Jun 252016
 

A few weeks ago my husband rang in a new year atop the 17th floor at Capa. This was no ordinary night or turn of the calendar, this evening at the Four Seasons marked something special – a farewell to his 20s. As his birthday grew near I could tell he was dreading turning the big 3-0, so I decided to make sure his last day as a 20-something was memorable. I love that my husband appreciates the finer things in a meal – good wine, steaks prepared with precision and curated ingredients  – so I knew he’d enjoy a night at Capa celebrating his impending decade changeover.

Inspired by the Basque culture, an area of northwest Spain and southwest France, Capa’s cuisine is inspired by authentic Spanish offerings with a modern twist. Their diverse offerings range from fresh Florida seafood to small plates and expertly grilled cuts. An open kitchen and wood-burning grill allow you to get close to the action, while outdoor patio diners enjoy views of the nightly fireworks at both Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

Critics alike from Wine Enthusiast to Orlando Magazine are taking note of Capa’s culinary and wine expertise, so we were thrilled to try for ourselves. And now, we invite to relax, pull up a chair, as Spork Orlando proudly presents… our dinner. {Bonus points if you can name that movie quote}

Imbibing: Kudos to you Capa for starting off our night with some bubbly, which we followed up with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Cakebread Cellars. And yes – they serve Cakebread BY.THE.GLASS. A rare sighting on a wine list, but one that I welcomed with an open wine glass. My husband opted for the In Spanish Fashion complete with a torched orange and frozen Vermouth ice cube, which meant his glass was never watered down and increased in flavor complexity as the cube melted.

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Next up, we made our way through the Para Picar and Appetizer sections of the menu. From the finest salt to manchego cheese, we feasted on a variety of authentic tastes before our entrees. Here are some small plates and bites you must experience before the main event.

Dátiles: Proof that bacon makes everything taste magnifique. These bacon wrapped Medjool dates are a luxurious sweet and salty combination drizzled with a dash of maple.

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Cerdo: Or in other words, pork belly. A decadent take on an often poorly prepared dish. Tender and rich, this plate will make your taste buds question everything they think they know about pork belly. Capa brings home the bacon with this take on pork belly.

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Cocas: Perhaps the most unexpected dish of the night, but one I’d go back and order again without question. This flatbread is topped with smoked goat cheese, red onion and bacon, sprinkled with a side of the finest salt I’ve ever tasted, this para picar made quite the impression.

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Carne: Beef carpaccio sliced thinner than paper, then topped with truffle and brown butter. A melt on your tongue type dish that you wish came with seconds.

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Aceitunas: There are two types of olives in this world, bad ones….and good ones. And Capa, even your olives were memorable! A super simple, no frills dish that proves Capa knows how to pick the finest ingredients for all of their dishes.

capa four seasons

You could have rolled me out of Disney World at this point, but we still had more food coming. Next up….steak!

Filet: Instead of “Filet Mignon” or “NY Strip”, the steak menu names are categorized by the farms where the steaks are sourced. Their 8 oz. Prime filet was juicy and tender in all the right places and served with a parade of salsas.

Bone-In Ribeye: Aged for 40 days and packed with flavor in all it’s 16 oz. glory. A steak filled with gluttony goodness.

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And since we were clearly starving at this point, (insert sarcasm here), we ordered dessert. Calories don’t count at Disney, right? We were treated to an instant sugar high between the churros, olive oil cake and creamy ice cream. Not overly sweet, these desserts were the perfect ending to a memorable night.

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So if we haven’t convinced you already, now’s the time to visit the brilliant team that is Capa. It’s truly magical.

 

 

 

 

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

Jun 242016
 

The sun is shining, the days are longer and people are packing up for some laid-back summer fun. From beaches to mountains it seems that all of America has some sort of travel planned before fall hits and summer fades away. So whether you’re travelling across the country or heading down the road to New Smyrna Beach, make sure you pack these foodie essentials for your travels.

Corkcicle: Did you know this now uber-successful company was started in a College Park garage? Their Arctican keeps your drinks cooler, longer — 85% cooler than an average koozie, for up to three hours. Simply freeze the cooling core, twist it on and enjoy ice-cold 12-ounce drinks without making your hands cold. Stay cool and buy local!

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Beso Del Sol: Their Sangria is sourced from a single estate winery in Spain, enjoy chilled or use in a cocktail. It’s basically a grown-up juice box – perfect for hot summer days by the pool.

