Food

Where to get the best taste of Italy without leaving the US

Where to get the best taste of Italy without leaving the US

Where to get the best taste of Italy without even needing to show your passport? The answer, without a doubt, is Eataly.

Eataly had been on my list of places to visit for a while. It is a huge marketplace devoted to Italian food and culture. It includes markets, restaurants, a bakery, retail, and even a cooking school. Basically all the things I love, and all devoted to Italy! There are just a few locations in the US, so when we were planning our mother-daughter trip to New York City it was a the top of the must-see list!

The first rule of visiting Eataly? Go hungry! 

Eating in NYC: Mexicue

Eating in NYC: Mexicue

While in New York, we wanted to have some tasty food that would be a bit off the beaten track -- stuff we don't eat every day, and stuff that our significant others may not always enjoy.

For dinner our first night, Mom and I ate at Mexicue, a cute Mexican place just a few blocks from Times Square (I told you, it was freezing the weekend we were there, so close spots were key!)

I loved the atmosphere here -- trendy, buzzy, and we could still hear each other over the music and din of the restaurant. I heard the place is a spin-off from a popular food truck, and has a few locations scattered across the city. It didn't feel like a chain though, which was great.

How to bring a little bit of Italian coffee culture to your home

How to bring a little bit of Italian coffee culture to your home

While we were traveling in Italy, we fell in love with the Italian coffee culture. It is refreshing to step up to any coffee bar anywhere in the country, knowing that the espresso served to you will be of the highest quality. 

There are two very different ways to enjoy the coffee in Italy. The fast way is to step on up to the bar and order an espresso. You drink it while standing, throw down your euro or two, and you're on your way, delightfully caffeinated.

Eating in Florence: La Pizzeria Sud at the Mercato Centrale

Eating in Florence: La Pizzeria Sud at the Mercato Centrale

Truth be told, we came to La Pizzeria Sud last year the day after some intense (and amazing) Tuscan wine tasting. At that time, we devoured pizza at this restaurant on the second floor of Mercato Centrale, thinking it was the best thing ever.

Upon our return this year, we decided to try it again, wondering if our, ahem, hangovers skewed our view last year.

Well folks, the results are in: this pizza is amazing no matter your previous day's activities! 

How to host a simple Italian al fresco feast with friends

How to host a simple Italian al fresco feast with friends

After our cooking class in Florence where we learned all the secrets of Italian cuisine, AND after investing in the bible of Italian cooking, we decided to throw a small dinner party with a few friends as a reason to put our skills to use. (That, and we had a great bottle of champagne that we wanted to share!)

This is our menu plan for an exquisitely Italian al fresco feast with friends that you can make, too!