Raquel ChandlerComment

My Top 15 {Eats & Drinks} of 2015

Raquel ChandlerComment
My Top 15 {Eats & Drinks} of 2015
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  1. 2015 started out strong as far as food is concerned.  My husband's step-dad {who lives in Alabama} treated us to THE most amazing smoked ribs. 
  2. Henri's  on South Lamar here in Austin was a great spot for a delicious ladies-only Sunday Brunch. I don't think I've had biscuits & gravy like this since my dad cooked them on weekends when I came home from college. Yum. 
  3. Have you ever heard of the Chloe Wine Collection? Ha - I hadn't either until our awesome neighbor was so generous and brought over a couple of bottles for us to try out during a game-night this fall. Crisp, fruity, delish - just what you'd want from a moderately priced bottle of bubbly. 
  4. Homemade charcuterie and cheese spread.  This beautiful table is was curated by none other than yours truly, and I'm pretty proud of it. From salty truffled salami to warm brie with a lavender honey drizzle, we enjoyed this feast along with the above Chloe bubbles. Perfection. 
  5. Becker Vineyards is a gorgeous day-trip just outside of Austin.  Travel the 68 miles to this lush oasis in Fredericksburg, Texas and find yourself among some of the best wines in Texas.  Most would say Texas wines have similarities to that of Kool-Aid (sorry, y'all), but  Becker steps it up. My favorite was the Culinaria and the Raven - red and bold, just like I like my lips :: wink wink :: 
  6. Bleu Cheese Ice Cream with port wine reduction sauce from  LaV was the most wonderful and surprising way to end our delicious meal. The sweet tartness of the reduction sauce and the savory subtlety of the blue cheese was a waltz on my palate.
  7. Louisiana Lonestar Restaurant Night introduced me to some of my new favorite chefs from both Austin as well as my home state of Louisiana.  This Pork Boudin with smoked jalapeno, ancho chili aioli and chard corn salad was one of my faves from the media night I attended. 
  8. Sushi Ran in Sausalito, California might be one of the most delectable sushi restaurants I've ever been to.  Don't worry, Uchi, you're still #1 in my book, but SushiRan away with my heart. Ok, just my wallet (be prepared to spend a pretty penny). We visited our good friends who live out there (pictured, toasting to our friendship!) and they introduced us to this fab little spot. Can't wait to go back and try some new things next time! 
  9. Paella. Oh the paella. On that same trip to San Fran, those friends took us to the the legendary Taste of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend where we not only got to taste all the wines from the three Sonoma County valleys (Russian River, Sonoma, and Anderson), the food pairings were to-die for. My favorite, of course, was this authentic Argentinian dish cooked authentically outdoors in a giant carbon steel paella pan. All I can say is "Om" as in "Om. Nom." 
  10. Again in SF, our tasteful tour guides took us to a legendary spot known as The Buena Vista where the people are friendly, the view is spectacular, and you go in there for one drink and one drink only.  The Irish Coffee. If you are ever going to order one, you do it at this place. Sip slowly and enjoy. 
  11. Hudson's on the Bend is where the foodie movement in Austin began.  This charming little restaurant is nestled in Lakeway and only the true locals know about it and like it that way. We explored their menu and tasted several different dishes, but my favorite was the Hot & Crunch Trout. My mouth is watering thinking about it. 
  12. At a recent tequila tasting that I was invited to by some of my closest friends (I promise to get this blog up soon!), I was introduce to this little concoction, known as a "Suerte Salute:" Suerte Reposado, Canton, apple juice, fresh squeezed lime, jalapeno simple syrup and bitters. 
  13. Launderette has two my favorite dishes of all time: Fennel PEI mussels and charred octopus. Holy damn. Weird texture? Yes. Burst of delicious flavor? You betcha. Try EVERYTHING ON THIS MENU, you will not regret it. Oh and save room for the birthday cake ice cream. 
  14. Rum drinks. All of them. Give me the rum. Especially when the temp is above 75 degrees.  This particular one is a fave at my house:  Pussers Rum (the Official Rum of the British Navy....if you grew up sailing in the Caribbean like I did, you know this rum well) + passion fruit juice + a splash of coconut La Croix. Put it in a pretty glass with an umbrella, and you've got yourself a vacation in a cup.
  15. First Anniversary Cake.  While it was my least favorite as far as taste, it was my ultimate favorite as far as sentiment. Happy One Year, honeybun. We made it.

With all that said - I ate and drank so many amazing things in 2015, which is probably why 2016 will be "The Year of the Cardio" ::ha, no really:: I am REALLY looking forward to seeing what the coming year holds in terms of food and travel adventures! 

Happy New Year everyone - may your hearts and bellies be full of delicious life! 

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