The Paradores Of Spain Name Top Five ‘Must-Try’ Tapas

August 22, 2014 on 8:32 am | In Dine Drink, Spain | Comments Off

Spain’s national boutique hotel group shares top tips on where to sample the very best Spanish snacks

Few things are more quintessentially Spanish than tapas; visitors to Spain can now discover where to enjoy the best and most innovative of the traditional Spanish dishes thanks to a new ‘top five’ list of expert recommendations from the state-owned Paradores group of landmark hotels.

The Paradores exemplify Spanish culture, embracing the avant garde whilst respecting the country’s history and traditions. Constant reinvention and collaboration amongst Paradores chefs is all part of the group’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of contemporary Spanish cuisine. The culinary team strives to offer new gastronomic sensations for their clients, most notably displayed through inventive and modern twists on traditional Spanish tapas. When faced with a vibrant tapas menu brimming with a host of mouth watering options, how do the uninitiated choose? The Paradores’ carefully selected top five will help ensure guests don’t miss out on the classics.

Croquetas (croquettes) at Parador Artíes

This modern twist on a classic tapa was created especially for the Dry Snow restaurant and cocktail bar at Parador Artíes, nestled in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees. These small rolls – stuffed with a variety of fillings, covered in breadcrumbs, then fried – and are the perfect après-ski snack for guests who have worked up an appetite after a day on the world-famous slopes of the Baqueira Beret ski resort.

Berenjenas a la miel (aubergines in honey) at Parador Córdoba

For something a bit sweeter, head south to the luxury hotel of Parador Córdoba, set within the famous city of Caliphs, and snack on some traditional berenjenas a la miel – aubergines in honey. These crunchy treats are the perfect way to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings, and give guests a boost of energy to explore this UNESCO World Heritage City’s impressive landmarks, such as the spectacular Mezquita de Córdoba.

Papas arrugadas con mojo (Canary Islands wrinkly potatoes) at Parador La Gomera

Parador La Gomera, on the eponymous Canary Island, is a luxury retreat with exceptional views and an equally impressive gastronomic experience. After a day taking in the breathtaking views of neighboring Tenerife, head back to Parador La Gomera’s restaurant for a hearty dish of papas arrugadas con mojo – boiled potatoes served with a sauce made from olive oil, garlic, paprika and cumin.

Tortillitas de camarones (shrimp pancakes) at Parador Cádiz

This tapas of perfectly portioned shrimp pancakes is made from wheat and chickpea flour, and fried in olive oil with spices and onion. Wash these crunchy, savoury treats down with a chilled local vino fino at the luxurious Parador Cádiz, in the seaside city of the same name, famous for its Carnival celebrations.

Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) at any Parador!

The most well known, but nonetheless irresistible Spanish tapa is Iberian ham, which can be enjoyed at any of Spain’s 94 Paradores. From the castle-palace in Olite or the grand lodge in Gredos, jamón ibérico topped with a splash of Spanish olive oil is the ideal appetiser for any meal.

Taste these delectable tapas and much more while staying at one of Paradores’ historic hotels; for further information and reservations visit  or call +34 902 54 79 79.

Paradores de Turismo is a State-owned company with eight decades of history, which currently manages 94 highly individual properties across mainland Spain and the Canary Islands. The group continues to expand its portfolio, with the objective of restoring and preserving Spain’s cultural landmarks.

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Cyprus to be a foodie destination

August 22, 2014 on 8:25 am | In Beachbooker, Cyprus, Dine Drink | Comments Off

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation hopes to popularise Cypriot food with help of Travel Foundation

Travel Foundation and Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) have co-operated to put delicious Cypriot food tourism on the menu.

It is a move the CTO believes will appeal to tourists looking for something different and will give a boost to local businesses and, of course, promote a quintessential Cypriot past time: eating.

As a first step, the CTO launched a pilot programme last month to urge hotels in the Paphos district to promote the Cypriot breakfast.

The consortium hired a consultant agency to carry out Cyprus breakfast seminars to the staff of participating hotels, taught by culinary arts instructors Yiannakis Agapiou and George Kyprianou, former chairman and deputy of the Cyprus Chefs’ Association, respectively. Three of the four scheduled seminars have already taken place.

