Orlando 3 Day Vacation-Day 3|Best Lunch in Disney Springs with a View @PaddlefishORL #Seafood

To celebrate our last and final day 3 in Orlando [in case you missed it, read Day 1 >here and Day 2 > here + here], we made plans to have a special lunch in Disney Springs at Paddlefish. We consider ourselves ‘seafoodies’ because it is our favorite cuisine and since Paddlefish was voted ‘Best Seafood Restaurant’ we had to check it out!

VIEWS ask for a window seat

Located directly on Lake Buena Vista, Paddlefish, takes the shape of a classic steam paddleboat and simply can’t be missed! It has huge windows which leads to wonderful natural light in every room.

This restaurant also has an expansive rooftop lounge/bar with great panoramic views of Disney Springs, which is the outdoor shopping, dining, entertainment area formerly known as Downtown Disney. After a few rain showers, I was able to go up on the rooftop and video the gorgeous views. Check it out!⤵️

DRINKStry a mocktail

Paddlefish has a wonderful cocktail and wine menu, however I wanted something with no alcohol. I was glad to see they have mocktails which allows me to have a craft cocktail minus the liquor and extra calories. I got the Cucumber Sipper and it was love at first sip! It was refreshing and very good. I loved the use of fresh ingredients like cucumber and rosemary in a drink!

KIDS MENUlooked as good as ours

I must admit after seeing what was on the kids menu, I could not wait to try my daughter’s food. Her menu had some great seafood choices! My girl chose the cup of soup/clam chowder, shrimp pasta and warm cookies +milk for dessert. I did manage to taste it all before she ate it all, which means she liked it!

LUNCH MENU..give me all the seafood

For starters, we split an order of crab fries. I have never had loaded fries with a seafood topping before. It was so yummy! The skin on fries come with lump crab on top and with Louie Dressing. I still added ketchup and enjoyed this dish nonetheless.

We also tried an order of their Fish Tacos. They used salmon and a whitefish in their tacos. It came with a papaya mango salsa which I loved and I enjoyed the flavors. Although my personal preference is for a fried fish taco, this was pretty good.

SobeSavvy Tip: Be sure to order one of Buzz Pop Cocktails and see what all the buzz is about! These popular adult beverage frozen treats are now available at Paddlefish.

After dining at Paddlefish, we enjoyed the rest of our day exploring Disney Springs. If you are there between now and Jan. 6, 2019, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to see the Christmas Tree Trail, which is what we did to walk off all that delicious food! Watch video: here.

Our dining experience at Paddlefish was the perfect way to end our awesome Orlando vacay. Being able to enjoy delicious seafood with great service made for a memorable lunch. Looking for the Best Place In Disney Springs To Enjoy Lunch (and brunch/dinner too) With A View? Make plans to dine at Paddlefish!

PADDLEFISH

1670 Buena Vista Drive

Orlando, FL 32830

paddlefishrestaurant.com

Dine with a View and Taste What’s New at @OceanicDining + @BlueWater_ILM in #WrightsvilleBeach @WilmingtoNCoast

Today’s #FoodieFriday feature is dedicated to two restaurants my family and I dined at during our recent visit to Wilmington, NC to see What’s In Bloom. Bluewater Waterfront Grill and the Oceanic Restaurant, both located in Wrightsville Beach, are two places that I would recommend for enjoying delicious food/cocktails with gorgeous views!

OCEANIC RESTAURANT

703 S.LUMINA AVE. | Seafood
www.oceanicrestaurant.com/

For dinner on Saturday, we had a reservation at the Oceanic Restaurant, located on the beach and connected to the Crystal Pier. They recently launched a new menu at the Oceanic and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out! Having lived in Florida, I have found that usually beachside restaurants either have good food and a non existent view or an awesome view and subpar cuisine. Oceanic Restaurant on Wrightsville, Nc is the rare gem that manages to do both.

Being the only restaurant in Wrightsville Beach situated on the Atlantic Ocean carries a lot of responsibility and they carry it well.
Oceanic also played a huge part in restoring the Crystal Pier, which literally stretches into the atlantic ocean with a fishing pier and outdoor above ocean tables.

We were seated upstairs at a table with a beautiful view of the sand and the surf below. They presented a neat kids menu with crayons for my little one to enjoy.

I ordered a White Sangria unlike any other I have ever had. It came with a frozen stone fruit popsicle immersed in the glass. Loved it! Hubby ordered a nice glass of Greek white wine, which paired well with our appetizer order of Oyster Rockefellers. I am still dreaming about those plump fresh oysters, topped with creamed spinach, pernod and crumbled bacon. So amazingly good!

