A Platter of Thoughts · Beer!! · Food!! · Wine!!

Think local give local


Think Local, Give Local: An Evening Benefiting the Garces Foundation


Garces Foundation presents Think Local, Give Local with tastings from the area’s brightest chefs and a food themed silent auction to benefit the lives of Philadelphia’s immigrant community.  


Chef Jose Garces has handpicked a group of local chefs to deliver an unforgettable epicurean experience, which will highlight Philadelphia’s unique culinary talent.  Throughout the evening guests will enjoy cocktails made with local spirits, local beer, locally created décor elements and more. Entertainment will be provided by American Deluxe, with pop up performances from the Philadelphia Girls Choir and Flamenco troupe De Luna a Lunares. Denise Fike will provide complimentary fashion illustrations of each guest. Guests will enjoy a Tito’s Vodka Lounge and signature cocktail station from Philadelphia Distilling with mixology demonstrations and tastings. A farm stand exhibit will offer guests tastings from local independent makers of gourmet products such as Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Baba’s Brew, Subarashii Kudamono Gourmet Asian Pears, and Gilda’s Biscotti. Billy Harris and Alicia Vitarelli from 6ABC will emcee.


Friday, March 18 from 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. VIP Preview 6:30-7:30, VIP After Party 10:30-12:00 p.m.


Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia


Abe Fisher, Yehuda Sichel

Alla Spina, Jeff Michaud

Amada, Nate Johnson

Bank and Bourbon, Thomas Harkins

Bing Bing Dim Sum / Cheu Noodle Bar, Ian Boothman

Bistrot La Minette/La Peg, Peter Woolsey/Kenneth Bush

Blackfish, Chip Roman

Brauhaus Schmitz / Whetstone Tavern, Jeremy Nolen

Buena Onda

Dim Sum Garden, Shizhou Da

Distrito, Maria Schmidt

Distrito Moorestown, Aedo Rufino

Double Knot, Greg Brandberg

Ela, Jason Cichonski

El Poquito, Andrew Sabin

The Farm and Fisherman, Josh Lawler

Fork, John Patterson

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Chad Williams

Garces Trading Company, Mike Jenkins

Hungry Pigeon, Scott Schroeder & Pat O’Malley

JG Domestic, Mike O’Meara

Kanella, Konstantinos Pitsillides

Kensington Quarters, Damon Menapace

Lacroix, Jon Cichon

Laurel, Nicholas Elmi

Morimoto, Ben Dayag

The Olde Bar, Natalie Maronski

Rural Society Chicago, Cory Morris

Rural Society DC, Louis Goral

Sbraga/The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga

Tinto/ Village Whiskey, Guillermo Pozos

Townsend/A Mano, Townsend Wentz

Vedge/V Street, Rich Landau

Vernick Food & Drink, Greg Vernick

Volvér, Dave Conn

Will BYOB, Chris Kearse

Zeppoli, Joey Baldino

list incomplete


$150 General Admission. $250 V.I.P. Admission: receive exclusive access to the after party on the 33rd floor and a preview tasting. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/garces-foundation-benefit-tickets-20798751626

Cocktail attire.


In 2012, the Garces Foundation was founded as a way to help others among Philadelphia’s immigrant community, particularly employees of Philadelphia’s hospitality industry and their families. The foundation raises funds to provide this community with medical, educational and nutritional programming. The goal is to help Philadelphia’s immigrants take advantage of these resources so that they may actively contribute their talents to making this city truly world-class.

The foundation currently runs three of its own programs that improve the health, language, cultural skills, and nutrition of this community.  The first is a quarterly Community Health Day where uninsured patients can receive free dental care, physicals, and medical screenings.  The second is an applied learning English as a second language class for restaurant workers, English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living, which aims to narrow the language and cultural gap in the workplace and beyond.  Last, the foundation hosts summer Luna Farm Field Trips to the Garces family farm, where children grow and harvest fruits and vegetables, cook their own healthy lunch from the produce they harvest, and practice fun ways to exercise.  


Beneficial Bank, 2401 Walnut LP – 24 Restaurant, Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch Foundation, Inc., Dash and Love, Eco Lab, Loews Hotels.


    • A once in a lifetime private five course dinner for ten people at Luna Farm. Luna Farm is Jose Garces’ family farm in Ottsville, Bucks County.

  • A one-week stay for two at Arenas Del Mar, Beachfront and Rainforest Resrt, in Costa Rica

  • Dinner for six people at Chef Kevin Sbraga’s Chef Counter at Sbraga. Includes a six course menu and wine pairing
  • Whetstone Tavern: Cookbook dinner from Chef Jeremy Nolen’s cookbook, New German Cooking for six people. Includes four courses with beer/wine pairing and three signed cookbooks  
  • Capture
Food!! · Wine!!

