Monday, December 05, 2016

The Cellar At Duckworth's - Prohibition Day and New Menu Items

My favorite dish - tuna tartare with guacamole.

I have been meaning to blog about The Cellar at Duckworth's for a while - in fact I have been meaning to blog for a while... forgive me, dear readers!

The Cellar has quickly become one of Charlotte's best dining and drinking destinations, with its speakeasy, 1920's look, fabulous cocktails and delicious food. Some of my favorite mainstay items are the tuna tartare, the flat breads and the brussels sprouts.

Just last week I was invited to come taste the special 21st Amendment Cocktail Menu, which is available TONIGHT, December 5 ONLY! This is in celebration of Prohibition Day.

The Cellar’s mixologist Ron Oleksa has created a menu of exclusive vintage cocktails with a modern-day twist, including: 

The Corpse Reviver #2016, a twist on the popular Corpse Reviver family of cocktails, features Bluecoat Gin with Yellow Chartreuse, Amaro Montenegro, an absinthe rinse, lemon and cherry.

Not-So-Silent Mary Pickford, inspired by the 1920s favorite, includes Mt. Gay Silver Rum with Luxardo Maraschino, Solerno Blood Orange, house-made Grenadine, pineapple, lime, house-spiced cherry and a clove sprinkle.

Brooklyn Bridge, a cross between a Brooklyn and a Manhattan cocktail, mixes Knob Creek Rye with Amaro Montenegro, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth and a lemon twist.

In the photo above, the Not-So-Silent Mary Pickford is on the right, the Corpse Reviver is in the middle and the Brooklyn Bridge is on the left. I enjoyed the Not-So-Silent, which had a lighter and sweeter taste, but my husband favored the other two which were both less sweet and strong!

Tacos including octopus and fish.

New menu item - asparagus salad. I relly enjoyed this dish; the feta and asparagus really go nicely together. We also tried the new ground duck flat bread which I ate before I could photograph! It has a balsamic glaze and was sodelicious. I would definitely order it again.

New menu item - candied jalepeno bacon. This was sweet, yet spicy and savory all at the same time. Delicious - a real treat!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Golden Cow Creamery - Coming Soon in Charlotte

Hopefully you have already heard the incredible news that Golden Cow Creamery is coming to South End next month at the corner of Church and Summit. This is particularly exciting for me since the store will be within walking distance from my office and a light rail ride (or longer walk) from my house.

Founders Alex and Liz Hannah are opening Golden Cow in order to bring unique and delicious fresh hand crafted ice cream made with premium ingredients to Charlotte. When I heard this news it brought to mind my obsession with ice cream - as loyal readers may remember I once won an ice cream contest back in Atlanta with my lemon-basil chocolate chunk flavor - and it reminded me that for a brief time my husband and I contemplated opening our own ice cream shop here in Charlotte. We did not! But this is still missing from Charlotte so I truly hope Golden Cow takes off!

Liz and Alex Hannah, founders.

I was lucky enough to be given some of their ice cream to sample. I tried Chai Spice with Candied Orange Peel and Vegan Coconut Green Tea with Lemongrass and Chocolate. The Chai Spice was awesome - I love candied orange peel so this really hit the spot. Unfortunately for me after my initial tasting my husband ate the entire rest of the sample before I had time to try some more! I think the orange peel would also taste great with a dark chocolate ice cream - yum! The vegan ice cream had a great flavor. Since I am not a vegan I probably wouldn't order it - I love the cow's milk cream too much - but it is wonderful that vegans (and the dairy intolerant) will have options here - I am sure they will come running!

Golden Cow is currently doing a Kickstarter campaign, and if you are so inclined you can buy the right to a daily scoop for life or other less expensive perks including an initial scoop and membership in their pint of the month club! There is a sweet video you can watch documenting Alex and Liz's dedication to the project.

 Hop Drop Ice Cream featuring beer from NoDa Brewing - I can't wait to try this!

I can't wait until they are open - this is such great news for the neighborhood and for Charlotte.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Scone Shop - Charlotte, NC

I was lucky enough to have freshly baked cranberry orange scones delivered to my office personally by The Scone Shop's owner and founder, Fielding  Williams. The scones were still warm from the oven, buttery and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness. It was also delightful to talk with Fielding and hear her story. The idea for The Scone Shop came after Fielding made cookie dough to help her son with a fundraiser. She tried scone dough next and it was a hit. Now you can buy the frozen scone dough at several local markets in Charlotte including Healthy Home Market on Central Ave., Whole Foods, Reid's Fine Foods and you can buy a warm scone ready to eat at the Nordstrom EBar at Southpark. The scones are also available at select locations in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem and Fort Mill, SC. Custom orders are also available to be delivered.
 Fielding Williams, founder.

In addition to my in-office sample, I received a full package of the cranberry orange scones to bake at home. My family loved them - what a great treat without any of the hard work that goes into making homemade baked goods! I think these would make a great gift for Valentine's Day and would add a special touch to any breakfast or brunch menu! I look forward to trying some of the other flavors, which include: cinnamon chip, butterscotch chocolate chip, chocolate cinnachip and savory option spinach feta.

Disclosure: The product described was provided to me, but the opinions are my own.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hiya Korean Food Truck

Hiya Truck - where the Korean goodness is produced.

I LOVE Korean food and Charlotte does not have enough of it. When I heard about Hiya Food Truck I knew I had to try it. I got in touch with owner Daniel Pitre and came by his truck one rainy day to try some of the options. I came so early that the food wasn't ready yet and he was kind enough to make a special delivery to my office - I was honored to get such special treatment! The bulgogi is my usual go-to and it was very tasty but I liked the spicy pork better - so delicious, great spice! Other menu items include the bulgogi burger and chicken katsu. I love that there are noodles and rice in the dishes and that they are served with daikon pickled radish (that's the yellow item!) Later the same day I decided I needed more so I also tried the dumplings (not pictured) and they were a huge hit with my 3 year old. I actually only got one because he liked them so much. Hiya is regularly at several breweries and you can check out where they are on their website as well as via Facebook and Twitter. If you haven't tried Hiya yet, give them a shot! I'll see you soon Daniel and Hiya!

Bulgogi and Spicy Pork from Hiya. 

Disclosure: The food provided was complimentary, but the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wewalka Prepared Dough - Tasty and Easy!

Bistro Style Pizza.

I was recently invited to try Wewalka European Pastry Dough. The Austrian company makes 2 types of pizza crusts (Family Style slightly thicker crust dough and Bistro Style thin crust dough),  croissant dough and puff pastry dough and all the doughs are now available in the United States. All four types of dough are conveniently rolled up on parchment paper for easy use and are available at Harris Teeter locations in the Charlotte market and Ingles locations in the Atlanta area. The doughs contain no hydrogenated oils, no corn syrup and no bleached flour and they are vegetarian (no meat products).

My family truly loved these doughs - especially the round pizza dough (Bistro Style - the Family Style is rectangular) and the puff pastry dough. I made all sorts of pizzas as well as rolled croissants with sausages and with chocolate (not pictured). I really like using the puff pastry for pizza as well - very elegant and tasty. The Wewalka Recipe collection helps with more ideas. Having the pizza dough on parchment paper that you leave in place while baking is SO helpful. Although other companies' big balls of dough look fun, my experience is that rolling the dough ball into what you want can be difficult, not to mention messy! Wewalka makes it very easy with the crust already rolled and clean-up is quick and painless. Look for all four types of dough in the refrigerator case near the biscuit dough. There is also a coupon on the website here.

Pigs in blankets!