Friday, January 17, 2014

The Chef's Table with Chef Brandon Collins - SWIFT at The Roundhouse

What a fantastic evening....that started with a Budweiser!! Last night we attended the first Chef's Table hosted by Chef Brandon Collins at SWIFT.

It was amazing! I'm not going to write much here because the pics tell our story. The evening consisted of 14 amazing courses including drink pairings with each.

This is a must experience for anyone looking for a culinary adventure (and I mean that...you have no idea what's coming next!!!). Chef Brandon Collins will be hosting a Chef's table once a month and they will each have a theme...it's a must try! I'll be going again and soon I hope! Below are some pics and a shot of the menu we were each provided to bring home.

We really had such a blast and since the Chef's Table is a community table setting we were joined by a nice gentleman who works as a tourist advocate for New York State...by the end of the evening he must have thought our family was a little crazy :) but by then we considered him as family anyway!


I wasn't kidding..we started with a bud!

I'm not one for Gin...but this was amazing!

Amuse Bouche  Trio of Crisps
Potato with Sour Cream, Caviar & Fresh Pork Rind with Dehydrated Shaved Egg Yolk

Local Butterball Potato / Goat Butter / Sour Whey Foam

Lobster Cannelloni - Charred Vidalia Onion & Brown Butter Toasts

Chartreuse on Sugar Cube (Interesting!!)

French Chartreuse Digestif

Acadian Red Fish over shaved Fennel & Smoked Foie Gras Puree

Pheasant Ballantine with Roasted Sweet Potato and Bay Laurel to taste

Pork Belly topped with Uni, Coconut and Compressed Melon

Seared Wagyu Beef with Edamame Sauce, Popcorn Shoots and White Soy

Sprout Creek Cheese Trio - Ice Cream, Churro & Eclair

Kit Kat - Wafer, Chocolate with Hibiscus Drizzle

NY Ice Wine

Pappy Van Winkle's Bourbon Whiskey

My Fav- Crown Maple Syrup Snow with "Waffle Cream Puree...to die for" 

My Fav- Crown Maple Syrup Snow with "Waffle Cream Puree...to die for"


I'm missing pics of the Heirloom Carrot with Ash Plate & Nage as well as the amazing Oxtail Ragu over Black Garlic Fresh Pasta with Meyer Lemon and Anchovy

We were also served some beautiful wines including a great Pino Noir "Cherry Pie"...we were served two different vintage of this wine...both amazing. 

Some links: 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hudson Valley Resident Moves To France | Bretagne, France

Well…yes, it's my Mom who decided to move to France for a year. Nothing was tying her down here in Newburgh, NY and the rent for her house is actually cheaper in France than here! So last December, my mama and her Chien (dog)  Skippy moved to Josselin. Everyone says "She's a brave woman!" Yes...she's brave and one of the few I know willing to seek out a dream and make it come true.

We finally got a chance to visit her these past 2 weeks and it was magnifique! We flew from NY to Rennes, picked up our rental car and drove to mama's.

My mom lives in Bretagne (Brittany) in the small medieval village of Josselin. She rented a great house in the heart of the village just around the corner from the town square. She is learning French and working on her art exploration (perhaps a book?). Since moving she has made some wonderful friends. Lucille, the former dancer, Sue the gardener who lived in NYC at one time but now lives in Josselin and her home in the UK, Ann & Brian Bird who run a beautiful Bed & Breakfast Maison Oiseau in Josselin (also British), William the artist, and Frank (the gambler?) from Ireland….and the list goes on…so many! Mom meets up with her friends many evenings to grab a beer at Le Bistrot, one of the many cafes in town. Luc (Owner) opens in the summer and spends his winter in Thailand (not bad huh!).

Mom's Street at Night
Josselin is a great town that's about 45min west of Rennes in the center/south of Bretagne. It's visited by many tourists (mostly French) who come to see the Basilica Notre Dame and tour the Large Chateau that is still owned and lived in by the Rohan Family. A large canal runs through the town and you can rent kayaks for a day to explore. At night the cafes come to life and throughout the summer they have music and arts events in the square. We saw a choir sing classic Bretagne songs and dancing while we lingered in the cafe over our meal and a few beers. It was great. At 6pm on Saturday's the bells ring for about 10 minutes at the Basilica…it was beautiful.

Me & Rob - Chateau Josselin (Castle)
Choir in Josselin Square
wearing traditional striped Bretagne tops (Yes I bought one!!)
Village of Josselin
Click on Read More to continue...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day Trippin | Gardiner, NY

There are so many great towns to explore in the Hudson Valley!! Last weekend our neighbors brought us to Gardiner, NY…so much to do and see!!

Our first stop was Skydive The Ranch. (NO we didn't skydive) but they allow you to sit at the cafe area and watch the planes take off and the skydivers land. I'm not sure why I love watching skydivers since I would never do it myself, but there is something beautiful and frightening about it that captures me. (See story on Nu Cavu..also in Gardiner).


Next, our neighbors brought us to Tuthilltown Spirits, New York's first whiskey distillery since prohibition. This place is wonderful!!! I'm not much of a whiskey drinker but I did the tasting. They explain the process for each whiskey blend and I actually enjoyed a couple of them. The tasting room is also a shop where you can purchase Hudson Made spirits distilled here as well as other fun merchandise (cat not included). If you're on the hunt for whiskey barrels this is the place but they aren't cheap. Don't forget you can also book a tour of the actual distillery. Visit the website for more information.


Next to the tasting room is the Tuthilltown Grist Mill Restaurant & Tavern. The building is a beautiful Historic Mill with Al Fresco dining over the Shawangunkkill River. We didn't stay for dinner, but opted to have a cocktail at the bar. The Grist Mill is cozy and has a true historic flair without being stuffy. It's the oldest continuously operated water powered gristmill in New York State, built in 1788. A must try. Visit the website here for more information and full history of the mill

Our last stop (no pics sorry) was to Lombardi's Italian Restaurant. OMG fresh pasta!!! Lombardi's will be seeing us again. They make some of the best fresh pasta I've ever had and I must try more. They make the pasta by hand right in the dining area. My husband had the 11 layer lasagna and it was delish! They also bake all their own bread…perfect for soaking up extra sauce. You can't go wrong here!!!

Thank you Gigi & Ron for a wonderful day!!

The town of Gardiner is a great choice for your next day trip! Enjoy :) Links & Pics Below.