The Kentucky Derby 2011 and the Food that Comes with It

A Sunday Funday this past weekend brought me and the husband to the decision to attend the Kentucky Derby 2011 in a couple of weeks. The Kentucky Derby 2011 is a southern tradition, and as a true lover of all-things southern, I could not have been more excited about this decision. Not to mention, The Kentucky Derby 2011 has always been an event I wanted to knock off of my Travel Bucket List, and with Louisville, Kentucky being so close, there is no reason for us not to attend the fantastic Kentucky Derby 2011!!

Ok, so for us, the first thought on this Kentucky Derby 2011 excursion is none other than… FOOD! Yep, you guessed it! Already, I am thinking about what we will be eating and drinking at the Kentucky Derby 2011. So, what are some Kentucky Derby 2011 Food Traditions?

The famous Kentucky Derby 2011 Drink: The Mint Julip. As a proud southern gal, I am sad to say that sipping on this drink brings me to near vomit. Yes, so shameful to not like this drink, but if I am going to the Kentucky Derby 2011, I WILL be having one of these as I prance around in my oversized hat and adorable dress. It wouldn’t be the Kentucky Derby 2011, and it certainly would not be “southern” without one.

Kentucky Derby 2011 southern cuisine includes everything from cheese grits to Benedictine. As for cheese grits, you can’t go anywhere southern without getting them, and the Kentucky Derby 2011 is no exception. Before researching food ideas for the Kentucky Derby 2011, I had never even heard of Benedictine. Call me a foodie-fake or a not-so-true southerner, but I was clueless before I learned that Benedictine is often served at the Kentucky Derby and will be served at the Kentucky Derby 2011, of course! So what is Benedictine, you may be asking if you are as clueless as I was. It’s a spread, and at the Kentucky Derby 2011, it will be on everything from crackers to sandwiches.

I can’t forget about the Kentucky Derby 2011 famous Burgoo. This dish is a favorite at the Kentucky Derby and has been served as a traditional Kentucky Derby staple. A stew-type dish, similar to Brunswick stew, I can’t wait to get my hands on this treat at the Kentucky Derby 2011.

With all this food talk and an empty stomach this morning, I am seriously ready to go to the Kentucky Derby 2011 right this second. The food at the Kentucky Derby 2011 is what I look most forward to on this trip, and I can’t wait to get back and tell you all about my trip to the Kentucky Derby 2011. Watch the Kentucky Derby 2011 and bet on the Kentucky Derby 2011, you won’t regret getting involved in the Kentucky Derby 2011. The Kentucky Derby 2011 is sure to be a great event, and the Kentucky Derby 2011 is a great excuse for a party! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY 2011!!!!!


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Video: Bermuda, Chicago, Napa Valley

I seriously can’t believe it took me this long to figure out how to upload a video to You Tube. I tried both my computers and my husbands, but it took me coming to the library to get these posted! Geez… I guess we need to upgrade computers all-around! Haha!

Anyway, because I never got a chance to even TRY to edit these (I’m sure it will be a disaster when I actually do try), I just uploaded three different videos. They are cheesy and silly and probably uneccessay to even post for the world to see, but they are now on You Tube, so I thought I would blog about my first You Tube videos!!! YAY!

Note: We are not eating or drinking in the second one, so it strays a little away from the blog, but I thought it was funny, so I had to throw it in!

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Palm Springs Food Excursion

This weekend I visited one of my favorite places: Palms Springs, California! if I haven’t mentioned before, Cali is my favorite state. I would pick up and move there any given day. As a matter of fact, I think I may just have to retire there! Palm Springs shows a unique side of California, as it’s all desert, gigantic mountains, palm trees galore, and a place of much food and social activity. There’s nothing not to love about this place, and I didn’t take the breathtaking scenery for granted for one second while I was there. I honestly did not want to leave!

