Tag Archives: St. Ann

Suga Experienced Heaven on Earth at Stush & Simo’s Moveable Feast!

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The Scenic Entrance of Stush and Simo’s Moveable Feast displaying the epic Collaboration between Stush in the Bush and Simo’s Bread and Catering along with other Purveyors

Stush in the Bush and Simo’s Bread and Catering joined forces for a Bottomless Mimosa Brunch, titled Moveable Feast, last Sunday, October 8th at Arcadia Great House in Duncans, Trelawny.

Not to be confused with Michele Williams’ Moveable Feast Catering Company that has been in the business in Jamaica for over 10 years, the title of the event was inspired by the title of an Ernest Hemingway novel, A Moveable Feast. Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush loved the title of the novel and deemed it fit for her Brunch collaboration with Christina Simonitsch of Simo’s Bread and Catering. Lisa says she hopes to ultimately move this feast around the island.

With Stush in the Bush based in St. Ann and Simo’s Bread and Catering based in Montego Bay, I thought Trelawny was the appropriate destination for their first collaboration, almost meeting in the middle.

The magic of this Sweet and Savoury event surpassed my high expectations. They both put on a spectacular spread with efficient logistics for their guests to have enough time and space amongst themselves to pick, choose, refuse and then indulge by the luxurious indoor and scenic outdoor seating available. The décor and landscaping of the Great House were tastefully vintage. Exquisite antique furniture, art work and fixtures.

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Arcadia Great House, Duncans, Trelawny (Photo credits: Christina Simonitsch; Craig Anthony Fleming

Four Buffet rooms, an Ice Cream stand and a Pizza station located all around Arcadia Great House, was the equivalent of pure magic.

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The Spectacular spread from Simo’s Bread and Catering (Photo credit: Christine Simonitsch)

My usual faves from Simo’s were present, such as the Mini Cronuts topped with delicious rose and pistachio icing, Mini Pancakes and Crème Brûlée. My favourites from Stush that made their usual cameo appearance were their Blow Fyah and Chimichurri sauce with Crisp Plantain chips, Guacamole sauce, Fyah Grilled Pizza and Passion Fruit and Mango-Lime Vinaigrettes to go with fresh greens sourced from their farm.

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Fresh Farm to Table greens, Vinaigrettes, Spreads, Sauces, Salads, Ceviche and Chips from Stush in the Bush (Photo credit: Tina Davis)

However, the two main items that stood out for me were the Charcoal Blinis with Truffle Aioli, Quail Eggs Benedict and Avo-Daise and the Rum BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork that were the definition of divine, intricate perfection.

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Other highlights for me were the Quinoa Pilaf, Pimento Pickled Onion, Pulled Pork, Plantain Ceviche, Chia seed and Coconut Yogurt Parfait, Lemon Pound Cake with Passion Fruit Butter topped off with Vegan Chocolate sauce and my husband did well with the rich, moist Chocolate and Coffee Cake.

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For Salad lovers, the Summer Panzanella with Rosemary Red Stripe Croutons was delish! I was impressed that the flavour of the Red Stripe was not lost in the salad. The Beet Carpaccio with Feta was a great pairing as well.

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Another spread of Pastries from Simo’s Bread and Catering. Food was around every corner.

Keep in mind that nothing is basic with Simo’s. As simple as you would think Chocolate Crisp cookies would be, the touch of salt added brought the taste to a whole new level to enjoy without getting a toothache.

Of course, Mimosas were on tap and the Lemon grass and Ginger Tea served was rich in flavour and absolutely refreshing.

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Radiating smiles from happy guests, Tiffany Simmonds, Gabrielle Burgess, Tina Davis and Craig Anthony Fleming, with one of the main persons responsible, Chef Christina Simonitsch (Photo credit: Craig Anthony Fleming)

Lime Meringue Tartlets, Sausage and Cheese Quiche, Ackee and Callaloo Quiche, Spinach and Cheese Frittatas, Herb Roasted Tomato, as well as Almond and Apricot Focaccia with rosemary, Lemon Herbed Mushrooms, Cucumber salad, Herb Loaf, Banana Bread, Buns, Herbed Balsamic Sweet Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Vegetables with fresh Herbs (Beets, Carrots, Pumpkin) were other Brunch delights. Believe it or not, there were actually a few more that weren’t listed.