“There are already 16 hotels in Paphos participating in the project, we are expecting at least 20, but at the moment it is difficult because it is a high season for the hotels and they are too busy to take the course,” said CTO official Monica Liatiri, adding that they expect more hotels to take part in September.

The trained chefs are taught how to use traditional Cyprus products such as carob syrup, epsima (concentrated grape juice), fresh goat milk and cheeses, fresh herbs and smoked meats as well as traditional preserved sweets. Restaurant staff are also trained to identify and explain these products to tourists.

“There are many ways to use these products to make breakfast recipes. Anari cheese for instance, is a great product and can be used both in sweet and savoury dishes,” said Kyprianou. “Why are mozzarella and prosciutto used widely and not anari and choiromeri?” he asked.

He added that by seeing and tasting these products in breakfast dishes, like omelettes, pies, pastries they would want to buy them and take them home, and maybe search for them in their local supermarkets.

If the pilot project succeeds, the aim is to introduce it island wide.

Apart from the Cyprus breakfast, the CTO is exploring the idea of promoting a common branding, also on a voluntary basis, which aims to promote culinary tourism in Cyprus.

This branding follows the international trend of consumers seeking authentic experiences instead of globalised and standardised ones.

“It will be a horizontal programme and include producers, shop-owners, restaurants, hotels, small businesses that sell traditional sweets, meat and dairy products, etc,” Liatiri said.

CTO believes that the project will also provide a promotion platform for businesses locally and abroad through the press, social media and, websites.

“It is a win-win situation; it will be a marketing tool. Once they see the cost and effect factor, they will want to participate, “We will have a competition before the end of 2014 and hire an expert that will make the business plan first so that we know how to best proceed with criteria, conditions etc,” Liatiri said.

She also said that the brand could become an umbrella for many activities incorporated within the culinary tourism theme.

“It could be cooking courses, food festivals, tours in traditional places, organised by individuals or organisations that can all be incorporated under the umbrella of the culinary tourism brand,” Liatiri said.

Culinary branding is nothing new. In Greece a similar project is called Aegean Cuisine and Austria is also promoting their culinary products.

Kyprianou said the success of the project will depend on businesses participating seriously and maintaining standards.

“It is not about getting the brand just to increase business, you only participate because you want to do this and promote the products properly,”

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August 21, 2014 on 11:44 am | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off

Victor Drai’s Sunset Plaza Steakhouse Launches new Bar & Patio Menu
& Weeknight Bar/Lounge Experiences Featuring No Corkage Fees on Mondays,
Uncork’d Tuesdays and Oyster, Champagne & Caviar on Wednesdays & Thursdays

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 8, 2014) – With summer officially in high-gear, Rare by Drai’s, Victor Drai’s Sunset Plaza steakhouse is now open on Sunday nights and is launching a new bar/patio menu with a series of weeknight events: Rare Summer Exclusives – a season-long celebration of food, drink, bar and patio dining.

Executive Chef Patrick Florendo is introducing new summer menu creations, combined with the new bar and patio menu call Bite at our Bar. In addition, Rare will now feature weeknight experiences ranging from No Corkage on Mondays to Rare Uncork’d on Tuesdays to tantalizing Champagne, Oysters & Caviar on Wednesday & Thursday nights.

The bar and patio at Rare provide the ying to Rare’s main dining room’s yang – the bar, lounge and patio are not merely waiting spaces before dinner; they are designed to be the social gathering spot of the restaurant experience with the lounge featuring an expansive bar and 33 seats, while the patio presents is an intimate, relaxed space with a crisp, white hue, large open windows, shimmering candles and a design lighter and more casual than the dining rooms. To go with more relaxed setting, Florendo has designed a new menu that captures the spirit of summer and the two front-of-house spaces. Beginning on July 7, the new, Bite At Our Bar menu is available all night in the bar & lounge and exclusively in the patio from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The new Bite at Our Bar menu includes the first-ever Drai’s Classic Cheeseburger featuring grilled onions and Tillamook cheese to a Steak Frites, which comes with a selection of house-made sauces to a refreshing Grilled Peaches and Burrata on a crispy ciabatta with aged balsamic and petite basil. The full Bite at our Bar menu includes:

• Drai’s Classic Cheeseburger
• Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad
• Steak Frites
• Skuna Salmon & Frites
• Spicy Tuna Tartar
• Steamed Mussels
• Grilled Peaches & Burrata
• Parmesan Truffle Fries and Truffled Mac & Cheese.
Spicy Tuna Tartare

Steamed Mussels

Grilled Peaches and Burrata
In addition to the new patio-inspired menu, Florendo’s new summer-inspired main dining room items are highlighted by a cool yellow tomato soup, a refreshing heirloom chilled watermelon and a fresh house-made peach cobbler. “We designed Rare to have two distinct personalities,” explains Victor Drai. “The dining room is beautiful, warm and sophisticated, and the bar, lounge and patio bring a more casual element: it’s the perfect setting for this menu and our new social experiences.”

For those looking to take advantage of the summer with early mid-week dining, Rare has created “Summer Exclusives” which range from personalized cocktails to a selection of fine wines featured at 50% off their menu prices to a classic pairing of oysters, champagne and caviar.

Rare Summer Exclusives include:

• Monday Nights – No Corkage – Dine with your personal favorite red and white wines from home and enjoy them in the sultry setting of Rare’s dining room and patio with no corkage fee.

• Tuesday Nights – Rare Uncork’d – An extensive wine menu has been selected to pair with the great steaks and seafood, Rare presents a new weekly ritual with a selection of their finest wines available for 50% off.
• Uncork’d List includes: Ojai Vineyard, “Bien Nacido Vineyard,” 2009/Soliste, “Nouveau Monde” Monoclone, Sonoma Coast, 2011/Hirsch Vineyards “Reserve,” Sonoma Coast, 2010/La Jota “Howell Mountain,” Napa, 2007/Mt. Brave, Mt. Veeder, 2009/Chataeu Cos d’Estournel, 2007/Saint-Amour, Moilard, Beaujolais, 2009/Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chateau de Beaucastel, 2009/Bararesco, Bruno Giacosa “Asilli” Faletto, 1999

• Wednesday & Thursday Nights – Champagne/Oysters & Caviar – The weeknights will take classy turn with the addition of two nights of hand-selected oysters and caviar paired with Piper Champagne.

Rare by Drai’s is located at: 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. Rare by Drai’s Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 6pm-10pm; Thursday: 6pm-10:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 6pm-11:30pm; Sunday: 5pm-9pm. Bar Opens nightly at 5:00 p.m.

For dinner reservations call 310-360-1525 or book at . For booking private events, call: 310-360-1950. To follow online, visit , on Facebook at:  and on Twitter at:

In addition to Rare by Drai’s, Victor Drai is has recently opened three new venues in Las Vegas: Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub, Liaison Nightclub and Drai’s After Hours

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Alcove Café Celebrates 10 Years with the 10 Days of Alcove

August 21, 2014 on 11:42 am | In California, Dine Drink, Los Angeles | Comments Off

The Los Feliz Eatery, Bar, and Chocolate Confectionary Launches ‘Wonka-esque’ Celebration
Complete with Golden Tickets, Instant Winners, and Amazing Prizes from July 14 – July 23

(LOS ANGELES, CA.) – July 7 – Ten years ago in two historic Los Feliz cottages on Hillhurst Avenue, Tom Trellis introduced a neighborhood catalyst when he opened Alcove Café. His vision was simple, but bold – to create an authentic restaurant that would serve as a community gathering place to share great food and stories. He succeeded and surpassed this idea, as Alcove now includes Big Bar and Alcove Chocolate, and its patio has become a memory-making Los Angeles destination. To celebrate the 10th Anniversary this summer, Alcove Café is launching the 10 Days of Alcove: an exciting 10 day anniversary celebration whereby Alcove presents a ‘Wonka-esque’ giveaway complete with Golden Tickets hidden inside chocolate bars and tucked in food and cocktail napkins.

