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WikiPearls: the future of ice cream?

24 Jul

WikiPearls

Just found a fascinating article from TheKitchn.com about a brand new frozen treat called ”WikiPearls.”These little treats consist of your standard ice cream, but wrapped inside a flavorful skin. They won’t melt all over you and make a mess, and they are positively delicious. Is this where ice cream is headed in the future? Here’s what The Kitchn had to say:

“The ice cream comes in three flavors: mango ice cream with coconut skin, chocolate ice cream with hazelnut skin, and vanilla ice cream with peanut skin. Currently you can only get WikiPearls at the WikiBar in Paris.

The masterminds behind the protective membrane, Harvard professor David Edwards and French designer Francois Azambourg, say the purpose of these protective skins, or WikiCells, is to reduce waste and improve the consumer’s health through vitamin-supplemented skins and portion control. One ice cream ball has only 50 calories.”

Check out the rest of the article here, and let us know what you think of this new sweet treat!

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Valentines Day Is Right Around the Corner – Get Inspired!

2 Feb

Chocolate, flowers, and love songs – must be Valentines Day!

In honor of the occasion, here are the “Top 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.” as compiled by Gayot. Take a minute to browse and get some romantic inspiration for your own special dinner together.

We’ve included a couple from the list here, and you can check out the article on Gayot’s for the full list here.

p.s. Don’t forget to make a reservation at your own dining choice ahead of time!

Canlis
2576 Aurora Ave. N
Seattle
WA 98109

Timeless elegance and accomplished cooking have made this spot Seattle’s special occasion restaurant for more than 60 years. Set on a slope above Lake Union with classic lines crossing Frank Lloyd Wright with Pacific Northwest design, the building opens to refined rooms that are welcoming and gracious.

Being family-owned for three generations, its professional service and world-class wine cellar, as well as its cuisine, set Canlis apart. Five sommeliers, who are gracious whether you order a $30 or $3,000 bottle of wine, help you choose the right selection from more than 18,000 bottles. A menu with both traditional favorites and contemporary seasonal fare makes deciding between truffle fries and butter-poached lobster or a well prepared steak and a twice-baked potato a true challenge.

If you like decisions made for you, the prix-fixe chef’s tasting menu ($115) shows off the talents of executive chef Jason Franey. Canlis’ signature dishes are equally impressive, especially the Canlis salad, Washington-raised Kobe-style beef, and the vermouth-bathed Peter Canlis prawns with garlic, red chilies and lime. Desserts include a Grand Marnier soufflé (order in advance) or a luscious molten chocolate cake.

Extend your evening by enjoying brandy in the bar while listening to jazz or show tunes played on the house Steinway. No matter when you leave, your car will magically be waiting.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (Flamingo Rd.)
Las Vegas
NV 89109

If Las Vegas were the house, this restaurant would be the best seat in it, for this fine-dining perch in Paris’s Eiffel Tower has an unobstructed view of the Strip, including Bellagio’s dancing fountains across the street. Burgundy velour banquettes and a Belle Époque décor set a plush stage for the contemporary French offerings.

Among imaginative appetizers, we like the cold foie gras torchon with duck prosciutto and a fig compote, offered for lunch and dinner. Luncheon sandwiches include steak with Roquefort cheese and a red onion compote. A salad favorite is created with lobster, shrimp and crab. The dégustation menu dreamed up by the chef each evening is a popular choice, featuring menu items such as warm lobster salad with fingerling potatoes and toasted caraway seeds; butternut squash soup with duck confit; sautéed sea bass; venison chop; Eiffel Tower desserts or a soufflé; and petits four.

Wine can be paired with the tasting menu for a complete experience. Among à la carte dinner entrées, try the slow-roasted filet of Atlantic salmon with Pinot Noir sauce. Prices are high, but dishes such as the individual Eiffel Tower beef Wellington with sautéed snap peas are worth it. The wine list consists of more than 900 labels.

See full list….

What Comes After Christmas?

19 Dec

Christmas can be an all-consuming endeavor: friends, family, food, festivities, music, presents — so much so, in fact, that we often forget to look ahead to the days following this special season.

In case you’ve forgotten, New Years Eve celebrations are right around the corner! If you haven’t decided what to do and are looking for a few good dining options in the ‘Burgh, check out Table Magazine’s recent piece on “Where to go and what to eat” while you ring in the new year.

Got suggestions? Comment and let us know!

