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Seagrass Restaurant: Bon Appétit–Mi Cuit

Last weekend we went to Santa Barbara and had a delightful experience participating in the inaugural cooking lesson by Chef Robert Perez, owner of Seagrass (30 East Ortega Street).  Trained in France, the Netherlands, and as a sous chef at L’Auberge de Soleil, Perez opened his first restaurant Citronée near Sacramento before moving thirteen years later to  Santa Barbara. This intimate family-run restaurant is elegant but not severe, relaxed and informal.  The chef’s wife, Marianna, serves as hostess and his son, Ruben, manages and greets guests. Seagrass is rated #1 by Zagat’s,...

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“Foyle’s War”–Crime Foiled

I am addicted to the series “Foyle’s War” (six extraordinary seasons –2002-2010–on BBC Television) now available through Netflix. Set in a small coastal town, Hastings, in Great Britain during World War II, a middle-aged police chief, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (the underrated Michael Kitchen) assumes the responsibility of solving murders in the midst of the confusion of war.  While war rages around the world, perpetrators both civilian and military assume they can commit all sorts of heinous crimes with impunity:  murder, robbery, espionage,...

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Morimoto–A Culinary Haiku

One of the most extraordinary restaurants I have been to in my life is Morimoto in Napa. I sampled the culinary wizardry of Chef Morimoto during a wonderful spa weekend with my daughter.  This is a must for those who love Japanese food with a unique riff on classical recipes. Imagine a French Laundry for Asian cuisine! Chef Masaharu Morimoto is well- known as one of the extraordinary Iron Chefs on the Food Channel.  With a touch of the molecular gastronomy Spain made famous (without the ridiculous heights the Spanish sometimes succumb to),   this Riverfront restaurant in downtown Napa was packed...

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“Safe House”–A Safe Bet

It seems only fair to see a dick-flick after having recommended rom-coms for Valentine’s Day.  And did I pick a winner–my husband gave it a 10, which is very rare for him.  The movie is “Safe House” and it stars and is produced by the exceptional Denzel Washington. No ordinary action-pic–although it has ample car chases, staccato bursts of exploding bombs, violent fights with guns and knives, and impossible jumps from one rooftop to another–there are still enough surprising plot twists to keep you surprised throughout. The story is fairly routine–I...

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Valentine’s Day–Rom-Coms (aka Chick Flicks) Anyone?

It’s that time of year again, when guys dread having to let their female partner/friend/spouse choose the movie while they fight back tears having to pass up another testosterone-charged action film (like “Drive” or “300”).  Well, guess what?  There are a few I thought are just right for snuggling together on the couch with a chilled glass of wine.  They have witty, lightweight scripts, without the cringe-inducing mawkish, saccharine dialect of films like “The Ugly Truth (2009).  To me comedy is the most difficult to write, since humor is a very delicate but...

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Netflix Instant Queue–BBC’s Your Best Bet

For those of you who like to curl up with a DVD at night mailed to you directly from Netflix, only to be disappointed after watching it for ten or fifteen minutes,  or finding that the DVD is defective and unwatchable, let me suggest some of the winners we have seen on Instant Queue in the last several months. Watching a movie via Netflix streaming isn’t much different from renting a DVD, but for TV fans it offers a unique way to view one episode after another of addictive series such as “Mad Men”, “Damages”, or “Breaking Bad”.  Viewers can now watch...

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