Andrei’s Restaurant’s 10th Anniversary Featuring 10 Items for $10

Coming into a restaurant that serves fabulously delicious cuisines, and gives all of its net profits to charitable organizations is one of the most awesome feats I’ve ever attended.

It’s been 10 years since Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails has opened, located in Irvine surrounded by business centers and situated near the 405 freeway and the John Wayne Airport. This venerable restaurant is and always will be dedicated to the Olenicoff family’s late member Andrei and his love for the culinary stage.

To bolster his legacy and the restaurant’s mission of serving customers local, organic, and delicious foods — as well as contributing to those with disabilities — the whole month of July will put in 20% of total sales from all of Andrei’s menu items to Miracles for Kids.

This includes the alluring libations, such as the powerful Mother of Dragons vodka mix, the mellow Bee’s Knees gin concoction, and the bubbly and rosy Bastille Day champagne.

Also participating with the organization is their amazing (and convincing to revisit asap) California Ceviche, which is presented during Happy Hour on Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6:30pm. If fancy and friendship-gathering are calling, the Charcuterie and Cheese platter will do the trick — and this is served for both lunch and dinner.

Additionally, between July 1st to July 13th there are 10 tasty and substantial items that cost $10 dedicating to a full, loyal decade of the restaurant. I became enthralled with the $10 Calamari skewers that I didn’t think they needed creamy sauce at all. Other sensational platters were the deceitfully simple-looking $10 Black Angus Spring Rolls and the Market Fish Tacos. When it comes to the dessert item, the best morsel from the Andrei’s Dessert Tasting was the warm and luscious Andrei’s beignets.

Definitely dine in to this worthy, benevolent OC restaurant. Andrei would certainly be utterly content to watch his guests enjoy their meals. Regardless of the July deal, or the fact that it’s a nonprofit and charitable ordeal, I would love to return especially for little or big celebrations.

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, 2607 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614

andreisrestaurant.com

#irvine #foodblogger #mediaevent #nonprofit

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Afternoon Tea in Banff National Park

When tea can be sipped with best friends –and their babies — surrounded by culmination of a mountainous, arboreal, and river view inside a luxurious lounge in the 2nd floor of the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea is the place to be and to make a calculated reservation.

Upon entering the Rundle Lounge in the 2nd floor of this luxurious Banff resort inside Banff National Park, the hostess and server amiably welcomed my group and me, openly offering their knowledge and arms about enjoying the high quality teas and glorious nibbles while gazing at the lovely view of this expansive nature. Featured in our afternoon tea were a multitude of loose leaf teas all tightly encased in glass jars for sniffing enjoyment before ultimately choosing which tea we would individually choose.

After perusing through different tiers of afternoon enjoyment, such as adding a bubbly sensation called the Champagne Tea, we stuck to the classic ($55 CAD as of 5.7.2019) . Plus, out of numerous distinct loose leaf teas sniffed from those jars I opted for my Canadian-residing friend’s favorite: the Organic Creamy Earl Grey.

Our classic choice comprised of a 3-tiered wooden tower showcasing fanciful bites from the savory section, sweet section, and in-between.

The top tier exposed these cutesy yet scrumptious and soft scones that immediately I wished for 5 times the amount we were offered. I’m still in disbelief that I would drool for these carbs regardless if generously smothered with their citrus cream or encompassing their gooey cranberry jam.

Since the middle section contained items that I preferred to eat last, I grabbed 5 morsels straight from the bottom tier. The Gravlax Bagel, BLT miniscule Slider, and Coronation Chicken Cone delightfully pleased my taste buds, but that diminutive Quiche (with Lindsay Bandaged Goat’s Cheddar) and Mushroom Barquette struck a lot of euphoria other than my palate. A 6th nibble, the Pistachio Pinwheel, didn’t participate in this gallery because this swirly, colorful vegan piece unfortunately was one of the most tasteless I’ve ever eaten.

Traditionally saving those adorable desserts for last, my surprisingly full mood felt okay with the Lemon and Anise Shortbread, Crunchy Matcha Profiterole, and Fruit Tart. However, the Opera Slice (Cake) and Lemon Macaron quickly elevated my mood back into bliss especially when I was finishing up that wondrously flavorful Earl Grey tea.

Afternoon tea was one of my Banff adventures — big and small — that engraved deeply in memory, even more so when accompanied with non-blood sisters and extended families. One final note: this tea interval can also be enjoyed at the Fairmont Lake Louise location, though they may be offering different leaves and different tidbits.

#Banff #afternoontea #Fairmont #Alberta #tea

Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Banff Springs, 405 Spray Avenue 
Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L1J4 

https://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/dining/afternoontea/

Lazy Dog Cafe’s Spring 2018 Menu

I had the greatest pleasure of eating and photo-shooting the newest Lazy Dog Cafe dishes for Spring 2018, which has 25 locations throughout the USA. These courses are available to order starting March 28, 2018.

More than sampling or most likely gorging on the featured foods, Co-Founder Gabriel Caliendo spent valuable time chatting and describing to us guests how these foods came into fruition and eventually be set for this season.

