Sessanta Review – Wear your A-game and go for a drink


I don’t call myself a foodie, nor does my empirically foodie family. Perhaps we’re a little snobbier than that. Lots of people call themselves foodies with no credibility to show for it. My mother says we have “sophisticated palates.” My father says, “Some people eat to live, others live to eat.” I say food is a reason to wake up in the morning, a priority for the wallet and the soul, and the stuff of which dreams are made. I plan my life around my meals. And I’m a self-proclaimed authority on taste and class. And humility and humor, but I digress.

People who go to trendy restaurants don’t necessarily relate to this. They just want to go out and be seen. There’s nothing wrong with that. But we will enjoy different restaurants for different reasons.

I took a dear girlfriend of mine to Sessanta because I had heard it was a hot new place in town and with the competitiveness and high pool of New York restaurants, assumed its food would have to stack up. I was wrong. And that’s rare!

The patio? Lovely. The hosts? Super cool and hospitable. The food? Disgusting.

I don’t remember the last time I ate a meal where I regretted every calorie making its devious way to my ass.
This place made me consider bulimia for a millisecond.
We started with the arancini. It was fine. Any divey sports bar can figure out how to fry a bunch of ingredients and make them edible.
Then we had the mozzerella pugliese. The cheese itself needed to be seasoned. The marinated eggplant underneath was the consistency of cardboard and had so much bad vinegar on it we could have bottled it up and used it as a household disinfectant. Upon noticing our puckered faces, the waiter suggested the tomato salad, which interestingly, but at this point not surprisingly, had just as much vinegar on it.
As a main we had the highly recommended tagghiarini. What carboholic ever met a plate of pasta she didn’t like? The dish was dry, the pasta was over-cooked, and the sauce was blander than the last officer who gave me a speeding ticket’s sense of humor.
The wine we guzzled and enjoyed. I’m as picky about my wine as I am my food. The glass of Franciacorta Rosé Majolini NV Lombardy was as bone dry as promised. The bottle of Umbrian Sangiovese was light but jammy and polished off gleefully.
Don’t go for the food. Go for the bar and some eye candy.
The best part of the meal was this cute girl’s black leather fringe skirt that I’m now obsessed with hunting down as my next closet addition.


Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip Recap and Playlist

Well, we did it! Ten cities in ten days from LA to NY. We escaped with no speeding tickets, no car breakdowns, no injuries, …and no sleep.

We laughed, we shopped, we dined,
At least until my cc was declined. (cough, Arizona!)
We drove, we sang, we explored,
At one point I drove while the other three snored.
We went from desert to swamps to mountain ranges
Looking through the windshield at the topography changes.
We worked out every morning, in one stop, with an Erica.
So thankful to hit Pure Barres all across America.

So, without further ado, here is the breakdown of what went down on the “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip!”

Stay: Palomar (ranked #4)
Lunch: snacked in car
Dinner: Virtu Scottsdale (ranked #3)
Highlight: Corvina Blend, Cesari Mara, Valpolicella Repasso DIC. Best Dish: Scallops
Accolade: Most meal comps, most hotel attention, most Pure Barre attention.
Downfall: cc stripe stolen at a gas station. Fraud alert went off when I was charging in Memphis and Phoenix 5 days later. Had to close my account.
Twitter action (I don’t like to say “tweets”):
And we are off! It was touch and go for a hot second.#stomachfluweekend. (The only thing I had to eat on Saturday was my Billy Joel ticket.) All better, all packed, and en route to Phoenix! But not before a stop at my fave juice bar on Melrose – Liquid.

Phew, I made it past the 15N exit to Vegas without taking it. Phoenix, Jordan, Phoenix!

Day 1: Phoenix! Hula got a warm welcome in our room at Hotel Palomar. Then she did some poses with Stephanie at @purebarrephoenix. Now we are enjoying dins at Virtu on an outside patio in Scottsdale.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #virtuhonestcraft#purebarre #hotelpalomar

Stay: Thunderbird (ranked #6)
Lunch: snacked in car
Dinner: Cochineal (ranked #6)
Highlight: Made friends on the patio, Best Dish: Bi Bim Bap
Accolade: best walking town
Downfall: No A/C in my room, no Pure Barre!
Twitter action:
9 hrs to Marfa = went through my phone book by 10:30. #whosgotastoryforma?