In lieu of dinner rolls, you can expect an order of hush puppies to arrive in a basket for all to enjoy! My little one ordered the kids pasta marinara and a side of steamed broccoli. Kids and pasta go together like fish and water, so she was happy.

We tried two new items from their dinner menu that caught our attention: Shrimp and Grits and Brick Roasted Chicken. The Shrimp and Grits were large shrimp sautéed with shallots, pancetta, mushrooms, cajun spices, finished with cream and served over a fried Asiago polenta cake. The shrimp were good BUT that polenta cake was the perfect sponge to soak up all that creamy goodness. The chicken was amazing! I don’t usually order chicken at a seafood restaurant, but after the GM described it, I am so glad I did! It was moist, flavorful and the skin was the perfect grade of crispy without being overcooked.

SobeSavvy Tip: This restaurant and its unique seaside setting makes Oceanic very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. It is a place you MUST visit when in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Come for the food, stay for the view and GET IN LINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE with Yelp Mobile App.

BLUEWATER WATERFRONT GRILL

4 MARINA ST. | Seafood
www.bluewaterdining.com/

Bluewater Waterfront Grill, recently launched a brunch program at the restaurant and includes a Bloody Mary bar, champagne cocktails and a new cocktail program. SobeSavvy.com was invited to check out what’s new so this is where we decided to enjoy Sunday Brunch for Mother’s Day!

Brunch, without a doubt is one of the best ways to start of a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon. Brunch on the Intra-Coastal waters of the NC coast is even better. Enter the Blue Water WaterFront Grill in Wilmington Beach, NC. Set amongst beautiful boats and folks pulling up their pleasure crafts right to their dock, this restaurant is a mainstay in the area.

What’s New! They have a special build your own Bloody Mary and Champagne Cocktail Bar on Sundays that we enjoyed. Peach Bellini and Red Sangria set the tone for a wonderful meal experience. Bananas Foster French Toast was divine as was the Egg & Bacon Croissant.

Sitting dockside was a fun treat for our little one. She loved watching the comings and goings of the watercrafts as she enjoyed her kids menu item Fish & Chips. Such a relaxed atmosphere on a picture perfect warm spring morning. This was a brunch to remember!

Thank you to Oceanic Restaurant and Bluewater Waterfront Grill for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 during our visit to Wilmington,NC and Island Beaches. If you are looking for family friendly dining with great service, a delicious food/drink menu and amazing views, make reservations at these two places for a memorable dining experience.

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

Enjoy #NationalSeafoodMonth @Maggianos ! #Seafood + #Maggianos = Delicious

**Disclaimer: I received a $25 gift card courtesy of Maggiano’s to use towards my meal, however all opinions are 100% my own**

Maggiano’s Little Italy may be known for its delicious pasta dishes but did you know they had some amazing seafood offerings ?! Well they do…that’s why for October also known as National Seafood Month , I made plans to celebrate my favorite cuisine “Seafood” at a restaurant known for making celebrations special, Maggiano’s Little Italy !

For lunch, I headed to the restaurant’s Durham,NC location at The Streets of Southpoint. If you have never been to one of the 51 locations in 22 states , here is what you can expect:

  • A warm and friendly atmosphere. Semi-upscale, yet relaxed.
  • Homemade,  Italian-American cuisine both classic & contemporary
  • Generous portions..can you say leftovers?!
  • Delicious dishes for the whole family…so yes bring the kids! 
  • A full bar and large selection of wine..Cheers! 

Our waiter was friendly and eager to share what his favorites were on the menu. Since I had seafood in mind, I was pleased to see the many options available!  To start, we shared the Steamed Mussels served Tuscan Style.It was a generous portion of Prince Edward Island Mussels served with white beans, parsley and sundried tomatoes. Be sure to save some of the table bread to dip in the broth, it’s that good.

Next was Spiced Shrimp, Bacon, Roasted Peppers & Corn Fondue from the Bruschetta Bar. Maggiano’s allows customers to customize their own bruschetta tasting..how unique! You know what they say, good things come in small packages and this little bite left a big impression. So delicious!

For my entree it was recommended to try the Lighter Take Shrimp Fra Diavolo. What makes it “Lighter Take” you ask? For 370 calories, you get a plate full of flavor with just half the portion of the normal Shrimp Fra Diavolo. It is hand cut fettuccine, pan-seared shrimp, garlic, tomatoes and Diavolo Sauce. My plate was cleaned..so no complaints. After talking with the Chef who came out to see how we liked everything, I wished I had got the Salmon Oscar after hearing his mouth-watering desciption! He also advised the food is made from scratch everyday and dishes can be modified to meet guest’s special diet needs. Maggiano’s offer gluten-free pasta and all sauces are handcrafted without gluten-containing ingredients. 

