Tag Archives: Wine

How was the New Fromage Brasserie in Market Place for Suga?! – Part 1

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Suga and a friend visited Fromage Brasserie that opened recently in the Market Place. It is a bigger location for Fromage Gourmet Market on Hillcrest that we know and love. They are one of my favourites.

I loved the elegant, modern decor from the ceiling to the floor. The hostess was pleasant and the waitress was professional. Seating was comfortable but not so sure about the 2-seater tables. They looked a bit too small.

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Lobster Bisque ($700JMD +tx)

I ordered the Lobster Bisque ($700JMD) recommended by the waitress that came out quickly but it was not in the usual Bread Boule that Fromage offers. However, I realised that I did not specify mainly because the waitress did not ask. The salt seemed to have gotten away in the soup so I was disappointed.

The Bacon Shrimp Chowder would need half an hour more to be ready so my friend didn’t bother to order it.

For the main I had trouble deciding because they had so many items on their menu. I think less items should be on the menu, similar to the Fromage on Hillcrest. Sometimes less is more.

I was deciding between the Seafood Risotto that I had seen pictures of and the Lobster Ravioli. Again, the waitress recommended the Lobster dish, saying the Risotto tends to be a bit heavy because of the Saffron cream sauce and I wasn’t in the mood for that so ordered the Lobster Ravioli ($2300JMD).

I recommended that my friend who loves Shrimp Pasta have the Pesto Pasta with Shrimp ($2000JMD).

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Pesto Pasta with Shrimp ($2000JMD+tx)

When the food arrived in reasonable time I wish I recommended that for myself because I clearly made the wrong decision. My friend’s Pesto Pasta with Shrimp was delish. I started to wonder if the waitress just recommended Lobster dishes because it had Lobster. She had seemed confident with her recommendations but she was wrong this time.

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Lobster Ravioli in a subtle Lemon Cream Sauce ($2300JMD+tx)

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I’m not sure if the Chef was having an off day but I know the kitchen wasn’t pressured. There were other diners but the Restaurant was far from full.

As you can see, the presentation was poor. I saw no evidence of a Ravioli wheel or stamp used to properly shape the pasta. The Ravioli was overcooked and/or it had too much flour. It had a doughy taste and the taste of the Lobster was absent. The sauce wasn’t much to be desired for either. It needed more of a lemon zest and perhaps some chopped basil, fresh parsley and a touch of garlic.

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The inside of my Lobster Ravioli

I told the waitress it was horrible and not to recommend it again. Hopefully the Chef gets it right soon or it should be removed from the menu.

I couldn’t let my first visit end on such a bad note after expectations were high. So I ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese that looked salivating in pictures and on plates passing my table to other diners.

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Lobster Mac & Cheese ($1000JMD)

The Lobster Mac and Cheese ($1000JMD) came out quickly and definitely saved the day. Presentation got 10/10 but the quality got 7/10. Believe it or not, it actually didn’t taste as good as it looked. It was tasty but lacked flavour. I think it needed a more pungent cheese and some garlic and herbs to spice it up. The Lobster Mac and Cheese at The Regency Room, Terra Nova is still a winner.

It was a disappointing visit and I felt robbed paying for that Lobster Ravioli but it is still early days for the Restaurant and I know given the history of the owners they will keep striving for better quality and service. The new Brasserie seems a bit pricey but I shall return in the near future to try some meat dishes such as the Feta Crusted Lamb ($3050JMD), Steak and Frites ($2000JMD) and the Korean BBQ Pork Ribs ($2450JMD).

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Fromage Brasserie

Location: Market Place- 67 Constant Spring Road. Kingston.

Ph: 876-649-0820-1

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Cheers to Oak Wine Bar this Friday!

Suga is still enjoying Oak Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge!

I visited Oak about 2 weeks ago for GNO over the holidays. It’s a small bar but it was a Wednesday night so it wasn’t packed. Service continues to be quick and efficient, enjoyed the selection of music that was played on the low and most of all, I enjoyed my Charcuterie board with a few glasses of Vino.

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Charcuterie Board ($2000JMD)

Their Charcuterie board is everything! It’s a spectacular, delicious pairing with wine including cured meats, Danish Blue Cheese that I love, Smoked Gouda, Olives, Pepper jelly and more!

Head over to Oak with family, for a date or GNO and share some bottles of wine or cocktails with delicious bites.

