Drinks

There is nothing better than playing hooky.  Leave your responsibilities, your obligations, your worries behind and go play!  This is exactly what my husband and I did on a Friday afternoon while the kids were in school.  Granted, my husband took the day off from work and I work from home, but still, it felt delightfully naughty of us to take some time for just us two.  Especially, time spent at Disney Springs, “hiding out” at Enzo’s Hideaway. Sometimes you just need an escape, and that’s how we felt dining at Enzo’s, an old rum-running underground tunnel during the prohibition era, that was later turned into a restaurant by Enzo himself when he accidentally stumbled upon it. Maria and Enzo, a lovely, Italian couple, new to Orlando straight from Italy (Enzo literally flew in on his airplane), here to bring us three divine places to eat: Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Pizza Ponte, and Enzo’s Hideaway.  All three eateries located in Disney Springs, but Enzo’s Hideaway is not as obvious to find, given the mystery of its origins.  This “secret location” can be found below Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, underground, giving it a very cozy and romantic feel, but also perfectly welcoming to families and friends of all ages.

Entrance to Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs

Our amazing waiter told us this heart-warming backstory about Maria and Enzo, and how their three restaurants came to be.  Personally, I love when Disney does this with its establishments.  It makes the dining experience even more special (that might be my own opinion, but I am a storyteller after all).  Rumor has it that the original concept of this speakeasy included a password-only entrance; hence, the window in the top-center of the door.  The idea was scrapped, but the door remains.

Enzo’s Hideaway Speakeasy-Style Door

Once inside, diners are whisked away to another time period, listening to popular music by classic Italian crooners (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and more), seated under vintage-style Edison bulb lighting, at mahogany wood tables and booths with red-cushioned seats, while curiously reading the graffiti decorating the “tunnel” walls.  I couldn’t help but feel we stumbled upon an old, Italian restaurant on the streets of the Bronx or Brooklyn.  Any minute Martin Scorsese is going to walk in and start filming.  I can see my Italian relatives scurrying around their deli and restaurant in Toms River, New Jersey, while I hang-out behind the counter with my accordion-playing, great-grandfather who calls me bella.  I’m home.

Enzo’s Hideaway Mock Bar – Prohibition Style
Enzo’s Hideaway Dining Room
Enzo’s Hideaway Graffiti-Themed Walls
Enzo’s Hideaway “Gambling Room”
Enzo’s Hideaway Table Setting

Now, on to the best part of our secret date – the drinks and food!  I’m a sucker for anything with Prosecco in it (Prosecco by itself too), so, it didn’t take long for me to notice the Luciano Spritz on the menu, made with Solerno Blood Orange, Aperol, blood orange juice, and Villa Sani Prosecco.  However, the Sangria, also caught my attention.  What is a girl supposed to do with this dilemma?  Order two drinks when it’s barely past noon?  Sadly, this is not an option, when picking up kids from school is involved.  I got it!  Demand, no, politely ask my husband to order the Sangria – problem solved.  Enzo’s Sangria made with a house blend of Malbec, Burgundy, Apricot and Peach Brandy, seasonal fruits, and cinnamon spice simple syrup is refreshingly sweet and smooth. It complimented the bubbly, soured-sweetness of my Luciano Spritz nicely.  Both drinks were the perfect accompaniment to our appetizer – Salumi e Formaggi for two.  This antipasto platter is made-to-order, with fresh cuts of meat and cheese sliced in front of you at Enzo’s very own “deli counter”.  The platter consists of 24-month-cured Prosciutto, Salame Piccante, Finocchiona, 24-month-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Fontina, olives, pickled vegetables, bread sticks, and a mustard fruit spread.  The meat, cheese, pickled vegetables, breadsticks were all delicious, but the mustard fruit spread really took me by surprise.  A spread I have never seen or tried before, but can’t wait to have again.  Sweet from the fruit, but spicy, almost like the taste of horseradish – a perfect pairing with each of the three cheeses.

Enzo’s Hideaway Luciano Spritz
Enzo’s Hideaway Sangria
Enzo’s Hideaway Salumi e Formaggi

As we fork-fenced over our antipasto, a truce was called just in time to peruse the lunch menu.  Another quandary – everything looks good!  My husband ordered the Polpettine – classic meatballs with polenta, and I chose the Porchetta and Provola Panini – pork roast, provolone, grainy mustard, pear aioli, spicy cherry peppers, and arugula.  If you like the combination of salty and sweet, this panini is for you.  The pork and provolone was tender, the aioli tangy, with peppery arugula, and a zesty kick from the mustard and cherry peppers.  As the loving wife I am (sharing is caring), my husband and I exchanged plates halfway through the course, as he finished my panini, I enjoyed the meatballs and polenta. The polenta was so soft it practically melted in my mouth, and the meatballs were delicate, yet hearty, gently swimming in a luscious tomato sauce.

Enzo’s Hideaway Porchetta and Provola Panini
Enzo’s Hideaway Polpettine

Our secret lunch almost complete, our waiter asks us if we will be having dessert.  As they say, when in Rome – yes! He recommends his favorite dessert on the menu – Maritozzi con Panna.  Imagine a sweet roll stuffed with cream and Nutella, sprinkled with powdered sugar – forget imagining it, have it now!  I don’t think my explanation can clearly justify how fantastic this dessert is, but, I’ll give it a try.  The bread reminds me of a dense dinner roll that has been dusted with powdered sugar, while the cream is velvety, but not overly-sweet, which makes sense when paired with the Nutella, whose job is to make everything sweet.

Enzo’s Hideaway Maritozzi con Panna

We left our secret rendezvous with huge smiles on our faces, and full stomachs to match.  I am absolutely in love with Enzo’s Hideaway and plan to return very soon.  The dinner menu has even more delectable entrees to pick from, including a pasta dish with a thick meat sauce made with beef short ribs (I’m having that).  Enzo’s Hideaway also offers a late-night dining experience on Thursdays through Saturdays through 2am, featuring prohibition-style cocktails and a special late-night menu (I’ll need an afternoon power nap to enjoy this).  In conclusion, whether you’re playing hooky or not, Enzo’s Hideaway is the perfect spot to get “lost”, leave the stresses of life behind, and unwind, speakeasy style.

