A Delicious Brunello for $20!

We have a special fondness for Brunello that goes back to our first European trip together in 2002. We visited my good friend, Claudia, in Venice and then spent some time in Tuscany. One of our Tuscany days was spent in Montalcino, and was such a perfect day that it led us to coin the term “Montalcino moment” for wonderfully serendipitous events.

Cypress tress enroute to MontalcinoBut that’s a story for another time.  Fast forward to today, and Brunello de Montalcino remains near and dear to us.  Unfortunately, throughout the years, Brunellos have been outside our price range except for special occasions.

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Brunch at The Larchmont

This past Mother’s Day, while walking and drinking our way home from brunch in Hollywood, we (very nearly literally) stumbled across The Larchmont  The staff was friendly, The drinks were excellent, and the ambiance was comfortable and charming.  We were bound to return.

The thing is, this was The Larchmont’s first brunch, and was a special thing for Mother’s Day.  They would be opening for brunch regularly in a few weeks.  We made mental note of this and decided to call a few weeks later and find out if they were open.

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Our New Bang for the Buck Winner!

This past Sunday, while at Trader Joe’s, we noticed a bottle of Bordeaux amongst the French wines.  It was priced at $8.99, so we figured we’d give it a shot.  Worst case scenario:  I have deglazing liquid for the week.


But the worst case scenario was not to be.  In fact, this is a remarkably complex, spicy, full bodied wine in the finest Bordeaux tradition.

The first two things we noticed in the bouquet:  pepper and dark, ripe fruit.  These go beautifully together both on the nose and on the tongue.  The fruit lasts into the finish, finally yielding to some pleasantly bitter tannins.

Truly a great wine at an even better price.  It’s been at least a decade since we’ve had anything close to this quality anywhere near this price.


Coming back slowly . . .

It’s been quite the week since we last met.  Lots going on at Shami’s and we are looking forward to sharing some exciting news once things get ironed out.  But before that happens, there is something else we believe you will really want to know about.  Yesterday’s Sunday Brunch at The Larchmont.

Don’t fret. . .this brunch was a meal we will be describing and reviewing in great detail later on in the week.  But I have not been able to stop thinking about the Rain Flower.

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Farewell Friday . . No Worries .. .Just for a Week!!

Hi Folks, Well, we’re finally doing it.  We’re taking a week off of blogging.  Business and family responsibilities have simply gotten to the point where we need to take a week to organize and regroup. break We’re not going on vacation or anything.  We’ll still be here cooking and finding cool food related stuff to share with you. We just won’t share any of it until the following week. We apologize for the lapse, but we are, after all, a “mom & pop” shop, which means we don’t have a team generating our content, and this kind of thing will just happen from time to time. So, have a great week, see you next Monday, and above all, Bon Appetit!

TBT . . ¿Dónde está el restaurante? Off to Peru we go.

For this TBT we head to Peru circa 2008. Miraflores to be exact. We were still living in Costa Rica at the time . . . in a very, very small town.  This was part of our Big City South American Adventure.  Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Miraflores and Montevideo. And guess what we learned most about Peru. . .the food!!

Of course that should be no surprise.  Follow us on this food fueled adventure.

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Hear, Hear for Heartland’s Australian Shiraz 2012

Super busy again, but as always, making sure our regulars have something good to read. Check out this review of Heartland’s 2012 Shiraz. Sounds exactly like our kind of wine. Will definitely pick it up if we run across it. Hat tip to “Girls Go Grape,” who we are now following. Love the blog name, and the content.


Girls Go Grape

Hello wine lovers and happy #wineWednesday to you!  After two weeks of great Pinot Gris, I can hear my red wine lovers sighing relief that this weeks’ post is about Shiraz.

I was asked to lead a tasting for my girlfriends’ 40th birthday last Saturday night.  The group of 25 tasted through 6 wines.  My hubby was an amazing help as I had put my back out the day before.  He was entertaining and a darn great help!

Feedback from the crowd after the tasting was complete was positive.  And, Heartland’s Shiraz 2012 was a standout favourite…


Heartland’s Shiraz comes from their Langhorne Creek vineyard in South Australia.  Here the soils are sandy loam and the region is known for its cool-climate which produces some exceptional wines…

In the glass, it is a deep ruby red with hints of purple.  On the nose, this Shiraz has a pronounced profile with…

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