All in all, our dining experience was a memorable in a good way. Flavorful and Fresh are two words that come to mind. Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, graduation, birthday, or National Seafood month like me, consider Maggiano’s Little Italy ! Your tastebuds will not be disappointed!

Savvy Tip:  Join the E-club and get a coupon to use and save on your next meal ! Follow Maggiano’s Little Italy on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.

#FoodieFriday spotlight on @LocalsSeafood! From Boat to Table #NCseafood @ChadwickCreek oysters and more!

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This Past Sunday, my family and I headed down to the famous Raleigh Farmers Market. This is where fresh food in any category can be found. We were there specifically for fresh seafood.

North Carolina is blessed in many way. One way in particular is geography. We have mountains and we have beaches. The Atlantic is literally at our doorstep in the Eastern part of the State. In these waters, some of the freshest seafood in the world thrives here. Lucky for us, Locals Seafood Company http://localsseafood.com/ just happens to provide this bounty to the public.

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Locals Seafood has a presence at the Triangle’s biggest weekend Farmers Markets. They can be found at farmers markets in Chapel Hill, Western Wake and of course in Raleigh. When we arrived there were a few enthusiastic customers ahead of us. Some of whom advised me that Locals Seafood is the ONLY place they buy their fresh seafood.

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Locals’ menu constantly fluctuates with what is in season and available. This guarantees only the freshest regional seafood is available for their loyal customers.

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Scallops, Sea Bass, oysters ,flounder and soft shell crabs were just a few items for sale at the market on Sunday.

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We decided to get some soft Shell Crabs and make a soft shell crab Po Boy. Lightly fried in a mix of olive and vegetable oil…Semi Soft bread from our local baker worked well. We built it with dry cole slaw and Remoulade Dressing. Yum !

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On Sunday, Locals had two types of fresh raw oysters available: Wild Oysters and Chadwick Creek oysters, which is located on the NC Inner Banks. We got a 1/2 dozen each and made them two ways.

First up were Raw Oysters w/lemon and a classic mignonette. As the pictures can attest, these were highly anticipated !

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The second recipe we decided on was Oysters Rockefeller. Oven Baked w/Spinach, bacon and grated parmigiano- reggiano cheese until golden brown.

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Last but definitely not least were what to do with our fresh flounder filet. How about Flounder Almondine?

Light egg batter and salt/pepper dusted flour dip and pan fried in Olive oil . We finished it with parsley flakes w/a side of asparagus tips. GREAT seafood sampler dinner from Locals Seafood. It just doesn’t get any fresher or any more local than this. Stop by one of the markets in Raleigh, Chapel Hill or West Wake this weekend and get buy your own fresh catch !

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#SobeSavvy Recaps @SOBESEAFOODFEST #CHEFSHOWDOWN @ THE SEAFOOD & SNEAKERS BALL!

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The 2nd Annual Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival brought forth Miami culinary flair and swanky fashion at new event before Festival Day.

While the main Saturday Festival was the talk of the town, the Chef Showdown at the Seafood & Sneakers Ball offered the most exclusive ticket in town for sea-foodies on Friday, October 24, 2014. This event served as the sizzling appetizer before the main event and featured Miami’s finest culinary master chefs showcasing amazing seafood dishes along with some fun and fashion as a complete “Made in Miami” experience!

Miami is all about style and the Seafood & Sneakers Ball, sponsored by Range Rover and Bacardi, showed how Miamians do things just a little bit differently. Taking place at 9th & Ocean Drive in the GOYA Culinary Pavilion at the event site, the Chef Showdown @ the Seafood & Sneakers Ball featured Miami’s finest, participating in cook-offs on the 305-KITCHEN.com demo stages throughout the venue, hosted by none other than Celebrity Chef and current owner of Naked Taco, Ralph Pagano. Attendees participated in the public vote as guests visited the Chef’s restaurant tasting stations around the event space, sampled their signature dishes showcased on the demo stages, and voted on who is the best in each showdown category. The “Cutting Board” experts also lended their expertise to assist in choosing the final winners at the end of the evening. Participating restaurants for the Chef Showdown included: Lure Fish bar, Siena Tavern, Red the Steakhouse, Florida Cookery, Oceanaire, Dolce Italian, City Hall, Café Avanti, CIBO, De Rodriguez, Naked Taco, Park Central, and Poseidon. All sustainable seafood for the event was provided by hosting sponsor, Whole Foods. To see the full list of winners, see Instagram.com/p/ukhve7enbl or https://Twitter.com/SobeSeafoodFest/status/525886440568524800

