Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts

Friday, May 25, 2018

A #FoodieFriday from @brasserie812 with @fmg_nyc + @WinesofCroatia #Wine! Because it is #NationalWineDay


Today is National Wine Day!

Happy National Wine Day Butterflies! Hope you have some fun plans for Memorial Day Weekend!

Does your Memorial Day Weekend include Wine and Good Times?

Grab an Ice Bucket and start chilling your wine!

I meant to serve this up for #WineWednesday on the interwebs (and will admit this recap is LONG overdue) but I am glad it worked out for both #FoodieFriday and #NationalWine Day as it includes a nice mix of BOTH.

When my friends at FMGNYC PR invite me to an event I make every effort to attend, and considering I haven't been attending nearly a quarter of the amount of events I have been invited to this year that is saying A LOT.

My wine posts have tended to be heavier on international wines - what can I say, I am well heeled and so is my choice in wines. I like events that expose me to something different and this dinner held by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce at Midtown’s Brasserie 8 ½ gave me a taste of what the Croatian wine region has to offer.

Above: Menu + Place Card - look my name is spelled correctly! It never fails that I attend an event and the place card botches my FIRST name by sticking an 'E' where it does NOT belong. So I am always happy for a place card with my name spelled right. We are off to a great start. CHEERS to this!

Above: I was seated at Table 5 and nabbed a shot before the rest of the guests hit the table.

The Menu:

Appetizer: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Salad with Couscous Citrus Vinaigrette, Peppercress Lettuce

Entree: Filet Mignon Au Poivre - Chive Whipped Bintjee Potatoes, Haricots Verts, Black Truffle Sauce


Roasted Rack of Lamb - Potato Dauphine, Haricorts Verts, Au Jus

Dessert: Warm Pear Financier - Maple Ice Cream

AboveAppetizer: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Salad with Couscous Citrus Vinaigrette, Peppercress Lettuce - the touch of Citrus gave these Jumbo Shrimp the perfect hint of summer loving and would be perfect for your memorial day entertaining this weekend.

Above: I chose the Filet Mignon Au Poivre with Chive Whipped Bintjee Potatoes, Haricots Verts, and Black Truffle Sauce! It was so GOOD!!! There was no one close enough for me to nab a shot of the rack of lamb but it looked great also.

Dessert: Warm Pear Financier - Maple Ice Cream - This was such a well balanced dessert!

This white wine fom the Slavonia region, the Vezak Graševina was a great example of Croatia’s principal grape variety, the Graševina. The color of this dry white is similar to the colors of the golden fields characteristic of  Croatian valleys. It offers a flowery aroma mixed with a fruity bouquet and a slight mineral aftertaste. This wine will compliment seafood or a white meats.

AboveThis dry robust  red wine, Ivan Dolac Barrique, was named for the aforementioned French barrel it matures in and hails from Hvar. It offers a berry and slightly  floral aroma. It is quite smooth, easy on the palette and  compliments any roast game or grilled fish.

Above: The award-winning Plavac, the Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru is made from grapes that are organically grown in the picturesque slopes of the island of Hvar.  From 35 to 50-year-old vines! The wine is then aged in French barrique barrels for two years and 6-12 months in the bottle. It is a dry red with hints of leather, pepper, chocolate, and prunes. This earthy wine is best paired with steaks and lobsters and as you can see there is a bottle size to suit pretty much any size party!

Above: The final Croatian wine was the Kabola Muškat Momjanski. It perfectly complimented the warm pear and maple ice cream dessert. A refreshing and medium-bodied white with notes of peaches, rose, and honey with a slight mineral quality. This white had a slight lingering taste that I normally associate with red wines. Definitely a great summer white to enjoy during memorial day weekend.

Above: Sorry to bounce you around so much from whites to reds, but I actually saved the one I loved most for last on purpose. The Erdutski Rosé is made from the Pinot Black grapes of the Slavonia region and has a warm blush pink color. This is literally THE MOST  BALANCED Rosé I have tasted in a LONG time. There were some folks at my table who do not like Rosé and tried this one at my urging and asked for another glass. It is perfect - not sweet or overly dry - the balance on this Rosé makes it one I will be reaching for year round, but it is definitely perfect for these upcoming summer nights and this long memorial day weekend. This one is my stand out from the tasting for sure.

