Year of the Pig [from Vegas]

{The Bellagio lobby and the Dragon at the Caesars}

The Lunar New Year begins at the new moon that falls between January 20thand February 20th; it is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the New Year on the Chinese calendar. Traditionally the festival was a time to honor deities as well as the ancestors, and was associated with several myths and customs. But, today popular themes used in celebrating are the red paper envelopes for giving money, along with lighting firecrackers, dragon dances, and my favorite the meticulous dishes prepared for celebrating.

{The Year of Pig celebrated at Bellagio and the Wynn Hotels in Las Vegas}

Tony is in Las Vegas enjoying the festivities at each of the hotels, while taking photos of exhibits in lobbies.

I have also begun researching a few of the symbolic dishes served during the New Year. First I want to try making dumplings for “wealth”, then noodles for “happiness and longevity” and lastly, fish “to increase prosperity”.

Celebrate stylishly,

Favorites from Europe


A photo of the Parthenon from the Temple of Apollo Patroos.
An Italian trifecta ……the Colosseum, Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum.

After reviewing notes from our recent trip to Europe I found we were going back to restaurants to try dishes that each of us had tasted during previous visits. In Rome we went to Ciao Bella on the Via Veneto twice to enjoy their “spaghetti ragu Bolognese, zuppa cipollini {onion soup} and marinated beef strips with rocket, lemon and olive oil.

While in Athens our new favorite spot is the Acropolis Museum Restaurant located at the bottom of the Acropolis. The restaurant updates their menu based on seasonal produce and prepares dishes in the traditional methods. We tried the cabbage salad with raisins, figs, orange and a citrus fruit vinaigrette; the beef casserole with onions was absolutely delicious, a dish to make on busy week nights, and for dessert the chocolate pie severed with vanilla ice cream.

When in Greece check out the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Archaeological Museum along with the usual sites of the city.

I am continuing to review information from the trip and want to make each of the dishes we tried in Rome and Athens. I cannot wait for a snow day to lock myself in the kitchen to recreate the taste of these exquisite dishes.

Travel stylishly,