Monthly Archives: April 2017

Via Emilia 9, South Beach’s Hidden Gem

Hello Foodie Friends,

I recently was invited to check out Via Emilia 9 in South Beach. I had not heard of it before and was super excited to go after taking a peek at their website.

Named after the merchant road in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure), ViaEmilia 9 is Miami Beach’s first authentic regional Italian restaurant and market. Emilia Romagna sits on the border with the third-smallest country in Europe, the Republic of San Marino, which happens to be the birth place of my mother-in-law, and a place I had the good fortune of visiting several years ago.

Perfect for lunch or dinner, Via Emilia 9 has something for all palettes and represents the Italian regions of both Bologna and Modena. Never compromising authenticity, Chef Giancarlo “Wendy” Cacciatori imports everything served at Via Emilia 9 from Italy (with the exception of fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs), including bread, which is brought in from the Vasalli Bakery in Ferrara, Italy. Via Emilia 9 has an expert “Sfoglina” or pasta maker on site hand rolling a variety of pastas and raviolis daily and upon request, she can personalize the stuffing of your ravioli or any pasta you’d like to try.

To get us started on our culinary journey through the Emilia region, Chef Wendy prepared for us a perfect antipasti plate that included 24 mo aged Parmigiano, 18 mo aged proscuitto di Parma, balsamic pearls (Chef Wendy & Tina import the balsamic from their own barrels in Emilia, where the balsamic sits and ages), fresh figs, artichoke, lemon jam & arugula with a side of gnocco frito (fried dough). Let me just say O – M – G!!!! This platter is one of the best I have ever had […]

DISARONNO Day

Hello Foodie Friends,

DISARONNO turned the literal translation of amaretto ‘a little bitter’ into something sweet for amaretto enthusiasts in Delray in honor of National Amaretto Day, this past Wednesday, April 19th. DISARONNO, the original amaretto since 1525, hosted a self-guided bar tour in Delray for DISARONNO Day, which also happens to be National Amaretto Day. During the bar tour, revelers were able to enjoy cocktails such as the Italian Margarita, Bourbon Sour and DISARONNO Breeze.

Starting off at City Oyster at 5pm, DISARONNO Day participants were also able to visit Tramonti, 32 East, Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza, and Buddha Sky Bar as part of the official tour. Guests were provided a DISARONNO Sour Jar in which they could enjoy the cocktails and take it home as a keepsake souvenir. In addition, guests were given a DISARONNO t-shirt.

I started off at one of my favorite places on “The Ave”, City Oyster & Sushi Bar where bartender extraordinaire Wayne Pasik poured me the Bourbon Sour to get this party started. Nice pucker to it. Off to a good start!

 

Next, I headed over to Tramonti where Timothy crafted the DISARRONO Breeze for me. This was made with DISARRONO of course and sour mix, Zonin Prosecco & Bitters. It was delicious!

Next up was 32 East. As I pulled up a seat at the bar, I could no sooner get out the words “DISARRONO” when the lively group of guys hanging out at the bar next to me blurted out “we would like to buy you that drink”. While I was flattered, I explained that I was participating in this tour and before I finished, they repeated their kind offer. Then it dawned on me, they were from DISARRONO. Dave, Ed, Matt and the rest of the gang […]

Gemma di Luna

Gemma di Luna, the newest gem from the Enovation Brands portfolio, is a premium Italian sparkling wine that elevates the Moscato experience. The wine is crafted from premium Moscato grapes grown in Italy’s Piemonte region, the legendary home of great Moscato, in the “spumante” or fully sparkling style. The luscious fruit flavors are balanced by vibrant acidity to ensure a crowd-pleasing flavor profile and the 7.5% ABV satisfies the growing consumer trend for lower alcohol choices. Not to be outdone by the wine inside, the beautiful teal blue bottle is adorned with a pearl white label enhanced by a laser foil effect reminiscent of pave diamonds.

I was sent a bottle of Gemma di Luna to share my experience with it with you. I have to say that the packaging was indeed beautiful, what do you think?

I tend to like my sparkling wines a little on the sweet side and this Moscato did not disappoint. It was the perfect accompaniment to my home cooked Sunday brunch.

 

I decided to get creative and make a fun cocktail combining the Gemma di Luna with another favorite spirit, FOS Greek Mastiha, Crystal Light and a splash of fresh grapefruit and lemon juice. I have to say I was quite impressed with the outcome.

If you’re looking for a slightly sweet sparkling wine, I would highly recommend you give Gemma di Luna a try. It’s affordably priced between $11.99 – $16.99 a bottle.  Check with your favorite wine shop to see if they carry it or shop online for it here.

Cheers!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

RUST Wynwood

Hello Foodie Friends,

 

Today’s feature takes us back down to Miami, to the uber artsy & trendy Wynwood district specifically for a tasting at RUST Wynwood. Founded by Uruguayan owners Juan Ignacio Fraschini and Julio Wolman, RUST Wynwood is located at 2621 NW 2nd Ave., inside the neighborhood gathering hotspot, Wynwood Block. Executive chef Diego Medina serves globally inspired, sharable dishes and pairs them with a unique wine menu that showcases an exceptional list of emerging brands. RUST’s menu features innovative interpretations on traditional cuisine, many of the items are meant for sharing.

