By Jeff Stolowitz
Daytona Beach Shores
The Shores Resort and Spa Sip and Savor Series during bike week this year featured The Macallan Scotches for tasting. If you don't know anything about scotches The Macallan is the world's most collectible scotch, the oldest scotch that we know of that has a license to distill.
On an incredibly gorgeous night overlooking the ocean with an intimate setting the dinner began.
Our first course was a Delectable Bacon Wrapped Honey Drizzled Shrimp it paired with
the 12 Year Double Cask
Clear and with a hint of burnt orange on the nose and vanilla on the palate.
The second course was a
Braised Duck Leg, absolutely remarkable and reminiscent of Bobby Flay with the Smoked Corn Risotto.
This paired with the 12 Year Sherry Oak Cask golden and a lingering fruit, oak and vanilla finish.
With the Acoustic sounds of Dave Alexander in the background the night had just begun and out came our third course.
It was a Smoked Pork chop with an unbelievable kick ass Mole sauce that will even make the best Southwestern Cuisine fans take notice.
It paired perfectly with the
Triple Cask 15 Year Matured Scotch.
Color of wheat with the sun shining on it, incredibly balanced, chocolate, orange, rosey, spicy. Our pick for the night.
We finished the evening with my favorite desert a Creme Brulee, almost fainting,
I sipped the 4th paired Scotch an 18 Year Old Sherry Oak Cask
A darker clear with noticeable ginger and oak.
Incredibly rich finish.
The series continues all year, once a month at The Shores Resort and Spa with the next date being April 24th that will feature French Wines
By Jeff Stolowitz
Port Orange, Fl
Mulligan’s Grille and Sports Bar if you've been there once it's time to go again. If you haven't yet visited you should.
Mulligan, the term, means a do over golf shot, but it also means a stew made from odds and ends. This place is not like the definitions of the word, in fact just the opposite.
Tucked away in a strip mall on Nova and Dunlawton in Port Orange the place is fantastic.
I stopped in on a random Saturday Afternoon for Lunch and the place was packed. Who knew?
We sat at the bar because all the tables were full and this is unusually good news.
2pm Saturday afternoon nothing going on, race week over, something told me I was in for a treat and I was.
Service even though it was busy was prompt, and on point, even if surprised at my order. I was hungry.
I ordered Ribs and Fries to start.
Absolutely outstanding fall off the bone, moist and meaty with the perfect stick to the ribs Tangy Bbq Sauce. I couldn't help but think how I have been missing out. My companion ordered a Taco Salad all I could say is “Huge” Kaboom everything you could think of in a taco right there in a fried Tortilla.
Then there's the house salad a simple crispy salad with all the right stuff, it had Red Onion which was nice, I don't see that in a lot of places.
For my meal I ordered a special from the Chalk Board, I am from NY and was hungry there was a Pastrami Reuben for under $9.00. Ordered and eaten in NY minute. Perfect with marbled Rye Bread, Mustard, Sauerkraut and the best Pastrami I've had since moving here 10 years ago.
The place has nightly Entertainment, Trivia Night an Open Mic Night and Karaoke
a local favorite Nightlife activity.
They are open 7 days a week, feature a full bar,
full menu lunch and dinner, and Happy Hour 11am to 7pm.
What a great staff and a warm and welcoming owner.
We definitely like this place as a true
Behind Daytona find even if it is Behind Port Orange.
Mulligans Grille and Sports Bar
3830 S Nova Rd B1
Port Orange, FL 32127
By Jeff Stolowitz
Just another night out and we tried the new Coastal Grill and Raw Bar and we got lucky, Port Orange got Lucky the place is a smash.
We tried the Oyster Po Boy perfectly Crispy. Along side that we had a unique starter "Chowder Fries" and we left that picture out because we ate them before we could Snap a picture and yes they are that good.
We also sampled the Mac and Cheese
and we wiped up the cheese with our fingers, just scrumptious.
Then a Porterhouse Pork Chop, I had a foodgasm.
To wash it down one kick Ass Mule
with Local Copper Bottom Craft Distillery Vodka
The Homemade Pickles were to die for
The Creme Brulee is executed perfectly.
Our Waitress/Mixologist Kristy, we hope that we spelled that right was great.
Music by Anthony was Calypsific, yes "Calypsific" is a made up word.
Coastal Grill & Raw Bar is different and it is a great addition to the Daytona Beach Area Foodie's scene. We did expect more Seafood but everything was so awesome it really didn't matter.
We will be back and highly recommend visiting the establishment.
Coastal Grill and Raw Bar
1078 Dunlawton Ave, Port Orange, FL 32127
By Jeff Stolowitz
Sunsetters Riverfront Bar & Grill has hired Josh Overstreet as their new Chef. Now in the middle of their second year the growing business has finally reached the stage where instead of a Kitchen manager they are upping the ante by putting in place a sous Chef.
