Leave it to the Four Seasons to take Miami’s culinary scene by storm! Ever since the Brickell hotel giant decided to revamp its dining options and bring Chef Aaron Brooks up from down under, it seems that the talented Australian chef is winning awards everwhich way you look. He is also turning the attention of savvy foodies’ toward Edge, Steak & Bar, where he mans the kitchen. Few local chefs have been able to more astutely capture Miami’s food culture than chef Brooks, whose offerings showcase a love and understanding of many Latin American cuisines, as well as a respect for local products.
When we were told we’d be trying out a new restaurant on Ocean Drive, we were stoked! Heading down to South Beach is not something that we get to do as often as we’d like because of the usual presumption that the place is too far, expensive, and crowded. We were delighted to find that South Beach’s newest gem, Miami Beach Caffé and Restaurant, was not only affordable and centrally located, but it provided a great time as well!
We decided to sit in their comfortable outdoor area so that we could people watch. First we were given a breadbasket with a choice of a tomato sauce or herb butter to spread over the top. You can either take your pick or mix the two. I elected to mix the two and loved it! While we were deciding on our meals, we were given the opportunity to sample a few of their cocktails. The strawberry margarita comes served in an elegant martini glass with a few slices of strawberry for garnish. Liquid nitrogen is poured over the top for an imaginative look. This cocktail entertained me before I even had the opportunity to taste it! The tequila sunrise came with a modern presentation, served in a cylindrical glass with multicolored layers and an orange wedge for garnish. Both of these cocktails were refreshing and exactly what one would expect from a restaurant on South Beach. Next we were given a sample of a new drink that will be added to their menu soon: The East Side Bellini! Now this was my favorite of all the ones we tried. The mix of Grand Marnier, champagne, peach schnapps, orange and pineapple juices, with liquid nitrogen over the top to give it that cool, smoking look, was crisp and refreshing! I can’t wait to go back and have this again!
There’s only one word you can use to describe the weather in New York City—HOT! The heat is enough to drive a seemingly sane person to do unnatural things. The price of air conditioners and energy bills will certainly go up but don’t let this heat allow you to loose your cool. Fight off your stress with summertime comfort food: ice cream. And we’re not just talking plain vanilla or chocolate, let the heat sway you to try some crazy, innovative flavors.
Jennifer Welser and Jonathan Baker allowed their disappointment in cookie dough ice cream drive them to create their own versions of the flavor of which a growing number of people just can not seem to get enough. Flavors like Earl Grey Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookie Dough and Cardamom Ice Cream with Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough certainly don’t ring a bell to most people. They even have a treat for those with a more strict diet in Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Macaroon—perhaps it’d be easier to order if you just point.
In 1979, as a way to thank their loyal customers for their support and for enjoying the "chunkiest, funkiest" ice cream flavors Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, created Free Cone Day. Since then the fan-favorite event has spread to 800 shops in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Now in its 34th consecutive year, Free Cone Day is upon us for all ice cream lovers to take a lick. Brace the lines at your local Ben & Jerry shop this afternoon through tonight at 8 p.m. to enjoy a complimentary scoop of your favorite flavor. Choose from any of their famous ice creams, frozen yogurt, sorbets, or the new member of the Ben & Jerry's family, Greek Frozen Yogurt, available in four great flavors. A must-try today, or any day, is the Greek Frozen Yogurt in Banana Peanut Butter.
The artisanal ice cream extraordinnaires, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, is coming out with a new collection, which will be available from February 3rd through April and is called Super Pop Cakes!, featuring 5 new flavors.
Sink your teeth into southern-inspired Hummingbird Cake loaded with bananas, pecans, pineapple, and cinnamon.
Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake features a combination of skyr cheese, sweet oat biscuits, and rhubarb compote.
Mango Kiwi Special Cake contains just what it sounds like, strewn with angel food cake.
