Sunday, September 18, 2016

San Mateo County/Silicon Valley- the best of the San Francisco Bay area

"As Fresh as it Gets!"
Board Jet Blue out of Long Beach to San Francisco Airport for an easy and comfortable flight to start your magical adventure and journey.
Get to experience the sights, sounds and flavors of San Mateo County and Silicon Valley with nearly 90 miles of unique San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean coastline  immediately south of San Francisco. It's bordered on the east by the Bay and on the west by the Pacific Ocean, running through Palo Alto and Stanford University to the south. The fascination with San Mateo County and Silicon Valley is the mild climate with plenty of sunshine allowing for many recreational activities including "Play by the Bay!" It is about the glorious outdoors and the scenic beauty, the beaches, hiking trails, redwoods, reservoir, lagoon, flora and fauna and open space. It is sought after for its cultural attractions, shopping, trendy culinary dining on delicious local food, quaint country chic coastal towns, and more recently for its seafood, produce, gourmet goat cheeses, wine and beer that are all "As Fresh as it Gets!'
Where to stay: You can't go wrong staying at the Hyatt Regency SFO; Half Moon Bay Hotel; HMB Lodge; Dinah's Garden Hotel; DoubleTree Brisbane.
What's Cooking: Enjoy 3SIXTY at the Hyatt Regency SFO: Pasta Moon Ristorante & Bar;La Co
 stanera; Three; Dinah's Poolside Restaurant; Sam's Chowder House; 7 Mile House.
Museums & Gardens : Filoli Mansion and Gardens, a National Trust Historic Site; Stanford University, Cantor Arts Center/Anderson Collection. 
Food and Farms: Harley Farm an award-winning goat dairy farm.
Brewing Tours and Tasting Wineries: A Grape in the Fog, Pacifica; ;Half Moon Bay Brewing Company; Flying Suitcase Wines; Domenico  Winery; Russian Ridge Winery; Armstrong Brewing Company.
Outdoors:: Hike at Wunderlich Park; Hike at Stanford Dish; Edgewater Marine Lagoon Cruise; Pillar Point Harbor.

And.... don't miss the chance to mingle with the locals here who sport a carefree attitude, a whimsical and creative spirit that never fails to delight.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

East of Eden-the beautiful Salinas Valley

Stretch your sense of discovery and quest for adventure experiencing the beautiful Salinas Valley in California's heart of the Central Coast. Best known as the "Salad Bowl of the World," this off the beaten path destination offers an excellent wine trail, America's newest National Park, spectacular nature experience, the home and museum of Nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck bursting with stories, and the original farm to table foodie paradise creating all that makes Salinas so irresistible.
Your spectacular journey begins on board the Amtrak on the way to Salinas. In ultimate comfort, get to feast your eyes on one of the most breathaking and gorgeous panoramic views in the world. Along the way pass by Ventura, Santa Barbara, Coast Hollister Ranch, San Luis Obispo, Cuesta Grade, Paso Robles, Salinas River, Salinas Valley, "the salad bowl of the world," King City,location of Hamilton Ranch in East of Eden, and the largest wine producing region in the United States. Look out over farmland, forests, strawberry fields, vineyards, dolphins frolicking along the coast, fishermen bringing in their catch, surfers, lovers holding hands, and children making castles in the sand. Get off in Salinas, John Steinbeck country, where his novels and characters spring to life.
Unpack your bags at the Hampton Inn & Suites located in Salinas (888) 370-0981 www.hampton-inn-and-suites-salinas, and get ready to enjoy such wonders the Hahn Estate Tour of winery and tasting; Salinas ValScenic and Heritage Drive of Salinas Valley;Fog's End Brewery; Ag Venture Tour; Agricultural & Rural Life Museum; Mission Nuestra Senor de la Soledad; River Road Wineries. You will find joy for the palate in Salinas' First Awakenings; Giorgio's; Cherry Bean Coffee House & Roastery; Salad Shoppe; Grower's Pub Steak House and the John Steinbeck House that's open for special occasions.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mezzet Mediterranean Cuisine

I was certainly not expecting a beautiful upscale restaurant in a mall, but then again South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is not just any mall, and Mezzet is not just any restaurant.
There's a full service  bar and lounge set in the middle of Mezzet's open area that beckons you to enjoy your favorite cocktail or a stem of wine from one of their international varieties. It is just the place to be after a day of shopping, or the setting for a romantic dinner.
Opened  this past June, Co-owner and partner Wallie Nasser gave us an overview of Mezzet and introduced us to Executive Chef Anthony Mattina who created the outstanding menu.
Sampling many of the items on the menu, some of the more popular appetizers included Hummus; Baba Ghanoush;Vine Leaves; and Octopus Carpaccio. Unique salads were the Super Grains; Wild Kale Caesar and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese. Superb Entrees from the Fire Grill were Lamb Kafta; Classic Steak Au Poivre and Salmon Kebab. Moroccan Tangine showcased your choice of Lamb, Chicken or Vegetarian.
If Pizza is what you came for you will not be disappointed with the Margherita; 4 Stagioni; or Grilled Chicken. Mouthwatering homemade pasta feat;ured Penne Arrabiata; Linguine Alle Vongole and  Ravioletti, homemade beef ravioli with Bolognese sauce.
Yummy desserts are presented by your server.
Located at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear Street, Costa Mesa, phone (714)540-3365