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New Year’s Eve 2011
Where to go and what to eat!
Posted: Dec. 19, 2011
By Jessie Cadle

New Years Eve is the time to don the fancy dress and the highest (and hottest) heels to hit the city. But it’s also a holiday for fabulous, filling food. We’ve scoured the streets and found restaurants with special New Year’s Eve events. Grab a fork!

Have a little dessert before dinner at Dozen Bake Shop, in Lawrenceville and Oakland. They have cupcakes with liquor in the frosting or in the cake. Pick up a few margarita, cosmo or jack and coke cupcakes for yourself or to take to your New Year’s party. (Cheers!)

Head to Highland Park for E2’s family style dinner—featuring a special menu created by Chef Kate Romane—for $60 per person. It’s BYOB, so don’t forget the Champagne!

If you want a full-night affair, head to Seven Springs for one of two parties: the Foggy Goggle for $50 a person or the Matterhorn Lounge and Alpine Room Party for $25 per person. Both feature hors d’oeuvres from 9-11 p.m., DJ performances, and pork and sauerkraut at midnight.

If you’re down for even more of a road trip, head to Green House Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio. We fell in love with this place on a recent culinary trip. For $89, you can have a 9-course dinner menu (vegetarian available) and a show by three different DJs.

SAVOY is bringing in Celebrity DJ Biz Markie for their $100 event, which includes a three-course menu, complimentary wine, and a Champagne toast. For $50, you can hang in the lounge for a more laid-back celebration.

Spoon, in East Liberty, is celebrating with a small two-course meal—including chicken and dumplings or filet and crab bread pudding—and dessert. But, if you’re out in Allison Park, check out Blue’s New Year’s Eve menu and New Orleans style jazz by The Southern Comfort Band from 8 p.m. until midnight.

For a classic downtown Pittsburgh night, go to Braddock’s American Brasserie for $50 a person. The special menu includes prosciutto wrapped scallop galantine. (Yum.) Or check out Habitat, for $100 per person, for a six-course meal, featuring scallops and seared duck breast.

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Follow this link to read the rest of this article on Table Magazine’s website.

Cream of the Parlor Crop: The Top 50 Ice Cream Spots!

27 Jul

We went on an online voyage this week to discover how US residents liked their ice cream -and where. We sifted through an enormous number of sites, and here’s what we found out:

Our favorite answer comes from USA Today. They conducted a poll asking readers to share their favorite ice cream parlor, and then aggregated the results by state. That’s a huge list! We’ve included a few of the states in this post – for the full 50-state list, CLICK THIS LINK!

What’s YOUR favorite ice cream spot??

Florida

Every Friday at Jersey Creamery in McIntosh, Karen DeConna makes her small-batch ice cream in an 1880 train depot. That’s when you get the freshest scoop right out of the machine. Her dense product draws its sweetness from fruit rather than sugar. Summer flavors blueberry, peach and mango are best enjoyed in a rocking chair on the big porch. 22050A N. Highway 441; 352-317-8060

Recommended by Patricia Letakis, executive editor of Florida Travel + Life magazine

Pennsylvania

Berkey Creamery, a Penn State institution since 1896, is the nation’s largest university creamery, with much of the main ingredient (milk) coming from the university’s own cows. Some of the 100 or so flavors (20 available at any one time) reflect the State College academic setting. There’s peachy Paterno (peach flavored with sliced peaches) named for coach Joe Paterno and alumni swirl (vanilla with Swiss mocha chips and blueberry swirl). 119 Food Science Building, University Park; 814-865-7535; creamery.psu.edu

Recommended by Timothy Brixius, contributor, savvygrouse.com

North Carolina

Known for ice cream made fresh, in-house each week, Yum Yum Better Ice Cream serves cups, cones and milkshakes. Owned and operated by the same family since 1906 and set in the heart of the University of North Carolina Greensboro community, Yum Yum draws a mix of students and locals craving a delicious treat. 1219 Spring Garden St.; 336-272-8284

Recommended by John Batchelor, restaurant reviewer for the Greensboro News and Record

South Carolina

Located on Lady’s Island in the coastal town of Beaufort, Berry Island Ice Cream Cafe offers 24 flavors at a time. Try a scoop of a standby called the Prince of Tides, a favorite of Barbra Streisand when she was in town making the movie based on Pat Conroy’s novel. It’s coffee-almond fudge, but the name is pure South Carolina. 1 Merchant Lane, #102; 843-524-8779; berryislandcafe.com.

