institute spring exhibition featuring the fashion designer's work (it was the theme of this year's Met Gala). It was incredible, the pieces demonstrate the balance of the "inbetween." It's a must-see.
The rain definitely squashed our plans for Central Park so instead we decided to check out the cookie dough place started by a St. Louis native that's been hugely popular since it opened. DŌ is right next to NYU, so we caught a cab back to the hotel and then walked over. There was a line but it moved quickly. Word of warning, the cookie dough is SWEET. I got the chocolate chip and sugar cookie and those were probably the best. My sister got peanut butter cookie and brownie batter and could barely have three bites. But good news is, you can take it home and bake it into cookies! Its all safe to eat since they use pasteurized eggs and heat treated flour.
To get out of the rain for a bit we walked down Bleecker to the Blind Tiger, a cozy craft beer bar with excellent selection. Then back to the hotel to change for dinner. We went to a new restuarant called Pig Bleecker, a modern take on southern food. It was small and packed, but in a good way. I had the brisket filled ravioli and it was perfection. Don't missed the grilled oysters with spicy garlic butter or the candied bacon. After dinner we headed uptown to a caberet! We usually always go to a Broadway show when we're in New York, so we wanted to try something different. We went to Feinstein's/54 Below. It was INCREDIBLE. The hour and fifteen minute show featured four signers performing Broadway hits from over the years. It was in a basement room with cocktail tables. We ordered Manhattan's (because duh.) and were delighted by the performance. My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough! I could have had three more hours of Broadway songs. A nightcap at the St. Regis hotel was the perfect way to end our New York night.
You can take in a lot in 48 hours, but don't forget to give yourself time to just experience a city, grab a coffee or a cocktail and just watch the city go by. My advice, pick a must-see for you (for us this trip it was the Met) and base your trip around that. What's your favorite part about New York? Tell me below and I'll add it to my list for next time!
When you walk through the doors of Vicia in the Cortex District in the Central West End you feel like you are instantly transported to some place much cooler. Don't get me wrong. you all KNOW I'm obsessed with St. Louis, and for those of us that know, we're well aware our food scene can rival that of many major metropolitan cities, but lots of people still underestimate us. We're the David of the story (as in verses Goliath...).
Well they shouldn't. And they definitely shouldn't after they eat at Vicia. I'm splitting this into two posts (at this writing I still haven't yet been for dinner) because the lunch service verse dinner service has a different vibe. Lunch is counter service and meant to get the busy tech folks of the Cortex District (and everyone else coming to dine at the most anticipated restaurant of the year) in and out quick. I went to one of the pop-ups hosted by husband and wife duo behind Vicia so I was excited to see it all in action once they opened. Tara Gallina is the general manager, while her husband and St. Louis native, Michael Gallina is the master mind behind the incredible food coming out of the open kitchen. And let me just say, you could not ask for a nicer couple, every time I've been to a pop-up or the restaurant, they have both been beyond gracious and you can tell they have a passion for what they do. Some people could easily be intimidated by their concept of "vegetable-forward" cuisine, but they (as well as the rest of the wonderful staff) will walk you through everything.
The food is simple, yet stunningly creative. A simple carrot soup is illuminated with a multitude of flavors, each dish bursting with surprises in texture and taste. On the lunch menu you can pick two or three of the five items on the menu. It rotates with ingredients, and let me be the first to say, do not be overwhelmed by the idea of a more vegetable-centric menu. I am a burger girl through and through but the way Vicia treats and handles vegetables is an art. But for your meat fill. do not miss the sandwich on focaccia bread made in-house, topped with salami, mustard and a spicy touch of arugula.
To end an already delicious meal, do not miss the pastries. More specifically, do not miss the chocolate chip cookie. The perfect ratio of crunchy outside, with a soft and almost gooey inside, sprinkled with the perfect amount of sea salt Its truly heaven in dessert form.
