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About arleneivana

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  • Birthday June 23

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    Logan Circle

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  1. At the risk of sounding overly fawning I just have to rave about our tour guide last week. We just returned from a trip to Italy, the highlights being our five days in the Emilia-Romagna region. For 3 days of that period we enlisted the services of Helena of Yummy Italy http://www.yummy-italy.com/ to take us on tours of producers, lunches, and a walking tour of Bologna. Helena prefers to have a conversation with her about what you're interested in and she makes a suggested itinerary based on your interests plus logistical matters (what's open, etc.). Tours are just with Helena and it's such a
  2. The topic seems to have died and I hate to beat a dead horse but three observations: I've never waited hours for a table when I didn't plan for it ahead of time and have a nearby bar strategy in place. At that point it hardly feels like waiting, more like just the first step of a night out. I don't know anyone who spends that time just standing around outside. I agree that sounds like a colossal waste of time. I've had more trouble getting into high-demand restaurants that are reservation-only than I have restaurants that didn't take reservations. When I do get a reservation at these places o
  3. Ages ago I posted a plea for recommendations for an intimate and special wedding reception dinner, then promptly got a job that has kept me off these boards far, far too long and I was never able to follow up. Two months ago my beau and our families enjoyed a magical dinner in Cityzen's wine library. I'd love to expound on the specifics of the dishes, but when you've just married your beau and you're plied with wonderful wine and plate after plate of sensuous food while watching an alert staff treat your vastly-deserving parents like royalty, what more is there to say besides: perfect. It was
  4. I hesitate to post anything like this because I'm quite convinced my mother tracks all my social networking activities for any hint on this matter but here goes: we're getting married. Yay! It will be very small (8 total including us) and our biggest concern is high quality food in an intimate setting. We thought about having it at an inn like Ashby Inn or Inn at Little Washington because we like the idea of everyone staying the night so we can all relax after over some drinks. Are there any other inns in about a 2ish hour drive that pay attention to the quality of their food? Another thought
  5. I love any opportunity to suggest a great person and great business to the general public. We adopted our elderly chihuahua from A Forever Home, a rescue organization based in Chantilly, VA (which deserves its own thread), and being first-time dog owners we knew we needed some general obedience training in order to understand how our new pup worked. Toni Woods-Wilson offers both puppy and adult obedience classes in a group setting, as well as private training for those who need it. The classes were fantastic, Toni is patient and understands dog language and motivation to a degree that I found
  6. I haven't been since I made my 2011 recommendations but you're following almost the same path that we took; we flew from Barcelona to Bilbao and then drove to San Sebastian. I won't give any specific food recs since my info is dated but I highly recommend the side trips from San Sebastian to Bilbao (about an hour away?) and to Hondarribia (40 minutes ish?) which was written up in the NY Times a few years ago. We had excellent pintxos in both places and they're wonderfully charming little towns. Like ktmoomau we also did the hop on hop off when we landed in Barcelona because who can think on
  7. We went last Saturday around 6:30pm and got the last three seats at the bar. The food menu is short and spanish - think olives, anchovies, tomato bread and hams - and everything we had was high quality and excellent. I don't recall seeing any "hot" dishes or pintxos, based on the press the owners have been doing I assume we shouldn't expect anything like that. There was a $10 sherry flight featuring three sherries or you could order all the sherries by glass ($6-25/glass) or bottle ($30+). The menu was organized by style and explained each style succinctly. Each sherry came with a small food p
  8. Anyone know of a local source for Pagoda brand Shaoxing rice wine? Attempting Fuschia Dunlop's xiao long bao over the next couple of days.
  9. I just saw them at Seasonal Pantry on Wednesday and only noticed because it was something I'd never seen before. Unfortunately the hours for the market are erratic these days.
  10. I'm speaking out of turn since I haven't been here and don't know what preciesly what they're referring to but there are sakes sold as singles in reusable jars with cute designs, sorta like those jam jars that were popular when I was younger. Maybe they're these http://www.sakediscoveries.com/blog/cup-sake-research-with-sake-samurai-at-ippudo/ ?
  11. My question is: what's wrong with being social media? You say it like it's a bad thing. Social media is defined by content produced by individuals on an easy(ish) to use platform that was designed to facilitate social interaction. Isn't that what we're doing here? Isn't that why this is in a forum format, in order to facilitate discussion among many users? As far as the the fact that this website does not "come into [my] living room" you're describing what some people would consider a feature, not a bug. For example, RSS has improved my life greatly because it means that content is sent to me
  12. Sundevich in Shaw tweeted they would be open at noon as usual today.
  13. Louisville, Frankfurt, Lawrenceburg, Bardstown Just did a solid portion of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, hitting up Four Roses, Heaven Hill, and Maker's Mark as well as Buffalo Trace which is technically not a part of the "official" trail. Our first stop was Buffalo Trace outside of Frankfurt, where most of my favorite bourbons are produced; it's worth calling ahead to book the Hard Hat tour which is 1-1.5 hours and takes you really in depth to all the buildings plus our tour guide was a third-generation employee who was really enthusiastic and knowledgeable. All tours are free and included t
  14. I don't think I can live another day without a juicer. I need to juice all the things. Anyone have any recommendations? A friend offered to sell me her Breville but I've also heard good things about the Omega brand.
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