Jul 092017
 

What’s more luxurious (and fun) than a champagne dinner at the Four Seasons? Yea, we can’t think of anything either! Last week we were fortunate enough to attend a special Louis Roederer champagne dinner at Capa celebrating the resort’s third birthday. The five-course dinner featured rare pairings, including Cristal and Cristal Rosé.

four seasons

A good night always starts AND ends with champagne…..the evening’s stellar lineup below.

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Amuse Bouche

  • Zanahoria PB&J, Foie Terrine Tetilla, Cheese Puff Fingerlings, Smoked Crema, Caviar – so many fun bites to start off the meal, especially all the caviar!
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier NV – super tasty and available for about $50 bucks from a wine shop, well worth the money.

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Primero

  • Lobster with turnips, ponzu vinaigrette and lardo – lobster and champagne, the ultimate and perfect pairing.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier NV

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Segundo

  • Oxtail Consommé, A5 wagyu and artichoke – always a treat to taste some of the finest wagyu on earth.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Nature 2009 (zero dosage) – bone dry, but still delicate, so obsessed with this sparkler!

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Tercero

  • Salmon, burnt leek and champagne sabayon – because when you’re drinking champagne, why not also make it a main ingredient in a dish too.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Rosé 2011 – takes the whole “Rosé All Day” thing to another level, I must find a bigger champagne budget so I can order more bottles for myself.

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Entrante

  • Braised Veal with potato and truffle – fork tender and exploding with goodness, this main dish was fabulous.
  • Cristal, Brut 2009 – see comment above about needing a bigger champagne budget. I’m still dreaming about this elegant champagne in my sleep. Maybe someday I’ll have the chance to enjoy it again.

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Postre

  • Turron Helado, apricot, currant and pistachio – every single morsel of dessert that their pastry chef has ever created is divine. This dessert was no exception, the right ending to an evening of bubbly and gourmet fare.
  • Cristal, Brut Rosé 2007 – Vintage. Bubbly. Rosé. No better way to end an evening.

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And then we called Uber. The end!

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Capa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jul 092017
 

More than just churros and chicken fingers, Disney’s culinary scene continues to evolve and serve up some incredible experiences. This year, the Walt Disney World Resort chefs launched a new dinner series to showcase the talents of the culinary team featuring unique creations and wine pairings. Continuing throughout 2017, “Delicious Disney, A Chef Series” features storytelling with food. These dinners allow guests to experience exceptional cuisine in an atmosphere of pure Disney magic.

Last week we were invited to experience an incredible five-course wine dinner in celebration of Ratatouille’s 10th anniversary. French-themed of course, the evening started with a French 75 and ended with a hand-painted, white chocolate Remy! One of Disney’s best qualities – attention to detail – is on full display during these events. Don’t miss your chance to dine inside Golden Oak and enjoy a memorable evening full of incredible cuisine and wine pairings. Here’s a little taste of what we experienced during our dinner!

  • We started off the evening with a beautiful French 75 and hors d’oeuvres before being seated in the main dining room.

golden oak disney

  • Accompanied by Canard-Duchêne Champagne, our first course was a delicate roasted mushroom with cheese and a rosemary espuma. These food-friendly bubbles were the perfect accessory to our Amuse-Bouche.

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  • Next up, potato-leek soup paired with Domaine Louis Moreau “Vaillons”, Chablis 1er Cru. A lovely pairing and one of my favorite wines from the evening – I’ll take a whole case please!

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  • We then moved to Hokkaido scallops with artichoke, baby leek and caviar. Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc was poured for yet another fabulous pairing.

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  • For the last course pre-dessert we had Colorado Lamb with (of course) Ratatouille. The true star of the dinner in multiple ways, this authentic accompaniment was stellar. As expected, the 2009 Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien was a treat to experience!

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  • In true Disney style we ended the meal with an impressive dessert adorned with a chocolate laced Eiffel Towel. And to really outdo themselves, a surprise dessert was brought out, which included a hand-painted white chocolate Remy which was presented in a dramatic fashion across the dining room. The Sauternes was then poured and the fun continued throughout the final course.

