Thursday, July 22, 2010

French Polynesia

I'd been hearing about the astonishing water in French Polynesia for some time now and it was time to see it for myself. Since there aren't any direct flights to the islands I figured I'd stay the night in Tahiti and check out the capital, Papeete. I ended up at a cool club called Morrison's Cafe (http://www.morrisonscafe.com/). It's run by a vibrant French woman, Marine and her American-born husband Dave. Dave literally made me the best cocktail of my life consisting of fresh raspberry coulis, chocolate liqueur and I have no idea what else. Insane!


The next day I took the ferry to Moorea which is really charming and has some unbelievable scuba diving. I was starving and found this little shack across from the harbor.

It's called Maeva Pizza ...but I ordered the Mahi Mahi anyway, I was ravenous, and it turned out to be the best I've ever eaten...hands down, incredible...and so cheap! (two of the best things I've ever had within days, not bad)Bora Bora was my third stop. It has the most insane water I've ever seen and the sand is so soft!(I'm not into coarse sand or rocks, like Sardinia) FYI, you better like the person you're going with A LOT because it's just you and them...far from civilization. I brought a book and got into some kayaking and more scuba diving. Between Moorea and Bora Bora, I saw Black tip, white tip and grey sharks and hung out with some manta rays. Such a thrill. The sharks are harmless FYI...One complaint I've heard is how expensive Bora Bora is...this is true when it comes to hotels. But I'd go back any day for the water. The St. Regis (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1743) was immaculate and better than any of their properties to my knowledge. And I was shocked by the Hilton. (http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/PPTBNHI-Hilton-Bora-Bora-Nui-Resort-Spa/index.do) I couldn't believe it was a Hilton...they even combed the sand! (Then I found out it used to be a Starwood property so that says it all)

The food however is not very expensive and anyone who says it is hasn't been out to a nice meal in a big city. My favorite meal was at this fantastic little restaurant that I took a boat to called Kaina Hut (Phone: (689) 67.54.06). Yum! (you have to take a boat to almost all places outside your hotel)
Au Revoir!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breakfast in Sausalito

I'm not even sure how I found this place but in the Northern part of Sausalito is a divine breakfast place called Anchorage 5. (475 Gate 5 Rd, Sausalito, CA Tel: (415) 331-8329)
The food is better than you can imagine with a charming setting and super friendly and attentive staff. The dining room was packed, mainly locals, and somehow my poached eggs were cooked perfectly and the red potatoes crisp and flavorful without without being greasy. (I usually find breakfast potatoes to be boring) My Crab Benedict was a miracle(I'm discriminating when it comes to poached eggs and hollandaise and even more so with fresh crab). I ordered mine with sourdough because the Bay Area does it so well and let me just tell you just how insane it was! I'm wishing this little gem was closer to home so I could be a regular. Apparently they're also known for their Corned Beef Hash (the real deal!) and Huevos Montana but I couldn't eat another bite...but I can bet most selections are made with the same finesse as my perfect Crab Benedict.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bouchon Bakery

The genius chef and culinary icon Thomas Keller has a place where after going I could die and be okay with it. I'm not talking about the French Laundry, although the same could be said. I'm referring to BOUCHON BAKERY. (http://www.bouchonbakery.com/) With three locations Yountville, New York and Las Vegas, I know what I'll be doing in those cities. My step by step process to pure bliss:
1.
Locate the Bakery.2. Survey the counter.
3. Survey the counter again.
4. Did I miss anything!?
5. Indulge... I bought two Chocolate Bouchons(mini brownie-like specialty with chocolate chips not too sweet and perfectly rich), a Nutter Butter(Peanut Butter cream between two buttery peanut butter cookies) two different Macarons(classic French pastry cookie, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with buttercream in the center) in hazelnut and one seasonal flavor(I got cherry cheesecake) and a loaf of bread.(who knew you can get bread like this in the US!?)


Extra credit in Yountville:
6.
I Washed it down with some wine tasting across the street at the V Wine Cellar.(http://www.vwinecellar.com/)

7.
Then I tried to walk it off in the V Marketplace courtyard next door for some good laughs. ;-)