The items I’ve consumed (hugely or minutely) included:

The instantly addicting Onion Dip

The exciting Street Corn Wheels

The mellow Burrata + Heirloom Tomato Crisp flatbread

The invigorating Burrata + Roasted Beet Salad

The unexpectedly wholesome and delicious BBQ Veggie Burger, in which the patty is meshed with black beans and ancient grains

The deconstructed yet filling Veggie Burger Bowl (the chopped patty containing the same ingredients as the previous)

The delightful Grilled Lemon Chicken, hiding underneath this scrumptious cauliflower mash and tahini sauce on the side along with the sauteed green beans topped with unassuming almond-walnut crumble

The sinful Peach Raspberry Hand Pie, which was consumed the quickest out of all of the presented dishes

And the gluten-sensitive yet proudly tasty Lemon Cake, with almond flour as one of the main ingredients and surrounded by a velvety huckleberry moat

I could not forget mentioning some of the cocktails introduced to the menu, such as this virgin Watermelon Margarita. If I didn’t head straight to my day job right after, the virginity would have disappeared. The adult version has a punch of Azul Reposada Tequila.

But I took a small, curious sip of the Honey Thyme Old Fashioned, with this quality-oriented and smooth Buffalo Trace Bourbon which I became quite infatuated — since bourbon or its “father” whiskey normally does not fall under Fia’s favorite alcoholic drinks.

Yet when I sipped into something like a certain favorite cocktail of Fia’s, such as the Huckleberry Mule, the more temptation pinched me harder. Don’t worry, folks: I kicked it away.

Though temptation followed me back with this Pineapple Mojito, and yet again I kicked it further into the kitchen.

Frankly these foods and drinks satisfied my taste buds that I’m anticipating a revisit and happily introducing my good friends to these colorfully enticing items. Of course their fluffy fur children are welcome to join us.

*Huge thank you to C-Squared PR for this amazing #mediatasting at Lazy Dog Cafe

Lazy Dog Cafe

Various locations

Media tasting at the Brea location: 240 S State College Blvd, Brea, CA 92821

OC Restaurant Week’s 10-Year Anniversary

For a solid decade Orange County Restaurant Week unleashed on Sunday, March 4. Over 100 restaurants dared to showcase their pre-fixe course menu items as their way to commemorate this 7-day eating spectacle.

The day before Sunday brought in OC Restaurant Week’s Launch Party inside the Marriott Irvine Spectrum. My boyfriend and I appreciatively attended the VIP 1st hour, which we savored minute by minute for just that 1 hour right before leaving for a family member’s baby shower.

That seemingly short visitation resulted in feeling physiologically full and gluttonously satisfied from the myriad bites and samples from 20 (of about 25) different vendors, including these personal favorites of mine:

The Veggie Puff Pastry from Skyloft in Laguna Beach

The Esquite from Puesto in Irvine

The fantastic Artichoke Beignets, Seared Salmon Filet, and Salted Caramel Pudding from Del Frisco’s Grille (also) in Irvine

The Jalapeno Mac & Cheese from JT Schmidt’s in Tustin

The consistently delicious Buffalo Cauliflower from Tackle Box in Corona Del Mar

And the scrumptious Fresh Atlantic Salmon Filet from Sundried Tomato (that, like last year’s event, have seemed to consistently wowed my palate) in southern San Juan Capistrano

Other vendors not necessarily presenting their food items strictly for OCRW but contently participating for the event included Blackmarket Bakery, Melissa’s Produce (which by the way has supplied their fresh produce to several restaurants representing OCRW), and San Pellegrino.

These morsels certainly left such a lasting fullness in my tummy that I felt guilty of barely consuming the foods served at that family member’s baby shower. Most of those samples indeed brought out the flavors needed to wow guests when ordering from the OCRW menu in these participating eateries.

In spite of munching indulgently from various vendors within one hour I am eager to dine particularly at this Costa Mesa restaurant before catching the new Cirque Du Soleil show. Thank you, OC Restaurant Week, for the incredibly fun and super eventful VIP launch party to celebrate your 10 years! And special thank you to my boyfriend, Simon, for assisting me to photograph some of the items posted in this entry.

 

#ocrestaurantweek #eatdrinkrepeat #OCRW #orangecounty #foodblogger

Newport Beach Restaurant Week 2018: Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

This 2018 for Newport Beach Restaurant Week my boyfriend and I dined outdoors under cozy night skies and superbly tolerable heat lamps at the new Farmhouse inside/adjacent to Roger’s Gardens.

Their version of #NBRW hosts a $50 dinner for 4-courses. All but the main course (i.e. 3rd course) had just 1 option to bite into, and on that main course there were 2 options available whether the eater craves for turf or surf. Come to think of it — most of the platters we’ve dug onto would be considered vegetarian cuisine.