We spoke with proprietor Gerri Shoaf about the change. She said, "It was time for a menu change with that the decision was clear new menu, new Chef.
Josh has been cooking for 15 years. His travels took him from Oklahoma to Colorado, to Texas to now here in Daytona Beach.
Since 2011 he has honed skills at multiple area locations including the Halifax Marina Yacht Club and the now the closed Blue Grotto.
After a short stint at Cocina 214 he was offered the chance of a lifetime and accepted the challenge presented to him of running a large established location by offering his style of cooking. Josh says he likes Italian and creating new dishes with what is available so you can expect to see some of that begin to make its way through specials to your plate.
Chef Josh loves his Rum, drinks domestic beer and is a lefty guitarist and as well.
We asked a fun question based on an old you tube video. Has anyone ever ordered an Eggless Omelet from you?
His response was spot on, "Yes" and he created the dish from all the other ingredients.
Happily married with no kids they both love the lifestyle of living Beachside in Daytona.
Sunsetters is open 7 days a week, they have live entertainment daily specials and a fantastic brunch. One things for certain the view alone from the outside deck is super cool. Make your reservations today.
Sunsetters is located at the foot of the Main Street Bridge
115 Main St.
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
By Jeff Stolowitz
Daytona Beach Shores
Friday nights around here have changed and the upscale dining scene begins to grow in the Daytona Beach area.
Once again I attended another wine dinner and pairing at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Shores.
The wine dinner this evening featured wines from Foley Vineyards presented by Kim Braddock. The meal was prepared by the great team now run by Executive Chef Devin Gainor and Sous Chef Patrick Ransom.
The evening began with a first course of a play on Oysters Rockefeller. It featured a delicate Lemon crumb topping, Goat Cheese and a Kale Pesto.
This went perfectly alongside the Roth Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc... 100% of the varietal. The traditional notes of Grapefruit were balanced by hints of Green Melon. A smooth starter for the rest of the dinner.
Our second course arrived as the sounds of a duo playing live acoustic music began to drift through the room. My table facing the ocean I was treated to an incredibly executed Sea Scallop with a Smoky Corn and Calabrian Chili sauce that had just the right combo of sweet, smoke and spice.
Our server Natalie poured the Chardonnay by Foley Johnson. It was perfect reminding one of summertime in a Peach Farm.
Next up was an interesting dish a Porchetta.
A pork roll with a bark like spiced candy and a fermented Salsa Verde.
This was a sauce the venerable Mark Miller of Southwestern Cuisine fame would deem worthy of his restaurant Coyote Café.
Then the surprise of the night a Pinot Noir. No I mean a real Pinot Noir. The nose the color the balance, pepper and spice and everything nice by Banshee. Yes this Pinot Noir screamed Pinot Noir and maybe the name is just apropos.
Our main course was here.
Skirt Steak with a Red Chimichurri they flirted with each other like two fiery lovers.
Swooning already I reached for my Dessert a Glass of Chalk Hill Sonoma Red Blend. 6 varietals blended together to wash down the greatest meal all summer long.
As always outstanding results are achieved by those who break the mold and the culinary staff at The Shores Resort and Spa does just that each and every time.
2637 S Atlantic Ave (32.43 mi)
Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 32118
Millie's Restaurant and Catering
A fantastic small family eatery. One of the best dining spots to open in years. The freshest fish and locally sourced produce are a key ingredient to this eatery headed by Chef Jeremy Wimmer
Creative and affordable. Floridian Cuisine no doubt.
We recommend Shoestring fries and Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Bonus they deliver.
A fantastic addition to the Daytona Shores scene.
WINNER: BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor
This place is quintessential Florida. Situated at Ponce Inlet, the entire restaurant was rebuilt by Restauranteur Michael Schaler after it was destroyed by the last two Hurricanes. A brand new look and feel combined with the fish from the area that literally jump off the boat into your plate. Live music and a friendly upbeat staff make this the Shangri La of Dining in our area
WINNER: COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Azure in the Shores Resort and Spa (Daytona Shores)
The chef became the F&B Manager but that has not affected anything regarding the delicious food. Most certainly the view has not changed. A mainstay in the hospitality industry in our area. The creativity is still a focus as is the way they incorporate exotic produce to pair with aged steaks or Piranha Ribs.
Pricey but worth it.
WINNER: BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT DINING & BEACHFRONT VIEW
Ice Plant (St. Augustine)
About as unique place as you will ever find anywhere in the world. The Ice Plant was exactly that at the turn of the century. The building now converted serves up a blend of contemporary cuisine mixed with a craft cocktail hipster bar, Shaped Ice Cubes, Smoke and Steel
WINNER: MOST UNIQUE EATERY
Main Street Station (Daytona Beach)
By an overwhelming margin Main Street Station is the place to visit. Concerts, Fashion Shows, Fundraisers, Comedy, Culture, History and so much more. The owner Phaedra Lee has created and preserved Daytona's cultural iconic building owned by NASCAR's Bill France
As she likes to say #lifesbetterinthegarage
No loss for diversity either as they host Latin Night, Blues Night, Bike Night and Comedy Night on a monthly basis. Paired with bigger shows Main Street Station is the place locals call home.
