Yard of Ale Gastropub Clearwater

Isn’t it exciting when new restaurants or attractions open up near to you? I am always on the lookout for new places to eat, and I had the pleasure of being invited to Yard of Ale Gastro Pub in Clearwater recently. This is their newest location, and I love that it is a bit more accessible to me. Not only is it closer to me, but it also has a great atmosphere and vibe! I mean, how cool is that curved wooden wall in one of the rooms we visited? You can also sit outside and enjoy a cocktail on the patio, sit indoors and watch one of the many TV screens on the walls, and even attend events.

Yard Of Ale Clearwater

Anyway, a group of us were treated to a food and drink pairing, and it was absolutely impressive! I have to admit: at first I would have thought we’d be dining on chicken wings and other fried food. I was dead wrong. Yard of Ale Gastropub is what it’s name implies. There is American fusion cuisine ranging from classic pub food to hearty entrees with a twist, a huge selection of beer, and craft cocktails too.

shrimp

We began our culinary tour with fried shrimp topped with Thai chili, arugula, and sriracha, paired with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. What a way to start strong! This was one of my favorites of the evening. I could have eaten an entire plate of these bad boys all on my own. Yum.

crab cake

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Chocolate Showpiece, Chocolate Tempering, and Foodie Night at William Dean Chocolate

Last Thursday, William Dean Chocolates hosted yet another amazing event fit for foodies. It included a chocolate showpiece presentation, a chocolate tempering demonstration, and (of course) a lot of savory and sweet treats! You really can’t go wrong with that combination…

William Dean Chocolate Showpiece night

As guests entered the kitchen, their eyes were met with tables piled with beautifully plated bites.

William Dean Chocolate Showpiece night

William Dean Chocolate Showpiece night

There was a beautiful meat and cheese spread, as well as a five spice butternut squash terrine with a fig and mint ganache, balsamic cherries, and a white chocolate cream. Talk about a good start to an evening…

William Dean Chocolate Showpiece night

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Clearwater Beach Uncorked 2014

After spending seemingly the entire week in a funk because of sickness, I somehow (miraculously) managed to nurse myself back to health in time for the weekend’s festivities. I had plans to attend Clearwater Beach Uncorked, and darn it, I needed to be in good health!

We attended the very first Uncorked event back in 2012 and had an enjoyable time, so Justin and I were looking forward to experiencing how the event has grown over the past two years. Clearwater Beach Uncorked is a yearly event that takes place outside under a tent on Clearwater Beach (in front of the Hyatt); a perfect location to wiggle your toes in the soft white sand. Attendees are treated to food from local restaurants, wine (of course), some spirits, and food related products. This year, a DJ played music to keep the mood light, and merriment ensued as guests moved from table to table.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked Wine

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Buche de Noel class at William Dean Chocolates

Tis the season, everyone!

William Dean Chocolates Buche de Noel

What better way to herald in the holiday season than with a Buche de Noel (also known as a yule log)? If you are not familiar with this particular dessert, it is traditionally a rolled cake in the shape of a log that is served near Christmastime. Typically, a Buche de Noel is a roulade style cake, very similar to a giant sized Hostess Ho Ho.

However, the most recent class offered at William Dean Chocolates was not for the average yule log cake! Participants created oh so fancy Buche de Noels with silicone molds and unique ingredients/flavors.

William Dean Chocolates Buche de Noel Class

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