T or F: Somewhere in western Texas on the way to Marfa I got a text from Telcel saying Welcome to Mexico, international roaming fees will apply.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Cochineal Courtyard. Greyhound. Sunfish Ceviche. Bi Bim Bap. (I would have ordered the date pudding but I started talking to people and blabbed away until the kitchen was closed. Next time) #cochineal #healthyandhipxcountrytrip #marfa

What do you call a desynchronosis from driving through two time zones? Marfa-lag? #mustsleepaustincalls #healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Stay: friend’s house (would have stayed at Heywood)
Lunch – Taco Deli for breakfast and Liberty Kitchen in Houston – jalapeno oysters were the best!
Dinner: Barley Swine (ranked #2)
Highlight: Uni, Turnip Soup, Creole Onion
Accolade: stayed in the coolest zip code 78704 South Congress and had a drink at Aviary – wine bar within a home décor store
Downfall: family drama
Twitter Action:
Look what I picked up in Austin!!! Liza and Pebbles are climbing aboard the #healthyandhipxcountrytrip#frenchiex2

Kathryn, Jordan, Liza, and Rashanna at @pure_barre@purebarreaustin Thanks for starting our morning off on the right foot! On to NOLA!!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #purebarre

New Orleans
Stay: Loft 523 (ranked #7)
Lunch – Salu
Dinner: Maurepas (ranked #9)
Highlight: Funny Liza, she was so hungry she wanted to order a second drum fish and a cheese plate on top of our already ambitious order (Tomato salad was our fave)
Accolade: NOLA spirit, live music everywhere
Downfall: stinky hotel and most colorful pitstop: Lafayette “You girls sure picked some place to stop,” we were told by a guy in the gas station lot before hitting us up for $.
Twitter Action:
Quick Nolabound stop for lunch in Houston.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

New Orleans Vegetable Central.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #oscarsfirstrodeo

Vaughans on a Thursday, finally!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #vaughansondauphine

Jordan, Jennifer, and Liza kick off the day at@purebarre_nola! #healthyandhipxcountrytrip#purebarre #weheartnola

Stay: Old Capitol Inn (ranked #5)
Lunch – We went straight to Memphis and lunch at Central Bar BQ
Dinner: Parlor Market (ranked #10)
Highlight: Joke of a bad waiter: If you’d like a dining experience where you ask the waiter for recommendations, don’t like them, order four other things, have him bring you the four he recommended, take an hour to return to the table to swap them out and then charge you for all eight, go to Parlor.
Best dish: blue cheese tater tots
Accolade: best pure barre studio
Downfall: sleepy, empty ghost town, we were rooting for Jackson to be the dark horse, but it was deserted on a Friday night.
Twitter Action:
Thank you, Heidi, and everyone at @purebarrejackson! We are halfway through our journey!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #purebarre

Stay: Peabody (ranked #1)
Lunch – Tamp and Tap
Dinner: Iris (ranked #1)
Highlight: Everthing was impeccable.
Best Dish – Lobster Toast
Accolade: favorite city overall – best restaurant, nightlife, hotel, vibe, southern hospitality
Downfall – don’t need to go back to Beale St. at night. #allergictowaitinginline
Twitter Action:
Stax Selfies! #healthyandhipxcountrytrip #gotmysoul

Peabody Pebbles Hotel Hula!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #memphismamas

They said it was a top USA resto. “They” know what’s up. #healthyandhipxcountrytrip #beatthis #soulville

Getting Buff in Bluff City with Heidi and Jamie@purebarrememphis #purebarre#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Sing it Paul, We’re going to Graceland!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Hi Elvis! #elvisserenade #healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Last Night’s Beale St. Shenanigans.#walkinginmemphis #singitmarc#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Stay: Hutton (ranked #2)
Lunch – Pinewood Social (My coffee drink, The World in All Its Youth – Iced latte, chicory, sarsaparilla, mint – amazing!)
Dinner: Josephine (ranked #4)
Highlight: The line to Jeni’s Ice Cream next door was in front of the restaurant the entire night! We sampled some of the coffee flavor for dessert.
Accolade: hippest hotel
Downfall: worst Pure Barre studio
Twitter Action:
Nashville filter for Nashville dins.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #stilltruckin #notnaked

Traci posed with us after teaching our Nashville class@purebarrenashville @pure_barre#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #purebarre

Last stop in Nashville. Bowling and Brunch.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #pinewoodsocial

Pit Stop TN -> NC. #healthyandhipxcountrytrip#hulasturnatthewheel #lizagotmeawaywithawarning

Stay: Inn at Biltmore (ranked #3)
Lunch – at Biltmore
Dinner: Marketplace (ranked #5)
Highlight: Most passionate servers – thanks Denise!
Accolade: Clean mountain air
Downfall: staying at Biltmore tacked on an extra 45 min roundtrip to going out anywhere
Twitter Action:
Could Asheville be any cuter?!?#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #marketplace#wasgonnaweartiediebutwascold

Fantasy baseball on a road trip is like the garbage bins on a hungover Thursday morning. You thought you took care of it, but you didn’t.

