Tuesday, July 18, 2017

THE 2017 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL TO WELCOME MARIO BATALI & GRAMMY-WINNING ROCK BAND TRAIN TO THE SATURDAY FESTIVAL


THE 2017 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL TO WELCOME MARIO BATALI & GRAMMY-WINNING ROCK BAND TRAIN TO THE SATURDAY FESTIVAL 

Greenwich, CT – The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, presented by Serendipity magazine ([http://www.greenwichwineandfood.com)/]www.greenwichwineandfood.com), announced today that Mario Batali will be appearing at the Festival, conducting a cooking demo, a book signing and meeting attendees at the event’s festivities on Saturday, September 23, at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

“As a partner in Tarry Lodge in Westport and Port Chester, Mario Batali is no stranger to the incredible culinary talents in our area,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Unger Media and the 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival.  “We are thrilled to welcome him to the Festival for the first time, and announce the Mario Batali Foundation (MBF) as the event’s primary beneficiary. We are proud to help raise awareness and funds for this wonderful organization that strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for.”

“I’m excited to be part of this year’s fun lineup of talent and especially honored to have MBF be this year’s main beneficiary,” said Batali.  “The festival’s support of feeding, educating and encouraging children speaks volumes of their commitment to supporting their community.”

Additionally, the festival announced that platinum-selling rock band Train (“Play That Song,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “Hey Soul Sister” and “Meet Virginia”) will be the event’s headlining musical performance.

“We have been so lucky over the past seven years to host amazing musical talent at the Festival, and this year the tradition continues with Train,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Unger Media and the Founder & CEO of the 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival.  “In addition to their celebrated musical careers, they are foodies with their own chocolate brand and wine label. They’re a perfect fit to close out our seventh year of festivities!”

Saturday is the heart of the 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, celebrating food, beverage and music.  The Grand Tasting tent is the center of the Festival, with tastings and demonstrations from more than 150+ of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits experts, in addition to the Bud & Burger, Empire City Casino and South of the Border Fiesta tents.  Guests can also enjoy sommelier, mixologist and brew master presentations, celebrity book signings, Q&A sessions with top culinary experts, a celebrity green room with live interviews, The Market Place with the latest and greatest in culinary product trends and industry technology, and an exclusive Meet the Masters Panel discussion with Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and Adam Richman.  The 6th Annual Burger Battle, hosted by Adam Richman (with judges Scott Conant and Alex Guarnaschelli), and the 3rd Annual Top Bartender Showdown provide friendly competition between area restaurants. 

VIP ticket holders will enjoy all day access to Saturday’s VIP tent, a private bar, a secluded lounge area on the water’s edge and private restrooms. They will also experience an exclusive dinner, with the Festival Ambassador Chefs showcasing their most creative dishes, served with select wines, beers and elite liquors. In addition, VIP guests will have prime seating for the performances on the Main Music Stage and VIP parking. 

True foodies will also have an opportunity to add a once-in-a-lifetime on-stage or lawn dinner experience to their VIP Pass, which will include a meet-and-greet cocktail party from 6-6:30pm with Batali, Conant, Guarnaschelli and Richman. Following cocktails, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner with table service and premium spirits, wine and beer. These private tables are the best seats in the house for the Main Music Stage performances, with liquor table service available until 9:30 pm. 

The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival will host the Master Chef Wine Dinner at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park by the water’s edge on Friday, September 22, honoring famed restaurateur and author Scott Conant (“Chopped”, “Top Chef”), with special guest Adam Richman and celebrating this year’s class of Serendipity Most Innovative Chefs.  Along with Festival Ambassador Chefs, guests will enjoy innovative dishes, carefully selected wines, creative cocktails and a live musical performance by platinum-selling southern rock band Big Head Todd and the Monsters (“Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior”).

Tickets are now available; visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com to purchase, and for updates on musical and culinary talent as well as the full event schedule. 

The main beneficiary of this year’s Festival is the Mario Batali Foundation. Founded in 2008, MBF raises funds to provide literacy programs, as well as nutrition information and access to emergency food organizations to underprivileged children and their families. MBF also funds pediatric disease research.  Other Festival beneficiaries include The Friends of James Beard Benefits and the Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation. 

The event will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted.  Animals are also not permitted. 