 

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/disney-springs/enzos-hideaway/

https://www.patinagroup.com/enzos-hideaway

 

Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, the 26th Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort featured unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by 23 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines.  The evening also included a sparking wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips. 

This year they served over 460,000 individuals and raised a record-breaking $300,000+ towards the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.  95 cents of every dollar raised is invested back into the community to fund critical programs.

Chef’s Gala – what a tasteful way to make a difference in the world!

All beverages were generously donated.

All silent auction items were generously donated.

Live performance by an amazing band

Flying Fish – Disney’s BoardWalk: Chef LT Majoras
Cool Water Lobster and Slow Poached Shrimp, Spring Melon, Hearts of Palm, Shaved Serrano and Cava Vinaigrette

SLATE: Chef Jacob Woolf
Smoked Brisket, Jalapeño Creamed Corn, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette and Annatto Oil

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Chef Michael Gonsalves
Sweet Maiz Soup – Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Spring Radish, Ramp Mole, Greens

Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Chef Jared Gross
Plantain-Crusted Atlantic Cod, Roasted Red Beet and Crème Fraiche Mash, Kumquat Mostarda

Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Chef Jason Wiggin
Crispy Puffed Rice Shrimp, Wasabi Pommes Puree, Sweet Thai Chili

Shutters – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Chef Mark Donovan
Caribbean Goat Curry with Fragrant Island Rice and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Hemisphere – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Jeffrey Powell
Chilled California-Style White Fish Ceviche with House Fried Corn Chips

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Disney’s  Beach Club Resort: Chef David Hutnick
Slow Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Jam, Vermont Cheddar Grits, Barbecue Gastrique and Herb Salad

The Turf Club Bar and Grill – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Chef Dan Marozzi
Pan Seared Salmon Slider – Seared Ora King Salmon, Horseradish Pickled Cucumber Slaw, on a Dill Gougère

blu on the avenue: Chef Tony Krueger
Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon, Dukkah Drop Biscuit, Bacon, Pickled Serrano, Aged Maple Syrup, Flowers

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs: Chef Yuhi Fujinaga
Foie “PHO”, Kona Kanpachi, Shiso

Latitude and Longitude – Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Kyle Anderson
Low-Country Perloo Carolina Gold Rice, Chicken Thighs, Andouille Sausage, Florida Rock Shrimp

The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chef Craig Schleider
Spicy Togarashi – Crusted Ahi Tuna, House-Made Kimchi, Bamboo Rice and Ginger-Soy Glaze

STK Orlando – Disney Springs: Chef Aaron Taylor
Goat’s Milk Ricotta with Crushed Peas, Mint and Charred Spring Onion

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Mandazi

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Isitambu – Zulu-Style Samp, Beans with Oxtail and Quail Egg

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Chef Robby Sayles
Blanquette de Veau, Crispy Sweetbreads, Forest Mushroom Ragout and Charred Pearl Onion

 

Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot®: Chef Kevin Downing
Lamb Loin, Confit Marble Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Eric Santiago
House-Made Casarecche Pasta, Lake Meadows Duck Confit, Local Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto and Shaved Pecorino

Bull & Bear – Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Chef Richard Brown
Seared Shrimp Scampi with Pinot Grigio Butter, Black Venus Rice Risotto and Parmesan Cheese

Cinderella’s Royal Table – MAGIC KINGDOM Park: Chef Axel Martinez
Blood Orange Braised Beef Short Rib, Melted Leek and Kohlrabi Puree and Sweetie Drop Peppers

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company: Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
Made-to-Order Specialty Coffees

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs: Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colon
Amorette’s Petite Signature Cake – Chocolate Chiffon, Raspberry Pate Fruit, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mousse

Gideon’s Bakehouse: Owner Steve Lewis and Chef Nicole Beebe
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie and Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

Epcot® Bakery Team: Pastry Chef Noah French
Meyer Lemon Tart with Mandarin Orange Jam

Beautiful and breathtaking fireworks are the perfect way to end an amazing night.  Be sure to check out this amazing event next year!

(Source credit: Chef’s Gala)

Chef’s Gala – Epcot Showplace
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
ChefsGala.org

At Duffy’s Sports Grill, Chef Eric Parker allowed us to have a sneak peak of his new healthy spring menu insert at Duffy’s Sports Grill and I am more than happy to share it with you all. The new menu will launch in April and it includes Orange Ginger Mahi, Tuna Poke Stack, Burrata Salad, and Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos.

Burrata Salad – Burrata cheese served with local vine-ripe tomatoes and power greens, finished with balsamic and fig dressing. The greens and tomatoes are very fresh while the balsamic and fig dressing adds a sweet note to the dish. The Burrata cheese is a nice creamy touch and ties all of the flavors together.

Tuna Poke Stack – Ahi Tuna tossed with Duffy’s signature poke sauce stacked with freshly made pineapple salsa and mashed avocados, dusted with nori and tossed sesame seeds, Sriracha smear. Although Duffy’s is known as a sports grill, they do not hide from adding new and unique dishes, such as this. I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh dish and would come back for more!

Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos – 3 mini flour tortillas loaded with marinated grilled shrimp, shredded cabbage, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. Make sure you ask for lime as it adds a nice citrus touch to the dish and we all know I love lime.

Also, you can’t have your Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos without some tequila!

It was great having a sit down with Chef Eric Parker and a shot of tequila.

Orange Ginger Mahi – is a sweet and lean Mahi Mahi with an orange ginger glaze over stir fried Soba noodles with broccoli, red bell peppers and onion, finished with pineapple salsa. I am not too fond of the Soba noodle flavors, but the Mahi Mahi was pretty great.

Key Lime Pie – cool and creamy key lime filling in a rich graham cracker crust. Duffy’s mentioned how it is an oversized piece of tropical bliss and they were not wrong.

Red Velvet Mini Donuts – red velvet mini donuts spun in sugar and served warm with cream cheese icing for dipping.

The donuts are very fluffy and moist.

As you can tell, this dish is one of my favorite items on the menu.

