October Is American Cheese Month

By on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

American Cheese Month is long overdue. After all, who are those haughty French with their Brie, Roquefort and Chèvre?!

Dozens of cheeses are produced domestically, and this month you can taste 45 of them at a special “cheese board” at Portland, Oregon’s Cheese Annex, Chizu, and Cheese Bar.

Here are some of the domestic varieties they’re offering:

Jasper Hill’s Alpha Tolman: Alpine-Style Raw Cow’s Milk from Vermont

Meadow Creek Grayson: Washed Rind Cow’s Milk from Virginia

Ancient Heritage Hannah: Raw Cow & Sheep’s Milk from Oregon

Sartori Bellavitano: Raspberry Lambic washed Cow’s Milk from Wisconsin

Point Reyes Bay Blue: Raw Cow’s Milk from California

Plus, cheese tastings are free; you can also enjoy an inexpensive glass of Spanish wine to augment the experience at Cheese Bar…or just buy a whole bottle. But at the Cheese Annex, buy a brewsie: it’s part of the Commons Brewery on Belmont Street.

“Best of France” Wine Tastings

By on Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Ooh la la! Over a hundred fancy French wines will be presented during two Grand Wine Tastings at this year’s “Best of France” at New York’s Times Square Sept. 26 and 27.

Co-chaired by wine collector and president of American Friends of Cité des Civilisations du Vin (www.AFCwCV.org), George Sape in partnership with New York sommelier Jean Luc Le Dû, James Beard Award Winner, the Wines with Style campaign will showcase some of the best vin coming from Alsace, Bordeaux, Champagne, Corsica, Jura, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire Valley, Provence, Rhone Valley, and other French regions.

To help guide visitors through their tasting experience, some of Manhattan’s top sommeliers will offer their expertise at the event, including Andre Compeyre from Loews Hotel, Raj Vaidya from Daniel, and Carrie Lyn Strong from Aureole. The Grand Wine Tastings will be complemented by a cheese, charcuterie and dessert buffet. Educational seminars on the French wine-producing regions will be offered, too.

To attend, go to the Axa Center: 787 7th Avenue (at 51st Street), New York City: Sept. 26 – 7.00pm-10.00pm; Sept. 27 – 3pm-6pm. The early-bird ticket price is $150 per person if you buy online (versus $200 at the event.)

Pizza, Pope Francis and Philly

By on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

He had us at hello … to that slice of pizza pie he accepted from a man in Naples a few months ago. And now, we Americans are loving Pope Francis in a way the presidential candidates could only pray for.

While his Holiness will be visiting both New York and Philadelphia as he hits our shores, it looks like Philly’s really rolling out the red carpet (if not the traditional red pope shoes).

To celebrate the Pontiff’s visit, some Garces Group restaurants in Philly — Amada, Tinto, The Olde Bar, Distrito, Village Whiskey and Garces Trading Co. — are offering a 10-percent discount to Philadelphia residents September 25 through 28, when the Pope’s in town. While Pizzeria Vetri will serve the papal-inspired Il Papa, a Neapolitan-style pie with Black Mission figs, mozzarella, lardo and Pecorino Toscano, oregano and fresh basil, during the entire month of September. (The same pie he accepted from that Naples pizza maker.)

Not to be outdone, Whipped Bakeshop is offering to make mini Pope cakes. That’s right – take a big bite of this heavenly creation, in vanilla-chocolate chip, red velvet and more, with filling flavors ranging from vanilla buttercream to peanut butter meringue buttercream.

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