Taking a page out of the classic novel Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Alcove has created its own version of the Golden Ticket, but instead of inheriting Alcove, guests will win fantastic prizes and experiences that can only be had at Alcove | Big Bar and Alcove Chocolate. Beginning on July 14 and ending on July 23, guests at Alcove will discover the hidden Golden Tickets in surprising places: inside napkin roll ups, cocktail napkins, and Alcove Chocolate bar wrappers. Each prize is fun and exciting, as each Golden Ticket represents a unique experience found only at the landmark cottages that have been a part of the community for over a century.

“When opening Alcove, my #1 goal was to create a comfortable environment and an enjoyable experience to serve our community. Actually, I wanted to create a community within the community. It was so surprising and gratifying that we opened day one with a line of customers down the brick path. It’s even more gratifying that 10 years later, we see many of the same customers every week, and even every day,” explains Trellis. “Like the experience here, I want our anniversary to be festive, and we want to give back, hence the 10 Days of Alcove was born.”
10 Days of Alcove | Prize Packages
July 14 – 23 • Golden Tickets given away during Alcove Café and Big Bar hours of operation.

1. The Full Service Weekend Pass (five prizes awarded)
Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with full table service, which includes complimentary entrées, cocktails and desserts for the winner and guest.

2. Mixtape Mixology Memory Stick (five prizes awarded)
Receive a memory stick with 10 Mixtapes (including the famed Alcove Big 10 Mix) + two cocktails on the legendary Mixtape Mixology Thursday Night.

3. “Drinks on Me” Hero Pass (five prizes awarded)
Everyone enjoys being the Hero who buys the round for his or her friends…almost as much as everyone likes being on the receiving end. Be the hero with a pass good for one round of cocktails plus an appetizer of your choice for you and three of your friends.

4. The Gift of Chocolate (ten prizes awarded)
A delectable chocolate-lovers gift box featuring Alcove Chocolate bars and mini-tiles.

5. The Ultimate Alcove Chocolate Gift Basket (two prizes awarded)
A very special gift basket packaged to perfection with all things Alcove Chocolate including the entire collection of 12 distinctive flavor profiles in 3 oz. bars and 9-gram mini-tiles.

6. Simple & Sweet – Coffee + Cake (ten prizes awarded)
The perfect prize for those with an afternoon sweet tooth, as the winner and guest will enjoy coffee or tea and slice of delicious cake.

7. Be Our Guest of Honor for Dinner and a Movie (four prizes awarded)
Delight in a table reservation for two with complimentary dinner and cocktails for the legendary Movie Night at Alcove.

8. Immortalized on the Alcove Featured Cocktail Board (one prize awarded)
Be part of the Alcove | Big Bar history with a Featured Cocktail dedicated to YOU. The Big Bar bartenders will craft a new cocktail based on your preferences and personality.

9. GRAND PRIZE #1 – Private Cocktail Class at Big Bar (two prizes awarded)
Enjoy a private cocktail class for you and five of your best friends with Aaron Alvarez, Big Bar Manager.

10. GRAND PRIZE #2 – Dinner in the Alcove Event Cottage for 10 (one prize awarded) –
You and nine friends will celebrate an event of your choice featuring dinner, cocktails and dessert in the exclusive Alcove Cottage.

A beloved Los Feliz institution, Alcove Café | Big Bar are housed in two historic bungalows, surrounded by garden patios. Alcove serves updated versions of American classics, hand-crafted cocktails, fine wines, craft beers, artisan baked goods, hand-roasted coffee, hand-crafted teas, and Alcove Chocolate.

Alcove Café is located at 1929 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-0100,

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Skypool Opens in London’s Highest Bar at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard‏

August 21, 2014 on 8:06 am | In Dine Drink, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

A stunning infinity Skypool is now open 52 floors above ground level in the sleek Gŏng bar at the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard – making it the highest pool in Western Europe.

Far above the noise and heat of the city, the Skypool offers a tranquil escape for hotel guests by day, before the separation screens are drawn back as the sun sets and it becomes a unique addition to London’s highest bar, Gŏng.

