First Look @ORORaleigh ‘s NEW Social Hour Menu Bar Bites + Drink Specials, All Items $5! #DowntownRaleigh

ORO Restaurant & Lounge | Social Hour Menu Review by SobeSavvy.com

Hey Raleigh! Looking for a new, hot spot to grab a glass of wine, cocktail or two and meet friends for a bite to eat after work? Well I have just the place for you. ORO Restaurant & Lounge, located in Downtown Raleigh, offers a fun, brand new Social Hour menu and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out. Here is what you need to know before you go and trust me, you will want to go ASAP!

ORO Restaurant & Lounge is chic, and sleek with white/wood modern decor and a mezzanine & a fireplace

SOCIAL HOUR

The new Social Hour menu was rolled out on Monday, January 28, 2019. It is offered in the Bar area only Monday- Thursday from 5pm-7pm. All items are just $5.00! Oh how I love a deal!

• EAT

There are five delicious food items on the menu to choose from. The variety offered allows everyone to find something to eat no matter the dietary restrictions or choices. The portions are enough for one person to enjoy but also shareable. Everything was so good that it is hard to pick a favorite. So my suggestion is order one of each and enjoy them all!

Beef Sliders | blue cheese | carmelized onions

Truffle Fries | parmesan | truffle oil

Lobster & Crab Bites | greens | citrus aioli

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers | green onion

Vegetable Spring Rolls | sweet chili sauce

• DRINK

Also on the Social Hour menu are two wine choices from Century Cellars. Order a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy or if your are in the mood for a cocktail, get The Social Butterfly. It’s made with NC’s own Social House Vodka and your choice of mixer ( I asked for ginger beer and my friend got cranberry juice). It is served with a cute butterfly on the straw! It’s a refreshing and fun way to drink local!

ORO Social Hour Menu | DRINK | The Social Butterfly

SobeSavvy Tip: Elevate your drinking experience by ordering from the Specialty Cocktail menu. You’ll be impressed by the taste and presentation of these innovative cocktails! Watch this video and make plans to sip and see for yourself!

Specialty Cocktails | Weird Science | Smoke & Mirrors

ORO is a great place to have lunch [Read about my lunch experience at ORO >>here.], a romantic dinner, meet with co-workers after work, host a celebration event or hang with your girlfriends! Whatever the occasion, ORO will make it special. Cheers!

Lovely Leslie of @SobeSavvy and Meka Harrell of @hwthblog meet up for a fun Mom’s Night Out at ORO Restaurant & Lounge

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ORO Restaurant & Lounge

18 E. Martin Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

www.ororaleigh.com

#FoodieFriday Feature | What’s New at Red Monkey Tavern in #Raleigh @ShopCrabtree #dineCrabtree

On a recent visit to Crabtree Valley Mall, lunch and libations were on my agenda. I am excited to share my #dineCrabtree experience at Red Monkey Tavern, who recently switched over ownership and have so many awesome things going on! They have a NEW menu, NEW concept, NEW management and a NEW fan in me!

VIEWS + VIBE

This was my first time dining at Red Monkey and I honestly did not know what to expect. In fact because of my love-hate relationship with monkeys, I just never thought to do anything except take out of town guests to the infamous monkey bench that sits outside the restaurant and let them take funny photos! Do you remember the time when Michael Jackson had a pet monkey named Bubbles? I think this bench lets people have their wish of getting up close and personal with a monkey. You will almost always see someone sitting beside it. LOL!

I am so glad I was invited to step inside and dine at this cozy, casual restaurant. The decor has a bit of a tropical feel to it and in my opinion one to many plush monkeys. However after receiving a warm welcome from the host followed by a friendly greeting from the waitress, I felt comfortable at the Red Monkey. Salsa music and Latin Jazz tunes were playing and I immediately liked the vibe. We were seated at a cozy booth across from the bar but they also have some intimate tables for two

as well as outside patio seating

and a lower level lounge area, which can be reserved for private events!

DRINKS

Before ordering food, I took a look at their “Monkey Drinks” menu, which consisted of beer, wine and craft cocktails. I ordered one of their “Monkey Mules” called a Redneck Mule, which is made with Jack Daniels Honey and ginger beer. I love moscow mules and was impressed with their unique, refreshing twist on a classic drink! My hubby ordered a top shelf L.I.T. Monkey, which stands for Long Island Iced Tea.

