It’s very rare for me not to enjoy an Italian meal. With New Jersey and New York hosting more Italian restaurants than most places across the country, it’s easy to come across a decent dish. While I love to eat Italian food whenever I can, the restaurants I visit also tend to be a dime a dozen. My general feeling is that once you try one, you’ve tried them all. I shouldn’t paint such a broad brush but, as a large majority, most Italian eateries serve the same overplayed Americanized meals that we have come to accept as “true” Italian food. I don’t downplay that I enjoy these dishes, I even cook them myself. But, let’s face it; some of the dishes we chow down on aren’t even popular across the pond. Our ancestors who came over often mixed together American and Italian ingredients to produce these popularized dishes. Or, as time wore on, only the Italian dishes brought over that pleased other Americans’ palates were what stayed in favor.
My Charlotte journeys continue to grow as the months pass on! Last month I had my fourth visit in the past six months to the Queen City. I spent three days bouncing around for work activities, visiting my best friend, and of course continuing my food adventures. I have to share a quick story that gave me a laugh while on my visit. I spent some time with a work colleague who lives in Charlotte and has for thirteen years. As we began to discuss my love for food she started to list off some of the popular bars and restaurants in the area. I let her in on the secret that I had gone to almost everything on her list. She explained with shock that she had lived there for over a decade and had yet to go to most of them. The conversation continued with me giving her recommendations on which hot spots to get to and which seemed a bit overrated.
Believe it or not, there are still a small handful of Morristown restaurants I have not dined my way through. It’s not necessarily for lack of wanting to try them. It’s just that I’m always out to try the newest place on the block or settling with my regular favorites.
Morristown has had some exciting new restaurant additions in the works for the past few months. Stirling Tavern is one of these endeavors! It took over the beloved David Todd’s space on South Street. I was a big fan of David Todd’s so they had a lot to live up to in my mind. Once I learned that the renowned Stirling Hotel would be taking over the reins I had high hoped for good things to come. (I haven’t been myself but have heard only great things!)
My husband and I have been trying to meet my grandparents for a double date dinner for months now! We hadn’t seen them since our wedding and we had taken our big honeymoon trip and they had just returned from a long cross country excursion. We had so much to catch up on. We decided that there was no better way to talk about Paris than to eat in a true Parisian style restaurant. My grandparents were the ones who introduced me to the beautiful French city back when I was 12. So it was all very fitting.
My best friend recently moved out of New Jersey and down to North Carolina. While I miss her terribly, the one perk of having her leave was getting to travel to a new place. She relocated to Charlotte and it is not a city that I have visited before. By the time she officially moved down there I already had flights lined up for my first visit. She took those first few months to learn the lay of the land and scope out the local hot spots. When asked if I had any special requests for things to do during my stay I had nothing to add to the agenda. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard much about the city in the past and didn’t know what it had to offer. I thought I would let someone else do the planning for once. My husband, on the other hand, had one item that was a non-negotiable. He wanted to experience Carolina barbecue.
I’ve been procrastinating on finalizing today’s post for a few days. I feel like by sharing my final page of my honeymoon travel diary, I am closing the book on the experience. I just want to keep reliving all the magical moments. I guess flipping through all my photo books and re-reading these posts will have to do!
What do you do when you are having a honeymoon hangover and feeling a little like you aren’t getting the appropriate Vitamin D and excitement levels in your life? You whisk yourself and your husband off to a local getaway to ease the pain. At least that’s what we did. Just three weeks after our return from the honeymoon we were wander-lusting so hard that we booked a last minute weekend in New York City. After arriving at our Paris-inspired hotel, The NoMad, which had us flashing back to our European stays, we embarked on a tourist filled couple of days in our own backyard. We never take the time to explore New York City from a tourist perspective because we often take for granted that it’s “our city”. But, we realized we knew so little of the history of it that it was a perfect opportunity to pretend like newbies!
I have another fun New Jersey restaurant review for all of you today. I apologize for my lack of recipe sharing in the past few weeks. The wedding appointments paired with attempts to fit in catch up sessions with friends and family has had me dining out way more than often lately. The good news about this is that I have so many food loving friends and the handful of restaurants I have experienced lately have really been top notch.