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govino: Originally created as a trade tool to help professional salespeople showcase their wines when proper stemware wasn’t accessible, it’s now become the first and only unbreakable wine glass of its kind to be accepted by the industry. Their products look and act pretty darn similar to crystal – only without the breakable factor. Cheers to you, faux glass!

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Kate Spade Picnic: Your champagne deserves a proper carrying case. Designed to inspire an impromptu afternoon bite at the park or a carefully curated lunch with friends on the weekend, this champagne tote provides a stylish way to tote your bubbly.

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Bon Voyage friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits: Beso Del Sol, govino, Corksicle, Kate Spade

Jun 202016
 

Hot dogs, like burgers, are an American staple – and especially during grilling season. If you’re looking to impress a crowd, or just expand your palate beyond ketchup and mustard, we’d suggest firing up the grill and topping your dog with one of these tasty combinations. We still love you classic condiments, but sometimes a staple calls for an upgrade. Tell us, what are you grilling this summer?

Click here for some not-so-ordinary hot dog recipes:

Check out Beyond Ketchup & Mustard: 15 Ways to Eat Hot Dogs

by FOOD FASHION & FUN at Mode

Jun 202016
 

A big congratulations is in order today for Capa at Walt Disney World’s Four Seasons Resort. The restaurant was recently named as one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2016, according to Wine Enthusiast magazine! Each year, the magazine’s team of editors combs the nation in search of restaurants that they feel reflect the best, brightest and most progressive wine and food experiences available today.

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This is not a list of “the best wine programs” but rather a list of restaurants where wine, food, service and atmosphere are all integral to the overall experience – with an emphasis on discovery – much like the magazine itself,” explains Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor of Wine Enthusiast.  “There’s an incredible amount of diversity and experimentation happening with wine in the restaurant space right now and our list reflects this variety – from small lists that are redrawn every day, to massive tomes that reflect decades of cellaring.”

Categorized by special features and trends rather than by a ranking system, this year’s 100 Best Wine Restaurant List includes 24 “Classics,” restaurants at least a decade old that continue to be on the forefront of the national wine and food conversation as well as 17 “Grand Openings“. Open since the beginning of 2015, these spots are already enriching their communities and influencing the national scene.

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Other categories include “Tasting Menus” (restaurants that exclusively offer a chef’s choice tasting menu); “Great Glass Programs” (restaurants with exceptional by-the-glass lists); “Laser Focus” (eateries whose wine lists are narrow in focus, and whose staff has deep knowledge and expertise in those areas); “Steakhouse 2.0” (innovative steakhouses challenging conventional dogma around wine-and-meat pairing); and lastly “Not to Be Missed,” restaurants who simply defy category.

Some of our favorites from the list include Gramercy Tavern (NYC) and Five and Ten (Athens, GA). See this year’s full list online here.

Hooray for Capa! And stay tuned for our full review of this restaurant that’s situated on the 17th floor of the happiest place on earth.

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Jun 192016
 

In 2007 during a spring break in LA, I stumbled upon the most magnificent bakery. After one bite of Sprinkles’ red velvet delicacy I knew they were onto something special. Fast forward nine years, and this once tiny cupcake shop has now migrated to the East Coast. Last weekend we finally made it out to Disney Springs, and I’m happy to report that their confections are just as tasty as I remember.

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Sprinkles Cupcakes are handcrafted from the finest ingredients and are available in a variety of flavors including Banana, Carrot, Salty Caramel, Strawberry and Sprinkles’ bestseller, Red Velvet.  The Orlando menu will also feature cookies and ice cream, both of which come in a range of flavors such as Butter Pecan, Rocky Road and Cap’n Crunch; and Snickerdoodle, Salted Oatmeal Cornflake and Peanut Butter Pretzel Chip. Sprinkles also keeps an eye towards customers with specific dietary needs, offering vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free cupcake, cookie and sorbet options. During our first visit we, of course, ordered their Red Velvet cupcake along with their Sprinkle flavor and a cupcake sundae – layers of chocolate cupcake and buttery coffee ice cream. Sprinkles offers a sweet experience and one that’s worth driving across town to enjoy.

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We recently spoke with Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson about her process, inspiration and her favorite flavor.

How did you get started with Sprinkles?