T/F: Liza and I are going to be a wreck tomorrow morning bc we stayed up all night listening to every version of “This Land Is Your Land.”

Our “trying-to-stay-awake-at-noon” game faces.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #alreadynapped#biltmoreestate

Stay: friend’s house (would have stayed at the Clifton Inn)
Lunch – none – we skipped a stop in DC to just get home!
Dinner: The Local (ranked #7)
Highlight: Homemade habanero tequila, Best Dish – Short Rib
Accolade: Rick Alvarez Trio at C and O blew us away
Downfall: traffic – we were late for Pure Barre!
Twitter Action:

Right now we are driving North East on a highway objectionably called I26W. #healthyandhipxcountrytrip #nothingwestaboutit

I81N and I77S are the same road for a stretch. #contradictinginterstates #buckleupvagina #healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Our host for our final stop on tour!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #wonderpiece#homestretch

Thank you so much @purebarre_cville!!! We are ready for our home stretch (literally).#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #purebarre

Home Stretch! Hula is giving New Jersey a run for its money. #stinkzone #healthyandhipxcountrytrip

Stay: Home Sweet Home
Dinner: Barchetta (ranked #8)
Highlight: Signing Oscar’s title over to Tiffany
Accolade: the city that never sleeps (like Liza and Jordan)
Downfall: the city that never sleeps (like Liza and Jordan)
Twitter Action:
Home Stretch Hula and Passed Out Pebbles.#healthyandhipxcountrytrip

WE MADE IT!!! #healthyandhipxcountrytrip#10cities10days #LA-NY

My friend @lizafuller just completed a huge x-country journey with me. I know she joined in part for the adventure, but also because she didn’t want me to do it by myself. And that’s what true friends are made of. Thanks, Liza and Pebbles! Love you! Where are we ordering our next cheese plate and greens?!?#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #girlfriends

The final destination celebration!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #stillstanding

Our “victory lap” class at final destination@purebarrenyc with Abby. We did it!#healthyandhipxcountrytrip #purebarre

We close with our playlist! Hit the road and rock out!

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 9 – Charlottesville

The Blue Ridge mountains are the real deal. We had a few friends in Charlottesville courtesy UVA and Red Light Management. Our host for the evening had just moved there and I really think it suits her Bohemian style. We enjoyed our last evening on the road. Ready for the home stretch, next stop NYC!!

Michele, Jordan, and Liza enjoy dinner at The Local

Michele, Jordan, and Liza enjoy dinner at The Local

Marc and Jordan outside of The Local

Marc and Jordan outside of The Local

C & O boasting their local affiliations

C & O boasting their local affiliations

The Rick Alvarez Trip tearing it up

The Rick Alvarez Trip tearing it up

Happy girls on the last night of the journey!

Happy girls on the last night of the journey!

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 8 – Asheville

It’s true, we finally got pulled over for speeding. This is probably due to the fact that the speed limit was 80 for the first part of the trip. Well, somewhere outside of Knoxville, TN it went down to 55, but Oscar stayed at 80 and they caught us. We luckily got away with just a warning, probably because Hula and Pebbles are so cute, or Liza was sitting so pretty, or my point of “the speed limit has been 80, thanks we’ll go slower as we go east” was so sound.
Our favorite pit stop was on this trip. Right by the TN/NC border. We all but ditched our Asheville plans to go rafting or ziplining or something outdoorsy there!
But thankfully we continued through the mountains to the cutest little hippie town in the east. The air in Asheville was invigorating and the vibe was calming. The Biltmore estate was gorgeous and even though it took a little while longer to get into town, it was definitely the right call to stay there. In the morning we had breakfast at the estate and then did a tour of the winery. Liza and I agreed we would come back for a music weekend soon to stay a little longer. Warren Haynes always does a Christmas show there in December so we’re putting it on our radar. Thanks, Asheville!