Carnation Café, Disneyland, Main Street
The Carnation Café provides a old-tyme feel that complements Main Street’s Victorian theme. Featuring wait service and fantastic people watching, The Carnation Café is a great spot to rest your feet and enjoy light American fare such as Mickey-shaped waffles, fried chicken, seasonal pot pie and the Matterhorn Sundae. Look for the bright candy-cane striped umbrellas to be sure you’ve found the right café!
Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque, Disneyland, Frontierland
If you love a great juicy BBQ ribs, then this hidden restaurant is a must! Featuring delicious all-you-can-eat BBQ chicken, ribs and all the fixing’s--Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque is ideal for families and large groups. For vegetarians, there is a vegetarian BBQ skewer available. At certain times you will also be treated to a toe-tappin’ musical performance that truly does put a little ‘yee-haw’ into your BBQ.
Best Variety of Food in Close Capacity:
Wharf, Disney’s California Adventure, Golden State
If there are a few picky eaters in your group, or you simply all want to try something different, check out Pacific Wharf. Perched next to the iconic Paradise Pier, Pacific Wharf offers a café with bread bowls and sandwiches, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and Lucky Fortune Cookery. And if you feel like truly relaxing with a glass of wine, be sure to check out the three wineries near by--Mendocino Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery, Wine Country Tattoria at the Golden Vine Winery and Sonoma Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery--for a taste of some of the fine wines that California is famed for.
Best Quick Vegetarian and Healthy Snack:
Fairfax Market, Disney’s California Adventure, Hollywood Pictures Backlot
Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are filled with quick delicious bites for non-vegetarians and those ready to indulge their sweet tooth here are numerous corn dog stands, hot dog stands, turkey leg stands, cotton candy stands and churros! Yet there is a lack of healthy snacks. Thankfully, Fairfax Market, modeled after a vegetable stand in Los Angeles Farmers Market, is a great alternative--the stand features seasonal fruit, drinks and healthy snacks.
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Disneyland, Main Street
If you love ice cream, this charming shop is a must-eat. The delicious ice cream and handmade dipped cones are hosted by Dreyer’s and will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time a hundred years--in a delicious way!
Of course there are many other delicious options at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure (this list didn’t even cover all of the great food stands, such as the corn dog stand on Main Street) but does touch on a few different options!
*Images provided by Disneyland.com
Ice cream + charity = one sweet combination.
Cold Stone will be accepting donations during the month of September to benefit the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Purchase a paper star for a dollar and the proceeds go directly to the organization that grants wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
And, be sure to head into your local Cold Stone Creamery for their 10th Annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, September 27th between 5 and 8 PM. You'll get a FREE Sprinkled with Wishes™ Creation consisting of Sweet Cream Ice Cream mixed with Brownie, Fudge and Rainbow Sprinkles.
What better way to spend Sunday afternoon than stuffing yourself with delectable gourmet ice cream? This Sunday, August 28th, New Amsterdam Market hosts its fundraiser at the Old Fulton Fish Market on South Street. Ice cream chefs from favorites like Otto Pizzeria, The Bent Spoons, Van Leeuwen and many more will dish out eclectic ice cream flavors sure to satisfy even the most discriminating of ice cream connoisseurs. $25 tickets include 8 ice cream tastings, while a $35 ticket will get you 10 tastings. All proceeds benefit New Amsterdam Market, a 501 (c)3 non-profit.
So it's late summer, NYC. It's about 92 degrees outside and my editor calls me up to see if I can go do some field research on a new gelato spot. The universe is on my side. I waste not a minute and head on over to Amorino that evening.
The European chain has chosen the perfect Union Square spot to infiltrate the US -- right smack dab in the middle of NYU-ville. They boast 22 flavors of gelato, and the favorites among the crowd (from what I scooped) were Hazelnut and Pistachio. But to compare with ZacYoung's donuts around the corner at Flex Mussels, I decide I'm going to go for Caramello a Burro Salato (Caramel with Salted Butter).