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Italy in Williamsburg

January 31, 2013

For all of you Italophiles who crave Aperol Spritz preceding a Papardelle Al Ragu followed by a Tiramisu, look no further than Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  There are several amazing and new-ish Italian restaurants located within walking distance of the Bedford L train stop that you just MUST checkout pronto, signore e signori. Why drop a thousand dollars on that plane ticket to Italy when you can eat like an Italian from whatever region you want right here in New York City?  Here’s the list, ciao a presto.Italy - Marignolle Florence

Antica Pesa – Rome – a gorgeous restaurant on Berry Street between North 7th and North 8th, Antica Pesa is the first North American outpost of the famed Rome restaurant of the same name.  If you can’t make it to Antica Pesa in Rome anytime soon or if you can and just want to also enjoy the Roman ambiance here in New York, then you must go to Antica Pesa.  Kisses on both cheeks, the warmest welcome you can imagine, Italian hospitality with beautiful delicious food to exceed all your Italian dream dinner expectations.  brooklynFood - AnticaPesa

Fabbrica – Modena (near Bologna) – on waterfront row in Williamsburg, Fabbrica’s sleek modern build-out starts impressing when you walk through the tall doors and doesn’t stop until you’re sipping your limoncello.  The chef was previously at the helm of a 2-Michelin star restaurant in Modena.  Seeking true Northern Italian cuisine? You’ve arrived at your destination. brooklynFood - Fabbrica

Osteria il Paiolo – Piemonte (Piedmont) and Torino – pappardelle al ragu, burrata , all the classic unbeatable Italian dishes are here at Il Paiolo , where you’ll also be happy to find real stylish decor, the most charming waiters, children welcome just like in Italy, and a true heart of the Williamsburg neighborhood.  This is my favorite. brooklynFood - OsteriaIlPaiolo

Aurora – Tuscany – they hold weddings here and I once saw Matthew Perry here.  Friends have seen Penn Badgley here.  And they often hold weddings here.  You get what I’m saying:  It’s cool, the ambiance is romantic, the food is original, the setting is warm, and it’s just darn pretty.   I always send my Manhattan friends here when they’re in the neighborhood. brooklynFood - Aurora

La Nonna – Naples – just returned from Naples and you’re craving an amazing pizza, then go to La Nonna.  But your mother wants pasta and your children want both?  Go here for your pizza when you just want it to go, or when you want to see down with your family for pizza and pasta as a break from your hectic day.  This is no frills. You are always welcome and you always leave so thankful that you stopped in.  I ordered La Nonna for my son’s birthday and everyone wondered where the amazing pizza came from.  Whenever anyone has La Nonna pizza, a new lifetime La Nonna fan is born. brooklynFood - LaNonna

Escaping to Aix

January 21, 2013

The second part of our perfect Provence itinerary takes us to Aix-en-Provence, the gorgeous garden city where washed out colors of Provencal buildings evoke calm and beauty, and the cafes and markets will charm you at every turn.  Vendors from all over the region come to Aix several times a week to sell food, herbs, fabrics, and of course everything lavender.  You’ll love it here . . .

Part 2: Aix-en-Provence: 3 days at the Hotel Le Pigonnet.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 1

Plan your day over cafe au lait croissants in the garden.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 2

Wander through the greenery and take in all the natural beauty and the artistic beauty of statues and exquisitely planned gardens.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 3

Champagne after a swim? Yes please.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 4

The ideal setting for a garden party celebration.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 5

love the scent of lavender fields, a symbol of Provence.

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 6

You’ve shopped so much and eaten so well that you deserve a dip in the pristine pool!

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 7

Ambiance . . .

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 8

Roses . . .

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 9

Fountains . . . Have you forgotten that you’re in a small city?

Provence - Aix Pigonnet 10

This is a dreamy base for exploring all the delights of Aix-en-Provence. The perfect place to relax after exploring and before your Michelin-starred dinner.

Next Stop on your travels . . .  again, you must come back to see.  Hint: a gites in the countryside where you can take cooking classes, sleep in a mansion that’s literally in the middle of lavendar fields, learn about the foods of the regions, and give your wallet a small break .

Pool Hopping in Provence

January 20, 2013

It’s that time of year when people are starting to plan spring travel.  One place on Brooklyn Baby Social’s short list of dream destinations for springtime is Provence.  Just look at these gorgeous hotels awaiting your arrival!  Here’s a great itinerary for you to follow.  Bon voyage!

Part 1: Les Baux de Provence

Stay: 3 days at the Oustau de Baumanière, a Relais & Châteaux.

Do:  Eat dinner at the hotel’s award winning 2-michelin star restaurant and drive to its sister restaurant, nearby La Cabro D’Or , for another great meal. Explore the French countryside and quaint villages.  Lounge by the pool and enjoy the fragrant floral scents.  Pretend to be French, pourquoi pas?

Provence - Oustau 4

Try the Oustau’s pool on for size. Feeling calmer just looking at, right?

Provence - Oustau 8

The rooms are modern chic with the Provencal flair.

Provence - Oustau 7

Eat like the celebrities do at the restaurant. Its 2 michelin stars are well deserved.

Provence - Oustau 6

If a gites is good enough for Queen Elizabeth and Bono . . .

Provence - Oustau 5

Roam if you want to …

Provence - Oustau 1

Perfect your tan and imbibe your senses with lavender scents.

Provence - Oustau 2

Simply beautiful, inviting, lush, perfect.

