Piccolo Mondo Celebrates 35 Years with Another Best Of Fort Worth Nomination

For those of you who don’t know, I lead a double life. When I am not shooting newborn sessions and engagement photos, I spend my time working as a Manager and Bar Maiden at Piccolo Mondo Italian Restaurant in Arlington, Texas! Over the past 35 years, this restaurant has become a special place to so many. To Owner and Operations Manager, Antonio Capaccioli, Piccolo Mondo is more than just a family-run business, it has become a second home. Just ask the patrons who are still coming back after all these years!


  Piccolo Mondo can only be described as a fine dining establishment focusing on genuine Italian cuisine, prime steaks and fresh seafood. As one of the last white tablecloth dining options in Arlington, Piccolo continues to provide a quality customer service experience all the while upholding the tradition of consistently tasty authentic Italian dishes. 2018 will be no exception. We have been nominated for the Star Telegram’s 2018 Fort Worthy Best Italian Restaurant and voting will end on June 11th!


Located just miles from AT&T Stadium off of Lamar Blvd., the menu is classic Italian fare. Appetizers such as Calamari Fritti, Prosciutto e Melone and Crostini di Burrata are a few of the patron favorite appetizers. I suggest the Antipasto Misto or the Stuffed Mushrooms. Paired with a Ferrari Carano Siena red wine, either are to die for! Whether you are coming back to see your favorite waiter, most of them have been here since the beginning, or it’s your first time visiting, the staff around here aims to please.


 Over the last 30+ years, we have hosted our fair share of rehearsal dinners, business meetings and even surprise birthday parties! Dinner prices range from $15-$66/entrée and we aren’t just serving Spaghetti Bolognese. You will find scrumptious options like Lobster Isabella, Medaglioni alla Cavour, Capelli D’Angelo alla Pescatora, think Fruitti di Mare or even a Rack of Lamb alla Griglia.  Whether it is a Birthday or Anniversary dinner, Piccolo is the place to celebrate big moments. Stop by for your birthday or anniversary and dessert is on us. We’ll serve up Profitterols Cioccolate (cream puffs) topped with our homemade whipping cream!


Did I mention that we have live music? The entertainment starts at 7 pm Tuesday through Saturday. We have a pianist Tues-Saturday and a saxophonist jumps in Wed-Friday. Everything from Billy Joel’s Piano Man to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, a few Adele ballads and a whole lot of jazz fill the dining room 5 days a week. You’ll hear tunes you haven’t heard in awhile like Celine Dion’s Titanic theme or Moon River. The talent isn’t afraid to shy away from a request either. They’ve tackled Les Miserables, Somewhere over the Rainbow and on the rare occasion, Don Mclean’s American Pie.


Around here, we give a whole new meaning to After Dinner Drinks and Before Dinner drinks for that matter. On the hunt for a premium single malt scotch, Louis XIII or champagne splits? We’ve got you covered. In fact, our bar is fully stocked with premium liquors and our ever-changing Cocktail Infusions are just a highlight to the art of Martini making! And if ice cream is your forte, make sure to snag a Brandy Alexander. This boozy milkshake is a patron favorite! With the bars’ proximity to the piano, this space is perfect for a relaxing night cap or an oasis to have dinner and catch the end of the ball game.


So, what are you waiting for? We have spent over three decades providing the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with an upscale dining experience and we would love to have your vote. Click through to the Star-Telegram link to vote Piccolo Mondo for Best Italian Restaurant and then stop by because we’d  love to help you celebrate your next big night! Lastly, we are so very thankful for our loyal patrons and hard working staff for making Piccolo Mondo a staple in our local community!





Travel Guide to Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey y’all!! We are back with our 2nd Edition of our Travel Guides on the Blog! You all loved our Girl’s Guide to an East Coast Trip so much that we decided to add another Guide to the series. A little over a month ago now, Tiffany,  of Wanderlust Floral Designs, and I made our way north of DFW to Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. This quaint town, located at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, is the perfect place for family vacations, peaceful retreats and even a little adventure. We had a blast exploring McCurtain County and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.



