Monday, November 30, 2015

Fight hunger, eat ice cream this weekend in St. Pete

On Saturday, Two Hangry Chicks and iChills will dish free sweets to those who donate canned food.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM

  • iChills
This weekend, giving back to those in need involves a delicious task: eating ice cream.

Two Hangry Chicks, a local nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about world hunger, is teaming up with St. Petersburg's iChills to dish out free sweets from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. All guests need to do is show up at the frozen dessert shop with at least two canned goods, or other nonperishable food items.

One in four Pinellas County children go to bed hungry, according to the event's news release, and in exchange for their donations, folks will receive one complimentary vanilla or chocolate ice cream cone. During the gathering, children will also enjoy a fun activity hosted by Two Hangry Chicks.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

CL's annual Holiday Auction: Repeal Day package, craft beer & more

Less than 24 hours remain in our first week of incredible auction items.

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 9:46 AM


We're in the midst of our 7th annual Holiday Auction to benefit the Children's Home, with less than 24 hours to go for our Week One items! It's time to dig deep, up the ante and raise some money for the kids, while you score exclusive items and experiences — like this sweet Repeal Day Party Package. Not only will you and a guest get into one of the best parties of the year (thrown by the U.S. Bartender's Guild Tampa, so you know those cocktails are gonna be the best) on Saturday, but you'll both also get access to Friday's "Ignite" pre-party and the usually "industry only" after-party that same evening.

Every year we try to top ourselves in the amount of money we raise, and this time around is no different, but we can only do it if you help. There are plenty of other great food & drink experiences for this week and beyond — in fact, Week Two items are also live this weekend, including a free draft beer every week for a year from LBC in Palm Harbor, and a 3-brewpub bar crawl with yours truly. Let's make this our most successful year ever!

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Coffee, beer for a year included on new Holiday Auction lineup

CL's Holiday Auction is offering draft beer and coffee for a year, a St. Pete resto package and more.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 8:10 AM

You could be drinking so much Kahwa after this year's Holiday Auction. - KAHWA COFFEE
  • Kahwa Coffee
  • You could be drinking so much Kahwa after this year's Holiday Auction.

A fresh bill of auction offers have posted to CL's annual Holiday Auction page. The online auction, benefiting The Children's Home of Tampa, ends Dec. 20, but new items will appear every Thursday until then.

Bidders have the chance to score a weekly pound of Kahwa Coffee in St. Petersburg, or draft beer from Palm Harbor's LBC, for a year.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On the Sauce: New York Sour (with video)

For the whiskey sour averse, a New York Sour, topped with red wine, could be what you're missing.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 8:48 AM

  • Chris Fasick

This week, I want to introduce a drink I only recently learned about. But this isn't a new cocktail by any means — it originated in the 1880s. While it changed names a few times before landing on the New York Sour, the drink was allegedly invented by the same bartender who claims to have created the Manhattan. How's that for a resume?

We've all had a whiskey sour, right? It's a solid drink. Classic? Yeah. Great? Meh. After trying a New York Sour, though, I felt like this is what the whiskey sour's been missing.

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Drink More Wine: Clarifying claret

The skinny on dry reds from France's Bordeaux region.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 6:19 AM

Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is one of Bordeaux's most famous cabernet-based wines. - DALE CRUSE
  • Dale Cruse
  • Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is one of Bordeaux's most famous cabernet-based wines.
The red wines of Bordeaux have long held a special mystique. Thomas Jefferson, a noted connoisseur, fell in love with the wines of Chateau Lafite (now Lafite-Rothschild). Indeed, the French region is one of the largest wine producers in the world, about seven times the size of California’s Napa Valley. And while, like most things in wine, there is an overwhelming amount of information to master, learning just a few facts can aid in your understanding and appreciation of offerings from this most hallowed of regions.

First of all, unlike Burgundy, which is made from 100-percent pinot noir, the red wines of Bordeaux are all blends, so let’s begin with grapes. The major Bordeaux varietals are cabernet sauvignon and merlot mixed with some cabernet franc. Other grapes may appear in small portions in some blends, but we’ll skip those for now.

For our purposes, I want you to remember that the wines made in the Medoc (the region north of the city) on the left side of the River Gironde are mostly cabernet, and the right bank wines are predominantly merlot (in Pommerol and St. Emilion). These are the only two regions you should remember for red wine on the right bank. All the other wine communes are left bank and cabernet-based. If a French wine says “chateau,” it comes from an existing home in Bordeaux and the acreage attached to that location.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Three Holiday Auction goodies for food, drink nerds

Don't miss these one-of-a-kind offers from the first round of CL's 7th Annual Holiday Auction.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 4:27 PM

SoHo's Haven is among this year's CL Holiday Auction participants. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • SoHo's Haven is among this year's CL Holiday Auction participants.

