{Pensacola Eats + Drinks} George Artisan Bakery & Bistro

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

This just in, lovely people--I have a new favorite nosh spot in town, and I know you are going to love it. George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, from it's exposed brick and marble surfaces (I have yet to see that combo go wrong...) to its artisan bread and pastries, coffee, and "South meets South" themed fare is guaranteed to steal your heart the way it has mine. Keep reading if you would like to hear more...

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

For the past few summers the way to my heart has been pretty simple--a chilled glass of crisp rosé.  (I know, I know, #yeswayrosé) When I walked into George Artisan Bakery & Bistro a few weeks ago to do some research for an article I was writing, Luba Lazi, hostess extraordinaire and wife to Chef George himself, read my mind. After introducing herself in her slight Russian accent she headed behind the bar while exclaiming “Let’s start with rosé!” 

Don’t have to ask me twice.

Rosé Flight | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

As I sat down at the lovely marble counter Luba, who curates the wine list at George, explained to me her summer special. a flight of three different rosés. I took sips of each one, all remarkably different, but, to my surprise, loved the fuller-bodied yet still nice and dry Mas Carlot Rosé the best. 

Rosé Flight | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

After the flight Luba poured me one of her favorite concoctions, aptly named the “Luba’s Favorite”—champagne poured over fresh strawberries and ice and served with an iced tea spoon. “To eat the champagne soaked strawberries with at then end.” She explained, smiling.

The simply but elegant cocktail is popular in the South of France, a place which hugely inspired Chef George when creating the Provençal-style menu for George Artisan. In his own words, his style is all about “highlighting the freshest ingredients, not hiding them.”

Luba's Favorite | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Luba and George, who both worked in New York City before moving to Pensacola,  exude passion for what they do and their attention to detail is exceptional. Everything about George Artisan is hand-crafted—from the food to the space, and their “South meets South” theme is foodie genius. It’s all about the experience, and they take good service seriously.

“I consider it an honor anytime anyone walks into our restaurant.” Chef George humbly remarked. 

Luba's Favorite | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Luba insisted that I try the Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, which proved to be divine. Not something I would normally think to order for myself (total choca-holic), the panna cotta is flavored with real vanilla bean, as evidenced by the slight grittiness of the flecks of vanilla. The custard is bathed in fresh grapefruit juice, which keeps it from being cloyingly sweet. I took a bite, and another, and then before I knew it I had cleaned the dish…that good. The perfect little “something sweet” to cleanse the palate. 

Panna Cotta| George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

After drinks (and dessert--woops) Chef George came out with a slew of his favorite summer dishes in tow, including homemade burrata, tuna niçoise, seafood salad, and beef carpaccio.

The burrata immediately captured my attention, with it’s thicker, pillowy outer layer, which enveloped a delightfully creamy and soft oozy center. Such a step above the typical mozzarella capresé. 

“Burrata is one of those things like iberico ham and foie-gras—a real specialty ingredient.” Chef George mentioned, after explaining how they make the burrata in-house. 

The dish, completed by a medley of heirloom tomatoes and greens, drizzled olive oil, aged balsamic and cracked pepper on top would make for a fantastic light summer lunch.  In fact, I felt like I had been transported to the Cinque Terre after my first bite. One can dream...

Burratta | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

The beef carpaccio, a perpetual favorite of mine, was also delicious—topped with shavings of parmesan, tomatoes, peppery arugula, flakes of sea salt, and a drizzle of rich olive oil. 

Beef Carpaccio | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant
George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

How cool is that wine display?!

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant
George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Needless to say, I was one happy girl. As we finished chatting and nibbling Luba remarked, “Pensacola is interesting. There are a lot of people who are well educated and well traveled, who know good food. We have just given them a place to satisfy that.”

…This little foodie could not agree more. Next time you are downtown Pensacola make sure to stop by George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, whether for an expresso and almond croissant (which just made the #1 spot in InWeekly’s 100 Things to Eat + Drink This Summer issue), brunch, or a delicious lunch. It’s a great place for a day date, or to take friends from out of town whom you want to impress with all that Pensacola has to offer. Also, if you hustle over early in the morning on the weekends you just may be able to snag a freshly made baguette for dinner that night. Everyone set their alarms for tomorrow morning! 

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, 1123 W. Garden St, Pensacola, FL (850) 912 4655

What is everyone up to this weekend? Hope it is a great one!



P.S. All opinions are, as usual, my own. 

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{Gallivant} Bantam Cider | Boston, Massachusetts


While John and I were in Massachusetts in January we headed into Somerville, (along with my brother and cousins) to check out my cousin Antonia's art, which is on display at Bantam Cider's taproom. We spent the afternoon tasting cider and admiring Antonia's work as well as the gorgeous space that it hangs in.

