Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tastemakers at Mizner Park, a blogger's preview

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was fortunate to be invited to the preview of this year's Tastemakers at Mizner Park. I have been living and working in the Downtown Boca area for 11 years now and somehow have managed to miss this sensational event year after year. So, I was thrilled when I received an invite to attend this special night for media/food bloggers.

"Tastemakers" is Mizner Park's signature event featuring food and cocktail pairings from 11 partnering restaurants in which participants have the opportunity to purchase a two-day passport to sample a food bite and cocktail pairing from each and will take place Tuesday, September 24th and Wednesday, September 25th from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. Passports are on sale right now at and are $30 per person. In addition, each restaurant will provide an exclusive offering that is valid right now through October 31st.

We covered 9 out of the 11 restaurants on our preview. Here is what we experienced:

Jazziz Nightlife
Tasting: Butter Poached Maine Lobster risotto. Ours was served with a corn risotto but we were told it will be a Kobocha squash risotto at the time of the event next month when squash is in season.

Pairing: Newton's Cure - barrel-aged gin, honeycrisp shrub, local honey and sparkling wine

Promotion: 20% off entire check with purchase of entree

The Cheese Course
Tasting: Italian Artisan cheese course. What a beautiful spread was laid out before us. Parmesan, Robiola Bosina (the Italian Brie), Taleggio

Pairing: Award-winning Italian wine (red)

Promotion: Free glass of house wine with the purchase of a cheese course, bistro sandwich or salad.

Tasting: Housemade meatball and garlic crostini. Very tender, made by combining pork, beef and veal and slow roasted in their signature passata di pomodoro sauce, topped with whipped ricotta.

Pairing: Pineapple Mint Illegalito Mojito Italiano (Wow, is that one heck of a long name; "Illegalito" for short...) This is probably my new fave cocktail, at least for the time being! ;)

Promotion: Complimentary dessert with the purchase of an entree.

Tasting: Bahn Mi Vietnamese Baguette. Slow cooked pulled pork, buttery spicy aioli, cilantro, pickled carrots, daikon and jalapeno. This little sandwich is packed with a little bit of heat that I happened to discover on my very first bite, so consider yourself warned, if you're a whimp, er...a little sensitive to heat, like me. After working through the first bite though, the heat subsided and the sandwich was very tasty.

Pairing: Spicy Lover - Partida Reposado Tequila, cucumber, lime juice, Tabasco Green Sauce, cilantro, organic agave nectar

Promotion: 15% off entire check with the purchase of entree

Tasting: Traditional Irish Faves: Shepherd's Pie and Guiness Mac and Cheese, served with Irish soda bread and butter. One of the owners, Sean McGrade came to our table to explain the Shepherd's pie was his Grandmother's recipe and was made with a combination of ground lamb and ground beef. He mentioned the recipe can be found on under Dubliner's Shepherd's Pie. The Irish Soda Bread is like a dessert and is a little dry, made to pucker your mouth. Best enjoyed with preserves or butter. Sean suggested Kerigold butter, you know the one that comes wrapped in the gold foil.

Pairing: Special Black Velvet - a delightful combination of Guiness and Cider


Promotion: 20% off entire check with the purchase of entree, not to be combined with any other discounts or offers
Max's Grille

Tasting: Shrimp Ceviche - baby marinated shrimp with lime juice, chilies, onions, tomatoes and avocado, topped with crisp plantain chips.

Pairing: Sanguigno Jalapeno Margarita - Tanteo Tequila, Bacardi Limon, Gran Marnier, fresh limes and blood oranges. This cocktail certainly complimented the food bite very nicely.

Promotion: 10% off entire check; cannot be combined with any other promotion

Tasting: Ahi Tuna Tacos. I have to give kudos to where kudos is due. The taco shell was made from yukon gold potato chip. Held up very nicely and added a nice twist to the usual taco vessel.

Pairing: Retail Therapy - Rain Honey Mango Melon Vodka, Triple Sec, splash of lime juice, Tang Rim

Promotion: Complimentary bottle of wine with the purchase of 2 entrees from 4pm - 6pm Monday through Friday.


Tasting: Chicken Pot Stickers- pan fried and served with garlic chili dipping sauce and spicy mustard.

Pairing: Sasyr - Super Tuscan wine, Tuscany, Italy

Promotion: Complimentary dessert with the purchase of an entree


Tasting: Beef Carpaccio - thin slices of heaven, er...I mean cured filet mignon, topped with mixed greens and Parmesan cheese, drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. One of the owners, Aguinaldo Demelo, was on hand to explain how the carpaccio was made. Very interesting.

Pairing: Birra Dolce Vita - a very smooth golden pale Italian beer. Has a little kick, a nice bite and notes of honey. I'm not usually a beer drinker, but was convinced to try it and I'm sure glad I was. It was delightful and a great pairing indeed.

Promotion: 15% discount off entire meal with the purchase of entree, not to be combined with any other discounts or offers.

The two additional restaurants that are included in the Tastemaker's passport that we were unable to visit on this night are: Truluck's and Uncle Julio's. At Truluck's you will be tasting their fresh Pacific Stone Crab with Poema Cava wine and at Uncle Julio's, you'll be enjoying their Shrimp and Mango Guacamole paired with their Spiced Mango Passion Margarita.

Well, I have to admit, even though I pride myself on being a Foodie, this was a heck of a lot of food and drink for this gal on one night. So, I would recommend you split your time accordingly or come with a huge appetite and a thirst that needs quenching! It's a tremendous value at just $30.

Don't forget to get your tickets now at to take advantage of the extra promotion going on now til the end of October. See you on September 24th - 25th!

Until we eat again...
I send you delicious wishes, xo