EAT |Lunchtime in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants @CHWinery

LUNCHTIME in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 


During our recent family visit to Tampa Bay, we worked up quite an appetite when visiting some of the top family fun attractions. While fast food for lunch can be convenient for some, we wanted quality food and after dining at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in Orlando last year, we were happy to find a location in Tampa. Known for their upscale dining in a casual setting along with wonderful wines and food pairings, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is a dream for food and wine lovers alike.

COCKTAILS & APPETIZERS


Select Cocktails at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | American Mule | SobeSavvy.com


Not a wine lover? No problem. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has a great selection of cocktails on the menu as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The specialty cocktail that caught my eye was the American Mule made with Tito’s Vodka, lime, simple syrup, ginger beer, mint and candied ginger. Not only did I like the presentation of this cocktail, but I also enjoyed the taste!


APPETIZERS at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants |  Asian Pork Belly Tostadas | SobeSavvy.com


For appetizers, we had the award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas. You get five of the most divine tostadas that combine so many amazing flavors in one bite. Sharing is caring, but these are so good you may want to order one for yourself.


KIDS MENU


Healthy and Delicious options on the Kids Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com


While some may think this sounds like a restaurant for adults only let me assure you they are family friendly. Not only do they have a special Kids Menu, but they even have dedicated restroom for families. My kid enjoyed her chicken parmesan and pasta with a side of fresh fruit. She got her some extra cheese to sprinkle on top and was pleased! Prior to her meal arriving to the table, she enjoyed coloring and playing the brain games on the menu while having a favorite of everyone at our table: the pretzel bread. It comes out to the table warm and fresh and just seeing the picture below makes me wish I had some now!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants serves warm pretzel bread and butter and it is my kid’s favorite! | SobeSavvy.com


WINE


Try exclusive wines like John Legend’s LVE wines available at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


Wine lovers like myself would enjoy dining here and discovering a new favorite wine. Handcrafted Wines are what sets this restaurant apart from others. Beside each dish on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a wine “bin” number is listed for the suggested pairing. Order it by glass or bottle and feel free to request a taste prior to ordering. Their “no risk policy” allows you to ask for a taste before ordering a glass to challenge you to order something new. Still not sure what to order? The staff is well versed in all of their wines and before you know it you may find yourself in an extended conversation about all things wine and food!


With such a vast variety of wine, choosing one is made simple with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants  “no risk” tasting policy | SobeSavvy.com


LUNCH


White or Red Wine, Salad or Burger..there’s something for everyone on the Lunch Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


After reviewing the Lunch Menu, which is available daily from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, we decided to each get something that would pair with a white wine for me and red wine for my husband. He decided on their RoadHouse Burger and pretty much devoured it before I could get a foodie pic..lol. It came with Bourbon👏🏽Bacon👏🏽 Jam👏🏽 y’all so I can’t blame him. It also had triple cheddar cheese and caramelized onion ranch aioli. I managed to get a bite and *correction…he did snap this photo below. His burger did taste as good as it looks!

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


I ordered from the Chef Recommendations menu and got the Cilantro Lime & Crispy Shrimp Salad. Again a great choice. Plenty of salad greens dressed with fresh ingredients,  a nice portion of shrimp, and an amazing dressing. It was paired with the November wine of the month, a glass of Gewurtztraminer Savignon Blanc. If you like white wines with sweet notes, try this one. Even though it is December now, the wines of the month are available all year long.


Chef’s Recommendation Lunch Menu and Wine Pairing at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


SobeSavvy Tip:  Stop by the Artisan Market for unique wine gifts and wine to go. There is also a tasting room where you can stop in and enjoy wine only if you choose not to stay and dine. Join Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Wine Club for exclusive membership perks that are incredible and unique. Cheers 🍷!


Handcrafted Wines, Wine Tasting in a Napa Style Tasting Room, Artisan Market, Casual Dining..enjoy it all at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


The next time you are in Tampa or any of the cities where Cooper’s Hawk  Winery & Restaurants are  **[as of 2018, there are more than 30 establishments nationwide, found in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia], I hope that you are inspired to stop in for lunch with your family. The Founder & CEO said it best in his statement below as to why you should.  Thanks Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants for the Good Food, Good Wine, and Great Memories!


