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Shopping-Bag Fee – Going Green

Seattle shoppers will soon pay a 20-cent bag charge when using disposable paper or plastic shopping bags at drug, convenience and grocery stores.

I remember on my first trip to the supermarket when we lived in London, England, I had to pay for my bags.  It was a surprise then and I quickly learned to bring my own canvas bags.  I’ve now started doing that here. They also had an area of the store roped off with discarded cardboard boxes that we could use for large orders.

What is your take on this new Seattle law? Do you use your own bags at the market?

Here’s the article from the Seattle Times.

Seattle City council approvesvshopping bag fee

The Seattle City Council has approved a 20-cent bag charge on disposable paper or plastic shopping bags provided at convenience, drug and grocery stores.

SEATTLE —The Seattle City Council has approved a 20-cent bag charge on disposable paper or plastic shopping bags provided at convenience, drug and grocery stores.

The proposal passed by a vote of 6-1 on Monday. Councilwoman Jan Drago cast the lone dissenting vote.

City officials estimate Seattle citizens use 360 million paper or plastic bags each year.

By a vote of 7-0, the council also approved a two-part ban on certain Styrofoam containers.

The bag fee and a ban on foam containers for food from takeout restaurants will take effect in January. A ban on foam trays used for raw meat and seafood at grocery stores is set to take effect in July 2010.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Restaurant Happenings – SouthFlorida July 28, 2008


RESTAURANT HAPPENINGS – 7.28.08

 

 

THE VIEW BAR LAUNCHES FRIDAY NIGHT COCKTAIL HOUR

 

The View Bar, The Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Avenue, 305-455-5400.

 

 

An elegant way to ease into the weekend, The View Bar’s new Friday night cocktail party, 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., offers visitors the opportunity to sip champagne while enjoying stunning vistas and Miami’s surreal sunsets. Effective immediately every Friday evening, The View Bar’s cocktail hour features a DJ, as well as complimentary hors d’oeuvres and champagne until 8:00 p.m.  Revelers also can enjoy specially priced featured cocktails until 11:00 p.m., with each week bringing a new spirits special, such as the RBH Martini, The View Bar’s signature cocktail which blends Grey Goose Poire, pear nectar and Ruby Porto.

 

 

Cita’s Italian Chophouse to Thrill Locals and Impress Critics

 

Cita’s Italian Chophouse, 3176 Commodore Plaza, 305-446-2207

 

 

Nestled among a captivating row of boutique shops, art galleries and salons at in the historic neighborhood of Coconut Grove, Cita’s Italian Chophouse is positioned to become a neighborhood gem when it opens it doors on July 22.  

At the core is Italian born executive chef Carlo Macaluso who has taken Benitez’s vision of serving simple, fresh, high quality, steak and fish house items, alongside authentic Italian pastas and sauces, and created a delicious menu sure to woo the most discerning of palates. Starters include antipasti meats and cheeses, lobster cakes, and ten-ounce meatballs with whipped ricotta. After a primi of pasta (truffled Alfredo, spinach ravioli in sage butter), secundis range from short ribs marinated in Barolo to Sardinian risotto.

 

 

FAT MAN’S BAR-B-QUE IS HERE

 

Fat Man’s Bar-B-Que, outside Take One Cocktail Lounge, 333 Northeast 79th Street, 954-536-0465

 

 

If you’re craving a hot piece of meat, you should hit up a strip club in North Miami. That’s where Fat Man’s Bar-B-Que is (parked outside the feisty Take One Cocktail Lounge). From inside his traveling trailer, Benjamin Nelson cooks up burgers, chicken, fried conch, and grilled fish like tilapia and grouper. But the pièce de résistance is his award-winning ribs. Using a professional smoker filled with hickory wood (rigged to the truck’s rear), he smokes and seasons the ribs to melt-in-your-mouth readiness, then smothers them in gooey homemade BBQ sauce. The elusive Fat Man works on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. But if you don’t want to venture past your local Publix, he’ll drive his flashy ride to your party.

 

THE PALM CLOSES
Merrick Park
Very sadly the 6-year old Palm Restaurant in Merrick Park, Coral Gables has closed its doors.  The Palm Restaurant at 9650 E. Bay Harvor Drive, Bay Harbor Island remains open.

 

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill

I just came back from a trip to the supermarket and came back in shock.  In less than a week the blueberries went from $1.50 to $3.09 a pint. A box of cereal (17.7 ounce) was $4.79 and a very small package (not bunch) of fresh basil was $2.47.  And that’s the tip of the iceberg (not the lettuce) price-wise.

Are you noticing enormous price increases? Do you have some price-saving tips to share with  us? Please send them along.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your grocery dollars sent to me by the National Cooperative Grocers Association.

Plan Ahead:
- Clean out expired or unusable food from the pantry and fridge
- Inventory what’s in your freezer
- Draw up a list of staple foods you’ll need every week
- Create a grocery list you can re-use every week
- Share the list with your family for their input

Shop Wisely:
- Stick to your list; avoid impulses
- Coordinate your purchases with what’s in season
- Take advantage of sale items.

Change Your Patterns:
- Don’t overstock
- Minimize purchasing food at convenience stores where prices often are higher
- Slowly add more cooking time into your schedule

Buenos Aires – an extraordinary trip that didn’t break the bank

Buenos Aires -  A Delightful Interlude in one of South America’s Premier Cities

Looking for a sophisticated, European-style vacation that won’t break the bank?
Try Buenos Aires.

On a recent trip there I discovered an exciting city where the tango, great wine and $10 steak meld together to form a vibrant culture.  The fact that it’s one of the few cities with a great U.S. dollar exchange rate made it that much more fun.

At first glance you might think you’re in Paris, Milan or Rome.  Buenos Aires looks like a European city with its belle époque architecture, sidewalk cafes and smartly dressed men and women.

It’s a city of neighborhoods (barrios).  Walking through them you get a taste of the culture and green spaces and exciting buzz of life in the city.

There are many places to visit and experience: museums, markets, strolling through the various neighborhoods, craft fairs and of course tango shows and lessons.  Many web sites will give you the information.

We ate well in BA and our most expensive meal including great wine was $40.00.  Our most memorable meal was $28.00 for two at El Pobre Luis.

Here are my restaurant picks:
La Cabrera
Cabrera 5099,
(Palermo)
011-54-11-4831-7002
The steak here is so tender they cut it with a spoon.

Oviedo Restaurante
Beruti 2602
011-54-11-4821-3741
Old world elegant food, feels like bistro of the 1930’s. Best known for it’s seafood from the Tierra del Fuego.

El Pobre Luis
Arribenos 2393
Belgrano
011-54-11-4780-5847
He’s football crazed.  That’s actually soccer. It’s a neighborhood place with both sport celebrities and fans enjoying the fun atmosphere.

