Serving: 10

Chef John Rivers: The Southern Cowboy

Chef John Rivers: The Southern Cowboy

One story above historic Park Avenue lives the heart of a man and his vision: Chef John Rivers. No amount of press, blogging, nor story-telling can prepare you for John River’s restaurants, the culinary creations within, and the emanating spirituality supporting his blossoming business. Together with […]

Lamb Chops Artichokes and Aioli Sauce

Lamb Chops Artichokes and Aioli Sauce

We love lamb chops The savory flavor of grilled lamb is a delicacy enjoyed in cuisines throughout the world. And this recipe is no exception. Seared lamb chops are versatile enough for a casual weeknight meal, a dinner party with friends, or a special romantic evening for two. […]

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Food Hacks to Keep Your Food Fresh

Food Hacks to Keep Your Food Fresh

Loaded up on a bounty of produce at your local market this weekend? Check out this handy food hacks infographic. It shows you how to keep your food fresh for longer. You know how asparagus is presented upright on ice at the grocery store? There’s […]

Marlow’s Tavern: Ribs & Whiskey

Marlow’s Tavern: Ribs & Whiskey

  Marlow’s Tavern runs an annual program called Ribs & Whiskey. The menu features entrees enticing guests into their local neighborhood gems. Of particular interest are the following menu items: BBQ Blazed Cobb Salad BBQ Chicken, Crisp Field Greens, Roma Tomato, Apple-Smoked Bacon, Sweet Corn, […]

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

The COOP A Southern Affair

The COOP A Southern Affair

  Restaurant Preview on Park Avenue I received an invite for a Scott Joseph Supper Club preview of The COOP menu, a new restaurant concept from the Rivers crew… A Southern Affair… Where? In the headquarters test kitchen of course! I could not turn down the exclusive opportunity for […]

Chef’s Tasting at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen

Chef’s Tasting at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Dry Creek Kitchen There’s nothing quite like the realization that you are somewhere beyond daily monotony. Post anticipation and preparation for excursions new, there is a certain oxymoronic, anxious calm that manifests just below the collar. It’s like a morning dew that […]

Papa Joe’s Pizza 25th Anniversary Dinner

Papa Joe’s Pizza 25th Anniversary Dinner

papa joes 15Once upon a time in Brooklyn, Sicilian immigrants began opening Italian restaurants and pizzerias showcasing family recipes from their homeland. While the origins of pizza specifically, are hotly debated, the history behind Papa Joe’s is certain. When Papa Joe relocated from Brooklyn, New York to quiet Altamonte Springs suburbia, he arrived filling an untapped niche for an authentic New York style Italian cuisine. The quest for providing fellow Italians and New York snowbirds turned residents a true hero sandwich or a simple slice of pie was born.

papa joes 20In no small order, this Sunday afternoon friends and family buffet boasted bounties of our favorites. The spread led with a notably well dressed Mediterranean salad, warm sesame baguettes, and Papa Joe’s legendary garlic knots. Let us pause briefly to spotlight these unassuming little fellows.

Not every garlic knot is created equal. The wrong ration of flour, water, salt and fat, and you’ll end up with something that resembles an aged ball of Play-Do. Far from the case at Papa Joe’s, where the knots bake until golden and bathe in a tantalizing veil of garlic infused olive oil. But that’s not the end of it… They consistently, and I mean every single time, hit nose first as the fragrant minced garlic releases through the heat of it’s ladled coat. Prepare for greasy fingers grasping delicately by thumb and forefinger and take the first bite. Now you are ready for the real treat; sopping up. The poised dough interior is the ideal agent for soaking up just enough oil to allow an indulgent serving of melt-in-you-mouth garlic! Are you salivating yet? Good. Let’s move on.

papa joes 21Fried Calamari – Tender and lightly fried with marinara dipping sauce.

papa joes 22Zuppa de Pesce – Savory mussels, calamari, clams, shrimp & scallops served in light house marinara broth

