Fashion Exhibit at The Met

I don’t know about you but I haven’t worn makeup in three weeks. I am now living in my favorite yoga pants and writing this post from my bed. Having climbed the same stairs in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City where many celebrities have struck a pose for the annual gala, I can honestly say it was difficult to climb my three flights of stairs to my condo in Hayward yesterday. Being quarantined doesn’t allow you to put on your best outfit or stay very active. Even though the museum is closed and we are all encouraging people to stay home and be safe, let me share with you what I saw at the fashion exhibit when I visited the weekend of March 7th.

Jacques Griffe – 1955
House of Chanel
Christian Francis Roth
Alexander McQueen (right)

Which is your favorite piece?

Take a virtual tour of the museum HERE.

Like fashion? Please consider adding a Stella & Dot jewelry piece and apparel to your collection.

So Blonde, So Similar

Where’s Pinky going?

A busty blonde was heading backstage to see my Los Lonely Boys at the June 2008 outdoor concert on the river in Guerneville, California. Who knew this same blonde would become such a dear friend? Of the 49 LLB concerts I have been to since we have encountered each other, we have grown close. She called my late dog, Bevo, her ‘boyfriend.’ Her tween daughter and I shared a concert seat. We have been to a 49er game together, wine tasting in Sonoma and have been trusted with each others furbabies.

Los Lonely Boys concert – Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California
Stella & Dot jewelry
Uptown Theater – Napa, California

Posting a photo of what I will be wearing for my best friend’s holiday party in San Francisco, I get a text from my favorite blonde.

Girl!! I need a Christmas party outfit. Anything you have that would be borrowable?

A sleepover was scheduled and many outfits were tried on. She took with her two Hot Miami Styles dresses and one I wore for my birthday out wine tasting last year. She also took my favorite Jessica Simpson pumps and great Nine West shoes. To be frank, she looked better in that dress than I ever did. It is amazing she that we are the same height, size and shoe size. Doesn’t she look amazing?

Hot Miami Styles dress and BCBG shoes and Stella & Dot clutch and jewelry.

Opening up my closet helped me find articles I haven’t worn in quite some time! I even wore shoes I wore a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco out to dinner at Buon Appetito. They hurt and will most likely go up on Poshmark soon. There, we were able to catch up as its been a few months since I have seen her. Because it isn’t important, I didn’t realize that we had over a ten year in age difference. We discovered that we met when she was my age. Isn’t that amazing? I love how we have managed to be friends throughout the years. To many more, Teresa!

My closet exploded!

Related posts:
Los Lonely Boys Back in San Francisco

Thanksgiving Brie Bites

This One Busy Bee is usually asked to bring a dessert to Thanksgiving at my Lola’s house in Martinez, California. In the past, I have made an Oreo Pie, Banana Split Pie and even a failed churro cheesecake. This year, with very little time to rest due to the recent travels, I went with an easy recipe I found on Pinterest. Brandie of The Country Cook posted her Cranberry Brie Bites recipe. Thankfully my family enjoyed it. I used the walnuts I received when I was a wine club member with Clif Family Winery. They came in handy.

Clif, Ocean Spray, Pillsbury & Joan of Arc
Sur La Table apron, Tiffany‘s jewelry

Comment below if you have tried the recipe yourself or how you may have modified it.

HFWF19 – Pasta La Vista

What more can you ask for than an evening with wonderful friends, a table under the stars near the ocean at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa and six courses of delicious dishes using local ingredients and wine pairings? I was lucky enough to have attended a similar dinner for the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival there on Maui two years before. It was quite memorable. This year, the dishes are Italian themed. Perfecto! As my other favorite place in the world, besides Maui, is Italy.

My guests that evening included my roommate, Kim, and what has been nicknamed my #Instafriend, Julia. Kim is well aware that I blog and lets me take photos of her food before she dives in. Her friend, Becci, asks if she “Bernadette It” yet before she dives into her meal. Amazing right? I believe they were in Amsterdam when that phrase came about. My tendencies cross oceans! Julia is also a lover of food and whiskey like I am, but she is also President of Le Donne women’s Italian club in San Francisco. I thought this event was perfect for her to attend with me. Both ladies have already committed to attending the HFWF in 2020. If you can join us, please let me know so we can sit at the same table.

