Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
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Spring is in the air and that means breaking out of the winter doldrums and getting outside to enjoy what the world has to offer. If your world is food and wine, then you had better be at the center of the epicurean universe, the Pebble Beach Food & Wine, April 10-13, 2014. If you are not, then you might just miss out on the most comprehensive gathering of celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and industry brands of the year.

In a gluttonous four day whirlwind, over 250 acclaimed wineries, 75 famous chefs and 55 events will converge on Pebble Beach, California for the 7th annual be all to end all in food festivals. Events are divided into categories from Lunch and Dinner to Cooking Demonstrations and Wine Seminars. If you want to take a break and get in a little “exercise” there is even a Celebrity Chef and Winemaker’s Golf Tournament at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links.  Let’s not forget the Marquee Events and the official After Hours gatherings that will only serve to send any attendee over the edge. There is of course the Lexus Grand Tasting Tent that let you experience sips and bites from over 30 chefs and 200 wineries.

Fine beer makes an appearance at this year’s festival with the Best of Belgium Beer Lunch and a beer pairing seminar aptly titled, Brewed for Food in addition to cooking demonstrations from Celebrity Chefs Tyler Florence, Jon Shook, Carla Hall, Donatella Arpaia, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Linton Hopkins, Duff Goldman and Andrew Zimmerman. In addition, there will be a special Tribute Dinner to industry legend Charlie Trotter.

So if you are in the mood to dive head first in for an entire weekend or just nibble around the edges with an event or two, the PBF&W website will give you the info you need to plan your culinary escape with info and tickets: www.pbfw.com. This is a weekend of monumental indulgence not to me missed!

Wine Down at Jacks with Monterey County Wine

Monday, February 24th, 2014
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Home to many of California’s finest vineyards and known for its extensive array of wine tasting venues, the Monterey Peninsula is a premium destination for all things wine.  Recently named as one of Wine Enthusiast’s “Top 10 Best Regions for Wine”, visitors can find everything from vineyards and wine tours to tasting rooms and wine dinners. If you’re looking for the perfect place to relax with your favorite glass of vino or you’re interested in developing a more complex palate, there’s no better place for you than the Central Coast.  With multiple microclimates and varied soil types there are a number of award winning appellations within the Monterey County alone.

 

Featuring several wine tasting venues right outside its doors, the Portola Hotel & Spa is well equipped to fulfill all of your wine-related needs and is the perfect base for exploring all the region has to offer. In fact, you need to look no further than Portola’s own renowned Jacks Restaurant & Lounge to get your wine fix.  Jacks Lounge is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day of work or sight-seeing. Wine Down at Jacks Lounge from 4-6pm, daily and receive 50% off all wines by the glass and 50% off their signature cheese plate.  Better than a “traditional happy hour”, Wine Down at Jacks Lounge provides the ideal atmosphere to relax and renew in style while experiencing the best of Monterey County’s wines.

 

If a sit down dinner is more your speed, visit Jacks for their Wine Dinner series. Every quarter, Portola Hotel & Spa’s Executive Chef Jason Giles, pairs selections from Jacks menu with vintages from local wineries for an exclusive five course dinner. Each course is designed with the utmost care to perfectly complement the corresponding wine. To truly enhance the experience, each course is described and selected tableside by the wine team representatives.  At only $75 per person, Jacks Wine Diners are a wonderful value! To learn more about these fabulous dinners and events visit www.jacksrestaurantlounge.com

Holiday Cookies That Will Make You Smile!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
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For me there is no better sign that the holidays have arrived than wintery cookies!   I’m not sure if it’s the taste, the sensory memories, the smell – well just all of it – but holiday cookies baking in an oven bring a smile to my face (and my kiddos)!

Here is one of my favorites created by my friends at the Portola Hotel & Spa!  So make a dozen, two or three and celebrate the season with family and good friends!

Wishing you peace, love & happiness this holiday season!

