Sunday, April 26, 2015

MOVING DAY - FISH OUT OF MALBEC HAS MOVED!

Hi everyone!

This weekend has been full of excitement for me AND for this blog.

I'm proud to announce that I've secured my own new URL and I've migrated all of my material over to Fish Out of Malbec's new home at www.fishoutofmalbec.com  (with or without the "www" works).


Please update your bookmarks accordingly!

To commemorate the big move, I've added a brand new post about Rockaway Brewing Company and I'm also working on a review of Casa Enrique... along with a ton of other content.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you over at my new "home" soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Get Your Sleep On - The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach (Miami, Florida)


My girlfriends and I stayed at The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach (a Kimpton Hotel) January 9-11, 2015 for my friend's bachelorette party in Miami, Florida, and we were all very impressed and extremely pleased with the service and hotel in general. I've stayed at Kimpton hotels in NYC before (more than once) and this property blows them out of the water with its level of service.
I'll just preface this that I didn't take many photos because I didn't have a camera with me, and only had my iPhone. Sorry.

Some of the folks who made our stay so great deserve special mention - Chase is a customer service dynamo and anyone can see that he is the perfect man for his job as Director of (Day)Life. Laz at the beach really took care of us and went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and had everything we needed, and even made sure that we transitioned seamlessly to a pool cabana from our VIP bed when it started pouring rain while we were at the beach. Andy at the beach did everything he could to remedy any issues we had with service or food/drinks. Gia at the pool was so sweet and provided great, prompt service. Tony at the door helped us store our bags and hail taxis when needed and was friendly, efficient and kind. And finally, Brad from concierge was a doll - and we saw a lot of him, because the bachelorette's friends kept having champagne delivered to our rooms throughout the whole weekend.

With 4 girls sharing a room, yes, the room was a bit small and yes, the bathroom was small. But this is Miami, so if you're spending a lot of time in your room you're probably doing it wrong. It worked for us and the beds were really comfortable!

Throughout our stay at The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach there were so many occasions where I turned to one of our other friends and proclaimed my love for this hotel. The décor is fun, modern and funky and its air of playfulness and throws any uppity vibes out the window. Even down to the staff's uniforms of seersucker, it carries a fun and sun but upscale surf vibe throughout the property. 
View from our pool cabana - second floor.
The pool area is well appointed and is not crazy loud or large. I loved that there were bikes available for the taking if we wanted to go cycle around South Beach (we didn't, but it was nice to have them there if we did). The beach area was very nice and the drinks and food menu at the beach and pool were great. We loved the Black Crush and the Piña Coladas were also delicious. And, I think we probably ate at least 6 orders of French fries over the few days of our trip. They are the most amazing fries in the world and I am STILL thinking about them. So, seriously, get the french fries!
We had such a great time at The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach - between the property itself and the experience that the staff provided- that I wouldn't stay anywhere else next time I go to Miami. I was truly impressed and can't wait to go back. I almost planned our next vacation there until I found an amazing deal on airfare to Iceland at the end of June. One trip at a time, so, next time!

In Vino Veritas - Enoteca Al Duomo (Orvieto, Italy)



My husband and I loved this place so much that we came here twice in one day during our honeymoon back in October.  Aptly named, this enoteca is literally next to the famous Duomo in Orvieto, Italy. Looking at the front of the amazing façade, it's on the left-hand side, on the side of the building (facing the beautiful striped sides of the duomo). Can't miss it.

It was truffle season so we opted for a full-on truffle lunch: bruschetta assortment including truffle bruschetta, tagliolini with fresh truffles, and then a prosciutto and truffle sandwich on fresh ciabatta. 


Bruschetta

Cheese plate...including truffled cheese

Tagliolini with fresh truffles

Location, Location, Location
Did I mention the location?

Our last glass - a red from the region



Prosciutto and truffles on ciabatta

None of it disappointed - it was seriously one of my favorite meals I've ever had. And, considering every dish had truffles in it, reasonably priced. We paired our lunch with the Orvieto wine tasting (two whites, and a red) and did not regret it. 

After bidding the friendly waitstaff adieu, full of truffle-y goodness, we wandered the streets and worked up an appetite and thirst and found ourselves back here for a bottle of Lambrusco and some snacks at sunset. 

Emiliano (a stellar employee and possibly one of the owners?) was kind enough to bring us a plate of parmigiano reggiano drizzled with a sweet balsamic to go along with our bottle, without us ordering anything to go along with the wine. It was an appreciated gesture!


Parmigiano reggiano with balsamic and a bottle of Lambrusco



Not my favorite Lambrusco I've ever had...but the setting made up for any shortcomings in taste.

The wine shop inside is full of great, harder to find bottles of local and also European wines and Emiliano even called our taxi for us when we were leaving, as we didn't have a working phone with us and we hadn't the slightest plan for how to get back to our hotel. :) 

With a beautiful view of the Duomo, this is a great place to relax and take in the façade of the architectural masterpiece while enjoying some great wines and delicious, fresh food. 

We will definitely be back the next time we are in Orvieto, which surprisingly to us was one of our favorite stops during our trip... so it'll be sooner rather than later. Enoteca Al Duomo - save us a table?