We were there three full nights, so I decided to turn my dinner places into a map. As you can see, we stayed in the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, as the event we were working took place in the convention center. Clearly, you could never have been to Palm Springs and see from the map that Palm Canyon Drive is quite the happening spot. It’s an awesome little strip wuth more food places, cocktail hours, and gorgeous patios than any one person can handle in a short 4-day trip. I have been to Palm Springs three times, and I still haven’t come close to eating everything on that strip! I would like to continue going though, so I can one day say I have!

The first night, we had a wonderful Italian meal at Johnny Costa’s. The best part was the wine and bread basket at the beginning. I enjoyed my Vodka Penne as well, but we did not care for the caprese salad. As a matter of fact, if you ever go there… do not order that! The overall experience was nice though, and the food was a 4 out of 5.

The second night, I had dinner on my own while my husband worked late. The girls, also working the event, met me for drinks later after I told them about the amazing patio I was seated on at Okura Sushi Restaurant. Wow… it was perfect and very Cali! Palm Springs has some of the best patios, as it probably rains 5 times a year there, but this was one of the more exceptional patios I have ever sat on. It made the dining experience all the better. The rolls had funny names, and I ordered the Angelina Jolie and the Brad Pitt. They were great rolls, both topped with tuna… very fresh. I wouldn’t say there was anything unique about them, and since I accidentally ordered similar rolls, it was difficult to distinguish the difference in the two, but the sushi was great overall. The best part of the entire dining experience was the Lychee Martini. If you go to Okura… get one!

The third night, we visited a restaurant we had been to before, as the group we were with wanted to go there. The place, called Matchbox, is known for it’s pizzas, although I wouldn’t say that’s their strong point. For the second time, different toppings, I was not impressed with the pizza. The burger was great – full of mushrooms and bacon, the appetizers were very nice, and the scallops, even though I am not a scallop eater, were great. The high point of this restaurant – the social ambiance, the apps, and the drinks. Great wine, beer, and drink list! Skip the pizza unless you are just feeling pizza that night!

You can see each of these locations on my map, as well as short descriptions of each place!

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Bobby Flay… Why Yes, I May!

If you don’t know who Bobby Flay is, you probably have never stepped foot into a kitchen. I am not judging you… there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as there was a point in my life when putting a bagel in the toaster was sure to come to a scorched disaster. But if you do know anything about cooking, fine food, great restaurants, then you know who Bobby Flay is!

I watch the Food Network often, and during the week when my husband and I cook at home, their website is visited by me on more than one occasion. As a matter of fact, I follow Giada, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, AND Bobby Flay on Twitter. I don’t follow many celebs on Twitter, as I have no interest in their lives whatsoever, but knowing what my favorite cooks are up to (and what they’re eating) is just a must!

When Tres and I visited Atlantic City back in November (one of the more fun places I have ever been, by the way… random but true), and I heard there was a Bobby Flay Steak restaurant at the Borgata Hotel Casino Resort, I fell weak at the knees. At least I thought I did until I actually went and tried to food. At that point I was near passing out. I have never, ever, EVER tasted any food so scrumptious. I truly savor every bite of food I ever put into my mouth, but with this, I wanted to suck the flavor out of every piece. I got the tuna steak, and it had the perfect, most wonderful flavor I have ever had in a piece of tuna – not to mention, cooked to absolute pink perfection. But this story goes further than the tuna steak. The hubs had a rib eye. And while I am more of a filet kind of gal, when I bit into the piece of meat he offered me, he almost had to change seats so I wouldn’t eat off of his plate any more. HOLY COW, BOBBY!!!! What did they teach you over there in New York?! Whatever it was, it makes me and the rest of the world who has tried your food very happy people!

I never wanted the Bobby Flay meal to end. It’s rare that I ever want to eat at a restaurant again when traveling (even if it’s amazing… there is just too many other places to try), but after Bobby’s steak, I was sold. Tres and I talked about going again a second night, but when our friends made plans elsewhere, we followed along and said farewell to Bobby. I told myself if ever in another city with a Bobby restaurant, I would be going there!