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If you haven’t experienced the finer side of Disney dining yet, you’re missing out on one of The City Beautiful’s culinary gems. See the schedule below for the rest of 2017. All reservations may be booked by calling 407.939.5773 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

July 19th at 6:30pm 
Enjoy the exotic and exquisite tastes of a journey Under the Sea
Featuring Flying Fish’s Timothy Majoras and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak

August 16th at 6:30pm 
A Walk around the World with Disney
Featuring Culinary Director Edwin Wronski and the Flavor Lab Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak

 

Jul 092017
 

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando recently debuted a new weekly themed dinner show, Caribbean Carnaval, featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet and high-energy, live entertainment for the entire family. You’ll be immediately greeted by the sights and sounds of a party in paradise. Accompanied by stilt walkers and acrobatic dancers, the evening’s lively hosts take you on a flavorful, musical tour through the Caribbean.

loews universal

“The addition of Caribbean Carnaval takes our guest experience to a new level,” says Barb Bowden, complex managing director for Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. “Our team set out to create an evening filled with food, fun and celebration. Guests can savor an amazing array of Caribbean-inspired food and drink one minute, then be on their feet doing the limbo next.”

loews universal

Experience authentic Caribbean dishes and drinks, including Planter’s Punch, mojo roasted suckling pig, ropa vieja, jerk chicken, grilled snapper, Caribbean rum cake and guava flan. A colorful cast of characters provides exciting live entertainment as they take you on a musical voyage from Florida through the Bahamas with stops in Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.

loews universal

Caribbean Carnaval takes place every Wednesday night in the resort’s outdoor pavilion, Cayman Court. Seating begins at 6 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Tickets are $69 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-9. Children under 3 are complimentary. Price includes gratuity, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, beer and Planter’s Punch. Tax and ticketing fees apply.

For reservations, call 407-503-DINE (3463) or visit caribbeancarnaval.eventbrite.com.

PS: In case you missed our post on Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls, see more on this rum filled spot here!

Jun 272017
 

It’s that time of year again! Where Orlando residents complain endlessly about the blistering heat and pine for bearable outdoor weather. Coming to our rescue is Blue Bunny ice cream with its first-ever ice cream sandwich food truck concept! This new dessert truck is serving up gourmet, customizable ice cream cookie sandwiches throughout Orlando and Tampa.

blue bunny

This fun experience is more than just a food truck and features fresh-baked cookies with endless options to customize your sweet treat. The truck features four flavors of cookies fresh baked to order and a variety of ice cream flavor and topping combinations. Start with vanilla or chocolate ice cream and add sprinkles, candy or mixed nuts to name a few. Here’s some crazy combinations we’d recommend for your own cool sandwich!

blue bunny

  • Sweet Mix Up: Half chocolate chocolate chip and half peanut butter cookie filled with vanilla ice cream, rolled in Oreos and drizzled with caramel sauce
  • The Blondie: Sugar cookies with vanilla ice cream and Heath crumbs mixed with chocolate chips
  • Chocolate All Day: Chocolate chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice cream rolled in Oreos, chocolate chips and drizzled with chocolate sauce

Sprinkled throughout town, these trucks are located near sporting events, gathering for a community event or simply running errands. It’s a fun mid-day break that brings new meaning to the term “pop-up.” Orlando, along with Phoenix, Ariz., is one of only two cities to enjoy this new ice cream sandwich truck concept! Clearly, the bunny understands how much The City Beautiful needs an ice cream fix! Find the next ice cream spot @BlueBunnyTruck on Twitter and Instagram, and see all event listings at http://bluebunnytruck.com/events.

blue bunny

And if you miss the trucks around town, you can find plenty of cold sweet options in stores around town. Bring on the heat summertime, you don’t stand a chance with ice cream in hand.

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This post was sponsored by Blue Bunny, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.

Jun 262017
 

Is it even a weekend if brunch isn’t involved? Call your friends and meet up at The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park for southern fare, cocktails and bacon. The pig’s new location (in the old Cask & Larder spot) is perfect for Sunday brunch with your BFF or a larger group for celebrations big and small. Between sparkling wine and decadent french toast, this Winter Park brunch does not disappoint. Here’s what we’d recommend ordering during your next Sunday visit to The Ravenous Pig.

  • Pimento Cheese: With ham jam and pretzel bread, is there anything better than pimento cheese smothered on a salty carb? We checked. And nope, it’s pretty much the best.
  • Avocado Toast: Made famous on Instagram, their version is definitely Insta worthy. It’s topped with pickled mango, roasted chicken, cheddar and perfect egg.

the ravenous pig

  • Crab Cake Benedict: With house-made English muffins, a comeback hollandaise and pickled green strawberries.
  • French Toast: Y’all bacon french toast exists in our town, you need this in your life. Cancel your current brunch plans and put this dish in your weekend rotation, it’s topped with coconut whipped cream and wrapped in BACON.

the ravenous pig

  • Order a side of truffle fries, these seasoned potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any sparkling wine on the menu, but we’d recommend J.B. Adam, Brut Rosé, Cremant d’Alsace by the glass. This wine is made in the same style as Champagne, so you’re pretty close to the real deal, but it’s a few dollars cheaper than the king of bubbles. Looking for the real deal though? Order a bottle of  the Schramsberg or Ruinart and share with the table.