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 7 – Nashville

Nashville is doing WELL!
I’d say Nashville and Austin were the two most happening cities, and Memphis and New Orleans were the two most soulful.
We met up with some friends in Nashville who directed us to great local spots in town. Nashville has plenty to do and see, tons of restaurants and bars, and a vibrant music scene. I had only been to Nashville once on my way to Bonnaroo in 2003. The hippy, budget, quick stopover didn’t really count. Now I can say I got a good little taste of what the city has to offer. Josephine for dinner, Urban Grub for a drink, and music at Third and Lindley. It was a Sunday night so our first three choices for dinner were closed (Farmhouse, Cat Bird Seat, and Silly Goose). We’re so glad Josephine was alive, running, and welcoming. Great meal! Looking forward to returning.

The Nashville Skyline after lunch at Pinewood Social!

The Nashville Skyline after lunch at Pinewood Social!

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 6 – Memphis

Memphis is going to be our favorite, no question. We loved everything about it. A Sooouthern city. I’ve been craving a good drawl and I finally got it. It’s bustling, vibrant, soulful, and sophisticated. Our dinner tonight was a dream. I may want to fly a whole party out here just to dine at Iris and have Jeff serve us. Taxis were easy and inexpensive. The Peabody was old-school (in a charming way), happening hotel. Beale St was a hoot. Go once, and then just listen to the Marc Cohen song. I went to the Stax Museum and I could have stayed there for hours playing the trivia game and watching old footage of their acts but I cut myself off after three rounds, and Gladys Knight and the Pips doing “Midnight Train to Georgia.” In the morning we went to Graceland. Liza and I both have a new crush on Elvis. I know, #latetothegame Memphis FTW!!!lizaandjordangraceland

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 5 – Jackson

We are half way through our trip. Just about the time when it’s getting old telling everyone the trip story, when the nails are chipping, the cooler is warming, the lotions are spilling, and the dirty laundry bag is filling.
We were hoping Jackson would be the dark horse in our trip. We were originally going to go through Little Rock, but when I realized there was no way to avoid me hitting New Orleans, we decided to break up the drive to Memphis was a stop in Jackson. It was pretty sleepy, but we did stay at a quaint little hotel, Old Capitol Inn, and we did see a charity walk in the morning. Moving on.
We’re done with my left hand of the trip. Now we are outbound!
Liza and Jordan at Parlor

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 4 – New Orleans

I almost skipped nola. “I’ve been,” I told myself. I’d have just been for jazzfest. Turns out there’s no way I could ever have skipped it. NOLA has a hold on my heart and soul like no other city ever will. I went for the first time in 2000 for jazzfest and it changed my life. I will always go back given the opportunity, and create one if none surface soon enough.
Loft 523 is kind of stinky. Maybe we should have stayed at The Modern. But it was a nice big room in a great part of town.
Every time I go to New Orleans I love it more. And I always have a memorable cab driver. This time, his name was Raymond, my new New Orleans grandpa. We’re going right on Burgundy.
It was nice to check on the city when it’s not a crazy festival weekend like mardi gras or jazzfest, or a friends wedding or movie shoot or super bowl. You go through Gambit weekly and there are still fifty options of music in the hundreds of venues every night.
We hit Vaughan’s in the Bywater, right near our dinner for our dose of a late night boogie. Corey Henry didn’t disappoint.
Thanks NOLA! See you soooon!
Kuffa, Corey, Liza and Jordan at Vaughan's

Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip: Day 3 – Austin

This was another big drive. A lot of the 10 and a lot of Texas. I had a slight bout of apprehension that this would go from the “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip” to the “Healthy and Boring X-Country Touring.” But I trucked along and it wasn’t all that bad. (I just don’t have that many publicly appropriate stories.) The most noteworthy of the day was that we picked up Liza and Pebbles! So now we are two girls with two French Bulldogs. I’d like to note that we are not AT ALL like Thelma and Louise. There is nothing Thelma and Louise about our trip. Please don’t compare us to Thelma and Louise, just because we’re two women in a car and maybe Liza will hook up with a hotter, younger, newer Brad Pitt along the way.
Anyway, Austin rules. We had a lovely amazing meal at Barley Swine, fully equipped with 13 courses, a regularly scheduled dose of family drama, and a cute little front of house table.

Barley Swine

Barley Swine