Oak Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge
Unit #5, 8 Hillcrest Avenue. 
Kingston 6, Jamaica

Email: oakwinelounge@gmail.com

OPENING HOURS:

Tuesdays – Thursdays: 4pm-12am

Fridays & Saturdays: 4pm-2am

By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Cellar 8 is the new Hot Spot UPtown!

There is a new Bar in town that the uptowners of Kingston are raving about. Cellar 8 Wine Bar! Its location in Upper Manor Park where Training Camp used to be, is close to home for most of the persons who were quick to stop by last weekend.

Suga visited last Saturday evening with husband and friend and was delighted to see the tasteful, modern decor from ceiling to floor. There was comfortable seating downstairs and a lounge area upstairs.

Service was on point all around. If we followed our waitress, we would have tried everything on the menu and drank out the bar as well.

One of the teething pains for them though, is the Wine List, which probably should have been their priority seeing that they have named themselves a Wine Bar. Just about 6 Wines were listed on the menu with reasonable prices by the Glass ($700-$950JMD) and Bottle. However, there was an entire wall with Wines to choose from that you were encouraged to walk over to if you desired to do so. If persons were seated by the wall you would not want to invade their privacy or space though. They explained that this issue would be sorted out soon.

Spirits were offered by the cue. V/X for $1100JMD, Overproof for $1200JMD and Johnnie Walker for $1800JMD to give you an idea.

Cocktails were also on the menu such as Mojitos ($800JMD), the Classic Martini ($900JMD) and more.

Persons can go for dinner as well with dishes that pair well with Wines such as Lamb Chops ($2100JMD), Basa Fillet ($1700JMD), Steak ($2500JMD), Pastas ($1400-$1800JMD), Pizzas ($1000-$1200ZJMD) and on the lighter side, Salads ($1000-$1100).

A friend was not happy with her Basa Fillet, which was communicated to her waiter and the Manager. It was described as slippery and slimy, served in small bites with a lot of skin on it, all overpowered by the cream sauce. Apologies everything could not be sugar-coated folks.

The portion of Steak served to her other half was described as quite small for the cost.

With that aside, feedback from others was extremely positive. They not only salivated over the food but it was refreshing to have it come out so fast after ordering in a room full of people. I was very happy to experience and observe that and I hope they keep it up.

Of course, if you didn’t just go for just drinks or dinner, after a couple glasses you are ready to order some tasty bites. Their Signature dish, Oxtail Tacos screamed out at me from the menu and I had no regrets! Delish!

Oxtail Tacos ($1300JMD)

We also had the Chimichuri Angus Beef Sliders that was fantastic as well.

Chimichuri Angus Beef Sliders ($1200JMD)

Wedges, Wings, Mac and Cheese, Pork Sliders, Fine Roasted Thai Shrimp and more in the range of $450-$1700JMD were offered too.

The wide variety of options on the Menu were listed with the Prices subject to G.C.T.

A bar close to home is both a good and bad thing, but I think this one is here to stay. I will be returning for sure.

Word is, last Friday night was so full, everyone could not be seated. There was no need to worry though, because there was a lot of standing room. They enjoyed the vibe, their drinks and conversation. Most importantly, conversation. I was quite pleased that the music was low so I could have and enjoy a good conversation, which is lacking at many bars nowadays.

Cellar 8 Wine Bar was described as being ‘So New York!’.

Have fun checking this one out!

Cellar 8 Wine Bar

Location: Shop 10, Upper Manor Park Plaza

Ph: 876-613-5934

Opening Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, 4pm-11pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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The Oak Wine Bar on Hillcrest!


Two Fridays ago, Suga and one of the girls went to the fairly new Oak Wine Bar and Cocktail Lounge owned by Lisa-Gaye and Kirk Chin who also own Fromage.

With Fromage just below and El Centro beside it, parking may not always be available inside.

We entered the new hot spot at about 9:30pm, were greeted nicely and felt relieved to instantly get a table for 2 inside. They not only had a wide range of Wines, but Cocktails as well. I liked that if you were just a party of two with different tastes in wine, there were enough options to choose from by the glass. I prefer Chardonnays and Rieslings. There were no Rieslings by the glass so I had a Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay and my gal pal had a glass of Rosé instead of her preferred Moscato. Wine by the glass was mostly $800JMD/glass.

After a few glasses, when the ‘munchies’ kick in, Oak has some delicious, affordable bites such as Firecracker Spring rolls, Crispy Chicken sliders, Calamari and more. We shared the Smoked Marlin Ceviche along with Pita Crisps and Lemon Aioli ($950JMD).