After meeting Marcella and learning that she was from Miami, she encouraged me to try a Mojito and I am so glad I did! After living in Miami myself for almost 19 years, I can say Red Monkey will be my go to place when I want a real Mojito without getting on a plane to South Florida. And guess what…on Mondays you can enjoy a Mojito for just $5.00! Yes, I’ll drink to that!

THE MENU

At first glance of the menu, you will see American faves and tavern food like wings, nachos and burgers. I also saw some dishes that reminded me of my favorite foods from traveling in the Caribbean like yellow rice, plantains, jerk chicken and ceviche. The cuisine is Latin Fusion and I learned from talking to the owners/management that many of the new dishes are inspired by family recipes. If you taste sofrito in a dish, you have Randy’s Abuela to thank for that!

Appetizers

When I asked our waitress what was her favorites on the menu, she advised everything is good but she loved the steak! So that’s where we started with an order of the steak nachos plus the Maryland style crab cakes. Considering my husband and I were both born in Maryland, we are a bit of crab cake snobs. ‘Not bad’ we thought but we also shared with the owner they may not want to call it Maryland style. Perhaps simply crab cakes. It did have a nice flavor and I enjoyed the cilantro cream that it is served with.

If you love nachos, definitely order the “Monkey Nachos”! They come in a huge bowl and are gluten free. It is served with chipotle queso, bacon, Pico de Gallo, roasted jalepenos cilantro crema and you can add on chicken or steak for extra yumminess!

Entreés

The menu offers a delicious variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and house favorites to chose from. Our eyes were drawn to two classic dishes we enjoyed while living in Miami around so many cultures. Check out the description of the Cuban Sandwich:

As described, I felt like I was on a mini vacation enjoying a sandwich I learned to love in Miami. The bread, the pork, ham, cheese,pickles… everything was just right! However,I could not finish my food due to the constant visits my fork took to my husband’s entreé. He ordered the Skirt Steak Churrassco and as soon as I saw it and smelled the aroma, I knew I wanted to taste his dish. The quality, tenderness and flavor of his steak along with the yellow rice & pigeon peas, black beans and sweet plantains made me secretly wish I had ordered his instead. The chimichurri sauce served with the steak was also very good!

Desserts

Red Monkey has a Happy Hour dessert special from 5-7pm offering $5 specials different days of the week. The food portions were so big I almost did not have room for dessert but trust me you will want to either save room, make room or get dessert to go! The Tres Leche de Coquito was amazing! It’s a moist sponge cake topped with coquito, which some people refer to as Puerto Rican egg nog. There is enough to share but it is so good, you may not want to. Like their Mojito, this dessert is authentic and delish!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save the date for these Upcoming Events!

This upcoming week Red Monkey has a Trivia Night coming up on April 24th along with their weekly Salsa Classes on Wednesdays: https://www.facebook.com/events/145767506137467/

Also on Mother’s Day they are offering an All You Can Eat Buffet Brunch!

The lesson in my dining experience here is to not judge a book by its cover. I let the name of a place and past reviews discourage me from ever stepping in to the restaurant. The staff, service, sips and steak were all satisfying and I know I will be going back! I encourage you to stop in and see what’s new at the Red Monkey Tavern. Follow on Instagram @RedMonkeyRaleigh & @ShopCrabtree.

#TRAVEL | My 48 Hours in South Beach #MIAMI 🌴 Beach, Bites, Sips & Sights ☉ #FoundInMiami

Last week this time I was flying Delta airlines to make my way back to a city that I lived in for almost 19 years, Miami Beach. My reason for going was to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration ‘On the Road’ conference[stay tuned for my recap], however while there I made this trip into a mini Momcation. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when a Mom travels solo without kid(s) or husband in tow and goes away on a much needed break! As seen in my Miami Beach Family Travel Guide, South Beach with Kids can be done, but this time I was back to enjoy some solo fun. I saw some friends, got some sun and of course dined at some restaurants! With just 48 hours in the Magic City, I made sure to enjoy 4 things: BEACH..BITES..SIPS..& SIGHTS!

BEACH

I moved away from South Beach three years ago and the number one thing I miss is being able to walk to the beach. After meeting up with a friend/former neighbor at Beach Taco for lunch [I’ll tell you more about that in a bit], we walked over to the sand behind Nikki Beach, known for its day parties and Sunday Brunch. The temps of the water can be a bit cold in March, however don’t let that deter your from playing or taking selfies by the shore! Plus I had some new sunglasses from my friends at SunglassWarehouse.com to break in! 😎 I love these over-sized sunshades for great sun protection.

BITES

Since I arrived on a Tuesday, it was only right for my first bite to be tacos! Beach Taco Miami was the perfect place to celebrate #TacoTuesday while enjoying a variety of tacos for lunch. My fave were a tie between the shrimp tacos and korean bbq. Take a look at the yummy pics I took ….warning you may be dreaming of tacos after! 🌮

SobeSavvy Tip: Every Tuesday, get an order of queso dip and handmade chips FREE with your order at Beach Taco Miami!

Breakfast was provided at the conference and since I was staying with a friend, I enjoyed the comforts of home and eating in. However, I was able to enjoy a lovely dinner on my final night at Barceloneta. Located in Sunset Harbor [which is where locals dine away from Ocean Drive], this place is known for its amazing Spanish tapas and flavorful mediterranean dishes. I used to dine here for brunch often, but this was my first time coming for dinner. Feast your eyes on these tasty bites:

SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy Happy Hour specials every day from 5-8pm and also late night Sun- Thurs, 11 pm-12 pm & weekend happy hour 12 am-1 am Fri & Sat in the bar/lounge area at Barceloneta Miami Beach.

SIPS

As formentioned, Barceloneta is a great spot to enjoy some sips. They have an extensive wine, beer,and cocktail list. I highly recommend getting a pitcher of their ‘Verdajo Al Sol’ Sangria[pictured above]. It’s made with sparkling wine, verdajo, gin and passionfruit.

Every tourist must check out Wet Willie’s on Ocean Drive/South Beach for their infamous frozen drinks! Mix and match your flavors and head upstairs to enjoy the view. SobeSavvy Tip: Not sure which flavor you want? Just ask the bartender to give you tasting samples before making your choice. Keep in mind there are more flavors located on the second level.

My favorite sip is a cocktail that I enjoy during Happy Hour at Doraku. It’s a ‘Lychee Martini’ and I try to have one or two each time I visit. It’s that good! This restaurant is popular for its sushi and their happy hour is the perfect time to try a variety of things from their menu at a great price. I don’t know about you, but I’ll drink to that! CHEERS!🍸

SIGHTS

No matter where you look there are always sights to see in Miami. From the beautiful beaches to the palm trees, the best place to take it all in when you have a short amount of time is Ocean Drive on South Beach.

With the right shoes, sunscreen and cold beverage in hand, you can walk and take in so much scenery on the 15 blocks that make up Ocean Drive. My friend took me to the newly renovated Muscle Beach area where men [and women too] and their muscles are on display during workout sessions on the sand at 9th/Ocean, Lummus Park.

Have you been watching the FX TV series: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story? This crime happened in 1997 and we had just moved to Miami Beach in 1996. Can you imagine how sad/scary that was to say the least! The Versace mansion which is located on Ocean Drive, is now a hotel & restaurant. It’s worth stopping by just to see the beautiful villa adorned with the iconic Versace symbol on the outside.

SobeSavvy Tip: Take the opportunity to get off the beach [via a short bus ride, taxi, or use UBER and get $5 off each of your first 4 Uber rides. To accept, use code ‘2ackv’ to sign up. Enjoy!]. Head to Downtown Miami to see views by the water at Bayside Marketplace. Also check out the Wynwood Walls to see some amazing street art. Find a mural and get your pose on!

Thanks for reading all about my fun-filled 48 hours in South Beach Miami. Special thanks to Beach Taco Miami and Barceloneta for hosting me. I enjoyed trying items from your menu and sharing about my experiences. I hope you all plan to check them out as well as my other suggestions your next visit to South Beach- Miami Beach, Florida! See more beach,bites, sips and sounds on my youtube recap video. Enjoy!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO MIAMI BEACH? WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BEACH BITES, SIPS & SITES? SHARE BELOW😎🌴🍸☉

Looking for a daily #HappyHour in #Raleigh ? Try @BoneFishGrill #BoneFishHH Cocktails🍹+Bar Bites🍴

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bonefish Grill in Raleigh North Hills for hosting me, along with fellow Raleigh/Durham bloggers for my #SobeSavvyEats series. Complimentary bar bites + cocktails were provided for our #SundayFunday meetup, however my opinion for this review is 100% my own.