Stush’s Candid Sorrel Chips were quite interesting too.

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Suga aka Gabby from Suga Lifestyle having fun at Stush & Simo’s Ice Cream Bar

To seal the deal and cool me down after I was fired up from grilled Pizzas and more, was the Stush and Simo’s Ice Cream Bar. I thoroughly enjoyed the Coffee and Avocado Lime flavours. I really should have had them all, but I was pulled away.

Note that quite a bit of the Brunch delights were Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free!

There were a variety of Preserves, Jams, Marmalades and Sauces that complemented their neighbours on the table quite well. For instance, the Jerk Aioli with the Rosemary Roasted Chicken. Some of them were on sale too.

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Preserves, Jams, Marmalades and Sauces on sale from Stush in the Bush and Simo’s Bread and Catering (Photo credit: Craig Anthony Fleming)

Simo’s is now doing Honey! It was launched at Moveable Feast.

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Gabrielle Burgess from Suga Lifestyle with husband, Randy Burgess and a part of the pleasant team from Deaf Can Coffee

Purchasing reasonably priced cups of Deaf Can’s Cold Brew and Frappuccino, was the perfect ending to a magical day, which prepped us well for the drive back to Kingston.

Chef Colin Hylton described the event as ‘BEYOND amazing’ and Chef Craig Anthony Fleming, who usually describes the culinary work of Christina Simonitsch as ‘truly first world’ was surely in his element and stated, ‘the brunch selection was beyond perfection’.

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Gabrielle and Randy Burgess having fun with the charming, Chris and Lisa Binns, with Tiffany Simmonds looking on.

Kudos to Chris and Lisa Binns from Stush in the Bush and Christina Simonitsch from Simo’s Bread and Catering, as well as their hard-working team for never compromising on the quality of their gastronomic spreads. Their punctuality, attention to detail, quality control, infectious personality and radiating passion for the love of food is impressive and I felt honored to be apart of their culinary perfection once again.

When and where is the next one?!

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Two of many Buffet Spreads from Stush and Simo’s Moveable Feast. #SugaEndorsed (Photo credit: Craig Anthony Fleming)

● Stush in the Bush

http://www.stushinthebush.com/visit

Instagram: @stushinthebush

● Christina M.B. Simonitsch

Location: Montego Bay

Email: simosbreadandcatering@gmail.com

Instagram: @simosbreadandcatering

Catering, Cooking Lessons & Staff Training

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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TGIF to this Delish Tiramisu from Toscanini Italian!

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Tiramisu from Toscanini Italian

Toscanini Restaurant & Bar

Location: A3 Highway, Tower Isle. Ocho Rios

Ph: 876-975-4785

***Prices***

Appetizers range from $5-$20 USD. 
Pastas range from $16-$32 USD.
Other main courses range from $22-$45 USD.
Desserts range from $7-$9 USD.

Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays-12-2pm; 7-10pm (Closed on Mondays)

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Suga visits Mainland China & Tandoor in Ochi but has Jamaican Cuisine!

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Gabby from Suga Lifestyle and her husband, Randy enjoying a Hummingbird ($699JMD incl. tax) and a Planters Punch ($699JMD incl. tax)

The new Landmark Plaza in Ocho Rios features the Mainland China and Tandoor Restaurant and Bar. It is a fusion of Jamaican, Chinese and Indian Cuisines with respective décors.

Remember Tandoor from Kingston? It’s back, but in Ochi.

I visited with my husband a few Saturdays ago for lunch but unfortunately only the Jamaican part of the Restaurant was open that day.

The décor was ordinary. Both indoor and outdoor seating were available with a Wine Bar inside where there was A/C. There were fans outside but not enough to blow away the persistent swarm of flies once the food arrived.

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Steam Fish (Small) – $1000 incl. tax; Side of Bammy – $200 incl. tax

We had the Seafood Soup ($350JMD incl. tax) as a starter and ordered a Steamed Fish and Oxtail. Service was satisfactory. It was obvious the Steamed Fish wasn’t the ‘Catch of the Day’ and it could use more pepper and seasoning. The Oxtail on the other hand was quite tasty.

