Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Events

I love this time of year!  The weather is warming up, festivals are starting up as well and we have so many upcoming fun events to look forward to.  This past weekend Rochester Greek Festival kicked off the season with greek dancing, music, food and more.   I greek danced all night and got to eat some of my favorite dishes.  I hope you got a chance to get out there, explore our culture and sample some of our favorites, including Kouzini Olive Oil, a favorite also in my house!

Coming up on June 20th is the ultimate food lover's event!  SAVOR! is a gourmet food, wine and craft brew experience in the heart of Rochester.  You can purchase your ticket to sample 50+ vendors, located at the Rochester Regional Health Tent at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Site.  Click here to purchase your tickets.  Two-Michelin starred chef Dominique Crenn will also be featured at the event.  She was named top female chef in the world in 2016.  All proceeds go to women's health and pediatric services in the sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care at Rochester General Hospital.
I also want to share with you that I will be a leader for the upcoming Spring Canal Crawl on June 10. Tickets are available here.  We will be traveling to Lock 32, Label 7, Via Girisole Wine Bar and finishing at Thirsty's for a BBQ and cocktail offering.  Ticket purchasers will get a swag bag that includes discounts at your favorite local Pittsford stores, including a 3 scoop taster AND a cookie from Pittsford Dairy!  *Drool* I hope to see you there and don't forget to sign up to join Sip and Savour Rochester's group!
I'm really excited as well about the upcoming Honey Dipper festival hosted by Kettle Ridge Farm.  I have an exclusive offer for you!  With the code "SipandSavour", you will receive $5 off the purchase of your ticket admission price, just click here to purchase..  There will be 25+ vendors for you to sample local coffee, food, beer, wine and more.  McCann's will be serving up food as well as Chef's Catering.  Kettle Ridge will be also preparing their pancakes along side their famous maple syrup made right on the farm.

I hope to see you at one or more of these events this month!  Enjoy and cheers to the weather warming up and to food events!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

For the Love of Chocolate

I think most of us can agree that people have loved chocolate since the creation of chocolate long ago.  Whether you are a lover of dark, milk, or white chocolate ...with or without added adornments and flavorings, chocolate is love.
Lindsay Tarnoff, chocolatier and owner of Laughing Gull Chocolates has a similar love of chocolate and her love runs deep.  Lindsay's began cooking and baking at a young age.  When she went to college, she dug into the history of chocolate, writing her capstone on this topic.  She learned about the fair trade market and traveled to Mexico.  After these experiences, she knew that she wanted to raise awareness for fair trade and involve chocolate in the process, but she wasn't quite sure how to do this.  People began asking that familiar question "What are you going to do when you graduate?"  Lindsay had started responding by telling people she was going to "Save the World with Chocolate."

Now you are probably asking "How is someone going to save the world with chocolate?  Well, Lindsay's chocolate is crafted with ingredients that are ethically chosen, sourced from local businesses whenever possible.  She is focused on contributing to the Rochester community and making a difference locally and beyond Rochester.  By sourcing ethical ingredients, she is ensuring that she is providing customers with products that have endured rigorous standards that empower communities and help businesses thrive.
Saving the World with Chocolate, Lindsay admits, is a continued work in progress.  She looks forward to expanding her work with local Rochester businesses.  Lindsay originated Laughing Gull Chocolates in Rhode Island.  She utilizes her connections with ethically sourced companies near both Rochester and Rhode Island, such as fair trade coffee from a local shop in Rhode Island, sea salt from Cape Cod, ginger from Stone Crop Farm (Rush Henrietta) and cream from Pittsford Farms Dairy.