Where to Stay: Lakeview Lodge at Beaver’s Bend State Park 

This state-owned facility is exactly what your family is looking for. Each room has a gorgeous view of the lake from your very own balcony. Continental breakfast is included and we managed to snag a Groupon for our stay which made it Uber affordable, around $50/night. For more information on how to stay here, give the front desk a call at (580) 494 6179 or head to TravelOK.com. Word to the Wise: Beware of Spring Break!



Where to Stay: Rent a Cabin for the Week

Though we did not opt for a cabin, we were lucky enough to meet some locals and check out their digs during our stay. Jerry Isbell of Mountain Vista Luxury Cabins was nice enough to offer up some information on how to rent a cabin/cabins in the Broken Bow area. We encourage you to download their app and check out their Blog for more information on this versatile area.

Jerry & Sherri Isbell
Mountain Vista Luxury Cabin
Where to Eat: Grateful Head
I will head back to this place every time I am in the area. This hippie shack, located about a mile from Lakeview Lodge, is the ultimate hangout for friends and family. The walls are decorated with Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead memorabilia, as well as a few bobcats hanging from the ceiling. An outdoor patio with thousands of twinkly lights and space heaters makes it the ultimate oasis for anyone looking for a good beer and some really fantastic wood-fired pizza. Bands play out on the deck and the gift shop offers the absolute softest t-shirts around if you are in need of a souvenir. We recommend the Psychedelic Supremo or the Tree Hugger paired with one of the Beaver’s Bend Brews.
 grateful head
Where to Eat: The Blue Rooster
Located in the same parking lot as the Grateful Head, the Blue Rooster is chalk full of southern charm. The menu consists of everything southern fried; chicken, Gulf shrimp, catfish, green tomatoes. The service was great and the Bloody Mary’s were the ultimate way to start off our trip. Plan on spending your night out on their patio with one of the many Oklahoma craft brews that are available at the bar. We recommend the Fried Chicken dinner!
Where to Eat: Abendigo’s
This place is definitely one of the fancier places to dine in Broken Bow. Tiffany and I rolled into this joint late one night to catch the end of the Rangers game and could not have been more pleased with our experience. Though most places shut down super early in this town, Abendigo’s proved to be the place to grab a late bite and a cold beer. Tiff had the Wood-Grilled Salmon and I had the Chicken Madeira. Both dishes were out-of-this world. We recommend both but highly suggest that you try the Fried Calamari with Dynamite Aioli and Pickled Jalapeno Relish!
What to Do: Beaver’s Bend State Park
This park has so much to offer. Whether you are away for a girl’s weekend, bachelor party or family vacation, this park has a mile-long list of activities to dive into. Head to visitmccurtaincounty.com for all the details.
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Carson’s Creek (great picnic area & marina)



What to Do: Beaver’s Bend River Floats

Near a swim beach in Beaver’s Bend, you can find this Rental Facility. For $12, Tiff and I had the pleasure of spending our day on the Lower Mountain Fork River. Though the kayak/canoe trip only takes about an hour, we managed to make it last all day. It was so much fun and the scenery can’t be beat. This was, hands down, our favorite part of the trip. To set it up, just give these guys a call at (580) 494 6070.

For a more adventurous ride, check out Wild Goose Canoe and Kayak. This company is located a little further out of town but worth the drive. They offer 2 trips, a 5 mile or 8 mile down the Mountain Fork River. One of the tours even has a Class 2 Rapids classification and a 3 foot waterfall, Presbyterian Falls.