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
4110 W Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
http://www.chwinery.com
Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 

Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 



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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō•än | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

🆕️ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō•än in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s bu•ku and so•ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō•än, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

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It's #WorldPastaDay ..and there are so many delicious pasta-bilities on the menu at @il_palio, located in @thesienahotel in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! Swipe 🔙 for a look at some of the amazing culinary artisanship and fantastic dishes served at Il Palio! . . . . #IlPalioNC #TheSienaHotel #ChapelHill #NC #Italiancuisine #Italiancooking #ravioli #pasta #seafood #steak #dessert #nceats #foodtalk #ncfoodfinds #chapelhillrestaurants #diningout #f52grams #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #foodblogger #lifestyleblogger #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #chapelhillblogger #foodwomenwine #foodiefriday #nomnomnom

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If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the 🆕️ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

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Are you #teamsyrup or #gravy on your #chickenandwaffles? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the 🆕️ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzio has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additions like chicken and waffles, tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken and biscuits. Invited #raleighinfluencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new private room for events and parties. ———— Follow #driftwoodraleigh on my #instastories to see some highlights from the #medianight ! Swipe 🔙 to see our tasty experience at Driftwood! . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #lifestyleblogger #raleighfood #trianglefoodies #raleighrestaurant #lafayettevillage #visitRaleigh #Raleigheats #NCfood

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Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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#WineWednesday Feature|5 Things to Know About Vilarnau Cava #Vilarnau #VilarnauCava #GonzalezByass @Vilarnau_UK

Vilarnau Cava Brut and Vilarnau Cava Rose

This past Sunday, I hosted a bloggers/influencer event called the #ScentandSipEvent (stay tuned for full recap) in honor of National Women’s Month in March. The event was to not only celebrate women who have made herstory before us but to toast to ourselves and the history we are making! I thought what is a celebration without a proper toast with bubbles?! Thanks to some PR friends, my guests were able to sample a wonderful Spanish Cava producer — Vilarnau. For this #WineWednesday Feature, here are 5 Things To Know About VILARNAU CAVA:

1.Environmentally Friendly

I was happy to learn that Vilarnau uses no herbicides and utilizes a nearby lake and rain water to irrigate their vineyards. All this makes for a great tasting,organic wine.

2. Made in Barcelona, Spain

They are located outside of Barcelona Spain so on your next visit, you can book a tour of the entire vineyard complex. The use of indigenous Spanish grapes gives it a wonderful taste and a distinct,bright, crisp finish. In 1982, Vilarnau was purchased by thr Gonzalez Byass family of wines.

The bottles are very photogenic — very Gaudi-esque

3. Very Fresh and Fruity

The Brut is complex, made from 3 separate wines and has the primary aromas of grapes. The rosé is intense with red berries and subtle violets. The rosé uses two types of grapes: Gamacha and Pinot Noir and pairs well with dishes like paella, pizza or pasta. Enjoy both as an aperitif or anytime!

Vilarnau Cava Rose | Photo Credit @nikimcneil @sobesavvy #ScentandSipEvent

4. Suitable For Vegans

Vegans are very limited to drinking wine due to the fact that part of most winemaking processing includes gelatin or animal by product. Vilarnau wine uses none of these so Vegans can now raise their glass with assurance!

5. Aged in bottle for over 15 months

Vilarnau Cava has a second fermentation in the bottle(same method as Champagne) where it is in contact with yeast for at least 15 mos. This gives it’s bubble their slow and long lasting effervescence.

Maxine Lee of @drinkgoodwithMax presents the perfect pour of Vilarnau Cava Brut | photo credit Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

Everyone enjoyed the brightness of the flavors and of course the fantastic bubbly. The beauty of the bottles added to the celebration. As Vilarnau would say.. “life is full of little moments worth celebrating, so #makeitsparkle” with these spanish sparkling wines from Vilarnau!