Lindsay offers expertly hand crafted truffles in a variety of flavors, including seasonal flavors.  She also has a salted caramel chocolate sauce that you can drizzle on anything you like, but I highly recommend you pick your favorite ice cream and spoon the sauce over the top...while you're at it, you mine as well add a cookie from a favorite local bakery because...why not?  During the colder months, you can also warm up with a cup of hot chocolate that will satisfy both your craving and your mind.  Lindsay also began offering vegan chocolates, so keep your eyes open for these as well during Valentine's Day weekend.  There will be a limited number available.
You can attend Laughing Gull Chocolate's chocolate making workshop.  You will learn a bit of  history about chocolate and how to make chocolate truffles from start to finish, including tempering chocolate and preparing velvety ganache.
You can catch Lindsay every Saturday at the Rochester Public Market and Sundays at the Brighton Farmer's Market.

Laughing Gull Chocolates
2 Rochester Public Market
Rochester, NY 14609

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I have have exciting news! For a short period of time, men's tickets will be half price to the event shown below! This is a great way to get your husband, boyfriend, crush, or male friends involved! Just use code "beer" when purchasing!

On February 11 through Rochester-A-List  is hosting the Valentine's Canal Crawl.  I will be leading a group through Schoen Place, stopping at local businesses to bring you some great deals and discounts.  Label 7, Via Girisole Wine Bar, Lock 32, and Jo Jo's Bistro & Wine Bar will be some of the stops through our tasting journey together.  Bring your spouse, your date, or come with your friends!  The Crawl begins at noon with groups leaving at 1 to explore, taste, and celebrate.  There will be prizes at each location, raffles, and EVERYONE goes home with a swag bag.  The swag will include free items on your future visit to locations in Pittsford as well as Razoesharks tickets!  Raffles will be for local areas in Pittsford as well, including up to $25 to spend. Woot! Woot! You can find tickets here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rochester Events featuring Sip and Savour Rochester

It feels good to be back after a few months since my last blogpost!  I hope everyone has recovered from the holidays and is revved up for the new year!  I know that I sure am looking forward to a year full of delicious food, meeting new people, and learning from local chefs and entrepreneurs.

I have several events to share with you that are coming up over the next 2 months! I am honored and excited to work with such amazing people to bring events to you from all over our beautiful city.

The first event is coming up on February 11 through Rochester-A-List called Valentine's Canal Crawl.  I will be leading a group through Schoen Place, stopping at local businesses to bring you some great deals and discounts.  Label 7, Via Girisole Wine Bar, Lock 32, and Jo Jo's Bistro & Wine Bar will be some of the stops through our tasting journey together.  Bring your spouse, your date, or come with your friends!  The Crawl begins at noon with groups leaving at 1 to explore, taste, and celebrate.  There will be prizes at each location, raffles, and EVERYONE goes home with a swag bag.  Woot! Woot! You can find tickets here

If you love brunchin' then I hope to see you out at Battle of the Brunches presented by the Junior League of Rochester!  15 of our city's best brunch spots are offering up items for you to taste and vote on.  Some of the participants include Black Button Distilling, Misfit Doughnuts, Ox and Stone, and Red Fern.  A general admission ticket will get you tastings from each participant. A VIP admission will get you an early release access, tastings from each vendor and 2 mimosas.  The event will be held at the beautiful Arbor Loft.  For ticket purchases, click here.

Nosh has been a huge success since it's doors opened a little more than half a year ago.  I have been able to partner with Nosh to bring you a killer blogpost, create videos to teach you how to create the Why Nosh cocktail and one of their best dishes, Specked Scallops (click here), and for Dining Out Rochester showcasing Nosh as a must-visit restaurant, also featuring myself, Linh Phillips of Sirrochays, and Breanna Bamford from Yelp Rochester.  Now I present to you the Neighborhood Nosh pairing event with Three Heads Brewing.  We all join forces to bring you the event of a lifetime with tantalizing dishes made by Chef Joe and brews to enhance your experience.  Tickets will go fast, so click here to purchase.

I hope to see you at any of these events!  Rochester is bringing it and I am so excited to be part of this with you!

*Click links above to read previous features and obtain tickets for events listed above

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Nosh, open only since the start of summer, has gained recognition for their diverse flavor profiles, their take on comfort and classic recipes and beautifully presented dishes and cocktails.  The interior is eye-catching with it’s high ceilings, impressive woodwork, and an electrifying chandelier hanging above the large 3-sided bar.  Roomy seats make you feel as if you are sitting comfortably at home while enjoying a satisfying meal.  The servers always have a smile on their face and are knowledgable about the menu items, sharing recommendations when asked.

