Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Quickies #68: Ending my Birthmonth . . .

Time's a perfect to whip up another batch of my spicy-yet-cooling summer wine fizz

Even though I didn't have an official birthday thing this year asides from a dinner w the folks, this month has been nothing short of splendid. Between the extended food & wine weekend in Baja California (posts to come), BloggerProm, a sponsored dinner at Melisse and a myriad of other events ~ it's easily the best birthMONTH yet! But I'm definitely glad things are winding down, which gives me more time for blogging. And some extra-intense exercising to work off all the "happy pounds" I've accrued, though it'll be hard given all the tempting events coming up.

Tonight, new downtown-LA focused lifestyle site is celebrating with a tasting event and launch party featuring delightful eateries that are contributing to the area's dining renaissance; participating restaurants include Provecho, Remedy and Magnolia. This is followed by the official launch party with sponsored beverages provided by Rain Vodka, Peroni, Pom Wonderful and other drink sponsors. Taste of dtownLA is $40, and launch party afterwards is $30.

Tomorrow marks the 7th Annual Plate by Plate food and wine tasting event (benefiting Project by Project, a non-profit that helps Asian and Pacific-Islander owned small businesses) at the California Science Center. Participants in this extravaganza run the gamut of all pricepoints, from the ultra-chic XIV by Michael Mina, the Bazaar by Jose Andres to local everyday faves like Scoops and Mendocino Farms. Tickets (UNTIL 11:59 a.m. today) are $150 general / $275 VIP -- and at the door for $200 general.

For vodka aficionados, Bar Lubitsch is hosting a tasting event tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring a variety of different brands for sweet price of a Jackson. Many of the brands are boutiquey and unique, including Modern Spirits, Pinky and Hangar One, so it's definitely great way to sip, savor and compare. Just be sure you have a walkable place to hang out or rest up afterwards, or have a DD on the ready. No RSVP needed, just a strong liver . . .

On Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Patina Group is continuing with its weekly locals' night series with a Tuscan Summer themed event at Zucca ristorante. Enjoy complimentary pizzas while sipping on $4 Tuscan wines or $5 Italian-influenced cocktails (small noshes of chicken-rosemary, shrimp and vegetable skewers are also a Lincoln each) while mellowing out to tunes by KCRW's DJ Jason Eldredge. Oh yeah, did I mention door prizes too?

And once again, delightful reads from the week that was:

- Speaking of summer sippers, Epicurious have a delightful feature on some refreshing, cooling classics -- and explains not all ice are equal in a cocktail (along with a list of their fave summer fruit-forward libations and this year's best summer beers, with a kudos the local Bruery's Trade Winds Tripel, one of my faves from Craft Beer Fest)

- Slate brings up some interesting food for thought in regards to gluten-intolerance (and whether we are becoming too tolerant of folks who cry the no-wheat foul)

- Meanwhile Serious Eats' Critic-Turned-Cook columnist examines the real vs. TV-produced drama that goes on in the kitchen restaurant



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