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Miro Restaurant on the corner of Figueroa and Wilshire in the Downtown Los Angeles Financial District may look like just another new modern restaurant in town but there is more than meets the eye. From the street, the restaurant is dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers, especially the under-construction 73-story Wilshire Grand Center, which will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. But, enter through the dramatic wooden doors where three different experiences await you. miro On the ground floor is the brightly light dining room. With floor to ceiling windows that face out to both Wilshire and Figueroa, the space is illuminated by the sun during the day. As you enter, you will be met by an elongated marble bar that is home to a pasta station, a charcuterie station and the bar which focuses on classic cocktails. The decor is modern with art deco touches. miro-dining-room Chef Gavin Mills has prepared a menu that is pan-Mediterranean, meaning it is influenced by Italian, Spanish, Greek and North African cuisine. The focus is on hyper-local seasonal ingredients with Mills purchasing ingredients from multiple weekly farmers' markets. Mills prepares all of the charcuterie in house and a board of charcuterie and cheese is a great way to start your meal. Our board had duck prosciutto, ungherese (Hungarian salami, paprika, garlic and white wine),  cacciatorini (dry salami with black pepper), Drunken Goat cheese from Spain, Mont Vully Rouge from Switzerland and Smoke Blue from Oregon. Presented on a magnificent slice of a tree trunk, the board also comes with house-made mustard, mostarda and pickles. Our board also included the chicken liver mousse topped with port jelly. 
I traveled to New York for a big Italian wine conference in the heart of this brutal winter. After canceled and delayed flights, I finally landed in NYC. An entire week in NY sounded great but I was committed to a conference all week (yes, filled with drinking wine) and little free time. But, with one night free, I ventured out into the cold to meet up with friends for dinner. With so many restaurants to choose from in New York, I am lucky to have a local foodie friend who always has a list of places to try. This doesn't mean that we will be going to the newest restaurant. This means that we will be going somewhere that is bound to have delicious food and that I would never have found on my own. On this outing, we went to Maysville in the Flat Iron district. This isn't just a restaurant, it is a whiskey bar as well. Maysville is actually a Kentucky port town that is the birthplace of bourbon. Maysville Food and Bourbon Maysville Food and Bourbon (2) Maysville has an extraordinary whiskey list that consists of over 150 American Whiskeys. Even better, the whiskeys, which come from distilleries across the country, are all available in both 1 and 2 ounce tastes. On a cold night, a little taste, or two, was in order. Maysville NY