The concept of Nosh began as co-owners Pete Leseska and John Nacca joined together to create a space with delicious food to welcome the increasing customers into the expanding Neighborhood of the Arts.  Looking for a chef to head the restaurant and produce a menu that would draw in customers, Chef Joe Zolnierowski was up to the challenge.  The opportunity to go into partnership with Pete and John was alluring.  The original concept was an Italian restaurant and Joe was very familiar with this type of cuisine.  After working his way up at Mario's Italian restaurant, he became the Executive Sou Chef.  Joe agreed that the original concept of Nosh would do well as an Italian restaurant, but he set up the challenge to create an innovative menu and promised to give 120% into the creation of this concept.  

Joe explains that he has a true passion for "southeast and Asian cuisine."  He welcomes "bold, spicy, slow cooked food...with a depth of flavor" which he experienced in New Orleans.  Joe grew up in Tuscon and spent endless summers in NY.  He was introduced to Asian flavors from his mother's side of the family and polish food from his family that lived in NY.  Living on the West Coast created an atmosphere for eclectic flavors and Mexican food. With exposure to so many types of cuisine and flavor profiles, Joe has developed an ever-expanding palette that he draws from to create a diverse menu at Nosh.

The menu at Nosh is "fun and interactive" says Joe.  "Whether you come in in flip flops and shorts or a suite and tie, [we want you to be] comfortable and have a sociable atmosphere." The menu allows for culinary freedom from Joe to create dishes that come from classic dishes that many of us grew up on, but infused with a modern twist.  Look for "underlying meanings" in the names of the dishes, such as The Howard, which is a pizza with duck confit, fontina cheese, rosemary, bacon and onion jam.  The name comes from Howard the Duck (portrayed in comic books and later a film) that Joe grew up watching as a kid.  The Tickled Pig is a 12 oz. porterhouse pork chop rubbed, or "tickled," with spices.  Drawing from these memories, Joe hopes that "the way food affects me will affect [customers]".

The Brick & Wood fired oven allows for a perfect pizza. The open kitchen concept allows the customer to feel right at home.  With a diverse menu to choose from, there is a dish that will appeal to everyone.  My recommendation:  order several items to share because you will want to take a bite off of everyone else's dishes!  Some of my favorites include the Conquistador Pizza, which is lightly topped with a guajillo chili bbq sauce, chorizo, roasted green chiles, queso fresco, monterey jack, and cilantro.  The Korean Lettuce Wraps are also a must-try.  I have typically had Korean lettuce wraps with bulgogi (Korean BBQ, typically beef).  Nosh serves up this dish with fermented chili marinated chicken thigh meat.  The dish is a "build your own" that includes bibb lettuce, some of the best kimchi I have ever had (seriously!), jasmine rice and quick pickles.  

If you are feeling adventurous, take on the challenge of the Tomahawk Cut 34 oz bone-in rib eye, served with house fries and a marrow porcini butter!  Nosh also serves up some delicious seafood, including their Specked Scallops, which are served atop an asparagus puree risotto.  Crispy smoked prosciutto fans out of the center of the plate.  The dish is then drizzled with a brown butter sauce to add a slight nutty tone.  The charred lemon also served on the side of your plate is not a garnish, but is meant to be squeezed on top of the entire dish.  Chef Joe explains that each ingredient in the dish is meant to be eaten together in one bite, which balances the flavor profile.  

Randy Maier, the Head Mixologist crafts the delicious cocktails at Nosh.  Randy and Joe worked together when they both lived in Tuscon prior to moving to Rochester.  Randy was the bar manager of a hotel that had the largest tequila bar in Tuscon.  Randy brings his own creative flair as he is able to concoct drinks using fresh ingredients.  Each drink is beautifully presented.  One of my go-to cocktails at Nosh is the Why Nosh which Randy describes as marrying a South West vibe with Rochester-style.

Nosh also serves up lunch so whether you are heading out for a business meeting, playing hookie from work and want to treat yourself, or just hanging out with friends for a casual lunch you are in for a delicious meal.  My absolute favorite lunch time special is the Chi Town Top Round.  Shaved top round beef is sandwiched in between Italian-style bread, topped with homemade giardiniera, melty provolone cheese, and served with oregano au jus for dipping.  This is what lunch should always be like!

What to look for at Nosh in the future?  Nosh is continuing to draw from creativity, as well as collaborate with nearby businesses to bring a fresh twist to the Neighborhood of the Arts.  Look for a special Nosh brew at Three Heads Brewing.  Also, bring in your receipt from Nosh and then head over to Three Heads to get a beer on the house!  Don't worry, if you decided to stop at Three Heads before dinner, you also WIN.  Bring in your receipt as well, and you get TWO tacos and ANOTHER Three Heads brew for only $8!  Also look for some upcoming seasonal changes in the menu, as well as brunch served up Nosh-style!

Watch Randy in action on my Facebook page to learn how to make their famous Why Nosh cocktail!  At the end of the video, you will see a recipe so that you can re-create this drink at home!  Be sure to stop by to Nosh and let Randy know that you re-created his cocktail for yourself or friends!

Also head over to my Facebook page to see Chef Joe's cooking demo for the Specked Scallops served at Nosh.  This dish is out of this world and easy for the at-home cook to prepare, whether it is your average dinner night or a date night.  Recipe is also posted at the end.  Let Chef know that you were able to re-create this dish at home when you next stop in at Nosh!  Also head over to Rochester A List and check out the review I wrote on the Specked Scallops making the Best Dish List!

47 Russell Street
Rochester, NY 14607

Thursday, September 1, 2016

This Is How We Roll

This is how I roll:  with Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck.  That's Right.  One of the most visited food trucks in Rochester is the Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck, which offers a Latin fusion with the traditional Japanese sushi that we are familiar with.

So, how did this concept of fusing Latin culture with Japanese culture come about? Radhames (Rod) Veras and Kim Roth, both former California Rollin' employees, are co-owners of the infamous food truck.  Rod, feeling the need to break away and demonstrate his creativity, as well as execute great food under his own business name, began the food truck.  Kim soon joined the business and felt that the concept of infusing Latin flavors into sushi would be both innovative and appealing to those that may not typically choose sushi as an option.

Rod brings his Dominican heritage to infuse the sushi with flavors such as saison, frier queso, and sweet plantains.  Kim brought her creative flair, bold flavors, and sushi rolling skills to the table and the two have created a beloved food truck that will leave you scraping bits off the bottom of your styrofoam container (not kidding)! Kim learned to roll sushi from her brother, who owned a restaurant in Chili.  He wanted time off to play softball and Kim quickly learned plunging herself into the restaurant business.

You cannot visit the Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck and not get the famous Trasher Plate.  When the food truck began, Kim and Rod admitted that the first year was difficult.  People weren't entirely sure about eating sushi from a food truck.  They adopted the Trasher Plate, which is sushi rice topped with cucumber, sweet bell peppers, jalapeño, tomato, scallions, bacon, friend garlic, onion crunchies, beer battered shrimp, and grilled beef, Sriracha, ginger mayo, and a special Stingray Sauce concocted with Jim Beam.  This is a beautifully colorful dish that is great to share (if you dare) or to eat alone!  The dish actually began when Kim's brother created a similar version so that he could meet "the ladies" as he was a bit shy and needed a conversation starter.  Kim and Rod adapted the trasher plate to what you see now - a masterpiece.

They have also created a roll now named for one of their favorite customers, Ebbie Pastrana.  You may know her as @ebbie_wine_kenobi on Instagram.  This roll was originally a Chef's Special, but Ebbie's love for this particular sushi specialty item led to it being named after her!  The Kenobi Roll which has crispy crawdads, avocado, bacon, Sriracha, ginger mayo, frier queso, then topped with spicy crab, onion crunchies, and Stingray Sauce will ROCK YOUR WORLD.