My brilliant Antonia next to one of her pieces.

My brilliant Antonia next to one of her pieces.

Antonia, who was a double math and art major in college, has been working on a series based on fractals. She begins with "carefully calculated mathematical processes that evolve into something chaotic and unpredictable. The images portray a physical representation of abstract mathematical concepts, including chaos theory and the fractal sets." (Read more on her website here.) Her work is different than anything I have ever seen, and so striking. I am so not a math person, so to be able to bridge my world (arts, literature, creativeness, etc) with the math world totally blows my mind and fascinates me. Her paintings completely elevate the (already lovely) Bantam space, and also serve as a unique conversation point for people who are tasting.


Given our passion for all things locally owned and sourced, we loved checking out Bantam and everything we tasted was delicious. My favorites were the "Wild One," made with wild yeast which lends it a sour taste with tons of funk, and the ginger beer, which was super spicy without being too sweet.  I followed up with Suzi, a former pastry-chef who is now a member of the Bantam team, to learn a little bit more about Bantam and cider in general. 

Where did the name "Bantam" come from?

The name Bantam means "small and mighty" and ultimately this embodies a couple of things about our company. First, we think it speaks to our home market of Boston - a small city that has the heart of a place five times the size. Also, we're a woman-owned and managed business navigating a heavily male dominated industry with big money brands. We take pride in the fact that we're forging full steam ahead.

Where do your apples come from?

We source our apples from orchards across Massachusetts. Beginning around Harvard and Stow and extending into Western Mass in towns like Colerain and Hawley.


What are your favorite cider/food pairings?

Wunderkind: ideal with oysters or any type of shellfish, cheese: double creams or a hearty cheddar:   Moses Sleeper from The Cellars at Jasper Hill VT

Rojo: duck, pork or other white meats, dark chocolate and berries, cheese: Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm is delicious

Smoked Saison: any sort of barbeque or dark red meats/steaks, cheese: Reserve Gouda from Uniekass Holland


What is your favorite variety/flavor of Bantam?

It is hard to choose among all of the ciders because they are all good at different times and settings but the one not to miss out on would be the recently launched Smoked Saison.  The smoked-roasted apples blended with the Saison yeast has the perfect balance of smokiness and juicy apple character.  It is limited edition and available in stores for the next month or so.

Ciders really seem to be having a moment right now--what should drinkers be tasting for  in a good cider?

That's a tough question, because what it really gets down to is whether a person connects with a particular product or not. Some of our ciders are incredibly crisp and clean (Wunderkind) while others are deliberately not, and in fact are funky and sour (our Wild fermented varieties). Though for us, what we think speaks to a good cider is the balance and nuance of flavors. It's something that is difficult to describe, but you know it when you taste it.


Where are you distributed?

Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut - and soon to be Rhode Island and New York. To locate a bottle shop, customers can access a list of retail locations on our website.

Do you host events in your space?

Yes. Outside of our standard taproom hours (Thurs/Friday 4-7pm, Saturday 1-7pm) we allow for private events. We've hosted corporate and civic events as well as birthday parties, anniversaries, engagement parties, etc.


Thank you so much Suzi for chatting with us! We had such a fun afternoon and can't wait to stop by next time we are in town to see what is on tap. 

Bantam Cider Company, 40 Merriam St, Somerville, MA 02143, (617) 299 8600



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Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday Cooking + The Perfect Christmas Gift For the Foodie In Your Life

#thenewenglandkitchen #HFTHBoston


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Wayfair and Boston Bloggers Home For The Holidays event in Boston. The whole day was amazing, comprised of a key note session with Christiane Lemieux and Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com), as well as a banner session with my bestie Lindsey (who had a huge hand in plannning the whole event,) a crafting session with Kate (Domestikated Life,) and a holiday strategy session with Alison (Long Distance Loving.)All of the sessions were inspiring and practical, but the one that did the most to banish my mild holiday anxiety was the session on holiday cooking and entertaining, led by Chef Jeremy Sewell of Boston's Island Creek Oyseter Bar, Lineage, and the new Row 34.

If you know me than you know that I love to cook and entertain. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for fifteen friends though, and I have been feeling just a hint of trepidation. I have always helped out at Thanksgiving, but never have I cooked a turkey alone or overseen the whole operation...and there is just a bit of pressure associated with the whole ordeal! As soon as Jeremy started speaking, though, I knew that he was the one to emulate as I prepared for our Thanksgiving feast--He was approachable and down to earth, and placed an emphasis on fresh and local ingrediants. (Not mention he is one of Boston's best chefs, and has overseen his fair share of holiday meals...) No sweat, just a plan. Any other holiday hosting newbies out there? Read on for my favorite tid bits of advice from Jeremy's session.