La Brigada
Estados Unidos 465
(San Telmo)
011-540-11-4361-5557
Busy, crowded, excellent steak

Sucre Restaurant
Sucre 676
011-54-11-4182-9082
Trendy and fun.

Nectarine
Vicente Lopez 1661
Pasaja del Correo
(Recoleta)
011-54-11-4813-6993
Regional ingredients, with French Asian influences

Here are some travel tips:
Places to visit
Recoleta Barrio
Recoleta cemetery
This is where Eva (Evita) Peron is buried.  It’s an amazing city of the dead with the graves, really large tombs, of many rich, important, influential people.

Craft Fair
Each Saturday, just outside the gates of the Recoleta Cemetary. No need to go early, they don’t start setting up until late morning and the fair goes on until way after dark.

Museo Nacional Arte Decorativo National Museum of Decorative Arts
Av. Del Libertador 1902
Open Mon-Fri 2-8 pm; Sat-Sun 11 am-7pm
Admission $1.00

We arrived at what seemed to be a beautiful 18th century French design mansion. It was like taking a peek at what life was like in the mansions lining Av. Del Libertador at that time.  Sculptures, paintings and furnishings make up the collection.

MALBA Collection – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415
Wed-Mon Noon to 8 pm

This was one of my favorite museums.  The modern building was opened in 2001.  It’s a private collection that’s open to the public.  It’s a treasure of Latin American art.  Even the benches are modern pieces of art.

Areas to wander through:
San Telmo Market
961 Defensa or Bolivar 998
Sundays
This large street market reminded me of Portobello Road in London.  It’s filled with antiques, junk, food and tango dancers.

Restaurant Roundabout- Reviews July 24, 2008


Food and Dining Radio Show – 7.24.08

Restaurant Roundabout

**ALL RESTAURANTS DISCUSSED ARE LISTED AT THE END WITH ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBERS

 

 

Linda Gassenheimer (LG)

Fred Tasker (FT)

Joseph Cooper (JC)

Jen Karetnick (JK)

Rochelle Koff (RK)

 

LG: As you said, it’s our popular restaurant program. It’s the start of Miami Spice Season now and there’s lots to talk about. Jen Karetnick is the restaurant critic from Miami Magazine. Also sitting here is Rochelle Koff. She’s the Herald Broward Restaurant Critic and the Weekend Editor for the Herald.  Welcome.

 

JK: Thank you.

 

RK: I know. You’re looking for the gossip.

 

LG: Yes, I can’t wait. Now there are a few things I wanted to talk about. The coconut grove area around commodore plaza is having a renaissance. There is a new place called George’s in The Grove. George Fage, from Bouchon du Grove, opened it and his special personality is certainly still there. On Bastille Day he was dressed as Marie Antoinette! Also there’s Cita Italian Chophouse across the street from George. Their chef is from Sicily. It  has a charming patio garden in the back of the restaurant. Also I was walking down main highway and there’s a wonderful gelato place and, in the back, there is a little patio garden where they’re making wood burning oven pizzas. In the Brickell Area there’s Andu. That’s a little gem. It’s very pretty. The last one I have is Por Fin. Very hopping Spanish restaurant. I get a lot of calls because people say it’s noisy, but I went upstairs and it was a bit quieter.

 

JC: What kind of noise?

 

LG: Everything. In fact they’re building restaurants now to make them noisier.

 

FT: I ate there the other day. It was good.

 

LG: I also want to mention an old-style restaurant that’s still going strong. This is a piece of old Miami. Fox’s Sherron Inn in South Miami has been there since 1946. It’s packed; very dark, very old Miami…their specialty is thumb bits, which are juicy pieces of tenderloin.

 

FT: Do they allow smoking there?

 

LG: Well technically they don’t allow smoking anywhere anymore.

 

FT: Oh yeah, that’s right.

 

LG: Let’s go to Rochelle. What’s going on in Broward?

 

RK: This is a good time to try upscale restaurants, because there are specials over the summer. Sun Fish Grill is doing a three course dinner for $36, Johnny V’s is having big bar-b-q feast on Thursdays. That’s $40. Christine’s on Oakland Park Blvd is doing a lot of summer specials. There’s something there on Mondays – a three course dinner and a big band. That’ll be a nice Monday night. China Grill in Fort Lauderdale is doing a lot of happy hour specials. There’s many more. You can look at miamiherald.com for the whole list. Or try the sunny.org site.

 

LG: Jen, what’s your take on Miami Dade?

 

JK: I love Miami Spice. This year it’s popular because of the economy. Some restaurants even started it in June.

 

LG: Some started in June?

 

JK: Yes, this has become an almost 4 month promotion. I went to Oceannaire for lunch and it was delicious and extremely filling.

 

LG: That’s a good deal because it’s a pricey restaurant.

 

JK: I go to the places that I can’t get back to or can’t afford on my own. I go to expensive fish houses and steak houses. Another one is Prime Blue Grill. I’m planning on hitting that. That is overlooking the water at the end of South Biscayne Blvd. Capital Grill always puts on a good showing. Go to ilovemiamispice.com. One Bleu at the Regent Bal Harbour is very expensive, like $55 an entree, so this is the time to go there. It’s very romantic and has a beautiful view.

 

LG: That’s www.ilovemiamispice.com for information. What about the non-Miami Spice restaurants?

 

JK: Michaels Genuine is not doing it, but if you go into your favorite restaurant you can find a summer special. Michy’s in on the Miami Spice Program. So places you wouldn’t think has one will have one. Like Azul at the Mandarin Oriental has one.

 

FT: I always warn people to ask about the wine situation. I’ve been to places where it’s $36 but the cheapest bottle of wine is $69.

 

LG: We’re going to take a break now. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic for Miami magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor. We’ll take a break and be back with more.

 

[break]

 

LG: We’re back now. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic for Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the she’s also the Herald Weekend Editor. Now let’s take some calls.

 

JC: I don’t want to tell people about my treasures. Then they’ll get too crowded.

 

LG: Some people like to share!

 

JK: One thing I wanted to mention is that you don’t tip on the Miami Spice menu. You should estimate how much it should cost and leave a tip based on that. So try to do research before you go to the restaurant and get an average so that you leave the appropriate amount for the waiter. They don’t appreciate it when you leave $6 in an upscale restaurant for a Miami Spice Menu.

 

LG: That’s a great piece of information.

 

Caller 1: I wanted to ask, last year was my 25th anniversary and we went all out to a show in the Carnival Center. At that time Karu and Y was open and they had fixed price with shuttle service to the Center. Can you recommend any restaurants that are within walking distance to the Carnival Center.

 

JC: It’s the Arsht Center now.

 

JK: Well, within walking distance, that’s a tough one. Bin18 is there, but that would be a bit of a walk. That’s close and it’s romantic.