Have you ever tried Vilarnau Cava Brut or Vilarnau Cava Rosé before? Let me know in the comments below! CHEERS 🥂

Orlando 3 Day Vacation- Day 2, part 2 | Food,Wine,Good Times at @CHWinery Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Family and Good Times go together like Food & Wine. All of these things come together at a restaurant in Orlando named COOPER’S HAWK Winery and Restaurants. After a great start to our Day 2 at SEALIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds, my #HeighPartyof3 met up with 2 friends to enjoy dinner at Cooper’s Hawk after hearing so many good things about this place, plus it was a convenient 5 min drive from our hotel on I-Drive. It was such a wonderful dining experience that we were there for 3 hours! I mean when was the last time you had a three hour dinner? Between the stories shared, chef-crafted food, and award winning wines, we simply lost track of time.

We had a 5:30p reservation on a Sunday night. I highly recommend that you make a reservation before you go because this place is popular! Described as a modern, casual dining experience with warm hospitality in an inviting upscale setting, Cooper’s Hawk felt welcoming. With a wine tasting room, gift shop, wine bar and even a place to purchase wine to go, theres was so much to take in and I was quite impressed at first sight!

KIDS MENU

As you know our family enjoys dining out and being introduced to new flavors as well as tasting foods we are familiar with. My young foodie was very happy to see lots of her favorites on their kids menu like flatbread cheese pizza, mac & cheese but for the first time on a kid’s menu we saw chicken potstickers amd that is what she ordered. While we waited some warm pretzel bread and butter came to the table. It was so good, my daughter really wanted it all to herself!

The Kid’s Menu, which is for kids 12 and under, shows what options are vegetarian or gluten free. Since the kitchen is a scratch kitchen, any menu items can be customized if any allergy or dietary restrictions. All entrees include a drink (they offer organic chocolate milk) and served with a side of fresh fruit plus one additional side from a list. My daughter ate everything on her plate and was entertained [and occupied] by the fun games/graphics to color on the menu. The cherry, or shall I say the strawberry on top of her whole dining experience came at the end of her meal. All kid’s menu entrees include a chocolate covered strawberry! Now that’s fancy!

WINE

There is a reason Cooper Hawk’s puts the word “winery” before restaurant in their name. Wine is such an integral part of their experience. You enter the restaurant through the wine store/sampling room, which features high ceilings, beautiful decor and wine gifts. Here you can stand at the bar and sample wines prior to purchase. You can buy by the bottle or the case right on the premises.

Not sure what wine will pair well with your meal? No worries. They have a no risk policy that allows you to ask for a taste before ordering a glass to challenge yourself to try something new! All items on the menu are paired with a wine that is labeled on the menu by bin number as suggested by the winemaker. This takes alot of the guess work out of the “what wine goes with this” scenario we all have faced!

The servers here also operate as your own personal sommelier. They are knowledgeable in recommending all sorts of wines depending on your likes and dislikes. What makes dining here even more special is the ability to have a wine tasting of up to 3 wines complimentary right at the table for you to try before you order. In addition to wine, they also serve beer, a variety of cocktails and other beverages.

DINNER MENU

The menu is described as contemporary American-fusion and contains dishes that incorporates peak of season ingredients and flavors from around the world. With 110 items on the menu, there is truly something for everyone on the menu.

Appetizers***

Just looking at these photos of Mexican Drunken Shrimp and Asian Ahi Tuna Sashimi is making my mouthwater. At the suggestion of our server, I got the Mexican Drunken Shrimp, which is bacon-wrapped shrimp with a tequila lime butter sauce and fresh guacomole. Need I say more? It was as good as described and I would get it again! Soups, salads, flatbreads and other amazing appetizer choices are on the menu as an option to share and enjoy before your meal.

Entrées***

No matter if you want Beef, Pork, Seafood, Pasta, Chicken, Vegetarian, or Vegan, Cooper’s Hawk has something on the menu for you! I appreciate when a restaurant cares about accomodating guests regardless of what type of food is desired. We all loved the taste and presentation of our food, plus the quality,fresh ingredients used. My husband was in the mood for seafood and got the Pan-Roasted Barramundi and my dish, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs was identified on the menu as a Cooper’s Hawk Favorites. As seen below, it comes with oven-roasted vegetables, mustard sauce, Mary’s Potatoes (which are mashed potatoes whipped to perfection)and topped with Crispy Onion Strings. My short ribs were tender and absolutely delicious!