Just a few months later, we lucked up again! When visiting Atlantis in the Bahamas for a great friend’s 40th birthday party, dinner reservations were made at Mesa Grill… a Bobby Flay staple! I was beyond excited to put that food in my mouth yet again, and this time… I was ordering STEAK!!! If I could give any advice to someone going to Bobby Flay for the first time, I would suggest steak, no doubt. The fish is fantastic, the pork is great, the chicken is wonderful, the appetizers are to-die, the sides are amazing, and the dessert is decadent (I know all of this because I tried it all at Mesa Grill), but you don’t have the full Bobby Flay experience and unique flavor until you have tried one of his steaks.

So what makes Bobby’s dishes so hands-down? My opinion is THE SAUCES! He uses the most exceptional sauces with a list of ingredients in each that makes it difficult for the average cook to perfect. I have neglected to cook many of Bobby’s dishes because I have either never heard of half of the ingredients or the long list of what goes into the food overwhelms me, but eating at his restaurants… that’s a no brainer!!!

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Seattle: Local Loves

The absolute best thing to do when going on a trip is to find locals and get their opinion on everything in the city! No magazine, blog, vacation brochure or advertisement can really give you the low-down the way a local can. They know their stuff!

Think about the city where you live. This is the place you know best. You have your favorite restaurants, shops, activities, parks, etc., and I bet you even know some hidden spots that only locals know. Not to mention the laundry list of tourist traps and what to avoid. As a local… you know it all!

It’s true to say that everywhere we go, we find locals to guide us through the city, and Seattle was no exception. As a matter of fact, we found more restaurant gems through locals in Seattle than ever before. The people we met were all very friendly, and oh, so proud of their city. Hearing the people of Seattle talk about their city is something special in itself – they treasure where they live, and they should. It’s fantastic!!

Check out our top three favorite restaurants in Seattle (recommended by none other than locals, of course):


I can easily say that Chinooks is the best breakfast I have ever had. It was definitely off the beaten path of Seattle, about a 10 minute drive outside of downtown, but it was more than worth it. As we drove up, we questioned whether or not it was even a restaurant because it’s in a market-like shopping center. There is a place to buy the freshest fish I have ever seen, almost connected to the restaurant. I looked at Tres and said, “If this isn’t local, and this isn’t good, I don’t know what will be!”

Walking inside the restaurant is even better. The back of the place is completely glass, showing  a gorgeous view of a huge boat dock, so you not only get to enjoy great food, you have something to look at too! The waiter greeted us each with a gigantic scone on our bread plates. And let’s not forget the amazing butter we were given to dip it in… that’s exactly how I like to start off a good breakfast! The menu was overwhelming, as I could have ordered a number of items, and just ate on them for weeks. I wanted to experience Seattle the best way possible, so I narrowed my choices down to something with salmon. The final result for me was one of their famous Breakfast Bowls – mine included Salmon cakes. I have never had these little pieces of joy before, but it was the kind of food you take tiny bites of because you completely dread when it’s gone. I would have taken home 10 dozen of those cakes if I could. And if you’re wondering… yes, they are similar to crab cakes. Are the y better? I could go the rest of my life and never have another crab cake… as long as a salmon cake took it’s place!

After breakfast, we walked around the tiny market, Little Chinooks, but left in complete jealousy. How lucky are the people who live around there to buy fish so fresh and go home to cook it. Tres and I would be in heaven if we lived here and could go buy fresh fish any hour of the day. Another cool thing to see outside the restaurant was a memorial for the fallen fishermen of the area. It reminded me of the movie The Perfect Storm and gave me a greater appreciation for seafood.

Chinooks is known for producing only the highest quality of seafood available and they have been highly awarded for it over the last several years being recognized as Seattle’s Best Restaurant and Seattle’s Best Breakfast. Out of 307 reviews on Zagat, Chinooks gets 4 stars. Whether these ratings are from locals or tourists, I suggest everyone go and experience one of the best breakfasts of your life!

