Making Thanksgiving cocktails at an Airbnb in San Diego, CA

While traversing the U.S. by car, access to a kitchen to enjoy a home-cooked became a luxury to look forward to. Despite limited space, we’re both suckers for a beautiful cookbook. Andrew and I packed a few for our travels and picked up others we discovered whilst visiting local bookstores or unique restaurants. Sometimes seeing a cool cookbook would then propel us to go discover a new place to eat: a happy cycle.

New Scenic Café

New Scenic Café cookbook

While traveling in Duluth, Minnesota, we stumbled on to the New Scenic Café’s beautiful cookbook and so declared it our lunch spot for the day as we headed north to Ely. It was by far one of the best meals I’d ever had and at the restaurant, we officially added a copy of the cookbook to our bill. How can you go wrong with a forward written by Garrison Keillor?

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The Girl and the Fig

This French restaurant in Sonoma, California had me at its plentiful wine selection and delectable cheese platters. In fact, next to the beautiful wooden and mirrored bar there is a second, smaller bar devoted entirely to cheese. The ambiance is stellar, offering long, low wooden tables for dates sipping regional cabernets and an outdoor patio with string lighting to dive into a full course meal. It’s always more special when you can put a face (or a place) to a name (or shall we say cookbook).

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A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus: Menus and Stories

A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus: Menus and Stories cookbook

Named for the three Seattle restaurants of chef and author Renee Erickson, this book is beautifully designed with delightful nautical sensibility and several fish recipes. We stumbled upon it at Sylvester & Co. in Sag Harbor and couldn’t resist it for our shelves. We even brought it with us to the source itself in Seattle. Pro tip: Head to Barnacle Bar for apps and amazing cocktails. It offered a little less chaos, less of a hit to the wallet, and a better ambiance than the adjacent restaurant, The Walrus & The Carpenter.

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