#SobeSavvyEats Event~ ‘Bloggers & Bar Bites’ Happy Hour ~BoneFish Grill Raleigh, NC

Yesterday was a ‘Sunday Funday’ I will never forget thanks to seven blogger baes and one of my favorite restaurants! After a long year of studying, I wanted to celebrate the passing of my CPC exam with some fellow foodie friends, who are also NC Bloggers/Influencers. After hearing about the New Hand-Crafted Happy Hour menu at Bonefish Grill, I knew that would be the perfect place to meetup! 

A high top table for our large group was reserved in the bar area (which is generally first come, first served seating). After being greeted by staff, it was time to put in our drink order. 


COCKTAILS | Tonight we had two options to try:  Fresh Watermelon Martini or..

.. Sparkling Blue Hawaiian Martini 

Both of these cocktails were refreshing, made with fresh ingredients and beautiful to the eye. Not only did they look good but it was love at first sip for me! If you are looking for eternal summer in a glass, these are the cocktails to choose. 

BAR BITES | The menu consisted of these six $6 items ranging from seafood to beef.

Everyone enjoyed the variety of options on the bar bites menu and I discovered some personal faves that I can’t wait to eat again! Take a look at what BoneFish Grill is offering up during Happy Hour, daily from 4pm-6:30pm:

Crispy Cod Sliders

~  Fresh Alaskan Cod served on 2 potato buns with lettuce, tomato and a signature sauce. This is no McDonald’s fish filet. It’s a healthier, tastier option for fish sandwich lovers.

Wagyu Beef Sliders  

~  Want some meat instead? Order the beef sliders! You can’t go wrong with these because its made from Wagyu Beef which makes for 2 juicy mini burgers.

Crispy Au Gratin Bites

~  Every good bar menu requires something starchy right?! Get your carb fix with these cheesy potato bites. Those who do not eat bacon did not try them but those of us who did really liked the crispy au gratin bites, which comes with 2 sauces for your dipping pleasure.

Ahi Tuna Poke 

~  We had a self-proclaimed ‘poke snob’ amongst us, as well as someone who never tried raw tuna before who gave this dish a thumbs up! This dish paired with the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian drink will transport your tastebuds to a beach in Hawaii. This was one of my favorites.

Calamari 

~  I liked the asian twist on this classic dish. Instead of marinara or cocktail sauce, you get a sweet/spicy sauce on the side. Not too greasy and flash fried with peppers and asian noodles, this is a great dish to share with other calamari fans.

Prince Edward Island Mussels Josephine 

~  Although this is a nice sharing portion, this is one bar bite I did not want to share! Simply because I love mussels and these were my favorite out of everything we tried. You are going to want some of BoneFish Grill’s bread to dip in the flavorful broth and enjoy…by yourself!

SOBESAVVY TIP: Today only, All Day enjoy $5 Martini Mondays

I am happy to advise I will be back for the Hand-Crafted Happy Hour ! The all-new menu items and hand-crafted cocktails are something you are going to want to enjoy with family, friends, co-workers, loved ones or even by yourself (if you don’t want to share the mussels like me~lol). It starts daily at 4p.m. and end times vary by location. Please check your location page for location-specific Happy Hour offerings and times. Prices, product availability, participation and hours may vary by location.
Again, Cheers to everyone who joined me for a #SobeSavvyEats Sunday Funday and special thanks to BoneFish Grill ! The new Hand-crafted Happy Hour is not to be missed!

Also, check out my fun video recap on YouTube : https://youtu.be/LNHMfyr6sT8

Bonefish Grill 
4421 Six Forks Rd

Raleigh, NC 27609

#SobeSavvy Presents #thePowerofHappyHour! Vol 7 @socialclubatsurf @KimptoninFl #southbeach #miami #happyhour

socialclub

Social Club–A social club may refer to a group of people or the place where they meet, generally formed around a common interest, occupation or activity (e.g. hunting, fishing, science, politics, or charity work)

The above definition defines The Surfcomber Hotel’s happy hour held at their restaurant, aptly named The Social Club. The unifying common interest is a great happy hour with good food, Old fashioned quality cocktails and great service.