What to Do: Girls Gone Wine 

This boutique style wine and gift shop is located near Beaver’s Bend State Park. When planning our trip, I was lucky enough to get in contact with a young woman named Katie who worked here. She proved to be indispensable when it came time to find models for our styled shoot but also blew us away with her knowledge of the wines they had available. She explained to us that the owners, Michelle and Terry, have all the juices for the wine shipped to them and then they actually ferment their own wine! So, of course, we had to have a tasting.

Each variety and blend is innovative and a few of their wines have proceeds that help out local charities. The B’Ark is a kiwi pear Sauvignon Blanc which proceeds benefit Animal Rescue and their Friends 4 Life is a rose, white merlot infused with ripe strawberries, that was created with a friend’s memory in mind. The owner’s friend, Cynthia Shawnee Hutchings passed away in 2008 after battling breast cancer and these friends wanted to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research and be able to provide scholarships for their friend’s children. Now that those guys have graduated, the tradition continues. It varies each year but now the proceeds go towards scholarships for seniors at Broken Bow High School, where their friend has previously taught.

We could all learn a thing or two from the girls at Girls Gone Wine. We love that they have embraced their community with open hearts and the Pinot Noir Slushie had me at hello! Stop in here and make sure to tell these girls we said Hello!



What to Do: Talimena Scenic Byway

This scenic drive panning over 54 miles of the Ouachita Mountains is the perfect opportunity to bust out that camera. For a lax day full of winding roads and sweeping views of the mountain vistas, head here during the fall. The changing colors of the fall foliage may force you to never leave.



Next time:

So, we didn’t have the time or availability to do everything we wanted while we were in Broken Bow and that means we will be back. Next time, we are hoping to check out the Moon Tower, a restaurant located slightly north of Broken Bow. Owned and operated by Tabb Singleton, a winner of the CHOPPED series on the Food Network, the locals raved about the food.

Another must see, the RUGARU Ziplines. They were not open yet in the beginning of May but we are eyeing them out for our next trip. And lastly, squatch sighting. Yes, we will be on the hunt for the infamous Big Foot, apparently a favorite pastime in this particular part of the country 🙂



What we Loved: 

Tiff and I had been itching to get out of dodge, beat the concrete jungle that is DFW and set up a styled shoot. McCurtain County provided the perfect backdrop for our shoot and for a relaxing vacation. The drive from DFW was only 3 hours and the sides of the road were covered in Texas spring blooms, everything from blue bonnets to Indian paintbrushes. We jammed out to the likes of Trent Harmon, Chris Stapleton and Sublime as we chatted our way to Oklahoma. Overall, this trip was one for the books. We managed to work and play. It is a balance and war to find time to take care of yourself when building a brand and this trip proved to be exactly what we needed. We got a little break from the hustle, a little time to rest and more stars in the sky than we could have ever imagined.

So if you are in need of a getaway, check out this part of the country and we know you will end up leaving a fresh perspective on the world. For more information, head to TravelOk.com or follows these guys on IG: @hochatime (a lifestyle brand) or @mccurtainok (travel info) or @beaversbend (cabin rentals). Hope you all enjoyed this Guide and looking forward to sharing our next big trip with you guys.

Where would you like to see us head next?

Guide to an East Coast Girl’s Trip

At the beginning of February, a few friends and I decided to take a short getaway. Though we were itching to hit up some warm Florida sunshine, we instead opted to see a different part of the East Coast. Our first leg of the journey started at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland and the next day, we headed into the District of Columbia to see our Nation’s Capitol, in an election year no less. We had a blast exploring these two very different cities and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.

Day One:

Despite  the horror stories that I have heard about Spirit Airlines, we snagged a great deal (the Bare Fare, bookbag included) and both flights were on time. Including insurance, we managed to get our round trip flight from DFW to BWI for under $100. To boot, we managed to get a promo code for friends and family of the Marriot Group. We stayed at the Renaissance Harborplace smack dab in the middle of the Inner Harbor. This was a clutch location overlooking the U.S.S. Constellation, the Baltimore Aquarium, Camden Yards and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We were in walking distance of all the sites to see in the Harbor although we did Uber it down to Fells Point for around $10 round trip.