Facing west across the city, the 36- by 13-foot heated pool features stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster, providing the perfect spot to enjoy the iconic vistas.

Feeling on top of the world from 8:30 p.m. onwards, Gŏng guests can enjoy a spot of sophisticated poolside glamour while they sip on signature creations from the dedicated cocktail bar such as the Bermondsey Bubbles – Jensen’s Dry Bermondsey Gin, Rose liqueur, Creole Bitters and champagne; or the award-winning Black and Blue Swizzle – Talisker, honey, lime, PX sherry and blue cheese.

Champagne lovers can enjoy a wide selection from the champagne bar from rare grower varieties up to the ultimate Grand Marques, and indulge in luxury bar snacks such as Cornish crab, foie gras, and a selection of the finest caviar. The 30-cover poolside area can also be hired exclusively for a spectacular sky-high party.
Skypool at Gŏng:
Black and Blue Swizzle Cocktail:
Gŏng Bar:
The Skypool Exterior:

Designed by Andre Fu of AFSO, Gŏng is inspired by the mythical aspect of ‘dou-gong’ – a series of interlocking brackets that are used extensively in historical Chinese architecture. Combining traditional Eastern design with modern Western glamour, an oversized “paint scroll” measuring 50 feet in length floats above the Skypool.

To book a seat poolside, please call (44) 20 7234 8208, email or book online by visiting
The Skypool is open exclusively to hotel guests between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.; non-hotel guests can enjoy the Skypool as part of Gŏng from 8:30 p.m. It also features a pool lift for those with disabilities.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s premier hotel companies, currently owns and/or manages more than 80 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 34,000. Over four decades the group has established its brand hallmark of ‘hospitality from the heart.’ The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at

Argentina’s Algodon Mansion and Algodon Wine Estates Offer Tango- and Gaucho-Themed Thanksgiving Packages‏

August 21, 2014 on 7:58 am | In Argentina, Dine Drink, South America | Comments Off

This Thanksgiving, families can escape North America’s winter and head to warm Argentina – where the seasons are reversed – for a stay at Algodon Mansion or Algodon Wine Estates, each offering special Tango- or Gaucho-themed packages.

“Guests can save the energy they would be expending, slaving over a Thanksgiving meal, and use it to take in Buenos Aires’ many sites or learn to horseback ride through vineyards in Mendoza,” says Scott Mathis, Chairman & Founder of Algodon Properties. Both packages include a Thanksgiving meal prepared “Argentine-style” and paired with Algodon’s award-winning wines.

Buenos Aires: Algodon Mansion: A Tango Thanksgiving

Three nights’ accommodations
Transfer to and from Buenos Aires airport
Four-course wine-inspired Thanksgiving dinner
Tango performance at Algodon Mansion
Private tour of Buenos Aires
Bottle of Algodon wine to take home

This package is priced from US$1,688 (plus 21% tax), based on two adults and two children (up to 12 years of age) sharing.

Mendoza: Algodon Wine Estates: A Gaucho Thanksgiving

3 nights’ accommodations in two suites
Transfer to and from San Rafael airport
Four-course wine-inspired Thanksgiving dinner
Horseback riding lesson for entire family
Wine tasting for parents
Bottle of Algodon wine to take home

This package is priced from US$1,750 (plus 21% tax), based on two adults and two children (up to 12 years of age) sharing.

For more information about Algodon Mansion, please visit: For more information about Algodon Wine Estates, please visit:


Algodon Mansion is Buenos Aires’ only Relais & Chateaux property and features 10 spacious luxury suites – some exceeding 1,200 square feet and all keeping with the house’s Belle Epoque architecture. Exuding old-world Argentinean charm while providing state-of-the-art luxuries, Algodon Mansion includes 24-hour butler and concierge service, a fine-dining restaurant serving Argentine and French-fusion cuisines, a wine cellar, library bar, a covered outside patio and fireplace, and a luxurious rooftop pool, sauna, spa and bar.