ABOUT TRAIN
Train is a multi-GRAMMY and Billboard award-winning band from San Francisco, CA, that has had 14 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list since the release of their debut self-titled album. Train's climb to the top began in San Francisco in 1994, as the original 5-member band tenaciously built a loyal following, leading up to their own self-titled debut album, released by Columbia in 1998. The tumbling wordplay of "Meet Virginia" gave them their first unlikely radio hit and 2001’s Drops Of Jupiter broke them to multi-platinum status thanks to the double-GRAMMY award-winning title song that spent 10 months in the Top 40, and snaring the Best Rock Song GRAMMY award by beating out Coldplay and two U2 songs. The group won another GRAMMY award in 2011 for their global hit “Hey Soul Sister,” the #1 best-selling smash and most downloaded single of 2010, from their multi-platinum album Save Me, San Francisco. Next was 2012's California 37, which launched the hit "Drive By" reaching the Top 10 in 13 countries. They've sold more than 10 million albums worldwide, more than 30 million tracks, with multiple platinum/gold citations, including 3 GRAMMY awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards and dozens of other honors. In 2014 Bulletproof Picasso—the band’s 7th studio album—debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 and earned rave reviews. 

The band recently released their 8th album, a girl a bottle a boat, via Columbia Records on Jan. 27. Lead single, “Play That Song” had a strong start, hitting Top 5 on the iTunes chart, Top 10 at Hot AC radio, and climbing Adult Top 40.

Train has also released on a holiday album, Christmas in Tahoe, which brings their signature sound to holiday classics as well as three original songs and Does Led Zeppelin which features the band covering one of their favorite bands. Additionally, Train's award-winning Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. released their 6th varietal, 'Bulletproof Picasso' sauvignon blanc. Proceeds from the wine support Family House, a San Francisco charity that supports families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

ABOUT THE 2017 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL 
The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival is a multi-day event that celebrates the area’s rich culinary landscape, and showcases innovation in the food and beverage industries. The mission is to strengthen our communities’ non-profit partners, local businesses and renowned food culture. It will benefit multiple charitable organizations, including the Mario Batali Foundation, The Friends of James Beard Benefits, and Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation. The Festival is partnered with Serendipitymagazine. Sponsors to date include 1893 Cola, 90+ Cellars, Aitoro, Alpha Romeo, Angela Swift of Houlihan Lawrence,  Budweiser, Coldwell Banker, Dacor, Deane Rooms Everlasting, Delamar, Empire City Casino, Hospital for Special Surgery, Marriott Stamford, NuKitchens, PepsiCo, Rudy’s Executive Transportation, Starr Tent, Stella Artois, Tea House Collection, Whole Foods Market, Wüsthof and Barbara Zaccagnini.*  For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Anthem Beer Project- Wilmington, NC


My new hometown, Wilmington, NC, has experienced a boom in the craft beer industry and the number of small breweries is into the double digits with more to come. Being retired now, I have plenty of time to explore the new offerings and one of the first was New Anthem Brewing Project on Dock Street. 


The brewery has a nice layout inside using the existing brick and wood and giving it a warm and friendly feel with plenty of space. 



I had an Imperial Stout at about 9% that was really quite smooth and would probably sneak right up on you. I followed with an IPA which had a nice crisp taste with just a hint of fruitiness. 


I have a feeling I'll be back a few more times to sample the wares. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Equilibrium Grille and Taproom- Middletown, NY


I've heard some good things about this new brewery in Middletown and we decided to pop in and see what it was all about on a Saturday afternoon. 

The design is nice, taking an old factory or warehouse and utilizing the exposed brick and wood. There are two levels, a bar on the first floor and the dining area, with its own bar, on the second. Good idea as the first level could be a bit louder and the dining are is quieter. 

It was quite a bit crowded, but we only had to wait ten minutes or so for a table. I started with a flight of four for eleven bucks, a bit pricey but the best way to get a feel for the offerings. 

They had six brews listed, but one had just kicked. I list in order of my preference. The Photon, their signature IPA at4.8%, which had a nice clean, and ever so slightly fruity taste. Next was the Mmm...Osa which is the Photon with oranges added. Nice fruity taste without being overpowering. The third was the MC2 which is the Photo ramped up to 8% as an Imperial IPA. The best was the Optimization, a double at 8% which had the hint of a sour taste to it. 



The food was excellent. We both ordered blue cheese burgers (twelve bucks) and mine was cooked to a perfect medium while Teresa's came the perfect medium-well that she ordered. She had a side salad while I opted for the fries, which were crispy on the outside with a soft inside and seasoned properly. 

