Tag Archives: Wine

Cheers to Wine With Me in Negril!

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Date and Time of Visit: 29/4/17 @10:30pm

I went to Wine With Me in Negril by the Beachcomber Hotel about 3 weekends ago for some vino.

I liked to visit when it ran its course in Montego Bay, so I was happy to hear a few months ago that it reopened.

My husband and I had checked it out early on the Saturday night, but they only offered light plates of food. We decided to have dinner up the road and promised the extremely polite hostess that we would return later that night. I didn’t get her name, but she was the reason we made a special effort to return at 10:30pm before their closing hour.

Since we were coming from one of the few Restaurants you could dress up and go to in the Capital of Casual, I was quite pleased that I could go straight to Wine With Me feeling comfortable, looking Cocktail chic.

It was a cosy environment, furnished with modern décor and lighting.

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All the persons that were having drinks earlier left, so we got all the attention to ourselves from the waitress. I can see they are likely to have good service regardless of the fact though.

The Chef got wind of why we had left earlier. He made us aware that he is the same Chef from the one that was in Montego Bay and that they are looking to expand the menu to include heavier dishes similar to what they had before such as Lamb chops, Fish etc.

They had a wide selection of Wines. Of course, a limited selection if you chose to have it by the glass. A glass of Wine costed about $7/$8USD +tx. With regards to prices for the Wine and Small Bites, they are fairly comparable to other local Wine Bars but transportation and other costs are taken into consideration. In order to offer the finest selection of Wines and artisan and gourmet Cheese in the small town of Negril, they are brought in all the way from Kingston. Prices are also quoted in US dollars, as most places in Negril due to the fluctuation of the dollar.

We enjoyed our vino and cigars on the outside terrace and we look forward to returning when they have expanded their menu and to also check out their Charcuterie platters.

Wine With Me is Suga Endorsed for a classy, cosy and intimate spot for drinks and small bites on the busy Negril Strip.

Wine With Me

Location: Norman Manley Boulevard, Rutland Point. Negril, JA

Ph: 876-340-2108

Opening hours: 6pm-11pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Guest Chef Series Happening Now and Tomorrow at Half Moon, Montego Bay!

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Chef Ken Frank (Photo: Latoque.com)

Half Moon is hosting their Guest Chef series to enjoy the rich and bold flavours of Chef Ken Frank.

Chef Ken Frank’s landmark Restaurant is La Toque in Napa Valley, California. It has earned a Michelin star every year they have been awarded in Wine Country.

Chef Frank will create 6 exquisite courses to be paired exclusively with Jackson family wines at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, Half Moon.

 

Details are as follows:

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To Reserve your spot:

Contact Concierge at 876-953-2211 ext. 43 

OR

Email prearrivalconcierge@halfmoon.com

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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TGIF! Cellar 8 has Revived their Menu!

Suga and a friend visited Cellar 8 in Manor Park two Saturdays ago for GNO talk over dinner.

I arrived a few minutes before her at 6:15pm and their Mixologist, one of my faves, Milton greeted and seated me. He was his usual courteous self and started me off with my cue of Johnny Walker. He then took the time out to make me aware of various changes to their menu. He made me want to try everything! He also told me that he will have a Johnny Walker Mojito in the mix for me soon.

New Appetizers

There are now Pork Belly Tacos ($1400JMD) and Shrimp Tacos ($1400JMD). A nice addition to their Signature Oxtail Tacos that we love.

They have added a Charcuterie Plate ($2200JMD) for sharing that is great for a group with a few glasses of vino.

In addition to their tasty Crab dip, they now have Bacon & Cheddar, Spinach & Cheese and Artichoke Dips for $1500JMD.

My friend had their new delightful and flavourful, Seafood Bisque.

I had the spiced and breaded fresh Calamari with Chilli sauce ($1400JMD). For those who love pepper, it was tasty and quite spicy!

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Spiced & breaded fresh Calamari with Chilli sauce ($1400JMD)

New Salads, Pizza, Sides

They now have a Lobster Salad. You would have to ask your server for availability and price.

There is a Going Green Pizza ($1400JMD) with spinach, red onion, cranberry, tomatoes, bell pepper and roasted garlic that sounds both healthy and savoury.

Spiced fresh Quinoa and more have been added to their Side Order offers ($500JMD).

New Entrees

I am happy that they have replaced the Basa with the Catch of the Day Grilled or Blackened with the Chef’s special spices ($1850JMD).

There is a Surf and Turf ($3500JMD) Filet Mignon and Grilled Shrimp, Pork Tenderloin ($2400JMD), Fire Grilled Flank Steak ($2200JMD) and more!

I had an old favourite, the Herb Crusted Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops ($2400JMD). I was asked how I liked it and got how I liked it. It was tender, juicy and medium rare. Delish.

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Herb Crusted Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops ($2400JMD)

My friend is expecting and was settled with the Soup, but of course disappointed that she could not have alcoholic drinks. Milton took care of her and whipped up a refreshing Peach Cocktail that she enjoyed.

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Dr. Rachelle Shirley Walcott about to enjoy her Peach Cocktail by Cellar 8’s Mixologist, Milton Wisdom

All prices quoted have an additional G.C.T and 5% service charge, that is increased for groups of 10 or more. So Cellar 8 is indeed pricey but delivers with great food and consistently, excellent service.

When it gets late and more people arrive, the tables are a bit too close for comfort though. Conversations of course get louder with drinks and depending on where you are sitting, getting out of your seat may be a bit of a challenge. They have started to seat persons outside but I believe they should cut off once inside is full. Persons have expressed not feeling comfortable or safe dining or having drinks beside the ATM machine with their belongings exposed.

Suga encourages you to still visit Cellar 8, a spectacular weekend spot but ensure that you call and book your table prior to going.

Enjoy the Weekend!

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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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