Perhaps it’s ’cause I’ve got a serious case of the travel bug, but my feet are itchin’ to move. I mean, I haven’t traveled in more than a year (and Maui for a friend’s wedding last autumn doesn’t count). I’m talking real traveling — India, Marrakesh, Kuala Lumpur. Far-flung destinations to shock the senses and lubricate the mind.
The hubby and I thought Istanbul this spring, but that had to be pushed back. Maybe in the fall? Until then, I’m going to have to be content with travels of the imagination. Thankfully, there are plenty of things to satiate (for now) the wanderlust in me.
FRANCE: Fig + Olive
Now, I haven’t been to Europe since my attorney days, when I used to travel every six months just to get through the next six months of billable hours, endless discovery paperwork and motions galore. Back then, Italy was my destination du jour (everywhere from the Amalfi Coast to Cinque Terre), but I also managed to hit Barcelona, Andalucia, London, the Cotswolds, and even followed the Jane Austen trail from Bath to Rye.
One place I purposely didn’t go, however, was France. Paris I was saving for something — or rather, someone — special. There’s so much romanticism and hype surrounding France, I wanted my first time there to be meaningful.
I’m glad I waited. Not only will I be renting a house in the Latin quarter, shopping at Collette’s, and getting lost in the Louvre, but, thanks to my semi-foodie husband, I’ll now be eating the best France has to offer. And I don’t mean the highest rated or the most to-be-seen-in restaurants. I mean, the local boulangerie, random crepe stands, fresh cheese from anywhere.
I got a taste of what to expect at the Fig + Olive opening two weeks ago. The New York-based restaurant, founded by South of France native Laurent Halasz, opened its first on the West Coast, on the Melrose Place offshoot of famed Melrose Avenue. They officially opened with three big kick-off parties showcasing different regional specialities — Spain, Italy and South of France. We attended the South of France night and we were not disappointed.