Thursday, September 29, 2011

Try Seasons 52's New Fall Menu

Photo by Shad Bookout

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to a media dinner featuring Seasons 52’s new fall menu. I would recommend almost every new dish! Seasons 52 in Altamonte Springs, Fla., has always been one of our favorite places in town to dine. We love their use of fresh food in season and we like how their chefs are able to make low-calorie dishes that taste great

The mini-desserts are to die for, and the new fall mini-dessert is no exception. It is – drum roll, please – Pumpkin Pie Mini Indulgence. Layered with gingersnap crust and whipped cream, the mini dessert tastes like a better version of the real thing.

Grilled Quail - Photo by Shad Bookout
Now that I have covered dessert first, let me get on to the new appetizers and entrees. The Grilled Portobello Mushroom & Five Cheese Flatbread with truffle sour cream is so yummy, as is the Artichoke & Goat Cheese Flatbread. Meanwhile, I have never tasted quail with such a unique and delicious preparation. The Manchester Farms All-Natural Grilled Quail is served with bourbon-chili glaze and mashed sweet potatoes. The new Sesame Duck Salad is also one of the best dishes that I have tried at any restaurant lately. The duck on the salad – which also includes apples, toasted pecans, fresh mint, and cranberries – is very moist and has an Asian/ ginger type of flavor.

Two wines that I tasted at the dinner that you should try are: Ramey Chardonnay, Russian River 2008 and Selbach Riesling QBA, Mosel-Germany 2010. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What to Eat at Innisbrook Resort

Inside Packard's Steakhouse

As you read in my last blog, we had a great stay at Innisbrook Golf Resort ( in Palm Harbor, Fla. I have to say, the resort’s impeccable service and excellent food is a big part of the reason why we had such an enjoyable time!

There are many places to eat around the extensive grounds, but the two main restaurants are Market Salamander Grille and Packard’s Steakhouse. Both eateries feature amazing food as well as excellent views of Innisbrook’s famous golf courses, including its Copperhead course.

Market Salamander Grille has a wide range of appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees to fit most budgets and tastes. We had the Oven Roasted Wild Salmon & Crab Roulade, and the Blackened Tuna. The tuna was cooked exactly as we asked and had such a wonderful, delicate flavor. The wild salmon was also cooked perfectly, and the flavors were amazing. Other specialties to try at this restaurant include: Lobster Mac & Cheese, Miso Glazed Salmon, and Black Thai Shrimp appetizer, which features a sweet and spicy Malaysian dipping sauce.

The View from Packard's Steakhouse
Packard’s Steakhouse is known for serving dry-aged premium steaks and lobster tails, but also has an extensive menu that includes unique desserts whipped up by the resort’s pastry chefs. The New England Lobster Roll served there is one of the best we have had. I also recommend the Kona Crusted Lollipop Lamb Chops, the lobster bisque, and any of the restaurant’s salads. Packard’s is currently running a special: Wine & Dine for $79, which includes dinner (salad, entrĂ©e, and dessert) for two plus a bottle of wine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Don't Have to be a Golfer to Get a Hole in One at Innisbrook

I am happy we made the choice to stay at Innisbrook Golf Resort ( in Palm Harbor, Fla., for our recent trip to the Clearwater area. 

Although most people know Innisbrook for its immaculate, rolling golf courses and the host of the PGA’s Transitions Championship, there is so much more to experience there.
There is no doubt that this resort has some of the most beautiful courses in the world. Even though I don’t golf, I sat on my patio and enjoyed the luscious green course with numerous trees and ponds. We also enjoyed swimming in the resort swimming pool with waterfalls.

I had the good fortune to get a massage at the resort’s Indaba Spa ( I would recommend the Signature Citrus Massage to anyone. The combination of a Swedish massage, plus heat and a citrus scrub, make for a completely relaxing and rejuvenating experience at the same time. The Citrus Massage is $130 for 50 minutes and is well worth the price. The spa has a unique feature: you can bring your iPod and plug it into speakers in each treatment room. It also has a peaceful labyrinth path outside. This is really the place to stay and relax for the day.

The guest suites are a great deal too: they start at $590 per week for one-bedroom suites with full working kitchens. Then, there is the food. Check back next week for my review of both Innisbrook and Palm Harbor’s top restaurants.