Duffy’s wouldn’t be Duffy’s with some delicious drinks. They are adding Effen Cucumber Martini and St-Germaine Cooler to their drink menu. Pictured is the Effen Cucumber Martini, which is a refreshing take on a classic cocktail, Effen Cucumber Vodka, agave syrup, mint, and a splash of lime.

Visit a nearby Duffy’s Sports Grill this month to experience the new healthy dishes yourself.

I’ve heard about Tampa’s Busch Garden’s Food and Wine Festival over the years, but never had the chance to go until now! With it being my very first foodie festival, I was not disappointed. This year being their 4th annual event, Busch Gardens had an array of cuisines, wines, craft beers, and cocktails to choose from with vegetarian and gluten free options available, as well. Guests have the option of sampling a number of foods and drinks throughout the park, while enjoying the animals and rides too; a plus for parents and their kids.

To start off our evening, our eyes were caught by the Char Siu Duck on a Steamed Bun and the Grilled Lamb Chops with Tabouleh & Tzatziki at Field House Eatery. The grilled lamb was my favorite! The meat was cooked and seasoned nicely and wasn’t gamey at all, when paired with the tabbouleh and tzatziki sauce it balanced the dish perfectly.

Next, we visited Artisan Eats, there we sampled the Duck Fat Truffle Fries with Parmesan Truffle Aioli and the Fleur de Mer Rosé.

Coast to Coast Cookery’s Pan-Seared Steak with Chimichurri & Roasted Poblano Hash, Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce, and Swamp Head Brewery, Wheat Night Honey Cream Ale.

Garden Gate Café’s Truffle Seafood Mac & Cheese with Shrimp, Scallops, and Cod in a Creamy Gruyere Bechamel with White Truffle, Hawaiian-Seasoned Tuna Poke, You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Brew, and Graffiti Orange American Wheat Beers. I’m a huge fan of tuna, so that was definitely one of my top dishes.

Now by this point, we were already getting full but we decided to end our night with Chef’s Plantation’s Salmon Cake with Lemon Aioli, Comfort Kitchen’s Fried Plantain Cups filled with Stewed Chicken, and Tasty Taqueria’s Frozen Mojito! The salmon cake and lemon aioli was such a light and refreshing dish that regardless of how full I was, I couldn’t stop eating it.

There were so many other cabins and vendors we missed out on, but the ones we visited definitely didn’t disappoint. From food to entertainment, Busch Garden’s Food and Wine Festival has something for everyone! You can visit Busch Gardens and experience this all yourselves, every weekend from March 3rd – April 29th. Happy eatings, everyone! Until next time.

Author: Melissa Dam
Photo Creds: Cindy Nguyen

What pairs well with a great conversation? Great food, that’s fresh to order, and imported from Spain. Located in Winter Park, FL is an amazing restaurant called Bulla Gastrobar.

The chef described every dish to our table, and I found myself eating food and talking about it at the same time. That’s when you know you’re at a table full of foodies!

The Lemongrass Collins has easily become one of my favorite drinks of all time. It’s the right amount of refreshing, and as you can tell the bartender does not skip out on the rosemary.

Ingredients are St. Germain, Wint & Lila gin, lemongrass syrup, cucumber.

I also ordered the Proper Gin & Tonic. The star anise was a surprising touch!

Ingredients are Wint & Lila gin, lemon peel, lime wheel, star anise, Fever Tree tonic water.

First up was a meat and cheese plate. My favorite was the Manchego cheese and the fresh olives coming in every shape and size. You can just taste how fresh each ingredient is.

Cured Meat & Cheese Plate:
Jamon Serrano
‘Fermin’ Serrano ham, aged 15 months

Chorizo de Cantimpalo
Mildly spicy pork sausage from Segovia

Manchego
Sheep’s milk, nutty, sweet, tangy flavor, aged 6 month

Murcia al Vino
Goat cheese from Murcia, wine cured rind, sweet & smooth flavor

House Marinated Olives
Thyme, orange peel, garlic

Pan de Cristal con Tomate
Toasted crispy ethereal bread brushed with fresh tomato

Huevos Bulla
Eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, truffle oil
The eggs come unbroken, until they get to the table! The server mixes up the dish before it’s served. The homemade chips add a perfect crunch to this savory dish.
Montaditos
Brisket, tomato marmalade, guindilla, tetilla cheese
My favorite dish of them all. The bread was toasted to the right second, the meat was tender, and the tomato marmalade was amazing. Also, the pepper is not spicy, it was delicious!

Sangria Blanca
Cava, peach schnapps, triple sec, strawberries, blueberries

Grilled Octopus Salad
Roma tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, lemon
The best part about the octopus was the charcoal edges. Absolutely delicious. And it was paired with fresh to order vegetables.
Paella
Valencia style rice, calamari, prawns, clams, shrimp, red sofrito, saffron
 
The rice and seafood complimented each other so well. Every last bit of the paella was eaten.
Fun fact: Tuesday, March 27th 2018 is National Paella Day! Scroll to the end of this article for special event details*
Bullfighter
Bulleit bourbon, Aperol, Dow’s Port, lemon juice, cranberry
Churros Con Chocolate
Traditional fried dough, chocolate sauce, dulce de leche
My favorite dessert of the two that I tried. The Churros are just a cute bite size,  fried to the perfect texture, and I’m obsessed with caramel, so the caramel dip won me over.
Torrija
Caramelized brioche, turrón ice cream, honey.

I left Bulla Gastrobar full and happy!

*In celebration of “National Paella Day,” the chefs at Spanish Winter Park restaurant Bulla Gastrobar will prepare massive paellas on the restaurants patio during happy hour. You’ll have the opportunity to observe how the paellas are made and will receive complimentary samples to enjoy on the patio, which will be decked out in festive decor! Bulla Gastrobar will also be offering $5 red sangrias all day long and will raffle off a $50 gift card to a lucky guest. Happy hour is between 4pm-7pm and 9pm – close!

 

By Gina Nguyen

Duffy’s Sports Grill invited us to check out some items from their menu, new and old. Duffy’s Sports Grill consists of 35 locations throughout Florida (including Orlando!) and more than 80 TVs in each location. It is the perfect place to catch your favorite team game or sit back and enjoy a great meal.

Of course, it was after work and the weekend began so we decided to check out some drinks. We discovered with delight that ordering the S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty Martini comes with cookies. Who doesn’t like an adult version of milk and cookies? The martini is very tasteful and nice for a night with the girls.

If you are not too fond of a milky liquor, how about Pear…fect Martini? Or two because Duffy’s Sports Grill offers 2 for 1 drinks all day every day. Music to your ears, right?

Loaded Potato Skins include bacon, scallions, jack & cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Textures ranging from smooth/creamy to crispy creates a nice touch to the savory flavors.

Crispy Calamari is dusted in seasoned flour and garnished with crispy cherry peppers, served with marinara and spicy kickin’ bayou sauce. They weren’t kidding when they said the spicy kicking’ bayou sauce had a kick to it, but is nice with the appropriately seasoned calamari.

Seasame-Crusted Ahi Tuna is seasoned, seared in sesame oil and served with cucumber salad and Soba noodles in Asian dressing. Each item on this plate is chilled and has its own flavor unique to one another. I’m not mad we ordered this dish and would order it again!

These ribs are dressed with Duffy’s Sports Grill’s new Korean BBQ Sauce. The ribs have tender parts and crispy sections depending on where you take your bites. The delicious sauce has a balance between sweet and spicy. Also, I hear it is great on wings when it comes to watching a game or in general.

Of course, I can’t go to a sports grill without ordering wings. This is a plate of hot boneless wings served with blue cheese and celery. The hot sauce here is on the vinegar side of the hot sauce spectrum.

Blackened Beef Tenderloin Tips served with Horseradish cream sauce and the options of two sides. Here, we decided on grilled zucchini and sweet potato fries as our sides. The tips were room temperature, but delicious; it would be a greater delight if they were hot. The grilled zucchini were fresh and had a crunch to them, which was to my liking. The sweet potato fries were made well and sapid.

As there is the S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty martini mentioned above, there’s a S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty involving cupcakes that you could order for dessert. $1 from each order of the cupcakes and/or martinis will go towards Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida!

For more information  check out the Duffy’s Sports Grill website.

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This Thursday, Orlando Weekly celebrated the Great Orlando Mixer – Orlando’s largest cocktail party in the city’s most elaborately decorated vintage venue – the Church Street Saloon, complete with 1920s costumes, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and craft cocktails from the city’s top bars and bartenders.

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The winner of the 2015 Great Orlando Mixer winner was The Church Street Tavern – whose bartenders created a gin sticky, which included Cinnamon syrup infused grilled orange slices and St. Augustine gin blended with fresh squeezed orange juice – garnished with a cinnamon stick and orange twist.

The Hen House at Wall Street Plaza was runner up with an honorable mention going to Prato.

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St. Augustine Distillery provided much of the liquor for the evening, offering a Florida cane vodka, made with Florida-grown sugar cane, and a New World Gin, made with a blend of coriander, juniper, lemon peel and cassia.

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Food was provided by Seito Sushi at Baldwin Park, the new Urban Tide at Hyatt Regency Orlando, Segofredo, and Paxia.

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For more info, visit:
http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2015/03/27/and-the-winner-of-the-2015-great-orlando-mixer-is

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Participating establishments included:

Dexters Thorton Park
Lil’ Indies
Luma
Olde 64
Prato
Santiago’s Bodega
Sideshow
Stardust Video & Coffee
The Church St. Tavern
The Hammered Lamb
The Hen House
The Rusty Spoon
The Treehouse
W XYZ
World of Beer Downtown

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Church Street Tavern
120 West Church Street Orlando, FLO 32801
407-985-5833
Templeton Rye Cocktail Madhatten – Muddled fresh basil in a jalepeno syrup. Stirred Templeton Rye with a dash of the most original bitters and garnished with a cherry tomato. St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Gin Stickey – Cinnamon syrup infused grilled orange slices. St. Augustine gin blended with fresh squeezed orange juice. Garnished with a cinnamon stick and orange twist.

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Lil Indies
1036 North Mills Avenue Orlando, FLO 32803
Templeton Rye Cocktail Vira Jira- Earthy, rich cumin accents light oak and spice notes of Templeton Rye. The addition of lime juice gives this approachable cocktail the spirit of Middle Eastern flavors.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail The Martingale – Nutty, bitter notes of Cardamaro and Averna draw out the flavors of hand ground herbs in the St. Augustine Gin moving the bright citrus notes of the gin front and center. The habanero shrub gently warms the earthy notes in the sumptuous sipper.

Dexter’s Thorton Park
808 East Washington Street Orlando, FLO 32801
407-648-2777
Templeton Rye Cocktail The Templeton – A warming mixture of Templeton Rye Whiskey with rosemary infused maple syrup and fresh squeezed lemon juice
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail The New Pear Fizz – A perfect blend between Ginger and pear smashed and served with fresh lemon juice and St. Augustine Gin.

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Luma on Park
290 South Park Avenue Winter Park, FLO 32789
407-599-4111
Templeton Rye Cocktail A Little R & R – Rhubarb bitters, powdered sugar, egg whites, soda & rhubarb stalk.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Ponce de l’Orange – St. Augustine Gin, blood orange, grapefruit, agave & basil.

Olde 64
64 North Orange Avenue Orlando, FLO 32801
321-245-7730
Templeton Rye Cocktail The Settle Down – 2 sugar cubes, 2 large basil leaves, 3 blackberries, dash of grated cinnamon, 3/4 oz of Templeton rya, 1/4 oz of Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz of Club Soda garnished with a slapped bay leaf.
St. Augustine Cocktail The H.M.S. – 2 cardamom pods, pinch of kosher salt, 3/4 oz of St. Augustine Gin, 3/4 oz of jasmin green tea, 1/2 oz Lime Juice, 1/2 oz Agave nectar, garnished with crushed bay leaf.

