Category Archives: Arts Travel & Culture Features
The texture of the South Florida sun revels in its ability to be many angles at once. In approaching a festival, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida understands the balance of the game, especially when culinary potions are in play. With their Food & Wine Festival, the key is being dexterous and intense while still showing the ideals of VIP and simple fun.
Beginning the progression, Luca Bella fancied a bit of variety with their stuff mushrooms, baked clams, meatballs and penne alla vodka but, across the way, Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, whose location is situated in the round just outside the festival gates, triumphed with its sliced pork mixed with mashed plantains.
After a small but potent sip of Capital’s Supper Club Beer from Wisconsin, the comfortability of PDQ with its tasty chicken club and tenders balanced into the down home tremblings of Chef Creole. As the dancers spun in headdresses and the pig was sliced, the essential element of catfish, sausage and beans warmed the stomach.
Roho Kitchen offered a Short Rib Empanada with distinction, though dry in its follow through, and Tijuana Flats Burrito Company proved that fresh ingredients in the right proportions always makes sure the job is adequately completed. However, it was Jet Runway Cafe, with its unquenched line and its Asian Chicken Salad, meatloaf slider and luscious brownie that truly touched the soul.
Kitchen 305 circled in generous style with an exceptional seafood salad not lacking in tasty crustaceans while Martorano’s, a staple at the Hard Rock Hollywood as well as The Rio in Las Vegas, simmered with the owner’s signature meatball.
Swirling into the VIP section, which allows for early entrance into the festival, is a decidedly smart idea. Within their tent caddy corner to all the festival’s wares, Bahama Breeze offered up an alfredo tuna pasta that lulls one with its intention.
Looking towards the looming and tantalizing hotel, the tent remaining featured that of the Hard Rock itself with the Center Bar pouring libations in unending fashion while Blue Plate enhanced the finding with its salacious buffalo chicken poppers.
The Seminole Hard Rock Food & Wine Festival, entranced by all realizes the temptations and notions of its guests to both enjoy food, libations and life, all with considerable stride.
The textures of South Florida bathe in the tropical heat with the dexterity of both sea and land. The key with any tasting as with the New Times Pairings is finding a balance of both heartiness, taste and presentation.
A food truck/street food progression especially with the Mexican contingent always begins the proceedings well. El Jefe Luchador shows the angle with a lamb neck barbacoa soft taco with charred corn, salsa fresca and porland cream allowing for a spicy yet comfortable intention.
BBQ has its place and within the essence of Smokey Bones, the pulled pork sliders offer sustenence with thick chunks of meat and a vicarious bread while Rebel House serves up its Cobia Crudo Vera Cruz mixing spicy tomato with lime, avocado and watermelon radish while the crunchy aftertaste of chicharrones gives a lurid and original afterthought.
The Dubliner, as a new Irish Pub destination in Fort Lauderdale, moves towards the more baseline pleasures mixing a hefty mac and cheese with its incandescent shepherd’s piece while the Bimini Boatyard Grill, just around the corner near the 17th Street Bridge at Port Everglades, entices with a grilled pineapple shrimp flat bread which entices its connection with a vivacious bite.
Using a cross-section of radishes and other herbs of sport, Green Spot Kitchen progresses the night with an interesting veggie ceviche piled high accompanied by an organically raised vision of bacon mac and cheese.while Sette Bello satisfies the stomach with a homemade tagliatelle with carmelized sausage and pesto for an excellent finish.
One of the jewels of what Aruba, the mythical Island east of Venezuela, has to offer is its swinging annual jazz festival. Thanks to maverick producer Erik Eman, Aruba has become one of the essential stop for any music fan. Indeed since it’s creation some 5 years ago, the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival has welcomed worldwide stars including David Sanborn, Izaline Claister, Chaka Khan and The Ploctones. And it’s not about to end. Proof again is the 2013 edition on October 4th and 5th.
You will feel the passion in the air and the electricity on the stage…guaranteed, especially with such a tremendous line up of international stars including El Grand Combo straight from Puerto Rico to the super full of soul Giovanca and her swinging voice to the legendary George Benson and his enchanting guitar. Also count on the salsa caliente of Willy Garcia and the wicked moves of Marquese Scott to make you hip-hop and dance all night long, non stop!
This Festival will take possession of you and will make you One with the heat of the night under the perfect spell of the island of Aruba.
Albert Einstein wrote that “without music life would be a mistake”. I would add that without music, Aruba wouldn’t be Aruba. Music is always in the air with the permanent swing of the wind battering the Island. And when it’s mixed with the notes of the genius jazz players, it is elevated to another level of perfection. This is the experience you get by taking a trip to this mythical destination. It’s also a delight to meet locals who embrace you as your equal and don’t look at you as a simple tourist.
Having visited many Caribbean islands, it is a treat to be welcomed with such grace and with many inviting smiles of love. Stop reading and book your one way ticket to Paradise. This year I encourage you to also book your hotel at The Renaissance which will host the full festivities. It’s in the heart of Downtown Oranjestad, a one-stop party town! Be ready to put your dancing shoes on and let’s dance the blues!
By Emmanuel Itier