Mama’s B*tchin’ Burritto Kitchen

I don’t think this is the official name, but it’s what our local told us they called it in Seattle. The name says it all, and while the burritos are indeed b*tchin’, you definitely won’t leave this place with anything to b*tch about! On the corner of a trendy street in Downtown Seattle, this place stands out above the rest with its’ bright colors and loud images painted on the outside of the little restaurant.

It’s funny we even found the place. The guy sitting next to us on the plane, who had lived in Seattle his entire life, suggested it, only we forgot the name. But Tres remembered him saying, “you won’t miss it.” And we didn’t! After a trip to the Space Needle, we were starving. As we were walking, hoping to find great grub, we saw bright colors, and Tres said, “I wonder if that’s the burrito place.” Thank goodness it was, because it was definitely worth every bite of the massive burrito we split.

Tres and I have discovered on our travels that there’s a little bit of Memphis everywhere you go. I’m not talking the Blues or Beale… I am talking ELVIS! We can’t go anywhere without some restaurant, bar, or store recognizing Elvis in some way. It always shocks me how often we see Elvis, but Tres’ response to that is, “Come on, Andrea… he’s THE KING” (I will go ahead and point out that he’s quite the fan)! Momma’s Burrito Kitchen more than recognized Elvis… they had one tiny room in the place that was a shrine of him! Pictures, posters, stamps, road signs that looked like they came straight from Elvis Presley Blvd…. you name it, they had it! That tiny room could quite possibly challenge Graceland it had so much Elvis in it! And I must, too, mention the Elvis burrito on the menu. Apparently, Mama loves The King!

Out of 619 reviews, only 3 stars have been awarded to this Mexican joint. While that’s average, here’s my advice: If you like Mexican food, fresh salsa, large portions, and yummy margaritas, go to this place! Even the atmosphere is worth experiencing just once. Plus, a local suggested it!


While doing a wine tasting at Urban Enoteca, Tres and I chatted it up with a couple from Seattle. They actually ended up giving us a ride back our hotel (we are brave souls…). On the ride back, we talked about Brunch spots. It was our last night in town, so we wanted to make sure to leave the city that already made us so food-happy on an even tastier note. The couple never hesitated when they exclaimed, “SALTY’S!” It’s the best view, best buffet, best brunch in the city! With that said, we didn’t even hesitate to make reservations. We were put on the list immediately and couldn’t wait for our final Seattle meal.

Also off the beaten path, we had to drive to a place on the other side of the city called Alki Beach. When I say on the other side of the city, I mean it to the point of the most beautiful view I have ever seen from a city. Completely on the other side, of the water, Alki Beach’s view of Seattle is the one to see. I think I saw more of the city from over there than I did on top of the Space Needle… no joke, the view is picturesque, and from the inside of Salty’s, every angle is a painting.

The food only adds to the beauty of Alki Beach. Salty’s  has been on Seattle’s Food and Wine award list for years, and it has even been named one of the best restaurants in the Northwest and one of the best brunches in the country. These awards don’t lie! The buffet was HUGE! Even the person with the largest appetite in the world could never eat everything in this buffet. There is a seafood section with never-ending crab legs, oysters, shrimp, and fish. There is a center section with hot breakfast and lunch food – everything from bacon and eggs to macaroni and cheese and salmon casseroles. There is also a pasta station with a chef who will create the most unique, fresh-made pasta you have ever tasted. There is a waffle, French toast, and pancake station and even a made-to-order crepe station. And the dessert area could be a restaurant on it’s own… everything from chocolate cupcakes to carrot cake to cheese cake to many different pies!

I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH FOOD IN ONE PLACE! This is a foodie’s dream, and it’s not just the never-ending food combinations and portions that can be added to your plate – it’s the taste that makes this place so special. Think of the number of times you’ve been to a grand buffet; lots of food to choose from, yet only a few items on the spread could be considered taste-worthy. I tried as much as I could fit on three plates at Salty’s (yes, I said three plates, and that doesn’t include the dessert plate), and every bite of every dish was a party in my mouth! And where can you go and eat crab legs until you are just sick of cracking and peeling them? Salty’s! Tres piled his plates with crab legs galore, and if he wouldn’t have been so full, he could’ve had several more plates… there are no rules at Salty’s! I think if they had a rule it would be to stretch your stomach until you can’t breathe or walk. It is rare that I get so full that I only eat one meal a day. After this breakfast, I did not have one bite of anything the rest of the day! Out of 368 reviews on Yelp, 391 reviews on Open Table, and 176 reviews on Yahoo Travel, this restaurant is awarded 4 stars… reviews don’t lie!

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Travel Channel… Hire Me Now

The picture that says it all...

Nothing makes me feel more like a Travel Goddess than turning on the Travel Channel and seeing a place that I picked out (completely on my own) featured on one of the popular shows!

Last week, the hubs and I were watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in Chicago and he tried out the fantastic fare of the restaurant Avec. Based on reviews and local articles, I found this place before our trip there in November with no help from Travel Channel, thank you very much (I am only so proud of this because Travel Channel is my go-to place for travel ideas)! Since we often get our food ideas from these shows that I am obsessed with, it was cool turning on Anthony and seeing we had beat him to it! Well, we may not have beat him but we went without seeing the episode first!

Just a little review of the place: Avec is unlike any other restaurant I have ever been. The dining style is one of a kind, as you walk in a place not even quite the size of a shoebox. The restaurant is literally a straight shot from front to back. I describe it as “tall and skinny.” From the front door to the back is quite long, but horizontally, I could probably jump from one end to the other. There are two seating options: at the bar or against the wall at the wall – both of these options include no choice but to sit by complete strangers. That’s all part of the fun though!

The entire menu is small plates, which works out perfectly when you’re sitting only inches away from someone. There were actually moments when I thought about asking the party of four beside us if they’d pass their bacon-wrapped dates, just so I could try one more plate on the menu (haha)! So as you would guess, lots of sharing goes on here! While the description sounds quite casual, the food has a very fine dining flair to it, and it’s not cheap. I wouldn’t call it “white table cloth, dim lighting” expensive, but it’s easy to not think about price when you want to try nearly every small plate on the menu. $15 a pop adds up, but it’s so worth it. The food combinations are endless, and I truly had never tasted flavors so unique.

As far as sitting by complete strangers, it’s kind of weird at first, but if you enjoy meeting people and aren’t scared to make “food friends,” the concept is actually really cool. If you’re not comfortable in the beginning, you will be when your food comes out. Once you take your first bite, sharing a table with randoms will no longer be an issue! I’m thinking this unique style of dining will become more popular throughout the U.S. I just hope the food is as good everywhere as it is here!

Just an FYI: Avec has nearly a perfect 5-star rating with over 1,100 reviews on Zagat and Urbanspoon. Yelp also shows a near 5-star rating with over 600 reviews. If that doesn’t give you a clue about the place, I don’t know what will!

To add to our “outstanding achievement” discovery list, I was just watching Samantha Brown’s Passport to Great Weekends: San Francisco, and saw something that made me laugh out loud. To explain, here’s the background story:

Tres and I were in San Fran about a year and a half ago. It’s where we got engaged, and it was seriously one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on – no partiality to the engagement being there, it’s just an overall amazing city that I would actually prefer to take once a year (at least)!

Ok, so back to the story… I, of course, did my typical research for great restaurants and nightspots, and I found this place, The Starlight Room, I thought looked like a classic, old school after dinner joint. I mean, this bar could really be a movie set for a 1920’s movie script, and since I absolutely love anything vintage, it got added to the must-do list. When we walked in, we noticed this friendly man in a fancy tuxedo taking picture with everyone. As we walked around, we saw pictures on the wall of the same man posing with celebrities. We were like, “Ok, we have no clue who this fella is, but what the heck, let’s get our picture taken with him. Maybe he’s famous or something?” We introduced ourselves, got our picture with him, and it ultimately became a funny joke. “Haha… we got our picture with some random dude in a tux… haha , so funny.” It even got posted to Facebook and our friends got a big kick out of it.