WINNER: BEST PLACE OVERALL
The Seabreeze Entertainment District (Daytona Beach)
Richard Kitt is an eclectic entrepreneur to say the least. He has created a strip of bars and eateries he collectively named the Seabreeze Entertainment Center. It is locally known for its 420 munchies and best burgers. They host an incredible array and blend of local talent along with some very unique underground national acts. We call this the incubator and it is great to catch some of the young talented teens that play on the outside stage fondly called The Patio.
WINNER: BEST LATE NIGHT 420 MUNCHIES
Cocina 214 (Daytona Beach)
Opened in 2018 the is the first brand new restaurant opened on the beach in decades.
Mexican food, fresh margaritas and fajitas. The view is like no other in Daytona Beach as you dine outside facing the immense Atlantic Ocean. There is nowhere else in Daytona they have fresh Homemade Tortillas and the Ceviche is always fantastic
WINNER: BEST MEXICAN, SECOND PLACE FOR OCEANFRONT DINING
Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill (Daytona Beach)
The view is spectacular when the sunsets, its the perfect spot during Biketoberfest and Bike Week to view the Motorcycles as they cross over the Mainstreet Bridge. Live music on the deck, sunset shots, and a tasty menu are just part of this slice of Florida in Daytona Beach.
Fried Softshell Crab Sandwich, Loaded Chicken Tenders, Oysters and a Free Sunset Shot Every night and the traditional blowing of the Conch greets patrons as they watch the sky go by.
WINNER: BEST SUNSET DINING
Burgey's Tiki Hut (Daytona Beach)
Now in their second year Burgey's is a great find on the Beachside, Mainstreet in Daytona Beach.
There Crinkle Cut fries are second to none and the Burgess family has embedded itself in the heart of our community featuring local musicians and incredible fish tacos and the incredible Walking Taco
WINNER: MOST FRIENDLY BEST SERVICE
The Bounty at Flagler Tavern (New Smyrna Beach)
Our best kept secret. Upscale perfection on Flagler Ave in New Smyrna Beach.
Craft Cocktails with a unique viewing perspective of one of the oldest cities in America , New Smyrna. The attention to detail is incredible. A must for the foodie in you.
WINNER: BEST SPEAK EASY
By Jeff Stolowitz
The wine series at Azure in 2018 is off to an incredible start and it featured the decades old Cakebread Cellars. That says a lot as Cakebread Cellars is an original Napa Valley Winery and is one of the most recognized Vineyards in the wine world. From the time Jack Cakebread and his wife Dolores planted their first vines in 1972 to their first release in 1974 to the present day the Winery continues to shine.
I knew we were in for a treat as I looked at the pairing menu.
Chef Patrick Ransom the talented young chef that isn't afraid to take chances and go outside the box. Five wines, 5 courses and a spectacular view of Daytona was on tap and he nailed it.
I was seated with Dan and Kathy Cusumano.
Dan is representative of Bar Harbor Seafood and Kathy is a Licensed Realtor with Gaff’s Realty Company, foodies by any rights. They have attended many of these dinners and we all agreed we were in for a great evening.
Our first course was Grilled Prawns with a Rock Melon, Radish and Mustard Green medley that was accented by the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. The dish was crisp as was the wine. The rock melon a bit bitter was sweetened and highlighted by a slight honeydew nose and finish from the wine.
Our second course arrives and I was stunned that anyone would do this. Cold smoked lobster. Smoking Lobster??? Chef Ransom explained his play on a lobster roll as the Brioche he created for this was done to enhance the Chardonnay. In one word. This dish and the wine were “Butter”
Easy to eat as it disappeared from my plate.
The vintage a 2016 is a classic Cakebread creation.
Next up was the Giant Lollichop.
Purple Peruvian Potatoes and a spicy Chipotle and Currant mix was delicious and left me wanting more.
Then I looked over and there was our waitress was pouring the 2016 Pinot Noir, pepper and spice currants and everything nice.
Just a awsome delicioush dish.
Just when I think it can't get any better in comes the Main Course a Faux Filet.
Explained as a dry Aged NY Strip trimmed to the center and marinated in a secretive lard.
The resulting finish has a thin bark and the texture of filet. It didn't hurt that the chef as and his team also added grilled asparagus, Couscous and Quinoa for the wow factor.
This was purposely paired with the 2014 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon.
A classic tasting vintage that should age well in the bottle for years to come. It retails for a bargain price of $891.00 a case.
The night finished with a Brownie Trifle
I giggled like a kid as I tore through this dessert like it was the last time I would eat.
They paired this with a 2014 Merlot
While not my favorite grape this paired well as the Cherry notes cut through the deep chocolate and peanut flavors.
Once again just one incredible event to attend.