Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Roll'n with RA" Serves Up Friendly Competition at RA Sushi at Downtown at the Gardens

Gab loves a good charity event, especially when delish sushi is involved, so we were thrilled to attend the inaugural “Roll’n with RA” sushi-rolling contest at RA Sushi at Downtown at the Gardens, held July 20. Over the course of the evening, we helped decide which of four signature rolls crafted by South Florida charities would earn a coveted spot on RA’s August 2010 menu. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Ultimately, Susan G. Komen's "Roll for the Cure" proved victorious, giving us another reason to love RA Sushi: A roll that tastes as great as it makes us feel.

After Happy Hour cocktails and some quick appetizers, it was time to get the competition rolling... Media panel Leslie Gray Streeter of the Palm Beach Post, Susan Friedman of Florida Travel & Life, Chris Hayes of PBG Lifestyle, and Jason Davis from Buzz 103.1 served as the official judges, while the crowd also weighed in on its favorite roll.

The creative (and tasty!) contenders were:

Rise & Shine Roll (Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County)
Mango, kiwi, cream cheese and sautéed nuts rolled in rice & seaweed and garnished with kiwi sauce

Peggy’s Produce Roll (Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League)
Cucumber, avocado, carrots, bell pepper and cream cheese rolled in rice & seaweed and topped with sautéed nuts and drizzled with a sweet eel sauce

Fishy Wishy Roll (Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida)
Tuna, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese rolled in rice & seaweed and topped with mango and kiwi sauce

Roll for the Cure (South Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure)
Tuna, yellowtail, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese rolled in rice & seaweed and topped with a dab of spicy mayo and sliced jalapeno

It was a tie between “Roll for the Cure” and "Peggy’s Produce Roll” for the Crowd Favorite, which each earned an extra point. But with only one spot on the menu, our judges chose Susan G. Komen’s “Roll for the Cure,” which will be included on RA’s regular menu until the end of August.

As if you needed another reason to fall in love with this roll, a portion of the proceeds directly benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

See you at RA Sushi at Downtown at the Gardens!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Stay Out of Caliente Kitchen!

Like a lone bandit, Caliente Kitchen rules the Ave with attitude, edge and a flavor all its own. Industry veteran Taylor Smith brings some much-needed spice to Delray with a concept that’s part grungy-yet-cool Mexican garage, part sleek and sexy bar/lounge, and part authentic restaurante Mexicano.

A thousand guests lined up along Atlantic Avenue for Caliente Kitchen’s anticipated VIP Preview, organized by yours truly, where eager guests got a feel for the renovated space that formerly housed Taverna Eros. A hot DJ, hotter hors d’oeuvres, mini bottles of Patron and massive margaritas made for a night on the town done right.

With Caliente Kitchen, Smith knows what he’s doing. The former Taverna Eros is unrecognizable, with an added outdoor bar and patio where you can watch the sun set, an indoor bar that spans the length of the restaurant, and double the seating capacity for double the party. Above the bar, Caliente Kitchen houses a prized collection of the world's finest tequilas, cognacs and scotches – which can put you back anywhere from $600 a bottle to more than $7,500 – stacked all the way to the ceiling. Or, big spenders can request a premium shot ranging from $50 to $400 each. Diners can sink into red leather banquet seating along the walls, or at tables that have been hand-painted to mimic Mexican doors.

For those looking to put a little extra hair on their chest, Caliente Kitchen has a tequila club for true tequila lovers only. Work your way through each of Caliente’s 300 different types of tequilas, and your legacy will live on with your name hand-carved on Caliente’s vintage wooden walls.

Come for the fresh Mexican cuisine, including some novelty items like a mini piñata dessert for the kids (or smash it yourself with the provided mini hammer after a long day at the office). Happy Hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., allowing customers to wash down $2 tacos with their choice of libation, but Caliente Wednesdays remain the night to see and be seen.
Bonus: If you’re on the Ave and need a quick bite, or are on the way to your car after an evening of drinks with friends, Caliente Kitchen has a late-night taco window open until 3 a.m.!

Caliente Kitchen - Open 365 days a year
11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
8 East Atlantic Ave
Delray Beach, Fl 33444


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gary Rack Debuts RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern, Putting Mizner Park Back on the Map

The newly opened RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern offers guests a little bit of everything, and every one of those bits is pure perfection. RACKS is restaurateur Gary Rack’s newest baby, a chef-driven American dining concept located in the former location of Pranzo’s in Mizner Park.

Drawing more than 1,200 guests, the June 26 Red Carpet Opening offered a taste of the new concept with inventive hors d’oeuvres like buffalo calamari, cedar salmon chips, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, miso seabass, and deviled eggs prepared exclusively by Executive Culinary Director Matthew Danaher and Executive Chef Jacob Durham. Guests indulged in Grey Goose and Skyy Vodka stations, a Partida Reposado Tequila margarita station, and plentiful Domaine St. Michelle sparkling wine served by bustier-clad beauties.

RACKS DE+T offers an entirely original menu of chef-driven comfort food featuring something for everyone, including American classics with an upscale twist, Italian selections, and Asian-infused dishes. Stay tuned for Gab’s lunch, dinner, dessert (and cocktail!) recommendations…

Red Carpet Opening guests got an eyeful of Rack’s stunning new décor, the result of $4 million in renovations. RACKS’ décor is as eclectic as its food offerings; and, like the food, the interior hits the spot. Warm exposed brickwork, dark wood and red banquets urge diners to mingle in a chic and comfortable atmosphere. Eye-catching design additions include rope chandeliers draped, canopy-like, from the ceilings, and a chandelier composed of forks, spoons and knives that glimmers near the open galley kitchen. Toward the front of the restaurant, a raw bar touts RACKS’ fresh seafood selections, and a pizza oven, in true Gary Rack fashion, is on display for diners to view.

RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern is open daily for lunch at 11:30 a.m., dinner at 5 p.m., and Happy Hour seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Expect the best Happy Hour in Mizner, including half-off beers, half-off $9 glasses of wine and half-price well drinks. Dine on small plates from the 'Starters' and 'First Flavors' selections, also half-off.

RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern
Mizner Park
402 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432