Stark Raving Wine For Summer Sipping

stark raving wine blends
Stark Raving Wine Review

Stark Raving Wine is an easy summer sipping wine. Perfect for when you come home from work you need a sip of wine to take the edge off a rather hectic day.

It’s almost routine for me, first thing I do is get out of my 9-5 clothes and unwind with a glass of vino.

Stark Raving Wines hails from Sonoma California and is produced by Rosenblum Cellars. Heavily influenced by Ken Rosenblum, you guessed it the founder and the person who put California Zinfandel on the map. Stark Raving Winemaker, John Kane has been working along side Rosenblum for more than 9 years. These California blends are a tribute to the founders maniacal obsession with experimentation.

Grapes are sourced from Argentina, France and California.

Both wines are very fruit forward and a light- medium body. Very easy to drink.

Stark Raving White

Blend: 90% Chardonnay, 8% Muscat and 2% Malvasia Blanco
Nose: Peach, apricot, pear and melon
Palette: Buttery, vanilla, cinnamon, vibrant style wine, very fruit forward. Slight woodiness near the finish, giving the wine a robust body.
Price: $15 – Everything Wine, BC
Average rating: 3.8/5
Pairs well with: spicy foods, Mediterranean flavours, pastas

Stark Raving Red

Blend: 34% Tannat, 28% Zinfandel, 18% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon , 4% Petite Sirah and 6%
Nose: Molasses, fruits, jammy, French vanilla,
Palette: big and luscious, very fruit forward. Starting with a strong jammy flavor, cherry and blackberry, then tannins and plum and spices, from the merlot. Finally the earthiness from the zinfandel. Tannat gives the wine some structure.
Pairs well with: bolder foods, steak red meats, marinade pasta, burgers
Price: $17
Barrels: 10% of the wine aged in French Oak Barrels, another 10% aged in American oak and the rest aged in stainless steel vats for 5 months.
Average rating: 4/5

Reflections – Chic Rooftop Patio Lounge

Reflections is a chic rooftop patio at Hotel Georgia, it is definitely one of the nicer rooftop patios in Vancouver.

Reflection rooftop lounge, patio

The time I went it was packed with the work crowd sneaking off early to start their weekend binge. I went around 3PM on Friday and, by 4PM it was packed.

Don’t let the picture fool you, I snapped it when I arrived and this is only half of the patio, the other half is uncovered.

Didn’t get to try the food but, the drinks were good. Standard sky-high hotel cocktail prices $12. This particular drink is the Hotel Georgia, Plymouth Gin, Lemon Juice, Orgeat Syrup, Orange Blossom Water, Egg White, Nutmeg. I just came from the gym and one drink was all I could enjoy otherwise I’d fall out of my seat.

Hotel Georgia Wine Lounge

Atmosphere is relaxing, almost like I’m on a Vegas vacation sipping cocktails under the sun. Also like Vegas, it is a meat market. The girls are hot and there are plenty of men.

Reflections on Urbanspoon

Hawksworth at Georgia Hotel – Not Exuberantly Expensive As Expected

One of the most buzzed about restaurant this winter would have to be Hawksworth at The Georgia Hotel. Previous executive chef at West, David Hawksworth had exceptionally high expectations to meet. Most of us have been anticipating Hawksworth opening since 2008!!! That’s when the first hint was leaked.

We thought to indulge ourselves during lunch. The décor is opulent with the huge hanging chandeliers and a pristine dining room.  Get ready for some spectacular people watching spot too.  I was a bit hesitant to go at first,  thought it would cost me an arm and a leg but, the prices are just a tad more than Cactus’s, at least during lunch.

Now the food…

Bartlett pear salad speck, burrata, roasted shallot $16. The salad was light and on the bland side.  It was however, a good choice to clean your palette. Burrata, a type of creamy Italian cheese made from mozza and cream gave the dish a buttery texture. 2/5
Bartlett pear salad

48 hr beef shortrib black pepper jam, honeydew, green papaya, peanut, Thai basil $16. This was our favourite dish. I can’t believe the shortribs were still intact after 48 hours of braising.

HOW?!?!

Even when you slice through it, was very tender but still held its shape. The combination of the short ribs with the peanuts and honeydew were delicious. 4/5

48hr shortrib black

Hawksworth beef burger applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar, frites $18. It’s a regular burger, the patty wasn’t juicy. Now the burger at Mahoney and Son’s, located at the Convention Center is a BURGER. 3/5

Hawksworth Burger

Hawksworth Burger. 2jpg

Hawksworth on Urbanspoon

Black and Blue – Trendy Steakhouse

Glowbal Group Black and Blue

Black and Blue, another Glowbal addition to Alberni’s entertainment corridor receives a successful start.  The decor and atmosphere reminds me of Tao in New York, dark, posh and full of pretty people.

Trying to compete with high-end steakhouses such as Gotham and Hy’s, Black and Blue just misses the mark.

