We’ve arrived to wine country. (at Uco Valley, Mendoza)
Wine lullabies (at Bodega Salentein)
Nurturing an abiding love for Latin America, I've traded big city lights for sunshine and grapes in Mendoza, Argentina. A perennial traveler and writer, I'm inspired by locals, culture and creativity. This is my patchwork.
SMITH brings a touch of worldly European flair to Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park with its new brasserie Pascal & Sabine. This is the fifth downtown Asbury restaurant from SMITH, a design and hospitality collective I covered in an article for Travel + Leisure this past October.
Reminiscent of another time and place, Pascal & Sabine has touches of Belle Epoque Paris with its copper and brass espresso machine, an Art Deco façade and design influences from French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse’s playful classic, The Red Balloon. The name of the restaurant is inspired by Lamorisse’s children Pascal and Sabine, who played lead roles in the short film.
The dining room is outfitted with sumptuous leather chairs and banquettes, marble tables, vintage mirrors, and floor-to-ceiling windows with flooding light illuminating the circular lounge bar.
The main bar seats 18 and serves stiff drinks to tipple in the rosy shadows thrown by the antique brass table lamps, while the front lounge is worthy of a Saturday evening Gertrude Stein salon.
While you’re getting comfortable and possibly a bit nostalgic, Grace Crossman and Paul Holzheimer will wow you back to reality with culinary delicacies like Duck Confit (seared duck breast, swiss chard, fingerling potatoes and duck jus), Bouillabaisse (Provençal fish broth, mixed seafood) and Pork Terrine (potato cake, shaved celery salad, crème fraîche, jus). The menu is simple yet refined, balanced with meat, seafood and vegetables.
The desserts are a sinful finale of Chocolate Mousse (flourless chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, crème anglaise), Tarte Tatin (puff pastry, caramelized apple, vanilla bean crème fraîche) and Poached Pear (cream, spiced port reduction).
Pascal & Sabine is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, just pop into the restaurant’s backdoor bread shop for a freshly baked baguette to go.
Pascal & Sabine
601 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Open 7 days a week; 8am – 12am (Sunday – Thursday); 8am – 2am (Friday and Saturday)
For the past month I haven’t been writing much for Patchwork Compass because I kicked off the New Year working on a few dream-come-true projects that have been keeping me quite busy.
I have been officially named AFAR magazine’s Mendoza Local Expert and for the past month I’ve been tirelessly writing AFAR.com’s Mendoza travel guide. It’s been an all-consuming adventure of research, networking, exploration, writing, and photography.
I have learned so much about the city in such a short time and have met some incredible entrepreneurs in the process. By March 1st, I’ll have a comprehensive city-guide to share, which I will be updating every three months with additional travel tips. Many of these experiences will surely find their way onto the virtual pages of Patchwork Compass as well.
I am also scouring the continent as Travel + Leisure’s South American Stringer to find the best of what’s new in the southern hemisphere. I can tell you one thing, Ecuador’s eco-lodges have just made their way onto my bucket list.
A new travel video series has become a passion project I’m developing with the talented English journalist Amanda Barnes, who has been living in Argentina for the past four years. I look forward to sharing more details as we nurture this project to life.
In the midst of all of these endeavors I attempted to create a spreadsheet of measurable goals and deadlines with a template I downloaded from author Chris Guillebeau’s website. But I felt like the joy and inspiration was being sucked out of me every time I sat down to write them. I settled on just creating a theme for the year instead, which will guide my goals, dreams and desires for 2014.
Delving deeper into my meditation practice is an intention I have for this year. While I was reading some information about meditating and mindfulness I found this insightful bit of wisdom from Thai meditation master Ajhan Chah and it really spoke to me.
It also helped me put into perspective all the goals I thought should be on my to do list that I’ve since released. I’m making a conscious effort to not put too much attention on the future this year, but rather focus my energy on the here and now with gratitude and present moment awareness, letting the future take care of itself.
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
When you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to mediate.
My husband took me for birthday drinks at Patancha. The happy hour special was two for one freshly juiced melon daiquiris. It was the most delicious fresh fruit cocktail I’ve tasted in Mendoza. We nibbled on a five cheese picada with cured meats. On Friday nights, they have live tango shows, which gave me another reason to come back besides sampling another flavor of their rum daiquiris.
Peru 766, Ciudad, Mendoza
I’m going to bring this guy my kitchen knives!