On previous visits to Papa Joe’s, I passed over this menu item to indulge in a filling slice or Stromboli, but never again as you’ll see from my loaded plate below.

papa joes 18Mezzi Rigatoni – Pasta al dente with tomato sauce, ricotta, grated Parmesan and torn basil leaves

papa joes 16Veal Piccata – Veal sauteed in butter sauce and wine with capers & lemon

Sausage & Peppers – Italian sausage & bell peppers together with light pan sauce

Chicken Wings – Naked and baked in the wood-fired oven

Pesce Oreganata Speciale – Tilapia poached in white wine and lemon sauce served with assorted vegetables (regretfully not pictured) This was undoubtedly one of the best prepared homemade fish dishes I’ve tasted in an Italian restaurant.

papa joes 25 anniversary

One of my tasting plates – sesame crusted bread, fried calamari, seafood marinara, and rigatoni. Yum!

The 25th anniversary celebration was loaded with friends, family, and plenty of wine to go ’round. On your next (or first) visit to Papa Joe’s in Altamonte, be sure to inquire about dessert. As a self-proclaimed tiramisu connoisseur, I can say they make a killer tiramisu. We also sampled a variety of cookies, which he regularly orders directly from Bakery Boys of NY. Doubleplusgood!

Below are a few additional photos from the event and contact information for the Altamonte Springs location. Thanks Papa Joe and crew for a most enjoyable presentation and here’s to another 25 years – Cin cin!

papa joes 7

papa joes 6

papa joes 14Papa Joe’s is located at 1090 Montgomery Road, Altamonte Springs, FL. The phone number for this location is 407.774.4300. They also have two locations include Lake Mary. You can also like them on Facebook. Papa Joe’s serves each local area with dine-in, take-out, and delivery services.

A Kitchen Checklist for a New Home

A Kitchen Checklist for a New Home

…for the Aspiring Cook Whether starting out on your own, beginning anew, or just plain paring down, this kitchen checklist contains the essentials for your new home. Some items are specific for a reason, to which I’ll elaborate in future posts in this section. Others are […]

Thumbprint Cellars French River Cruise

Thumbprint Cellars French River Cruise

Sonoma winery owners are hosting a food and wine excursion sure to please. The Touring & Tasting Luxury River Wine Cruise to Burgundy and Provence is an all-inclusive 8-day vacation April 6 -13, 2014.  Visit the Thumbprint Cellars tour page for details on booking this group tour. Indulge in […]

Anthony Bourdain: Guts And Glory Tour

Anthony Bourdain: Guts And Glory Tour

 

The Guts and Glory Tour

Image: Bourdain Guts and Glory

Wildly (not a typo) known for his egregious food escapades, Chef Anthony Bourdain takes on his first annual Guts and Glory Tour through our good ‘ole North American states. His globe trotting food and culture binges range from eclectic metropolitan cities such as NYC, Spain, and Hong Kong, to lesser traveled culturally rich regions of Cambodia, Transylvania, and my personal love and future place of retirement, Bali.

An accomplished author, Bourdain accounts for a myriad culinary adventures, a candid personal history, and brash criticisms of life, food, and cultural phenomena in such books as Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He is passionate and telling in a no-holds-barred kind of way, which most either love or hate with the same passion. He’s even given interviews with the Harvard Business Review on his old school theories on military style restaurant management and how such methodology grants success at Brasserie Les Halles. A jack of all trades, Anthony’s books, comics, and continual reinvention of culinary travel documentaries do not seem to satiate. And he ceaselessly delivers with the moxy that brings us to our knees begging for more.

Bourdain’s heavily awarded shows blazon his no-nonsense, say-it-from-the-cuff reports on global food cultures. His most recent adventures include: The Taste on ABC and Parts Unknown  a travel documentary on CNN in which he and his crew procure a new brand of cinematography that is already raking in strong ratings. All told, this guy knows he is lucky to get paid for being himself and doing what he loves.

