Sunday, May 31, 2015

Win with gin: Cucumber Mint Fizz

Serve this variation on a favorite at your next outdoor soirée.

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 10:53 PM

  • Angelina Bruno
Simple with refreshing hints of sweet and cool, this take on a gin fizz combines fresh ingredients to create a great warm-weather cocktail. It's best enjoyed with your feet up, and sure to be a hit during all your summer porch parties. Bottoms up!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Drink More Wine: A rosé by any other name

'Tis the season for this underappreciated class of wines.

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Don’t confuse quality rosé with “grandma wine.” - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • wikimedia commons
  • Don’t confuse quality rosé with “grandma wine.”

I don’t know about you, but this winter I felt particularly lucky to be living in Florida. As a former Yankee with friends all up and down the East Coast from DC to Boston, it was hard to stifle my glee as I followed my friends’ frigid tales of horror on social media. And with our temperatures now spilling into the 90s, it’s hard to remember that for much of America, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer.

I always remember one friend saying “gin and tonic is the taste of summer.” And I had to laugh when another friend posted this week that he’d had his first G&T of the season, when I’ve been drinking them for months.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

St. Pete Beer Project returns with liquid art in June

A beer and art lounge, home-brew tasting and more to be highlighted at next month's Beer Project.

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 6:03 AM

  • Wikimedia Commons
The Museum of Fine Arts and Green Bench Brewing Co.'s annual two-day Beer Project kicks off from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 12, at the museum with a "Beer + Art Lounge" showcasing MFA collection-inspired beers from local breweries, including 7venth Sun Brewery and Pair O' Dice Brewing Co.

Guests will experience the offerings throughout the evening in addition to food and music.

Entry to the lounge experience costs $60, while tickets for the the home-brewed beer tasting that runs noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 13, are $35. 

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

USF St. Pete Brewing Arts Program offers knowledge on tap

3 Daughters and USFSP plan to launch the state's first Brewing Arts Program in fall.

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 3:47 AM

The pilot program will teach the ins and outs of running a brewery and more. - JAMES OSTRAND
  • James Ostrand
  • The pilot program will teach the ins and outs of running a brewery and more.

After establishing a craft brewing internship through the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Pete is laying the groundwork for the pilot USFSP Brewing Arts Program, set to launch in fall.

According to Frank Biafora, dean of the college of arts and sciences, the six-month program — which will grant students USFSP-issued certificates of completion rather than degrees — is the first of its kind in Florida. The courses will discuss everything from the technology and science of brewing to its art and business aspects, including perspectives from distribution companies and brewery owners.

“I’m thrilled about it because it’s one of those things that matches so well with our community,” Biafora says.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Five Courses: Alma closes at John's Pass & more

Alma ended its short but sweet John's Pass stint, plus more in Tampa Bay food and drink news.

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2015 at 11:22 AM

Café Alma, reopened as Alma, served the food scene for seven years under Scott and Thorn Vogel's ownership. - MEAGHAN HABUDA
  • Meaghan Habuda
  • Café Alma, reopened as Alma, served the food scene for seven years under Scott and Thorn Vogel's ownership.

After moving from the downtown St. Pete building where Station House now operates to a second-floor, 300-seat Madeira Beach space at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk in August 2014, Scott and Thorn Vogel’s Café Alma, its name trimmed to Alma, has closed. The eatery at 111 Boardwalk Place posted a farewell note to diners on its Facebook page on Mother’s Day, thanking them for their love and support over the years.

“It has been a great journey for our family to have served such diverse and beautiful people from all over the world,” the Facebook post read. “As fun as it was we also encountered challenges especially the past year and a half.”

A similar message was left on Alma’s answering machine, calling the beachside stint short but sweet.

From its weekend Bloody Mary bar to lunch and dinner options that ranged from Mediterranean to Floribbean to Italian, Café Alma was a go-to gathering place for many, and will definitely be missed.

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Last call: Local distillery, ad agency bid Mad Men farewell with billboard

St. Petersburg Distillery recipes will be highlighted in Dunn&Co.'s collaborative Mad Men goodbye.

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Spot the Mad Men billboard on I-275 until the show's finale May 17. - DUNN&CO.
  • Dunn&Co.
  • Spot the Mad Men billboard on I-275 until the show's finale May 17.

