Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Taste of France, Italy and Spain: Casanova

A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday....I stopped counting awhile ago. Tim took me to Carmel for a long weekend to celebrate, and we did celebrate. It was a weekend of food and drink, lovely weather, beautiful beaches, leisurely hikes and wine tasting. What more could a girl ask for?

When we rolled into town, so pleasingly cool after the 100% plus heat in Sacramento, we checked in and walked across the street to dinner at Casanova. A more perfect place for a relaxed romantic diner, I cannot imagine. Tim and I both love to cook, and are always looking for a place that is better than what we can make. 

 Casanova opened in the late 70's and quickly became the standard for casual French and Italian dining. They were first to serve Cafe au lait and Lattes in large bowls, and it is hard to believe they were trendsetters in producing their own fresh pasta. But the 70's was when we were all eating frozen vegetables and TV dinners were pretty commonplace. Food was governed more by convenience and speed than by good taste, in flavor or in discernment. Not only was the food at Casanova an inspiration to many restaurants thereafter, but their style was imitated as well. We can see many a cottage in Carmel with the Casanova look, and the relaxed Country French atmosphere started showing up all over.

Freshly baked bread and breadsticks in a fabric "nest". French linen table runners...loved them.
So, what did we eat, you ask? A picture is worth a know the rest....

Stuffed mushrooms, parsley, cheese, and lots of garlic
Salmon Mousse with caviar. Freshly baked, and still warm, cheesy biscotti
Ahi with asparagus tips and black caviar
Stone Fruit Salad
Roasted lamb chops with fava beans and Umbrian ceci bean ragout
Slow braised veal osso buco with marscarpone polenta, braised fennel and citrus gremolata
After dinner, a bit of coffee on a charming tray, and a glass of port
Tartelette de Citron Souffle with raspberry ice cream
Pomme Saint-Michel, a whole caramelized apple in puff pastry with cinnamon ice cream
We could hardly tear ourselves away from our patio table. So we sat and sipped our coffee and port listening to Edith Piaf looking at the strings of lights criss-crossing the courtyard. We finally did leave. We had probably outstayed our welcome at some point, but the staff was kind enough not to say anything. We walked through town enjoying our gastronomic high and planning of our next visit.

Those of you who have never been, you must.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So Cavalier: Jay Jeffers & Michael Purdy

     cav - a -  lier (kav-uh-leer) having the spirit or bearing of a knight; a courtly gentleman; gallant.

Cavalier is the new retail experience created by trend setter and interior designer Jay Jeffers and creative director Michael Purdy. I was lucky to see the shop when it first opened in April, and I can attest to the very apt name for the shop AND the very creative team.

Jay Jeffers has long been one of my favorite designers to watch, so it is especially fun for me to be able to have the opportunity to stop in and see what is new in a retail setting. Sort of a place to stop in and pick the brain of a design master!

There is a bit of everything here....great art, one of a kind accessories, antiques and vintage finds, beautiful textiles, furnishings, lighting, name it! And it is all displayed in a way that will inspire you to get your own house in order.

In design, my philosophy is that it is the mix that matters. A great design is great because the mix of scale, pattern and color, styles, new and old, high and low, function and beauty,  is done in a way that is balanced, unique, artful and harmonious. Cavalier gets the mix right....

If you happen to be in the mood for a little inspiration yourself, and you happen to be in San Francisco, you might want to drop in and take advantage of Cavalier. Soak it all up....

Cavalier Cupcakes on opening day. A gentleman always offers refreshment.
Cavalier "Swag" on opening day. Thanks guys!
The very handsome and talented Cavalier Team: Jay Jeffers, Michael Purdy and Kingsley
Cavalier Canine: Kingsley. He will make you want to stay forever.

For the Cavalier story, click on over

And for more on the beautiful work by Jay Jeffers, Have a peek

Easy to find:

1035 Post Street
San Francisco, CA  94109
Open Tuesday thru Saturday
or by appointment

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Live, on the Sacramento Magazine Website

A quick THANK YOU to everyone at Sacramento Magazine for including the story about a Curtis Park project by Katie Denham Interiors on your online magazine!

You can all view it HERE.

I must say "I'm sorry" for being away from you all lately! Gotta make hay, as they say, but I do have lots to share, so I hope you all come back and visit!

Have a great day and stay cool!