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Prato
124 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FLO 32789
407.262.0050
Templeton Rye Cocktail The Muddled Mexican – Templeton Rye, Mexican cola reduction, vanilla syrup, muddled orange/cherry & orange/cherry bitters.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Berried Treasure – Blackberry, rosemary simple syrup, lime & lemon bitters.

Rusty Spoon
124 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FLO 32789
407-262-0050
Templeton Rye Cocktail Templeton Rye: AZ-85 – Templeton Rye, ginger syrup & lemon juice.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail St. Augustine Gin, fresh blueberries & lemon verbana.

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Santiagos’ Bodega
802 Virginia Drive Orlando, FLO 32803
407-412-6979
Templeton Rye Cocktail 12 Days – Templeton Rye, Cinzano Vermouth Rosso, fresh orange, cinnamon, Angostura bitters, orange bitter, and agave.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Aviles Street – Mandarin napoleon, luxardo cherry, lemon, fresh basil, raw honey.

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Sideshow
Wall Street Plaza 15 North Orange Avenue Orlando, FLO 32801
407-420-1515
Templeton Rye Cocktail Al’s Vice – A classic whiskey cocktail enhanced with homemade honey grapefruit syrup, orange bitters and a twist.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail First Flower – St. Augustine gin mixed with homemade vanilla lavender syrup, lemon juice and lavender bitters. Spring has arrived!

Stardust Video & Coffee
1842 Winter Park Road Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 623-3393
Templeton Rye The Sting – Templeton Rye, fresh habanero/peach puree spiced with cardamom and secrets, fresh squeezed orange and angostura bitters garnished with a citrus peel.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Gidget Goes Hawaiian – St. Augustine Gin with muddled fresh ginger root, passion fruit juice and fresh squeezed orange, orange blossom water and grapefruit bitters garnished with a fresh basil sprig.

The Hammered Lamb
1235 North Orange Avenue Orlando, FLO 32804
407-704-3200
Templeton Rye Cocktail The Lamb Mae – Cherry, vanilla bean, and sage infused Templeton Rye Whiskey served over a king cube garnished with a lemon twist, sage leaf, and cherry.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail The Lamb Jam – St. Augustine Gin, a pineapple sage syrup and seasonal Jam served over ice cubes.

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The Hen House @ Wall St.
11 Wall Street Orlando, FLO 32801
407-849-9904
Templeton Rye Cocktail Templeton Moon-RYE-se – A whiskey infusion of organic apples, cinnamon and vanilla. A hen house secret recipe.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Florida Fizz – A new school take on the old gin fizz, with some Florida twists. Made with locally sourced Florida Orange flower oil, Florida honey syrup and of course, St. Augustine Gin.

The Treehouse
68 East Pine Street Orlando, FLO 32801
407-205-2062
Templeton Rye Cocktail Blackberry Lemonade – Templeton Rye Whiskey, muddled blackberries, lemonade and mint.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Cucumber Gimlet – Gin, cucumber, lime, elderflower, and jalepeno.

W XYZ (a loft hotel)
500 South Orange Avenue Orlando, FLO 32801
407-380-3500
Templeton Rye Cocktail Compass Rose – A modern twist on a classical Admiral with rosemary lemon juice and Templeton Rye.
St. Augustine Gin Cocktail Ginarita – A refreshing spring time twist on a classic margarita, muddled cucumber and lime mixed to make this a must.

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World of Beer Downtown
431 East Central Boulevard Orlando, FLO 32801
407-270-5541
Templeton Rye Cocktail Capone’s Hideaway – Templeton Rye Whiskey pairs perfectly with a lemon-verbena shrub topped with champagne and garnished with a torched lemon peel.
Templeton Rye Cocktail Florida Sky – Florida take on an aviation cocktail made with St. Augustine Gin, creme de violet, hibiscus honey simple syrup, lavender bitters, and key lime juice.

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The team at the new Urban Tide restaurant at Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive
The team at the new Urban Tide restaurant at Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive

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Lately there has been a lot of commotion downtown and sports bar, this could be frustrating when you just want to go out for a nice night of drinks whether by yourself or with a couple of friends. Luckily, Smokey Bones have been pouring out some new drinks to accompany their entrees- that way you can avoid all the heavy traffic of one way streets or overly dedicated sports fan.

I actually attended two different nights at Smokey bones to try out their new drinks, the first night was a intense show off game of Beer vs. Wine

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Pretzel & Cheese Dip: Soft salty pretzel with beer infused cheese dip 
Harpoon IPA 
vs. Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon
There was a little of a cheat for this one since the beer (of course) complemented the beer cheese very well. 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetNutty Salad: Fresh greens with goat cheese, sweet apple slices, and pecans and walnuts – dressed in honey mustard dressing (my personal favorite)
Sierra Nevada Kellerweirs Vs. Kung Fu girl Riesling
I was pretty split between this decision, but in the end I went with the wine for it’s lightness didn’t overwhelm the salad.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetBBQ chicken & Coleslaw: super juicy dark meat chicken smothered in the house BBQ sauce with a refreshing side of creamy coleslaw
Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA vs. Charles & Charles Chardonnay
Although the wine paired well with the coleslaw, the IPA just makes more sense with the BBQ sauce of the main component.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetBrisket& BBQ beans: slow braised brisket that’s incredibly tender with sweet BBQ baked beans.
Rogue Dead Guy Vs. Velvet Devil
I, personally, preferred the merlot over the beer. However, the crowd went with the beer – I guess it also made sense.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetDonut: house made dough nuts with chocolate and raspberry sauce. The dough nut was super light and fluffy!
Stone Imperial Golden Stout vs. Lunetta Prosecco
This could also be because of my bias but- I went with the beer for the desert. The stout was actually infused with (shhh) bananas! and I’m just not a big fan of bubbly wines/ Champagne so my heart immediately went with the beer for the desert.

 

On another night, I went back for more drinks!

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 Peach Buzz Margarita
1800 Silver Tequila & Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
peach purée + lime sour + fresh red raspberries + a salted rim

DSC00477Cucumber Citrus Smash:
Hendrick’s & St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
muddled cucumbers + lemon and lime sour + topped with soda.

