One of the most delicious Chinese Restaurants I have every experienced. The fresh fish and the amazing sauces will draw me back for more. My Foodie friend said this would be a culinary treat and it was a great tasting frenzy. Read More
Capturing the beauty of South Red Rock while riding in this beautiful country. Could you imagine horseback riding twice a day in this beautiful spot. Eatons' Ranch has been a family run dude ranch outside of Sheridan, Wyoming for 135 years. The ranch is seven thousand acres along a trout stocked river for fishing. Read more
Even though I have been eating at Ramos House for years, for me, it continues to get better and better every time I go. The atmosphere has also become more refined and sophisticated. Just look at this food. It is truly artistic and really delicious. You must come hungry and you'll leave extremely happy. Check out the San Juan Mission across the tracks if you need to walk it off a bit.
Some of my other favorite dishes are the Mac n Cheese w/ Wild Mushrooms and Black Truffle, and the Basil Cured Salmon Lox w/ Toast Points and Baby Herbs.
I am so impressed with John, owner and chef. He has been opened since 1994 and I truly respect him for keeping tradition. It is a very special place and he hasn't tried to expand out of his historical gem.
Ramos House Cafe, 31752 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano, 949 443-1342
Our curiosity about this new pizza place in Crystal Cove got the better of us after a long day slaving over the computer. For your entertainment... Much to our surprise, we hit a winner. Settebello is a beautiful new restaurant that opened in Crystal Cove just three weeks ago.
We were greater by our darling waiter Jordan, who had many delectable suggestions to try on their menu. We needed wine after our day, and decided on some Gainey Chardonnay, which lacked a little volume on the pour. But when they get to know me, it should get better!
We started off with a delicious Romana salad and Duck Confit Crostini, which both put smiles on our faces. We were planning to save the third crostini for Trent, but it was too good not to eat. The bacon wrapped dates were to die for and we wanted to try Jordan's recommendation of the Crispy Polenta Bites, but we had already ordered two pizzas and didn't want to seem too gluttonous.
Next, we switched to a merlot for the arrival of Settebello's specialty pizzas.
The Diavolo was a tomato based pizza with spicy salami and roasted red peppers. Of course I added more pepper flakes to make it even spicier, while Shelby kept downing her wine to keep the fire down.
The Bianca was a different version than I'm used to. They add prosciutto and arugula to the mix. This was great with the arugula salad added on top. The crust was really good and almost sweet too.
Jordan is both a waiter and a pizza maker. He actually created the recipe for our dessert pizza, which was to die for.
I have to say, this place gives Mozza a run for its money! At the restaurant, I ran into my friend Elizabeth, who I do Bar Method with. We compared notes in class and decided that we both gave it a big thumbs up and will be returning soon to sample more pizzas!
Settebello Pizzaria Napoletana is located in Crystal Cove across from Javiers at 7864 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach
Open for dinner every day and for lunch on weekends
The restaurant also has locations in Marina Del Rey, Oxnard, and Pasadena, as well as a few in Utah and Nevada
One of my favorite Laguna restaurants, Maro Wood Grill, is nominated for Best Steak and Best Dessert in the OC! Go vote for these delicious dishes and support our favorite Laguna chefs!
What a treat to have my friends Johnna and Shelby celebrate my birthday at this legendary spa. We hopped in the car after our workouts and headed out on the 91 freeway. It is a quick 40 minute drive from the OC. It is a very reasonable spa and relaxing to spend the whole day with friends, while enjoying the benefits of the natural hot springs and lounge chairs. I actually read two magazines. It is tough to get the OC Wino to relax but it worked.
Lounging by the pool, we had a nice bottle of wine, relaxed, and struck up funny conversations with the other patrons and even pulled a prank or two.
Then we headed towards Club Mud. We slathered the mud all over our bodies and laid in the sun to let it dry. Afterwards, we rubbed the dry mud off and our skin felt like a baby's bottom. Speaking of babies, you must be 16 years old with parental supervision to visit the Spa. Sorry McCall.
