FLY Restaurants: Trimani il Wine Bar, Rome ITALY

One of my fave wine haunts in bella Roma, Trimani il Wine Bar, is always one of the first spots I visit upon arrival. It's also one of my last stops before departure - can't resist filling my suitcase with litres of their artisanal olive oil, grown and produced just outside of the city.

Trimani marries the best of both worlds:

Trimani, a stylish, yet casual, enoteca (wine bar and restaurant) in the vicinity of the Termini train station, is one of my favourite places for sampling rich Italian cheeses, salami and prosciutto alongside an extensive list of wines by the glass. I always begin by indulging my hedonistic appetite for the Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, and then move on to a fantastic Barbaresco or Barolo. Next door to the enoteca is the Trimani wine store, established in 1821, with an impressive selection of mainly Italian vintages that number in the thousands.
 Read more of my love letter to Rome's restaurants

Lambrusco Scuro

Gnocchi with crisp pancetta, spinach & pecorino

Fly Cuisine: Ossobuco alla Milanese

Ossobuco alla Milanese: Delicious Italian classic prepared by Ms Q & my Roman better half. The ossobuco was tender & rich with the additional depth provided by the *gremolada (added to the sauce just prior to serving). Served alongside a classic risotto alla Milanese, this was Italian comfort food at its most savoury.

- grated peel of one lemon 
- 1 clove of garlic 
- 2 anchovy fillets
- handful of chopped parsley leaves
(chop all ingredients together finely)

Ossobuco alla Milanese (click image to enlarge)

Restaurant Wine Dinner: Pavilions Phuket

I have a confession to make - I've become a bit frustrated living in my tropical paradise of Phuket. As much as I adore eating at hidden Thai gems, from market stalls to noodle shops, my "grand" side needs to be fed occasionally (or frequently, depending how you look at it). And nothing thrills me more than thoughtful delicious cuisine prepared by a chef passionate about his craft paired seamlessly with well-crafted wines.

Recently I had the enormous pleasure of attending the Dinner with Attitude, with Pascal Jolivet at the luxurious Pavilions, Phuket.

Plantation Club Dining Room

Fly Cocktail: La Réunion

Smash hit - perfect sunset cocktail for sipping in the garden. Since my fave French fille brought me the fragrant, sweet (& organic) pineapples that I used in this cocktail, I decided to name it in honor of her place of birth - the island of Réunion .

La Réunion: 1 1/2 cups of foamy fresh pineapple juice, 8 young basil leaves shredded & muddled with 1/2 of a thai chili, lemon zest-infused vodka...1-3 oz depending on your level of alcoholism lol. Shake vigorously with ice and serve up in a martini glass. Thank me later...

FLY diva: Happy Birthday Grace Jones

Happy Birthday to the fiercest, FLY-est diva to ever grace a runway, magazine or stage, Grace Jones - a true icon. She is a wholly original artist - visually and musically, but has never received the accolades and recognition that she deserves as an innovative trend-setter. Her three decades of FLY fierceness raising the bar in music, performance and fabulousness can't be denied. She has always rejected being defined by anyone but herself and remains an authentic powerhouse who dances to the beat of her own drumming.

In homage to her creative spirit, I think I'll be rocking 80s style makeup contouring this weekend...Put some Grace in your face!

For your listening pleasure, enjoy this youtube playlist with her full discography - from me to you. Just click here to see all of the songs in the playlist.

SUPA fly new song from Jill Scott: Shame

Jilly from Philly has done it again! The song is HOT, the video is a who's who of Philadelphia's finest, including The Roots & Eve. Cop dat, immediately! Illadelph, stand up!

"Jill Scott has unveiled the much-buzzed video for “Shame” and it is everything that the various leaks and behind-the-scenes snippets promised, from a Black Thought freestyle intro to the Special Ed shout-out on the fadeout. Eve killing her verse in jingling baby earrings, this we expected. Likewise, the starring role accorded the gymnasium of the Cecil B. Moore rec center in North Philly, where Ms. Scott basically grew up, ram-packed with a who’s who of illadelphians."

These are a few of my favorite things...

Whew, the last month has been a busy one - just trying to keep my juggling act fresh. lol Anyway, I haven't been able to post, but I definitely want to share my current obsessions with my fly readers! Dig in.

Fly Cuisine: Simple Roasted Chicken dinner

Simplicity has become my learned cooking mantra since falling in love with a passionate foodie/oenophile Roman. Add my food/wine-obsessed self and you better understand that we are profoundly on the same page in our "pleasure principle" approach to life. Life is too short not to eat/drink beautifully...

