By Jeff Stolowitz
Thursday's are usually reserved for quiet time before the weekend here at Behind Daytona. However while driving my late night UBER shift a request came through from "Mark" on Seabreeze it was 3AM. I knew who I was picking up, and chuckled. Mark Rosenthal, a friend now manages the strip of the Seabreeze Entertainment district.
Mark informed me that Thursday night this past week was going to be packed with great music, he didn't lie.
5 Time Shag, Pulp Free Fiction, Michael Makepeace, Dellacoma and Days to Come.
He was absolutely correct.
Lets start with 5 Time Shag a popular Local Band fronted by Scotty and backed up by incredible musicians Giullio, Eric and Patsy on the Kit, the smallest drum kit we have seen with the largest sound you ever heard.
Next up at what I call Ricks Incubator, "The Patio" was Pulp Free Fiction. A new young band about to break out and hit the muzic scene here in Daytona.
You could smell the Ganja coming out of the notes played by the guitar, just hot.
Ok so this was then followed by the Band "Days to Come" out of Albany Georgia. Hard driving rock led by vocalist Justin Goodson. The presence on stage is raw, biting and something we have not seen here in Daytona for some time. They have opened for some great bands including Saliva who are set to appear at Main Street Station Labor Day.
The headliner this night was "Delacoma"
This was just kick ass stuff as the band features the former guitarist from Shinedown, Justin Todd and on the Drums and Keyboards Jarrod Medwin a consumate proffesional.
The performance was just what you would hope for. Loud, Tight, Driving, Energetic and Deep.
The Rok Bar and the Entertainment that comes out of it has come of age.
I look forward to years of great music.
Thanks and hats off to Mark Rosenthal and Richard Kitt great supporters of local Live Music
5 Time Shag
Days to Come
Pulp Free Fiction
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.
By Jeff Stolowitz
Karen Romano Adams
One of the best things about Daytona Beach is that it is the World's Most Famous Beach and recently it has been absolutely living up to its reputation with the openings of Millie's Restaurant and Catering in the Daytona Shores and Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor in Ponce Inlet followed by the grand openings of Cocina 214 and the Landshark Bar & Grill on Beachside and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
It sure has been chilly this winter but things heated up this week call meeting with the ribbon cutting at both places VIP events on Wednesday night and Thursday showcased incredible food that both places have to offer and the hospitality that will be shown guests as they come to these places Fresh Tortillas freshly made margaritas and LandShark beer that Jimmy Buffett made famous are but just a few of the things that people can try while visiting these places featuring outdoor bars, fire pits an outdoor stage, shopping and access to the beach.
For vision this new Daytona Beach look is striking with it's Ocean Backdrop. It took guts to pull this off in a short 6 Month period. We have an album of photos showing various phases of construction xxxx Insert Gallery.
It is also certain that the music scene already booming with places like Main Street Station, Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill, and now Burgey's Tiki Hut.
Will no doubt bring new talent and offer local musicians new places to entertain. Event Promotion and planning are on the rise and so it goes.
With the Mayor Derrick Henry, The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, Executives from Tomoka Consolidated, County Executives, Owners, friends and families from both locations, a full staff and a crowd of about 200 people cheering, the ribbons were cut and Restaurant History was made Behind Daytona
Make your reservations now!!!
FULL PHOTO ALBUM By Stknthe80's Photography
By Monty Montgomery
In mid-December, Behind Daytona was invited to a special showing of a new service offered by Mellow Mushroom. This great establishment, owned by local resident Robert Hargrave and located in Port Orange, has been a tremendous addition to our area with their beer taps and pizza. Now they are offering catering!
Mellow Mushroom has evolved there excellent regular foods into a worthy selection of specialty catered sandwiches and salads.
As for what I tested the evening of the introductory showing:
Sandwiches we tried
Made with all-natural grilled chicken with sun-dried roasted tomato's, applewood smoked bacon, fresh avocado and garlic aioli on multigrain ciabatta.
This was a nice mix of turkey, avocado, crisp romaine lettuce, mayo, tomato, the wow factor, bacon jam and provolone on sliced multigrain.
Salads we tried
OH, KALE YEAH!
They use baby kale and spring mix with fresh avocado, dried cherries, house-made candied pecans and bleu cheese crumbles, served with vinaigrette.
CHILL OUT PASTA SALAD
Their house-made recipe with spiral pasta, sun-dried roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, pesto, shaved parmesan tossed with our herb vinaigrette.
There were several other options including pizzas to order for this service. The options for Lacto-ovo vegetarian were a pleasant find for catering. Cathryn Keifer is heading the catering side of this venture and it is our opinion that she has hit a home run!
If you are planning any event that might want to use catering I cannot recommend Mellow Mushroom enough as this spread was fantastic and professional.
Find them online by visiting.
