Wednesday, July 24, 2019

2019 Greenwich Wine + Food Festival tickets now on sale

THE 2019 GREENWICH WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL ADDS ACCLAIMED ARTIST MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD TO MUSIC LINE-UP

Franti to Open for Music Headliner Little Big Town

2019 Annual Event Benefitting Food Rescue US

Tickets Now On Sale

Greenwich, CT – The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCotoday announced the addition of acclaimed group Michael Franti & Spearhead to the musical line-up for this year’s festival.  Known for his efforts to spread positivity through music, Franti will open for GRAMMY award-winning band Little Big Town, closing out the festivities for the ninth annual event.

“We could not think of a better act to kick off our musical performances that close out an amazing few days celebrating the best of food, drink and community,” said Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity magazine.  “The combination of Michael’s inspirational and upbeat lyrics, coupled with the gorgeous stage set on the shore of the Long Island Sound with a glass of wine in hand, sounds like the perfect Saturday night in September to me!”

The main beneficiary of this year’s festival is Food Rescue US, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut, that is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America.  Through its proprietary mobile app, Food Rescue US connects volunteers with companies that have excess food and organizations feeding the food insecure.  Now available in 12 states and the District of Columbia, this celebrated organization completed more than 25,000 rescues in 2018, equaling over 6.8 million meals delivered.  The Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation is also a beneficiary for this year’s event. 

“Food Rescue US is honored to be the beneficiary of the 2019 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival to further our mission of reducing food waste and hunger," said Carol Shattuck, CEO of Food Rescue US. "There are important synergies between our organizations, and we look forward to working with the GWFF to showcase excellent food prepared by premier chefs while focusing on the importance of sustainability by reducing food waste."

"After the GWFF, our team of volunteer food rescuers will ensure the unconsumed food will be delivered to Fairfield County social service agencies feeding the food insecure throughout the community. Also, we will also be on-site during the Festival to share how anyone can easily be part of our smart solution to reducing hunger and food waste using our proprietary app," Shattuck added.

This year’s festival kicks off with an intimate Opening Night Master Chef Wine Gala on Friday, September 20, showcasing the culinary and music scene of New Orleans.  The evening, hosted by Gary Dell’Abate (Executive Producer of The Howard Stern Show “Baba Booey”) and Rob Burnett (Five-time Emmy Award-Winning Writer- Director), will honor this year’s class of Serendipity Most Innovative Chefs and feature their cuisine, as well as select Ambassador Chefs (names TBA).  The evening will include performances from GRAMMY award-winning Rebirth Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers.

The Culinary Village, the heart of the annual event, takes place on Saturday, September 21, and features the Grand Tasting Tent, where guests can enjoy tastings and demonstrations from more than 150 of the area’s finest food, wine and spirits experts, as well as areas devoted to the best in burgers, BBQ, tacos and more.  The 8th Annual Burger Battle and 6th Annual Top Bartender Showdown will also return, providing friendly competition between area restaurants and bars.  Guests will experience sommelier, mixologist and brew master presentations, celebrity book signings, cooking demos with Special Guest Chefs, a celebrity green room with live interviews, an exclusive Meet the Masters panel discussion, The Tailgate Party with The Ultimate Taco, Burgers & Beers, and Grill Masters & BBQ. VIP ticket holders will also be treated to an exceptional dinner, prepared by Festival Ambassador Chefs in a special waterside tented area.  Confirmed celebrity talent includes Emmy Award-winner Valerie Bertinelli (Food Network’s Valerie’s Home Cooking), Geoffrey Zakarian (Chef/Partner The Lambs Club at The Chatwal and Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort, Co-Host of Food Network’s The Kitchen and Judge on Chopped), Margaret Zakarian (President of Zakarian Hospitality), Marc Murphy (Food Network’s Chopped), Jessica Tom (Food Network Star season 14 winner), David Rose (Food Network Star season 13 finalist) and caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani (Mary Giuliani Catering & Events).  Michael Franti & Spearhead and Little Big Town will close out the 2019 event with live musical performances on the Pepsi stage.

Tickets for the event are available via www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203.588.1363.  Ticket options include the All Weekend Pass ($700), Friday’s Opening Night Master Chef Wine Gala ($275), Saturday All Day Pass ($200) and Saturday VIP Pass ($500).  On-Stage and Lawn Dinner Tables are sold out, but to be added to the waitlist, please call 203-588-1363. 