The space is as equally stunning as the food, simple yet elegant. There's a patio with a huge wood-fired grill that I can't wait to spend many summer nights on sipping cocktails. This is a restaurant that many could say wouldn't do well in the ole' Midwest, it's too froofroo (sp?), not enough meat, blah blah blah. But let me tell you, from the looks of the crowds, this place is a hit and I can't wait for everyone to see the cool factor they are adding to the neighborhood.
Have you been to Vicia? I'd love to hear what you had! And what you thought! Let me know in the comments.
Mother's Day is right around the corner and if you haven't bought mom a present yet, don't fret! Luckily, there are so many cute local shops with the bunch of adorable stuff mom will love. (Hey, my mom, stop reading now, k thanks).
I feel terrible that I will be out of town this Mother's Day. I'm heading to New York to see my sister but I will definitely be making it up to mom. For the last two years my present to my mom has been to weed and plant the vegetable garden at her house. I've threatened to not do it this year because she is not the best gardener and if I don't come by weekly she will let it get out of hand. I mean we're talking zucchinis that grow to the size of my calf...BUT she said she definitely wants it again this year so that's my plan. Bowood Farms of course is where it's at when it comes to plants in St. Louis. They've got an incredible selection and are so helpful if you have questions on what to grow. But if you don't want to spend hours planting a garden, (my arms already hurt thinking about the work...) here's my list of other great gift ideas! All local to St. Louis.
-picks for mom-
1. I am obsessed with these prints from Red Lettered Prints featuring local chefs, this one is the buttermilk biscuit recipe from Yolklore. Shop here.
2. Lemon Gem in The Grove is perfect for creating little gifts, everything from kitchen gadgets to mini cook books, featuring your mom's favorite ingredient. Check out their Instagram here.
3. My mom and I love to take cooking classes together. I'm more of an activities gift-giver than a material one, and a bread baking class at Companion's Teaching Kitchen would be a great way to spend quality time together. Find their calendar of classes here.
4. You can't go wrong with a cute kitchen towel from Urban Matter. I bought my mom the cardinal one for Christmas. Check out their Instagram for hours here.
5. Again on the line of activities, tickets to the Muny are another great way to gift your mom some quality time together. We will definitely be seeing The Little Mermaid this summer. Find tickets here.
6. Mother's Day brunch is almost a given. And if you're looking for the perfect brunch with a view, check out Cielo at the Four Seasons. From fresh made donuts to an epic raw bar, mom will be happy. Reservations here.
7. My mom loves her Birch Box (a beauty subscription box), and I'm obsessed with the St. Louis version. Bit-O-Local features all St. Louis made products delivered right to your door. Order here.
8. If your mom is anything like mom, she can't start her day with out coffee. With the cute mugs from Arch Apparel she can drink her coffee while showcasing her love for St. Louis. Shop here.
9. You of course can't go wrong with jewelry for mom. But why not get her something unique like these gorgeous stone earrings from Union Studio. Check out their Instagram here.
For other local gift ideas, check out my shopping guides to the Central West End and Cherokee Street.
Usually I write these posts on what is the start to my weekend, but because of the historic flooding in the St. Louis area, I will be working extra this week. Everyone is putting in long hours this week, everyone at the station, but more importantly, all the first responders and emergency officials are working to keep everyone safe from the floods. Its easy to find myself complaining of exhaustion and the long rain-filled days, but then I think about all the people who are fighting to keep their homes and businesses safe and I find myself shutting my mouth real quick. And even during the tough weeks, there's so much beauty and good around us. From the stunning field of wild flowers I stumbled upon the other day, to the amazing spirit of the volunteers, to the just how amazing coffee has tasted this week. I'm looking forward to savoring my one day off tomorrow, celebrating Cinco de Mayo and seeing friends and family who are in town this weekend. I hope everyone gets to enjoy some much needed sunshine this week.
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write a bit more about my passions.