Their Charcuterie Board with cured meats, olives, Danish blue etc. looked delish though and I am looking forward to trying it next time.

Our waiter’s name who kept slipping us with each sip was awesome. He was courteous with quite a sense of appropriate humour. I believe his name was ‘Dimel’, if not we already told him we would just call him ‘D’. Loved his bow tie and their modernised yet effective way of taking orders and seeing which wines etc. were available on their tablet.

Cheers 🙂

Oak Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge
Unit #5, 8 Hillcrest Avenue. 
Kingston 6, Jamaica

Email: oakwinelounge@gmail.com

OPENING HOURS:

Tuesdays – Thursdays: 4pm-12am

Fridays & Saturdays: 4pm-2am

What to do for Valentine’s Day in Kingston!

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Photo: http://www.tripadvisor.com

If you are going for elaborate, Suga recommends Rojo Restaurant at the Spanish Court Hotel. Make reservations of course by calling 926-0000 and request a table on the rooftop by the infinity pool. Nice ambience.

For quaint and affordable, The Wine Shop at Shop 7B Southdale Plaza is having a weekend full of events. You can start the celebration from Saturday with Jazz in the Street for $3500JMD per person for a full Buffet with Wine and Drinks on sale from 9pm until….

Then they will be open on Sunday from 4-10pm for $3500JMD, Food AND Wine Inclusive. Call 620-5098 to make reservations.

Thinking about Brunching it? Fromage Gourmet Market at 8 Hillcrest Avenue is the place. Call 622-9856.

Not feeling the vibe to wine and dine or you are going all out and would like to add extra to give the full package?

Go for sweet treats by Jodicakes, who will be taking orders up to 12 noon TODAY for her delicious Lava cake, Red velvet trifle and more! See info below:

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Then of course, there is the Spa! Been there, done that with the popular ones? Well try the fairly new White Orchid Spa at the Jamaica Pegasus where they are sure to please. Gift Certificates available. Call 926-3690-1.

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Enjoy the weekend!

Suga visits the Red Red Wine Bar in Maryland

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A. Braised Lamb Shank                                     B. The Gus Pizza                         C. (L-R) Friend, Lisa Samough and Gabby from Suga Lifestyle

 

Two words to describe it – nice and quaint.

What did I have? No I did not have Red wine, can you believe it? Suga is a Chardonnay and Riesling kinda girl.

I had a 2014 Crnko-Riesling + Sauvignon Blanc Blend from Slovenia ($11USD/glass) that was lovely.

They have a wide selection of items, not only on their wine menu but food menu as well. Note that an alcohol charge (~3%) is added to your bill. Salads and Soups, Paninis, Pizzas (Crispy Wheat/Roasted Flat breads), Salmon, Catch of the Day, Crab cakes, Sea Bass and more are offered.

I had a tasty, tender Braised Lamb Shank ($24US) over chopped eggplant, green olives, golden raisins, shaved almonds with mint yogurt.

My friends enjoyed The Gus ($10) Pizza with pepperoni, sausage, ham and housemade marinara as well as the Bistro Filet ($23US) 8oz beef with red red wine reduction.

Our waiter was awesome too and will be coming to Jamaica next year!

Red Red Wine Bar

*No Reservations

*Menu online at

http://www.redredwinebar.com

189B Main Street, Annapolis

MD 21401

Ph: 410-990-1144

Be safe and have fun ringing in the New Year!

 

Authentic African Cuisine from Cafe Africa!

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My other half visited Cafe Africa about a month ago and enjoyed his Cameroon Beef lunch in a simple, comfortable setting.

Cafe Afica is located between Trafalgar and Lady Musgrave Road, where Toss and Roll used to be.

Nothing is extravagant or over the top. The service is mediocre, but the relaxed, laid back, feel-good vibe of the outdoor ‘side-walk’ cafe reaches every diner.

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Photo: Cafe Africa’s Instagram page

The menu changes from time to time and is written on an African-shaped blackboard. Dishes from over 25 countries have been put on that menu, for instance, Congo’s original Saltfish and Okra Stew, Mozambique style Pan Grilled Chicken and more.

They also deliver!

The Cafe could serve as a cool watering hole or coffee fix and tea stop, as they serve South African wines, Organic coffee and African teas.

Cafe Africa

Location: 2 Trafalgar Road,SBAJ.Kgn. 5 (Centre of Trafalgar and Lady Musgrave)

Ph: 876-828-4144

Instagram: cafeafricaja

Facebook: Cafe Africa

Opening Hours: 

Mon – Thu: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm