GSN Wrap-Up: Philanthropic Foodies Pop-Up Syracuse, NY

This year’s Philanthropic Foodies event held at the AAA Four Diamond Award Syracuse Marriott (formerly the Hotel Syracuse) offered an elegant and spacious setting for the fundraising Central New York community. In fact, the event was held in separate locations on the first floor which offered two different styles of live music to enjoy while sampling the local goodies. Instrumental piano renditions of mellow pop hits by Jimmy Cox provided the background in the lobby area near the silent auction tables. The Persian Terrace room featured two bands (Professional Victims & Fondu) during the event playing everything from alt-rock to disco.  Each of the rooms featured over 15 different stations where guests could sample tapas sized servings from local chefs along with libations from local distilleries, breweries, cideries, wineries and coffee roasters.

The selection was eclectic and the food was tasty. It took us nearly two hours to try a bit of everything. We then put our bids in at the silent auction, which had some serious bidding wars going on. We also took the opportunity to look around the hotel for a bit. Having originally been built in 1924, the hotel was completely restored to its original look a few years ago, and offers guests a chance to step back in time, yet with all of the modern conveniences we’ve grown to expect.  It really was a fantastic venue for the event.  We can’t wait for next year’s celebration!

Below you can see some of the various drinks we enjoyed, along with some of the foods that each were paired with. (Photography by Alheydis K.)

GSN Alert: Upcoming Event – Philanthropic Foodies, Syracuse, NY, July 29, 2018

Photo courtesy of John Carnessali

Everyone loves a pop-up food and beverage event! For the seventh year in a row, Philanthropic Foodies will be hosting one of Central New York’s premier culinary showcases.  Over a dozen of the area’s best chefs and restaurants will be serving samples of their amazing appetizers, main courses and desserts. But, that’s not all, you can refresh your palate between tastings with an eclectic variety of beverages featuring everything from local spirits, cocktails, wine, beer and coffee.  

Last year, we had the chance to attend the event at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, which made for a unique and fun-filled afternoon. All the attendees had the chance to stroll around the zoo, as well as go on the large patio for some welcome Syracuse sunshine. Indoors, there were several stations offering tasty treats, as well as live music and the large auction (we won a few items!).

Chef Chance Bear

One of the highlights of any event like this is to get a chance to meet and talk with the local chefs and producers of beverages. Last year we got a chance to chat with Chance Bear who has cooked at the James Beard House on four different occasions! As well, we conversed with some of the representatives from 1911 Spirits who make some very interesting apple based spirits, and local brewers from Empire Brewing & Middle Ages Brewing. We ended the evening with some coffee samples from Peaks Coffee Co.

If you are interested in trying some world-class food and beverage from the heart of New York State in a world-class setting, there is no better event to attend!

Syracuse Marriott Hotel

This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 29 from 4:00 to 8:00p.m., at the Syracuse Marriott, 100 East Onondaga St. which was recently awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award. Advance sale tickets are $100 per person, or $125 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

In between sipping, sampling and socializing, attendees can also bid on silent auction offerings, many of them food-focused. For auction information go here.

Since 2012, Philanthropic Foodies has raised more than $200,000 for local nonprofits. This year’s proceeds are earmarked for the Friends of Dorothy House, a hospice house for people with AIDS, and The Shamrock Animal Fund, a 501c3 not-for-profit fund that helps pay for veterinary care for animals in need that have owners with financial limitations who reside in Syracuse and Central New York. 

GSN Alert: Upcoming Event – Philanthropic Foodies, Syracuse, NY, July 30, 2017

Everyone loves a pop-up food and beverage event! For the sixth year in a row, Philanthropic Foodies will be hosting one of Central New York’s premier culinary showcases.  Over a dozen of the area’s best chefs will be serving samples of some of their amazing appetizers, main courses and desserts. But, that’s not all, you can refresh your palate with a variety of beverages featuring everything from local spirits, wine, beer and coffee.  

Here are some photos from last year’s event which took place at the Sky Armory in downtown Syracuse.