Or visit them at
5790 Journeys End Way, Port Orange, FL 32127
Mellow Mushroom another great find for some good food and drink Behind Daytona
Behind the Stove is Sponsored by
By Jeff Stolowitz
Behind Daytona was fortunate enough today to get a hard hat tour of the brand new Cocina 214 that's going to be opening beachside on A1A in Daytona at the end of January.
The building is nearing completion and the owner and founder of Cocina 214, Lambrine Macejewski was telling us how she's going to having a job fair onsite Jan 2nd, and can't wait to start hiring locals. Training begins soon.
Lambrine Macejewski by all accounts is the exact type of entrepreneur the city is beginning to attract. As we talked with her she mentioned that restaurants are in her blood. Having been in the industry for 40 years I could see the drive and passion in her eyes.
It is unmistakable. They light up when you ask her questions like, what type of entertainment they will provide and she pointed to an area between Cocina and the soon to open by Jimmy Buffett.
Saying, “that will be green space with access to the ocean, it will be shared and they intend on doing outdoor sit on the lawn events.”
The restaurant will hold 345 people and is an impressive 7857 square feet.
It features an outside Tiki Bar, Private Dining area, outdoor fire pits and views from inside of the Atlantic Ocean.
Breathtaking and fantastically planned the contractor and master builder John McCann was able to get the best out of this space. It's impressive.
He even thought through the material that will be used to make the bar outside so that it will weather the extreme elements we can experience on the beach.
A massive kitchen will allow Executive Chef Isidoro Alvarez and his team to focus on their inventive Tex-Mex cuisine with fresh local ingredients and made from scratch dishes, can you say “Homemade Tortillas”.
While there will be a wide variety of wine and beer and a full bar, Lambrine is all about the Margaritas, made always with fresh lime juice and ingredients. This means tequila, lots of it.
Coquina will be an awesome compliment to the growing dining scene in the city. It will be the first restaurant to open on the beach in decades and by all accounts signals the great boom in Daytona is here and here to stay.
We are looking forward to the Grand Opening and to many years of dining on the ocean drinking margaritas and eating Tex-Mex cuisine at this location.
Dining Beachside on Facebook Behind Daytona or Online Behind Daytona
357 S.Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach,Florida 32118
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By Jeff Stolowitz
Chef Patrick Ransom outdid himself last week at Azure’s California wine dinner featuring Twomey and Silver Oak Cellars.
With a big step up to the Culinary plate, Ransom hit it out of the park.
He put out an outstanding menu and the creative execution was flawless.
4 courses 5 different wines.
Twomey Sauvignon Blanc 2016 a deceptive wine that is reminiscent of a Sancerre.
Twomey Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 a wine which the delicate grapes are hand sorted.
Twomey Merlot, Miles said “If anyone's drinking Merlot I'm leaving” he obviously never had this vintage from 2013
Silver Oak Cellars Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, outstanding, deep garnet color, tannic not but it's there and a smooth transition to finish leaves you languishing for another glass.
Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 the cult wine continues it's run and remains one of my favorite wines to put in my glass. Stunning vintage that just is everything you want. From the nose to the finish this wine is a collectors dream.
The wine dinners are well attended and Jeffrey Flood our presenter knows his stuff and the results from working with Chef Ransom getting the pairings right was evident as the first course arrives.
Michael Bartscher the Food and Beverage Director is always present and makes his way around the room and always oversees the final presentation. They have a method and it works.
Sitting next to another frequent guest of the dinners Gregory Dean made for great company and conversation until the Collosal Shrimp and Risotto arrived. We all went silent. Absolutely delicious as I ate everything, all that was left was the tail fin.
The second course was presented an Herb Crusted Lamb Chop it was highlighted by carmelized plums. As I heartily ate this what remained were the naked bones of the chops.
Our third course was a Buffalo Beef Wellington with a traditional Duxelle which the chef used some of the Silver Oak both in the Duxelle and Demi in the creation of this dish Chef Ransom shows his technical skills understanding the nature of Buffalo and adds in his rendered fat to just make the dish delectable.
The 4th and final course was EVERYTHING it was perfect. Like Nadia Comăneci a perfect 10
Soa Tomé Cake, spun Chocolate, Currants, the edges properly charred to that bitter Chocolate crunch that just went peacefully over your tongue while a Chantilly and Hoisin sauce plays trumpets with your taste buds.
Azure Restaurant is located in the Daytona Shores Resort and Spa. The restaurant's monthly wine dinner finishes off it's 2017 season in December, word has it that it will feature Champagne. Please visit Azure's Facebook Page to find the event when it's posted at https://www.facebook.com/AzureatTheShores/
Hope to see you there Behind Daytona
By Monty Montgomery
In early October 2017, Port Orange was exposed to a wonderful culinary vision, a blend of Venezuelan and Cuban Latino style cuisine.
