travel blog

Oyster Fever: Liberty Kitchen

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You know that one song in Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is listing off ‘raindrops and roses, and whiskers on kittens’ as her favorite things? Yeah, I sing that song to myself anytime I think of oysters, and martinis on happy hour. These are a few of my favorite things!

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I recently popped in around 5 to catch a few of the HH deals (as well as the fantastic regular menu), and boy was I impressed.

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There were discounted drinks, and a few reduced food items. Everything served was spectacular! I couldn’t get over how fresh, clean, and flavorful all of their seafood was! My main issue with local places serving oysters is that a lot only do Gulf. I was delighted to find that they have theirs coming from PEI, and all over!

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What’s that shown above? Oh, just in-house smoked salmon with bacon jelly. That’s all. (It’s insanely good!)

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When I looked at the specials, I saw their Friday offering, and knew immediately it was what I was going to have. That was Marseille Bouillabaisse, served in 2 parts. They start you off with arguably the best seafood-saffron broth known to man, then follow it with a fantastic plate of lobster, clams, potatoes, and more!

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I went nuts on the wine list, because hey, I’m me! Of course, I did! But it is worth a mention that their cocktails are insane.

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My favorite involved grapefruit skins, herbs, and a slight effervescence. It looked a little like the rose-in-the-glass from Beauty and the Beast to me, so I guess this place just fills me with movie references all around.

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It’s hard to get a low-carber like me to crumble, but they did it. Luckily, I had a dining partner with me that did most of the damage, but I was extremely happy to taste their fantastic chocolate cake. It was worth the ‘cheat.’ Apart from the food, I’m a huge fan of their decor, staff, and even the sounds of their brunch menu, which I have yet to try! If you’re a seafood nut like I am, this is definitely a place to taste.

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Top Celebrity Chefs In An Airport Near You

With celebrity chefs opening eateries and introducing new dining concepts around the world, it seemed more than fitting for a handful of them to take things international and open new restaurants at some of the world’s biggest airports. Let’s take a look at some of the best airport celebrity chef-run restaurants across the globe.

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Heston Blumenthal’s Perfectionist’s Café
In the summer of 2014, Heathrow’s Queen’s Terminal (Terminal 2) opened their doors and gave passengers two unique experiences that reflected on British culture, one of them being Heston Blumenthal’s establishment known as The Perfectionist’s Café. According to Parking4Less, Blumenthal and his innovative team were very eager to present a menu that showcased British eccentricity – high quality classic dishes with the chef’s usual creative twists.

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Wolfgang Puck Express
The Austrian chef is making a huge statement in the travel world with his Express restaurants, located in hubs such as Indianapolis International Airport, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and Denver International Airport. At each branch, you’ll find many of his signature dishes, from Japanese favorites to Rosemary chicken. To-go options are also available for those who wish to upgrade their onboard meals.

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Cat Cora’s Kitchen
The first and only female Iron Chef on the Food Network is currently running several branches of airport restaurants across the United States. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients for her cocktail and tapas lounges, travelers can expect the healthiest and sustainable dishes for all meals throughout the day. At Cat Cora’s Kitchen, they also like to emphasize their dedication to the environment by using eco-friendly and biodegradable materials for the to-go plates and boxes. The restaurants are open at 5 am for breakfast.

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Michael Symon’s Bar Symon
Sometimes all you need to relax before your flight is some good old comfort food, which is exactly what Michael Symon offers at his eateries in Washington Dulles International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport. Choose from any of his savory signature meals like the Fat Doug and Pulled Pork sandwiches. Every table is equipped with power outlets and flight status screens so that you can keep tabs on your flight.

 

This is a guest post.

Dining Downtown: Stella San Jac

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I live a pretty good life, and as a blogger I’ve been to some very amazing events.

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Though all places I have visited have been incredibly kind, I do have to tip my hat to the wonderful folks at Stella San Jac for the super-cool night they gave me last night.

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The newly opened restaurant, housed in the Westin, brought a ton of local bloggers in for a happy hour with some complimentary appetizers, and even a cooking demo! (More on that later. Actually, seriously, the straight up video for you below.)

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The space was gorgeous, and the food was delish! (Who says ‘delish?’ Oh god, did I just say ‘delish?’ Sign me up for pink sweaters, and tennis lessons STAT.)

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Naturally, I ventured to the bar. (Me?!?!? BAAAAAAAAR????) I asked if there were any happy hour specials, and the bartender replied, “Every hour is a happy hour.” I like it! He poured me a glass of rosé that I was convinced would cost $2508582094821, but it was only $8.66, so you know what? He was right! Every hour is happy hour when good wine is fairly priced.

Now, for the biscuits! If you check out my amazing-super-awesome-cinematography (sarcasm) video above (it was Periscope) you’ll see a demonstration from the chef on how to make his famous #16 Biscuits. He calls them ’16’ because it took that many tries to perfect the recipe, and they’re reportedly good enough to make low-carbers crumble. Fret not, dear reader, I crumbled not (“Not today, Satan!”), but I plan to soon. I spent most of my night eating his delicious salmon spread, and put all of my carbs in through pink wine.

Sound & Beauty: Barton Creek Live

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I rarely get to venture out to the picturesque hills of west Austin, but when I do, I seldom regret it. My most recent journey was to check out the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s  live music series. I started my day touring their beautiful golf course, then went straight into a 50 minute body scrub. When I say body scrub, I mean: they rubbed me for almost an hour in honey, lavender, and brown sugar. I felt like a queen!

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I slipped out, and had a perfectly made martini at the downstairs bar whilst waiting for my guest to join me for a pre-concert buffet.

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The food was upscale, and perfectly priced. I tend to eat more healthfully, and was able to stockpile on veggies for my first plate.

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The menu boasted: beef tenderloin, shrimp and grits, steamed mussels, and so much more!

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The jalapeño brined chicken was moist, and the tenderloin was the perfect amount of rare. My dining partner doubled-up on the watermelon feta salad, and I loved knowing that the produce was locally sourced.

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We even forced room for dessert. The horchata panna cota and Mexican chocolate pots de creme were the stars of the show.

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As we left the dining room to the outside area to see the night’s main attraction, Sammy Kershaw, we were welcomed with even more food choices! There were tacos, snacks, and even a well-stocked beer and wine bar. We found that we could swap four drink tickets for one bottle of wine, and enjoy the concert without having to get up for re-fills.

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I hadn’t heard a Sammy Kershaw song in years, but the man could still sing. It only took a few moments before the entire floor erupted into dancing.

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It was a beautiful night, with over-the-top service, and all set upon beautiful grounds. Be sure to check out their schedule, and make a point to visit this gorgeous resort. Want a chance to win free entry for you and a friend?

Just tweet for a chance at 2 wristbands to the show of your choice!
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Disclosure: I did enjoy complimentary food and services for review purposes, but opinions are 100% my own.