Kim and Rod continue to create chef specials on their menu, so always be on the look out!  Pictured here is a roll with roast pork, sweet plantain, scallion, and sauces.

Now, you know that you can't even handle their skillz (yes, with a z)  right now, but guess what?  Yes, even you can learn to roll like a sushi chef, by rollin' with a sushi chef!  "Rollin' with my homies"(c'mon you can't tell me that Clueless didn't come into your mind...or Coolio).  Kim Roth also has a catering company called The Bamboo Panda Catering Company, which was aptly named by her daughter Apolonnia.  She reasonably stated the name fits because "Pandas eat bamboo."  Who can argue with that?  The catering company was originally designed to open as a food truck, with the design set in motion, but as Kim joined Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck, the concept changed.  For just $35 pp Kim will come to your house and teach you and your friends and family how to make sushi.  I hosted a class, and I can tell you that it was one of the best learning experiences.  I have made sushi at home several times since the class and have gotten a big thumbs up from my husband! Kim will provide a large sushi platter to much on while getting to know you and your guests.  Then, let the rolling begin.  Everyone goes home with a kit and 3 rolls that they make on their own.

Kim has also taught a class on the Hell's Kitchen menu:  Wellingtons, risotto, and scallops.  Need a private chef or a party catered?  The Bamboo Panda Catering Company can do it all. "I feel I am here to enrich people's lives through food."  The passion is clear.

What is next for Rod, Kim and the Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck?  They are on the lookout for another food truck and/or a store front location- yup I said it.  This would be a dream come true, and I don't just mean that for the co-owners- I am talking about the food truck fans!

Kim Roth will also be on this season 16 of Hell's Kitchen, which can be seen on FOX beginning September 23!  She was one of 36 chosen out of 5000 applicants to participate in seasons 15 and 16.  After participating in weeks of auditions in LA and NYC on top of having to keep this under wraps, Kim was chosen! "Gordon Ramsay is one TOUGH MOTHER!!!" Kim says.  "It was a great experience and it not only made me a better chef, it opened my eyes to what dining truly is suppose to be; a memorable and amazing experience for every sense in your body."

For location information on the Stingray Sushi Fusion food truck, follow this link: 

Kim Roth Instagram: @chef_kim_1101

Click any of the highlighted orange links to look at the Facebook pages or contact Kim or Rod.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Muller's Cider House

Rochester continues to grow allowing for businesses to expand and new concepts to surface.  Mullers Cider House opened less than a year ago and has already encountered quite the crowd.  Many are very familiar with the craft beer and cocktail scene.  The introduction of an all-cider bar allows Rochesterians to explore the world of cider and entertain new flavor profiles.

Co-owners Patrick Jaouen and Sam Conjerti Jr. were fueled by their passion of cider to showcase Mullers Cider House to Rochester.  The discussion of concept to start of construction was a mere 6 months.   Rochester was awaiting.  With the use of social media through their Instagram feed (@MullersCiderHouse) and Facebook, Mullers Cider House gained a quick and eager following.  Why cider you may ask?  Cider sales have tremendously surpassed the sales of wine and beer over the past 5 years showcasing the consumers tastes evolving beyond beer and wine.  Cider bars have previously only been on the west coast.  Mullers is the second cider only bar to open in NY and on the East Coast.  Patrick and Sam want to educate the consumers on the types of ciders and varieties available while providing an atmosphere to kick back and enjoy.  Mullers Cider House also offers a variety of events!  Take a closer look at the bottom of the page to see a list of upcoming events.              
The decor of Mullers Cider House is reminiscent of a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with the rustic bar as the star of the room when you walk in.  The sign hanging outside was crafted by local metal workers Metal Some Art.  They also craft some pretty awesome belt buckles, including custom orders, so be sure to check those out as well!  Inside, the letters that were cut out of the sign in front, decorate the wall.  The bar was crafted from materials at the Carnegie Building, which was located on Goodman Street.  Reclaimed wood from Pittsford Lumber was utilized to design the tables inside.  Materials and outsourcing was kept local to keep the Rochester love and pride within Mullers Cider House.
If you are or were like me, you may not have known as much about ciders other than the Angry Orchard that quickly became popular among many.  It was at my first visit to Mullers Cider House that I was able to understand that cider was like the craft beer industry, with varying options based on your particular palette preferences, pleasing any cider imbiber.  There are over 100 ciders available daily with 12 being on tap.  There is also an extensive list for customers to choose from before ordering.  Do not be alarmed, Patrick and Sam received feedback from customers and re-organized their menu to clarify the varieties of ciders available.  The system is based on a one to four apple rating, ranging from driest to sweeter ciders.  Also, I encourage you to rely on the staff who is trained to really know the ins and outs of the varying ciders and make recommendations based on your preferences.  My suggestion:  try a flight if you are new to ciders or wanting to explore beyond some of the well-known names.
Mullers Cider House supports local businesses by promoting drafts dedicated to upstate NY local cider producers.  Keep a look out on Facebook and Instagram for new ciders hitting the bar.  Mullers Cider House also hosts Music Mondays in which local artists perform.