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Oxtail – $1150JMD incl. tax

Prices were very reasonable. I loved that they had a wide range of Beverages including a variety of Margaritas, Martinis, Shots, Cocktails and Frozen Drinks ranging grom $399-$999JMD incl. tax.

Simple spot to grab some tasty food and drinks that are reasonably priced. Hoping to try the Chinese and Indian Cuisines some time soon but indoors next time.

Date of Visit: Saturday, November 12, 2016

Time: 2:50pm

Mainland China & Tandoor Restaurant and Bar

Location: Landmark Plaza, Ocho Rios

Ph: 876-974-8899

Opening hours: 12noon-2am Everyday

***Free Delivery on Orders $850JMD or more***

By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Suga recommends that you put Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club on your Map!

The Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club is a fairly new Restaurant that opened on August 26th this year. It is a few minutes down the road from L’Escargot and across the road from Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort. They offer Guests at Jewel a $25USD surcharge for a 3-course meal if they wish to dine there.

The Great Escape was the last stop for my husband, Randy and I before heading back to Kingston last Sunday and it was the best stop, other than duty free shopping.

We arrived a few minutes before our 5:30pm reservation to the new and well kept property. We felt welcomed from the parking lot to the lobby and then right upstairs to the Restaurant. Such pleasant staff.

We were seated and brought up to speed with what they had to offer by the well informed hostess and then came Ramiro, our unforgettable waiter. He was both charming and humorous and moved quickly and efficiently each time he came to our table.

We felt comfortable overlooking picturesque views of the well manicured Golf Course, a farm and just a touch of the Caribbean Sea across the road.

Before I start with the Appetizers,  I have to mention their freshly baked bread. Yes, the bread. They served two types of bread. There were slices with cinnamon and raisins and slices with swirls of callaloo. The bread was not on ration either. Kudos to them and a promising start.

Randy and I had the ‘Farmer’s’ Pumpkin and Basil Soup with rosemary skewered grilled Shrimp. The Soup was spicy and the rosemary skewer was a nice touch adding more flavour.

‘Farmer’s’ Pumpkin and Basil Soup

We also peeked over at another table and saw that the Runaway Bay ‘Jerked Chicken’ Cigars (Crisp Spring roll filled with Jerk Chicken, orange glaze, red and white cabbage slaw) actually came in what looked like a Cigar box! So creative! When we saw that and how well our Soup was presented, we were instantly reminded of our visit to Blue Ridge Restaurant in Blue Mountain, whose creativity in plating was on a different level.

Our table was cleared as soon as we were finished with our Soup and the Entrees came out right after like clockwork as it should.

Randy’s Free Range Chicken Breast and Crayfish had a sizzling arrival to our table. Plating and presentation were lovely. He had the choices of herbs, salsa and a sauce that were neatly laid out as well to add more flavour.

It was Free Range Chicken so it was not fatty and its pairing with the Crayfish was delightful.

His dish seemed exciting but mine was delicious as well. I had the ‘Appleton-Guava Glazed’ Salmon that was well cooked, floating on shrimp and potato mash, sautéed mushroom, roasted corn, bell pepper salsa and guava.

‘Appleton-Guava Glazed’ Salmon

Our Potato mash was tasty, fluffy and flavourful with a few herbs.

Dessert was not as spectacular but we appreciated that it was freshly baked by the restaurant and at that point we had our fill anyway. Randy had the Hazel Nut and Ganache ‘Fried Brioche’ hand rolled and filled, topped with cinnamon cream, but he could hardly taste any of the filling. I am not a big fan of flourless Chocolate Cake but Randy likes anything with chocolate so he enjoyed taking a few bites of mine, while I enjoyed the Sorbet.

I look forward to visiting the Great Escape again and encourage others to do so too. It is definitely Suga endorsed. Great service, creative plating and menu, lovely presentation and delicious, affordable food. For the Savoury category for Restaurant Week ($2800JMD excluding Bar, Service Charge, G.C.T), it was surely value for money. Keep it up Great Escape!