 

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. molasses
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 3¾ c. flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs and mix well + don’t forget to scrape the sides
  4. Add the molasses
  5. Add the vinegar and blend again until everything is combined well
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda; blend together
  7. Add the pumpkin pie spice; right about now, your kitchen will start smelling amazing
  8. Now, add the flour mixture a small amount at a time to the wet mixture until you have it fully combined
  9. Using a cookie scoop, drop balls onto a prepared baking sheet
  10. Now, sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  11. Bake 9-10 minutes

Yields: 4 dozen

Thanksgiving at Jacks Restaurant (Leftovers Included!)

Friday, November 8th, 2013
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When the autumn leaves start falling and all the turkeys go into hiding, Americans across the country starts to tingle with anticipation because we all know that the most widely celebrated, and undoubtedly the coziest, holiday is right around the corner.  With all of the fuss and preparation, though, Thanksgiving can become a time of stress and exhaustion (and we’re not just talking about the unavoidable post-feast food coma), leaving little room or care to meditate on the real meaning of the holiday, to consider what we’re all truly thankful for.

This year, Jacks Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa wants to help put the “Thanks” back in Thanksgiving!  Why not escape the stress of the holiday season and get away to beautiful Monterey?  A perfect backdrop to appreciate the blessings in life, press pause and enjoy the exhilarating winter chill and the majestic Monterey coastline with your family to help you put things back into perspective and really get into the holiday spirit.  And as for your Thanksgiving feast, our acclaimed restaurant Jacks has it covered.

Featuring a mouth-watering four-course menu, you can enjoy all of your favorites dishes with a new gourmet twist, like our luxurious sourdough stuffing, fluffy whipped potatoes, and our perfectly seasoned green beans with crispy shallots, not to mention a wonderful selection of holiday inspired desserts from our decedent dessert display.  You won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy all of the fun, food, and feelings that this holiday has to offer – plus the staff at Jacks will pack up your leftovers so you can continue your feast on Friday!

Leave it all to the team at the Portola and Jacks and enjoy the holiday the way it was meant to be spent, basking in the love of family and appreciating life’s bounty.

Visit Jacks website to tantalize your taste buds with a preview of our full menu and to get all of the details for this offer to be truly thankful for.

Create Holiday Magic Without the Stress!

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
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It might be a little early to be thinking about gifts under the tree, but it’s never too early to begin planning your holiday party…especially with gifts like this right at your fingertips.  The holidays should be a time to celebrate love and joy, and the Portola Hotel & Spa is here to help you enjoy all of the magic of the holiday season without the stress of planning.  Whether you’re thinking of an extravagant winter bash or a quaint family gathering, the Portola team will lend a helping hand with a variety of Holiday Party Planning Packages to fulfill all of your wintery wants and yuletide needs.

If it’s your turn to plan the annual holiday party for your work place, or if you’re known in your neighborhood for throwing the most impressive seasonal event, look no further than Portola for the perfect venue.  The Portola has released new booking incentives that could save you quite a bit of $$! Check this out – Book your holiday party or event by the end of September and receive 15% off your food and beverage. Book by October 31st and receive 10% off PLUS ask about special extras such as complimentary self or valet parking, complimentary dance floor or a customized menu.   

‘Tis the season to celebrate the joy of family and if you’re looking to plan the perfect family reunion or holiday gathering, think of Portola as your second home. Jacks Restaurant & Lounge provides a casually elegant and intimate setting, featuring a private dining room and lounge available for your guests.  Or, if your holiday wish is for a win for your favorite athletic team or alma mater; how about a themed party at Peter B’s Brewpub? With 15 HD TV’s, billiards and plenty of seating, it’s like you are having a tailgate in the comfort of home, but better (and without the mess)!

Make the perfect holiday event complete by treating yourself to a little holiday pampering.  Reward yourself for a party well done, and take the elevator home.  Stay the night at the Portola and take advantage of the Breakfast for Two Package where you and a guest can sleep in the comfort of one of our nautically inspired guest rooms and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet along with Bottomless Mimosa and the popular Made-to-Order Omelet bar at Jacks Restaurant.

As one of the most beautiful locations on the Monterey Peninsula, the Portola will light up your guests’ holiday experience. Their team of hospitality pros will make sure your party is the highlight of the season, while sparing you the stress of holiday party nightmares past.

This holiday season, plan ahead and let the Portola take care of all the details.

After your Holiday party take the elevator home!