While at the pool, we could see the chefs in gray jackets posing for photos on the circular balcony above and near the lawn where the dinner would take place. After some time at the pool, the three ladies dressed for a wonderful evening ahead. I wore a dress by Hot Miami Styles and high heels by Jessica Simpson. For those ladies wondering what to wear, your stilettos may get stuck in the lawn so walk lightly. The walkways of the Hyatt are not smooth for fancy heels. Be safe and wear wedges if you wish to add some height to your ensemble. It will also aid in walking back to your hotel room after the nice pours of wine throughout the evening.

Check-in was easy and you were given a wristband. I introduced myself to my media contacts and thanked them for the opportunity. We were sat at a table with other media folks and it was nice to meet people with similar passions. I was sat across from the owner of the ‘foodiswhyimbroke‘ Instagram account. Yen Kim Phan is also from the San Francisco Bay Area but she has a whopping 63.6K followers. Congratulations! Also at my table were ladies from Kaanapali Resort.

The festivities began and Chef Robert Irvine was the MC. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at the Spiked! event. He is quite the character. He had a beer chugging competition with the event’s Sommelier. Guess who won?

The first course was the most memorable. It was definitely unique and creative. The pasta was mozzarella. Kim has a tomato allergy. We waited for her plate to arrive and it was hand delivered by Chef Chiarello. How special! Then he kissed her on both cheeks. Julia and I asked “What about us?!” We got our wish.

Pasta Pomodoro
Mozzarella and Cavaero Farms zucchini, spaghettini over tomato carpacio and rooftop tomato conserva, balsamic caviar and picolo fino basil, crispy calabrian chili flake gremolata
Wine: Ferrari Brut Rose, Trentodoc, NV
Chef Michael Chiarello – Bottega Napa Valley, Yountville, CA

The second course was bright, with structure and height and a medley of textures. Some diners do not like the head on the prawns but it didn’t bother this Pinay.

“From the Mountain to the Sea”
Malokai purple potato gnocchi, sauce of kabocha and grilled Kaua’i prawn
Wine: Capichera Lintori Vermentino di Sardegna 2017
Chef Gregory Grohowski – Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

The third course was by far my favorite dish of the evening. Since my last trip to Italy in 2016, I have been on the search for the best carbonara in the United States. This dish was heavenly and what I have been searching for for years! You had me at truffles.

Tagliatelle alla Carbonara
Deconstructed carbonara with specialty sun noodle, waimana TKG poached egg, local guanciale, imported parmigiano-reggiano, cream, truffle butter and truffles
Wine: Champagne delamotte brut blanc de blancs, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, N.V.
Chef Daisuke Hamamoto – Arancino at The Kahala, Honolulu, HI

The fourth course had another prawn from Kauai’i but it was our first fish of the evening. The squid ink gnocchi was different. I have had other squid ink pasta in Italy and at my favorite restaurant in San Francisco called Seven Hills.

Cacciucco with Gnocchetti Sardi al Nero
Tuscan seafood stew with squid ink sardinian gnocchi, Kaua’i prawns, Hawaiian snapper and clams
Wine: Marisa Cuomo, Cosa d’Amalfi Rosato 2017
Chef Marco Canora – Hearth Restaurant, New York, NY

And then there was meat! The fifth course was simple and full of flavor. The salsa verde was my choice for pairing the meat with every bite. Fantastic.

Makaweli Dry-Aged Prime Ribeye
Sicilian caponata, salda verde, black garlic
Wine: COS, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily 2014
Chef Celestino Drago – Drago Centro, Los Angeles, CA

And lastly, it was time for dessert. Layered with different textures and flavors from bitter to sweet, it was an interesting dessert and not too heavy after five courses.

Maui-misu
A play on the Italian tiramisu using Manoa chocolate, coffee, coconut and Mauna Loa macadamia nuts.
Wine: Banfi, Rosa Regale Brachetto D’Acquio, Piedmont 2018
Chef Johnny Iuzzini – Chocolate by Johnny Iuzzini, New York, NY

Until next year! Save the date for October 2 – 25, 2020!

