Tuesday Travel

Providence

I had one of the longest drives of my life to Providence during the December snow storm of 2007. What should have taken 50 minutes, turned into an 8 hours ordeal. The moment I pulled into the parking garage, I vowed to myself I would never drive to Providence again.

That was until my dear friend {and fellow MHC sister} Christina introduced me to East Side Pockets, home of the best falafel wrap in the Northeast. I am known to drive just about anywhere for good food and thus decided a drive to Providence wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Especially if food was involved. But you know what, I never stayed. That all changed, though, when I read about The Dean. At that moment, Providence quickly moved up my list for a weekend getaway.

Turns out, Providence is pretty awesome.

Stay

Hotel

I could go on and on about The Dean but I will keep it to this. A 52-room boutique hotel with a coffee shop, German beer hall, European speakeasy and a Karaoke bar all housed in a former brothel. How could you not want to stay here? If you opt for a bit more traditional and classic, I suggest the Providence Biltmore.

Eat

birch

For such a small city, the culinary scene in Providence is off-the-hook. Here are few must try places.

Birch {Owner and chef Benjamin Sukle, a 2014 James Beard semifinalist, has created an intimate and unique dining experience with only 18 seats around a u-shaped bar. The menu is a four-course tasting and guided by local and seasonal fare. By far, one of my top dining experiences thus far in 2015.}

Al Forno {The restaurant that put Providence on the culinary map.}

Nick’s on Broadway {A delicious gourmet brunch spot. I had the baked polenta with Rhode Island corn + Vermont cheddar with poached eggs and pumpkin seed pesto. So good!}

The Grange {A great spot for the vegetarians, this cheery cafe is always a safe choice for a healthy and wholesome meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner.}

Tallulah’s Taqueria {An East Providence gem!}

Kitchen {Truth be told I missed this place on my last two visits, but I hear it is fantastic, just look at their exterior.}

Seven Star Bakery{I love me a bakery and their lemon cakes are sinful.}

The Eddy {The place for a nightcap in Providence.}

I’m already making a list of places to try on our next visit: Olga’s Cup and Saucer, North Bakery, The Dorrance, The Shop and Ken’s Ramen.

Do + See

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One of my favorite things to do in Providence is explore. The architecture is mesmerizing and each neighborhood has such a unique feel. Typically I drive to a new neighborhood, park the car and just walk. Some of my favorites include:

A walk down Thayer Street. Located in College Hill, Thayer Street has a similar feel to Harvard Square and is bursting with energy and intellect from near by Brown University. Great shops {Berk’s for shoes is a favorite}, coffee shops and bars abound {and East Side Pockets, of course}!

A walk around Wayland Square.

A visit and walk around Westminster Arcade.

A walk to the State House.

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There is so much to do in Providence that I haven’t yet had a chance to do. WaterFire, RISD Museum, a concert at Providence Performance Arts Center. Must start planning my next visit stat!

Main Image Credit: Parrot Design Studio

Island Time

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Happy Monday, sweet readers! Did you all do something fun this past weekend? We escaped to the island for a few days. Walking around Saturday morning, I was struck by how much has changed on my little island. Shops moving, new businesses opening their doors, and delicious new places to grab a bite. To help ease us back into the work week, I thought I’d share all the new places you need to know about as you plan your next trip on #islandtime.

atlantic

One of my favorites, Atlantic has moved up-town to Federal Street in the former C.Wonder space. With this larger space, Atlantic has expanded their offering of boho-chic pieces (I picked up the best summer dress seen here) as well as their collection of antiques and housewares. I am told that they will be opened longer into the off-season now too. Good news, indeed!

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The delightful Sarah Powers has opened Table No. 1 in the former Dupree & Co. space on Old South Wharf. Sarah continues to operate this space as a wine and cheese shop but has expanded offerings to include beautiful wooden cheese boards, colorful french cheese knives and even flowers from Flowers on Chestnut. Even better, she has wine barrels set-up outside the shop on the shell path along the wharf so you can sit back with a glass of rose and enjoy the terrific people watching. If you stop by, you must try the Pufrock cheese from Grey Barn on Martha’s Vineyard. Not only is the packaging superb but the smell and flavors of this cheese are to die for.

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It seems to be all about the juice these days and I am pleased to report that a bright and cheery juice bar has opened in the former Bean location on Centre Street. Lemon Press offers a wonderful selection of cold-pressed juices {my favorite is the sweet green}, smoothies, raw bowls, open-faced sandwiches and frozen yogurt. In-town and need to grab a healthy lunch to take to the beach. Lemon Press is the spot. Oh and stop in to see their living wall too. It’s pretty great!

barcos

For those of you who have been coming to the island for some time, you know that it would take a lot to replace Tacos Tacos. I am pleased to report that the offerings at Barcos y Tacos do just that. My whole family went and the fish tacos were the crowd favorite. I opted to make my own tacos with sweet potatoes, black beans and Barcos signature chicken, which was cooked in tomatoes and had a wonderful flavor and texture. Located out of town behind The Sea Grille, I highly recommend Barcos y Tacos for an easy and affordable dine-in or take-out meal.

sevenseas

The art scene on Nantucket is thriving and although I haven’t been just yet, I hear Samuel Owen Gallery is the gallery of the summer. Housed in the historic Seven Seas building on Centre Street, this iconic spot was once home to Captain George Pollard of The Essex. This is the second gallery for owners Lee and Cindy Milazzo, who opened their first in Greenwich in 2004. These two are committed to exhibiting the work of emerging to mid-career artists. I am obsessed with the Antoine Rose beach photos. Breathtaking!

