Thirsty Thursday: What to Drink

26 Feb

For all you gin lovers out there, I totally know the appeal of the dirty martini or gin and tonic made well.

But today I’m not here to discuss either of those drinks. Instead, I want to talk about the drink I had at Max London’s earlier this week that not only looked like springtime and happiness, but was also a damn good cocktail.

Enter The Brooklyn Rose.

A cocktail crafted with Brooklyn Gin (which is even awesome on it’s own), domaine de canton ginger liqueur, Pimm’s, lemon and hibiscus.

Max Londons Cocktail

What a sight that is, amiright?!

Anyway, if you’re venturing out in this miserably cold weather today for happy hour and/or some cocktails and you just happen to be a gin lover like myself, this is a cocktail you should not pass up!

Do you have a favorite drink made in town? Comment below!

Reviewing: Spicy Shrimp Tacos at Cantina

22 Feb

When it comes to the casual dining scene in Saratoga, there’s one place that frequently pops into my head. Aside from their fabulous margaritas, there are some go-to menu items at Cantina that I simply can’t get enough of.

A frequent choice for my is the habanero shrimp burrito bowl, and before that the mushroom enchiladas. But there’s a new favorite now, and that my friends is the spicy shrimp taco.

shrimp taco at cantina

The shrimp, which are sauteed in garlic, jalapenos and olive oil, are topped with chipotle aioli and pickled shallots.

I get that sometimes jalapenos are super hot, and sometimes they aren’t. In this case, it must not have been a spicy jalapeno because they were not spicy at all. But that doesn’t mean the flavors weren’t still great.

The stand out here for me is the chipotle aioli, which I fell in love with immediately. If there had been heat from the jalapenos, it would have been the perfect cool compliment to a spicy shrimp, and even without the spice, it was fabulous.

A great lighter meal – but if you are super hungry, beware… this definitely won’t be enough food to fill up a super hungry diner. Might I recommend adding the pomegranite chicken wings to start. They are solid.

If you’ve never tried these tacos at Cantina, you probably should. Wash them down with a tall margarita and you’ll be set for a perfect lunch or light dinner.

Do you have a favorite dish at Cantina? Comment below!

The Wishing Well Eurotour: Class Two

19 Feb

Class two of The Wishing Well’s Eurotour wine series was nothing short of fantastic, as we moved along from Portugal and Spain to France.

In addition to the geographical change, we added a few wines to the repertoire, and went from 17 wines in the last class to a whopping 20 this time.

Yes, we tasted 20 wines, and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.

Okay I lied. It was delightful. Every single drop.

So the class spanned from the Pyrenees to the Cote d’Azur. Here’s a quick look at all of the wines we tasted during the class:

Sud-Ouest

Clos la Coutale Cahors 2012

Chateau Montus Madiran 2001

Roussillon

Domaine Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon 2012

Michel Chapoutier “Les Vignes de Bila-Haut” Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2012

Languedoc

Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres 2012

Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne IGP 2013

Jean-Benoit Chateau Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc 2012

Jean-Benoit La Grange de Lascaux Languedoc Rouge 2012

Chateau des Deux Rocs “Premices” Lnaguedoc Cabrieres 2012

Jean-Baptiste Granier “Sarl les Vignes Oubliees” Terrasses du Larzac Coteaux du Languedoc 2011

Domaine d’Aupilhac “Les Cocalieres” Languedoc Blanc 2013

Domaine d’Aupilhac Montpeyroux Languedoc 2012

Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup “Cuvee Sainte Agnes” Languedoc Blanc 2012

Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup “Tour de Pierres” Pic Saint Loup 2012

Jean-Benoit Chateau de Lascaux “Carra” Pic Saint Loup 2013

Provence

Chateau Pas de Cerf Rose Cotes du Provence 2013

Domaine Gros Nore Bandol Blanc 2012

Domaine Gros Nore Bandol Rose 2013

Domaine Gros Nore Bnadol Rouge 2012

Hopefully I spelled those all right, but if I didn’t, please don’t judge.

Onto the food…

The first course Chef Patrick Longton served was a Duck Cassoulet with bacon and white beans -

Duck Cassoulet with bacon and white beans

Duck Cassoulet with bacon and white beans

So something I’ve noticed the past two weeks during wine classes is that I literally devour every course that’s served, but when I look around, everyone else has only eaten like half of their dishes. I don’t know if they’re trying to eat light because they want to save more room for wine, but it doesn’t make any sense to me since everything that’s put in front of us is undeniably delicious.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a beast? Could be.

Anyway, the crunchy panko on top was just a textural layer to blanket the soft, delicate duck smothered in a warm, succulent sauce with notes of bacon and earthy white beans.

Then a second course was served, a traditional french bouillabaisse with scallops, shrimp, and haddock in a tomato saffron broth -

Scallop, Shrimp and Haddock Bouillabaisse, tomato saffron broth, crostini

Scallop, Shrimp and Haddock Bouillabaisse, tomato saffron broth, crostini

This might be categorized as the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten at The Wishing Well. Regardless of the portion size, every drop of that saffron broth made my taste buds sing. The smooth yet light flavors combined with the differing textures of the shrimp, haddock and scallops created simply the perfect bouillabaisse. I seriously could not have asked for something more perfect.

Finally, we finished this wine class off with a decadent dessert, a chocolate coconut mousse parfair with strawberry and raspberry jam -

Chocolate Coconut Mousse Parfait, strawberry & raspberry jam

Chocolate Coconut Mousse Parfait, strawberry & raspberry jam

OH MY GAH! How pretty does it look? I know – I really feel like I should make more desserts in glassware like this.

Okay but the chocolate was a nice, fluffy chocolate mousse and the coconut notes were subtle and smooth. This dessert mixed with the final wines equaled perfection. The strawberry and raspberry jams added a full-bodied richness to the red wines that finished the meal off on a sweet note without all of the residual sugars of a dessert wine.

There’s no wine class this week, but we’ll pick back up next week with Germany and Austria on February 26th!

Don’t miss your chance to take part in these life changing wine classes with The Wishing Well! Call them at 518-584-7640 or visit their website at http://www.wishingwellrestaurant.com/.

I hope to see you next week! xoxo

Saratoga Beer Week Begins

17 Feb

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Saratoga Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer throughout Saratoga Springs, aka a big drinking fest starting today, February 17th, 2015 through the 21st. Highlighting both regional and national breweries, you can count on Beer Week to find a beer for you, even the non-beer drinkers out there.

During this city-wide event, there are plenty of demos, beer tastings, classes, and more that are designed to give your palate lots to work with. In addition to the events throughout the week, Saturday is the big beer summit, where 80+ of America’s finest craft breweries offer samples of their own product at The City Center. The cost of this event is $40 in advance, and $50 at the door. The ticket includes 3 hours of beer sampling, a souvenir sampling glass, and live entertainment.

Well, there’s all of that and there are also several beer dinners this week where you can drink AND eat, which are two great things to do together, and of course right up my alley.

Here’s a list of beer dinners for your reference:

Captain Lawrence Beer Dinner – February 17th from 6-9pm at Boca Bistro

Ommegang Beer Paired Dinner – February 17th from 6-9pm at One Caroline

Davidson Brothers Beer Dinner – February 18th from 6:30-9:30pm at Longfellows Restaurant

Ommegang Beer Dinner – February 19th from 6-10pm at Mingle on the Avenue

Ithaca Beer Dinner – February 20th from 6-9pm at The Barrelhouse

For all your beer week information, visit http://saratogabeerweek.com/!