 

Here is the list of who is participating this year:
1911 Spirits
Anthony Donofrio, Modern Malt
Brandon Gore, Modern Malt Bakeshop
Chance Bear, Lincklaen House
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars
Danny Vault, The York
DeAnna Germano, Chef4Rent
Dick Benedetto, Smoke Incorporated BBQ
Empire Brewing
Eva Zaczynski, Eva’s European Sweets
Gannon’s Ice Cream
Jason Jessmore, Aster Pantry & Parlor
Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Co.
Luke Szabo, Scratch Farmhouse Catering
Mark Bullis, Bull and Bear Roadhouse
Matt Riddett, Empire Brewing Company
Middle Ages Brewing
Peaks Coffee Company
Pizzaiolo John Vigliotti, Peppino’s Restaurant and Catering
Sam Mondello, Vince’s Gourmet Imports
Sarah Hassler, The Stoop Kitchen
Vine & Barrel

This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 30 from 4:30 to 8 p.m., at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Place. Advance sale tickets are $100 per person, or $125 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

In between sipping, sampling and socializing, attendees can also bid on silent auction offerings, many of them food-focused. For auction information go here.

Since 2012, Philanthropic Foodies has raised more than $200,000 for local nonprofits. This year’s proceeds are earmarked for the Friends of Dorothy House, a hospice house for people with AIDS, and GiGi’s Playhouse, a support center for people with Down syndrome and their families.

(Photos by Good Spirits News @2016)

GSN Event Alert: July 31st – Philanthropic Foodies, Syracuse, NY

logoFounded in 2012, the goal of Philanthropic Foodies is simple – to eat, drink, and give back! Philanthropic Foodies combines a culinary showcase of talented local chefs and products from local purveyors, as well as a silent and live auction, to create a unique fundraising event that benefits multiple nonprofits within the Central New York community.

Philanthropic Foodies was born from the desire of local food enthusiasts to channel something we love to do (eat and drink) into a vehicle to give back to our community. In the past four years, Philanthropic Foodies has donated over $160,000 to six deserving and local organizations: Friends of Dorothy House, The Samaritan Center, On Point for College, Signature Music, CancerConnects and The First Tee Syracuse.

In celebration of our 5th anniversary, we will be honoring all six past charities! This year’s event will once again showcase the talents of local chefs and products from local purveyors. The goal is simple….Eat, Drink and Give Back!

“It has the appeal of a pop-up dinner, serious chefs and it’s for a good cause…
Philanthropic Foodies seems to be the real deal.” –Syracuse Guru

A minimum donation of $100 per person is requested.

Your ticket includes:

  • Incredible tastings from the area’s premier culinary talents
  • Beverage pairings at each station to enjoy a carefully selected beer, wine, or spirit
  • Direct access to local food and beverage experts
  • Extensive silent & live auctions
  • Entertainment by  top local musicians

*More than 90 percent of your ticket price goes directly back to our nonprofit organizations.

Get your tickets today!

Philanthropic Foodies is a Donor-Advised Fund established at the Central New York Community Foundation. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of nearly 700 funds. Gifts made are tax-deductible and will be formally acknowledged and receipted by the Community Foundation. https://www.cnycf.org/philfoodies#.Vx91QUbmU-o

 

GSN on the Road: Margaritaville, Syracuse

NowOpenSyracuseThe GSN offices are located in the exact geographical center of New York State, and if you’ve been following the weather you know that this winter has been brutal.  With not a single day above freezing and snowfall every day so far this February, the white stuff keeps piling higher and higher.  So, it was with a smile that we received an invitation to the grand opening of Margaritaville at the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse, NY to escape the cold and dreary landscape and pretend for a few hours that we really were in the Florida Keys.

Upon checking in at the hostess station, we were given a brief tour of the facilities and seated in one of the many areas for dining.  There are several rooms each with a slightly different atmosphere.  The restaurant takes up a whopping 10,000 square feet of prime retail space in one of the largest malls in the Northeast so they have a lot to work with.  The decor was bright and eye-catching, but lacked any sense of authenticity.  It would have been nice to see some real memorabilia displayed like a Jimmy Buffet autographed guitar or photographs.  The table where we were seated had a view of several tv monitors playing loops of Jimmy Buffet tailgate parties, concert footage and tanned, happy people partying in the sunshine.  It was a nice touch to remind us that winter won’t last forever, even in Syracuse.

SyracuseOur waitress was super friendly and upbeat, pointing out her personal favorites on the drinks menu and offering us insights into the training the company gives their employees.  Even though the restaurant had only been open for two weeks, she knew each and every menu item by heart.  We started things off with an Uptown Margarita and a Planters Punch.  The Margarita was tart, served on the rocks with a Gran Gala float.  It was just right.  The Planters Punch was less interesting, but did include the requisite dash of Angostura bitters.  Another positive aspect of the bar program is that they use fresh squeezed citrus in several of their drinks.