Philly Wine Week Opening Cork





On Sunday, April 3, Philly Wine Week 2016 will kick off with Opening Corks, a wine tasting event showcasing  premium pours from 25+ local and national wine vendors and importers.  Opening Corks is Philly Wine Week’s marquee event and launches a weeklong celebration of wine in the City of Brotherly Love.  Since 2014, Philly Wine Week has been dedicated to bringing together the city’s best wine bars, restaurants and boutique shops, each one supporting the fun and diverse wine culture of the greater Philadelphia area.  

  • Opening Corks will be held at Stratus Rooftop Lounge at the Hotel Monaco from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
    • The walk-around tasting format is accessible and informal, allowing guests to sample a variety of wines while chatting with the knowledgeable vendors and importers pouring them
    • Tickets are $55 per person, with a discount available for hospitality professionals employed by participating restaurants, bars and shops; Early Bird Tickets, available from March 1 until March 8, are just $45 per person
    • Tickets will be available online beginning on Tuesday, March 1
    • A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, including a liveRaffle to win wine-focused gifts, gift baskets and gift cards
    • The party’s theme will center on Wines From Around the World, with a heavy emphasis placed on global whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines; in total, more than 75 premium wines will be poured during the three-hour reception
    • A casual Bubbly Bar will offer a wide array of fun and festive champagnes, as well as tastes of other sparkling wines.  To complement the wines, a satisfying Cheese Station complete with cave-aged cheese offerings from famedMurray’s Cheese will be served along with light passed snacks from some of Philadelphia’s best kitchen’s
    • Guests can expect a lively atmosphere, complete with a photo booth and a professional DJ spinning old classics and new hits

  • Philly Wine Week will unveil a full schedule of events in the coming weeks, so revelers can begin building their itineraries.  Events vary in scope and category, from traditional wine dinners and trivia contests to creative flights and pairings.  A few of the week’s events include:
    • Weeklong Specials and Happy Hours: Sample a draft wine flight and a local craft beer flight at Johnny Brenda’s.  Guests may then vote for their favorites to win prizes.  Panorama will feature a leisurely happy hour exploring the world’s many different and diverse wine regions
    • Wine Pairings and Competitions: Sample special magnums and take a tour around the city at all three Tria Cafélocations by having a wine passport stamped  or enjoy a friendly “Cage Match” at Alla Spina as the virtues of wine vs. beer are (not too seriously) debated
    • Fun and Games: Since wine comes in all shapes and sizes, embark on the ultimate sensory challenge at Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro when increasingly popular boxed wines are sampled in a blind taste test.  At Jet Wine Bar, guests can share 140-character wine critiques via Twitter
    • Dinners and Tastings: For those wanting a more traditional experience, head to Osteria where Sommelier Liz Flamini teams with Giacomo DiLisi for a historic wine dinner; or partake in the United States vs. France wine dinner at Lacroix where brothers Eric and Lyle Railsback showcase their favorite labels from both California and France

About Philly Wine Week…Established in April 2014, Philly Wine Week is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that supports the rich and diverse wine culture of the greater Philadelphia area.  It is a week-long festival dedicated to showcasing Philadelphia’s diverse and evolving wine scene, and will run from April 3 through April 10, 2016, beginning with Opening Corks, followed by a wealth of fun and educational programming ranging from casual tastings and happy hours to wine-centric trivia contests and bar crawls where guests can mingle with fan-favorite winemakers and acclaimed importers.  Philly Wine Week’s Executive Board of Directors is comprised of the area’s most knowledgeable sommeliers and influential taste makers.  Philly Wine Week raises awareness for and draws attention to the city’s flourishing wine scene.  Their official media sponsor is DrinkPhilly. Additional marketing support provided by LocalWineEvents.com.


Stellabrate Valentine’s Day with Stella Rosa!


Love is in the air.  It’s time to choose that perfect wine for a special night. Stella Rosa knows Valentine’s Day.  These wines are ideal for celebrating love, friendship, and good times.

I’m more of a dry wine kinda girl, but these wines definitely kept it refreshing and exciting with a semi sweet taste. 

 Stella Peach is a Moscato-based blend infused with natural white and yellow peach flavors. It’s a semi-sweet and lightly sparkling wine that will leave a delicate flavor on your palate and nose

From the village of Santo Stefano Belbo in Piedmont comes our delicious original Stella Rosso, a refreshing semi-sweet red wine best served chilled and accompanied with fresh fruit and cheese

Moscato D’Asti is a “semi sweet” wine made from the Moscato di Canelli grape from the Piedmont region of Italy. Sweet but not overly sweet with just enough bubbles. Great as an aperitif or with light meals. Refreshing taste with a clean finish.