CL's annual Holiday Auction for The Children's Home has returned, and food- and drink-obsessed Loafers shouldn't miss out the first round's one-of-a-kind items. (Remember, new auction items appear every week until Dec. 20.)

Haven, Bern's Steak House's younger SoHo sibling, is auctioning off a cocktail party and wine dinner for six that features passed appetizers and a five-course, wine-paired meal in its private dining room. Master mixologist Dean Hurst will be present to discuss his creations, and sommelier Gregory Mayer will take guests through the wine pairings.

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Eat, drink & be happy: Words to live by at St. Pete's Wooden Rooster

Wooden Rooster, a new crepe and healthy food hub, is keeping "eat, drink and be happy" in mind.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 10:41 AM

Co-owner Jeremy Duclut behind The Wooden Rooster’s coffee bar. - ANDREA BAILEY
  • Andrea Bailey
  • Co-owner Jeremy Duclut behind The Wooden Rooster’s coffee bar.
After years of bouncing ideas around, the head chef at downtown St. Pete’s Cassis American Brasserie has settled on debuting a casual crepe haven called The Wooden Rooster.

A few hundred feet away from Cassis at 104 Second Ave. NE, the Beach Drive restaurant, which chef Jeremy Duclut is opening with his wife Liset this week, showcases the tasty French staple as its star. Healthy organic options in what Jeremy calls a “fun and enjoyable” environment are also planned; the Rooster encourages the motto “Eat, drink & be happy.”

“We want to keep it very casual,” says Jeremy, who decided he wanted to be a chef at 3 years old. “We want it to be a place where you come in with your family.”

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Monday, November 23, 2015

St. Nick's dark counterpart to reward the naughty in Tampa

Jug & Bottle Dept.'s Krampusnacht event on Dec. 5 isn't your traditional holiday photo op.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 6:12 PM

The kids have enough pictures with Santa, right? - JUG & BOTTLE DEPT.
  • Jug & Bottle Dept.
  • The kids have enough pictures with Santa, right?
Parts of Europe celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas throughout Dec. 6. But on the night before, St. Nick's devilish companion Krampus, who's included in the ancient folklore of Europe's Alpine region, is also commemorated.

To honor the tradition, Jug & Bottle Dept. in Seminole Heights plans to host its own Krampusnacht celebration from 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Krampus will be on site for free Santa-inspired pictures during the inaugural holiday hurrah.

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Five Courses: New wallet-friendly mashup for Plant City & more

Plant City Cafe opened with Greek, Italian and Cuban cuisine, plus other food scene updates.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 6:08 PM

  • Plant City Cafe via Facebook
A new Plant City destination at at 1701 S. Alexander St. is highlighting Cuban, Italian and Greek food on one menu.

With a varied and affordable lineup of fare, the family-friendly Plant City Cafe cooks up items like gyro platters, ropa vieja and chicken parm sandwiches. Thin-crust pizzas with homemade sauce and chicken wings may be customized, and the cafe's ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible.

• In downtown Dade City, Curtis and Rebecca Beebe, of Pearl in the Grove and Local Public House and Provisions, became the new owners of City Market Bistro last month, renaming the popular destination Rebecca's at City Market.

Not much has changed at the eatery, which features high ceilings and exposed brick at 14148 Eighth St., though. It's serving up some new offerings alongside favorites like hand-tossed brick-oven pizzas and fresh salads with seasonal produce. A rotating list of beer and wine is also available.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

The V Word: Thanksgiving alternatives for vegans

Cooking an impressive meal for the big day, which happens to be vegan, has never been simpler.

Posted By on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 5:25 PM

Vegan stuffing with lentils, bread cubes, vegetable stock, flax egg and more. - PAIGE BUTTERFIELD
  • Paige Butterfield
  • Vegan stuffing with lentils, bread cubes, vegetable stock, flax egg and more.

The spooky costumes have been packed away, the jack-o'-lanterns have decayed and you can't quote the entire Hocus Pocus movie anymore. But for vegans, the horror doesn’t stop after Halloween — it goes straight into Turkey Day.

Who could miss out on the annual cornucopia? Poor vegans and their bleak little salads, roasted vegetable trays, garlic mashed potatoes, creamy green bean casserole… wait, and decadent pecan pie?

Today, a vegan Thanksgiving is a regular ol’ Thanksgiving minus the animal products. With a few tweaks, almost any dish can be made vegan. From swapping almond milk for cow’s to using flax “eggs” in baked goods (one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water), cooking an impressive meal for the big day, which happens to be vegan, has never been simpler.

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