Algodon Wine Estates is a 2,050-acre wine and golf estate located in San Rafael, Mendoza, a region often referred to as the Napa Valley of Argentina. The property offers luxury accommodations for travelers as well as the opportunity to own a piece of the estate’s vineyard and a custom wine label. Highlights include 10 championship tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course woven throughout the estate’s vineyards and two guest lodges. Future plans include a high-end hotel, more than 300 private home sites (some of which have already been built), a polo field, an equestrian center and a luxury spa and fitness center.

Mr. B’s New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

August 20, 2014 on 11:59 am | In Dine Drink, The South | Comments Off

Don’t break out your grill for this dish. Here in New Orleans, barbecued shrimp means sautéed shrimp in Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce. We serve these shrimp with heads and tails on, so you need to dig in to enjoy. I highly recommend a bib.

We are famous for our barbecued shrimp, and with reason. The biggest trick to making this taste like ours is to not hold back on the butter. The three sticks called for are enough to scare you into cholesterol shock, but are key to the flavor and consistency of the sauce. Another tip to keep in mind: to emulsify the sauce, be sure to add a little butter at a time while stirring rapidly. And don’t overcook the shrimp or they’ll become tough and hard to peel.


• 16 jumbo shrimp (12 per pound, about 1 1/2 pounds), with heads and
• 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
• 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
• French bread as accompaniment

In a large skillet combine shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black peppers, Creole seasoning, and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute on each side. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted. Remove skillet from heat. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top. Serve with French bread for dipping.

Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer

Simmons Family’s San Francisco Restaurants Complete Sustainable Seafood Menu Transition

August 19, 2014 on 11:23 am | In California, Dine Drink, San Francisco | Comments Off

The Simmons family’s restaurants in San Francisco (Fog Harbor Fish House, Wipeout Bar & Grill and Pier Market Seafood Restaurant) have announced the completion of a two-year transition resulting in menus that now showcase all sustainable seafood offerings aligned with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” guidelines.
Comments Scooter Simmons, “We undertook this transition based on a commitment to best practices, even in the absence of any specific demand from our customers. It was important to our family and everyone in our company to do the right thing and lead by example. There are surprisingly few area restaurants that have made this choice.”
Three generations of Simmons’ are a part of the history of San Francisco’s hospitality industry. Warren Simmons was the creator and developer of PIER 39, which opened in 1978, and his son, Scooter, daughter-in-law, Nancy, and his grandchildren, Nicki and Ryan, now work running the four PIER 39 businesses still owned by the family.
Simmons family restaurant menu highlights include garlic roasted whole crab, fresh seafood cioppino, mesquite grilled lobster tail, red curry steamed mussels, and Anchor Steam battered fish and chips. Not to be missed is Pier Market’s award winning clam chowder.
In addition to the sourcing of sustainable ingredients for all seafood dishes, there is a general menu focus on seasonality, the use of local purveyors, generous portions, and non-tourist pricing. Sourdough bread is baked on the premises and desserts are house made. A diverse selection of libations includes wine lists with a focus on California vintages and this is complemented by handcrafted classic, contemporary and signature cocktails, such as an organic agave margarita and Lombard lemonade, plus intriguing non-alcoholic beverages including a strawberry basil nojito. The views of the Bay, waterfront and resident sea lions afforded diners are among the best in the city and were recently described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “breathtaking.”

Validated parking in an easily accessed and conveniently located garage adds to the allure of the dining experience. More information: Fog Harbor Fish House, Wipeout Bar & Grill and Pier Market Seafood Restaurant.