Provence - Oustau 3

Thank you Oustau for being gorgeous and peaceful. We look forward to starting our dream itinerary with you! p.s. My dream home will be painted these colors.

Part 2: Well we can’t reveal all our secrets at once . . .  tune in for the rest of our dream Provence itinerary in the next post!  xoxo

Happiness Is . . .

December 7, 2012
Pin 1 - Dec 7 - Pure Fixed Cycles

Pure Fixed Cycles

Pin 2 - Dec 7 - My Dream House

A bedroom in My Dream House

Pin 3 - Dec 7 - My Dream House 2

Red ivy and a mint green door of My Dream House.

Pin 4 - Dec 7 - Green Smoothie

Enjoying a delicious greens & blueberries smoothie.

Pin 5 - Dec 7 - Dream Place Setting - Martha Stewart Living

This Dreamy Place Setting from Martha Stewart Living.

Pin 6 - Dec 7 - Festive Party Floor

A Festive Party Floor.

Pin 7 - dec 7 - Dino Finger Puppets via Cookware For Kids

Dino Finger Puppets via Cookware For Kids.

Pin 8 - dec 7 - Dreamy beach escape

A dreamy beach escape.

Pin 9 - dec 7 - Expressions of Joy - Marilyn

A big smile at the beach.

hopefully this will be a small visual delight for your Friday. Hope you enjoy it and have a lovely weekend and happy holiday season!

There’s Still Time . . .

December 3, 2012

Target 1Not only is it holiday time, it’s also designer collaboration season!  The Target + Neiman Marcus gift sale is still going strong in stores and online.  There are gorgeous items that could really help you check off a lot of your holiday gift list.  I especially love the items below.  Go crazy here!!!

Target - AltazurraTarget 3 - Tory Burch lunch box.Target - Proenza Schouler ipad pouch.Target 4 - Tracy Reese dessert plates.Target 5 - Marchesa girl's floral dress.

Let the Holiday Shopping Begin!

December 2, 2012

It’s holiday shopping time!  Just returned with a Depenneur coffee and now it’s off to North 3rd Street now for the New York Etsy Team’s annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade!  Then this afternoon we’ll head into Manhattan for the Hester Street Holiday Fair , at Mott Street and Prince Street in Nolita.  New York City holiday shopping fairs are kind of awesome.

Hand-painted sign outside the Etsy North 3rd Street Holiday Fair

Hand-painted sign outside the Etsy North 3rd Street Holiday Fair

Bracelet I want from the Hester Street Holiday fair at Mott & Prince, NYC.

Bracelet I want from the Hester Street Holiday fair at Mott & Prince, NYC.

Take Me Out: New York Holiday Dinners Wishlist!

November 27, 2012

I’m compiling a list of restaurants where I want to take my out-of-town visitor friends this holiday season.  There are so many new ones that sound amazing!  How does one choose?  Most of my holiday wish list restaurants are in Brooklyn.  So maybe we just choose by where we want to shop and drink beforehand? Here’s my holiday dinners wishlist so far.  Foodies, please advise!  I do love New York so.  xoxo

1. Gwynnett Street – the most local is also the best. can’t wait to walk a few blocks to visit this gem, named best new restaurant of 2012 by Esquire magazine.

2. Talde – delicious and amazingly inventive asian cuisine in park slope.  is it now the best restaurant in the slope?  after my holiday meals i’ll let you know. they don’t take reservations. xo

3. Blanca ~ the splurge! Roberta’s expensive little sophisticate sister is written up all over town as a great way to spend a night and drop some serious dough (as in money-money-money), again in Williamsburg.  the ‘burg really does have it all.  photos by robert wright for nytimes.

4. Roberta’s for Brunch (again . . . loved it!) – yes I’m returning to Roberta’s with my Italian friends to show them how new yorkers recover in style after crazy holiday party nights.  the brunch like all else here does not disappoint.

5. Nights & Weekends – techically a bar that serves food “better than any bar’s should be” according to the New Yorker.  as a devotee of Five Leaves, I could not leave nights and weekends off my holiday wishlist.  at this point in our restaurant crawl, my italian friends will want to save some cash so we’ll do a cheaper night out here.  on the furthest edge of williamsburg, or one could argue technically this is greenpoint, we’ll enjoy another dinner with hipsters and pretty people. best. neighborhood. ever.

6. Extra Fancy – Seafood!!! The New York Magazine review states “An ‘upscale clam shack’ from partners Mark Rancourt (Macao Trading Co.) and Robert Krueger (Employees Only)”.  I don’t about you, but for me: ’nuff said, take me there.

7. Allswell – The chef comes from Spotted Pig and the restaurant has its own tumblr.  need I say more, williamsburg lovas?

8. Reynards – walk to the hottest corner of williamsburg and enjoy dinner here, after and before you relish the sunset view from the rooftop over drinks.  wythe hotel has it all!

9. Brooklyn Star – if you’re a meat lover then this joint is your mecca.  if you’re recovering from a broken heart, this is also your place for a heart-to-heart with friends over comfort food and serious drinks.

And then one on the island of Manhattan . . .

10. Mighty Quinn’s – you’ll have the best brisket sandwich of your life here.  And so will my italian friends when I take them here on our food tour!  I was very sad that this restaurant didn’t open in brooklyn after all us brooklyn devotees who would line up all day each saturday and sunday at their ‘Smorgasburg/brooklyn flea stand.  that said, they did suffer getting closed for 2 weeks and losing food and money after the Hurricane.  so they need our support, and the food really is unbelievably good.