Overall, a nice experience and I think they will do quite well. Stop by and check them out sometime. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival Announcement





THE 2017 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 
SERENDIPITY 2017 MOST INNOVATIVE CHEFS

Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli to Join Celebrity Chefs 
Scott Conant and Adam Richman 

Greenwich, CT – The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, presented by Serendipity magazine ([http://www.greenwichwineandfood.com)/]www.greenwichwineandfood.com) with beneficiaries The Friends of James Beard Benefits and Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation, has announced this year’s class of Serendipity Most Innovative Chefs who will be honored at the event’s Master Chef Wine Dinner at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park by the water’s edge on Friday, September 22.  The dinner will also honor famed restaurateur and author Scott Conant (“Chopped”, “Top Chef”), with Travel Channel star Adam Richman (“Man v. Food”) attending as a special guest.

This year’s list includes:
  • Carlos Baez (The Spread in South Norwalk, CT) 
  • Lisa and Steve Maronian (Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes in Cos Cob, CT)
  • Mike Pietrafaso (Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee in Riverside, CT) 
  • Brad Spence (Amis Trattoria in Westport, CT)
  • Ian Vest (Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich, CT)
  • Marc Weber (On the Marc Catering in Stamford, CT)

“We are thrilled to return for our seventh year, welcoming back Festival favorites Adam Richman and Alex Guarnaschelli, and for the first time, Scott Conant,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Unger Media and the Founder & CEO of The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival. “This year’s group of Most Innovative Chefs truly represents the incredible breadth of talent cooking at the top restaurants in Westchester and Fairfield Counties and pushing the culinary envelope on a daily basis.”

The Master Chef Wine Dinner will shine a spotlight on this year’s awarded Serendipity Most Innovative Chefs, who will interact with guests while preparing and serving their creative cuisine, alongside Festival Ambassador Chefs, who have not only been honored in the past but continue to champion the Festival’s mission.  The evening will also feature carefully selected wines, creative cocktails and a live musical performance by platinum-selling southern rock band Big Head Todd and the Monsters (“Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior”). 
Tickets for Friday evening’s event, as well as Saturday, September 23’s full day of food, beverage and world-class music are now available.  Visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com to purchase tickets, and for updates on musical and culinary talent as well as the full event schedule. 

The event will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted.  Animals are also not permitted. 

THE 2017 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL 
The 2017 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival is a multi-day event that celebrates the area’s rich culinary landscape, and showcases innovation in the food and beverage industries. The mission is to strengthen our communities’ non-profit partners, local businesses and renowned food culture. It will benefit multiple charitable organizations, including The Friends of James Beard Benefits and Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation. The Festival is partnered with Serendipity magazine. Sponsors to date include 1893 Cola, 90+ Cellars, Aitoro, Budweiser, Coldwell Banker, Dacor, Delamar, Empire City Casino, Hospital for Special Surgery, NuKitchens, PepsiCo, Rudy’s Executive Transportation, Starr Tent, Stella Artois, Tea House Collection, Whole Foods Market, Wüsthof and Barbara Zaccagnini *  For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Greenwich Wine+Food Festival 2017 Tickets Now Available


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saigon Pho- Wappingers Falls, NY


Saigon Pho is a restaurant we have passed by for years mainly because of the strip mall location. Friends have been raving about it so we finally stopped by for lunch and now I wish I had done so sooner, I've been missing out on some really good Vietnamese food. 

We started with the Spring Roll at five bucks with a peanut sauce. Excellent! We both had Pho, mine was the three meat special and Teresa had the rib eye variety. Again, both were excellent. Total bill was just over twenty-five bucks. 


Stop by sometime and see what I mean. Excellent food and service, clean and bright decor. They have a website for more information. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Guacamole Grill Mexican Restaurant- Wallkill, NY


Friends of ours have been raving about Guacamole Grill Mexican Restaurant in the Hamlet of Wallkill, NY for some time now so when we saw they had a burger special we decided to stop in. 

Located on the main drag it looks nice on the outside, and even nicer inside with a fresh, bright look and Mexican music on the stereo. We looked over the menus and decided to have a beef empanada (two bucks) and a fish taco (two-fifty) to start with as we decided what to order. Both were excellent.