 

LG: 18th and Biscayne Blvd. I would suggest going to the design district. That’s a quick car ride.

 

JK: Try Pacific Time. Michael’s Genuine, the new Fratelli Lyon. They do a lot of tapas style dishes. Or you could even go further downtown. The shuttle question is really difficult. I don’t believe there’s anything running right now.

 

Caller 2: I was calling to recommend restaurants in Palm Beach. In the antique row area there’s Rhythm Café. I’ve been a customer there for the past 14 years and have never had a bad meal.

 

LG: What kind of food?

 

Caller 2: It’s a wide variety. Steak, seafood, chicken. They do a key lime chicken. I’d also recommend one in Lake Worth called Rustica Italiano. It’s really authentic. The owner is from Capri. The last is a new restaurant called the Beach House Bistro. They serve upscale casual food with interesting twists on things. I like the Spaghetti with Calamari Meatballs.

 

LG: It sounds to me like you like to eat out. Thanks for your call.

 

Caller 3: I wanted to suggest Big Fish.

 

JK: Right on the river.

 

Caller 3: I think their seafood is great.

 

JK: I’ve had inconsistent meals there. It has great views. It’s good to know that you haven’t.

 

Caller 3: Could you recommend a restaurant for me to take my mom in downtown Miami to on her birthday on Sunday? Something not too casual and not too fancy.

 

JK: In Merry Brickell Village there’s Rosa Mexicana, PF Changs, Perricone.

 

LG: I like Perricone.

 

JK: Oceannaire Seafood room is there as well. And you could take advantage of the Miami Spice Menu. The food is very upscale. Call and make sure the Spice Menu is being served on a Sunday.

 

LG: Also, everyone needs to call before they go to these restaurants now.

 

JK: Yes. Another place is The River Oyster Bar also in downtown. Not super expensive. Great atmosphere. I just like that place. I’ve always loved the Chef there.

 

Caller 4: I have a question. Is Michael’s Genuine the same as Michael’s Kitchen?

 

JK: No, that place is gone. It’s now Kitchen 305 and it’s a completely different Chef.

 

Caller 4: I want to suggest Scorch on 130th and Biscayne. It’s a locals place.

 

JK: I go there all the time. It’s a very friendly place.

 

Caller 4: The other place is on 110th and Biscayne there’s a new Mexican restaurant. It was good food and good prices.

 

JK: It’s called the Burrito Grill.

 

Caller 4: Don’t forget Johnny V on Las Olas.

 

JK: Never.

 

LG: Thank you very much.

 

LG: We’re going to take a break now. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic or Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor. We’ll take a break and be back with more.

 

[break]

 

LG: We’re back. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic or Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor.

 

Caller 5: I was interested in the restaurant on 26th street and Biscayne Blvd.

 

JK: The partners split up. The new one is on 79th street Causeway and the new name is Schnitzel House. They have a really nice beer garden in the back. It’s a great place.

 

LG: Jen, you know your stuff.

 

FT: You must eat out every night.

 

JK: This is many years of Miami Restaurant information stored in my brain!

 

Caller 6: I always like the very good restaurants from NY that open here. They’re not always good. But I love Il Mulino in the Acqualina Hotel on 178th. It’s excellent, quiet and really good food. They have excellent service. I just discovered a restaurant on South Dixie and 59th.

 

LG: You’ve had some problems.

 

Caller 6: Well sometimes the NY restaurants that open here are not as good a quality.

 

JK: If you like Il Mulino you should try Il Gabbiano. It’s on South Biscayne. It’s not as quiet but it’s the same style of food. It’s delicious.

 

Caller 7: I’m part of a non-profit that has a wonderful little place across from the Arsht Center called the Manhattan. We’ve been having open houses and it’s a wonderful place to go before an event at the Arsht Center.

 

LG: You have to go upstairs?

 

Caller 7: Yes, and you can come up and take look. It’s a nice cozy place.

 

JC: You have to join a private club?

 

Caller 7: After the open houses you have to join. It’s only 10 cents a day for the year.

 

LG: Thank you for that information.             

 

Caller 8: I’ve been going to a place for 20 years called Café Italia. It’s in Coral Gable on SW 8th street. They have help that’s been there for years.

 

LG: That’s an unusual thing. It’s nice to go back to restaurant and recognize the staff.

 

Caller 8: It’s clean. And one other Cacao on SW 1st Street. It’s a luncheon place.

 

LG: Thank you very much.

JK: I heard a terrible story the other day about hygiene. I welcome that information.

 

LG: I’ve always said that, when people think they have the flu, most often it’s a food borne illness.

 

JK: You don’t know what’s going on behind the walls or in the ceiling.

 

LG: Let’s go to another caller!

 

Caller 9: There’s a place called Al Fresco. I love that everything is done from scratch.

 

LG: How did you find this place?

 

Caller 9: My son goes to the Academy of Arts and Minds and it’s right there.

 

LG: I love that place. It’s the most charming place. How does he keep it going?

 

Caller 9: I think they have scheduled parties and clientele from the theatre productions. Also the owner of the property is treating the whole property as a hobby and isn’t expecting to make a lot of money.

 

LG: You can sit out on the patio there. On the wall there’s opera.

 

Caller 9: My family has a number of food allergies. I’m looking for a place with no artificial colors and where we can really know what’s in each item. I’m looking for something near Cutler Bay or Bal Harbour.

 

JK: I have the same problem. My daughter is gluten intolerant. Honestly the way we go about it is to ask to talk with the Chef. We avoid prepackaged stuff.

 

RK: I was going to say that we have Sublime in Broward.

 

JK: As opposed to going to specialty vegetarian place, you can just go to places where you know everything is from scratch. For example, Two Chefs in South Miami does everything from scratch. They’ll make plain chicken with nothing on it for you.

 

LG: We’re going to take a break now. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic for Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor. We’ll take a break and be back with more.

 

[break]

 

LG: We’re back now. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic for Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor.Editor. They’ve been giving us great information. But for those evenings that you’re not going out for dinner, here’s a Dinner in Minutes.

 

JC: Finally.

 

LG: Today’s dinner is Talapia with Mango Chutney and Black Bean and Rice Salad. If you’d like the recipe, go to my website dinnerinminutes.com.

 

FT: I like the chutney.

 

JC: Is there mint in the beans?

 

LG: No, it’s cilantro.

 

JC: It has a minty flavor.

 

LG: All right. [laughing] Fred, there’s been a change in the food section!

 

FT: Yes, the Tropical Life Section and it’s going to be a full broad sheet again. It’s getting bigger when everything else is getting smaller! On Fridays it’s the way it was before but it has something to do with press runs. On Thursdays from now on you’ll have a food story, non-food story and the wine section on the front.

 

LG: What are we drinking today?

 

FT: If you’re a fan of reality shows I’ve got one for you. Come September a group called Doc City Productions is holding auditions for a series called The Wine Makers. They will be taken to Napa and Sonoma in California for a competition. As the season goes on they’ll vote on who gets kicked off the show. The winner gets a contract to produce 1000 cases of wine and a wine tasting tour. They’re actually trying to create a new wine maker. This is actually season 2; season 1 will go on the air in January. Miamiherald.com/wine will have more information about it.

 

JC: Are you going to sign up?

 

FT: You have to go out of town for the entire month of September. It’s hard if you have a full time job.

 

JK: You’re going then?

 

LG: Let’s go to some more calls.

 

Caller 10: You mentioned China Grill and I went to the one in Fort Lauderdale and I had a great dinner. The place was empty though. It’s a great setting too.

 

RK: It’s hard to find.  People don’t know it’s there.

 

LG: Will they have a similar menu to Miami Spice?

 

RK: They’ll have Dine Out. It’s crowded on the weekends.

 

Caller 10: I think they have a fixed price dinner.

 

LG: Thank you.

 

Caller 10: I think there’s a place called the Diner on 167 and Biscayne.

 

LG: 139 and Biscayne – it’s called The Gourmet Diner.

 

JK: It’s very good.

 

LG: They changed owners. Thank you for the call. We have so many other callers and we’ve run out of time. I’m sorry we couldn’t get to all of you. But if you have a pressing question then send me an email at dinnerinminutes.com. Jen Karetnick is here and she’s the restaurant critic for Miami Magazine. Also here is Rochelle Koff who is the Broward Herald Restaurant Critic and the Herald Weekend Editor. Thank you so much for joining us. Next week we’ll be talking about how to turn  your kitchen into a green kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 


Andu Restaurant and Lounge (141 SW 7th street in Miami, Florida, 786-871-7005)

 

Azul, (Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive (305) 913-8358.)

 

Beach House Bistro (350 S County Rd, Palm Beach, (561) 833-7119)

 

Bin18 (275 NE 18th St # 107, Miami, (786) 235-7575)

 

Burrito Grill (840 NE 116th St, Biscayne Park – (305) 891-1041)

 

Big Fish (221 SW 12th St, Miami – (305) 856-3114)

 

Christine’s (7481 W Oakland Park Blvd, Tamarac – (954) 742-5991)

 

China Grill (Grand Hotel and Yacht Club, 1881 SE 17th St. Fort Lauderdale, 888-554-

2131)

 

Capital Grill (444 Brickell Ave, Miami, (305) 374-4500)

 

Citta Italian Chophouse (3176 Commodore Plz, Miami, (305) 446-2207)

 

Fratelli Lyon, (4141 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami, 305-572-2901 Rhythm Café)

 

Fox’s Sherron (6030 S Dixie Hwy, South Miami – (305) 661-9201)

 

George’s (3145 Commodore Plz, Coconut Grove, 305-444-7878)

 

Il Mulino (17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; $250 per person (305) 466-9191)

 

Il Gabbiano (335 South Biscayne Blvd, 305-373-0063.)

 

Johnny V’s (625 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, (954) 761-7920)

 

Kitchen 305, (Newport Beachside Hotel, 16701 Collins Avenue, 305-949-1300)

 

Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink (130 N.E. 40th Street, Miami, 305-573-5550)

 

Michy’s, (6927 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, 305-759-2001)

 

Manhattan (251 NE 14th St, Miami – (305) 372-1966)

 

One Bleu (The Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Avenue, 800-545-4000)

 

Oceanaire Seafood Room (Hide map of 900 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130)

 

PF Changs (17455 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, (305) 957-1966)

 

Prime Blue Grill (315 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami, (305) 358-5900)

 

Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe, (15 SE 10th Street, (305) 374-9449)

 

Por Fin (2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables (305)-441-0107)

 

Pacific Time, 35 N.E. 40 Street, Miami, 305-722-7369.

 

Rosa Mexicana (900 S Miami Ave, Miami – (786) 425-1001)

 

River Oyster Bar (650 S Miami Ave, Miami, (305) 530-1915)

 

Scorch Grill (13750 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach – (305) 949-5588)

 

Sunfish Grill (2761 E. Oakland Park Blvd., 954-564-6464)

 

Schnitzel House (1085 NE 79th St, Miami, (305) 754-8002)

 

Sublime (1431 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-539-9000)

 

Two Chefs (2286 NE 123rd St, North Miami, (305) 895-5155)

 

The Gourmet Diner (13951 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Bch – (305) 947-2255)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Happenings South Florida July 23, 2008

THE VIEW BAR LAUNCHES FRIDAY NIGHT COCKTAIL HOUR

The View Bar, The Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Avenue, 305-455-5400.

An elegant way to ease into the weekend, The View Bar’s new Friday night cocktail party, 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., offers visitors the opportunity to sip champagne while enjoying stunning vistas and Miami’s surreal sunsets. Effective immediately every Friday evening, The View Bar’s cocktail hour features a DJ, as well as complimentary hors d’oeuvres and champagne until 8:00 p.m.  Revelers also can enjoy specially priced featured cocktails until 11:00 p.m., with each week bringing a new spirits special, such as the RBH Martini, The View Bar’s signature cocktail which blends Grey Goose Poire, pear nectar and Ruby Porto.

Cita’s Italian Chophouse to Thrill Locals and Impress Critics

Cita’s Italian Chophouse, 3176 Commodore Plaza, 305-446-2207

Nestled among a captivating row of boutique shops, art galleries and salons at in the historic neighborhood of Coconut Grove, Cita’s Italian Chophouse is positioned to become a neighborhood gem when it opens it doors on July 22.
At the core is Italian born executive chef Carlo Macaluso who has taken Benitez’s vision of serving simple, fresh, high quality, steak and fish house items, alongside authentic Italian pastas and sauces, and created a delicious menu sure to woo the most discerning of palates. Starters include antipasti meats and cheeses, lobster cakes, and ten-ounce meatballs with whipped ricotta. After a primi of pasta (truffled Alfredo, spinach ravioli in sage butter), secundis range from short ribs marinated in Barolo to Sardinian risotto.

FAT MAN’S BAR-B-QUE IS HERE

Fat Man’s Bar-B-Que, outside Take One Cocktail Lounge, 333 Northeast 79th Street, 954-536-0465

If you’re craving a hot piece of meat, you should hit up a strip club in North Miami. That’s where Fat Man’s Bar-B-Que is (parked outside the feisty Take One Cocktail Lounge). From inside his traveling trailer, Benjamin Nelson cooks up burgers, chicken, fried conch, and grilled fish like tilapia and grouper. But the pièce de résistance is his award-winning ribs. Using a professional smoker filled with hickory wood (rigged to the truck’s rear), he smokes and seasons the ribs to melt-in-your-mouth readiness, then smothers them in gooey homemade BBQ sauce. The elusive Fat Man works on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. But if you don’t want to venture past your local Publix, he’ll drive his flashy ride to your party.

Great Barbecue Gadget

Really useful gadgets can come in small packages.

I just received this Bottletop Baster.  This is a mess-free system.  The top fits on most bottles, glass or plastic.  Place  it on the bottle, turn upside down and it’s basting without a mess. And when you’re done, cleanup is a breeze in the dishwasher.

What a great idea!  I can’t remember how many times I’ve tried to baste food on the grill and made a mess.  First I put the sauce in a dish.  Then I dip a long brush into the sauce and baste.  Cleaning the brush is another chore.

Suggested retail price: $3.99

What are  your favorite barbecue gadgets?  Share them with us.  the top 5 will be posted on my blog.

Food News and Views – Pizza on the Grill June 27, 2008

Food and Dining Radio Show – 6.27.08

Linda Gassenheimer (LG)

Joseph Cooper (JC)

Fred Tasker (FT)

Elizabeth Carmel (EC)

 

LG: Here’s a new statistic: women are grilling more than men these days. Our guest today is a Master, or I should say Mistress, at taming the flame. Elizabeth Carmel is our guest and she says she grills year round on her balcony in

Chicago. She’s the author of several books including her latest, Pizza On The Grill. Welcome.

 

EC: Thank you.

 

LG: Our topic today is mastering our grills. Sitting in his usual seat is Fred Tasker. He’s the wine columnist for the Miami Herald and he writes the wine suggestions for my dinner in minutes column. You can read his column at my website dinnerinminutes.com. What are we drinking today?

 

FT: I have a little diatribe about grilling in

South Florida in the middle of the summer.

 

EC: My favorite weather in the world is my air conditioning on and the windows open at the same time.

 

FT: FP&L loves us.

 

LG: Elizabeth is joining us from

New York City. Congratulations on your newest book Pizza On The Grill. 

EC: Thank you. Fred should like this as well because we have a drink suggestions with every pizza.

 

FT: Not just wine?

 

EC: Mostly wine. That’s generally my choice of beverage.

 

LG: Well you’re his new best friend. Okay brick oven pizza is popular but pizza on the grill? I picture it melting on the grates and the toping sliding into the fire.

 

EC: Everybody asks me about that.  It doesn’t because you’ve preheated your grill and when you lay your raw dough across the grate instantly the yeast rises. That’s a big distinction between grilled pizza and your pizzeria. We don’t top it until it’s grilled on one side.

 

JC: So you have to flip that thing?

 

LG: And you need a cover?

 

EC: Yes, you need to roll out the dough and I use grits or polenta in the dough which helps prevent it from sticking and it gives it a rustic texture. Then I use lots of olive oil because that helps it be crispy, promotes caramelization and prevents it from sticking. I do not oil the grate.

 

LG: You put the olive oil inside the dough?

 

EC: On top of both sides. Oil the food, not the grates. And I always put oil on anything that I cook because it helps with the crust and it prevents all the food from sticking.

 

JC: After all of these years I finally find this out.

 

EC: So you grill on a medium direct heat. That’s really important because some people tell you to put it on high but if you do that it will burn up. So you need a medium heat. After 2 or 3 minutes you take it off and flip it over. Then put the lid back down and reset the grill with indirect heat. After we top the pizza we put it back on where it’s not too hot. That way the cheese is melted and the bottom is crispy.

 

LG: Tell us about your other grilling tips.

 

EC: Oiling your food and not the grates is really important. People tell you to oil the grates because restaurants oil griddles. The reason it doesn’t work with a grill is because you preheated the grill so if you oil the grates you have a big fire hazard and also your grates are hot to that oil immediate burns. We’ve all felt the bottom of a sauté pan that hasn’t been well-washed. You know how the bottom gets really sticky? That’s because it’s baked on oil that hasn’t been well-washed. So you’re gluing the food to the cooking grates. Also it keeps the natural juices on the inside. If you don’t the juices will evaporate out.

 

JC: Even for steaks?

 

EC: Yes.

 

LG: What are other tips?

 

EC: Buy the best quality ingredients you can afford and let the grill work its magic. Use heat but don’t use too much heat because then you’ll burn the outside and not cook the inside. For example, very few people actually know how to grill hot dogs. If you prick holes in your hot dogs then they won’t explode on the grill. The steam will escape.

 

JC: I like them kinda burned anyway.

 

EC: In

England they call sausages bangers because they bang open when you cook them. The other thing I want to tell everybody is that great grilling is the will to grill. It’s only 10 percent skill. It’s not complicated. You need to preheat your grill and know the different between direct and indirect heat. Direct heat is what it sounds like – the burner is on directly underneath the food. Indirect heat is when the heat source is on either side of the food. It should be equal on both sides. If you don’t do that you have to rotate your food.

 

LG: All great advice. We’re talking with grilling expert Elizabeth Carmel. She’s the author of several books on grilling including her latest, Pizza On The Grill. It’s dinner in minutes time. It’s a Curried Shrimp with Basmati Rice. If you’d like the recipe see my website dinnerinminutes.com. Fred, are we drinking today?

 

FT: As you know, one of my pet peeves is that people like New York PR firms think this is the nicest time of year around the country. But for places like Florida, Texas, Arizona and Mexico that’s like promoting skinny dipping in

Minnesota in the winter. I’ve devised an indoor cookout. I have recipes for outdoor food cooked inside your air-conditioned kitchen like indoor ribs and potato salad. Then cut out watermelon with your melon baler, put it in a martini glass and pour champagne over the top. You might also drink some icy cold cava, the Spanish stuff that’s really good.

 

JC: What do you recommend for seafood on the grill?

 

EC: It’s very important to oil your fish that you’re cooking. Use a medium-high heat, about 375, and wait until the fish naturally releases itself before you flip it. Don’t turn it too early.

 

LG: That’s a great tip because fish is the worst.

 

JC: What about those hinged baskets?

 

EC: I haven’t had much luck. The fish sticks to the hinged basket. You’ve got to oil it. Another great tip for oilier fish like salmon is to leave the skin on one side of the filet and I take the fish off between the flesh and the skin. Some people love salmon skin so I turn off the heat and let it cook.

 

LG: I’m so sorry but we’re out of time.

Elizabeth, thank you so much for joining us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food News and Views WLRN-NPR June 20, 2008

Food and Dining Radio Show – 6.20.08
 
Linda Gassenheimer (LG)
Joseph Cooper (JC)
Fred Tasker (FT)
Nino Pernetti (NP)

LG: Our guest today has passed an amazing milestone for a restaurant in Miami. Caffé Abbracci is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. We’re going to ask the owner his secret to success and about his extraordinary life. His book is Nino Pernetti’s Caffè Abbracci Cookbook: His Life Story and Travels around the World. Welcome Nino.

NP: Hi, it’s nice to be here with you.

LG: We’re delighted to have you here.

NP: Thank you.

LG: Sitting in his usual seat is Fred Tasker. He’s the wine columnist for the Miami Herald and he writes the wine suggestions for my dinner in minutes column. Each week we post all the news about the restaurant scene on my blog. Check it out at dinnerinminutes.com. Let’s go to Nino. 20 years for Caffee Abbracci. Congratulations!

NP: Thank you Linda. You said the word “success” but I don’t have the word in my vocabulary. I am still striving and my ambition is there. One day I will have success but it is still to come.

LG: That must be one of your secrets. You’re still working hard to create your vision. What are some of your secrets to longevity here?

NP: Longevity is like a three year old child. You can never leave him alone. You can never rest on your laurels. You must baby-sit him every single day. You must change your menu. Change your décor…

LG: You go to so many restaurants here where there are absentee chefs who are not there.

NP: I used to own two other restaurants and it has been my experience that I cannot run 2 places at the same time and be successful because you’ve got to be present. You must be present all the time in order to succeed and have people come back.

LG: You started working in northern Italy at the age of 13. You worked in Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul…what brought you to this type of lifestyle?

NP: I was born in the lake area in Italy and my friend’s father owned a bed and breakfast and I was there to play but my friend had to work at the bar and I said I’ll help you out. I did this for 2 or 3 days and his father said, “why don’t you come to work here every day?” I said you have to speak with my dad. I knew my dad would say yes because it’s one less person to feed at home. And that’s how it started.

LG: And then you traveled.

NP: I went to high school and I loved the business. I love to make people happy and mingle amongst people. I attended hotel school for training. And I engaged then to work in big hotel chains around the world. They were sending me to different hotels.

FT: I read his book and it’s very interesting because you worked in 21 different countries before Miami.

LG: Take us on your travels.

NP: One of the first experiences was in Kabul. I didn’t know what to expect and I remember that I brought my big suit cases and I brought like 20 ties. And when they opened my suitcases they noticed all my ties and I didn’t understand what he was asking me so I just kept saying yes. It turned out they were asking if they could have one of my ties and more people just kept taking my ties. So they took like 15 ties.

LG: When was this?

NP: It was 1969.

LG: Very different than today.

NP: Yes, there were no roads. And I didn’t see a single man wearing a tie!

FT: What city was it where you had to keep in mind when you making the menu that you were serving Christians, Chinese and Hindus?

NP: Yes at that time I was the resident manager in Malaysia. We had the local union say that the food for the employees wasn’t up to standards. I said no the food is good and they took us to court. I told the Judge that I knew our food was good and he said, “okay let’s go and have lunch.” The lawyer said to me, Nino you better be sure and I said I know our food is good. We went there and we had lunch and played a game of ping pong and then the case was closed and we won.

FT: The Hindus wouldn’t eat pork…

NP: Yes, the Malay don’t eat pork but the Chinese eat everything. But I balanced everything.

FT: Also I found it was interesting in Paris that you needed to make the portions larger for the Americans.

NP: Yes at the hotel in Paris I had to run it with American portions. When I arrived the portions were small so I told the Chef he had to change the concept. Americans like to see their plates nice and full.

LG: We’re talking with Nino Pernetti. His book is Nino Pernetti’s Caffè Abbracci Cookbook: His Life Story and Travels around the World. It’s a wonderful, charming book full of his stories of his travels around the world. So let’s go to dinner in minutes now. It’s an Italian American meal that’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. Nino told me that they really don’t have meatballs in Italy.

NP: Yes, I did say that.

LG: To make this dish go to my website dinnerinminutes.com.

JC: These are great!

FT: The size of a baseball!

LG: Also there’s a blog on my website where I’ll answer your cooking questions. Fred, what are we drinking today?

FT: Well I’m asking the question, “how shallow are Americans?” We’re so shallow we will buy more wine and pay more money for it if it has a celebrity name attached to it. A new survey says celebrity wine sales drew 19% in 2007.

NP: I vouch for that. I have the Greg Norman wine and it sells a lot.

FT: We pay $8.50 for Celebrity Wines as opposed to $7.95 for regular wines. Danny DeVito has limoncello for $29 a bottle. In most cases they just lend their names to a vineyard that has some extra. So how many celebrities does it take to make a bottle of wine? None, they just lend their name. But the exception is Francis Ford Coppola. He’s quite knowledgeable.

LG: He really does know about his wines.

FT: He even created a soft Prosecco in honor of the marriage of his daughter Sophia. That still goes on even though the marriage did not last. The Wayne Gretzsky Estates Winery is projected sales of 80,000 cases.

All: Wow.

LG: Let’s go back to Nino. He’s brought food here. Tell us what you’ve brought.

NP: We brought some Carpaccio and we do it a little bit different. We top this with a nice mayonnaise blended with lemon juice, Worchester sauce, grappa and mustard. Then we sprinkle capers on top to add some saltiness. It makes a nice blend.

FT: I like it.

LG: You also brought a wonderful spread.

NP: Yes we brought a nice goat cheese that is blended with pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes. It’s on a baguette with garlic and Provencal herbs. That’s also a nice summer dish.

LG: All these recipes are in his book Nino Pernetti’s Caffè Abbracci Cookbook: His Life Story and Travels around the World.

Caller 1: I love the show. I have a quick question. How difficult was it for you to get established initially?

NP: In life nothing is difficult if you have passion and ambition. You need passion for what you do and ambition for where you want to arrive.

LG: And hard work. And also your travel and experience helps. You understand the business.

NP: You need a solid ground to build a solid house. I acquired a lot of experience in the food business.

LG: I think that’s a nice secret to your success. When people do come in there is someone to greet you and make you feel welcome.

NP: Our slogan at Abbracci is you come in and you never forget the food and we’ll never forget your face. When you come back we know you.

LG: Nino, you tell me it’s like theatre. What’s your next act?

NP: It’s ongoing. As long as people are coming and you’re innovating you keep going.

LG: When did you come to Miami?

NP: 25 years ago.

LG: We’re delighted that you came. Thank you so much for joining us here today. Caffe Abbracci is in Coral Gables (318 Aragon) and his book is Nino Pernetti’s Caffè Abbracci Cookbook: His Life Story and Travels around the World.

Restaurant Happenings South Florida July 14, 2008

RESTAURANT HAPPENINGS – 7.14.08

CITA’S ITALIAN CHOPHOUSE TO THRILL LOCALS
 
Cita’s Italian, 3176 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, 305-446-2207
At the core is Italian born executive chef Carlo Macaluso who has taken Benitez’s vision of serving simple, fresh, high quality, steak and fish house items, alongside authentic Italian pastas and sauces, and created a delicious menu sure to woo the most discerning of palates.  Carpacci ($18-$21) include trittico di mare – a seafood variety with thinly sliced smoked tuna, swordfish and salmon dressed with a citrus emulsion and orange wedges, cherry tomatoes, shallots and fresh chives; and manzo classico beef and mushroom in a lemon oil emulsion with domestic mushrooms, celery, baby frisee and shaved Parmesan.  Insalate ($8-$14), the perfect start to a hearty meal, include Cita’s mista di stagione with mixed baby greens, cherry tomatoes and fennel slaw in a Pinot Grigio dressing; spinach with Gorgonzola cheese and Williams pears in a raspberry vinaigrette or a chopped salad with organic mixed greens, sopressata, fontina cheese, cucumber, red onion, roasted yellow pepper, corn and Pinot Grigio vinaigrette.
 
RED, WHITE AND BLUE ALL MONTH LONG

China Grill Fort Lauderdale is located at 1881 SE 17th Street, 954-759-9950
China Grill Ft. Lauderdale celebrates the Fourth of July all month long with complimentary red, white or blue Cointreau Margaritas.  From 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 19th, 2008. “Cointreau Ladies” will be handing out one free drink ticket to each customer that comes to the China Grill Ft. Lauderdale bar.  Each customer will then choose which color margarita they would like to sample.  Additional Cointreau Margaritas will be available for $12.00.
 
PATRICK BOUCHER, NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MIAMI

Acqua, The Four Season Hotel Miami, 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535
Following the departure of Patrick Duff, The Four Seasons Hotel Miami has appointed Patrick Boucher as executive chef. Mr. Boucher comes from the Four Seasons Golf Club in Dubai, and spent the last 12 years in the kitchens of top Four Seasons properties around the globe including the Four Seasons Resort Bali Jimbaran Bay where he oversaw five restaurants and the Resort’s Cooking School, before which he worked at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. The new menu at Acqua will now feature dishes such as Lacquered sea bass with honshimiji mushrooms, bok choy, soybeans, carrots and ginger miso broth; Study of Duck – five spiced breast, crispy foie gras spring roll, sesame glazed confit and fresh plum jus and Hazelnut, dulce de leche crusted Colorado lamb chops, broccolini, warm goat cheese and fingerling potato salad.

RA SUSHI BAR RESTAURANT OPENS IN SOUTH MIAMI

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant, 5829 SW 73rd St, 305-341-0092 www.RAsushi.com.
The new RA Sushi Bar Restaurant in South Miami is the 21st location nationwide and the third in Florida – Palm Beach, Pembroke Pines and now South Miami – of the chain of restaurants owned by Rich Howland and Scott Kilpatrick in partnership with Benihana. The 5,800 square-foot indoor/outdoor, high-energy restaurant features a traditional sushi bar adjacent to the table dining area, as well as a separate, full cocktail bar and lounge with Asian inspired spirits. The patio has an indoor/outdoor bar and the Flying Fish Lounge area. The chef is Hui Li, a.k.a. Kenny Li, a native of Hong Kong. The menu is a combination of starters ($3.25 to ($9.25) such as fresh sushi, tempuras, gyozas and teriyakis; soups and salads ($3.25 to $12.95); noodle dishes; and cold and hot Japanese-fusion specialties from the sea and from the land ($15 to $22) with a modern twist. RA Sushi Miami is open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner from 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 3 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Happy Hour food and beverage specials are offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and the bar remains open until 1 a.m. Sunday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight The Flying Fish Lounge offers Happy Hour prices on sushi and drinks.

Shrimp Gazpacho as seen on NBC6

As seen on NBC6 South Florida Today
Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes by Linda Gassenheimer

We all want to be fit and fabulous and still eat the foods we love. Who doesn’t want to lower their risk of disease?  There’s no gimmick here. The meals from Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes proves that good nutrition tastes great. 

 

SHRIMP GAZPACHO
3/4 pound cooked shrimp
1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup diced Vidalia or red onion
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons diced cucumber (divided use)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup nonfat, plain yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions sliced (about 1/2 cup)

Divide tomato juice, tomatoes, onion and 1/4 cup cucumber between 2 large soup bowls.  Divide olive oil, balsamic vinegar and yogurt between the bowls.  Stir to blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the shrimp between the two bowls and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons diced cucumber and scallions on top.  Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 344 calories (21 percent from fat), 8.0 g fat (1.4 g saturated, 3.9 g monounsaturated), 261 mg cholesterol, 44.0 g protein, 23.9 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 369 mg sodium.

SIDE DISH
CHEESE TOASTS
Olive oil spray
2 slices whole grain bread
2 ounces sliced Manchego cheese (about 1/3 cup)

Spray bread with olive oil spray.  Place in toaster oven or under the broiler for 30 seconds.  Remove and place cheese over toast.  Return to oven for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.  Serve with the soup. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 186 calories (50 percent from fat), 10.4 g fat (5.7 g saturated, 0.5 g monounsaturated), 31 mg cholesterol, 11.2 g protein,13.0 g carbohydrates, 1.9 g fiber, 243 mg sodium.

Fancy Food Show Linda’s Favorite Picks

 

Linda Gassenheimer’s Favorite Finds at the 2008 Fancy Food Show

The specialty, gourmet food industry is exploding.  It’s a bright light in this period of a stressed economy. The industry has enjoyed   23 percent sales growth over the past 2 years.  It seems that people are buying more specialty and natural food products to enjoy at home and at work. And major retailers like Costco are selling specialty foods.

 

Each summer, the Fancy Food Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, plays host to purveyors of specialty foods.  Thousands of foodies attend – this year some 25,000.  If you want to know what will be filling our gourmet shelves, this is the show to attend.

 

I noted several major trends this year:

Organic foods were popular last year, but this year the category has mushroomed. There was an entire floor devoted to natural and organic foods.

 

Beverages are another major growth item. A wide variety of drinks with  no added sugar, healthful ingredients, varied flavors, lower calories and energy additives were displayed.

 

Green and environmentally-friendly products are becoming more widely available through new specialty offerings.

 

Candy and snacks are the biggest growth products.

 

Cheese is the dominant product in the specialty category and new products include dry mixes to blend and spreads to put on top of cheese to turn it into a more interesting appetizer,
 

Here are some of my favorite finds:

BEVERAGES

Looking for a refreshing drink? Here are a few:

 

IZZE organic, no sugar added sparkling water is refreshing with a true fruit flavor.
My favorite flavors are the sparkling blackberry and peach.
Suggested Retail Price $1.39 to1.69 for 12 ounce bottle, www.izze.com

 

Frutzzo
These are 100 percent organic sparkling drinks with no added sugar.  My pick is the yumberry.  The yumberry (real name: yang-mei) has been grown in China for over 2,000 years and is packed with antioxidants.   Last year’s mega healthful fruit was acai and the year before pomegranates.  This year those two are still prevalent, but the newbie is the yumberry. The flavor is something like a sour cherry, but sweeter. 
It’s pricey at Suggested Retail Price $3.59 for a 12 ounce bottle., www.frutzzo.com

 

Teas by Republic of Tea
Red Cherry White Tea is delicious and low in caffeine.  Lady Apple tea is tasty and charitable.  The Company has launched a sip and make a difference campaign.  It will donate $1.00 from each sale  of the Lady Apple Tea to the Susan B. Komen breast cancer foundation.  Suggested Retail Price Lady Apple tea package (50 bags) $10.50;  Red Cherry White Tea (50 bags) $11.00, www.repuclicoftea.com

 

CONVENIENCE

Sauces help to spice up any dish.

Like curry but don’t have the time or patience to blend and prepare spices? Ready-to-eat Cashew Curry Sauce from Sable & Rosenfeld can be spooned over meat, fish or vegetables to make a  delectable Indian-style dish.
Suggested Retail Price $4.99 for 12 ounce bottle, www.sableandrosenfeld.com

 

Onion Comfit with Fennel from Caley and Cobb
Whole pieces of onion and fennel have a sweetly, sharp flavor that, used from the jar, will complement meats and vegetables. It is unusual to find fennel in a sauce and this one shows the labor of love it took to produce it.
Suggested Retail Price $7.99 for 9 ounce jar, www.caleyandcobb.com,
 

 

Sweet Sunshine Sweet Chili Sauce
This mild ancho pepper sauce is flavor without fire.  It will add spice to your chicken  or any other meat. This is an unusual combination that is not a hot sauce per se, but rather a secret blend of spices that create a pleasant, sweet-hot addition to your dish. 
Suggested Retail Price $7.99 or 10.7 oz bottle, www.sweetshunshine.com

 

Unsalted chicken stock by Kitchen Basics
A good stock  can serve as a  base for many sauces.  This one is not just lower in sodium, it has no added salt. This is stock without all the time and effort to prepare it. It really tastes homemade with a true chicken flavor.
Suggested Retail Price $2.99 for 32 ounces, www.kitchenbasics.net

 

Comfort Food in Minutes
Twin Hens Beef Pot Pie with a cheesy polenta topping is gluten-free and ready to heat and eat.When you want to take your taste buds up market from the typical deli or frozen prepared meal offerings, here’s a product to consider.
Suggested Retail Price $7.95 for a 9 ounce serving, www.twinhens.com

 

Lobster Mac and Cheese from the Hancock Gourmet Lobster Company
This is a variation on the ultimate comfort food dressed up with flavorful, whole pieces of lobster. Here is a new product from a wonderful purveyor of lobster. It’s a great idea for a dinner that can be ready in a jiffy combining the ordinary with the spiffy. It’s pricy but tasty.
Suggested Retail Price $32.00 per package for 2, 9-ounce servings, www.HancoockGourmetLobster.com

 

SNACKS AND SWEETS

Mary’ s Gone Crackers
These crisp, crunchy crackers have a rich, nutty flavor.  They’re whole-grain and gluten free. The product comes in multiple flavors. The original had great taste and makes a tasty addition to any appetizer needing a cracker.
Suggested Retail Price $4.50 for 6.5 ounce box, www.marysgonecrackers.com

 

Tanka Bar from Native American Natural Foods
Made on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, this delicious snack bar is made with buffalo and cranberries.  It’s a gourmet beef jerky with only 70 calories and only 1.5 grams of fat.
Suggested Retail Price $2.79 for 1 ounce bar, www.tankabar.com

 

Banana Chocolate Cherry Granola from Gaby’s Gourmet Granola
Breakfast won’t be the same again. This granola makes a delicious  cereal, and it can also be a great snack.  This product is organic and wheat free. I loved the taste and crunch.
Suggested Retail Price  $6.99 for 10 ounce bag, www.gabysgourmetgranola.com

 

Scharffen Berger’s 10th anniversary chocolate bar.
This limited edition from one of America’s best chocolate makers celebrates their 10 successful years in the sweet business.   The 72 percent cocoa bar is called Finisterra and has a smooth, chocolate flavor that’s not bitter. The bar is meant to be special and it is.
Suggested Retail Price $6.50 for a 3 ounce bar, www.scharffenberger.com
 

Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream Flavors by Jelly Belly
Enjoy your favorite ice cream flavors in a small jelly bean.  Partnering with the Coldstream ice cream company, they have produced   5 of the top Coldstone flavors (Chocolate Devotion, Strawberry Blond, Apple Pie a la Mode, Birthday Cake and Mint Chocolate Chip) in  jelly beans.
Suggested Retail Price  $2.25 for 3.1 ounce package, $25 Gift Package with 2 ice cream dishes filled with Coldstone jelly belly beans

 

GOING GREEN
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are earth-friendly, biodegradable cleaners.  They have an entire range of cleaning products.
Suggested Retail Price  $4.99 16 fluid ounce Dish Washing liquid and $11.99 for 16 fluid ounce Counter Top cleaner , www.mrsmeyers.com

Fred Tasker’s Wine to go with Grilled Foods

OK, so despite the heat, I’m reconciled that the Fourth of July is the peak grilling day of the year. So here’s my list of a wine to go with almost anything you might decide to grill.

Grilled oysters, clams, shrimp – a muscadet from France’s Loire Valley; it’s light and dry, so it’s the perfect shellfish wine.

Grilled vegetables, from onions to eggplant, summer squash, carrots, scallions, fennel – sauvignon blanc; it has an herbal, even vegetal taste that’s a nice match.

Grilled fish — pinot grigio; it’s crisp and light, just the thing.

Grilled chicken breast, skin off – pinot grigio here too; for lightness.

Grilled blackened fish or chicken – a fruity red shiraz; here you have to match the spices rather than the meat.

Port or beef ribs slathered with barbecue sauce – zinfandel; it’s American and patriotic, and it has a spicy flavor to go with the sauce.

Grilled hot dogs – champagne; I always remember that Jimmy Buffet’s restaurant in Key West used to offer a hot dog for $100, and, for another dollar, a bottle of Dom Perignon; can’t beat that.

Grilled hamburgers – a fruity merlot if you use ketchup, a high-acid chianti if you use mustard; if you use both, have a glass of each. I’m sort of kidding here, but I’ve seen wine writers seriously propose that you have to match the condiment rather than the meat.

Grilled New York Strip – a big California cabernet sauvignon; the king of wines with the king of meats.

Grilled fruit – for dessert you can grill slices of pineapple, plums, peaches, even bananas, as long as you keep a close eye so they don’t burn; pop a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re in heaven; the matching wine is a sweet, late-harvest dessert wine made of sauvignon blanc and Semillon.



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