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American Truffle Company‏

August 19, 2014 on 11:21 am | In Dine Drink | Comments Off

If you missed this year’s (fourth annual) Napa Truffle Festival, you’ll have an opportunity to join us for the fifth annual in January 2015. Highlights from 2014 included two new signature programs…

a Scientific Grower Truffle Cultivation Seminar to provide growers with a detailed technical overview of the science and methodology of truffle cultivation, and All About Truffles for people interested in the lore and culinary delights of truffles. The festival also featured the Science of Canine Truffle Scent Location and Practical Implementation presented by Truffle Dog Company’s Alana McGee. Leading the Michelin star chefs, host Chef Ken Frank of La Toque brought together a Truffles & Wine Dinner featuring truffle-infused warm mushroom-potato salad, Nantucket Bay scallops, ravioli di piccione (pigeon), rack of lamb and a hazelnut truffle cream pie. This year’s Winery Truffle Lunch hosts, Nickel & Nickel and HALL, paired their superb wines with menus created by Michelin star guest chefs. Other annual festival favorites included the Wild Mushroom Forage, Sinskey Vineyard Truffle Orchard Tour and dog training demo and one big/free Marketplace at Oxbow Public Market. Click here to check out festival image gallery.

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BF Taste America – A night of Culinary Stars in Boston!‏

August 19, 2014 on 11:21 am | In Dine Drink, New England | Comments Off

Ludo Lefebvre to collaborate with Jamie Bissonnette for once-in-a-lifetime dining experience

What:A once-in-a-lifetime culinary collaboration between two renowned chefs will kick off Boston’s Taste America weekend on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Revere Hotel Boston Common. Dubbed A Night of Culinary Stars, the exclusive dining event will benefit the James Beard Foundation. The JBF Taste America evening will begin with a reception filled with bites and libations from local chefs, including Aaron Chambers of Bar Boulud Boston, Michael Leviton of Lumière, Mary Dumont of Harvest, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, and Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks. Afterwards, guests will be seated for an exceptional dinner prepared by Taste America All-Star Ludo Lefebvre of Trois Mec, Petite Trois and Ludo Bird (Los Angeles), and Local Star Jamie Bissonnette* of Coppa (Boston) and Toro (Boston and NYC), who have been paired together to create a unique multi-course menu diners won’t forget.

When:Friday, October 24, 2014

6:00 pm – Cocktail and Tasting Reception

7:30 pm – Dinner

Where:Revere Hotel Boston Common

200 Stuart Street

Boston, MA 02216

Who:Taste America All-Star Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petite Trois, and Ludo Bird; Los Angeles)

Local Star Jamie Bissonnette* (Coppa, Boston; and Toro, Boston and NYC)

Aaron Chambers (Bar Boulud Boston)

Mary Dumont (Harvest)

Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks)

Michael Leviton (Lumière, Area Four)

Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow)

*JBF Award winner

Why:The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®: “Local Flavor from Coast To Coast” is a national epicurean tour celebrating America’s culinary diversity. From September 12 through October 25, 2014, the program will stop in 10 cities over five weekends, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Returning for the second year in a row, the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America is presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, a premier rewards credit card for people who love travel and dining. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature cardmembers will enjoy exclusive benefits not available to the public at James Beard Foundation’s Taste America events, including access to chefs, exclusive recipes, preferred seating, and more.  The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America is supported by retail partner Sur La Table, national sponsors including Bacardi 8, Breville, and Delta Air Lines, and local sponsors including Boston Magazine, The National Pork Board, Sodexo, Creekstone Farms and Rentals Unlimited.

Details:For more information about Taste America events in Boston, please contact Nancy Bean at  or (617) 527-9473. Visit  for more details.

About Visa Signature

Visa Signature offers cardholders a range of benefits that provide special access and can save time and money.  In addition to points, miles, cash back or other premium rewards offered by Visa Signature partners, cardholders enjoy perks such as 24/7 complimentary concierge services, the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and exclusive offers for fine wine and food, travel, and sports and entertainment events. For more information on Visa Signature visit

About Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred is a premier rewards credit card for people who are passionate about travel and dining. With Sapphire Preferred you enjoy premium travel rewards and benefits with no travel restrictions or blackout dates on airfare booked through Ultimate Rewards, double points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, Chip and Signature for international travel and no foreign transaction fees, 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs, 24/7 live customer service, access to exclusive cardmember experiences and more. More information is available at

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such initiative is the next World’s Fair, for which the James Beard Foundation is co-leading the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015—a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. The Pavilion will showcase America’s contributions to global food security and gastronomy in a pavilion themed American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

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