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Mimi’s Nails – Castro Valley, Ca

The spot where I have been going to for nine years is consistently good. That is Mimi’s Nails in Castro Valley, California. Located in a little strip mall with Nation’s, Subway and Little Caesars, it is the only nail shop in the center.

Hello, my friend. How come you have not come to see Mimi?” Mimi knows when you haven’t been in awhile.

Before my week-long #OBBRoadTrip across the country, I knew I had to get a pedicure as I was going to be wearing my Reef slippahs everyday. Though I was sitting on my bottom for at least seven hours a day, I was able to get seven miles in Washington, D.C. so these toes were exposed.

TIP: Bring a check or cash. They appreciate it. Bank of America is across the street if you forgot cash.

I think the below check-in may be inaccurate but I have been trying to save money. But I am still the Mayor! Mimi also asked for an updated review. I can’t believe it has been six years since I did.

Let’s be friends on Yelp

Another tip: Rose is my girl! She takes care of my shellac tips.

Get your wedding nails, special event or pretty nails for a girls’ night out. Call for an appointment. They also can do waxing.

Skyline Chili > Lawrenceburger

I have already had two coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts in my 36-hour stay here in Indiana/Kentucky. The donuts, I don’t really care for. Stan’s Donuts in Chicago or your good ol’ Krispy Kreme, that’s more my jam. Just don’t put jam or jelly in my donut. Another discovery in the food offerings in this part of the world is that Skyline Chili is better than Lawrenceburger.

Skyline Chili was recommended by my Uber driver early yesterday morning. The spaghetti on the bottom reminds me Jollibee. I just don’t do it. Today I did because when in Rome, or in Lawrenceburg. I ordered via the drive-thru and they stayed true to the fast food expectation. The bag containing a container of spaghetti and chili was in the bag, along with a container of chopped white onions and a bag shredded cheese. The nice young lady also mentioned she added some hot sauce in there for me. I told her she was the best.

First impressions were questionable. I added the cheese and onions and had my first bite. It was hot and not bad. I added a packet of hot sauce and it made it better.

For lunch, we picked up burgers and fries at Lawrenceburger. The floor was greasy and the mat just inside the door definitely needs a thorough wash or be completely replaced. My Michael Kors flats were sinking into them.

I ordered a Lawrenceburger with bacon and blue cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. It was only $6.95. For $3 more, get sweet potato waffle fries. While waiting, the small restaurant and bar was a bit. As the smoke filled the room, I turned around to discover the grill was in the same room. Well, I knew what I was going to be smelling like to the residents I was going to come across at the long-term facility: dinner!

Unfortunately, this thick patty’d burger was not appetizing. There wasn’t any flavor to the meat and the bun just soaked up all the grease. The sweet potato fries were also not very crispy or salted. I took one bite of the burger, took off the bun and tried to eat the meat and nuked bacon but I couldn’t. I barely ate the fries, which helps me out in the end anyways. Friendly staff so it’s definitely not their fault. I’m sure my coworker tipped well for our to go orders. Do keep in mind that they do not have avocados or gluten free buns. Watch out for us Californians wanting these things.

Sorry, Whiskey City, it just wasn’t a good day in food options. Will try again tomorrow.

Puerto Paraiso – Cabo San Lucas

Going to a mall isn’t even on my list when I travel. To be honest, I would stop into the Mall of America if I ever found myself on that side of the country. During my second visit to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in November 2018, I found myself at the Puerto Paraiso next to marina. It was the meeting place for a Cookin’ Cabo cooking class, which I highly recommend.

Tour the shopping area for clothing, jewelry and restaurants; some with views of the marina. I sadly left my entire Stella & Dot make up bag at home and I needed make up. I went from MAC eyeliner and more to Shiseido and Lancôme products.

It paired well with the beautiful JW Marriott Los Cabos.

I just happened to be in Los Cabos during the International Film Festival. I have been to the Sonoma International Film Festival a couple of years ago so why not do it internationally? Showings were taken place at the movie theater on the top floor and there were interviews being done. I purchased a ticket to see Feral, a movie about a fire that took the lives of a priest trying to prepare three wild children suitable for society. What happened was shown thru video tapes the priest made and thru interviews. It was really interesting. I should see more foreign films. Do you enjoy them?

