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Happy Holidays!

Food Wine and Design hopes that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with delicious food, bold wine and festive design!  As for us, we enjoyed a wonderful meal and got the chance to reflect on and appreciate our subscribers, followers and FB fans.  And now we look forward to embracing the holiday season with all of you!  We can't wait to post holiday recipes, tips, restaurant events, wine recommendations and photos from our upcoming tree trimming party in the country.  Wishing you lots of laughter, love, warmth and deliciousness throughout the season.

Food Wine and Design 

Fall is Beautiful


We've been enjoying fall colors, traditions and sweaters and, er, riding boots so much that we almost missed the chance to provide a seasonal update.  Summer in NYC was the hottest on record so the dip in temperatures has been a welcome change. We went apple picking in New England, enjoyed a wonderful arts festival in The Hudson Valley (no purchases this year though), went on a few long hikes and, as has become heavily anticipated each year, attended Bette Midler's annual NY Restoration Project Halloween fundraiser at The Waldorf where Paul Simon performed and Senator Kerry was honored.  And, cherished above all else, we got the chance to use our fireplace a few wonderful, relaxing, crackling times.  A glass of wine in front of the fire with family and an old movie (we loved "Sabrina" and can't believe we'd never seen it before being huge Audrey Hepburn fans) is one of the most precious and appreciated times in FWandD's hectic life.

Another important event for FWandD this season was the unexpected opportunity to buy some more land in The Hudson Valley, the place we think of as the ultimate refuge and sanctuary.  This might just represent the start of FWandD's long time dream of bed & breakfasting.  Stay tuned...and enjoy the rest of fall with your loved ones, some hot cocoa and your pooch or kitty curled up in your afghaned lap.

Thanksgiving Wines For $12 and Under!

Cellar XV Wine Market 
These recommendations come from Cellar XV Wine Market in Ridgefield, CT.  This is a great wine shop and they throw fantastic wine tasting events that support charity and other local causes. The events are reasonably priced too... and FWandD is always looking for value! And we think this is especially legit since there is a Rex Goliath on the list. Yum!


J. Vidal Fleury Cotes du Rhone 2007

Rhone Valley, France

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Other

Red fruits and spice on the nose.  The mouth reveals rounded tannins; warm and full-bodied with rich dark fruit and a nice spice finish. A great value for any occasion, including Thanksgiving!  


Rex Goliath Free Range Red (NV)


Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel

Deep aroma of pepper and blackberry.  The front begins slightly sweet and fruit forward with berries, progressing into layers of spice in a surprisingly long finish.



Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca 2009

Terra Alta, Spain

100% Garnacha Blanca

Nose of lemon zest, nectar, and clementine orange.  Clean, cool, and crisp with hints of citrus as well as tropical fruits while retaining a refreshing dryness.


Clos Palet Vouvray 2008

Vouvray, France

100% Chenin Blanc

Floral nose of honeysuckle, accompanied by notes of nectarine and fresh almonds.  Palate of wet stone minerality, with medium body and silky finish.


Crumbs Bake Shop Cupcakes

Mmmmm, beautiful, sophisticated, sweet cupcakes.  They've become understandably popular for all kinds of events, from family parties to high-end weddings.  Coincidentally, we walked by a Crumbs Bake Shop near NYC's Grand Central station today and decided to drop by.  It was about 3:30 pm and all of the tables for two at this quaint yet modern and cheerful little shop were filled. The selection of baked goods was great, in particular the cupcakes.  But how to choose?!  We saw peanut butter cup, coconut, coffee toffee, cookies and cream, espresso and white hot chocolate flavors!  Crumbs' gorgeous cupcakes are also mountainous, which isn't something FWandD would ever complain about (especially at $3.75 a cupcake for some of them).  We decided to control ourselves though...this is a serious taste test after all...and buy only two... chocolate and apple cobbler.  When it came to ordering the cupcakes, the service was great. We wished that the guy who served us had a name tag on his shirt or that his name would appear on the receipt so that we could give him a "FWandD shout-out" but, alas, this friendly, helpful gentleman remains anonymous.  But all of the folks behind the counter were great; extremely pleasant and anxious to help us. 