Desserts***

We saved room for something sweet to end our amazing meal! After seeing on the menu that all desserts were vegetarian and made in-house daily, we just had to try something. My family ordered the Key Lime Pie and our friends got the S‘more Budino as seen below. It’s the perfect combination of caramel custard,chocolate mousse and brown butter toasted graham cracker.

SobeSavvy Tip: This is the perfect restaurant for celebrating special occasions, like birthdays or just life in general! When you sign up for the exclusive Wine Club , for one low price you get the wine of the month delivered and also 10% off case discounts, birthday specials and invites to special member only events.

If you follow my SobeSavvy.com Food and Wine experiences, you know that I enjoy dining out and having lots of foodie fun. This was my first experience at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants and I can’t stop thinking about how good everything was. The attention to detail, handcrafted wine selections, amazing dishes and their belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections is why this restaurant is one of the most memorable dining experiences we have had in awhile. Thanks Cooper’s Hawk for taking us on an unforgettable wine and food journey! For more info, go to chwinery.com

COOPER’S HAWK Winery & Restaurants
8005 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Event Recap | sip + savor A Wine, Food and Music Experience #sipsavor18

On Sunday, October 14, 2018, SobeSavvy.com joined wine and food lovers for an experience known as Sip + Savor, which was held at DPAC in Durham, NC. Good Food, Good Wines, and Good Times is how I would summarize this event! It was quite the experience for foodies, wine lovers and anyone who enjoys learning and discovering more about culinary scene in the Triangle.

Last year I attended their inaugural event and was pleased to see this event return and sell out! This year in addition to food sampling from 30 of the area’s finest restaurants, paired with wine from around the world, guests could also attend a wine seminars.

Each year, Sip+Savor helps to raise funds and awareness for a local non-profit. The 2018 festival helped to raise funds for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Band Together partnership. Band Together is a Raleigh-based nonprofit that uses live music to raise $1 Million dollars for a different nonprofit each year. Their 2019 fundraising partner is Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Food Shuttle’s mission is to “pioneer innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in our community”.

New this year was the Lexus Lounge, which included plush seating, cigar rolling station and a Mixology Bar with Sean Umstead. I tried the ‘Bee Amazing’ made with Durham Beeswax, honey roasted NC Squash, Svedka and local ginger soda! Very refreshing!

This event was well organized and gave guests the option of taking wine notes and placing an order from the Wine Feed to pick up and pay for it later. How convenient!

Many of the Chefs used locally sourced ingredients to create some delicious dishes to pair with some amazing wines. The following Restaurant and winery pairings were found on the Second /Third Floors:

18 Seaboard + Bear Flag/Sonoma

Acme Food & Beverage Co. + Orin Swift Cellars/Napa and Sonoma

La Residence + Louis Martini/Sonoma

City Kitchen + Votto Vines/Mediterranean

Clouds Restaurant + Napa Cellars/Napa Valley

COPA + Viña Pomal/Rioja

Counting House + Kim Crawford Wines/Marlborough

Crossroads Chapel Hill + Saint Clair Family Estate/Marlborough

Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar + Le Morette/Italy

Elements + Domaine Saint Landor/Loire Valley

The Fearrington House Restaurant + Jermann/Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Glasshalfull + J Vineyards/Russian River Valley

Gocciolina + LaMarca/Prosecco DOCG, Italy

Guglhupf + DAOU Vineyards/Paso Robles

It’s A Southern Thing + Chalk Hill/Sonoma

Pickle Jar Cafe + Freemark Abbey/Sonoma

Kipos Greek Taverna + Pascual Toso / Argentina

Local 22 + Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard/Santa Barbara

Locals Seafood + The Hess Collection/Napa Valley

Lula & Sadie’s + Robert Hall Winery/Paso Robles

Mandolin + The Prisoner Wine Company/California

Mateo Bar de Tapas + Browne Family/Columbia Valley

Nanasteak + Banfi/Italy

Old North Meats & Provisions + Hope Family Wines/Paso Robles

Parizade + Elouan/Oregon

Pittsboro Roadhouse + B.R. Cohn Winery/Sonoma Valley

Saint James Seafood + Gérard Bertrand/Languedoc-Roussillon

Tylers Restaurant & Taproom + Biltmore Winery/North Carolina

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe + Talbott Vineyards/Monterey