Drinks wwm copy 2We followed our drinks with some recommendations by our waitress.  We chose two appetizers; the Drunken Shrimp Skillet and a half order (by request) of the Volcano Nachos.  When they arrived, the nachos were more than sufficient for the two of us.  We made a dent in them, but could not finish the massive tower.  The tortilla chips were excellent and the cheese was generous.  Also, the inclusion of chili con carne made this a fairly hearty meal in itself.  But, the shrimp was the highlight.  The citrus butter sauce was absolutely stunning and the shrimp fresh, cooked to perfection and easily could have made for a fine entrée.  The flavors of the food went quite well with our tropical fruit based cocktails.

Drunken Shrimp Skillet 1 copy 2Next, we ordered a Zombie and a Bahama Mama.  The Zombie was tasty, but suffered from only using silver rum instead of the usual mix of light, gold and dark rums.  The Bahama Mama was fairly boozy with Margaritaville Spiced and Coconut Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, and crème de banana, but didn’t taste alcoholic in the least.  Oddly enough, the flavor seemed more akin to mango than anything else.  We followed up our meal with a shared order of the Fish Tacos.  The fish was seasoned and prepared just right, with the fried cod being even better than the grilled.  The accompanying side of rice was disappointing as it was obviously reheated and came in clumps, the black beans were bland, but the pico de gallo was lovely.

After our meal, we decided to hang out at the bar and talk with one of the bartenders.  The bar stools were all taken, but we stood near an empty corner and were greeted within seconds.  We had hoped to order a Hemingway Daiquiri, but were asked, “What’s that?”  So, we tried something easier.  “How about a Mai Tai?”  Again the response was “What’s that?”  So, we settled on a shot of Appleton VX and a Landshark draught.  In chatting with the bartender we learned that she had a fairly intense training program.  Forty hours of memorizing the cocktail menu and making drinks over and over in front of trainers until they knew them backwards and forwards.  They do all their mixed drinks free pour style with a count system of four per ounce.  My main chagrin was that she said she had been bartending for seven years at a number of bars and yet still didn’t know how to make some of the most basic tropical style drinks.  But then again, this a Syracuse; a beer town.

Before we left, we checked out the gift shop.  Yes, a gift shop at a restaurant.  But, remember, Margaritaville is supposed to be an experience in much the same way a theme park is.  There were plenty of Margaritaville shot and cocktail glasses with logos, beer mugs and bottle openers, but nothing beyond what you’d expect to find at any tourist trap.  It would have been nice if there were limited edition Jimmy Buffet items or authentic crafts from the Gulf Coast for sale.

All in all, the trip was pleasant, but seemed like the staff was still working out some kinks with seating and workflow. Perhaps by the summer, everything will fall into place and it will seem as if they really are bringing a piece of the Gulf Coast to Central New York.

Food: A-
Drinks: B
Atmosphere: C+
Service: B+

Imbibing Mr. Boston: The Bone Cocktail

IMG_4539-800I’ve lived in Syracuse, NY since 1969, and I don’t ever recall a cocktail created here that was served with a bone garnish.  And yet, that’s what I am told when I tried to track down the origin of this cocktail.  I suppose it is possible since we are famous for our Dinosaur BBQ restaurant and bar which makes fantastic pork and beef ribs.  Be that as it may, this drink is still pretty cool, and is based on an iteration of the original originally served at Farmers & Fishers in Georgetown (arch rival of Syracuse University, oddly enough).

The recipe as published makes way more than a single shot, as you can tell by a quick glance. More like two shots, so there’s  enough to share.  I enjoy the way the Tabasco sauce works with the lime and simple syrup.  Really intriguing.  I used three drops of hot sauce instead of three dashes.  It allowed the fire to support the bourbon instead of overwhelm it.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the original garnish which was a rib bone, but was transmogrified into a slice of bacon candied with brown sugar and cinnamon, then dipped into chocolate ganache by the time it reached Georgetown.  Now, I’m hungry….

The Bone
2oz bourbon
0.5oz lime juice
0.5oz simple syrup
3 dashes hot red pepper sauce

Shake with ice and strain into chilled shot glass.