Recommended by Sid Evans, editor of Garden & Gun magazine

Mother’s Day Dining in Florida

6 May

We know you’re all making plans for Mother’s Day. If you live in Florida, we’ve got a few places you might enjoy in Palm Beach and Miami. We compiled a list from various reviews on southflorida.dinemag.net – feel free to add your own Florida area faves!

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4 Palm Beach Dining Options:

1) BRIO Tuscan Brill at the Gardens Mall, Palm Beach Gardens
TIme: 10:00 a.m.

BRIO will offer an a la carte brunch menu on Mother’s Day will menu items ranging from $10.95-18.95. Enjoy breakfast favorite like White Chocolate Raspberry French Toast or Crab & Shrimp Crepes or opt for lunch favorites like Citrus Chicken with Shrimp Scampi or Grilled Salmon & Angel Hair.

2) China Beach Bistro, 409 Northwood Rd, West Palm Beach
When: May 9-14

While China Beach will be closed on Mother’s Day, they will be celebrating mom all week long (5/9-14). Bring mom in anytime during the week and she will enjoy a free dessert with the purchase of an entree. China Beach will also be giving away Northwood Neighborhood Preferred cards that will give you 20% off your entire check from now until November. Stop by anytime and ask the hostess for your card.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse, locations in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach
Time: 3-9 pm; Cost: $59++

Take mom to Morton’s on Mother’s Day and you will enjoy a 3-course prix-fixe for just $59. Start off with your choice of salad (either Morton’s Salad or a Caesar), an entree (Single Cut Filet Mignon with Bernaise, Filet Oskar with Asparagus and Jumbo Lump Crab, Broiled Salmon, Colossal Shrimp Alexander or Chicken Christoper) with a side dish; and either Creme Brulee or Double Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

4) Four Seasons, Palm Beach
Time: noon-6pm; Cost $100++ or $30++ for children 5-12

Enjoy a delectable brunch at Four Seasons with mom this year and her experience will enjoy mini-spa treatments, complimentary gifts from Amala (the new luxury cosmetic line), and browsing in the Tory Burch Lounge. There will be a lavish display of sumptuous treats for the brunch including a Iced Seafood Station with Oysters on the Half Shell, Assorted Sushi Rolls, a fruit and yogurt bar, American Caviar, salads, tapas, a carving station, classic breakfast options like made-to-order omelets; a dessert buffet (try the hot citrus crepes with vanilla ice cream) and more.

3 Miami Dining Options:

1) Area 31 at EPIC Hotel Miami; 305.424.5234
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m; Cost $55++/adults or $25++/children 6-15

Make this Mother’s Day extra special by taking mom to Area 31 for a decadent brunch. Standouts on the menu include Lobster Ravioli with Black Truffle Sauce; Domestic Caviar and blinis; Long Island Duck Breas with Ruby Orange Glaze; Spring Greens; and Kobe Hot Dog Chemis with spicy mustard and chili sauce.

2) Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room at Conrad Hotel Miami, 1395 Brickell Ave, Miami; 305.503.6529
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., $65/person or $24/children 5-12

Sumptuous cuisine with a view will set the mood for Mother’s Day this year at Atrio. Enjoy all of mom’s favorites like Spiced Honey Roast Ham with Pineapple Salsa; Seasonal Salads like Asparagus, Artichoke, Goat Cheese and Lemon; fresh pastas include home made mac & cheese; fresh omelets made to order; and an extravagant dessert station including the decadent chocolate fountain.

3) Norman’s 180 at the Westin Colonnade Coral Gables, 180 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; a la carte

The team at Norman’s 180 will be whipping up some Mother’s Day specials in addition to their regular breakfast menu next Sunday. These specials include the “Cuban Benedict” with poached eggs, buttermilk bisquit, smoked ham, ropa vieja and mustard bernaise ($15); Serran and Manchego Frittatas ($12); Smoked Salmon with poached asparagus, truffle ravigot and crispy fried red onions ($14); and Champagne Mascarated Local Fruit with mint, honey and chantilly ($10).

The Skinny on What’s Trending in Drinks

8 Apr

We don’t know about you, but we’re already looking forward to the warm days ahead. Despite some chilly weather, it is finally starting to feel like spring is in the air. We’ve got wining, dining, and sun in mind! And luckily for the health conscious, ‘Skinny Cocktails’ are in season. The Ink Foundry gives us the lowdown on who’s serving what.

Read on to find out more, and head over to their site to see the article in its original location: inkfoundry.com. Enjoy!