The Festival weekend will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or children in strollers, will not be admitted. Pets are also not permitted.

ABOUT MICHAEL FRANTI
Michael Franti believes that there is a great battle taking place in the world today between cynicism and optimism, so he made his most recent album, Stay Human Vol. II, to remind himself and anyone else who’s listening, that there is still good in the world and that it is worth fighting for. The album has seen extensive critical acclaim from USA TodayBillboard, the Associated Press, Relix and many more, and soared to the top of the charts, reaching #1 on theBillboard Independent Album Sales chart and the iTunes Top Albums Singer/Songwriter (in the U.S. and Australia). The songs on Stay Human Vol. IIwere inspired by Franti’s new self-directed documentary Stay Human, which recently won an array of awards on the film festival circuit. Stay Human features “heroic everyday people” whose stories have inspired the singer, activist and yoga practitioner during his travels around the world. Stay Human Vol. II is the 10th LP from Michael Franti & Spearhead, following three consecutive albums that climbed into the top 5 on the Billboard Rock Albums Chart. Franti has also charted five singles in the top 30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart and had eight songs reach the top 25 on the Triple-A Chart. His hit, “Say Hey (I Love You)” has accumulated more than 2 million downloads worldwide. Franti also had a #1 hit single with his 2010 song “The Sound of Sunshine.” The most recent album and film are both part of a multi-pronged effort to spread positivity through Franti’s music, the Soulshine Bali hotel that he built as a home for yoga destination retreats, and Do It For The Love, a non-profit he and his wife, Sara Agah Franti, founded in 2013 to bring people living with life-threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges and wounded veterans to live concerts. To date, Do It For The Love has granted more than 2,000 wishes with the support of more than 100 artists.

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 GWF Golf Classic presented by Pure Leaf, and the GWF Fun Run presented by Aquafina. 2019 beneficiaries include Food Rescue US 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 WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL
The Greenwich 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. Previous participants include chefs Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant, Mary Giuliani, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Adam Richman and Marcus Samuelson as well as musical artists Tim McGraw, Train and Ziggy Marley. This year’s festival will benefit Food Rescue US; previous beneficiaries include Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation, and Ment’or. Sponsors to date include Pepsico, LifeWTR, Pure Leaf, Bubly, Jeep, Compass, Monogram, Aitoro Appliances, Westy Self Storage, Yale New Haven Health Greenwich Hospital, NuKitchen, Rudy's Limousine Service Inc., Barbara Zaccagnini, Whistle Pig Whiskey, 90+ Cellars, Delamar and Stamford Marriott.* The Festival was created by Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity magazine. For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com, or the event’s social media channels:  Facebook (@Greenwichwineandfoodfestival) and Instagram (@greenwichwineandfood).
(*As of 6/17/19)

ABOUT FOOD RESCUE US
Food Rescue US, a non-profit organization, is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America. Through the use of its proprietary mobile app, Food Rescue US easily connects its  team of volunteers with companies that have excess food with organizations feeding the food insecure. Founded in Fairfield County in 2011 and still operating as its largest location, it has now expanded nationally to 13 states and the District of Columbia where its volunteer food
rescuers quickly deliver the food from its donors to the receiving organizations. In 2018, Food Rescue US completed more than 25,000 rescues equaling over 6.8 million meals delivered.
Americans waste 40% of its food supply, ending up in landfills, which creates methane gas and warms the planet. At the same time, there are more than 40 million individuals, including 12 million children, who are food insecure in America. Food Rescue US transforms a negative, food waste, into a positive by delivering fresh, healthy food to millions of people who are food insecure through a community of dedicated volunteers.
For more information, visit foodrescue.us and download the mobile app.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

CRUST Kitchen and Cocktails- Wilmington, NC

 

My granddaughter has been raving about this place for a couple of weeks now and after stopping by for lunch after the Azalea Parade I can see why. 

We looked over the menu and there were so many things that looked good. We finally decided decided on the Bada Bing, shown above, and the Desperado, shown below. Both were quite large, and quite delicious. 




This will definitely be a place we will visit again, and soon. They have a website for more information. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

La Bella Airosa- Wilmington, NC


La Bella Airosa has the most amazing taco food trucks, and I've sampled their food several times at local breweries. Today we stopped by their restaurant on Kerr Avenue for lunch. The restaurant is every bit as good as the trucks. 

