Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome- BOND

Congratulations BOND Restaurant and Lounge! It's officially open for business today in Naples. At the helm of BOND, three men who've been in the hospitality, restaurant and bar business in Southwest Florida for decades: Larry "Smokey" Genta, Adriano Pucci and Scott D'Antuono.

I went to a sneak preview party last week and had a blast checking out the lovely space, seeing old friends and sampling cocktails. I also enjoyed sampling delicious flat breads, juicy sliders, flavorful wings and tasty shrimp. Looking forward to actually sitting down and dining on some of the other fabulous menu items soon.

BOND begins as casual place to have a good lunch, then transforms to a hot party spot with live entertainment and/or hot DJ's each night. The happy hour goes until 8pm and the kitchen stays open late.

BOND is at Airport Pulling and Vanderbilt Beach Roads. Beverage Underground has more here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

B is for Bubbles and Boys

My Dad asked me yesterday what was going on with my blog. I haven't posted anything in TWO WEEKS! I have tasted some amazing wines, ingested great meals, had a fun weekend roadtrip but have failed to document any. Why? I've been consumed with the birth of my first nephew. I know, that should've given me even more inspiration to write.

But I celebrated pretty hard (above photo was the beginning) and frankly the celebration hasn't waned much. I'm not just celebrating a new life, a new legacy, the man who will carry on the family name, but also relief; relief of pressure to give my parents their first grandchild. Thank you my dear brother. I owe you one. I suppose you will cash in when it comes diaper changing time. Welcome to the world Baby George, I already love you  more than I could have ever imagined!

***COMMENTS: Thanks to all my Facebook friends for posting so many great comments. If you be so kind to also post your comments here on this blog site. Many people tell me they posted and it never showed up. Disappointing for us both. So click comment, type your comment, check the box that says "comment as" then hit post. If a word verification box does not appear next (a scrambled word to retype) your comment did not post. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

G is for Joy

When I first saw this Sake' I knew I would like it. Especially since the makers were so kind as to name it after me! My friends often call me G because Gina is such a long name and so hard to pronounce.

I also knew it would bring me joy, I mean that's what the label says right? The label delivered.

The makers of g use traditional sake' brewing methods from Japan, then add some American flare to give this sake layers of flavor. It is smooth and clean with flavors of melon and cinnamon.

It's made in Oregon, I tried it at Blu Sushi in Fort Myers, Fl. It's my new favorite to pair with sushi and other Asian cuisine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Not Much Bump in "Goosebump"

I do a live broadcast every Wednesday night at The Edison Restaurant and Bar in Fort Myers, FL. It's a wildly popular Ladies Night where the girls drink free vodka and get all kinds of cool freebies. Last night we also got to taste a wine new to our area, Goosebump.

It's a curious blend of Nero d'Avola, Syrah and Merlot. I smelled lots of dark fruit and a little cocoa in the glass. It was pretty jammy; no bump in the Goosebump, just smooth fruit. I was hoping for a little punch from the Syrah but it was more like a poke. Nothing wrong with a poke. :-)

I can see putting a little chill on it and drinking with BBQ chicken at a summer cook-out. I also think it is a good entry into the world of red wines for those friends who can't seem to get passed the whites. Cheers!

***COMMENTS: Thanks to all my Facebook friends for posting so many great comments. Post your comments here as well. Many people tell me they posted and it never showed up. Disappointing for us both. So click comment, type your comment, check the box that says "comment as" then hit post. If a word verification box does not appear next (a scrambled word to retype) your comment did not post. Thanks! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Margarita's At Tina's

I really enjoy a GOOD Margarita but have nearly sworn them off after getting one too many that tasted like lime-aid. I know it is a delicate balance to get the sweet and the tart and still enjoy the Tequila. But there aren't great Tequila Bars like Agave on every corner. Some of the best Margarita's I've had, have been in Austin, TX. And that's exactly what I was reminded of at Casa Tina in downtown Dunedin, FL.

There were several on the menu but I ordered the Tina Rita made with fresh lime, agave honey and Partida Reposado Tequila ($10). It came in a short bar glass with a fresh slice of lime on the rim.  After the first sip I put the glass down without a word, took a photo with my iPhone and sent it to my brother, a former Austinite. My lunch partner said, "Well?" All I could do was smile and nod. Nothing pre-made here. I could taste the fresh squeezed juice, I could taste the tequila, I could taste deliciousness.

I was very grateful for the petite basket of chips that proceeded our lunch. My weakness for the crunchy treat often spoils my appetite for the real meal. I started with Cerviche ($9.95) made from fresh Tilapia. There were a couple of different flavors and textures so I was surprised when the server told me it consisted only of the white fish. Some of the pieces were mild, others tasted a bit woody, all of it was good.

Next up, the Tacos Estillo Guadalajara ($12.95); two soft corn tortilla's filled with onion and cilantro and your choice of chicken, rajas, pork, asada, carne, chorizo and panella. The dish comes with three yummy sauces on the side, all hot but not blistering.

It's no secret I love a good Mexican Brunch and the one at Casa Tina's looks so inviting that I see a Sunday drive and day of indulgence in the very near future.

Casa Tina on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 1, 2012

Those Eyes......

Those eyes, I just can't stop staring into them. I wonder what they've seen over decades of working in the fields, harvesting grapes in Spain.

The wine is El Viejo; 100% Tempranillo from 100 year old vines in Toro, Spain. Matsu makes three different Tempranillo's, each bottle depicting the face of a viticulturalist, to honor the work they put into nurturing vines and growing grapes. The youngest face, is obviously the youngest wine. El Viejo to the left, the oldest.

I learned about this wine while writing a piece on labels for Times Of The Islands magazine (currently on newsstands). I didn't review the wine, just told it's story. But from the time I saw this particular bottle I've been wanting to see what was in it. Last night, I finally got the chance.

I immediately smelled cocoa in the glass, I tasted it also. The wine was a delicious blend of  dark fruit, smoke and spice. It had the body and substance that had hoped for and expected. Sipping the juice, staring at the bottle, I felt a great sense of gratitude for the work of the man on the label and others like him, who make it possible for me to enjoy the "drink of the Gods"! Salud!