Paris Part Deux

Paris Part Deux | chezcateylou.com

We’re back for more Paris discussion.  If you missed the first part of our Paris travelog, check it out here.   Today, we have Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Cinq Mars, steak frites, the best ice cream in Paris, a great spot for an late night glass of wine, and some very French French Toast. 

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Paris Part 1

Paris | chezcateylou.com Confession time. Cate may have had ulterior motives for getting all of her Thanksgiving cooking done a week ahead of time. Yes, part of her motivation for making all of those delicious recipes was so that she could share them on the blog. But for the first time ever, we were not going to be celebrating Thanksgiving in America (traitors, I know). Cate and I spent the week of Thanksgiving and Cate’s birthday – aka the two biggest food holidays of the year – in Paris and Brussels. Continue reading

Modena, Italy

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Our last post on Italy (until next summer…) centers on the small town of Modena. Modena is located within the Emilia-Romanga region and is home to some of the best food in the world.  Traditional balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, and Lambrusco are all geographically protected specialities of the region.   In addition to the incredible food, we loved walking around the small city center.  Unlike many of the stops on our trip, Modena is not a tourist destination.   There was little English spoken, every menu was in Italian, and no one ventured outside during “siesta hours” (something I can get on board with).   Continue reading

Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italy

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TheBetterHalf, Chef Massimo Bottura, CateyLou

CateyLou and I like to go out to eat.  A lot.  This may come as no surprise to loyal readers of the blog but our recent trip to Modena was the first time we actually picked a travel destination based on a restaurant.   In our defense, we’re not just talking about any restaurant.  Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy is by all accounts one of the best restaurants in the world.  It has three Michelin Stars and in 2013 was ranked as the #3 restaurant in the world by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.  Its chef and proprietor, Massimo Bottura, has won various domestic and international chef of the year awards.  Our experience at Osteria Francescana was truly memorable and definitely worth a special trip to Modena.   Continue reading

Villa Armena – Tuscany

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For our time in Tuscany we stayed at Villa Armena in Buonconvento.  The Renaissance style villa was completely restored in 2012 and consists of 10 unique and well appointed guest rooms.  It is located just 20 miles south of Siena and not far from the popular wine towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Chianti.

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Tuscany – Montalcino and Montepulciano

DSC00778The next stop on our Italian vacation was Tuscany.  Despite what the Maestro told us about there being no vacancies in Tuscany, we were lucky enough to snag a room at the lovely Villa Armena in Buonconvento (more on that later).  Buonconvento is located a half hour south of Siena and close to the famous wine regions of Montalcino and Montepulciano.  After the jump, some thoughts on our wine tours, along with the misadventures of TheBetterHalf driving a rental car in Tuscany.  Continue reading

Florence, Italy

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The next stop on our trip was Florence. After spending a few days lounging by Lake Como, it was nice to get back to doing what we do best, scouring cities for the best local food (and maybe taking a photo or two next to a church).    Continue reading

Lake Como (Tremezzo and Bellagio)

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As hard as it was to leave our hotel (the Grand Hotel Tremezzo), we found some time to explore Tremezzo town and visit nearby Bellagio.  Sure, most of our sightseeing was done on our way to eat, but that still counts, right?  After the jump, our thoughts on some of the most well reviewed restaurants in the area, including Al Veluu, Pizzeria Balognett, and Alle Darsene di loppia.

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Grand Hotel Tremezzo (Lake Como)

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For the first stop on our vacation CateyLou and I stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como. We took a car directly from the Milan airport, but you can also reach the hotel by taking a train to Como (the town) and then taking a ferry to Tremezzo. The hotel is probably best known for its iconic floating pool and spectacular views of the lake.

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Italy 2013

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For our summer vacation this year CateyLou and I traveled back to Italy.  True to form, we moved around a lot and did our best to see as much as we could over a 10 day period.  Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of the best towns, hotels, and restaurants from our trip and providing some helpful tips for travel within Italy.  After the jump is a quick look at what we’ll be covering.  Continue reading