After shopping and a movie, I dined on the patio at La Central Cocina and Bar. I had a nice view of the marina and very attentive service. I had to get the grilled corn on the cob and the Lobster Salad. It came with watermelon, avocado, edamame beans, spring onion and a tequila lime vinaigrette. The food was delicious and the size of the salad was perfect.

Complimentary chips and a variety of salsas

You will have to pay for parking or if you’re staying at a local hotel, this is a great place to stop in for shopping, entertainment, a rooftop bar and dining.

I will be returning to Cabo San Lucas for the third time for more research, this time with ACT Language Schools. Check them out if you’re looking to learn or improve your Spanish. Please follow us on social media for posts while we are there!

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ACT Language Schools

Seattle, Washington – May 2019

Keep Going

I am again drafting this blog post from the stationary bike at the gym. I am getting warmed up for chest day and ideally 45 minutes on another cardio machine. This One Busy Bee woke up this morning seeing some progress in the mirror. My blemishes on my face is another thing. I am clearly not perfect or claim to be, but it is ok to recognize when results appear due to your hard work.

Post-workout photos I share with my fellow gym-goer to show we put the work in. They should too.

Approaching 40 and Mexico, Las Vegas and Hawaii in the near future, I felt there was a need to step it up. Things don’t tighten as quickly as they used to. Let’s see, what have I been doing differently? Well, maybe not differently. More like reminding myself and sometimes we need that.

DIET

Oh man, yes, I did enjoy those delicious fries at Quattro at the Four Season Palo Alto this week but I also had their roasted chicken, have had salads and green tea. A Vitality Bowl is also delicious and customizable. I usually have my Shredz supplements but I haven’t been taking them. I also bought a set of Elemis supplements while on the Golden Princess cruise ship but I haven’t even begun. I need to continue to eat better and make healthy choices. Buying a new car will also help you from going out and spending money on drinks with friends and coworkers, so I guess that helps too.

WORKOUTS

Yes, I have signed up for another half marathon. So much for saying, “Nope, never doing that again. That hurt.” This time will be at Disneyland Paris on my 39th birthday in September. I am doing more cardio to keep control of those heart problems and attempt to burn more calories than I take in. I still love to hit those weights and you burn more calories at a resting heart rate when your body fat is low and are muscular.

I am also starting to pick up more Wag walks (Use code Bernadette9307 for a free walk) that the weather is better. I get paid to walk people’s dogs, get some steps in and there are studies that a dog in your life has health benefits. I sure to do miss my Bevo.


PRIORITIZE

I am trying to keep my usual schedule of going to the gym or for a run in the morning before work. It helps me get the day started. However, those days I have to be at work early, I have made it to the gym after work. It’s funny to check into the gym via Yelp and Foursquare in less than 12 hours. But it had to get done.

Foursquare

MAKE IT FUN

We already did our half marathon at Walt Disney World. Nelly and I will be doing another run in June at Mare Island. I hear there’s a beer waiting for you at the finish line. If that’s not motivation…

My first half marathon at Walt Disney World.

Fitness is better with friends. Though my running friends know that I don’t really talk when I have a running goal in mind, it is fun to train together some way. Whether it’s a hike, yoga or walking the streets of new cities.

Trail waking in Santa Cruz, California – March 2019

Hiking in New Zealand – March 2019

Wandering around Hobbiton, New Zealand – March 2019

Yoga at Wild Canyon Adventures with my Cugina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
November 2018

Thanks for reading! I hope this post encourages you to keep going with whatever fitness goals you may have. Fitness is a lifestyle and it will have its ups and downs. Just roll with it…on a foam roller. Kill two birds with one stone.

Friend me on my fitness apps:

‘Bappletree’

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OBB Weekly – 4/2/19

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

The OBB Weekly has returned! I spent majority of March disconnected aboard the Golden Princess in the South Pacific. WiFi was iffy in Melbourne, Australia and at ports in New Zealand. I welcomed the new experience of not needing to check my phone and being interested in what’s happening on social media and being in the moment. With it being a new month and new season, what is presently happening?