My early experience with cuisine consisted of either home-cooked American favorites or haute cuisine as practiced in restaurants devoted to French gastronomic flights of fancy...truly at opposite ends of the spectrum. Both cooking techniques result in complicated, multi-layered recipes that take a whole lot of effort to produce...the French approach more refined, perhaps. lol

Restaurant/Bar & Lounge: Trisara Phuket

I was recently invited to a cocktail party for a "small yet special group of Phuket's most interesting people". Hmm, was this shameless bit of flattery the high-end version of spam?  But then my interest was piqued when I saw that it was from the ultra luxe, Trisara Phuket resort. I last visited the resort about 5 years ago, soon after its opening, for a celebratory dinner. Unfortunately the celebration was dampened, literally, by the monsoon season rain storm. This time I arrived just in time for a gorgeously-lit beach sunset, Phuket style!

Free Download: DJ Anthony Valadez LIVE FROM THE TEMPLE BAR

From Outkast's Andre 3000 and his slick falsetto to the pristine vocals of Kim Hill, DJ Anthony Valadez pays homage to the soulful heart of LA, Temple Bar. A one hour track list that includes Me'shell N'Degeocello, Bilal, Sy Smith, Van Hunt, Pharcyde's Tre Hardson is a sick mix of unsung and celebrated music troubadours - a true soul music love affair. Download this immediately - it only gets better every time you listen - TRUST.



*Meshell N'degeocello Intro Live at Templebar
Andre 3000 - Prototype
Portishead - It Could Be Sweet
Amel Larrieux - Sweet Misery
Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan
Dj Cam - Love Junkee
Manu Chao - Mi Gusta Tu
Sa-Ra - Untitled Beat
RES - Ice King
Donnie - Cloud 9 (Dj Spinna Remix)
Kim Hill - Can You Feel It?
Platinum Pied Pipers - I Got You
Sy Smith - Deep Sleep
Sidestepper - In Beats We Trust
Spacek - Time
Van Hunt - Character
Antibalas - Nesta
Mandrake - Berimbau
Ozomatli - Cut Chemist Suite
Sade - By Your Side (Cottonbelly Remix)
Tre Hardson - Cant Stop
* Bilal - Reminisce feat. Robert Glasper (Recorded Live at Temple Bar)
* Meshell N'degeocello - Point Of No Return (Recorded Live at Temple Bar)

Fly Cocktail: "Q" Royale

My riff on the classic Kir Royale. I don't like to use bottled syrups and/or flavored liqueurs in cocktails. I much prefer to create the fruit flavors using...wait for it...fruit. Oh yeah, and I also don't love blackberries, so wanted to switch it up.

"Q" Royale: Homemade cherry syrup, Prosecco (*or any decent sparkling wine), lemon twist

*you don't need to use Krug in champagne cocktails, that would be a waste. but you also shouldn't opt for the cheapest "**champale" you can buy. make sure to choose a drinkable sparkling wine - one that you wouldn't mind drinking on its own.

**who ever remembers drinking this, you should be ashamed lol

Fly tunes: Classic Black Eyed Peas feat. Kim Hill

Sometimes nostalgia can paralyze, other times energize...listening to my fave soul singer, Kim Hill, with the original Black Eyed Peas configuration was a perfect way to go back down memory lane.

Just to keep it 100 - I never thought they were the dopest MCs, but they had a unique spark and definitely knew how to get the party started right. Hot beats infused with jazz, funk & soul - with KimmyKim's textured vocals - was the sure shot back in the day...and the breakin' & lockin' kept it straight up hip hop, no chaser. Harkens back to hip hop's days of innocence - before the mercenaries, with no love for the genre, arrived.

SPIN CYCLE™ - Classic BEP Feat. Kim Hill

"Head Bobs"
"Fallin' Up"
"What It Is" feat. Kim Hill
"On My Own" feat. Les Nubians
"Bridging the Gaps"
"Cali to New York" feat. De La Soul
"Hot" feat. Kim Hill
"Leave It All Behind" feat. Kim Hill
"The way you make me feel" feat. Kim Hill
"Joints & Jam" feat. Kim Hill


Fly Cuisine: Cannolicchi

I had never seen or heard of a cannoliccho (razor clam) before my husband found them in the local (Phuket) market. He assured me that these straw-shaped oddities were a delicious delicacy in Italy, as he reminisced of his childhood days fishing for them at the bottom of the sea off the coast near Rome.

Restaurant: Salaloy, Rawai Beach, Phuket

Phuket is blessed with many seaside restaurants - but Salaloy on Rawai Beach gets kudos not only for the gorgeous view and sea breezes, but fresh, tasty seafood, prepared Thai-style! Steer clear of the pork, chicken etc on the menu - the only thing to eat & celebrate here is frutti di mare! It is a popular lunch spot for local residents, both Thai and Foreigner, so if you rock up on a Saturday or Sunday you may find it full during peak hours.

