Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mexico, In the Mountains

San Miguel de Allende has earned the reputation as an artist colony and friendly place for visitors from around the world. We had the great pleasure of staying at Carl’s cousins beautiful hacienda,image but went exploring the city and surrounding. We made our first stop at Piedras,, wonderful jewlry designed by Bill Harris and his team. You need to call before you go since the studio is in their beautiful home. 415-154-9193. Then we headed down the hill to have lunch at La Posadita, Cuna Allenda #13, up two flights of stairs to the roof top and great Mexican food and ofcourse a good beer.

The next day we made a trip to Casa Katalina, on Jesus #16, this small craft store had so many wonderful pieces made by Dan that we did some great Christmas shopping. Each piece had a story of how it came together. From there we headed to Virgins Saints and Angles on Recreo 68. This place is hard to find but worth the trip. the doors are not marked so you think you are lost until you step inside. the owners have created wonderful, necklaces, ear righs and belt buckles. go to or  We headed back to the house and had a simple lunch in the garden, pool time, since the days are always around 85 and the evenings are cool. Remember you are at 6,000 feet so it drops down to around 50 at night.

The next day we went to the old textile factory, now a huge building housing artists studios and restaurants. Factory La Aurora is worth the visit we had a simple lunch at Food Factory La Auroar, nothing great but fine since we had a big dinner planned. There are so many shops to visit in the city center and the clean streets, welcome shop owners and beautiful building make you want to spend hours just exploring.

That evening we had a very good dinner at a place aalled Calenda, Nemesio Diez #10, 415 15 47 129,  across from the new Rosewood hotel. The owner, Keren Wix, was there making sure everyone was being taken care of. They had a small group playing jazz and the huge pepper corn tree was lit up as you enter the courtyard. The feature on the menu was pork and it was melt in your mouth perfect, slow roasted for 36 hours.  After several shared courses we finished with a unique desert, it read brownie crumbs with sweet chilies.  We had a great time and you will also.

The last day we went back to pick up a few special treasures and finished the evening sharing dinner with new friends at a place called Los Milagros, hard to park so take a cab to Relox #17.

the next morning we had to catch an early flight so we had Julian Cartas pick us up and  take us to Leon for our return trip. Julian has a very nice car and speaks english well e-mail him at     j_cartas,  cell phone number 044 415 101 6024.

This is a beautiful city, the sun always shines and everyone was happy to see us in their stores and restaurants.

We finished


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Truffles in Italy

November in Northern Italy is always a food lovers paradise.  We stayed with friends in a small town called Fidenza, about 20 miles north of Parma. Our first adventure was to a special restaurant called  “Ristorante Ambasciata” in Quistello, Mantova. We feasted on several courses of pasta, including small ravioli filled with sweet pumpkin.  Then we were served our choice of roasted duck or roasted guinea hen. The deserts never stopped coming, sweets with chestnut puree, slice chocolate cake and of course beautiful dishes of cookies and that last cup of espresso.

The next day was spent shopping in Parma and resting for our big dinner at Antica Corte Pallavicina. On our way to dinner we stopped to visit friends at a beautiful castle called “Castello di San Pietro. The owner has built an art collection worth visiting., go to and next time you are in the area make sure to visit in person and spend the night.

When we arrived  at Antica Corte the fog was just beginning to come across the Poe river giving the low land that feeling of ghosts in the dark.  Chef owner, Massimo, was there to greet us and our friends giving the personal tour of the culatello cellar. If you are in the area stay the night and enjoy lunch and dinner at the chateau. Culatello is a unique type of cured ham made by hand from the pigs that Massimo raises close by on his farm. It is not available in the U.S. and really only found in this region. We shared many courses of different meats and of course lardo was the real hit.

The next day we had dinner at our friends home and Chef Cerea came down from the famous Da Vittorio to prepare our truffle dinner. An evening to remember.,. Da Vittorio in located in Brusaporto, the province of Bergamo–035-681024. The risotto was so perfect that you will never eat it again in an american restaurant. The sweet flavor of late harvest grapes stirred  into the smooth creamy rice at the last minute was a great contrast to the truffles being shaved on top.  Course after course ending with a small filet topped with foie gras then ofcourse they started shaving truffles on top.

The wine never stopped and the deserts were ALMOST to beautiful to eat. If you are ever in the northern part of Italy go out of your way to try Da Vittorio, they earned their 3 stars for a reason!

Time to head back to Milan for our last night at the airport. We grabbed a cab into the city to eat fish at Mauro, Via Colonnetta 5, 02 546-1380. Always a special treat to be served by a family that cares so much about the ingredients.


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