Washington Duke Inn & JB Duke Hotel + Franciscan Estates/Napa and Monterey

Live Music, cheese, desserts, bubbly and coffee were found at the On-stage experience, which featured the following vendors:

Carrboro Coffee Roasters (Official Coffee Sponsor)

Saladelia Café

The Mad Hatter’s Cafe & Bakeshop

Durham Toffee

Boxcarr Handmade Cheese

Afters

Rise Biscuits Donuts

Neomonde Mediterranean

👀WATCH my recap video of sip + savor and make sure to visit their website and follow on Facebook and Instagram. Here are some of my favorite moments from #SipSavor18! Hope to see you there next year!

#WineWednesday Spotlight on @VIK_Wine Available at Fogo De Chão @fogorestaurants #VIKWine #Fogodechao #wine

Disclaimer: Thank you to Fogo de Chão for the invite to your exclusive VIK Wine Dinner media event. Recap by blog contributor, Taylor Mcghee @cutecouplewithababy

Most people would say Bordeaux wine is with out a doubt the best red wine blend but VIK Winery is dispelling that myth. On August 16, 2018, Fogo de Chão invited SobeSavvy.com along with other media guests as they celebrated its partnership with VIK Winery. We enjoyed finely cooked meats while experiencing world class wines from the vineyards of Chile.

We started off at the salad bar which is phenomenal, with an array of cheeses and meats. The salad bar also featured a number of sides like rice and beans, salad, fruit and do not I repeat do not forget to try the caramelized bacon!

The first wine offered was the Milla Cala now being served at Fogo de Chão nationwide priced at $13 (3 oz. glass); $25 (6 oz. glass); $93 (bottle) was very dry with a medium body and a fruity after taste. It went great with the Filet Mignon.

The final wine was the best in my opinion because it was so smooth and also a bit fruity. It was sweeter than the others which is something I like in red wines. The VIK priced at $22 (3 oz. glass); $42 (6 oz. glass); $164 (bottle) I believe to be VIK’s signature wine was absolutely divine. You can tell the patience and dedication they put in to making this blend. The VIK representative also mentioned they make the VIK with grapes from only one part of the vineyard and the other wines we had from another part. Which was interesting to me to think that grapes grown from three different areas could taste so different.

Fogo is offering two of the three VIK varietals sampled at the event in all of their Fogo restaurants nationwide – Milla Cala (Red Blend, Millahue Valley, Chile, 2013) and VIK (Red Blend, First Growth from Chile, 2013). Pricing varies by market, but those listed above are for the Miami region

All in all the experience is one you must try for yourself the combination of the amazing Brazilian meats by Fogo de Chão and the exotic taste of the Chilean wine by Vik is a pairing you don’t want to miss out on!

SobeSavvy Tip: Now thru August 30, enjoy FOGO RESTAURANT MONTH for $39 Dinner/person. Join FOGO Eclub👉HERE to receive this special offer and more!

Do you enjoy Chilean wines? Have you ever dined at FOGO DE CHÃO? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading! Cheers 🍷

FOGO DE CHÃO
836 1st St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

*Find a location near you: http://fogodechao.com/locations

Celebrating #MyVioletValentine with a Romantic Dine at #18Seaboard in #Raleigh ! #seafood #creativecuisine

A few days ago I introduced a series on SobeSavvy.com called #MyVioletValentine. I encourage all of you to think about putting the color red aside and consider celebrating with the Pantone color of the year in mind which is “Ultra Violet”! Beautiful shades of violet and purple can be found everywhere in nature and also in food. One of those food instances can be found at 18 Seaboard.

