September Means Magical Dining

Disclosure: I was part of a blogger preview dinner at Siro's via Visit Orlando. All thoughts, opinions and salivation are purely my own. One of my favorite things as a blogger has to be previews at restaurants. I'm a closet foodie and write vast amounts of beautifully written and appropriately photographed foods. Unfortunately, they are all written in my head so you will just have to make do with my Instagram, Pinterest and posts like this.

But, I digress. It. Is. Magical. Dining. Month! I am particularly excited because I just moved and the thought of not cooking a few meals this month and instead being treated to the surprised that I could find in over 75 restaurants around town sounds...dreamy.

I went to Siro Urban Italian Kitchen and dug the treats, the ambiance and the fact that I could totally book a magical night, have a couple of flights of wine and and then glide right on over to my hotel room. What did we do before Magical Nights, folks? This way you don't have to invite that one girlfriend that doesn't drink and gives you the side eye when you do. See, I'm looking out for you.

Here’s your Siro menu for Magical Dining month:

Choice of Appetizers MARINATED TOMATO SALAD Burrata, sea salt FRITTO MISTO Lemon-caper aioli GRILLED QUAIL Fennel sausage, pepperonata, Vidalia onion puree

Choice of Entrèes CHICKEN MILANESE Summer salad BUCATINI AI FRUTTI DI MARE Mussels, clams, shrimp, fennel sausage, tomato-saffron brodo GRILLED STRIP STEAK Ragout of summer squashes topped with crispy crumbs

Choice of Desserts ZEPPOLES CANNOLI TIRAMISU

In the mood for something else? Check out the list of restaurants and pick a favorite. But, I really recommend you pick something new. This gives you a way to try foods you might not try otherwise, at a great price!

It is Friday and there will be loads of date nights so, what are your tried and true restaurants on this list and what new foods are you going to be tasting soon?

