Hatfield’s. Los Angeles.

Hatfield's Croque Madame

“Croque Madame”

What is it that makes one restaurant stand out from the rest?

Food:  Where every dish hits the mark. Imaginative, original. Expertly crafted. Executed with finesse. Harmony of color, texture, and taste.

Wine:  An interesting wine list that synergizes with the menu. The wine selection accentuates the food. The food selection accentuates the wine. Fairly priced. We adore a sommelier who listens to us describe what we are looking for in a wine, then nails it. “We’re in the mood for a pinot noir that is fruit forward, bright and juicy, complex. We would also love to try something new. In a white. No oak. No grapefruit flavors. Something rich.” (See below for the superb wine picks).

Service:  Professional service that is polished, warm and engaging without being overly chummy. Anticipatory with flawless timing. Ultimately knowledgeable.

Hospitality:  Gracious hosts. When learning of our crazed appreciation for food (maybe the camera gives it away?) we were invited for a peek behind the glass-walled kitchen at the end of the night.

Ambiance: An intersection of architecture, decor, tableware, lighting, and music. A room where we as guests feel comfortable, glamorous, appreciated.

We found a stand-out restaurant recently, in Hatfield’s.

What makes a restaurant stand out for you?

Continue reading “Hatfield’s. Los Angeles.”

ELEGANT PICNIC BY THE SEA

Elegant Heart Healthy Picnic by the Sea

Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Road Trip.”


Challenge Prompt: For this challenge, you’re tasked with creating a delicious meal that will travel well and still look great. From picnics and school lunches to bento boxes, or any other meal on the go, you need to whip up a entree, side, drink, and dessert to enjoy after hitting the road. Be sure that your meal fits inside the Project Food Blog Road Trip Cooler. (from foodbuzz here)

Shall we go for a drive?
I want to show you where my secret favorite picnic table is located!

Often times, eating on the road can be less than healthful. On Taste With The Eyes I am always excited to share delicious foods that are also good for the heart. Heart healthy eating has two components. First, it is to eliminate foods that are high in cholesterol and detrimental to the heart, such as trans fat. Second, it is about adding food to the diet that is good for the heart, like those high in fiber and rich in omega-3s.  The delectable meal I prepared for our Road Trip is heart healthy and travels quite well. So – the weather is perfect! High 60’s with a slight breeze. And with those clouds, there is the promise of a breathtaking sunset. Let’s go down to the beach!

Continue reading “ELEGANT PICNIC BY THE SEA”

Wine with Dinner


Stony Hill
Napa Valley 1995 Chardonnay
Stony Hill Vineyard has been producing delicious, fruity, non-oaky Chardonnay for over a half century. This wine has been off my radar screen for years. Too bad. This is just the style of Chardonnay that I adore – non-oaky, balanced and elegant.
The 1995 vintage is still fresh and lively, with concentrated fruit, it is complex and graceful, has an attractive minerality with a honeyed character. Love it! It was an extraordinary complement to some of first courses of David Humm’s fresh modern French dishes we enjoyed at Eleven Madison Park restaurant.

Marcassin, Three Sisters Vineyard
Sonoma Coast 2003 Pinot Noir
We had ordered a variety of main courses at Eleven Madison Park including the Lavender Honey & Spiced Duck, Vermont Farm Suckling Pig with Plum Chutney & Five Spice Jus, and Organic Chicken with Oregon Morels & Sauce Vin Jaune. We were very excited to have the opportunity to drink Helen Turley’s world-class Marcassin Pinot Noir with our main course.
Wine writer/critic Robert Parker writes: “The 2003 Pinot Noirs are showy wines, with the 2003 Pinot Noir Three Sisters offering a combination of white chocolate, blueberry, raspberry, a touch of smoke and earth, with good underlying, tart acidity, very seductive aromas and flavors, and a spicy, long finish.” Ooohhh!

Helen Turley, one of the world’s most influential winemakers, talks about Marcassin Pinot Noir:

FYI – Marcassin is French for young wild boar.