Sazon Latino was opened by Luis Escalona replacing the Cajun style Blue Bayou and is Located on Nova Rd just South of Madeline Ave. in Port Orange.
The combination of the two styles is a great example of authenticity you should be prepared for on a culinary journey created by Chef Leivy Manrique.
Behind the bar Andres slings regional cocktails like the Mojito, with mastery and flair. Refreshing and crisp you will not be disappointed! The service is attentive and on their game.
Sampling Lomo Satado was incredible and let me tell you the sautéd sirloin was fantastic.
Another appetizer for was a tasty Cachapa with cheese.
Cachapas is traditional Venezuelan dish made from corn. They are popular at roadside stands and can be made like pancakes of fresh corn dough, or wrapped in dry corn leaves and boiled.
Coupled with a traditional mojito, I was in heaven.
Another dish is the Pabellon Criollo, the shredded beef was savory and with the beans, rice, avocado and sweet plantain came a great balance of flavor. I paired this with a Jalepeno Margarita another masterfully mixed libation.
Ultimately this restaurant is something Port Orange needs.
Authentic food, like Arepas are enjoyed with great drinks like the Caipirinha a rum lime drink muddled with crushed ice as it's supposed to have.
A relaxing atmosphere and a tremendous staff makes this a great new destination eatery.
Two thumbs up! Sazon Latino is a must visit.
Head over the bridge from the beach, you will be glad you did!
By Jeff Stolowitz
I attended the Monthly Wine Dinner at Azure. An Italian experience consisting of 5 courses paired with Villa Banfi Wines. I was invited by the Executive Chef Michael Bartscher and upon arriving a happy surprise, he was actually promoted to Food and Beverage Director.
Villa Banfi meets Chef Patrick Ransom. Patrick has been the second in command as the Chef De Cuisine and was responsible for creating what was to be a unforgettable dining experience. This in a setting to die for, overlooking the churning Atlantic Ocean
With the promotion of Executive Chef Michael Bartscher to the Food and Beverage Manager of the Daytona Shores Resort and Spa he has implemented a monthly Wine Dinner which is heartily attended.
As I look around at least one notable Restaurateur, Ross Wylie from the Corkscrew Bar and Grill in New Smyrna Beach. To make things even better another Nick Antalek a knowledgeable manager that has been part of the foodie scene appears. I met Nick while briefly working at the now closed SW Grill. He has a firm grasp on the hospitality industry and wine in general.
The wine is poured by our hosts and the first course arrives, it is a wonderful pairing and start.
A San Angelo Pinot Grigio along side a Antipasto of Compressed Cantelope and Honeydew, Duck Prosciutto on a Mozzarella crisp drizzled with White Balsamic Vinegar. A crispness in the wine simple and bright notes of minerality was the perfect match
The atmosphere is relaxed and easy going as the representative from Banfi gave us a history. Did you remember “Riunite on Ice”? she asked. With Mr. Bartscher putting on a personal touch sitting with guests. The dinner is off to a great start and I think Wine has come a long way since those days of Riunite and Mateus
Our next course arrives it is Wood Roasted Pheasant and it is paired with an exquisite Amarone. This wine was the highlight for me. It was Supple, Tannic, Spicey but not to bold and finished with Cherry notes and of course Chef Ransom highlights this by using dark soaked cherry along side and white Carrot puree for the Pheasant. I asked the server Denise if she could pour a little more a she graciously did. This wine gets a 93 rating by me. If I actually rated wines like Robert Parker.
Pausing for a minute, I remind myself how lucky I am to be sitting here and can only imagine how hard it will be for Napa and Sonoma to recover from the recent Fire Storms.
Damaged or destroyed we're many wineries including Stags Leap. We send our condolences to those who lost their lives.
A small quiet toast at our table is made.
The third course Lobster Ravioli with Grilled Shrimp. Wait just wait. You know that feeling you get when you bite into the most perfectly cooked bite of food yes that's what happened.
This dish highlighted Chef Ransom's skill and technical ability. Everything completely from scratch because the chef cares about what he's doing no I mean really completely from scratch even the guy who caught the lobster was at the dinner so we know where the lobster came from.
Our Main Course arrives it is a Roasted Pork Loin stuffed with Prosciutto and Crusted with Herbs de Provence. They served the 2012 Banfi Brunello di Montalcino. A red wine that will continue to age extremely well but is incredibly deep and intense already.
Then a surprising finish to the meal a Butterscotch Budino it reminds one of a deconstructed Creme Anglais Creme Brulee. Infused with dark berries.
The whole experience was well worth it 4 Incredible Wines and 5 spectacular courses.
The next event is in November.
We can't wait.
Located in: The Shores Resort & Spa
Address: 2637 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118
Phone: (386) 767-7356
By Jeff Stolowitz
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