Appies…

Short rib poppers -$12, potatoes, cheddar cheese, horseradish.  If you expected short ribs as the featured ingredient, you will be sorely disappointed, reminded me of bar food. 2/5

short rib poppers

Pan seared foie gras -$19, I love foie gras the tartness from the apricots gave an otherwise heavy dish a refreshing twist. 3.5/5
pan seared foie gras

Steak tartare with quail egg and blue cheese crustini -$16, the grade of the steak was superb but, it was submerged in oil. The blue cheese was so overpowering, I couldn’t taste any other flavours. 2/5
steak tartare

Entrees…

Beef wellington, with mushrooms foie gras and red win jus -$31. Quality of the meat once again was excellent. The pastry was flaky and the steak cooked perfectly.  4/5
beef wellington

Berkshire pork chops -$31, a simple dish that was executed perfectly. Pan seared with s&P, the meat was moist and tender. 3.5/5
berkshire pork chops

Sweets…

Chocolate soufflé was amazing!! This warm gooey chocolate concoction is guaranteed to make you go back. Drizzled with either vanilla our chocolate sauce, we had both. I can’t stop raving about it.

chocolate souffle

Undecided whether we would come back for the entrees, definitely, for the dessert and drinks. They had a few table side options like the crepe and the banana pudding. If there is one thing I know, where Glowbal excels, is the pretentious and trendy. So if you are searching for the next resto  to prowl in your Christian Louboutins and Prada suits, we’ve found your new fave hotspot.

Black + Blue on Urbanspoon

Departure – Penthouse Lounge With All The Bling

The departure – hotel lounge – The Nines Hotel
Food Persuasion Rating: 3.5/5
Cuisine: Japa Fusion cuisine
Location: Portland OR, Downtown

bar

This is situated on the top floor of the Nines Hotel.  It really does look like a airport departure point but blinged out.

With the DJ blaring house and hip-hop music and a panoramic view of Portland from their heated patio.

Now the food,

The wings were delicious 4/5

wings

Miso shrimp 3.5/5
miso shrimp

Drinks…
We drank till we dropped. The most memorable moment was when we ordered a round of shots and to our pleasant surprise 1 shot is equivalent to 1.5 shots here.

Departure on Urbanspoon

Steamworks – A Hit for After Work Drinks

Steamworks Brewing Company – Gastown
Food Persuasion Level : [rating=2]
Value: [rating=3]
Service : [rating=3]
Ambiance: [rating=3]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Pub, Restaurant lounge
Location: Gastown, Downtown Vancouver
www.steamworks.com

Steamworks, popular after work drinking spot. For $15 for a pitcher of Sangria, albeit watered down but for the price it’s a good deal. A pitcher of mojito is just as cheap. The seating was comfortable and the service friendly, all in all a pleasant place to wind down.

Now the food…

Typical pub like fare, the entrees are pub quality, meaning its step above a food court quality. We ordered the curry coconut halibut with pineapple, with a side of snap peas and rice -$22. Fish was fried and probably lightly battered, the oil was an overkill. You can tastes the heaviness of stale oil . The ripe pineapples were definitely from a can.

Curry Salmon
Curry Salmon

Maple glazed salmon filet – $21.49, we all agreed this was the better of the fish dishes. A nice smoky taste, again overcooked, made it chewy.

halibut and tortilla
halibut and tortilla

Veggie burger, portobello mozzarella was decent, the bread was soggy from the sauces. It would have been better if it were toasted. It came with a side of ceasar salad, which was drowned with dressing.

portobello burger
portobello burger

All in all I would go back for the pitchers but as a caution stay away from the entrees.

Steamworks Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Glowbal Grill Steaks and Satay- Divine Brunch Service

I am infatuated with brunch, it’s my favorite meal.

What could be more enjoyable then eating your weekend brunch on a patio surrounded by fashionably well dressed yuppies, in their Chanel and Prada sunglasses? The relaxed atmosphere and the delicious food puts everyone in a happy mood.

Now the food…

To start off and I apologize, I failed to take a pic of their freshly made mini doughnuts, presented in cute little dim sum containers. We inhaled it all within 3 minutes. They reminded us of the yummy mini doughnuts served at PNE.

The delightful Lobster Benedict -Atlantic lobster, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise crispy pancetta, cheddar biscuit  -$16.50. Lobster and eggs, a win-win combination . It was so rich and flavorful and, the eggs were perfectly poached.

Shrimp Benny
Shrimp Benny
The Glowbal Benedict – crispy pancetta, hollandaise, baby greens, potato hash – $12.50. This is my default dish. Yes, I’ve been here for brunch more than a few times and I love it every time. Everything was nicely cooked and fresh.
I sound like a broken record, trying to think of different phrases to describe Delicious.
Glowbal Benny
Glowbal Benny

Glowbal Grill Steaks and Satay on Urbanspoon

http://glowbalgrill.com