Is it the weekend yet?

the ravenous pig

the ravenous pig

The Ravenous Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jun 252017
 

Cooper’s Hawk recently hosted a collaborative four-course dinner and wine event with Jeremy Ford for their wine club members and we were lucky enough to attend. Jeremy Ford was the 2016 winner of “Top Chef” so this was an event where we cleared our calendars to attend.

cooper's hawk

If you haven’t been to a Cooper’s Hawk, it’s worth a visit the next time you’re looking to try something new. We were impressed with the concept which pairs (no pun intended) a combination of restaurant, winery, and artisanal retail market concepts. The wine program at Cooper’s Hawk features an easy to navigate wine list and, actually, has one of the largest wine clubs in America. Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club offers its members exclusive wines, events and other privileges, such as this Dinner with a “Top Chef”.

cooper's hawk

Chef Jeremy created a menu inspired by the season bringing new and fresh ingredients to the table. The first course was fresh mozzarella cheese with Togarashi, Ponzu and covered in warm buttery goodness. The oak and citrus notes of Cooper’s Hawk Lux Chardonnay was a great accomplice to the first course. The second course was a light and flaky roasted Halibut with asparagus, morel mushrooms and chopped pistachio. The third course really covered some ground with a bone-in crispy short Rib and polenta fries paired with Cooper’s Hawk Lux Meritage. For dessert Jeremy highlighted strawberries as the star of this course with a Strawberry Sundae accompanied with Kaffir Lime Meringue.

cooper's hawk

cooper's hawk

We also had the opportunity to meet Master Sommelier Emily Wines, she recently joined the Copper’s Hawk Team as Vice President of Wine and Beverage Experience. We enjoyed speaking with Emily at the event and are very excited to see what she has in store for the future of Copper’s Hawk wine program. The brand recently launched a collaborative Pinot Noir Rosé with Food Network Chef, Tyler Florence. The wine is a limited production blend made exclusively for the company’s 250,000-plus Wine Club members as the “Wine of the Month”. This collaboration wine can be sampled by the glass in Cooper’s Hawk tasting rooms and restaurants. Happy rosé season!

cooper's hawk

 

 

 

Jun 252017
 

ICYMI: Hawkers is opening a second Central Florida location in Windermere. Located within Tavistock’s newest development currently under construction at The Grove, Hawkers will occupy 4,500 square feet of ground floor space within the 31,500-square-foot, mixed-use building. Since the brand’s inception in 2011 with the Orlando – Mills 50 location, Hawkers has opened three additional Florida locations in Jacksonville, Neptune Beach, and St. Petersburg. This new location marks the brand’s fifth restaurant opening. A sixth location is planned for March 2018 in Atlanta’s, marking the brand’s expansion outside the state of Florida.

The approachable menu changes with the seasons and features house favorites such as Roti Canai and Pad Thai (my favorite menu item). Signatures rank among the favorites with items including Lettuce Wraps and the Po Po Lo’s Curry (a passed-down vegetable and protein curry dish), which uses a recipe given by Founder Allen Lo’s family. Hawkers is also on UberEats so it’s easy to enjoy that Pad Thai in your pajamas – not that we’d know anything about that of course….

hawkers

If you’re up for a cooking we’ve got a super easy recipe that’s perfect for summer. Refreshing and seasonal, you’ll want to enjoy this dish every week! Pair with Snowbirds Rosé from local Chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers and Winemaker Norm Saley.

hawkers

hawkers
Hawkers Asian Street Fare Green Papaya Salad Mix
Ingredients:
  • 2.5 Oz.of Finely Shredded Green Papaya
  • 1/2 Oz. of Finely Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. Crushed Roasted Peanuts
  • 2 Oz. Poached Shrimp (cut down to bite size pieces)
  • 2 tsp. Chiffonade Basil
  • 2 Fluid Oz. Dressing
Instructions:
  • Place finely shredded green papaya, carrots and dressing together in a mixing bowl and blend together
  • Add the basil, cilantro, and shrimp to toss together with the salad mix
  • Plate and garnish with crushed peanuts
Dressing:
  • 4 fluid ounces Water
  • 8 fluid ounces Lemon-Lime Soda
  • 3 fluid ounces Fish Sauce (recommended Squid Brand)
  • 6 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Paste (Sambal Olek)
Instructions:
  • On the stovetop, slightly simmer the water. Add sugar and mix well until dissolved
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the liquid to a cold mixing bowl
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well
  • Cover and let sit in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!