DSC00488Purple Haze Sangria:
This was one of Smokey Bones’ special mixology recipes that they shared with us (it’s the also the one I made in the previous photo!)

1.5 oz of Viniq Shimmery Liqueur
0.5 oz PAMA pomegranate liqueur
4.0 oz Lunetta Prosecco Sparkling wine
0.5 oz Monin Red Passion Fruit syrup
1.0 oz Cranberry Juice
1 Orange Moon
2 Lime Moons
1 Cherry

Shake together the Viniq Shimmery Liqueur, PAMA pomegranate Liqueur, Monin Red Passion Fruit Syrup, and cranberry juice. Pour over ice. Top with Punetta Prosecco Sparkling wine. Garnish with the orange and lime moons and the cherry.

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill
303 N. Alafaya Tr.Orlando, FL 32828
407-249-2009
407-249-2327

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Photos and Words by Unique Michael

“Men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, Author of The Great Gatsby 

Remember those magnificent parties Gatsby put on for Daisy in The Great Gatsby? On Saturday, March 8th 2014 Orlando Weekly hosted the largest cocktail party, The Great Orlando Mixer at The Cheyenne Saloon at Church Street Station. Hundreds of folks dressed in extravagant 1920s attire and partied to 1920 remixes of today’s pop hits.

If you’ve never been inside The Cheyenne Saloon, you’re missing out. The interior is reminiscent of a western saloon where the winner of a “showdown” drank to celebrate their victory. When you first walk in, you’ll notice the mirrors behind the side bars. They reflect the entire Saloon, showcasing the beauty in whole. As you move closer to center of the room, your eyes immediately float to the beautiful wood floors, paneling, and railings. If that isn’t reminiscent of a beautifully designed saloon, the stained-glass fixtures and windows bring out the real western appeal where folks would drink and smoke for hours.

Despite the photo of everyone dancing and socializing from the mass amount of alcohol consumed, hundreds of drinkers judged Orlando’s top bartenders by trying each of the bartender’s unique cocktails, ultimately crowning one bartender as the winner of The Great Orlando Mixer.

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Christina Eglin of Prato in Winter Park served up some truly dynamic vodka and moonshine drinks. Her original recipe for everyone to create at home is the Melone Picante.

Melone Picante Recipe:

-1.25 ounces Nolet’s Gin
-1 lemon wedge, squeezed
-0.75 ounces Canton Ginger Liqueur
-1 ounce fresh watermelon juice (adding simple syrup to taste)
-3 dashes habanero bitters

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Jerid Johnston from Luma dazzled the crowd with his snazzy mustache and beautiful cocktails. His original recipe for everyone to create at home is the The Firm.

The Firm Recipe:

– 2 ounces Gentleman Jack
-1 ounce Blood Orange San Pellegrino
– 0.75 ounces soda water
-0.5 ounces agave nectar
-3 dashes grapefruit bitters

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Alejanddro Munoz from Kasa wowed the crowd with their cocktails – one even had apple pie on the rim. His original recipe for everyone to create at home is the the Cinnamon Suspension Martini.

Cinnamon Suspension Martini Recipe:

-1.5 onces vanilla vodka
-2 ounces lemonade (homemade sour mix)
-Couple of dashes of cinnamon powder

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Michael Studley from DTA electrified the crowd with his refreshing cocktails – one had cucumber. His original recipe for everyone to create at home is the the Real Mccoy

Real Mccoy Recipe:

-1.5 ounces Nolet’s Finest Gin
-1 ounce lemon juice
-0.5 onces Grapefruit San Pellegrino
-1 sprig rosemary
-1 ounce simple syrup
-0.5 ounces egg whites

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The dancers put on a show, the music grew louder, and laughter filled the air.

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Among the many food vendors, German Backhaus, a German bakery and deli (formerly Yalaha Bakery) in the Lake Ivanhoe District, served up mouthwatering breads, apple strudel, and a black forest dessert.

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Photo by Orlando Weekly 

At the end of the night, the many revelers at The Great Orlando Mixer voted for Rene Nguyen of Hanson’s Shoe Repair as the Winner. His original recipe for everyone to create at home is the the The English Channel

The English Channel Recipe:

-1.5 ounces Plymouth Gin
-1.5 ounces Carpano Bianco Vermouth
-2 dashes orange bitters
-Cynar rinse

Specific Instructions:

1) Chill serving glass with ice. Combine gin, vermouth and bitter with ice and stir for 30 seconds.
2) Discard ice from chilled coupe glass and rinse with three dashes of Cynar.
3) Strain cocktail into Cynar-rinsed glass.
4) Take an orange peel and express oils over the surface of the cocktail, rim the glass using the peel and garnish.

Unique
Thank you Jessica Young from Orlando Weekly for inviting Tasty Chomps to The Great Orlando Mixer!

More photos of The Great Orlando Mixer by Kim Buttons of www.kimbutton.com

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From the same owners/chefs who brought you The Table Orlando, comes their latest restaurant concept—Pharmacy. This 1920s “speakeasy” is now open to the public—if you can find it.

Tyler Brassil, Loren Falsone and Dominick Tardugno have spent more than a year secretly planning this concept that would transport guests back in time to the 1920s Prohibition era. Pharmacy is their take on a modern day speakeasy. From its mysterious unmarked entrance to its celebratory menu of locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted proper cocktails, Pharmacy is a secret place where guests can come and escape to a comfortable/casual atmosphere with moderately priced appetizers, entrees and bar selections.

While the menu selections will change throughout the year, their founding principles remain constant with the use of local, seasonal, organic and most importantly sustainable foods. Some of their recently featured menu items include Clams Arrabbiata, Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon, Whole Garlicky Cape Canaveral Rock Shrimp, Roasted Whole Seeley’s Arc Thyme Chicken and a selection of their own Neapolitan Pizzas.

Behind the bar features full liquor, handcrafted proper cocktails, custom blended barrel aged classics, beer, wine, house-made tonics, sodas and fresh herbs, fruit and produce.

Pharmacy is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and is located at 8060 Via Dellagio Way in Orlando’s Restaurant Row.