Above: Monika Elling, FMGNYC Public Relations

Above: And guess who I spotted at Table 4? (Former) Governor George Pataki, NYC! (Seated Center)


The selection of wines was quite impressive and the pairings were excellent, this is a wine tasting I definitely want to recreate for friends and family and hope it inspires you too. I say a visit to Croatia is next on my list as well.

Readers: What are your plans for Memorial Day? What wines are you drinking this weekend and where are you travelling to?

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FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation has been received, this was a media tasting, and all opinions are 100% my own!  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

{#WordlessWednesday} #SundayBrunch @Theos_NY Restaurant and Oyster Bar in #NYC with @955PLJ @toddandjayde

Free Time isn't exactly flowing, but every now and then when I have a spare moment online I like to enter a contest or two. I am born under the zodiac sign of Aries and we tend to be 'risk takers' at heart.

Well my gamble paid off with a local radio station contest win for Sunday Brunch at Theos Restaurant and Oyster Bar in the Trump Plaza in Manhattan!

Above: I couldn't resist nabbing a shot of the custom menu and place holders at the table!

Above: 'La Dolce Vita' Specialty Cocktail: Prosecco, Pom Juice and House Infused Dolce Mix and Pom Seed (Let's face it, what's Brunch without Bubbles?) A #Pomsecco (yes I am going to make a 'thing')

Above: There were sweet parting gifts too! Decisions, Decisions on the menu!

Above: Lobster Bisque one of the choices for Course One of this Three Course Prix-Fixe Tasting Menu

Above: Lobster Citrus Salad was my choice for Course One with bits of Avocado and lemongrass

Above: Maine Lobster Benedict was one of the choices for Course 2!

Above: My Choice for Course 2 was the Steak and Eggs!

Above: Sadly they were out of my dessert choice by the time they got to me, and didn't have any alternates so this is pretty much fruit and whip cream but I can't get mad at it.

Above: The chef came out to take a photo with the Radio Station Personalities Todd and Jayde and the WPLJ Blown Off Brunch Contest Winners! Can you spot the butterfly? :)

I am never totally Wordless on 'Wordless Wednesday' but it is photo heavy, that counts right?

Readers Sound Off: What Dish catches your eye and tempts your taste buds? Where do you 'Sunday Brunch'?

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a sponsored/compensated Post I WON a Radio Station Contest and was under NO obligation to post my experience. All opinions are 100% my own! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Have you checked out the new #restaurant menu options @olivegarden? Fall into #OGTastes

Press in different cities have had the option to try out the New Menu Options at Olive Garden and the tasting was recently offered in New York City at the Olive Garden Restaurant in Times Square, I had been reading other reviews of the menu posted by blogging pals in other cities, and was pretty stoked to get the chance to try it all out too. 

There were old favorites that were re-configured and a few new noteworthy menu options for us to explore.

Menu Tasting Checklist! One hour, 9 courses + Dessert.

This is what went down:

Risotto Bites

Above: A blend of Italian Cheeses and rice that are lightly fried and served on top of Marinara Sauce.

Polenta Shrimp alla Greca

Above: Sautéed Shrimp on creamy Polenta that is topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.

Calabrian Wings

Above: Chicken Wings tossed with Garlic and chili peppers from the Italian region of Calabria served with a Gorgonzola dipping sauce. These will only be on the menu for a limited time, so catch it while you can! (These definitely have a spicy kick!)

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Above: Mixed Greens, Kale, Basil. Olives, Roasted Tomato, Croutons and Fresh Mozzarella with an extra virgin olive oil drizzle, make this Salad a Stand Alone Standout!

Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Above: Chicken Meatballs, roasted bell peppers served on a Focaccia Bun. (I have to say this one is really good! Perfect for a quick lunch!)

Bucatini with Spicy Three Meat Sauce and Meatballs

Above: This dish is included as part of the current "Never Ending Pasta Bowl". From September 22nd through November 9th you can enjoy more than 150 pasta combinations, plus home-made soup or garden-fresh salad and fresh baked garlic breadsticks - unlimited. Starting at $9.99!