This particular area of Baltimore was the best part of trip for me. My brother lived in Baltimore for a short time when he got out of the Marine Corps so I trusted his judgement when it came to pointing out the safest locations for 3 girls to roam Charm City. The cobblestone streets overlooking the marina boasted some of the best bars and restaurants in the area. After checking out all the reviews, we headed to Thames Street Oyster House for dinner. This place promised the best Lobster Roll we would ever have and boy did they deliver. We had their signature Octopus appetizer, Shrimp Cocktail, Crabcake, Pecan Pie, multiple glasses of wine for around $55 per person, including tip. As I write this, I can smell the spices and herbs that filled the stairwell and brick walls of this picturesque second floor brownstone. Truth be told, those Lobster Rolls very well may be why I book my flight back to Baltimore. They are well worth it, like, the best meal ever.

After dinner, we made our way to Slainte, an Irish pub, for Baltimore’s signature drink, the Natty Boo. Reveled as the drink of choice in Charm City, a National Bohemian goes down smooth. I can see why Mr. Boh has such a following amongst Oriole Fans. From there, we headed to “The Horse You Came In On”. Established in 1775, this bar claims to be the oldest saloon in America. As a matter of fact, this place is shrouded in the mystery of Edgar Allen Poe’s death. It is said that Mr.Poe had his last drink here before walking outside and dying in the street of consumption. (Fun fact: His grave isn’t too far from here, near Camden Yards)  Mystery and gloom aside, this place has all the feels of an excellent dive bar, live music, friendly staff and Yuengling on tap. Peter James, a former contestant on the Voice, graced the stage with his guitar and we closed the bar by the crooning along to his eclectic song choices.

Day Two:

After many an Advil and copious cups of coffee, we Ubered it back down to Fells Point to chow down on Diablo Doughnut’s famous breakfast treats. Yes, we ordered a mixed dozen and yes, the Unicorn Farts are worth it. Don’t judge us. Group favorites included the Maple Bacon, Sin A Crunch and Cherry Cheesecake. Follow these cats on Instagram @diablo_doughnuts to check out all the crazy flavors. And, the best part about this place is that it doubles as a pizza joint at night. The slices are huge, delicious and available until 3 am.

We left Broadway and caught the Mark Train at Penn Station to Washington DC ($18 roundtrip, 40 min each way). Upon our arrival in the Capitol, I whipped out my Canon and immediately began snapping shots of the overwhelming architecture we were surrounded by. A little persuasion from a really good-looking police officer enticed us to take the tour of the Capitol. After our tour, we headed out to see all the sites in Washington DC. We stopped at the War Memorials, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and even got a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial before heading back to Union Station to catch our train to Baltimore. Truth be told, we could have used another day to explore all the sites. We did not have enough time to see The Smithsonian Newseum, a big one on our list. For $22.95, you can tour all the latest exhibits at this groundbreaking museum, from the famous “Letter to Santa” to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, this attraction offers an experience for all ages.

We arrived back in Baltimore around 10 pm and immediately headed back to our favorite Doughnut Shop in Fells Point to grab a slice, term used very loosely, before hitting the hay. Overall, what a trip. Though short-lived and somewhat, haphazard, we made our way to the East Coast, got to eat some of the best food I’ve ever had, met some of the friendliest locals and managed to see two very different cities over the course of three days.

We loved it so much, we are working out a plan to head back soon. To see the Cherry Blossoms, visit Local Color Flowers (a floral design studio that sources local farms) and drink some Zeke’s coffee are on our list of To Dos for next time. So until then, stay in tune with our travels and we’ll fill you in on all the details of our adventures as we go. Anywhere in particular you would like to see The Rustie Nail head to next?!? Leave your comments below and we’ll keep you updated on our travel arrangements.