So I guess you could guess where this is going. Today, I am watching the luckiest girl in the world (AKA Samantha Brown), and she visits The Starlight Room, AND who does she interview?! The guy in the tuxedo! HAHAHAAA! He is actually, Harry Denton, the owner of the place. I mean the official name of the place is Harry Denton’s Starlight Room um, duh! How dense are we?! I am still laughing at us getting our picture with him though, and the fact that he was just on the Travel Channel makes this story priceless! I woke Tres up out of a dead sleep to show him and we had a big laugh over it. I couldn’t let this go without a blog post!

The moral of this story? I can clearly pick out just as good of places to eat and visit (if not better) than the Travel Channel. They should no doubt hire me for this and send me every place they send Samantha and Anthony! This is the start to my job application. Hopefully, one day it will be considered!

Andrea LeTard

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Seattle… Wine City?

Napa Valley may be called Wine Country, but Seattle could easily be called Wine City.

You could ask me every day for the rest of my life what my favorite place in the world is, and even if I travel 1,000 more places, my answer will probably stay the same: Wine Country. Napa Valley, CA is no doubt my favorite place in the entire world. The day I retire is the day I will start looking for a home there. So what does Napa have to do with Seattle? WINE, I say! WINE!

I went to Seattle blind, knowing nothing about the city but the fact that it has a really unique, odd-shaped building called the Space Needle, seen in every movie and TV show based in Seattle. That and Real World Season 7 are honestly all I knew about this city. When I left, I decided the Space Needle may as well be in the shape of wine glass, and now I know why that Real World cast was so crazy. The city is FULL OF WINE! And for a wine-o like myself, it was bliss.

I walked clueless into a city centered on my favorite beverage of all time, and I walked out full of wine (of course) and full of knowledge about the state of Washington and it’s place in the wine industry. While Northern California is most commonly associated with what we call Wine Country, the state of Washington has a massive Wine Country of its own that has made its mark over the last several years.  In only a decade, Washington State’s wineries have increased by 400%, attracting nearly 200 million visitors a year. Many different areas in the state are known for their wineries with the Woodinville area being Seattle’s wine region. With over 70 wineries, some of Woodinville’s most famous wineries in this area include Chateau St. Michelle, Silver Lake, and Columbia.

So what do wineries galore mean in a city that’s just miles away? It means WINE BARS on every corner! If you’ve ever been to a winery, you know the drill: walk in, pick out a tasting, eat a few cheeses and crackers, and on to the next one. Now imagine doing that in a city! Our hotel was next to several wine bars. They were all very similar offering flights of various Washington wines, great tasting small plates, and chill atmospheres. Here are my favorites and why I think as a LOCAL or TOURIST, you should want to try them:

Purple Café and Wine Bar

Seriously people… if you don’t visit this place when in Seattle, you may as well stay home. My only regret about this place is not eating a full meal here. Before dinner, Tres and I often go for drinks and appetizers to get the night started. After reading many good features and reviews on this place, we scheduled it in as one of our “before dinner” stops.

The atmosphere hits you as soon as you walk in the well-lit purple door. It has a dark, sexy feel, and as you look around, you just know every person sitting in there is fabulous. All well-dressed and ready for a night on the town, these were the beautiful people of

Seattle. My favorite part was the architecture of wine – a staircase from floor to ceiling with wine bottles from top to bottom, right in the middle of the bar… a

tower of delish!