Chicken Abruzzi

Above: This Olive Garden Specialty Dish of Grilled Chicken Breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables, is part of the "Lighter Italian Fare" menu and comes in at under 575 calories. (Fall comfort food at it's best!)

Grilled Chicken Butternut Squash Alfredo Fettuccine

Above: Chicken Breasts served on a bed of Fettuccine tossed with creamy roasted butternut squash alfredo and fresh spinach. This is a Fall Menu Item that will be available for a limited time only.

Pappardelle Pescatore

Above: Sautéed Shrimp, Bay Scallops, and Clams tossed with Pappardelle Pasta, fresh asparagus and tomato in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce. I am a seafood lover, and this was by far my favorite of the entire tasting menu. I will be going back for this one!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Above: Pumpkin Cheesecake topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and ginger cookie crumbles which is available for a Limited Time Only.

Frozen Margarita


My top three menu favorites were the Pappardelle Pescatore, Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich, and the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad. Sadly I'm not a 'gourd' lover so the Chicken Butternut Squash and the Pumpkin Cheesecake were my least favorite (and that breaks my heart to say as I'm a cheesecake fanatic, but just don't like pumpkin.)

I love that Olive Garden always encourages guests to try out their wines and allow you to taste any wine that catches your eye on their beverage menu, with no obligation if it doesn't appeal to you. I'm a fan of their Moscato! (The ones on the menu are actually quite different in taste, and the server will help you figure out which pairs best with what which I truly appreciate!) I wanted to hold on to the last fleeting days of warm weather. and ordered a Frozen Margarita.

Bye! Bye! Summer, Hello FALL! Cozy Sweaters, great boots and comfort food are all signs of the season!

Butterflies what is your favorite Olive Garden Dish?

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FTC Disclosure:  I was invited to experience the new menu to facilitate my review, this is NOT a compensated post/placement. All opinions are expressly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I am on my way to #BlogHer12 so why are my thoughts on the @NicheMommy Conference?

Witchcraft, Voodoo Legends, and Vampire Folklore - OH MY!

This week the BlogHer Conference is coming back to my city, New York City! And I'm live blogging this year FOR BlogHer which I'm totally excited about. So why is my mind already on the Niche Mommy Conference?

I guess since I already live in New York City, and I'm not taking a plane to get there, I'm not getting that 'travel rush' I normally get before a conference, so my mind is drifting and wandering towards thoughts of new sites and sounds. A city I have never visited. A city with Vampire Lore (Hello, life long Horror and Vampire Movie lover here!), a city with a rich Jazz musical history and great restaurants, New Orleans!

I have been researching this city for years now, and according to the Haunted New Orleans Tours website, "New Orleans, (is) America's Most Haunted City" - It seems to me it's part haunted and part enchanted and that is a strong part of the draw for me. I don't know why none of my travels to date have yet to take me there, but I'm thinking the Niche Mommy Conference sounds like a perfect excuse, I mean ahem, a 2012 'business' trip! Yeah, that's the ticket! While I know most folks immediately think about Mardi Gras madness, I don't want to try push my way down crowded streets, I want to take leisurely strolls and get great pictures of local architecture, meet tons of locals and hit the restaurants on my wish/research list. Yes I have actually been compiling a list of must try restaurants, I'm such a hopeless foodie!

You know how I feel about Vision Boards, and how they help you put the power of attraction in action! I have been compiling info on New Orleans for awhile now, and here is an advertisement that I clipped from a  magazine that highlights some of the things I want to do while in NOLA!

My 'Big Easy' Vision Board:

Press on each picture to see them as a full page and then backspace and come back here to see the next one!

I was robbed of quite a bit of travel time in the last year (due to a medical nightmare I certainly didn't see coming), and I plan to make up for it! While there are all the obvious reasons of why I love conferences (connecting with online friends from across the miles in the real world, learning how to make my business grow stronger by blogging smarter not harder, meeting great brands and making new friends), I also love travel and I love exploring new cities. I'm totally excited that Niche Mommy will be held in New Orleans this year, and I totally hope to make it out there!

