i'm not one to make excuses for missing a day or two of posting, but i've happily been busy with fabulous events, cavs games and driving to pittsburgh - but i'm back.
monday night i was fortunate enough to be invited to a cruzan rum tasting event at michael symon's famous lola.
when i got the invitation a couple weeks ago i don't think i've ever responded to an email quicker - sign me up! (reason #903 why i love blogging)
i was able to bring a guest (court) and was pumped to find out that my friend, and fellow blogger michelle and her husband would also be in attendance.
as court and i walked into the lower level private dining room at lola we were greeted with a rumosa. translation: a rum mimosa. sounds kinda iffy right? well it was completely delicious - this version was served with cruzan mango rum and topped with dry champagne.
this girl loves her some bubbles - that and a more than plentiful spread of lola starters including the beef cheek perogies, a cheese assortment, pork stuffed won tons, shrimp and vegetable skewers and a pan friend greek cheese i'm forgetting the name of with an apple on top.
i would have been satisfied with some rumosa's and the aforementioned appetizers but there was so much more in store for us.
as we got seated at our dinner table with my 11 other eating companions we were introduced to andrea bearbower, the cruzan rum brand education manager, who gave us all some background and historic information about all that is cruzan rum.
most importantly how the cruzan rum brand is the oldest rum on the market and is still to this day made by the same family on the US Virgin Island of St. Croix like it has been since 1760. with a light rum, several dark rums, a single barrel and ten flavored rums there are plenty of options to choose from.
let's get into the food and specialty cocktails shall we?
sidenote: i left my camera at home (duh!) so all these photos were taken with my blackberry so sorry for the not so perfect resolution.
first course: a pear and apple salad with blue cheese, spiced pecans and raisins. the most delicious and satisfying salad i've had in my life - true story.
first cocktail: single barrel cider - refreshing and a perfect combo with the salad
1 1/2 oz single barrel cruzan rum
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz apple cider (fresh cloudy kind)
fresh grated cinnamon on top
serve in tall glass with ice
second course: wild alaskan salmon with heirloom tomato, white beans, cucumber and cumin - i'm normally not a huge salmon fan but the fresh and lightness of the entree was enough to make me a fan.
second cocktail: classic daiquiri with cruzan rum float - this version of a daiquiri was how in my opinion all daiquiri's should be served, straight up martini style with a flavored rum float.
1 1/2 oz cruzan light rum
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
served in a martini glass with a spoonful of your favorite cruzan rum flavor over top
third course: coconut chocolate bavarian cake with pecans, toasted coconut and caramel - chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, coconut and pecans? YES please.
third cocktail: hot toddy - i think this was my favorite cocktail of them all because it was so damn smooth, sweet and strong all at once. something that i would enjoy drinking every single evening in the fall.
1 1/2 oz cruzan single barrel rum
1 oz honey or sugar
1 large lemon peel
prepare a snifter or mug by rinsing it with boiling water and pouring the water out.
add the sugar or honey and the lemon peel and pour in an ounce of hot water and stir until the sweetener has dissolved.
add cruzan single barrel rum and top off with more boiling water.
options to add: cinnamon stick, cloves or a little melted butter. (add the butter it's the best part!)
talk about an awesome dinner - thanks so much to cruzan for inviting me and sending me home with all sorts of SWAG like a hat, tshirt, book on rum and a full bottle of flavored rum for me to become my own mixologist at home.
after the event court and i went to flannery's to watch monday night football where cleveland frowns and hatchel came and met us out.
tuesday was how you say a little rough for me, but that didn't stop me from accepting a last minute invitation from my friend lara for head to the Q for the first preseason cavs game club seat style.
let me just say that seeing the my man shaq in a cavs uniform was wicked cool and i can't wait till they start playing the regular season.
one major thing i noticed at the game though was how much jay z was being played which makes me think that when the new team intro is unveiled on october 27th a jay z song will be featured - we'll just have to see now won't we.
another major thing i noticed while at the game was the new bar symon outpost in the club level of the Q.
it's a great location and while at first i kinda talked smack about the fact that michael symon was opening restaurants in the Q because i thought it was diluting his brand, my mind was quickly changed once i was able to enjoy the delicious popcorn with tons of feta, oregano and red pepper flakes all mixed together.
also, the staff was probably the happiest bunch i've ever encountered. kudos symon, you did it yet again.
so i'm thinking that popcorn may be my new favorite snack. as i'm typing this i'm literally craving it - want. some. more. now. i don't think i'm ever going to be able to go to the Q without getting it.
ok then. i think we're all caught up!
now i just have to tackle that google reader of mine...