Located at Seaboard Station near downtown Raleigh, this restaurant opened its doors in 2006 and is owned by Chef Jason Smith and his wife Lauren. 18 Seaboard serves contemporary Southern inspired dishes with over 60% of ingredients sourced from North Carolina farms, ranches, fishmongers and dairies. We were there recently to enjoy a romantic pre-Valentine’s Day date. They have a wonderful lunchtime menu which featured alot of dishes that satisfied the seafoodie in me! But first…

COCKTAILS/STARTERS

After being promptly seated at a nice table for two we began with two Kir Royale cocktails. Again, I had #MyVioletValentine in mind when we ordered these but alas they photograph more of a blush color. Nevertheless, still a great champagne cocktail to kickoff a romantic dine.

We ordered two starters of Sneads Ferry She-Crab Soup with sherry reduction and a Purple Sweet Potato Bisque. Now this bisque arrived to the table looking too good to eat! Not only did it look pretty and purple, but the taste was pretty amazing.You know what they say, you eat with your eyes first, but I had to close mine and just savor each spoonful!

My favorite out of the two starters was the she crab soup. It had a generous amount of crab meat and just the right touch of sherry. We both are from Maryland and agreed that this soup was not only flavorful but reminded us of our hometown.

CHEF’S ENTREÉS

While there are various choices for lunch we chose two seafood entreés. My husband ordered the Cornmeal-Crusted Carolina Classics Catfish w/champagne tarragon butter and a unique pecan grit cake. It was fresh, flaky and delicious. Oh and the sauteed spinach and apple collard slaw offered not only a brightness to the dish but paired well with the fish.

I went with the Bo Bromhal SafeChild Shrimp & Grits. The restaurant donates 10% of all proceeds from ordering this dish to this amazing Wake County Child advocacy Program. Besides a great cause this was a GREAT.GREAT.DISH. I have had innumerable Shrimp & Grit dishes over my lifetime and I vote this dish as one of the absolute best interpretations of this southern iconic dish! Amazing is really an understatement.

We got a chance to speak with both the General Manager (Brandy, who can suggest a great dry white wine to pair with the seafood dishes) and Chef-Proprietor Jason Smith, whom I had a chance to hear speak at Feed the Dialogue dinner event. He is very personable, talented and passionate about the food served at his restaurants. Also our waiter, who advised to call him “D”, provided excellent service and added to our delightful dining experience.

DESSERTS

We ended our wonderful afternoon on a sweet note by trying the Pecan Pie Creme Brulee and a Mug of Hot Chocolate Cake. Both are creatively made desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. I mean how cute is this cookie of our state of North Carolina?!

I highly recommend you take your special someone to this restaurant to celebrate life, love or just the color Violet on Valentine’s Day. Anytime you want fantastic food served with love, make reservations to dine at 18 Seaboard!

18 SEABOARD

18 Seaboard Ave

Raleigh,NC 27604

#VisitBrio for #ValentinesDay and enjoy delicious made-from scratch risotto dishes and more! @BrioItalian

Having spent time in Europe I realized quickly that risotto is to Italy what rice is to Asia! An Italian staple for centuries, risotto done right is now available at Brio Tuscan Grille for all! Located in Crabtree Valley Mall, this restaurant is a great place to enjoy lunch, bar bites, dinner or weekend brunch.

Per their press release, “It’s a Risotto Celebration” menu, available now until Sunday, March 25, 2018. This limited-time selection includes four chef-inspired risotto entrées, which all feature high-quality ingredients and are made from scratch. In addition, the menu includes three original cocktails, created to compliment BRIO’s new risotto dishes, and a decadent dessert.

The ‘It’s A Risotto Celebration’ Menu

I am a big fan of this restaurant because although a chain, it never feels like cookie cutter cuisine and this limited time only special should inspire you to make plans to dine there soon! We went at lunchtime and entered their bright and airy dining space. Only fresh good food comes out of their open kitchen and it shows. But before I get into how great the food is, let me tell you about their amazing cocktails!