TRAVEL

Well, the current US President wants his wall. There goes the avocados! AZ Central, a part of USA Today Network, says it should close the border on trade and travel too. This opinion piece says they should so we Americans can see what a day is like without Mexicans. Tavo from Cabo, running a trivia session on the cruise ship recently asked what is the biggest export out of Mexico. He joked that it wasn’t people. I guessed avocados. It was automobiles. Shocked and recalling the name brand of vehicles I saw on the road in Cabo, I don’t recall seeing them in America. But it’s true. The other thing is that Americans travel to Mexico. “Billions worth in tourism” apparently. I was one of them. I have been to Cabo San Lucas twice and am going again in June. Right, Mr. Trump? Will I be let back into the country if I go?

Tavo fr Cabo, Princess Cruises

My plan on going back to Cabo San Lucas is to take advantage of a week long stay my good friend, Nikki, and I earned via a timeshare presentation. We signed up at the Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival and met up in Napa last summer for this presentation. For nearly three hours of our time, we said no to their offering and walked away with a voucher. During this time in Cabo, she and I are going for business. She start ACT Language Schools and I will be her Travel Agent. Our plan is to put together tours where you can learn a language while being immersed into the culture. With my previous experience in Cabo and the dates lined up, we are headed down for research, yoga and meetings to plan our offerings. Stay tuned for that!

SF Segway Tour with ACT Language Schools

Planning on going to Mexico soon?
Tell me a good story of a Mexican in your life.

CONCIERGE

Part of plan for Cabo and possibly tours to other Spanish-speaking locations is to have you gain authentic and positive impacting it’s workers and the community. Concierges and Travel Agents can aid in that. I booked my honeymoon couple to visit an elephant sanctuary in Phuket, Thailand. It was the ONLY thing they wanted to do that was scheduled on their honeymoon so I had to deliver. And what a beautiful thing to experience. They have been saved from performing and abuse in these sanctuaries. And Dumbo just happens to be the #1 movie right now. Other places where you can see elephants would be the Melbourne Zoo where they have successfully bred four Asian elephants in hopes to fight extinction. Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has African elephants and partners and supports conservation organizations. I was able to see both. Thailand, someday.

Melbourne Zoo, Australia
Elephant at the Melbourne Zoo trying to break up that wood block
Elephants at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

If there was an endangered animal you would save in particular, which would it be?
Would you stop using a product or a service if a high level executive of the company was photographed for shooting an endangered species?

EVENT PLANNING

“Royce.” I had no idea that Prince Royce and Emeraude Toubia of the show Shadowhunters were even dating! Now they’re married post a ‘ultra private ceremony in the heart of Mexico. Funny how Mexico keeps coming up. They must be important to us Americans. I love his music and would love to see him live. And I only started watching Shadowhunters because I know a gal that is also on the show. Congratulations, to Mr. & Mrs. Royce! I was excited when my Bride last year was thinking of getting married in Oaxaca, but San Francisco worked out well too.

Name your favorite Prince Royce song.
What is your favorite thing about the character, Isabelle, on Shadowhunters?

FOOD

Chef Traci des Jardines’ passion is moving her to Mexican food. “Jardiniere, a Pioneer in High End Dining and Design, Will Close” – The New York Times, March 25, 2019. Jardiniere has been open in San Francisco for 21 years ago in Hayes Valley. It has become a destination for theater guests before a performance. My first experience was just that. We sat at the bar before seeing my first opera, The Barber of Seville, and had dessert after we dined at Absinthe. Women History Month has ended but if you can dine at this popular, woman-owned restaurant before they close their doors on April 27th, please do.

Have you dined at Jardiniere?
Do you have any favorite female chefs?