For all those coming in this week for BlogHer, please be sure to visit my post that outlines the top 10 family fun New York City sites and attractions, if you missed it, you can click HERE.

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FTC Disclosure: While this is NOT a sponsored post, this is a personal essay entry into a Britax Competition for an opportunity to win a sponsorship to the Niche Mommy Conference. This is a closed competition for members of their Latina Advisory Board - Hispanic Digital Outreach Blogger Brand Ambassadors. This post is my entry, all opinions are 100% my own. I have NO personal affiliation to the Niche Mommy Conference organizers or the New Orleans Tourism Board. I am however entirely fascinated by the supernatural and have always wanted to visit New Orleans!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fourth of July, Fireworks and DUALITY - This is NOT your Grandma's Atlantic City!

When I turned 21 my mom asked me how I wanted to ring in my big day, and without blinking an eye, I told her I wanted to join her on her girls weekend to Atlantic City. She always seemed so excited to visit, and her and her friends always would always come home laughing about their adventures. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about! Instead of waiting for her next girls weekend, we decided to make it a Mother/Daughter weekend. That weekend was the start of a twice monthly ritual that has continued to this day. I didn't want to ring in my day 'bar hopping' or 'clubbing', but I knew I wanted to have fun. From the very first visit up until today, Atlantic City never fails to surprise me. It's always just a little more than I thought it could be, and it's come a long way from the bingo granny's and dark, smoky gaming halls where you lose track of time.

I love to visit the Caribbean every winter when it gets super cold here in New York City. But summers don't always lend themselves to me getting enough time off to plan a Caribbean vacation. But I can do a great 'staycation' or a long weekend in the summer, and when I do, it's usually Atlantic City. It combines so many great things I enjoy, first of all, the Beach. Being near the Ocean is my favorite place to be. I'm also a foodie and a Seafood lover, and Atlantic City has an amazing assortment of Restaurants at various price levels. If you are a Raw Bar/Shellfish lover like I am, there are tons of options both inside and outside of the Casinos to chose from.

There are tons of great shows, concerts, festivals and family friendly activities including: the Ocean Life Center Aquarium, Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruises, the Absecon Lighthouse, Lucy The Elephant, Tropicana Casino has an Imax Theatre (and a great Comedy Club), mini-golf on the boardwalk, the Steel Pier Amusement Park, Ice Skating at the Flyer Skate Zone, and the fanastic Water Show at the Pier Shops at Caesar's Atlantic City. “The Water Show” is a dramatic blend of music, sound, and light. There are two distinct versions of the show. A daytime version which takes guests on a musical journey through the history of dance, and a nighttime show, a more sultry performance choreographed to the jazz song “Fever.” Between shows, “intelligent” fountains keep guests mesmerized with their playful diversions. I never tire of seeing the Water Show!

Well butterflies, Atlantic City’s Water Show attraction - a $7 million dollar water, light and sound extravaganza now has a rival, a rival which will debut to the public on Fourth of July after the City's Fireworks Display on the Boardwalk.  The new show, Duality, created by Moment Factory who has produced similar shows in Lyon (France), Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, as well as multimedia elements for shows performed by Celine Dion in Las Vegas, Jay-Z, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Cirque du Soleil,  Microsoft, Disney and various other clients brings a highly sophisticated 3D projection show that includes surround sound, theatrical lighting and the latest architectural video mapping technologies that will bring Boardwalk Hall’s historic façade to life! The same company that revved up the Super Bowl's halftime show, is going to rev up Atlantic City with a free show that tells a story and reflects the personality of the city.

Photo courtesy of Moment Factory and the Atlantic City Alliance

On July 4, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. the Atlantic City Fireworks show titled “Let it Rock,” will begin. The show, by Fireworks by Grucci (The infamous Fourth of July Fireworks in NYC is also produced by the Grucci family!),  is approximately 20 minutes in length and will be visible for a one mile stretch of the Boardwalk and beach from Revel Resort (Atlantic City's first ALL SMOKE FREE Casino!) on Metropolitan Avenue to The Atlantic Club on Boston Avenue and will be choreographed to music and broadcast on 95.1 WAYV FM radio. Following the fireworks show, musician Kevin Rudolf will perform a free concert at Kennedy Plaza including “Let it Rock” and select songs from his new album. At 10:15pm, the Atlantic City Alliance will debut, Duality,  a 3D sound and light show on the façade of the historic Boardwalk Hall.