Left to Right: Maple Bourbon Smash, Bulleit Rosa

There are three distinctive cocktails that are included on this special menu. My husband and I tried The Maple Bourbon Smash (Maker’s Mark, Monin Maple, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, dash of bitters, orange garnish) and Bulleit Rosa ( Bulleit Rye whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, 19 Crimes Red Blend, lemon twist garnish). They were the perfect start to what was to come.

Of their four risotto themed dishes, we had the following:

Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail: mushrooms, red peppers, asparagus, and basil

Sea Scallop Risotto: pan seared sea scallops, ratatouille vegetables, basil, and red peppers

Although hard to choose among four great dishes, we opted for the Sea Scallop Risotto and the Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail because we are seafood lovers. WOW is the word that comes to mind when speaking of these dishes. Risotto is all about the cooking method. Not cooked well enough and it is hard. Overcooking risotto and you end up with nothing but mush. Brio got it exactly right! The scallops were in a red sauce and the shrimp & lobster in a light oil sauce. We actually exchanged plates halfway through because neither of us could decide which one was best! Only YOU can be the judge, but the shrimp & lobster was my fave.

We ended lunch with the featured dessert, a molten chocolate cake with mascarpone cream, white chocolate raspberry gelato. It was as good as it looks too and wonderful to share with that special someone!

SobeSavvy Tip: BRIO Tuscan Grille’s tempting Valentine’s Day menu features this decadent dessert, along with enticing cocktails, delicious starters and entrees. This offer is available during lunch/dinner, Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb.18.

Brio Tuscan Grille

4325 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

Event Recap | Sip + Savor -A Wine & Food Experience @DPAC #SipandSavor #Durham

On October 15, 2017, SobeSavvy.com was invited to join other foodies and oeneophiles at DPAC for the inaugural Sip +Savor -A Wine & Food Experience. This new food and wine event brought together North Carolina’s restaurants & culinary talents and paired them with fine wines from around the world! This was also a fundraising event to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful , a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with Durham to conserve and enhance the appearance and environment of the city/county.

Admission to this event included: 

  • Souvenir Glass
  • Live Music on Stage
  • Food Sampling from North Carolina Restaurants and notable Chefs like Scott Howell of Nana’s, Michael Lee of  M Sushi, Bill smith of Crooks Corner, Eric Montagne of Standard Fords, Charlie Deal of JuJube, Brandon Sharp of Carolina Crossroads at the Carolina Inn, Aaron Benjamin of Gocciolona, Jim Wald of Glasshalfull, Tim Lyons of Blue Seafood and Kevin Callaghan of Acme …just to name a few!
  • A limited number of VIP Ticket holders enjoyed all elements of regular admission plus a private entrance/restrooms, exclusive VIP lounge where speciality spirits, rare beer and wine tastings were available to Imperial ticket holders only. 

With sample areas on all three levels guests never had to walk more than a few steps for their next delightful bite or sip of wine. Every varietal imagined was represented here by a winery. Most tables paired their food with the wine right next to it, which allowed for guests to engage with restaurants and wineries at the same time. We also had the opportunity to attend wine seminars and learn more about the wines being shared from the wine producers and Sommeliers. I really enjoyed how intimate and informative this event was! 

 

Not only was the event informative but I had so much fun meeting other food & wine lovers from the community who all enjoyed sharing stories about what was the favorite bite at this event and how wonderful our local culinary scene is here in the Triangle. We are so fortunate to live in North Carolina with its amazing Agriculture as well its own Wine Industry.

Smiling Faces at ‘Sip + Savor’ – A Wine & Food Experience

Sip + Savor – A Wine & Food Experience | Food Sampling

On-Stage at Sip + Savor – A Wine & Food Experience

Before leaving, we checked out the on-stage experience inside the actual venue which is where I ran into some friends as well as dessert samples. That was the perfect sweet ending to this fantastic foodie event! It was such a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday Afternoon in the Bull City. 
Enjoy my photo recap of this event >>here as well as my video of Sip +Savor >>here

CHEERS! 🍷

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#TastyTuesday Spotlight on @OroRaleigh ~ Where to Eat #DowntownRaleigh #LunchDate #NC

Downtown Raleigh has an amazing culinary scene with some great options being on Martin St. One of them being the stylish ORO Restaurant and Lounge. But let me tell you its not all just style, there is substance being served on those plates!