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Columbia Crest is world renowned for crafting affordable, highly-acclaimed wines that consistently over deliver in quality. The winery’s portfolio includes Red Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, all of which are perfect for holiday occasions.

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Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to
one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state’s emergence
as a world class wine region. One of the Northwest’s largest wineries, Columbia Crest is acclaimed by
critics and consumers alike for crafting wines that are food-friendly, approachable, affordable, and
consistently over-deliver in quality.

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Winemaker Juan Muñoz Oca comes from a long lineage of winemaking; and at the young age of 36, his winemaking experience spans 20 vintages in five world-class wine regions including Bordeaux, South Australia, Mendoza, Spain and Washington state.

Juan Muñoz Oca is the head winemaker at Columbia Crest Winery in Paterson, Washington. As Head Winemaker, Muñoz Oca is responsible for producing the winery’s portfolio of Reserve, H3, Grand Estates and Two Vines wines. He joined Columbia Crest in 2003 and was named head winemaker in 2011. Prior to 2011 he was dedicated to the winery’s red wine program where he worked alongside Ray Einberger whose 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon became the first Washington wine to be named ‘Wine of the Year’ by Wine Spectator in 2009.

Raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Muñoz Oca came under the tutelage of his grandfather, cellar master at Bodegas Toso winery, at a young age. The older man instilled in him a love and respect for wine, as well as for his family’s Spanish culture, that was to become the root of a lifelong passion for winemaking. He picked his first grapes at the age of eight, later took an after-school job in a wine cellar, and spent his vacations helping his grandfather with harvest.

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Although his winemaking experience stretches across the globe, it is his time at Columbia Crest that has been the most meaningful.

“Washington state is a very special place to grow grapes for many reasons,” says Muñoz Oca. “The perfect grape-growing climate, the best viticultural practices and people committed to crafting the best bottle of wine vintage after vintage is what Columbia Crest’s winemaking is all about. My time in Washington has been the most meaningful to me, I fell in love with the wine and the people, and that’s why I’ve been here since.

According to local historical records in 1857 rancher James Kinney was camping in the range of hills in
south-central Washington. When he woke up to discover his herd had wandered up a mountainside
and into an upland plain where they were munching on succulent bunch grass. “surely this is Horse
Heaven,” Kinney commented. the area has been known as the Horse Heaven Hills (H3) ever since.

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Location south central Washington state along the columbia river in Paterson, Washington, home of columbia crest winery
Size – 570,000 acres
Planted Vineyards – 6,040 acres
Columbia Crest vineyards – 2,500 acres
First Planting – 1972, Mercer vineyard
Elevation – 200 feet at the area’s southern boundary to 1,800 feet at its northern boundary
Soil – loamy sands, sandy loams and silt loams
Climate – semi-arid; annual rainfall averages 9 inches
Vineyards – 20
Wineries – 5 – columbia crest, chateau ste. Michelle, canoe ridge estate, alder ridge, Destiny ridge and Zefina
Major Grape varieties – chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon Blanc, cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, syrah

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“ This Moscato from Washington state opens with aromas of lychee and white rose. Bright flavors of peaches and tangerine are joined by the youthful sweetness of ripe honeydew and are deftly balanced with acidity. This semi-sweet wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a refreshing complement to fruit salad or light cheeses.” – Juan Muñoz-Oca

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Vineyards: Horse Heaven Hills
Blend: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Merlot
1% Cabernet Franc

Food Pairings: Tomato-based sauces
such as Bolognese and Puttanesca, intensely and richly flavored foods such as
grilled meats, braised lamb shanks or pot
roast, and strongly flavored cheeses

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“This elegant, medium-bodied Chardonnay opens with aromas of apple, pear, spice and a
typical Horse Heaven Hills minerality. Hints of toasty coconut join a host of orchard fruit
flavors, ending with a lengthy finish of vanilla and cream.” – Juan Muñoz Oca, Wine

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Interview with Wódka founder James Dale

James Dale, a native of New Zealand, and still giddy from his homeland’s recent win in the Rugby World Cup, sat down and talked to us at TastyChomps.com about the new Wódka, a cheap premium vodka that has made a big splash here in the states. The brand has recently been picked up by Publix here in Orlando, making it one of the newest and fastest growing markets for the new alcoholic beverage. I recently sampled some of the Wodka and I must agree that it is a very smooth, delightful vodka. Definitely going to go well to warm up those cold winter holiday nights.

Tasty Chomps: What inspired you to go into the business and what was the most important lesson you’ve learned from your time in the business?

James Dale: I’ve worked in the spirits business in some fashion for over 20 years and have always loved it (the business and the booze) – it’s a far more complicated business that anyone gives it credit for and there’s a tremendous amount of creativity involved at every level, but at the end of the day I’m a salesman, I love to sell my brands, even as the CEO of Panache Beverages. Lessons? Humility, toughness and respect, this business is tough and it will beat you up – you have to respect the business and the competition but believe you can do it better than anyone else.

T.C.: What are the origins of Wodka and how is it produced?

Wodka was actually owned by the polish government after the war – they stopped making it a long time ago.  We discovered it while we were at our distillery in Poland and brought it back to life. We have one of the original bottles and labels from the 1950’s – keeps us remembering the egalitarian roots of the brand. Wodka is distilled three times from quality rye – its smooth, really smooth.

T.C.: What inspired you to bring Wodka to America?

We’re actually in 5 countries so I’d like to think we’re bringing Wodka from Poland to the world. People have changed since 2008 – people need and appreciate true value. We felt we has something that people really wanted rather than launching something you have to convince people they need.

T.C.: How do you think Wodka tastes compared to its competitors?

Our quality and taste is unmatched in the industry for the price – we were the first brand you can purchase for under $10 that the Beverage Testing Institute awarded 90 points to. Take Wodka Vodka and then taste some cheap vodka – actually, scratch that – taste Grey Goose and then taste Wodka Vodka – you’ll be shocked.

T.C.: Why do you think Wodka is one of the fastest growing vodkas in America right now?

