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
My favorite French Bubbles that leaves you hangover-less. No more Andre or Veuve Cliquot. After visiting this winery in France, this champagne blew my top off! Its available locally. The beauty is it's under $40. 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
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
Every year I look forward to going to the OC Fair. For the rides? Are you kidding me? No thank you.
I'm strictly all about the fare at the fair.
After getting jacked by buying a used ticket off of someone leaving the fair, we were ready to hit the wine bar!
As usual, it was super crowded and hot. Luckily, my brother had saved us a great table in the shade, so we were ready to start sampling!
A few blurry hours later, the kids arrived with their selection of the best fair foods. Every year I leave it up to them to pick their favorite greasy treats.
Here we go...
The rides scare the crap out of me, but I don't mind checking out the fantastic lights. Trust me, I know who puts those rides together...
Next event at the fair: Demolition Derby tonight with my Trucker girlfriends!!
Stay tuned, more fair food to follow!
The first location of The Wine Gallery is in Corona Del Mar. However when they opened in Laguna, it became a true locals hangout for wine and a little nibble of food.
Ryan was the friendly face behind our pours this evening. Everyone that works there makes you feel so right at home. They know your pour by the time you sit down.
It's so much fun to go in and belly up to the bar. They even let us use our own coasters!
It's rare that you walk in and not know someone you know. So if you are looking for an intimate quiet evening, this might not be the best choice. If you want a good time with friends, The Wine Gallery is your spot.
I love the owner Chris. It's the best when you walk into a restaurant and they already know who you are. It makes you feel important and you appreciate their service. This is huge for the OC Wino. It's all about those personal touches.
Although Selanne Steak Tavern is known for their delicious cuts of steak, we decided to try out their ever so talked about pours. However for once we abstained from the cougar crack on the menu and go hard. After all, you can always tell a good restaurant by their cocktails.
The OC Wino kept it classic with a kettle one martini. It was pretty standard as far as martinis go.
Our bartender Justin was darling and recommended the Husker Du as a lighter cocktail for our tech girl Shelby.
It was absolutely delicious. Not too sweet, not too sour, and just strong enough.
Try coming from 5-6pm on Sunday through Thursday for Happy Hour!
Selanne Steak Tavern 1464 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach
This is quite a crew that runs a terrific restaurant in Laguna Beach. It is my go-to spot. There is owner Maro, executive chef Deb, and Stefan, who makes sure we are well served at every meal.
Maro, who is originally from Argentina, has a real feel for the grill. Chickens are on a spit and he supplies the most delicious cuts of meat.
My favorite is the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. The only way to order it is rare or medium rare. It comes with a green salad to balance out the meal.
I am sort of a creature of habit there. My favorite starters are the mushroom empanadas and roasted edamame and shishito peppers. They are absolutely delicious.
For some reason, I never get tired of this great simple restaurant. I can walk in for lunch or dinner, get a great seat at the bar, and leave with a satisfied palette. They are open for lunch and dinner, and have been known to cater a party or two for me.
Maro also offers great food to be picked up if you want food to bring to a concert in the park or on a beach picnic!
Maro Wood Grill 1915 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA
Open every day except for Mondays
It's always fun to go to Burger Bash on Thursday nights at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The high tide was insane that night, so there were no famous Mai Tais under the palapa. Only cougar crack at the bar.
The pours were absolutely phenomenal... because we got a bottle and doled it out for ourselves.
A bar is where you get to display your wonderful hand-me-downs from previous generations. My grandfather ran a speakeasy during the prohibition in LaPorte, Indiana, so they were well versed in bar tools and accessories.
Even if you don't use all these tools, they look amazing as props to set up a very cool bar. I happen to have a pretty serious jigger collection, as well as many old antique flasks and decanters.
My bar is set up in an old armoire that my mother used in her kitchen to hold her cookbooks. Besides your everyday Myers, Kettle One, and Maker's Mark Whiskey, if it's for display only, go to The Mixing Glass in SOCO and buy some boutique bottles from cool distilleries. You can even gets some cool wine or cocktail glasses at Ikea if you hit it on a good day.
A bar can be a conversation piece in your living room, and most men like to belly up to it and take charge in making the cocktails. It's much more fun to display it in a piece of furniture instead of hiding it in a cabinet.
Let your bar have some personality!