The Seafood & Sneakers Ball focused on highlighting our seafood masters in South Florida, the event also featured a major fashion element with a “Made In Miami Fashion Show” taking place during the Sneakers Ball. Hosted by fashion blogger Kelly Saks, the fashion show showed the latest styles by some of Miami’s best local designers to include: The Edition Boutique, Pretty Beachy Swimwear, accessories by TAudry Jewelry, and The Fashion Poet. Lyfe Brand Apparel, known for their creation of the popular “Heatles” shirts during the Miami Heat’s quest for their NBA Championships were also be present. All guests were encouraged to be part of this amazing fashion spectacle by wearing their most stylish, outrageous, swankiest sneakers.

SobeSavvy.com joined in and captured the fun for the “gala” evening of the weekend that helped kickoff the fundraising for Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival’s beneficiary, Community Initiatives Foundation and their new EAT SMART Campaign. Find out more at www.cifoundation.org. Miami Cigar Company provided complimentary cigars and a silent auction was also part of the evening , hosted by Marty Wallach/Whip Fundraising . More at www.WhipFundraising.com

For more information about the festival please visit: www.sobeseafoodfest.com. Follow Facebook: Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival | Instagram: @SobeSeafoodFest | Twitter: @SobeSeafoodFest use HASHTAG: #SobeSeafood

Here is my photo recap of Friday night’s Sobe Seafood Fest Event, “Chef Showdown at the Seafood & Sneakers Ball ” ! *Additional Photo Credit: Barry Heigh , Rebecca Darling

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@Elitbystoli #elitbystoli @elitMiami Pairing Dinner @LureFishbar @LoewsMiami Cocktails by @RJFerrara3 ~ Photo Recap by #SobeSavvy

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On October 8, 2014, Miami New Times Best “Seafood Restaurant” , Lure Fishbar, partnered with Russian vodka brand, Stolichnaya, to host a six-course pairing dinner. Guests enjoyed dishes crafted by Lure’s Executive Chef John Iatrellis expertly paired with cocktails made with Elit by Stoli vodka by Lure’s mixologist, Rob Ferrara.

The evening was curated by Stoli Brand Ambassador, Meagan Sacher, who  guided eager imbibers through each pairing and the vodka’s flavor notes. The enticing menu  included fresh seafood from Lure’s extensive raw bar as well as a number of savory dishes.

Elit by Stoli Pairing Menu at Lure Fishbar

 ESTATE CAVIAR

Tsar Nicoulai from San Francisco

 AMUSE

Crispy Rice Cake

Cocktail Pairing

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Chilled Elit by Stoli with Gold Flakes

RAW BAR PLATTER

Wianno & Blue Point (East Coast), Kushi & Kumamoto (West Coast), Shrimp and Clams

Cocktail Pairing

50/50

Elit by Stoli, Dolin Dry, Orange Bitters

SUSHI PLATTER

Tuna and Salmon Nigiri, Hamachi Rolls, Lure Roll, Yellowtail Jalapeño

Cocktail Pairing

NIKOLAI VOLKOFF

Elit by Stoli, Ginger, Lemon, Orgeat, Apple Juice

FISH ENTREE

Whole Daurade, Watercress, Agrodolce, Steamed Jasmine Rice & Charred Lemon

Cocktail Pairing

KORNIKOVA

Elit by Stoli, House-Made Lavender Cordial, Lemon, Orange Bitters, Sparkling Wine

MEAT ENTREE

Tenderloin, Mushroom & Pear Onion Demi Herb with Mashed Potatoes

Cocktail Pairing

DRAGO

Elit by Stoli, East India Sherry, Angostura Bitters

DESSERT

Pot of Gold & Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cocktail Pairing

THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Elit by Stoli, Almond Milk, Vanilla, Panther Coffee Reduction, Nutmeg

Lure Fishbar is located in the historic St. Moritz Tower at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel – 1601 Collins Avenue. Valet parking is available. Website: www.lurefishbar.com

For more information about Elit by Stoli , go to elitbystoli.com 

Enjoy my photo recap of this ultimate pairing experience! *Additional photo credit: Rebecca Darling

Cheers,
‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh ~ Freelance Photojournalist ~ Bon Vivant Blogger ~ Follow @IJust_LoveThis

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