 

The Skinny on what’s Trending in Drinks at Restaurants and Bars

By Carina Ost

Good news, we are in 2011, prediction time is over and it is time to see what’s really trending. Low calorie options on menus or calorie content exposed is nothing new, but what is new is where that trend is spilling. Hint: look to what’s on top of your coaster or cocktail napkin.

While the nation is experiencing a cocktail explosion many Americans’ waistlines are expanding. For many diners the question becomes: cocktail or dessert? With the rise and reintroduction of so many interesting prohibition and artisanal cocktails who wants to just try one, there must be a better solution.

The first time many of us heard of the cocktail trend known as “Skinny Cocktails” was from Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York City. She introduced us all to her Skinnygirl Margarita product and the world of 100 calorie cocktails was unleashed.

It is really no surprise, beers have become more calorie conscious in recent years. In fact, Miller Genuine Draft 64 clocks in with only 64 calories. With the average margarita containing upwards of 400 calories, a change was necessary.

On the retail side, alcohol is getting healthier. No lie. Liquor like VeeV, contain that magical fruit açaí, which has 57% more antioxidants than that other superfruit, pomegranates.

Agave nectar that was once only used for tequila production is now a readily used sweetener that is 1.6 times sweeter than honey, so you can use less and intake fewer calories. Vegans, diabetics, and nutritionists use it as a healthy subsitute for honey, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Since the sweetener is a thin liquid, not viscous, it is an easy and healthy add-in to beverages from iced tea to Long Island iced teas. Expect more bartenders to shake with this sweet ingredient.

Since cocktails are part of the girls’ night out and dining out experience, what are the restaurants doing to give the people what they want: cool cocktails with low calories?

The Cheescake Factory, a place known for enormous portions, is rolling out a menu of five of their most popular cocktails in skinny versions with around half of the calories. Margaritas and mojitos that normally contain 300 calories now have 150 calories. Starting in March this slimmed down version of the drink menu will be available in all of their locations.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is serving up a cocktail called Tickled Pink, which clocks in at 99 calories, it is known as the skinniest of the skinny cocktails. This drink with Belvedere Vodka, sugar-raspberry preserves, and Mionetto Prosecco doesn’t leave us feeling like we are missing anything.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill has a “Naturally Skinny” cocktail line that features six cocktails that include  Veev alcohol, agave nectar, cucumber and much more. The drinks range from a Lemon Skinny Deep to an Açaí Basil Gimlet, all with less than 250 calories.

The only problem with this trend is that with half the calories we are all hoping for half the price. Unfortunately, that is just not the case. Although the Tickled Pink from Fleming’s is offered on their “5 For 6 ‘Til 7″ happy hour menu so you can grab it for $6 between 5pm-7pm every night of the week.

Cheers to skinny cocktails!

The Valentines Day Special: Make It Yourself

11 Feb

So you’ve picked out a restaurant, maybe bought a card; but you want to add a little originality to the day. Why not make something sweet and delicious for your valentine? Not a pastry chef? Don’t sweat it. Here are two recipes that have been voted easy-prep romantic favorites. Try one (or both) to put the icing on the cake, with a cherry on top, this Valentines day. Bon appetit!

Sweetheart Palmiers

Ingredients:


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Serves: 30

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2 Combine the sugar and salt together.
3 Pour 1 cup of the sugar on a flat surface.
4 Use one sheet of the puff pastry and pour 1 cup of the sugar over the top and spread out evenly with your hands.
5 Use a rolling pin to press the sugar into the dough, until it’s 13 by 15 rectangle.
6 Turn the dough over and press the sugar on the other side as well, you want the dough to be completely covered with the sugar on both sides. There will be extra sugar left on the board.
7 Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough, then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book, you will have 6 layers.
8 Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and dip both cut sides in the sugar to ensure a good coating.
9 Place the slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
10 If you choose, sprinkle generously the colored sugar on each piece.
11 Continue with the second sheet of pastry as above.
12 Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes until brown on the bottom.
13 Transfer immediately to a baking rack to cool completely, before they stick.
14 Store in an airtight container. You can freeze them at this point as well.

 

The Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1 (14 ounce) angel food cake, cut into cubes (I buy the cake already made)
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    Directions:

    1 Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half.
    2 Add sugar; toss to mix well.
    3 Chill.
    4 Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar well.
    5 Fold in whipped topping and cake cubes.
    6 Spread cake into an ungreased 13×9 dish.
    7 Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
    8 Cut cake into squares; top with strawberries.