 Chef Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday cooking:

  • Keep it simple: Don't do anything that stresses you out, like something you have never cooked before, or something that you know is tough.
  • Use the microwave to your advantage! The micro is a great place to warm up sauces and gravy, melt chocolate, or reheat that desperately needed cup of coffee ten minutes before your guests arrive.
  • Get as much done ahead as you can: Ie. Roast veggies for crudite. ("Who really eats raw celery anymore?", make sides and pies.
  • Find a place that does a couple things really well, like pies or fresh bread, and let them do those for you.
  • Practice: We have run out of time for Thanksgiving, but there is still time before Christmas! Why not try out a few dishes that look yummy so that you can have them totally down pact by the time the holiday rolls around?
  • Read your recipes thoroughly.
  • On timing: Cook Turkey early in the morning so that is it done an hour ahead (at least-- you can always throw it back in to warm it up.)
  • Be savvy with your appetizers: Throw together plates of amazing cheese, bread, jam, and other appetizers that you don't have to manage.

Finally, Jeremy's Turkey tip: Brine, and then brush w/butter using a bundle of fresh thyme as a brush!

Jeremy just published his first cookbook, The New England Kitchen, and it is available for purchase now! I grabbed one for both myself and my parents, and we love it. All of the recipes are classic New England fare, elevated by Jeremy's signature style, with an emphasis on seasonal cooking. I already made the apple cider donuts and they were to die for...A New England Kitchen would make a perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving hostess gift for the foodie in your life, and I made it so easy for you...just click the picture at the beginning of this post and purchase today!



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{Bake} Homemade Blueberry and Cinnamon Scones

Remember those gorgeous blueberries I picked last weekend? Well, I decided to bake up the most scrumptious blueberry scones with a twist--a hit of cinnamon sugar! They were fantastic..not too sweet, but with lots of fresh blueb flavor and a bit of warm spice. Perfect to enjoy with breakfast or an afternoon cup of tea. Or, if you feel like going the more decadent route (like we did) go ahead and whip of some homemade vanilla scented whip cream to serve on top of a warm scone, along with a mound of fresh berries. 

Blueberry-Cinnamon Scones


4 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar, plus additional for cinnamon sugar

2 tbsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Salt

3/4 lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

4 Extra large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 frozen blueberries*

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg, beaten w/ 2 tbsp water or milk, for egg wash

Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

*help keep dough cold, and retain shape while mixing dough. 


Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter and mix until it is in broken into small pieces. (If using electric mixer than use lowest speed) 

Combine eggs and cream, than add them to the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Toss bluebs with 1 tablespoon of flour and then add them to the dough. If you feel like the dough is warming up than stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes before the next step. 

Dump the dough (probably pretty sticky--you are going to want to liberally flour rolling pin, hands, counter, etc) onto floured surface and roll it out until 3/4 inch thick. If you see lumps of butter that means you have done everything right and are on the right track! Cut into squares, and then cut in half to make triangles. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If you don't have enough room on a sheet or two for your scones, than just refrigerate the triangles until they are ready to go in the oven. )

Brush the tops with egg wash and then sprinkle (liberally!) with cinnamon-sugar. Pop in oven and bake for at least 17 minutes--check for doneness. The outsides should be crisp and golden. If they are not quite there yet than just keep an eye on them for another 2-3 minutes, or until desired look is achieved. 




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{Gallivant Reads} The Kinfolk Table

Have you all heard of Kinfolk? Kinfolk is a really cool magazine, written by and for creatives, focusing on food, art, travel, and international living. In October, they published their first cookbook, entitled The Kinfolk Table, and it is incredible! I had been eyeing it for a few months, and received it as a graduation present a few weeks ago.

As their website aptly describes it, the book is "one third cookbook, one third narrative tale and one third international adventure" as it chronicles founder Nathan William's adventures in breaking bread with people from all over the world. With an emphasis on deconstructing the way we think about entertaining, The Kinfolk Table focuses on fresh, simple, and inexpensive recipes, and engaging both host and guest alike in the process of coming together and enjoying each other's company while sharing food. 

Sweet Potato Hash from  The Kinfolk Table  | Photo: Author

Sweet Potato Hash from The Kinfolk Table | Photo: Author

We haven't had a chance yet too try many of the recipes, but I did whip up the Sweet Potato Hash a few days ago, and it was so yummy. The mix of kale, tomatoes, garlic, and sweet potato tasted fresh and healthy, and the addition of a poached egg and italian sausage on top made for a decadent and adult "breakfast for dinner." We will deff be adding that to the rotation. 

If you are looking to spice up your cooking (see what I did there?) or just enjoy reading about foodie adventures, a la Julia and Julia, then I can't recommend this book enough.

Happy cooking! 



P.S. Like what you are reading and want to keep up with all of our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin