Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 2018 Announced

Okay everyone, the best wine and food festival has announced the lineup and dates for 2018. Mark your calendars and go. We're driving all the way from North Carolina for this one. Plus your entry fee goes to a great cause.



GREENWICH WINE + FOOD RETURNS WITH FESTIVAL WEEKEND; EXPANDS WITH ADDITION OF GOLF CLASSIC AND FUN RUN EVENTS

Festival Weekend Returns September 21-22 and Welcomes Back 
Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to be Primary 2018 Beneficiary

Greenwich, CT – The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo will return for its eighth year, hosting a Master Chef Wine Dinner on Friday, September 21 and a full day of food, drinks, music and fun on Saturday, September 22 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. This year, the fourth annual Serendipity Golf Classic presented by Pure Leaf, to be held June 12, and the inaugural Serendipity Fun Run presented by Aquafina, to be held on May 13, will also fall under the Greenwich Wine + Food flagship brand.  

“After seven successful years of hosting the festival weekend, we’re excited to expand the event this year to also include our annual golf outing and first-ever family run,” said Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity. “Also new this year, we’re proud to announce PepsiCo and two of its brands – Aquafina and Pure Leaf – as presenting sponsors of these three events. Their dedication to the community mirrors our own. Our mission for Greenwich Wine + Food remains to strengthen our community’s non-profit partners, local businesses and renowned food culture. This year, the money we raise will benefit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation.”

The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo will honor Alex Guarnaschelli at the Friday night Master Chef Wine Dinner, and welcome Scott Conant as a special guest, as well as provide live musical entertainment (TBA). Guarnaschelli is a Food Network star (“Chopped,” “Iron Chef”), cookbook author and New York City chef/restaurateur (Butter, The Darby).

“Alex has been a favorite celebrity guest at our Saturday event the past three years, conducting demos, sharing stories in the greenroom and signing cookbooks for fans. We are ecstatic to be recognizing her as an iconic female chef in the culinary world, throughout this year’s festival weekend,” added Unger.  “Friday evening will also honor this year’s class of 2018 SerendipityMost Innovative Chefs, continuing our tradition of identifying the top culinary talent in Connecticut and New York….and of course, we’re thrilled to welcome last year’s honoree, Scott Conant, back to meet our guests and enjoy the evening!”

Saturday’s events take place in the Culinary Village, with the Grand Tasting tent at the heart of the festival. Guests will enjoy tastings and demonstrations from more than 150+ of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits experts, as well as other tents celebrating burgers, BBQ, tacos and more. They will also experience sommelier, mixologist and brew master presentations, celebrity book signings, Q&A sessions with top culinary experts, a celebrity green room with live interviews and an exclusive Meet the Masters’ Panel discussion with Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and more (TBA). The 7thAnnual Burger Battle will return, as will the 4th Annual Top Bartender Showdown, providing heated competition between area restaurants. The festival will come to a close with a headlining live musical performance (TBA).
Tickets for the Festival All Weekend Pass, Friday’s Master Chef Wine Dinner, Saturday All Day Pass (General & VIP) and more will be available in the coming weeks via www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203.588.1363. The festival weekend will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted. Animals are also not permitted. 

The inaugural Serendipity Fun Run presented by Aquafina will celebrate Greenwich’s beautiful parks on Sunday, May 13 at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The 5k run/walk will begin at 9:00am welcoming participants of all ages, and will offer food trucks, prizes and family fun, all to benefit Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation. To register for this event, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.

The fourth annual Serendipity Golf Classic presented by Pure Leaf will take place Tuesday, June 12 at the GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York. The event will kick off with an early lunch, and include a round of 18 holes, exclusive gifts and prizes, an auction, wrap-up dinner and live music, to support Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. To register as an individual or team, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.


ABOUT GREENWICH WINE + FOOD 
Greenwich Wine + Food celebrates community, charity, food, beverage and more in the Connecticut and New York area with multiple events throughout the year, including the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo, the Serendipity Golf Classic presented by Pure Leaf, and theSerendipity Fun Run presented by Aquafina. The 2018 beneficiaries include Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation. Greenwich Wine + Food is a part of Unger Media. For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.

ABOUT THE GREENWICH 2018 WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL 
The Greenwich 2018 Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo is a multi-day event celebrating the area’s rich culinary landscape and showcasing innovation in the food and beverage industries. It will benefit multiple charitable organizations including Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation. Sponsors to date include PepsiCo, Pepsi Zero, Alfa Romeo, Stella Artois, Empire City Casino, Pure Leaf, Hospital For Special Surgery, Lifewtr, Coldwell Banker, 90+ Cellars, Rudy’s Limousine Service, Ruffino, Meiomi, Kim Crawford and Serendipity.*  For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

South Beach Grill- Wilmington, NC Revisited

Since moving to Wilmington and settling in, we don't get out to eat as often as we did when we visited. That said, we have narrowed down our list of favorites and South Beach Grill on Wrightsville Beach is one of our top places. We've been there multiple times and have found a consistency in food and service. Well, they've been there for twenty years or so and that is a testimony to their quality.


I was excited when they announced that they had added a few new menu items, and had refreshed the interior, so we headed down and I had the Nashville hot chicken and waffles appetizer. The waffles were made from sweet potatoes and visalia onions and there was a mild heat to the dish. Excellent. 


I had the blackened salmon BLT wrap and it was also excellent. Teresa got the Maker's Mark salad, one of her favorites, also excellent.

South Beach Grill has great food and true Southern hospitality. If you haven't been there yet, what are you waiting for? Stop by and tell John I sent you. 


Monday, February 12, 2018

Your Pie Pizza- Wilmington, NC


We were invited to the soft opening of Your Pie Pizza at the corner of Oleander and College, behind the pharmacy, and I must say I was impressed. The concept is that you build your own 10 inch pizza, well they actually build it using the ingredients of your choosing. The same idea applies to panini and salads and they all have a price of $7.99. 



If you can't figure out what you want, they have a few signature pizzas, which can be customized. I went with the Southern Heat, shown at top, with chicken, buffalo sauce, red onions, jalapeƱos, and mozzarella cheese. It was quite nice. Teresa had the Nat which had pesto, feta cheese, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach. Also quite good. The ten inch pie is just the right size for lunch.

They also have gelato, soft drinks, wine, and a decent selection of craft beers. 

The design of the interior has a nice modern feel, the people are friendly, and in spite of the lack of experience that seemed to know what they were doing. We'll pop in again. They have a website for more information. 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Benny's Big Time Pizzeria- Wilmington, NC


Benny's Big Time Pizzeria is the brainchild of Vivian Howard and Ben Knight, you may know them from the PBS show A Chef's Life, and it is their third restaurant, the other two being in Kinston. We decided to stop by and see what all the hype was. 

The restaurant sits in an old factory in a section of the city that is up and coming, and should be a good draw to the area. 

Inside it is well appointed with a modern design, an open kitchen, and a bar where you can sit and eat (a plus for single diners). The staff is friendly and for a place that's only been open a week, they have their act together. 


There were three of us so we decided to sample a range of items. Of course one was a pizza, the Margherita, and it was excellent.  We had the chicken fried parm, quite possibly the best fried chicken I have ever had and my mission now is to duplicate it at home. And we had the Risotto a la vodka, also excellent. Add in two beers, they have a nice draft selection including some local breweries, and the tab came to about $55. Not bad for an upscale restaurant.




Benny's Big Time Pizzeria is a place you have to visit sometime, but get there early as it started to get crowded at about 5:30 on a Thursday. Check out their website for more information.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

East Branch Brewing- Downingtown, PA


Stopped by the East Branch Brewing in Downingtown today and it is a really neat place. Friendly people, excellent beers, and nice atmosphere. I tried the double IPA and it had a nice clean taste.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saint Stan's Polish Festival- Castle Hayne, NC


We recently moved to Wilmington, North Carolina after our retirements. Okay, we have been coming down for close to nine years as we have children and grandchildren here, but this is our new home. One thing that was important to us was finding a new church home and we have found one in Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church in Castle Hayne, about three mile from the house. 



Now this church has an amazing event once a year that is their major fundraiser and that is the Polish Festival. About five-thousand people descend on this little parish and I am amazed at how well it is run. 


The number of volunteers from the parish is astounding, and the help from local law enforcement is great. 


Front Street Brewery, a favorite of mine, brews a special Saint Stan's Baltic Porter for the event. 


The food is excellent and there is no admission charge, nor parking charge. 


Okay, if you are reading this now you missed it for this year, but definitely go next year. 


I decided to focus on the people who volunteered their time to make this event come together.


These are the faces of my new brothers and sisters in Christ at Saint Stan's.


As you can see, we are blessed. 













Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Greek Gourmet- Monkey Junction


The Greeks moved from downtown Wilmington to a spot in a strip mall by WalMart in Monkey Junction a while ago. We have gone to the old location, but hadn't been to the new one yet. Today they were featured in the local paper and we headed there for lunch.

Excellent decision as the food was amazing. Perhaps on of, if not the best, gyros this guy has eaten, and I have had quite a few. Teresa got the chicken latter, also excellent.  



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Catch the Food Truck- Wilmington, NC


Wilmington has experienced an explosion of new micro-breweries in the past three years. I have eleven of them within ten miles of my house, and a few more are in the works. Add in the neat bottle shops and we are becoming a destination for good beer. 

Pairing with that growth is a multitude of food trucks and on any evening, or weekend day, one can find one of these food trucks parked at  brewery and I have sampled a few. I caught Catch the Food Truck (pun intended) at the third anniversary of Flytrap Brewing. Catch is the regular truck there. 

I had the crispy fish taco for eight bucks and it was excellent. My daughter and son-in-law had beef tacos and they were also excellent. 

I think I will be visiting their restaurant soon.




Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sour Barn- Wilmington, NC


Running down the list of breweries in the area we stopped by the Sour Barn on Market Street today. The layout is nice, and the design has a nice clean and bright feel to it with a neat beer garden in the back. 

This is part of the Broomtail Brewing enterprise and they feature mostly Broomtail products with a decent selection of sour beers. I like a moderate sour, not too tart, with some sweetness to balance it out. I had the Galloping Gose and it was a nice beer. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Watermans Brewing Company- Wilmington, NC


I have the pleasure of living within ten miles of eleven breweries, with another three coming. One of the newer ones that I finally got to is Watermans Brewing on Pavilion, just shy of Wrightsville Beach. I stopped by with my wife, daughter and son-in-law, and our granddaughter early on a Thursday night and we sat on the spacious porch. 

I did go in to wash up and was impressed with the layout and design. The place was bright, clean, and orderly. The concept is to honor people who make their living and their fun with the sea. Quite tastefully done. 

I decided on a flight of five for eight bucks and was quite pleased with the offerings. The one that impressed me the most, and I will stop by for a growler soon, was the Bar Pilot IPA at 7.1%. 


I ordered the burger at just under ten bucks and it was very good. I had a voice of sides and went with the homemade chips with a ranch dressing. My son-in-law had a tuna sandwich that he said was excellent. Natalie had the children's chicken fingers and the rest had a burger. Everyone left full and happy.

The service was excellent and friendly. When I asked for a sticker, I collect them from all of the places I visit, the waitress said they were out and went to her car to get one of her own for me. 

Check out Watermans Brewing and see what I mean. I might run into you there. 


Sunday, September 24, 2017