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A few more things to note: The Bean has moved into an expanded location at 4 India Street.  Grey Lady {with outposts in NYC and Aspen} has opened their third location in the former Bamboo Super Club near Stop & Shop. I hear the food is quite good. Nantucket Patsy Co. has rebranded to Nativ Made and continues to offer delicious juices {I like the Sconset loop} and baked goods. Atlas has opened in the former Pazzo space and Station 21 {sister restaurant to Lola 41} just opened in the former Corazon del Mar space. From what I’ve gathered on Instagram, the renovations are pretty incredible. And we have one more option for pizza on the island. Oath Craft Pizza,  at 44 Straight Wharf, is getting quite the buzz for their inventive toppings and ability to order half a pie.

For shops, Scrub Oak has moved to 10 Straight Wharf. Shift has moved from behind Lily Pulitzer to a prime spot on Main Street next to Vis-a-Vis. And Salt, a sweet little shop has opened at 19 Old South Wharf. There is a sign hanging in the shop that perfectly explains my love affair with this island of mine — it is just in me.

“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” John F. Kennedy

Found

Planner

Checking the mail yesterday felt like Christmas. Why you ask? My new Rifle Paper 17-month planner arrived! Each and every year around this time, I begin my search for the perfect planner. Size, weight and layout are all factors, of course. A few past favorites include Poketo’s Moment planner and O-Check’s 6-month diary. But this one may just take the cake and thus why I’m naming it this week’s found item.

Upon opening, it became clear that the team at Rifle Paper spent a great deal of time thinking of every last detail. The result is a functional yet beautiful planner complete with a hidden spiral binding, an important dates section, a weekly calendar view {broken down with all 7 days}, a contacts section and a pocket folder at the end to hold all those little pieces of paper you can’t misplace {but always seem to do}. The very best part is that I don’t need to wait for the new year as this one starts with August 2015.

Looking for the perfect gift for your girlfriend’s birthday, a thank-you for your mother-in-law or a holiday gift for your child’s teacher? The Rifle Paper planner is it!

Celebrate

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Wishing one of my favorites Food52 a very happy birthday! For all of you who don’t know Food52, please allow me to make an introduction.

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Food52 was started by these two lovely ladies. Amanda Hesser, formerly of The New York Times and Merrill Stubbs, a former caterer {and Flour counter girl}. These two set out to create a community for chefs, both trained and novice, to exchange recipes, shares stories and support one another. And what a community they’ve created. From cookbooks to a podcast to an online store, Amanda and Merrill have reminded us the importance of food and sharing it with those we love.

Looking for inspiration? Look no further than Food52. But be warned, 10 minutes can easily turn into an hour… it’s just that good! And good news, they are offering free shipping on all orders placed today in honor of their big day. I just purchased these muffin molds and can’t wait for them to arrive.

I will leave you with their cooking manifesto:

  • If you cook, your family will eat dinner together.
  • If you cook, you will naturally have a more sustainable household.
  • If you cook, you’ll set a lifelong example for your children.
  • If you cook, you’ll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily.
  • If you cook, you’ll make your home an important place in your life.
  • If you cook, you’ll make others happy.
  • If you cook, people will remember you.

*Photo credits: Food52

Movie Monday

Grace&Frankie

I have my mom to thank for introducing me to Grace and Frankie. While technically it isn’t a movie, it felt like a movie as I spent nearly all day yesterday in bed watching this fantastic series and nursing a stomach bug. From the co-creators of Friends, this delightful series premiered on Netflix this past May and stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin (who is my opinion steals the show), Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. The story-line unfolds in the opening scene when you find out that Grace’s husband and Frankie’s husband (who just happen to be partners at a divorce law firm in San Diego) have fallen in love and are divorcing the two, who are by no means friends.

Over the next twelve episodes, what develops is a touching friendship between these one frenemies and the important of moving on. From dating in your 70s to hosting a bachelor party for your now gay-dads, this show has a wit and humor that will keep you wanting more.The series was reminiscent of a Nancy Meyers’ film, especially with the beach house in La Jolla, that I could move right into.

Good news, Season 2 is set to premiere in 2016. The end of Season 1 ends with a cliffhanger so I look forward to binge-watching these ladies again soon.