We were short on time, so we made our way to the bar. Being served by a number of wine-tenders, we asked their suggestions on wine and food sampling, and they steered us in the right direction. The wine flights were fun – we chose everything Washington- it was only fitting. The food was to die for – well presented with bursting flavors in each bite. We had the Duck Liver Pate, Gorgonzola Stuffed Dates, and the Chvre Noir

Goat Cheese… WOW! With so many small plates to choose from, I could have skipped dinner and just said, “one of each please.”

Purple has 4-stars on Yelp from 559 reviews and 4-stars on Google out of over 1,300 reviews. I spoke with a Seattle blog friend about the place, and she confirmed it to be a Seattle favorite. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, I’d say this is a rating and review  that should not be ignored!

Sip Wine Bar and Restaurant

This was conveniently located across the street from our hotel, so it was only a given that we visit it. Before the trip, I had heard nothing about this place. We only went because it was close to us, and we figured it’d be a fun place to hit up before dinner. When we got there at 4pm, they had just opened and we were two of four people in there. In the 2+ hours we were there, only a few more people trickled in. We thought this was a bit odd, but it didn’t make us like the place any less.

They had wine flights, but we settled on glasses instead. They had a great happy hour going with a list of wines under $10, so we went for those. For our app, we settled on the Fall Duo small plate, which included roasted butternut squash bruchetta, wild mushroom ragout and fig jam with toasted bread for dipping. This dish was much different than we imagined, but I thoroughly enjoyed every bite and could have ordered another one! I learned when these people say small plates, they mean it!

I would guess, in it’s overly convenient location, it’s probably mobbed by tourists looking for a quick pick-me up when walking the streets of Seattle, but I could sense a little bit of local flair as well. It’s a rather large place with an outdoor grassy patio area that looks like it is more than likely a happening place in warm months – maybe even an event area for weddings and parties as well.

Nearly 4-stars from yelp with 77 reviewers – I would agree with this review. Not as good and clearly not as popular as Purple, but it was definitely worth the stop in!

Urban Enoteca

This place was a pleasant surprise. We had plans for dinner there, as I found a few good reviews online about the place. But when we walked in our entire game plan changed. The place was gigantic, and looked like an actual winery tasting room – right in the middle of Seattle! With a warehouse feel to it, we could go to the right side to eat dinner in the huge open dining area or we could go left to the tasting room, which features wines from seven different wineries in Washington State. I felt like I was back in Napa again, and even though I’d already had two glasses of wine and little to eat before we walked through the door, I looked at Tres as I started walking to the left and said, “Let’s get to tasting.”

We discovered Urban Enoteca had only been open for a few months before we visited. Everyone was extremely shocked that tourists actually found the place, as it’s somewhat off the beaten path. The people representing each winery were friendly, wonderful at their job, and very informative. The place has the perfect set-up. The tasting room is large and open, yet has a cozy, comfortable feel with a lounge area is set up at a fireplace. The wineries each have their own tasting bar, and they sit around the room in somewhat of a horseshoe shape with cozy seating areas and tables in the middle of the open space. The dining area is similar, and you can see inside the kitchen as your food is cooked. Walking around the place, you really do feel like you’re at an actual winery, only it’s better because you get to taste wines from seven different locations.

Needless to say, we tasted wines from all seven different wineries – bad decision for me with no food on my stomach. After the seventh tasting, Tres immediately took me to the dining room for food. I ate my face off with water – no wine – to wash it down. Whew… I really did feel like I was in Wine Country again and was ready for bed by 10:00. Haha! Everything in small plate form, the food was great. The food matched the theme of the place: simple, yet delicious and distinctive.

We decided when we go back to Seattle, this will be on our list as a repeat. Only open a few months, I see this place taking off at high speeds with locals. As far as tourists, they may have a difficult time finding it, but hopefully the local peeps will steer them in the right direction. 4-stars from 10 reviews on Yelp. Lacie D. on Yelp says, “The experience at Urban Enoteca is like nothing in Washington! The wineries are incredible, the food is spectacular, and the space is beautiful. It feels classy, yet comfortable, and I will be sure to visit frequently!” And so will we!

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