Recently I met with fellow NC Blogger\Influencer, Jen Lawrence of JenOni.com. We made plans to enjoy lunch and feature ORO since we’ve both heard awesome things about the restaurant, menu, drinks and of course the food.

The Restaurant

As soon as you walk in, the sleek white decor will catch your eye. Opt to sit at the chef’s table for a closer look of the magic in the the kitchen, 

in the main dining area or in the mezzanine, which has a fireplace.

Although I was there for a casual business lunch, I can definitely see myself coming back for a date night or a fun girls night out. If you are looking for a casual yet chic place to dine in Downtown Raleigh, this is the place! Looking for a place to hold your Private Event and /or offers Catering? ORO provides those services as well.

The Menu

Serving fresh, local ingredients that is pleasing to all and designed to be shared among friends is the mission of ORO. Created by Hylton Hospitality, Christopher and Cara Zalcberg Hylton has done a fantastic job featuring a variety of small plates and signature dishes since Spring 2012.
Executive Chef Chris Hylton has created lunch (served 11am-2p) and dinner (served 5-10pm) menus where all items  are identified with respect for dietary  restrictions. So if you are looking for Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten-Free dishes that are flavorful and delicious, reservations at ORO are a must. The restaurant also offers some off the menu items that are chef’s selections using seasonal ingredients. 


The Drinks

Looking for an after work spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation? Step up to the full bar and order any of their exclusive wines or beer on tap and check out their specialty cocktail list. I recommend the Mimosarita.

 It’s made with peach infused 1800 reposado..mango infused moscato..lemon.. orange and a large ice cube made of orange juice and sparkling water. Once the ice starts to melt, you get a nice effervesent surprise! Also on the menu is 3 types of mules. Jen tried the classic Moscow Mule made with Tito’s Vodka. Both drinks were refreshing and memorable in a good a way.

The Food

Soups,Salads and Starters...Oh My! Everything on their lunch menu sounded so good, we could not wait to try. The Truffle Mac & Cheese is a staple on the menu. Since the restaurant has been open for the past 5 years, it has been a favorite of guests. So I had to order the vegan dish to try for myself. Made with yellow and white cheddar cheese and fine herbs, the truffle mac and cheese is served as a shareable plat , but you might hesitate and keep all that yummy goodness to yourself. Jen ordered the Chef’s feature soup which was green curry and chicken. I love a good soup because when all the flavors come together, it’s like a party in a bowl. Let me tell you, I had a sample of her soup and my tastebuds were dancing at the party.

From the Sides menu, I tried the Wok Fried Brussels, which is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. The soy, ginger and chili flakes gave it a wonderful flavor. Not too salty or too spicy,  but just the right balance to make me happy with this side dish. 

Everything looked so good under the Main Dishes portion of the menu that I was a bit undecided. Do I want seafood, or beef or chicken? Thankfully, Maresa was there to guide me thru and offer some of her personal favorites. I ultimately ordered the Fish Tacos. You get 4 tacos topped with mango salsa, cucumber, red onion and cilantro lime aioli. For me the aioli and salsa is what elevated the dish from being just a basic fish taco.

Beef & Broccoli is what Jen opted to order. It was a nice portion of marinated filet served with chinese brocoli and water chestnuts. She enjoyed it and mentioned she would recommend this dish for those who enjoy the Chinese classic. 

Be sure to save room to order something sweet from the Dessert menu. I had my eye on either the creme brulee or banana bread pudding, but an off menu featured dessert was described and we went with that. Ladies and Gents, feast your eyes on this celebration on a plate! 

A housemade funnel cake ice cream sandwhich with birthday cake ice cream in the middle and confetti sprinkles. Since my birthday is on Thursday, it was apropo to go with this and make an early birthdy wish! This was heavenly indeed! Such an amazing sweet ending to a great lunch. 

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit ororaleigh.com and subscribe to ORO’s Newsletter to receive updates and the latest news!

ORO Restaurant & Lounge

18 E Martin St

Raleigh, NC 27601 

Phn 919-239-4010