MOTIVATION

Another woman that has made history is our former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. I have completed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” book while on the cruise ship. At the Melbourne Airport, I decided to add the weight of my Michael Kors bag and purchase Becoming and The Honey Factory, Inside the Ingenious World of Bees by Jurgen Tautz and Diedrich Steen. I was never really a reader. Even in 2016, I made a goal to read more, starting with the stack of magazines that were stacked high on my nightstand. Now three years later, I am revisiting that goal. For Lent, I was going to do something good for myself for 40 days. I was going to read for at least 30 minutes a day. I will put the phone down, not think about work or what I needed to do and get lost in a book for a few minutes. It would give my brain a change of pace and be able to escape. I can honestly say I have not read every day since the beginning of Lent, but I have made up my time. You need to keep yourself accountable and have that integrity. I am actually excited to read these books and have decided to read The Alchemist next. My inspirational friend, Nikki, who will be joining me in Cabo is currently reading that in her Book Club class for her business. It sounds like it would be right up my alley and my desire to travel. LIKE her Facebook page and tune into #SpanishSaturday to hear parts of the book in Spanish. I can honestly say that I can understand what she’s saying during these videos. It’s great practice if you are interested in learning a new language.

Currently reading
ACT Language Schools at Ferrari Carano Winery in Sonoma County, California during the Winter Wineland event by Wine Road.

What books do you recommend?
Do you have a favorite author?

Taverna – Palo Alto, CA

You have 10 minutes.” A harmless threat to leaving the office and facing traffic of the Dumbarton Bridge to the East Bay. I would leave if he wasn’t done ‘seeing what kind of trouble’ two other coworkers were getting themselves into. Before I could pack my Burberry, he finished in record time and we were off down the street to Taverna.

I have only seen this restaurant on my walks around town to get my daily steps in and those rare times I went to what my friend calls “Whole Paycheck”, aka Whole Foods. Ivan said Taverna was a bit higher priced but one of the top restaurants in Palo Alto. Wanting a unique glass of wine, I voted Greek. Having been to Greece a couple of times and a former write up on Orexi in San Francisco, I thought it’d be nice to change things up a bit. The owners are also associated with Kokkari in San Francisco, a popular restaurant I often tried to get my hotel guests a reservation. Book yours ahead of time.

Not terribly hungry, we were looking for something light to go with our red wine, a Xinomavro. The two items that caught my eye was the tzatziki and the octopus. They are common dishes and thankfully Ivan’s favorites as well. Sometimes, it’s easy with this guy. Both dishes were ordered. Two glasses were enjoyed, bread and butter arrived and friendly faces greeted my new boss who used to work for me. My, how the tables have turned.

A mound of firm yogurt and olive oil with grilled, seasoned pita bread appeared at our section of the bar top. It looks like a lot of dairy for four pieces of pita. I agreed to the extra slices of cucumber as a side to help finish it off. The side of bread also played a part.

Before the tzatziki was finished, the long grilled octopus tentacle appeared with a squash mash, capers, sausage, sauteed greens and a sort of chutney. I recalled the huge order of octopus I had placed in front of me while in Thira, Greece. It was the first time I couldn’t finish my octopus! This time, it was a perfect size to share between the two of us. It was perfectly cooked and the citrus flavor to the veggies added acidity to the dish.

The restaurant of maybe 40 seats was buzzing for a Thursday night. Apparently, it’s common and have successfully made it past their one year with expansion plans next door. People were waiting just inside the door to be sat. Unfortunately, it was not quite warm enough that evening to sit outside at the tables lining the sidewalk. We came at just the right time. With that, we chatted with our bar neighbor, a local and friend of the owners. We shared laughs, the ‘what do you do?’ exchange and he convinced the restaurant to give us a taste of the wine he was having. It was a fruit bomb of a Cabernet Sauvignon. Quite a difference from our Xinomavro, which was easily drinkable. Perhaps it was a better pairing with his burger.

Not intending on having more to eat, I couldn’t turn down checking out the dessert menu. Before having a thorough look, Marlena highly recommended the bougatsa. Ivan described it was a baklava with custard. It was made with phyllo dough, custard, pistachios and ice cream. And it was warm. Not bad, but now I want a baklava.

It made me miss Greece and needing to go back to visit Mykonos. I love the white buildings, blue doors, the islands. Taverna also has a blue door and is a white building. The inside has clean walls, an darker blue-green accent wall, subtle Greek type on their white curtains, colorful but a bit muted and imperfectly shaped vases above the windows and very comfortable furniture. The staff is friendly, obviously appreciative of their best customers and the service was timely and well-organized. I’m sure we’ll be back.

Related articles:
Taverna brings warmth of Greek isles to downtown Palo Alto – SF Chronicle