Tampa advertising agency Dunn&Co. has teamed up with St. Petersburg Distillery to bid Mad Men adieu in advance of the popular AMC show's last. episode. ever. As fans ready themselves for DDW (aka Don Draper Withdrawal), the ad agency and the distillers will debut a digital billboard on I-275 Monday to commemorate the show, whose bourbon-fueled ad execs endeared themselves to alcohol purveyors (and drinkers) everywhere.

Viewable by southbound drivers near 13th Ave. N. in Tampa, the billboard will feature artwork and URLs that evoke the series.

The Web addresses, including goodbyepeggy.com and goodbyesterlingcooper.com, link to a site featuring recipes that incorporate St. Petersburg Distillery spirits and a quiz recalling great moments in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce history, as in: "A co-worker's foot is run over by a lawnmower. Do you: • 'Console' his wife while he's in the hospital. • Begin plotting to take his job. • Regret that someone nicknamed him Skippy before you did." Once you answer the questions, you find out what kind of SCDP officemate you would have been and which cocktail would suit you. (Two of us at CL got "Schemer" and the Negroni. Glad there are no lawnmowers around here.)

"We tip our hat and raise a glass to a show that respected the spirit of craft like no other," reads a note from St. Petersburg Distillery on the landing page.

The collaborative billboard will run until the show's final episode airs Sunday, May 17.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Five Courses: Ford's Garage brings Brandon crowd-pleasers & more

Burgers, beer and other deliciousness included in this round of Tampa Bay food and drink news.

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2015 at 2:23 PM

FINELY TUNED: Ford's serves nearly 20 signature burger creations. - FORD'S GARAGE
  • Ford's Garage
  • FINELY TUNED: Ford's serves nearly 20 signature burger creations.

Back in December, Ford’s Garage, the Fort Myers-born craft beer and burger hub that pays homage to Henry Ford, announced that Brandon would house its first franchise outside Lee County. At 11105 Causeway Blvd., where the family-style Buca di Beppo used to be, construction on the new spot is coming along.

Ford’s, a licensed Ford Motor Company partner, operates two other sites in Cape Coral and Estero. Like its older siblings, the Brandon location, slated to open in spring, will be styled after a 1920s-era speakeasy-meets-service station with copper bar tops and brick walls.

The restaurants offer a something-for-everyone mix of comfort food-inspired items. Diners can customize their burgers, choosing from black angus beef, lamb and portobello mushrooms, or try one of the signature “Burgers of Fame” (named after each location’s local public figures). More than 100 brews accompany the eats.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Three classic cocktails, Cinco de Mayo-fied

Get your Cinco de Mayo on, but keep the party going with more drinks at home.

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:43 AM

  • Cookieandkate.com
After you get a taste of Stilt House Brewery's Hell Yeah jalapeño lager or six Southern Brewing & Winemaking pepper-inflected beers, fuel up on tacos at Clementine Café's pop-up lunch and indulge along the St. Pete Grand Central District's 11-stop trolley tour, round out Cinco de Mayo with these variations on three beloved beverages.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Channelside celebrates National OJ Day with mini carnival

Cheers with samples of Florida's native nectar in Tampa Monday afternoon for National OJ Day.

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 10:36 AM

  • Wikimedia Commons
In honor of National OJ Day Monday, the Florida Department of Citrus will throw a carnival-inspired affair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Channelside Bay Plaza.

The Tampa event will celebrate the Sunshine State's native nectar with orange jugglers and juice samples, popcorn, music, chalk artists and giveaways.

According to the state Department of Citrus, Americans drink around one billion gallons of OJ annually. Additional juice gatherings are happening in Atlanta, Chicago and Boston throughout the day.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Eat, drink wine slushies on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria Saturday

Food and Wine on Pine to offer 20-plus food spots' Florida-driven dishes. Oh, and wine slushies.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 1:38 PM

Food and Wine on Pine hopes to draw more than 8,000 people this year. - DARA CAUDILL ISLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Dara Caudill Island Photography
  • Food and Wine on Pine hopes to draw more than 8,000 people this year.

For those venturing over the Sunshine Skyway this weekend, the 5th Annual Food and Wine on Pine will run from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday along Anna Maria Island's Pine Avenue. With a $2 entry fee, the culinary-cultural event expects to draw a crowd of more than 8,000.

Twenty-plus Bradenton and Sarasota area food-slingers will be featured, including Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill, Sage Biscuit Cafe, Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor and Michael's On East. Their dishes will highlight local, seasonal Florida offerings like Gulf seafood and fresh-farm produce.

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