What are some ciders that you can find available at Mullers?  Rootstock, Embark, Harvest Moon, and Cider Creek are a few cider producers right here in Upstate NY.  You can also find ice ciders and Spanish Sidras, like Sidra Menendez and other European Ciders.  "Daily something new is on draft...drafts change constantly.  Flights are a good way of giving a good sampling of range."
While the focus of Mullers is introducing and educating customers on both local ciders and ciders around the world, they also serve up seasonal menus.  Homemade kettle corn is a favorite among those that visit (You will probably want to ask for an extra bag to take home with you - don't worry, no one is judging!).  Every month, a new flavor of kettle corn is served and boy does this bring people flocking.  Pictured here is the s'mores kettle corn.  Some other flavors have included strawberries and cream, warmed banana nut bread with candied walnuts, dried banana chips and cinnamon, and churro flavored which came with a side of chocolate sauce to drizzle over your kettle corn.
The menu also includes a variety of paninis served on a crispy buttered baguette with lemon and dill cucumber salad.   Want to eat like The King?  Try The Elvis which is creamy peanut butter, fresh banana slices, crispy bacon and honey sandwiches between two thick cut slices of sourdough bread.  There are also appetizers to share, including an artisanal cheese plate with marmalade, pickles and crusty bread and a charcuterie board featuring cured meats.  Pate is served from The Piggery in Ithaca, which is Ithaca's only farm-to-table butcher shop.  Daily soup specials are also made in-house.  By request, your food can be made gluten free as well.
Pudgy Girl Bakery has also paired up with Mullers Cider House, offering her delicious vegan desserts.  Check out my previous post on Pudgy Girl Bakery by clicking here to learn more about Jenny, the owner, and her amazing desserts!
Mullers Cider House is an amazing supporter of "all things local" from ciders to music performers and food products served in-house.  Grab a friend, or a few and head down.  You are guaranteed a cider to please, unforgettable kettle corn, a great atmosphere, and delicious bites of food.  

What: Amateur Cider Makers Meetup
When: Monthly (Check out their social media page, website or contact Muller's directly for more info)
Explanation:  Professional cider makers offer tips and tricks for making cider at home.  In the last meet-up, those attending were able to see the process of making cider from store bought juice and white wine.  Star Cider (a craft cidery in upstate NY participated in the event for the month of July)

What:  University Music & Arts Festival put on by Mullers Cider House
When: July 23 from 11-7 
Explanation:  Come listen to music, shop at local vendors, see the Par Core folks across the street, grab some cider, and bring your appetite for the Mac and Cheez truck!  Click here for more info.

What:  Music Mondays
When:  Mondays!
Explanation:  Local music artists perform - Check out their social media pages to see upcoming weekly artists.

Mullers Cider House
1344 University Ave.
Rochester, NY 14607