Our 1st course featured a double deal. Our Seasonal Soup Shooter from “The Soup of the Day” fascinated our tongues from the dominant, great flavor of split peas, while interestingly warming my belly with ease once semi-gulping it. The frankly dainty House Cured Salmon with crispy potato cake, creme fraiche, and chives stunningly made our appetite yearning for more. It was honestly difficult for me to try to take more than 2 bites because I reluctantly wanted to finish them so quickly.

2nd course veered from a warming to cooling sensation in about a 10-minute interval. We were served the Root Vegetable Ribbon Salad meticulously tossed with caramelized cauliflower, arugula, puréed satsumaimo sweet potato and cauliflower, raspberry vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds, and candied pecans. This salad was overall too mild for my palate, yet the boyfriend stated that it was a delicious, well-balanced, and approachable way of intaking those nutritional needs, and at the same time became a mellow “pit stop” before moving on to the main course. Notably, this salad has actually been a seasonally everyday plate during lunch hours — except with some hankering shrimp on top! That said, that may change my mind when I’ll revisit in the daytime.

Now our 3rd course became vastly distinct between our dishes. The boyfriend got the Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank with roasted butternut squash, kale, and cipollini onions –smothered in Tehachapi Grain Project red life and Sonora, red lamb jus, gremolata plus topping off with crispy sunchoke chips. These huge mouthful mix of ingredients unfortunately led to little adoration, as the fall-off-the-bone characteristic received the only highly graded mark. The boyfriend did indeed finish up this rather decent entree while I was blissfully delighted with…

The Seared Sea Scallop dish with practically an equal mouthful of crispy sage, brown butter, sitting atop and around puréed roast maple bourbon butternut squash, roasted spaghetti squash, cipollini onions (also), and an incredibly soft and wonderfully juicy grilled Meyer lemon shyly placed next to the veggies. The presentation could have been much more graceful, while the portion of the proteins lacked brawn compared to the lamb shack. Regardless, my taste buds ignored the size of these perfectly delectable mollusks.

The last course, the Satsumaimo Sweet Potato and Banana Bread Pudding, ended with a deliciously fruity and rich touch alongside the ginger honey ice cream and the complimentary, unexpected Prosecco to bubbly pair. The bread pudding, though, deemed too dense of a texture that I failed to finish all of my dessert. Come to think of my last words — I partly blame my incessant hunger on our “pre-appetizer” featured in Farmhouse’s “regular, non-NBRW” dinner menu

The regally delicious and excitable Prince Edward Island Mussels faithfully cooked in white wine, garlic, and herb butter to soak with toasty garlic bread.

Throughout the NBRW dinner we pleasantly ate and intermittently became cordial with our curious waitress, Taylor, who I realized was equally enthused with photography by asking me about my camera, which I’ll mention on another post. For now I recommend dining at this garden-encompassed, welcoming outdoor restaurant, for any occasion, or for the upcoming OC Restaurant Week in early March (with different 4-course dinner items). Hopefully Farmhouse will continue lighting its NBRW torch next year!


Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd

Newport Beach, CA 92660

farmhouserg.com

(949) 640-1415

#farmhouserg #newportbeach #newportbeachrestaurantweek #NBRW

The Pizza Press in Long Beach Opening August 17

Here’s what’s extra about The Pizza Press. On Thursday, August 17 their wonderfully delicious, made-to-order “personal” pizzas will officially open at my college stomping grounds of 2nd Street Long Beach — and word has it that the first 1,000 pizzas will be given for free.

Right next to Legends Sports Bar (which was my occasional hangout with my college friends) is the newest addition, providing ample seating to comfortably enjoy build-your-own pies or the signature slices, such as The Tribune, to read up all about it on their menu.

I am the customizing type of person, and when I visited there for a tasting night, the flavorful toppings I selected below were catered particularly for anyone going gaga on garlic with a balance of healthy and indulgence. So feel free to take my choices more or less for your fresh pizza to publish.

Sauce: spicy red sauce

Cheeses: mozzarella, aged parmesan, and chevre

Veggie toppings: minced garlic, roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, spinach, kale, oregano

Protein toppings: bacon

The newsworthy topping of my day there was that my said pizza somehow was mistakenly delivered to another guest(s). Amazingly, one of the pizzamakers remade my pie AND awesomely remembered every overwhelming-sounding toppings I mentioned upon ordering my first. That person, along with the friendly Pizza Press team, deserved the hottest buzz of the day!

With all that said the Long Beach Belmont Shore location, again will be opening on Thursday, August 17. The first 1,000 pizzas that day will be given on the house. I hope that The Pizza Press will eternally be hot off the press — and I’ll be looking forward to the one near my current residence very soon!

If you (will) miss the first one thousand, you can still be able to get a complimentary pie with purchase of a beverage by signing up to thepizzapress.com/gpg, and from there you’ll be emailed a voucher to use on opening day.

***Special thank you to Jane Gillespie for organizing the media tastings for The Pizza Press, and super thank you to my close friend, Jay, for the indelible, media connection.***

#thepizzapress #thepizzapressbelmontshore

The Pizza Press, 5242 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

http://www.thepizzapress.com