By Jeff Stolowitz
Dec. 21, 2018
Performance sometimes means persitence, and
Food and Beverage Director Michael Bartscher
is just that persistent at excellence. It is one of the reasons the Hotel remains the Champion of Hotels in our area.
This years wine series at the Shores Resort and Spa was nothing short of spectacular.
The Champagne Reception this past Wednesday was a great way to finish off the culinary journey we embarked upon here in 2018
The night was fun and whimsical, the room was wide open and warmly decorated for the Holidays.
The flowing Champagne was from the renowned Perrier-Jouët in existance now since 1811 and known for being the choice of many celebrities over centuries.
Having tasted the varietals offered it was obvious what was in the Flutes was greatness but our pick of the evening was the Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosè a fantastic blend of flavor with Red Rose and Orange Honey Citrus nose, a crisp finish that just ended wrapped around your tongue like cool air.
Then there were the plates of deliciousness and with the way a child looks at a gift under the tree I ate. Once again Chef Ransom danced with flavors and expertly paired them.
Venison and Huckleberry and a unique play on Melon and Prosciutto were on the menu.
Chef Ransom uses compressed Melon, a technique that concentrates the flavors then the addition of a crispy Prosciutto and the peppery Arugala.
As I exited I was reminded by the stellar Acoustics of Memory Lane of the days when I was a cook.
Yes I was a cook I reminded myself I was,
and with that thought I became acutely aware of the teamwork it takes to achieve the greatness the Staff at this Hotel achieves.
So from me to all of the staff Happy Healthy Holidays and Thank You for your hard work.
Menu December 19th, 2018
Compressed Melon Salad
Prosciutto di Parma | Arugula
Campo Cava Brut Reserve
Rye Crisp | Cranberry Chutney | Micro Chard
Campo Viejo Cava Rose
Crispy Salmon Cakes
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut
Spice Rubbed Venison Loin
Huckleberry-Ginger Glaze | Parsnip Puree
Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé
Chef de Cuisine | Patrick Ian Ransom
By Monty Montgomery
Photo's By Jeff Stolowitz
The Daytona Beach Micro Brewing and Distilling Industry is Growing.
Places like Copper Bottom Distillery continue their craft and growing onto the fabric of cuisine. Willing bar owners like Gerri Shoaf of Sunsetters and Phaedra Lee of Main Street Station are clamoring to feature locally produced products.
Anchoring this growing world of craft brews is the Daytona Beach Brewing Company, started by Brew-master Allen Fawcett and his wife Merlita over three years ago.
Visiting the Brewery on multiple occasions we first met our “brewtender” and local Janet Talarico, what a great understanding of the Brews. She has worked in the food and beverage industry here in Daytona for many years. Her warmth and smile made our visits fantastic. As she introduced us to a plethora of styles and tastes to enjoy at the bar at the brewery. From Red Ales, Blonde Ales, Wits and Double IPAs we had a great time exploring and it became evident Allen was indeed a World Class Brewmaster doing his thing at The world's most Famous Beach.
Two particular brews hit home. The Smash Triple coming in at an ABV of 8.3% and the Snockered Barley Wine coming in at 10.1%. We also experienced a flight of their beers to add some variety which is always nice.
Daytona Beach Brewing Company rings true as it falls in the footsteps of the micro-brew scene that came out of Colorado in the Midwest.
Allen is always inventing and has some great new brews on the horizon, infusing Chocolate and Chili’s. The dried peppers are hand selected, from the delicious Ancho to the Guajillo, the palettes of craft brew fans will be explored.
Some upcoming brews will include special imported spices.
Spiced beer oh hell yes. Can you say "Ja Mon"
A steady diet of food trucks are also brought in to add to the Adventure, who doesn't love great munchies while drinking your favorite Stout.
Along with food great brew comes a bonus. Resident Artist Lauren Breegle.
She shares her talent a few times a month by hosting a Pour and Paint.
