Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Chi Spacca
6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 6/6/15

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I was at Chi Spacca just a couple of months prior but returned to introduce the restaurant to some others that had heard great things. It’s a perfect spot for a carnivorous group such as us. Given the format of the menu (primarily large portions of meat), big parties do best here. Luckily, we had a party of seven which allowed us a chance to try a bunch of items.

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Redd Wood (Yountville, CA)

Redd Wood
6755 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 5/24/15

redd wood

Yountville might as well be called Kellerville from a food perspective since Thomas Keller’s restaurants here clearly dominate the national headlines (and for good reason). However, Yountville is home to many other recognized chefs and restaurants including this one.

Redd Wood opened in 2012, the second restaurant by chef Richard Reddington. Reddington consistently garnered Michelin stars for upscale sister restaurant Redd down the street, but this more approachable Italian spot has been just as popular if not moreso.

Redd Wood was the choice for a lunch in between morning and afternoon wine tastings in Napa Valley. We ordered a few items across the menu for a sampling – some salumi, one appetizer, one pizza and one pasta.

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Oenotri (Napa, CA)

Oenotri
1425 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
Dining date: 5/23/15

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Oenotri has been a popular spot for Italian food in Napa since opening in 2010. The restaurant combines the flavors of southern Italy and with local Napa Valley produce for a unique Cal-Italian blend. Much of its produce is sourced from its own garden, breads are made in-house every day, and the restaurant maintains an on-site salumi program. Typically the signs of a great restaurant. I’ve heard plenty of good things about the restaurant over the years and stopped in for dinner while in Napa over Memorial Day weekend.

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Giada (Las Vegas, NV) [2]

Giada
The Cromwell
3595 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 4/24/15

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I had dined at Giada just a few months ago for dinner but my mom, a big fan of De Laurentiis, wanted to give Giada a try. We came by for lunch on a Friday right before the Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting.

The lunch menu offers a large variety of small plates, some sandwiches, salads and a couple pastas. Two of the signature lunch items were not yet available on this day which was kind of disappointing. Given we were about an hour into lunch service I found this kind of odd. Still, we found a few other items to try off the menu.

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Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Chi Spacca
6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 3/27/15

exterior

I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to Chi Spacca. Being a bit of a carnivore, the restaurant is right up my alley and a return trip was definitely in order. Plus, they were out of the beef and bone marrow pie last time…and I had to try it! We returned as a party of four to introduce two others who were new to the restaurant.

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Marea (New York, NY)

Marea
240 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 3/1/15

exterior

Given it’s been a good six years since I had been to New York City, the list of restaurants I want to try is overwhelming. So, narrowing down a coveted dinner choice was a challenging (though exciting!) task. I wanted a restaurant that would be brand new to everyone dining (my parents and I) and something a little less of a marathon given the extended tasting menus of the previous dinners. Marea is a restaurant that’s been on my radar since opening in 2009 and fit the bill for this meal. An Italian seafood restaurant, the restaurant currently holds two Michelin stars and ranks #93 in the latest best restaurants in the world list.

dining room

While a la carte and by-request tasting menus are available, I suspect most diners choose the $97 4-course pre-fixe, which basically allows one to choose 4 dishes off the a la carte menu (one crudo/antipasti, one pasta, one main and a dessert). Note that there are some pricing supplements for some of the more expensive dishes. My mom, dad and I went for the pre-fixe menu adding one small plate to share as an addition.

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