New Restaurant…

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new restaurant in Glen Ellen, Aventine.  With rustic Italian fare, this place is delightful.  Into cocktails?  Try their take on the Manhattan.  It has a floral beginning and a smooth finish.  Or try the salumi platter covered in artisan and house made salumis.  The historic setting at the Grist Mill (which I wrote about here) isn’t bad either.  In fact, I totally adore how the current restaurant embraces the old woodwork and has added additional touches that literally look authentic.  For example, the italian pizza oven and the gorgeous metal chandelier add a nice layer of depth.

All in all Aventine is a lovely addition to this gem of a town.

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Sonoma’s Culinary Culture

Want to watch a film about eating while sampling culinary delights? Well come check out the Sonoma Film Festival. And this summary post  by the legendary Sondra Bernstein who has her eye on a few of the culinary films.   One of them is even a documentary about the Organic Life here in Sonoma!

Speaking of culinary creations, have you ever tried a chocolate covered fig? Well, Sondra does them best so head to the Girl & Fig.

Want to see how we party out here in the land of wine? Check out Dreamers & Heroes

Girls Just Want to Have Fun: Defending Girls Night Out

Sometimes a gal just needs to hang with the gals. Why is it that some guys have a hard time stomaching this idea? I mean us ladies are also known for going to the restroom in groups.  So maybe our nature makes us a bit different from our male counterparts.  Our maybe we just want to be able to chat with friends.  In any event, the joy of being around girlfriends is enriching in a way that differs from hanging with spouses.  Not that it’s any better, but just that an occasional change of pace can be absolutely refreshing.

For me, sometimes time away from my testosterone filled household is more than necessary.  This has been especially the case lately.  With an epic winter season of back to back colds and flu, it’s been rough.  After surviving norovirus, flu, and potential rabies exposure, coupled with coming out of working long hours to craft arguments to defeat summary judgment, I more than craved some time off.

Lucky for me, the wine country offers so many decadent options. From luxurious spas to quirky movies, the area is full of things to do. I decided to do a little bit of everything. I tried Pilates for the first time ever. Can I tell you that in the days after Pilates, I discovered muscles in places I never knew they could exist. Ouch! A glutton for punishment, I surely will be going back. I also ventured to a funky film at the local vintage theater which offers a transporting experience. Walking into it is like going back in time. Fully decorated with velvet seats, curtains, and beautiful woodwork, the theater is the primary attraction. But to be able to sit and watch a film, uninterrupted, is a delicious treat.

But the question of who to invite along, if anyone is a different story. And should I want to hang with gal pals, is it discriminatory towards men and families? So, technically speaking I guess it is. But I have had to ask myself whether there was any harm in engaging in such discrimination. Or conversely what the effect might be of not doing so? After all how could it be a bad thing if moms have an excuse to hit the town and recharge.

I think back to college and pre-husband days when hitting the town wasn’t a big deal. Just call up a friend, head out and stay out until whenever.  Without limits and the pull of children at home, it was a much simpler affair.

With kids it’s a different story. Coordinating schedules and arranging details gets to be a little chaotic. Then just when it’s all set up, there are the number of things that can go wrong and get in the way, including picking up one of the many sicknesses snot laden school aged kids come home with.

These challenges make it all the more worth it when it actually works out. So, the next time your girls night is met with opposition for being discriminatory, I say screw em and just do it anyways. So go out, just do it! You can thank me later.

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P.S.  Want to try a new wine on girls night?  I suggest sampling the latest from the boutique winery, Bump Wine Cellars. Try the 2008 Zinfandel. Smooth, flavorful with a bit of spice, it won’t disappoint.