CONVENTION AREA
A Land Remembered - Rosen Shingle Creek Steak & Seafood
Cala Bella - Rosen Shingle Creek Italian Cuisine
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar Latin, S. American & Caribbean Cuisine
Everglades Restaurant - Rosen Centre Hotel Steak & Seafood
Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse- Hyatt Regency Orlando Italian Cuisine
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse Steak & Seafood
Funky Monkey Bistro & Bar Continental Cuisine
Jack's Place- Rosen Plaza Hotel Steak & Seafood
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse Japanese & Sushi
Ming Court Asian & Pacific Rim Cuisine
Napa- Hyatt Regency Orlando California Cuisine
Spencer's for Steaks and Chops - Hilton Orlando Steak & Seafood
The Capital Grille Steak & Seafood
The Oceanaire Seafood Room Seafood
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar Steak & Seafood
Vincenzo Cucina Italiana Italian Cuisine
DISNEY/LAKE BUENA VISTAA
Deep Blu Seafood Grille- Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Seafood
Hawk's Landing Steakhouse- World Center Marriott Steak & Seafood
Hemingway's- Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Steak & Seafood
Il Mulino New York Trattoria- Walt Disney World Swan Italian Cuisine
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse Japanese & Sushi
La Luce® by Donna Scala - Hilton Bonnet Creek Italian Cuisine
Mikado Japanese Steak House - World Center Marriott Asian & Pacific Rim Cuisine
NINE18- Villas of Grand Cypress Steak & Seafood
Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen- World Center Marriott Italian Cuisine
The Venetian Room - Caribe Royale Hotel Continental Cuisine
Todd English's bluezoo - Walt Disney World Dolphin Seafood
DOWNTOWN
Citrus Restaurant American Cuisine
Funky Monkey Wine Company Continental Cuisine
Kasa Restaurant & Bar Continental Cuisine
Maxine's on Shine American Cuisine
Mingo's Seafood
The Boheme - Grand Bohemian Hotel American Cuisine
RESTAURANT ROW
Big Fin Seafood Kitchen Seafood
Bistro CloClo French Cuisine
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine Mediterranean, Greek & Turkish
Dragonfly - Robata Grill & Sushi Japanese & Sushi
Eddie V's Prime Seafood Steak & Seafood
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Steak & Seafood
Morton's The Steakhouse Steak & Seafood
Ocean Prime Steak & Seafood
Roy's Restaurant Steak & Seafood
Ruth's Chris Steak House Steak & Seafood
Seasons 52 American Cuisine
Stefano's Grill American Cuisine
The Melting Pot Fondue
UNIVERSAL/CITYWALK
Bice Ristorante - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Italian Cuisine
Emeril's Orlando Cajun, Creole & Louisiana Cuisine
Emeril's Tchoup Chop - Loews Royal Pacific Resort Asian & Pacific Rim Cuisine
Islands Dining Room - Loews Royal Pacific Resort Asian & Pacific Rim Cuisine
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse Japanese & Sushi
Mama Della's Ristorante - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Italian Cuisine
Trattoria del Porto- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Italian Cuisine
WINTER PARK AND NORTH
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine Mediterranean, Greek & Turkish
Chez Vincent French Cuisine
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Steak & Seafood
Hamilton's Kitchen- The Alfond Inn American Cuisine
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse- Altamonte Springs Japanese & Sushi
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse- Longwood Japanese & Sushi
Luigino's Restaurant Italian Cuisine
Luma on Park American Cuisine
Mitchell's Fish Market Seafood
Park Plaza Gardens Continental Cuisine
Rangetsu Japanese Restaurant & Bar Japanese & Sushi
Ruth's Chris Steak House- Lake Mary Steak & Seafood
Ruth's Chris Steak House- Winter Park Steak & Seafood
Seasons 52 - Altamonte Springs American Cuisine
The Melting Pot- Longwood Fondue
SURROUNDING AREAS
Bohemian Bar and Grill- Bohemian Hotel Celebration American Cuisine
Eleven- Reunion Resort Steak & Seafood
K Restaurant American Cuisine
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse- Alafaya Japanese & Sushi
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse- Kissimmee Japanese & Sushi
Le Coq Au Vin French Cuisine
Texas de Brazil Steak & Seafood
The Capital Grille- Mall at Millenia Steak & Seafood
Yuki Hana Japanese Fusion Japanese & Sushi

There's a New Bonefish In Town!

Disclosure: They fed me so that I could talk about the food but only if I liked it. And, like it I did! You guys know how much I love food, right? Well, I get extra excited when my favorite restaurants decide that indeed, I need a location near me. Such is the case with Bonefish (yay!).

I had all kinds of deliciousness at the blogger preview. From the Ahi Tuna Sashimi and the Mussels Josephine in their starter menu to the Fontina Chop and to-die-for sides. There was nothing that was just okay. Including a refreshing Watermelon Martini (and I'm not a watermelon fan).

More than anything I appreciate Bonefish Grill's commitment to the community.  As has been their tradition when opening a new location, they held their Charity Night on August 10 to raise funds for a local group. This time, the funds would go to Runway To Hope.  Attendees enjoyed all of the wonderful food, beverage and ambiance for a good cause. And wow, they raised more than $7,100 for the program. How cool is that?!

After seeing the signs about brunch, I returned on my own dime for a delectable meal with my family. I am SO going back. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with the bottomless bubbles they offer (your choice of bellinis or mimosas). Rather, it is the outstanding food choices and the atmosphere.  Better yet? It's right around the corner and that, my friends is priceless.

Did you know it's my blogoversary month? And did you know that Bonefish really likes you guys? They do. So much so that they asked me to give you guys a $50 gift card to visit one of their locations! I attempted keeping it for myself but they won't mail it to me. So, I guess I have to depend on one of you to actually take me out to dinner with it.

Enter to win and then tell me when we can go!