The wine list is not the focus at Salaloy, so take a page from the locals (who typically bring along a few soldiers of Johnny Walker Black) and BYOB to avoid disappointment...or just order a cool beer.

Love Letter to Roman Cuisine & Restaurants

'All roads lead to Rome' is a refrain constantly repeated in my mind whenever I am away from Rome. It is a gorgeous, modern city that seems only one step removed from its ancient roots; filled with high-spirited people who celebrate life with their laid back Mediterranean style. The iconic ruins, masterful art and distinctive architecture fascinate me like no other city, but it is the delicious cuisine that touches my soul. I am always dreaming of simple plates of pasta with fresh herbs and sauces prepared using centuries-old recipes. This is my love letter to all cuisine Roman.

DJ kim hill...kill him remembers Martin Luther King Jr

Music touches, inspires and uplifts - one of my fave soul singers & DJ, Kim Hill, put together a beautiful musical tribute to the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr. I hope that you feel the playlist as much as I did.

Restaurant: 360° at Pavilions Phuket

Stunning views are commonplace in Phuket, Thailand - between the sugar-sand beaches, aquamarine seas, lush vegetation and elevated hills it's easy to find a beautiful spot for a sunset cocktail. But 360° Restaurant & Bar at the Pavilions, Phuket has raised the bar with its gorgeously casual, yet upscale setting which presents a panoramic view of Phuket's west coast...and the libations aren't bad either.

Free Download: SUPER DJ Terrell Clark

One of Philadelphia's finest, and FRIDAY FLASHBACK's own, SUPER DJ Terrell Clark is putting up super soulful, deep house mixes. Get 'em while their hot!

"The early, soulful, and underground music scene in Philadelphia profoundly influenced Terrell. Through some of the late, great DJ pioneers, Donald Stone (Catacombs and Chuck’s Recovery Room), David Todd (Catacombs and respected studio re-mixer), and Brandon Harris (Smart Place and Olympia Ballroom) he learned that a DJ needed to be passionate about the music and tell a story in the mix…not just play records or let technology dictate how you did it. Add to this, the influence of SOUL from artists like EWF, TSOP, and Stevie Wonder, Terrell had the mentorship and influence that established him as a pillar in the Philadelphia music community!"

Fly Dolce: Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake: One of the most delicately fragrant cakes I've ever made - full of lemon juice and lemon zest. Super moist from crème fraîche (and a little rum), this was the perfect accompaniment to a lovely illy espresso.

Found this recipe & juiced it up a notch...try it, you will love it as much as my peeps did.

Lemon Pound Cake

Love of My Life (Ode to Hip Hop)

Of all of the genres that make up my musical lexicon, hip hop still expresses best who I was (as a baby b-girl) and who I am now - passionately outspoken and fly! lol

No, Ms Q never breakdanced, pop-locked or rhymed - but you could always find me in the crowd around a fledgling MC spittin' fire, hollerin' my support when they dropped an especially dope verse; noddin' my head energetically to a sick beat box demo; always in my flyest b-girl gear, fake gold bamboo earrings swayin'. Hoping against hope that the sun didn't go down before the cypher was over - my mother regulated with an iron glove - cause I had to be home before the street-lights came on.

Seems so innocent in retrospect, those scenes of my, and hip hop's, adolescence...only lyrically talented MCs and DJs that could scratch & mix with only 2 turntables (or 3) and headphones need apply or the crowd would boo you while doing the "Showtime at the Apollo" get off the stage dance.

Total respect and admiration to Ms Badu for articulating my love and nostalgia for the halycyon days of hip hop...

Thai Cuisine: Hor Mok Pla (ห่อหมกปลา)

Hor Mok Pla is one of my fave Thai dishes. Essentially it is a Curry Fish Custard, steamed in banana leaves, with a sophisticated flavor profile: spicy, rich with coconut cream and citrus notes from the kaffir lime leaf. There is much regional debate about its origins, with Cambodia and Malaysia also making a claim, but the Indian, Portuguese and Malaysian culinary influences are undeniable.

The best Hor Mok Pla that I've eaten are usually served at market stalls, as opposed to restaurants. The market ladies just seem to add more love and depth to their fave is the lovely woman at the evening market in front of A-One in Chalong, Phuket. There is always a queue of Thai matriarchs, picking up the family's evening meal. She also makes a flavorful stewed "Kao Moo", but that's for another post...

Fly Cocktail: La vie en rosé

La vie en rosé: Homemade Strawberry/Lemon sorbet (included lemon zest-infused vodka) & Sparkling rosé wine, with a lemon twist garnish.

Life always looks better with rosé-colored glasses! I served this sweet/tart confection on New Year' Eve 2010 at my fave foodie/frenchie friend's soirée – it was a hit!

Happy New Year from Ever Fly Ms Q

‎"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me and I'm feelin' good." Welcome to 2011.