I worked in investment banking and after the dot com bust, I decided to follow my passion and go to pastry school!  Upon graduating, I began a custom cake business out of my home. I soon came to realize that special occasion cakes were, by definition, reserved for special occasions.  Raised in the tradition that dessert should be a daily indulgence, I conceived the idea for Sprinkles.  After two years of recipe and brand development, I opened the world’s first cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills.

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What’s the greatest and hardest part about owning your own business?

I would say the greatest and hardest part is the same: growing the business!  We started as a single shop and now have 20 locations nationwide.  It’s so rewarding to see my dream grow. Of course, with growth comes challenges like hiring and training hundreds of people, sourcing ingredients in different markets, and building the perfect store in each location to reflect our brand and the city’s local culture perfectly.

Tell me a little bit about your ingredients, what makes your delicacies extra tasty? 

We bake fresh from scratch daily, all day long using the finest ingredients we can get our hands on.  All our ice cream is made with organic dairy.  We use rich European butter in our cookies.  We use ingredients like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, Callebaut chocolate, sprinkles from France and fresh produce.  We also take the extra – often more time consuming – steps to create delicious desserts.  For example, we hand zest and squeeze tiny key limes for our Key Lime cupcakes and we stir every single batch of German chocolate topping on the stove for 45 minutes.

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How did you choose Disney Springs for your Orlando location? Any plans to expand to other parts of the city?

We have been wanting to come to Florida for years.  We’ve received countless customer requests and wanted our 20th location to be as momentous as the milestone.  Disney Springs is a magical place that welcomes families from all over the country – and world – to create special moments.  We couldn’t think of a better partnership!

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If you had to choose, which cupcake flavor is your favorite?

Sprinkles Dark Chocolate is the flavor I created for myself.  It’s ultra-rich and decadent and our dark chocolate sprinkles are made of fine Belgian chocolate which melt in your mouth!

So grab a friend and drive to Disney Springs ASAP, Sprinkles will be open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight. The Cupcake ATM will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Delivery will also be available within a 100 mile radius via online and phone ordering. For more information on location, menus and pricing visit sprinkles.com.

 

 

Photo Credit: Sprinkles

Jun 152016
 

About few years ago we moved from Baldwin Park and have since missed the bike trail, walkable community and incredible sunsets – basically everything but the dining scene. All of that’s changed since Osprey Tavern arrived in the neighborhood last year. A once barren corner is now filled with culinary creations and intriguing interiors.

Bold and charming, this expansive restaurant is not for the timid diner. With a menu full of adventure, you’re sure to experience something new and unique. We recently visited for their inaugural five-course wine dinner featuring Paul Hobbs Winery. We’re told it’s the first of many wine dinners, so bring your adventure, appetite and friends to the newest dining experience at Osprey Tavern. Here’s a little recap of what we experienced last week.

Amuse: House dry aged beef tartare, american caviar

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Hamachi: With Athena melon, feta panna cotta and watermelon, paired with 2014 CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast.

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Smoked Trout Terrine: Wrapped in shaved cucumber with smoked trout roe and paired with 2014 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. The winery attributes their meticulous vineyard management followed by minimally-invasive winemaking techniques to wines that express their vineyard origins with finesse, complexity and authenticity. Their wines are fermented with native yeasts, aged in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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Texas Quail: With a chicken chorizo verde, hominy, zellwood corn paired with 2013 CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast.

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Venison Gin and Juice: Gin spiced with truffle juice, carrots and juniper drop biscuits with 2012 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

Crema Catalina: Cinnamon swirl toast with Valrhona dark chocolate paired with 2013 CrossBarn Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley.

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Stay tuned for more wine dinner news from The Osprey Tavern, coming soon.

Jun 022016
 

The Osprey Tavern is turning one soon and has lots to celebrate! The restaurant recently took home the award for Best New Restaurant and Critic’s Choice Chef at Orlando Magazine’s 2016 Dining Awards.

On Sunday, June 5th  The Osprey Tavern is kicking off its first wine dinner with Paul Hobbs Winery. Guests are invited for an intimate evening to enjoy a five-course dinner designed by executive chef, Joseph Burnett, which will be paired with Paul Hobbs wine.

Tickets can be purchased for $100 (plus tax and gratuity). Call 407.960.7700 to reserve your seat.

The Osprey Tavern Wine Dinner

The Osprey Tavern

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Photo Credits: Osprey Tavern