I went with the Sweet Bacon Burger and it was great. Fresh tasting beef, perfectly cooked, on a fresh bun with bacon, ranch dressing, fried tortillas, jalapeños, and onions. Nice flavor combination and some crispy fries on the side. Teresa had the chicken enchiladas verde and it was excellent as well. 


All of the above was only twenty-six bucks. The service was excellent as well. Stop by sometime and see for yourself. They have a website for more information. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Carlos Restaurant- Yonkers, NY


We got a sixty dollar gift certificate for Carlos Restaurant a while back and never got around to heading down, it is an hour away, but to day we stopped in for lunch. Before I get any further I have to say that if they were any closer I'd be there every week, it was that amazing. 

After looking over the menus we realized that in order to spend sixty bucks we'd have to order a bunch of food, the prices are quite reasonable. The decision was made for three appetizers and two entrees with anything left over to be taken home. 

We started with the Spiedini Alla Romano, which is a fresh mozzarella on bread, deep fried with a caper and lemon sauce. Absolutely amazing.  


Next up was an order of clams oreganata. Now these were a full size clam, not some minced nonsense, with some great seasoning. You could tell they were fresh made in house. Also amazing. 


I had to try the Polenta which was an Italian version of shrimp and grits. Three huge shrimp over polenta cakes with mushrooms, tomatoes, and a gorgonzola cream sauce. Quite nice and I may incorporate blue cheese in my next shrimp and grits attempt.


By now we were getting a bit full, especially when you add in the delightful bread we were served, and the side salad we shared. However, the entrees were so good we dove in anyway. 

I got the veal Sorrentino and it was perhaps the finest offering of that dish I have ever had. Teresa ordered the lunch sized (it was huge) eggplant parmesian and it was also amazing. Some of the leftovers, including two rather large potato croquettes, are in the fridge now calling me. 


All of the food came to sixty bucks, plus tax and tip. The service was excellent, the food amazing, and the ambiance warm and friendly. This is definately a place to visit for an excellent meal. Check out their website for more information, oh and they have a second location in New Rochelle. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Duck Donuts- Wilmington, NC


We stopped the Duck donuts in Wilmington, NC, located in the Mayfaire shopping center, for desert with the grandkids. 

Duck Donuts is an up and coming donut chain with a neat concept, you create your own donut combination. What you do is start with a coating, pick a topping, and choose a drizzle. I went with peanut butter icing, bacon pieces, and salted caramel drizzle. It was bloody amazing. 

We will be back again over Easter break and frequently after we relocate to Wilmington. 


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lakeview House- Newburgh, NY


We went to the Lakeview House a couple of years ago and it was great, so when I saw that they were participating in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week we decided to pop in for lunch today. It was amazing and we left full after having a three course meal for twenty-one bucks each. 


I started with the French onion soup and Teresa got the potato appetizer. For our main course I got the chicken cavatappi and Teresa had the shrimp almandine. Both were excellent. 


It won't be a couple of years before we go back, this place is a hidden treasure. Oh, and the service was excellent. 



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Plaza Azteca- Exton, Pa.


We stopped by Plaza Azteca in Exton for lunch today and were quite impressed. I had the Tacos al Pastor shown above. Quite tasty. Teresa had the green enchiladas which were quite good as well. Prices are reasonable, ambiance nice, and excellent service. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 2016 Photo Recap

The Greenwich Food + Wine Festival for 2016 is in the archives and what a festival it was. I will write more later, but I think the pictures speak for themselves. 

























Friday, August 26, 2016

Habit Burger's New Hatch Pepper Menu




Habit Burger is an up and coming burger chain and the reason it is up and coming is that they have a good product and deliver it consistently. We stopped by the relatively new location in Parsippany, NJ today for lunch to try the new Hatch Pepper offerings. We found the restaurant to be spotless, the staff to be friendly and enthusiastic, and the food to very good. 

We went a tad overboard on our order as we wanted to try so many things. Well, the summer is wrapping up and we do need to restart our diets soon, so we binged a bit. We shared a Hatch Pepper Burger and sweet potato fries, both of which were excellent with a nice balance of flavor notes. 


We also shared a Hatch Pepper chicken sandwich which was my favorite of the day. The grilled chicken went well with the pepper and the sauce. Quite good and I would order it again. 


And if that wasn't enough, we had to try the Hatch Pepper Chicken Salad. Teresa said this was her favorite and she would definitely have another. 


Okay, so we added shakes too. How can one not have a shake at Habit? 

Stop by one of their locations and try out the new menu. You will not be disappointed.