The place is always packed when she is hosting an event, and Merlita the owner has adorned the walls of the tasting room with her Art.
With its unique location so close to the International Speedway, Tanger Factory Outlets and US 95, Daytona Beach Brewing Company is situated for ease of access and is a must visit for those who enjoy well-crafted brews.
Pay them a visit, you will not be disappointed.
We look to bring you news on their local award winning events very soon.
Yet another great example of the quality that is Behind Daytona.
Daytona Beach Brewing Company
Address: 482 Fentress Blvd Ste N, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Phone: (844) 352-2337
By Jeff Stolowitz
Ormond Beach, Tuesday night, this place is empty 8:30 pm???
It shouldn't be like this I thought.
This is was my second visit. For those of you following me you know I like to visit places a few times before writing about them. This time was better then the first so it needed no more visits for an article, but rest assured I'm going back.
When they first opened, it was good, but I was surprised. I didn't understand why a New York Style Italian Wine and Cheese Restaurant was moving into Ormond Beach, but it worked. Pricey, not really and I thought for the area, good food is good food and I'd be willing to pay for it anyway.
Flash forward a year later I noticed that Erin Disciorio was the Chef, a very talented one. Chef Erin has worked her way through the ranks in Daytona and now finds herself in this hidden gem of an eatery Behind Daytona. I first discovered her in a small place in Port Orange.
She was not long for that location but her food was outstanding.
Stupendously surprised is an understatement. Chef Erin is fantastic with what she does here. It made me pause and for a second want to go back in the kitchen but with a bottle of their signature Sangiovese on its way we focused on the menu.
They had 3 types of Oysters available and we ordered a dozen of the “Capital Oyster” found in Washington. They were absolutely perfect, fresh morsels of goodness from the Pacific Ocean. Expertly opened, they have a great balance of salinity and a sweet clean finish. The Oysters came with a “Wahoo Ceviche” , that we ordered. It was so spot on you barely noticed the next dish arriving.
Next up was a Panzanella Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad with a perfect touch of Pepper and Basil.
We also had the Cheese Platter which came with an aged Gouda and a Reggiano that had the perfect crystals I love so much.
Virgola is one of the restaurants that is beginning to change the face of East Volusia County and the food scene that goes along with it. With Chef Disciorio at the helm they couldn't find a better niche.
Virgola is an expanding restaurant group now with 6 locations across the USA.
It is so far the only 5-star Facebook find in the entire area for more than a year with over 100 reviews not one falls below five stars and they deserve it.
You can find them locally on Facebook at
If you haven't found this place yet you should, you should go there many times.
It gets Behind Daytona's find of the Summer
63 West Granada Boulevard
Ormond Beach, Florida
By Jeff Stolowitz
Wine Behind Daytona? We found it, it's in Port Orange, and what a great find it is. 95 and Vine. Cute, kitschy, and organized.
We stopped in on an ordinary Wednesday, after all it's our job to search for great places (and not the easiest places) and we did exactly that.
Tucked into a small strip of stores right before I-95, it has found a niche market in a place sorely needing it.
An incredible selection of wine from ports to Rosé, sweet wines to dry wines, from France to Chile, there's something for every palate.
Owner Martin stated "this is my first time owning a small business". Well, we found him to be extremely knowledgeable.
His staff is also loaded with information. Shay, our Sommelier, was brilliant. All we had to do was give her our taste profiles, dark berry, wild flowers, etc... and she produced something that would fit each and every time. The choices were perfect.
Where there is wine there should be Charcuterie and there was. A place wouldn't be perfect without the cheese board. Perfect nosh, tasty and healthy, it came with a few slices of delicious prosciutto.
With live entertainment and a cheery atmosphere, we give 95 and Vine a thumbs up on your culinary must do list.
What a wine find Behind Daytona
Located in Port Orange
Visit them at: 95 and Vine
Sponsored by: http://www.daytonabeachweek.org/
The Local Report