We’re offering something to people that they want and we’re not trying to be something we’re not – we’re a great vodka for a really low price that doesn’t take itself too seriously. People like the taste, it doesn’t kill their pocketbook and they get a laugh when they see the marketing. It’s a recipe that’s working.

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A mysterious e-mail arrives in my inbox one autumn day. An invitation to visit the illustrious Omni Resort Hotel at Championsgate, just outside of Orlando a few exits south of Disney World on Interstate-4. The reason? To try out some new drink menu items on their bar menu and be whisked away for a mini-staycation at the hotel. Hmm…I thought…this sounds enticing…

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On that pre-arranged date, ten strangers assembled on the steps of the lobby of the Omni Hotel, greeted by Ms. Jackie of the Zimmerman Agency, the ever smiling Mrs. Kelly Burnett (Follow her official Omni Resorts twitter here @kdburnett), Director of Leisure Sales for the Omni Orlando resort, and Mr. Mel, head of food and beverage at the hotel. Some of the guests this evening come from Orlando Style magazine, Orange Appeal, and local blogs like ourselves and our friends at MEGAYUMMO.

All of it seemed too much like out of a summer mystery novel to me: strangers meeting at a hotel, invited by a unknown mysterious host, having a delightful time, a lovely overnight stay…only to awaken in the morning to find out one of the guests has mysteriously disappeared overnight and the whole hotel is locked down while an old detective with a checkered past is brought in to figure out the crime and solve the mystery.

Luckily for us, things did not require a detective in the morning. Things actually went quite smoothly and relaxing.

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A beautiful view of the family pool and the golf course at Omni Resort at Championsgate

First off, the drinks. Omni Hotel has a nice little bar area on the left of the lobby near Zen restaurant where a piano player is set up for light enjoyable piano music. Here, the bartenders have assembled a presentation area where they whip out the latest “organic” and “local” creations from Omni resorts including the Sweet Honey Dew Foam made of Monin pure can syrup, Highland pepper, Berry ron-dezvous, Southern Basil Smash, and New Age Juleps. My favorite of the evening was the Berry Ron-dezvous, a very sweet yet also very potent mixed drink that packs a punch right after the unassuming sweetness settles in.

Below are the recipes for the new drinks at Omni Resort at Championsgate.

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Sweet Honeydew Foam
(topping for the New Age Julep Recipe)
Ingredients:
8oz Orange Juice
4oz Monin Pure Cane Syrup
2oz Organic Pasteurized Egg Whites
Method: 
1. Pour ingredients directly into iSi Gourmet Whip Plus Canister* 2. Place the lid on and screw tightly 3. Screw on the CO2 cartridge, you should hear a hissing noise during this
step 4. Shake the canister well 5. Completely invert the canister upside down 6. Last, pour the foam at the side of the glass and top your cocktail
*an iSi canister is also known as a whipping cream bottle/canister
Highland Pepper
Glass: Highball Method: Muddle/Shake & Fine Strain
Ingredients: 1 each Jalapeno Slice
Muddle above ingredients
1each Dash of Celery Bitters
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
.75 oz Fresh Squeezed Florida Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Monin Agave Nectar
Shake above ingredients with ice
Garnish: Fine Strain over Ice
Jalapeno Slice Grapefruit Wheel
Southern Basil Smash
Glass: Rocks Method: Muddle/Shake & Fine Strain
Ingredients:
2 each Fresh Strawberries (hulled & sliced)
3 each Basil Leaves
Muddle above ingredients
1.5 oz Woodford Reserve
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Dry Sack Sherry
.5 oz Monin Pure Cane Syrup
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Garnish: Fine strain over ice
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Berry Ron-dezvous
Glass: Martini Method: Shake with ice & fine strain
Ingredients: 
2 each Fresh Blackberries
4 each Fresh Raspberries
Muddle above ingredients
1.5 oz Bacardi Superior
.5 oz Grand Marnier
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Monin Pure Cane Syrup
Garnish: Fresh Blackberries
Glass: Rocks Method: Muddle/Shake
New Age Juleps
Ingredients: 8 each Mint Leaves
Muddle above ingredients
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.75 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz Monin Honey Sweetener
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake above ingredients with ice Strain without ice
Garnish: Top with Mint Sprig
Sweet Orange Foam

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After the presentation, we were treated to a very amazing dinner at David’s Club, a kind of relaxed pub type restaurant inside Omni hotel, best known for their steaks. Right next door is Zen, a fusion Chinese pan-Asian restaurant, whose dishes were also presented that evening. My favorites included the Chinese style barbeque spare ribs, the Zen roll, and the Florida sushi roll from Zen as well as the short rib ossobucco from David’s Club. All in all, the food was magnificent and the company was great.
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Zen Restaurant  – Pan Asian cuisine


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Seafood Bird nest

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The Chinese style bbq spareribs – must try!

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Lobster Tempura

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Amazing, fresh sushi rolls


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Short rib ossobucco

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The Lamb chops 

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Swordfish steak


In the morning, we ventured out into the Trevi restaurant, traditionally a Italian restaurant, but also a breakfast spot in the morning where they have a full blown breakfast buffet as well as select specialty menu items such as the french toast, eggs benedict, etc.

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Trevi’s 

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French toast

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Bacon, bacon, bacooonnn

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Salami cuts and charcuterie


Omni Resort at Championsgate is pretty much all you could ask for in a staycation trip: great food, a nice little lazy river to lounge in, a huge pool for the family, and a giant golf course, all within 30-45 minute drive from downtown Orlando. You definitely feel at peace at this place and away from all the noise and traffic of the City Beautiful. Check it out some time if you can!

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Luxury and relaxation.
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Lazy river at the Omni
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For more information visit:
Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
1500 Masters Blvd
ChampionsGate, Florida 33896
Phone: (407) 390-6664, Fax: (407) 390-6600
http://www.omnihotels.com/findahotel/orlandochampionsgate.aspx
Special thanks to the good people at Omni Resorts, Kelly and Mel, and Jackie of the Zimmerman Agency for setting up this beautiful event! And to the great staff at Omni resorts for doing such a fine job in hospitality and guest services.

Zen Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Trevi's on Urbanspoon

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