Disclosure: I was invited to a blogger preview dinner in order to write my review about this new location. All opinions, thought and endless bubble daydreams are purely my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BONEFISH-GRILL-LOGO

Community Corner: The Summit & The Spices

Community-Corner.jpg

I wanted to let you know of a few important things going on in our community. The first is about the 2014 Women's Summit being put together by the Nu Iota Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Ivy Tea Rose, Inc. It is all about connecting us with experts that will help us achieve our goals and replenish ourselves (I know I need that).

Inspire ticket

The expert panel, moderated by Star 94.5 FM radio personality Monica May, will include a life coach who will help you organize and relieve stress, an expert on building your “brand” and taking a leadership approach in your life, a member of a running group that focuses on teaching women to become healthier, a political mover from the League of Women Voters to discuss the importance of voicing your opinions through your vote.

In addition to the expert panelists, Kellie Wells, an American track and field athlete who won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2012 London Games, will be the keynote speaker discussing how she overcame challenges and obstacles in her life to become an Olympic medalist.

I know I need a little recharge (okay, I lied: I need a BIG one).  I hope I will see you at the Sheraton Orlando Downtown Hotel at 10 a.m. You can pick up your ticket on PayPal (check out the button below). Be sure to tell them I sent you.  Tickets are $30 and comes with a full buffet breakfast to kick off all of this goodness we are going to be taking in. This would make a great girl's outing, don't you think?

Spicy Endeavor

The second thing I want to tell you is about this awesome entrepreneur that I have the pleasure of knowing. His name is Michael Anderson and a few years back he decided he was going to blend up some flavors. That blend became a springboard that landed him as Spicy CEO of Spice Crafters and made his first blend, Primo27 a favorite in my kitchen.

HotCloveGarlic

Mike has now moved on to spicier pastures and I am gladly following along. His next endeavor under the Spice Crafters family is the Hot Clove Garlic Company. That makes my mouth water just typing it.

I was excited to hear of Mike's desire to create this new blend of spices. Purely out of selfish foodie tendencies. Two of my favorite things packed up into one blend of spices? Yes please!

Mike has taken to Kickstarter and I am proud of the progress he has made. But he has not yet met his $10,000 need in order to bring this awesomeness to my kitchen counter. If you want to read more about Mike, the spices and how you can become a Taste Bud, head on over to Kickstarter and check it out (PS: the staff at Kickstarter loved this so much that he was an editor's pick first week out).

Container Store In Orlando!

The Container Store has made it to Orlando! I don't know how else to say that but you should know I'm doing a dance over here. I had a chance to visit the store on Thursday for their blogger preview and left there with a headache. Like a good headache. One of those oh-mi-gaah-this-is-what-I've-been-looking-for headache. There are tons of awesome things about this place. The big thing that stood out were the employees. You know that's a big one for me.  And then? I was in shock and awe over...THE CONTAINERS!

I took down these notes because I was like whoa!

First, did you know that each employee has a total of 263 hours of training in the first year?! That's like a gazillion times more than most retailers who do what? Ten hours maybe?

  • They have 120 different food storage solutions
  • 45 different types of laundry baskets (and seeing as I have a "situation" with laundry, I may need to go back for some)
  • 129 different trash cans (including recycling bins which I totally need because I have nothing in the kitchen except the side of the trashcan and a supermarket bag)

Oh, oh! You can order stuff online and select to to click and pick up AND THEY'LL BRING IT OUT CURBSIDE! This is a mami perk for real!

Now do you understand why I had a headache? Oh and I saw the perfect chef's cart that I can fit in my little nook in the kitchen.  Suffice it to say that I will be heading back.

The other cool thing is that The Container Store has partnered with Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and will donate 10% of Grand Opening Weekend sales from Orlando to this wonderful nonprofit that’s such an important part of the local community.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over ASAP! And tell me what you got!

PS: they have all kinds of giveaways this weekend. Good luck!