And then came the tasting tonight.

Afraid that we'd have to pull this plug if the cupcakes didn't taste as good as they look, we braced ourselves.  First, we cut them into quarters so that we could see inside. The layers looked amazing.  First we tried the apple cobbler.  The crisp apple bits were delicious, blended with the brown sugar and creamy frosting.  The cupcake gets an A! And then came the chocolate...which happens to be FWandD's favorite flavor (full disclosure).  If someone walked by the closed door and heard all of the "Oh My G-D" yelps and moans coming out of our mouths they might have thought something indecent. The yellow cake was buttery but light and the chocolate frosting was creamy and smooth and not too sweet.  Even the little colorful sprinkles played their flavorful part! WOW CRUMBS BAKE SHOP, WOW!

If you need to impress your colleagues at the next office party....or bring something to your in-laws' no more.  You can get all the cupcakes you need for any occasion and any unique tastes (try their best seller collection) and they'll even make you a customized cake. 

Oh and, no, we're not affiliated or getting anything in return for this review.  Just the pure delight of eating those cupcakes.

Say It Ain’t So! Salisbury’s White Hart Inn Has Closed

Rural Intelligence Road Trips

It’s empty now, but it’s anything but a white elephant. Last spring, owners Scott and Roxanne Bok unveiled their soup-to-nuts renovation and redecoration of the historic White Hart Inn on Salisbury’s Town Green at the junction of Routes 41 and 44.  While locals raved about the decor by designer Matthew Patrick Smyth of New York and Sharon, many were less than thrilled with the restaurant’s new, trendy menu and longed for the New England comfort food the inn had been known for. Indeed, the usually boosterish Lakeville Journal ran a vicious piece about the restaurant (and the Boks ran an ad the following week in that newspaper defending their new chef and his cooking.) Today, the Boks, who have had a weekend house in Salisbury for two decades,  abruptly shuttered the inn—the signs on the doors only said it was closed for the day— and they put it on the market for $5 million (Best & Cavallaro has the listing.) Scott Bok issued a press release today that explained why they decided not to keep the inn open while trying to sell it. “We have owned the inn for over 12 years. While much of that time was a pleasure, it was also a heavy responsibility and time commitment to oversee a 24 hour, 364 day a year enterprise, despite having a young family and a full-time job 100 miles away. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to retain staff and continue to operate while the property was for sale, so it seemed appropriate to close now as we enter the quieter winter season. The property is now fully renovated, in pristine condition and debt-free, ready to wait patiently for a new owner.

A Sturdy Red for Winter

Wine from The Times 
From The Pour, The New York Times


Published: November 1, 2010

In the popular imagination, Provence calls to mind sunny, pastel images of hillside towns climbing up from the sea. For the wine lover, Provence mostly conjures up the tangy, lighthearted spirit of rosé, sipped within earshot of the water. It simply doesn’t square that carefree Provence is also home to a superb red wine that practically epitomizes the term “brooding.”

But then, anybody who has read the Marseilles-based novels of Jean-Claude Izzo knows that Provence has its dark side, too. As far as wine goes, that would be Bandol. There, in a pocket of terraced hills west of Toulon, within sniffing distance of the Mediterranean, surprisingly sturdy wines made largely from the mourvèdre grape can stun you with their haunting beauty.

Just the other week, I had a 2004 Bandol from Château Pradeaux ($37), one of the most resolutely traditional of Bandol producers. When young, these wines are deep, dark and practically savage, but this one was just emerging from the stranglehold of its tannic embrace. It was decidedly dry and structured yet bewitching, with aromas of licorice, leather and flowers along with something wild and untamed. By its weight, tannins, aromas and flavors, the wine reminded me of nebbiolo, except for that wild element, which is very much mourvèdre’s own...