Great Escape Restaurant, Runaway Bay Golf Club

Location: Main Street, Runaway Bay. St. Ann, Ocho Rios

Ph: 876-973-4239

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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L’Escargot Falls Short of Suga’s Expectations

L’Escargot is owned by Chef Neville Anderson, well known for what was once Café Aubergine in Market Place, Kingston and his Jamaican Restaurant in Munich. 

L’Escargot is also probably the most anticipated Restaurant to visit or hear about this year for Restaurant Week, not only because it is fairly new but because of their raving reviews and salivating menu. So I thought it would be a fabulous, fantastic experience but they fell short of that. It was just good, not great.

My husband and I ​arrived last Saturday night at 8:40pm, a few minutes late for our 8:30pm reservation. 

We were greeted and seated. Staff were courteous but not cordial. The Table setting was exquisite with a fresh, white orchid as the centrepiece that was a nice touch. I can see where the dim lighting and décor with instrumental piano music playing in the background would take guests to France. The waiters were a perfect part of the French theme as well in white attire with red ties and berets.

Randy Burgess waiting to see what L’Escargot has in store

We were shown their regular menu for the night as well as the Restaurant Week Menu. It was a hard decision but we stuck to the plan and ordered from the Restaurant Week Menu at 9pm. If you weren’t ordering a meal over $30USD, there were tempting main dishes available for $20-$25USD so I don’t think the Restaurant Week offer was a huge save, especially if you opted out of Dessert.

Quite a few diners were present and more came in as the night grew older, but the wait for Appetizers was still too long. Also note that this was not just a result of Restaurant Week because I have received feedback from persons who visited before that they had a long wait for their food as well. It was approaching 25 minutes before we got our Escargots and Smoked Marlin. The Smoked Marlin was a huge disappointment. Quite plain, arriving with just the Chef’s special mousse. It was tasty and complemented the Marlin well but at least a salad should have been added to it. We reminisced about Chef Conroy Arnold’s special Marlin Salad from Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove that put that dish to shame.

Smoked Blue Marlin with Chef’s Special Mousse

But serve my husband right, thou shall not go to L’Escargot and not order Escargot.

My Escargots? Decent serving, and it was delicious with just the right texture and taste, not rubbery or salty. L’Escargot specialises in French cuisine and Escargots are usually served as a starter in France, Spain and Portugal so they deservedly get the edge over the Escargots I’ve had at Toscanini Italian.

Escargots sautéed in garlic butter, herbs and white wine

Our table was cleared at 9:30pm and our Entrees did not arrive until half an hour later. Our waiter did not visit during that half hour to reassure us that our Main dishes were on their way either. Luckily we weren’t on a first date because after about 15 or 20 minutes there would be crickets of awkward silence. 

The serving size was decent for our Entrees. Randy’s Beef Tenderloin was savoury and cooked as ordered (medium rare). My Lamb Chops were savoury as well but one of them was medium rare bordering rare and I requested it be medium. I didn’t mind but that may not be the case with everyone. The sauces did not highlight or complement the meats in any special way. The Filet Mignon at Marguerites by the Sea is still a winner for Randy.

We had the Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Mousse for Dessert but they were nothing to write home about. I prefer Rojo at Spanish Court Hotel’s Crème Brulee.

I didn’t see their Dessert menu, but the French are well known for Parisian Cafés and I think they could have been more creative, offering a signature Crêpe, Éclair or Macaron for Restaurant Week.

French cuisine is known for being one of the finest in the world. Afterall, they are the ones that published the Michelin guide and thus award stars for excellence to a select few restaurants. Although L’Escargot is French and Toscanini is Italian, they are often compared considering they are both high end restaurants on the North coast offering similar dishes. I prefer Toscanini. The hostess and waiters at L’Escargot were efficient for the most part but more like robots doing what they were supposed to do, lacking the charisma needed for such a restaurant. 

Even though I wasn’t wowed, I still look forward to returning to L’Escargot to enjoy their ambience again. Randy looks forward to trying their French Onion Soup, while I look forward to trying their Bouillabaisse and Risotto with Escargots and Scallops.

L’Escargot

Location: Main Street, Runaway Bay. St. Ann, Ocho Rios

Ph: 973-5652; 973-5589

By: Gabrielle Burgess
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