I got the Bisteca A La Mexicana shown above and it was delicious. Just the right amount of heat and fresh tasting. The rice was also quite good, and I'm not a huge rice fan. My wife had the enchiladas verdes, also excellent. 

We have a new favorite in town, and close by too. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Katy's Grill and Bar- Wilmington, NC


I've driven past Katy's hundreds of times and today a friend suggested that our after church lunch group stop by for a bite. It turned out to be a wise suggestion as the food and service were quite good. 

It was 10:30 and I wasn't in the mood for eggs, so I went with the Tiko burger, cheddar cheese, bacon, onion straws and BBQ sauce with a side of onion rings for $9.59. Very nice burger. 

We'll definitely be going back again sometime. 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Flying Machine Brewing Co.- Wilmington, NC


Flying Machine Brewing is the fifteenth brewery to open in Wilmington. My first impression is that someone spent a whole lot of money on this place. It is huge with a nice clean feel to it and doesn't have that cookie-cutter brewery look. Come to think of it, most of our breweries have distinct looks. 

They went with an old fashioned theme, but I think they should have gone a bit further with the aeronautical aspect and have a large propeller and some photos on that walls, as well as perhaps a large model of the Wright Brothers flyer hanging from the high ceiling. Just my opinion though. 


I started with the Albatross II, a double IPA at 8.2%. It was quite nice with a clean taste that belied that gravity, making it go down a bit too easy. I decided on a 5.2% IPA to follow, also nice. 

What I liked was that they had at least fifteen of their own brews on tap, as well as ciders and wines. Even better is the addition of coffee, hot chocolate, and expresso for the non beer drinkers, like my wife. 

Overall, Flying Machine has potential and should be a welcome addition to the local brewing scene. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Joe's Oasis- Wilmington, NC


Joe's Oasis sits in a strip mall on Carolina Beach Road on the way to Carolina Beach. It's a nice sports bar with a Pittsburgh theme. They are very friendly, the food is good, and the prices reasonable. 

The main attraction for me is that they make their own pierogies in house, and in multiple flavors. They are properly cooked with plenty of oil and butter, onions and scallions and are quite delicious. The best thing is that on Mondays they put them on special for a buck each until they run out in order to clean out the weekend inventory and start fresh. 



They also have a lunch special offer several options for $5.99. I got a BLT half sandwich and side salad. Good and cheap. 

They have a website for more information. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Skytown Beer and BBQ- Wilmington, NC


Skytown Beer and BBQ on New Centre may be the newest brewery in Wilmington, but they are a part of Beer Barrio downtown and have plenty of experience with good food. I stopped by with high expectations for the food and wanted to see how the beer was.


I had a sample of their Creamsicle, an IPA with orange and vanilla beans. It was good, but I don't think I wanted a whole pint so I opted for the New England IPA and found it quite light tasting and refreshing despite the 7.2 ABV. 


I had one of the lunch specials, the Southern Fried Chicken Nuggets, Buffalo style, with a side of mac and cheese for twelve bucks. The chicken was excellent, as was the mac and cheese. 


I decided on a lower gravity for my second pint and went with the Door Mouse Porter at 4.2%. That was an excellent porter. 



Overall, the beer was quite good and since they just started it will only get better. The food was excellent, as was the service. Nice ambiance and convenient to local shopping and businesses. Stop by sometime. 


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Edward Teach Brewery- Wilmington, NC



Finally got a chance to stop at Edward Teach Brewing in Wilmington and I was quite impressed. The interior has a bright, clean nautical look reflecting the Blackbeard influence. I only had time for one so I went with their tangerine IPA. Quite good. I'll get back soon and do some more exploring, and add some more photos, soon. 

They have a website for more information. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Common Bond Brewers- Montgomery, Al


We were in Montgomery Alabama to hide out from hurricane Florence at relatives. My brother-in-law took me out to both of the local breweries. The first one was not impressive at all, but the second one we went to was quite good. 

Common Bond is a neat little brewery in a reclaimed factory, or warehouse, with plenty of cool brick, open space, good acoustics, and plenty of places to sit. The staff was quite friendly and the beer was good. I had the IPA, twice. We also tried the Blond and the Stout, both good. 

Nice place. Check out their website for more information. 


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Rams Head Tavern- Annapolis, MD






I have family that just moved to the Annapolis area and they took us downtown for dinner at the Rams Head Tavern. It was a very good experience with excellent service, good food, good beer, and nice ambiance. 



I had the Ram Head IPA which had a nice, clean taste to it. For dinner I had the Dynamite Burger which had candied cayenne bacon, lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli, American cheese and a fried jalapeño on top. There was a bit of heat to it, but not overpowering.  Very good overall.  



They have a website for more information. 



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cheese Smith Food Truck- Wilmington, NC


Nothing says comfort food like a grilled cheese sandwich, that taste brings me back to childhood and even a simple one made from American cheese on white bread makes my mouth water. Taking that simple sandwich and ramping it up with artisan bread, different cheeses, and flavor add ons is a great thing. Cheese Smith food truck in Wilmington does just that. 


After having heard some rave reviews of them we decided to stop by Fermental for a try. I got the Brendito which had aged white cheddar, roasted jalapeños, cilantro, cream cheese, bacon, and a jalapeño chutney on a nice bread for eleven bucks. Pricey, but it was absolutely worth every penney. Think of it as a deconstructed jalapeño popper in a sandwich. 


Cheese Smith is amazing and I will be catching them again soon. Check out their Facebook page for more information. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mad Mole Brewing- Wilmington, NC



Mad Mole Brewing kind of snuck up on me. I didn't have any idea it was in the works until I saw a Facebook page about them. I mean I went to the Boathouse Restaurant next door a few times and hit the Salt Works kitty corner from them, but I had no idea that there was a brewery in the works there.

My son-in-law said he was going over with a friend and invited me to come along and of course I said yes. We were quite pleasantly surprised with the build out and the design of what was once probably a failed retail store.  


Since the staff knew we were new to the brewery, they gave us a copious amount of samples. In fact, we tasted just about everything they had to offer and all of them were excellent. I had three pints, the first was the Penitent Mole, a strong golden Belgian. I followed that up with a Tunnel Digger, a New England IPA, and I finished with a Boston Mole Party, another variation of a New England IPA. All were excellent.


Overall, the brewery has all of the right elements to lead to success. excellent brews, nice ambiance, friendly staff, and adequate parking. When we were there Kristie Lynn was playing music and the acoustics were great. You could hear her sing while people were talking. She was quite good. There is an outside seating area too.


One other thing that is really cool is that they brew using a rather large array of solar panels on the roof. It's nice to see that they are eco-responsible. I will certainly be going back for a few more pints Stop some time and see for yourself. They have a website for more information.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Beach Bagels- Wilmington, NC




Coming from New York originally, the state not the city, I know what a bagel is supposed to be. Beach Bagels is as good as any I have had in Upstate New York, and the best in the ILM. I spend a couple of mornings a week taking sunrise photos at the beach and quite often stop by to pick up a nice pair of bagels for the wife and I. 

They make some interesting looking sandwiches too and one day I'll try one. Friendly service, excellent bagels, and a cool shop. Stop by sometime. 




Update- I did stop by for lunch and had the Jose Carne on a poppy seed bagel. Excellent. 




Monday, August 13, 2018

Catch- Wilmington, NC



Catch is one of those places I have wanted to go to for quite some time, so when our anniversary rolled around we decided to go. I have visited their food truck and was impressed and I wanted to see what they had to offer at their restaurant.

Catch bills themselves as modern seafood cuisine and the owner has been on Top Chef, as well as having won many awards. They are located in a small strip mall on Market Street, a quite unassuming place for a slightly upscale dining place. The inside is well appointed and the service excellent. 

We started with the calamari and I got one of the specials, seared divers scallops and mussels over sweet potatoes in a medium curry sauce. Excellent. Teresa had ribs and shrimp which were also excellent. Everything was amazing. 

We'll definitely be  headed there again sometime. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Original Salt Works- Wilmington, NC


We stopped by The Original Salt Works on Sunday for breakfast and I must say that we were quite impressed. It's a small, homey place with excellent service and very good food.

I had the sausage and cheese omelet, a three egg omelet, with a side of grits. The omelet was very good, but the star was those amazing grits. They were quote probably the best I ever had. I complemented the chef and he said that he uses a lot of butter and slow cooks them for an hour to get that flavor in. 

Teresa had eggs over easy with bacon and home fries. The fries were cubed and had a nice crust on the outside with a soft middle. Excellent. 

We'll head over for lunch sometime. You should too. If you go bring cash, they don't take credit cards.