This is the Retox food intake we enjoyed. Everyone was eating these huge plates of Nachos. Realizing the spa was known for them, we decided on a single serving to test them out. Cheese sauce is not my thing but Jalapeños are and they were quite good. Didn't try this artful cupcake but the picture turned out good.
A little wine stop was necessary on the way home. Did you know if you buy a six pack of wine at Pavilions you get 10% off? The only redeeming quality for that God forsaken market.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs, located in Corona, California
Sunday morning, we picked up Trent from LAX after his two week medical mission in Ghana, Africa. He was craving three things: Starbuck's venti iced green tea, cement roads, and Bar Ama for lunch. Off we went to explore some culture.
Aubrey, McCall, and Trent exploring the street art
Chef and owner Josef Centero has completely wowed my family and friends… and to wow me is a task. We went to his first place across the street called Baco Mercat before, which was crazy good. But Bar Ama has a Tex Mex menu originally coming from the inspiring recipes from his grandmother Grace Alice. The pictures tell all.
I can't wait to try the third location Orsa and Winston. He rules the corner of 4th and Main. Truly worth the 40 minute drive from the OC. It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner with great Happy hour and taco specials. This is OCwino's top pick. Belly's full, off we went to explore.
Bar Ama 118 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
3 lbs. of fresh peaches, with skin on, cut into 6 wedges
1/2 granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. kirsch or a fruity brandy (optional)
Topping and Assembly
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter, Room temperature
3 1/2 oz. almond paste or to taste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sliced almonds
sprinkle with powdered sugar
Vanilla ice cream and puree (for serving)
Toss peaches, sugar, flour, salt and kirsch in a large bowl. Transfer to a 13x9 Baking dish set aside.
Topping and putting it together
Preheat oven to 350*. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a mixer so we don't overwork ourselves, beat butter, almond paste, and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients.
Drop dollops of batter over fruit (batter will even out while baking. Sprinkle with almonds. Good idea to bake the cobbler on a baking sheet incase there is drippage. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is brown and the fruit juice is bubbling. Dust with powdered sugar and let it cool. Serve with ice cream and puree.
Purees are very easy to make as long as you have a food mill. Simply, take your berries and bring them through the small or medium disc of the food mill. Voila, you have a delicious fruit puree.
When the OCWino was away in Sun Valley, Trent and McCall decided to show off their own cooking skills. After a little trip to Trader Joes for dough and some gourmet toppings, the kids were ready to make some pizza. We probably spent about $15 for ingredients, but it made two killer pizzas that could possibly rival Mozza.
Trent decided to go with the garlic pizza dough and McCall took the whole wheat. After lightly dusting a surface with flour, we plopped the dough down and let it sit for 20 minutes.
In the meantime we prepared our toppings. Trent sautéed chopped mushrooms in truffle butter. The supply for the pizza was probably cut in half because we ate so many while cooking!
Next McCall took on the onion chopping duty. We pulled out the chemistry safety goggles to prevent any sort of crying. Next we caramelized the onions for some extra flavor.
It was incredibly helpful to have pizza pans on hand. McCall was an expert at working with the dough to make a perfect pizza pie.
Next, we loaded the pizzas with toppings and popped them into the oven! 10 minutes later our delicious creations were ready! The pizzas were absolutely delicious and paired wonderfully with a homemade balsamic dijon vinaigrette.
Wow, look at Chef Molly go! She created an art piece that you can eat!
First, she smeared Lebne (a mixture of strained Lebanese Yogurt) with fresh herbs over a stainless table, then on top she added food stations of Beetroot cured salmon, assorted pickled and dressed thinly sliced vegetables with squares of Tahini Bread. The result was a self-serve bar of healthy treats. It was so creative and the mix of flavors was delicious.
Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Molly has recently relocated from San Francisco to the OC. I always love meeting people who share my love and passion for food. The party was terrific. It had great pours, cocktails, and friendly wait staff in addition to the fantastic and really masterful nibbles. It was great meeting Molly and I can't wait to work on something together with her soon. I told her how picky I am and she absolutely wowed me. Thanks for including the OC Wino.!
Chef Molly, 23552 Commerce Center Drive, Suite S, Laguna Hills, California 92653