Photo courtesy of Moment Factory and the Atlantic City Alliance

Duality Run TimeThe show runs approximately 8 ½ minutes long and will play twice per hour beginning at dark. Times are subject to change based on seasonality and special events within Boardwalk Hall.

The Atlantic City Alliance (ACA) is a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation launched in the fall of 2011 whose primary mission is to revitalize and rebuild Atlantic City’s reputation and to broaden the destination’s appeal beyond a gaming area to a multi-night, year-round destination in order to drive increased visitation.

The ACA announced a new five-year program designed as part of the Atlantic City Master Plan to drive tourism through interactive public art displays. Each free public display will be engaging and thought provoking and will serve as a cultural point of interest for Atlantic City visitors, inviting them to linger and experience the boardwalk in a totally new way!

Atlantic City is no longer that dark, smoky gaming pit! You actually no longer want to lose track of time here, you want to maximize your time so you can eat, catch a show, check out the great shopping at The Walk and The Pier Shops, hang out on the beach, and just let the sun shine in on your Atlantic City experience! If it has been awhile since your last visit, make it a point to visit Atlantic City this summer season!

This effort is part of the ACA's larger marketing campaign, "Do Anything, Do Everything," which launched in mid-April 2012 and aims to increase visitation to Atlantic City. The goal of this new $30 million  campaign is to build a year-round visitor base and shift consumer perception of the city. Atlantic City has truly come a long way, it has always been my 'happy place' and always will be, but I've greatly enjoyed watching it grow and evolve throughout the years. I look forward to seeing the new life and new energy that ACA will bring. Atlantic City has become increasingly family friendly throughout the years and this new show will breathe new life and bring new energy to the Boardwalk and to Atlantic City.

Photo courtesy of Moment Factory and the Atlantic City Alliance

“While the world's great museums showcase art for appreciation as well as scholarship, moving art outside to the blank canvas of the sky, the ocean and the historic Boardwalk here in Atlantic City can be a catalyst to evolve how people think about our city," said Liza Cartmell, President of the Atlantic City Alliance. "Atlantic City has long been known as a place that pushes the limits to showcase the new and the unique and this is just one more example consistent with its history of innovation".

Photo courtesy of Moment Factory and the Atlantic City Alliance

I remember many of my friends asking me why I chose Atlantic City for my 21st birthday. Why not Vegas they asked incredulously, and my answer then was 'I want to swim in the Ocean, not a virtual beach, a REAL beach'. And while my reasons for returning year after year have evolved just as much as Atlantic City has evolved, the sun, the sand, and the historic boardwalk are still my favorite reasons to visit, the new phenomenal FREE shows are a definite bonus!

Take a look at the making of Duality on video here:

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall from Moment Factory on Vimeo.

While I don't have pictures from my very first birthday visit, here is a picture of me on my birthday in 2006:

2006 Photo Courtesy of Ascending Butterfly taken at Caesars Atlantic City

Here is a picture of me in May of this year visiting the newly renovated Golden Nugget Casino:

2012 Photo Courtesy of Ascending Butterfly taken at Golden Nugget Casino, Atlantic City

I can't wait to check out the new Duality 3D Light show in Atlantic City! Fun and Fireworks all near the Ocean is my idea of holiday heaven!

Get Social and Share how you DO AC on Facebook and Twitter - make sure to use the hashtag #HowIdoAC in your tweet!

So Butterflies, tell me, how are you spending your Fourth of July? Be sure to leave us a comment here and let us know! And if you opt to visit Atlantic City and check out Duality, be sure to let us know!

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FTC Disclosure: This sponsored post is brought to you with the support of the Atlantic City Alliance. Visit them on Facebook and Twitter for more information.