The Best Wine Regions in the United States to Check Out Right Now www.casualtravelist.com

The Best Wine Regions in the United States to Check Out Right Now

There has never been a better time to be a wine lover in the United States. From famous wineries in California producing world class wine to smaller boutique vineyards that are a bit off the beaten path chances are you can sample some great American wine no matter where you travel throughout the country. I asked a few of my favorite travel blogging pals where their favorite wineries are and while traditional wine regions like California and Virginia are well represented there are a few surprises here as well. Here are the best wine regions in the United States that you need to check out right now.

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3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

3 Meals: Where to Eat in Washington DC

With some of the hottest restaurants in the country, a dizzying variety of cuisines and good food at every price point there has never been a better time for a foodie to visit Washington DC. One of the most frustrating things for visitors is matching up a tasty meal with sightseeing. Diners in DC are spoiled for choice but if hunger strikes after you’ve hiked the 2 miles of the National Mall it’s nice to know what’s tasty nearby. For this reason I’ve lined up some of my favorite wallet friendly and mid-range dining options in the district as well as including what major tourist sites are nearby. Check out some of my recommendations for where to eat in Washington DC.

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Where to Find the Best Craft Beer in Virginia Beach www.casualtravelist.com

Where to Find the Best Craft Beer in Virginia Beach

There has never been a better time to be a beer lover in Virginia. Craft beer in Virginia has exploded in recent years, growing from a handful of breweries to over 100 and counting. I’m lucky that there is an ever-expanding roster of local Virginia Beach breweries that are putting out some really great beer. With that in mind I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite local breweries in the Virginia Beach area.

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Commune-Where to Eat in Virginia Beach www.casualtravelist.com

3 Meals:Where to Eat in Virginia Beach

By far the most frequent question I get from family, friends and readers is about where to eat in Virginia Beach. In recent years the culinary scene has really taken off and really there has never been a more exciting time to eat in the Resort City.  Inspired by the bounty of the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and rich coastal farmlands a haven for Virginia Beach restaurants, but a handful of creative chefs and down-home cooks have made Virginia Beach a truly great dining destination. Here are my recommendations for the best restaurants in Virginia Beach. Read More

A Taste of Mexico with La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations www.casualtravelist.com

A Taste of Mexico with La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations

It’s no secret that I travel to eat, I find that food is one of the best ways to experience a destination. For my first trip to Mexico I wanted to immerse myself in it’s cuisine, from vibrant salsas to smokey moles and everything in between, I wanted to experience Mexico’s diverse food culture on a deeper level. This is what led me to La Villa Bonita, a hands-on cooking school and boutique hacienda in Central Mexico’s highlands.

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3 Meals: Where to eat in Copenhagen

The rise of new Nordic cuisine has made Copenhagen one of the hottest dining destinations on the planet. Corner bakeries and food markets stay true to Denmark’s food traditions while the city’s 16 Michelin starred restaurants continue to push the culinary envelope. Whether traditional or forward thinking, chefs and purveyors throughout Copenhagen are committed to highlighting the best of what’s local and in season. Grab your fork, these are my recommendations of where to eat in Copenhagen. Read More

From food trucks and barbecue to creative fine dining, Austin has a little something for everyone. Here's where to eat in Austin. www.casualtravelist.com

3 Meals: Where to eat in Austin, Texas

Austin has long been known for brisket and burritos but the same creative spirit that drives Austin’s music scene and tech boom is also putting out some of the best food in the country. Whether you’re on the lookout for boozy brunches, hip food truck fare or fine dining with a side of Top Chef star power Austin has you covered. Here are my recommendations of where to eat in Austin, Texas.

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What it's like to eat at Noma, Copenhagen www.casualtravelist.com

Noma- What it’s Like to Eat at One of the Best Restaurants in the World.

Copenhagen in recent years has become one of the world’s hottest food destinations. New Nordic cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh Scandinavian flavors, simplicity and eating seasonally was catapulted into the world’s culinary spotlight by pioneering chef Rene Redzepi and his groundbreaking restaurant Noma. Currently located in a renovated warehouse along the waterfront in the Christanhaven neighborhood, Noma has earned two Michelin stars and the title of the World’s Best Restaurant 4 times since 2010 (the title went to Spain’s El Cellar de Can Roca in 2013 and again in 2015). With over 100,000 reservation requests per month and two seatings a day getting a table at this lauded 45-seat restaurant requires a great deal of luck. As it turns out fate was on our side and on a sunny June afternoon Steve and I found ourselves waiting at Noma’s unassuming entrance wondering about the culinary experience that awaited us inside.

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In the Nordic Kitchen with CPH Good Food

In the Nordic Kitchen with CPH Good Food

Copenhagen is the jewel of Scandinavia’s culinary scene and in recent years gained the international spotlight thanks to Noma, which has four times been crowned the World’s Best Restaurant. Aside from Michelin starred restaurants and pastries (known here as weinerbrod  or “Vienna bread” instead of danish), I sadly knew little of Denmark’s cuisine. In my opinion one of the best ways to learn about a culture is in the kitchen so on my recent trip to Copenhagen I took a class with Mia Kristensen of CPH Good Food to find out what Nordic cuisine is all about.

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Tasty Travels- Travel Bloggers Share Their Best Bites from the Road

Tasty Travels- Travel Bloggers Share Their Best Bites from the Road

Some people eat to live while others live to eat; I for one am squarely in the latter camp.The meal that turned me into a foodie will always be etched in my mind; I was in my early 20s and just finishing up the last deployment of my Naval career. We had been out to sea for 159 days straight and after pulling into Marseille France I needed some breathing room. A few of my closest friends and I went straight for the train station and after perusing our options headed towards Avignon. It was late March; gray,drizzly and a bit chilly but we didn’t care. We were in Provence and blissfully had most of the town to ourselves. We settled into our cozy little auberge and just wanting to relax made reservations at its restaurant. What we didn’t know is that we were in for a five course feast and knowing very little French, most of what arrived to our table was a surprise. I enjoyed a delicate vegetable soup topped with a perfectly poached quail egg, had my first tastes of foie gras and venison,  and sampled a number of heady French cheeses. This was all ended with with an intensely rich chocolate-orange pot de creme which still stands as one of the best desserts I’ve had. Looking back, this was a pivotal experience for me. I discovered the pleasures of truly good food and the joys of surprising discoveries on the road.

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