The level of cuisine and mixology here is in a league of it’s own. Thanks to head bartender Chad Phillips, drinks are made the way they were meant to be. Too often here in Miami do drinks come with glow sticks or an umbrella. Neither is anywhere to be found at The Social Club. The signature happy hour drink is the Pisco Punch. It is a handcrafted special that is featured during their “punch the clock” special. Between 4pm to 7pm the punch costs between $4 -$7 depending on the hour it is ordered. It was delish. The happy hour also offers various small bites to order. The Crab & Sweet Corn Fritters were good. Since I am from Maryland it is rare to find a crab recipe in Miami that is authentic. I met their new executive chef Blair Wilson. He hails from Alexandria, Va which is chesapeake bay country, so it makes sense. The Social Club happy hour also has $7 classic cocktails and $5 microbrews and $5 house wine. Once again head bartender Chad Phillips’ deft touch makes each drink perfect every time. I ventured off their happy hour choices and tried a Manhattan In The Fall cocktail. It’s made with a bit of maple syrup as one example. Just that touch of sweetness brought the bourbon to life in a way I have never experienced before. My hubby tried The Will You Daiquiri Me. It was incredible.

The Social Club is also participating in the October ” Drink Pink” campaign. When you order one of the rose colored cocktails during this month they will donate $1 of the price to the fight against breast cancer with the American Cancer Society

We were ready to try some of Chef Wilson’s dishes off of the main menu. The gator bites melted in my mouth. Blair said it took him a while to find the right alligator meat supplier to attain this quality. His perserverance paid off. Next up were the St Louis Ribs. Meat fell off the bone. Epic success. The Pork Belly with mango chutney was excellent. Succulent tasty chunks of pork with very well done yucca. The roasted Chicken was superb. Chicken done well is actually a rare thing indeed. People are used to chicken being mediocre. This is not the case. We ended this wonderful food ride with the Ricotta Doughnuts. They were sinfully good. Next time you want a good happy hour or even a great dinner. Head over to The Social Club Restaurant and Bar. You can thank me right now.

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#SobeSavvy presents #ThePowerofHappyHour ! @PiolaUSA #PiolaSobe #HappyHour Review

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In Italy, the aperitivo is a tradition practiced after a long day of work. Italians meet for a drink and a quick bite to unwind or to get to know someone new before going to dinner.

In America, the right happy hour spot must have quality drinks and food options at a discounted price and in a nice atmosphere.

In Miami, on South Beach, we have a locals favorite happy hour at Piola. What makes it a favorite is the complimentary hor d’oeuvres and drink specials! Yes, I said free food. Piola treats patrons to an array of amazing, traditional finger foods, Monday to Friday 5pm-8pm .

Happy hour is served at the bar. We had bruschetta, caprese, pollo al savor, pizzas (which the dough is made fresh daily, made to order in an open-fire brick oven), different types of Piola rolls filled with Parma ham, mozzarella, and other ingredients, deviled eggs, Cheeses & Meats and risotto.

Drink specials include $3 beer; $4 wine; $5 caipiroskas, fruit caipiroskas, caipirinhas, wells . My libation was a sensation! I had a delicious Kiwi caipiroska!

Piola Miami Beach is located at 1625 Alton Rd within walking distance of Lincoln Road and Regal Cinema, making it the perfect spot to go to before seeing a movie. I happened to go there on Wednesday, which is Ladies’ Night. From 8pm to closing, ladies get free wine with purchase of any entree. While I did not save any room for an entree, the manager, Massimo encouraged us to have a sweet ending to our happy hour. The tiramisu and profiteroles, were both homemade and delicious!

For more info go to www.piola.it . Like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PiolaUsa. Also Text PiolaSobe to 90210 for food/drink specials, promotions, raffle news and events.

Enjoy these pictures from Happy Hour at Piola Miami Beach!

‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh~Freelance Photojournalist~ BonVivant Blogger~ Follow @IJust_LoveThis #SobeSavvy

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