EATING OUR WAY THROUGH CHARLESTON

Flags | The Ordinary

Bar | The Ordinary

The Ordinary

The Ordinary

The Ordinary

Raw Bar | The Ordinary

Deciding which restaurants to try is one of my favorite parts of vacation planning and thanks to some spot-on recommendations from friends, we ate exceptionally well during our recent visit to Charleston. Since I’m always scouring other people’s city guides before a trip, I thought I’d share our favorites.

For Brunch/Lunch:
-Virginia’s on King: We wandered in starving after doing some shopping on King Street. I’m from Cape Cod so I’m far from a qualified judge of traditional southern cuisine, but the fried pickles, fried chicken, shrimp po’ boy and mac n cheese definitely hit the spot for us!

-Bull Street Gourmet: This gourmet deli and market was the perfect pit stop after doing a little real estate stalking. The portions were generous and we left full and happy.

For Dinner:
-Two Boroughs Larder: We grabbed a table in the window at this cozy neighborhood spot our first night in town. From the logo featuring the owners dog, to the blue and white striped napkins, this place is full of charm and the well edited selection of  locally sourced, seasonal dishes couldn’t be more delicious.

-The Grocery: This might have been our favorite meal of the trip. We took advantage of the small plates and ordered a feast to share. I’m still thinking about the brown butter and sage butternut squash agnolotti–SO good!

-The Ordinary: Growing up on the Cape might not make me a great judge of southern food, but it has made me a pretty tough critic of seafood and this new-ish restaurant is the real deal. The seafood is obviously the star, but the design (images above) is pretty fantastic too.

For Dessert:
-Kaminski’s: We followed up our amazing dinner at The Grocery with two sinfully delicious pieces of Tollhouse Pie at this downtown dessert institution. I kind of wish they shipped…

Charleston has such an amazing food scene, I wish we had more time to continue our grand gastronomic tour (although my waist line is probably thankful we didn’t!)

photos via The Ordinary

DISTRICT DOUGHNUT

District Doughnut | The Pursuit of Style

District Doughnut | The Pursuit of Style

District Doughnut | The Pursuit of Style

Yesterday we had a “snow day” in DC. The government closed for the day and many businesses followed suit in anticipation of the storm. We waited and waited for the snow but disappointingly it never came–at least not to Capitol Hill.

A snow day without snow is already pretty indulgent, but when I saw via twitter that District Doughnut had an extra dozen up for grabs I knew I could up the ante. One re-tweet and a half hour later co-founder Greg delivered a dozen sinfully delicious doughnuts to my door. Let me repeat that: doughnuts to my door. Could there be anything better?!

Bitches Who Brunch said it first, but I’m going to chime in with a strong second: doughnuts are the new cupcakes. These doughnuts are better than any cupcake I’ve ever tasted. Of the four flavors that came in our dozen (yes, I’ve tried them all judge away) the brown butter is my favorite. The combination of fluffy pastry, cinnamon sugar, and brown butter icing is nothing short of dangerous. Thank god my boyfriend is sharing the extras with his coworkers tomorrow!

To my readers outside of DC: I apologize for taunting you with images of doughnuts. You’ll just have to try them if you come visit! To my DC readers: place an order ASAP. You won’t be disappointed!

TOP CHEF

House Beautiful

Tommy Smythe

Elle Decor

The Pursuit of Style

1. Olive Wood Paddle Board 2. Bon Appetit Napkin 3. Horn Salad Serving Set 4. Striped Towel Set 5. Savon De Marseille Extra Pur Hand Soap 6. Le Creuset French Oven

After sharing my first food post on the blog this morning, I thought I’d share some of my all-time favorite kitchens with you. You know, the places I daydreamed about while making that meal. Places far far away from the tiny galley sized kitchen with Formica counters I’m actually working with. Oh the joys of apartment living…

You might notice a few themes here: 1. I’m clearly obsessed with white cabinetry and 2. I love subway tile in any shade. Any one of these kitchens would be lovely, but I think my ultimate dream kitchen would be the love child of Tommy Smythe’s killer black and white kitchen in photo three and the beautifully styled open shelves in photo one. Wouldn’t that be a looker?

Since kitchens and cookware are obviously consuming my thoughts these days, you can also check out my suggestions for stylish kitchen accessories over on Houzz. I may have to live with my Formica counters for awhile, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dress them up with a monogrammed olive wood cutting board! Do you have your dream kitchen yet or are you still fighting against Formica like me?

1/2/3/4

IN THE KITCHEN: BREAKFAST HASH

Breakfast Hash | The Pursuit of Style

Breakfast Hash | The Pursuit of Style

Breakfast Hash | The Pursuit of Style

If there’s one thing this blog will never be, it’s a food blog. I’m absolutely in awe of ladies like Deb, Heidi, and Rhee for their ability to get a new recipe up each and every day. I can only imagine how much time, money, passion, and plain old stamina that requires. I definitely don’t have it in me, so I’ll leave the real food blogging to the experts.

With that said (and with food photos staring you in the face), I’m sharing my very first food post today. Not because I’m switching subject matter on you–don’t worry I’ve got a design post scheduled for this afternoon–but because I’ve decided to give up eating/ordering out for Lent which means a lot more time spent in the kitchen. I thought I’d share the first meal I tackled at home and if you’re interested maybe I’ll share a few more over the next month or so.

Anyway, yesterday I took advantage of the day off and made a huge skillet of breakfast hash for my first homemade meal. I used a Giada De Laurentiis recipe as a guide but truthfully deviated quite a bit in an effort to clean out my fridge. The full recipe is below and I’ve marked my substitutions/things I eliminated entirely. Bacon and sausage in one dish probably sounds like a heart attack in a skillet, but this was so, so, good I decided to take my chances!
Bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS
8 ounces apple-smoked bacon (5 to 6 slices), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (I used about 5 red bliss potatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used mini portobello mushrooms)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
5 ounces dry salami, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used about 1/4lb hot italian sausage)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (didn’t use)
Zest of 1/2 medium orange (didn’t use)
4 large eggs, at room temperature

DIRECTIONS

-Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
-Add the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
-Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, salami, nutmeg, orange zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bacon and potatoes.
-Make 4 indentations in the hash and break an egg into each. Cook until the eggs are cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.

IN THE KITCHEN

I mentioned last week that I wanted to make more of an effort to cook at home so when Echo Design graciously sent me a few pieces from their Latika collection I knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back in the kitchen.

Last night I tried my hand at Pesto Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (thank you Pinterest).  I used spicy italian sausage and brussels sprouts from my favorite vendors at the H St. FreshFarm Market and it was delicious! An easy weeknight dinner that still felt a little special.

P.S congratulations to Caitlin C. who is the winner of the Ivy and Vine giveaway!