To see when Anthony will be in your city, CLICK HERE for info on Guts and Glory: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain

“It will start off with an audiovisual presentation and then jump off into a larger discussion of food,” says Bourdain of the uncensored, sold-out presentation. He describes the show as part stand-up mixed with a no-holds-barred question and answer with the audience.

Uptown Art Expo: A Feast for Your Senses

Uptown Art Expo: A Feast for Your Senses

Cranes Roost Park Saturday, Feb. 16th 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Sunday, Feb. 17th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm The Uptown Art Expo showcases art, color, music, and food. The streets and boardwalk along the lake are perfect for a leisurely stroll through fine arts […]

NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week

Enjoy NYC Restaurant Week  January 13 – February 8th $25 lunch | $38 dinner 3 courses Here’s the info you need: Participating Restaurants Browse and book at Open Table  

Fiddler’s Green

Fiddler’s Green

Fiddler's Green Winter Park
Fiddler’s Green Winter Park

Photo from Florida Burger Lover

Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub

rem·i·nisce
/ˌreməˈnis/
Verb: Indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events.
Synonyms: remember, recollect

A colleague recently turned 29, yes for real, not 29 again. As per usual, the birthday person selects the lunch venue and the fun ensues. What kind of fun? Well, I guess you’d have to work here to know that what happens at lunch stays at lunch.

Fiddler’s Green is an established Irish pub located in Winter Park, Florida. From weekly darts to annual charity golf tournaments, to nightly Irish acoustics, blues and even local rock standards, you’ll likely enjoy any night of the week. The pub is conveniently designed for the standing or sitting bar crowd, a small section for bands as well as multiple options for private and event dining. I have many fond memories at Fiddler’s and our lunch outing added a pleasantly new perspective to my somewhat foggy recollection of long nights here with friends and college classmates. In fact, this was the first time I left Fiddler’s during daylight hours and stone cold sober.

Historically we ordered the usual pub fare to soak up the pints of traditional beers on tap. Fish and chips, chips and salsa, chicken fingers, spinach dip, shrimp cocktail, you name it they’ll make it. But this time was different. Absent the elevated chatter and live music typical in any lively bar, we dined in the side dining room. True to the style of the rest of the pub, dark wood and traditional design, it was quiet save our usual work banter and hilarity. To evaluate the interior and wait staff in natural daylight and without boozing it up begged this post.

Scotch Eggs

I ordered the Scotch Eggs. Boy were they delicious! The sausage was perfectly seasoned and not ready or overpowering and balanced in texture and flavor by the egg.

Irish Stew

While the scotch eggs could have been a light meal itself, but I shared half knowing the real prize was on it’s way… Irish Stew. The lamb was tender and cut in bite size chunks in a bath of delicious vegetable laden gravy. Combine a spoonful of stew with the whipped potato and chives and what?! It silenced me. As I looked up from my dish, one of my colleagues who ordered the same, nodded only as we continued to mentally block the rest of the table and forge on through the bowl of greatness.

Lil Smokey Sausages

Also of note were the mini smoked sausages cooked in what? Guinness!!

Munster Burger
The Munster Burger is glazed with a zesty barbecue sauce and crisp fried onions.

I ordered one of several burger options on the menu: The Munster Burger. Obviously you can’t miss the onion ring stack, real bacon, and oozing barbecue sauce. Definitely a fork and knife sandwich unless you want to challenge your jaw.

……………

While my party hard nightlife days may be few and far between, albeit admittedly over, I will return to Fiddler’s Green for a meal more often. I learned that day that it’s more than a great pub, it’s true Irish through and through.

Bacon Explosion

Bacon Explosion

Have you ever wondered what a bacon explosion looks like? Nope, it’s not your visual of the microwave whirring and popping while porky fat emits scents of goodness, permeating your office with pangs of breakfast jealousy. No, I’m talking about giving your love and time […]