About Stella Rosa Wines: Award-winning Stella Rosa wines originate from a small town in Northern Italy. Stella Rosa is a selection of wines created and imported by California’s Riboli Family Wine Estates, owned and operated by four generations since its establishment in 1917. For more information, visit www.stellarosawines.com

Barefoot Refresh

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barefoot Refresh®. Content for 21+.

Barefoot Refresh Spritzers are a delicious line of beverages from the Barefoot brand. They were indeed refreshing, which makes it that much more enjoyable if you’re not a big wine drinker.

I was only able to try 2 of the 5 Barefoot Refresh Spritzers, but the Crisp White Spritzer was my favorite. I thought it had a great balance of sweetness with notes of melon and pear with a lemon-lime finish. The pink was a little too sweet for my taste, but still enjoyable with notes of mandarin orange and peaches with a finish of raspberries and cherries.

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I loved the slight carbonation in the spritzers. Since Labor Day is right around the corner, this would be perfect for a BBQ – you could even set up a table with all the spritzers and different fruits to add to the mix.  Even though summer is coming to a close, I think these spritzers will keep summer going all year long. This would be perfect to bring for a girls’ night out since Spritzer Season is the time of year when the sun is shining, memories are made and cold, refreshing drinks are in demand.  

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Barefoot Refresh is a light-bodied, vibrant spritzer that is great over ice and perfect for casual summertime occasions such as cookouts, baseball games or lying by the pool.

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Jennifer Wall, winemaker of Barefoot, joined the team in 1995 back when there were only four varietals. She’s all about making fun, flavorful wines that fans of any experience level will love, and Barefoot Refresh® is no exception.  Cheers!


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barefoot Refresh®. Content for 21+.


Beer!! · Food!! · Wine!!

Taste of the Nation Philadelphia


Its back one of my all time favorite events in Philadelphia. Actually one of the 1st that I attended as Homemade Delish. An amazing night for all foodie lovers for a great cause.

Premier tasting event, which supports No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America, will feature Philadelphia’s top chefs and mixologists united for a cause: making sure all children in this country get the healthy food they need.

Guests will have the opportunity to taste dishes and cocktails from 50 of the city’s most influential people in the food and drink scene. They’ll also enjoy live entertainment and a historically competitive silent auction.

Debuting for the first-time this year, the Chefs Behind Bars happy hour series is an additional promotional fundraiser leading up to the main event. Philly’s top chefs trade in their aprons for cocktail shakers. For a flat $15 donation {100% proceeds go directly to the No Kid Hungry Foundation} guests will get to mingle with top chefs and enjoy a special complementary cocktail. The first Chefs Behind Bars happy hour was hosted by Charlie was a Sinner and included Chef Ted Manko and Top-Chef winner, Jen Carroll.

The final Chefs Behind Bars happy hour will be hosted on Monday, April 27 at Jerry’s Bar in Northern Liberties from 5-8pm. Tickets for Taste of the Nation will be available for purchase at the door at a discounted price.

2015 Restaurant Lineup:

Aldine, The Avenue Deli, Bank & Bourbon, Barbuzzo, Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Bistrot La Minette, Blue Duck Sandwich Co., Bru, Buddakan, Capofitto, Charlie was a sinner., Creekstone Farms, Elements, The Farm and Fisherman, Fond, Fork, The Good King Tavern, Grand Lux Café, Helm, Jerry’s Bar, Kensington Quarters, Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Lo Spiedo, Mercato, Nectar, Opa, Petruce et al., Pod, Pub & Kitchen P’unk Burger R2L Red Owl Tavern Russet Shake Shack Square 1682 Taproom on 19th Townsend, V Street, Vernick Food & Drink, Will BYOB, and Zeppoli

2015 Mixologist Lineup:
1 Tippling, a.kitchen, Brick & Mortar, The Good King Tavern, Olde Bar, Vedge, and Vesper

For more information and to purchase tickets visit: http://ce.strength.org/philadelphia

“Philadelphia’s Taste of the Nation is more than just an chance to eat and drink—though that part is pretty great,” said Linda Huss, co-chair of the event. “It’s the opportunity to give baPhiladelphia’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry returns Sunday, May 3 to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel with an additional first-ever, Chef Behind Bars Happy Hour series, concluding at Jerry’s Bar on Monday, April 27. Theck and connect children in need to healthy meals. It’s a fantastic night out for a deserving cause.”

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Wine!!

