Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break


Good morning loves!  I hope everyone’s weekend was spectacular.  We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary (wow, time flies!) and went to the wedding of a very good friend.  It was great, seeing all of our old college friends again; just a really wonderful celebration.


The New York Times did an excellent piece on hidden disabilities and the issues these people face in the workplace.

Have you noticed everyone going bonkers for the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well, let yourself get excited about some of these not-so-common coffee drinks to break you out of your morning rut.

Speaking of fall, this potato-topped short rib pot pie is just the thing to welcome in the cooler months.

While we’re at it, this charred brussel sprouts carbonara will do the trick as well.

Finally, this story about an 103 year old man who dines out every night will warm your heart.

Let’s Eat Out: Italian Colors in Montclair

Hello chickies!  So, with the start of July, the start of the second half of 2013, I’ve decided to start a new post series: Let’s Eat Out.

I’ve found that we tend to eat out a bit more in the summer; between busy schedules and a house that’s too hot to be cooking in, we frequent local restaurants more than usual.  We have our stand-bys, our favorites, but we are always open to new places near us.  We stick mainly to the East Bay, but every now and then we venture into SF for a day and a meal.  So, for this series, we will visit some of our usual haunts, as well as a few new ones, to give you the best of what the Bay has to offer.

For our first post, I thought I would start with a restaurant that has a bit of personal history: Italian Colors in Montclair, also referred to as “The Birthday Restaurant.”



Montclair is an up-scale canyon neighborhood in Oakland.  Lots of restaurants, little shops and beautiful homes.  Italian Colors is located off in a hillside shopping area off Highway 13.  A small, bistro-style Italian restaurant with a full bar.  They pride themselves is using fresh and local ingredients.  Their menu features simple, seasonal and delicious appetizers, pasta dishes, main courses and desserts.  I call it “The Birthday Restaurant” because in the handful of times I’ve been there, almost every time has been for someone’s birthday.  I first went in high school with a friend who’s favorite restaurant it was.  From then on, I just found myself going there to celebrate various other birthdays, including my own.  That’s how Shawn and I found ourselves there last Wednesday; a birthday celebration.  Our birthdays are two days apart (me on the 25th, him on the 27th), so we tend to celebrate on the day in between.  This year, we ventured out to Italian Colors for a little culinary celebration.



To start, Ahi Tuna Cones with ahi tuna tartare, soy sake aioli, guacamole and sesame seeds, served in a sesame cracker cone.  One thing you need to know about me: if ahi tuna tartare is on the menu, you can pretty much bet I’m going to order it.  I love it.  This is an excellent preparation, with the cool creaminess of the guacamole and the crunch of the cracker cone.  Excellent start to dinner.

For my main dish, I had the gnocchi primavera.  Asparagus, sweet peas and artichoke hearts in a light, creamy white wine sauce.  The gnocchi was perfect, fluffy and light without ever being rubbery or chewy, just really well formed.  This dish was technically an appetizer, but it was definitely large enough for one person as a main course.

Dessert was a little different.  I ordered the apricot-tarragon pureĆ© with orange panna cotta and blueberry sauce (YUM!) but unfortunately they were out that night (boo!).  Instead I ordered the chocolate torte with whipped cream raspberry sauce and fresh berries, which was delicious (though not quite as interesting as what I had originally ordered, but still well done).

Italian Colors is always a great date night out option for anyone in the Bay Area; fun atmosphere and delicious food.  Bon Appetit!


Let’s Eat Out restaurant recommendations are based entirely on my own taste and opinion.  I am not compensated for any reviews written here.