My husband and I ventured there to try their Sunday brunch. To get things started we each ordered a cocktail; I ordered the passion fruit sangria and hubby ordered the peach sangria. Lately I seem to be on a passion fruit kick and this one did not disappoint. They (I couldn’t resist having a second one) went down waaaaaaay too smooth. Didn’t realize the potency until later when I got home and had to take a mid day nap, lol!

Julio, one of the aforementioned owners, was sitting at the table beside us and came over to say hello and share with us some info about himself, the restaurant and made some suggestions on what items to try. One of his suggestions was the Provoleta Benedicta which was an eggs benedict with a Uruguayan twist. Quite unique and very tasty!

Whenever I see octopus on the menu I am inclined to order it. That’s a given, just like truffle…you can be assured that if there’s a truffle dish on the menu, I will order that too. The char on this octopus looked perfect and the dish was presented beautifully.  Octopus is one of those dishes that you […]

FitFoodz That Make You Feel Fantastic!

Hello Foodie Friends,

Well as the healthy eating trend continues and the number of restaurants & cafe’s that serve this market continue to pop up, I’m happy to share with you one that I believe is a true trend setter in this arena. Today’s feature is on Fit Foodz Cafe, located in West Boca (Clint Moore Rd & 441).  I had met Susan Klein, the owner of Fit Foodz Cafe years ago when I still worked for Investments Limited and organized a health food fair in Royal Palm Place right around the time she was starting Fit Foodz Cafe, back in 2011.  Susan’s passion for reinventing comfort foods in a healthier way stemmed from her own personal desire to change her lifestyle after being in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, to lose weight and eat healthier, in addition to incorporating an exercise regime into her schedule.

Fit Foodz Cafe offers a wide variety of healthy meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, homemade snacks, refreshing juices and replenishing smoothies. Also offered are the popular individually portioned meals that change weekly to keep things interesting. Susan’s mission is to ensure her customers are able to enjoy healthy food that is both delicious and satisfying. And boy does she accomplish this! The dishes are sooooooo creative and super tasty!!!  Check out some of the many delicious dishes we got to try during a recent blogger tasting:

 

This tuna poke has skyrocketed to becoming one of my all time favorites!  My tablemates and I couldn’t stop eating this but reluctantly stopped knowing we had so much more before us yet to taste, lol! Don’t let the “hot sweet chili sauce” in the title scare you if you are sensitive to heat. It’s really not […]

SLOW FOOD MIAMI’S 6th ANNUAL FRESHEST NIGHT OUT

Hello Foodie Friends,

I’m very excited to share with you my excursion down to South Beach a few weeks ago to attend my very first Slow Food Miami event, where over 300 ravenous foodies joined an elite group of South Florida’s top chefs for the recent 6th Annual Slow Food Miami “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party.

What is Slow Food Miami you ask? Slow Food Miami supports our local community from the ground up – from the Edible School & Community Gardens that are planted to encourage the enjoyment of foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown; to the local growers and artisan food makers they support for their use of sustainable methods. Planting a fresher future for our children.

All proceeds from events such as The Slow Food Miami “Snail of Approval” along with donor contributions support local school and community gardens and points South Floridians and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair by identifying and honoring producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to food and beverage quality, authenticity and sustainability. In its inaugural year (2010), nominations were solicited among Miami-Dade county farmers. Now nominations come from the general public and all nominations are vetted by the Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Committee and donor contributions support local school and community gardens.

They are a non-profit, 100% volunteer organization. Their local members are passionate about good food, supporting local growers and celebrating Miami’s diversity. By acting locally, we are helping to build a world where the food we eat is good for us, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet. Slow Food Miami is the local chapter of Slow Food USA and the International Slow Food Association.

Celebrity Chef/Owner of Malibu Farm and […]

Fresh Kitchen Boca

Fresh Kitchen Boca Blogger Night

I was invited to the pre-opening of Fresh Kitchen Boca, another great addition in the growing trend of healthy fast casual restaurants popping up in South Florida.  Fresh Kitchen, a 100% gluten-free, build-your-own bowl concept has now opened in Boca Raton! All of their meats are hormone and antibiotic free, all of their sauces are homemade, and their menu, which is packed with flavor, changes with the seasons.  They opened their first store in South Tampa in September 2014, followed by St. Petersburg and Sarasota, and now…are thrilled to call Boca their new home 🙂 Their goal was to create and serve fresh, high quality ingredients that nourish and energize our bodies in a fast-casual restaurant. The meal you want, when you want it, with countless combinations. Their food is made from scratch and fresh-to-order.  From their grill to your bowl, as fast as you can point!

What they serve:

100% gluten free ingredients

Dairy free and sugar free, unless indicated

Cold pressed juices, teas and frescas made in-house daily

House made dressings and sauces

Flavorful veggies that change seasonally

Hormone and antibiotic free meats

Fresh salad and slaw, rice, quinoa & sweet potato noodles used as the base for bowls

So the idea is to build your own bowl selecting from a number of bases: brown rice, coconut ginger rice, romaine salad sweet potato mash, kale slaw, vegetable quinoa, sweet potato noodles and perfect spice rice; then select your veggies: Parmesan broccoli, roasted mushrooms, sesame green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts & seasonal vegetable; next you select your protein(s): grilled citrus chicken, herb grilled steak (+$1.50), baked almond chicken, chia seed tuna poke (+$1.50), BBQ chicken, chia seed teriyaki tofu, Chef’s protein; and then you can sauce it up with the […]

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