Rittenhouse Row Spring Preview Party


Excited to be attending and judging some cocktails at The Rittenhouse Row 2015 Spring Festival Preview Party on April 16th, featuring cuisine from Rittenhouse Row’s best restaurants, cocktails from their best bartenders and a silent auction with Rittenhouse Row experiences and merchandise

Participating bars and restaurants include: 1925 Cocktail Lounge, a. Bar, a. Kitchen, Ben & Jerry’s, Butcher and Singer, The Continental Mid-town, The Dandelion, D’Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano and Lounge, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Devon Seafood Grill, The Foodery at Rittenhouse, Lacroix, Ladder 15, Library Bar, Marathon Grill, Melograno, Parc, Qdoba, Ranstead Room, Rouge, Sbraga, Termini Bros. Bakery, Volver, Zama and more.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Rittenhouse Row, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood (bold) The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Presented by Capital One will be held on Saturday, May 2 from noon to 5 pm rain or shine. Held on Walnut Street from Broad to 19th, the annual event showcases Philadelphia’s finest fashions, cuisine and entertainment and attracts more than 50,000 people to enjoy the best of Rittenhouse Row. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.rittenhouserow.org. Hope to see you there.


A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Wine!!

Philadelphia Magazine Wine and Food 2015


Its back!! One of the biggest wine and food festivals in Philadelphia. You don’t want to miss over 650 samplings of exclusive wines from around the world, Cuisine from Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants. Local vendors will showcase their latest products an on-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store.

This year’s event will be held May 6th at Lincoln Financial Field. A great reason to attend what’s sure to be a delicious bash, a portion of all ticket sales benefits the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://www.phillymag.com/wineandfoodfest/
A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel · Wine!!

Grape Adventure “Wine and Food Festival”


Six Flags Great Adventure to Host Fifth-Annual

‘Grape Adventure’ Wine and Food Festival


The region’s most unique wine festival, Six Flags Grape Adventure, offers guests a special opportunity to sample local wines, food and gifts partnered with a V.I.P. safari experience that includes giraffe feeding Nov. 8 and 9, 2014.

The festival features 14 New Jersey vineyards with nearly 150 locally-produced wines for sampling, handcrafted gifts from local artisans and an array of dishes from specialty food truck vendors. Visitors can purchase an upgraded safari package which includes a private tour of the 350-acre safari, a special wine tasting at Camp Aventura with a view of African plains animals including giraffes, zebras, Ankoli cattle, kudu, springbuck, gnu and more, plus an unforgettable, face-to-face giraffe feeding experience.

The fifth-annual event follows the official ending of the 2014 Great Adventure season, and the theme park is not operational during this event.


Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527

Enter via main park entrance on Rt. 537 West. Parking is free.


Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, from 12 to 5 pm

Safari Package (includes tours and tastings) available from 11 am to 3 pm

Participating Wineries:       

Tomasello Winery           

Sharrott Winery

Valenzano Winery           

Working Dog Winery

4JG’s Winery               

Belleview Winery

Wagonhouse Winery           

Plagido’s Winery

DiMatteo Vineyard           

Coda Rossa Vineyard

Cava Winery                

Cedarvale Winery

Auburn Road Vineyard       

Renault Winery

Advance Tickets:     

Several packages are available for purchase in advance online at www.sixflags.com/greatadventure with promo code WINE (valid Season Pass required at entry for Season Pass Tickets).

Wine Event Online: $19.99

Wine Event Online – Season Pass Holder: $14.99

Wine Event & Safari Package Online: $39.99

Wine Event & Safari Package Online – Season Pass Holder: $29.99


For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure or call 732-928-2000.

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Pinot Boutique Soiree


A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a Soiree at  one of the hottest little shops here in Philly called Pinot Boutique.  If you’re a wine lover and love all things wine, this little shop has everything from wine tasting to attire. It’s a one stop shop. The owner of Pinot Boutique, Dan aka Dan the wine man, is super friendly and inviting whether its your first time doing a wine tasting or  if you want to discuss wines from around the world.  Pinot Boutique also offers classes and during the super they have a wine cruise which is such a good time. Something that I love the pinot has is the paint can filled with wine for purchase produced by Paradocx Vineyards. It’s about 4 bottles of wine in a can.  I think that is a perfect gift or great for parties. After a day of cruising in old city, Pinot Boutique would be a great way to end a beautiful fall afternoon.


Pinot Boutique has been open since 2006. Dan was inspired after a trip to California to bring something fun back to Philadelphia. We all know how great some of the California wines can be. Dan just didn’t want a wine tasting store he wanted people to be to come to a one stop shop. The only thing you cant purchase are the grapes. Below you will find a couple of videos on Pinot Botique.

A Platter of Thoughts · Wine!!

Cherry Cordial Cocktail


Valentine’s day is fast approaching. The hubby and I always do something fun at home.  We cook a nice dinner and enjoy it after the kiddies go to bed.  Usually we have some champagne or wine. But I think this year we will be enjoying some cherry cordial cocktails that the hubby made.  I went ahead and garnished with a cherry and some shaved dark chocolate. Perfect for a night of romance. Happy Valentines day!!

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

2 shot glasses of Chocolate Red Wine

1 shot glass of Cherry Vodka



Shaved Dark chocolate, garnish


Place ice, vodka and chocolate wine in shaker. Pour into glass and garnish.