Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Isle of Capri hotel sports steampunk look

If you’re not familiar with the “steampunk” look, think Victorian/wild west gone science fiction. Now imagine this old-fashioned, adventurous look with leather, vintage luggage and period electrical lighting paraphernalia setting the mood at Isle of Capri Tower Hotel. The $15 Million renovation snazzed up the rooms, too. After a ribbon cutting, I got to tour spacious rooms with light granite looks, great views of Lake Charles and soaker tubs.
Otis & Henry’s created signature cocktails for the evening and guests enjoyed samples of oysters, red fish, prime rib over garlic mashed potatoes and – the showstopper – lamb on the bone. Chef Matt Smith says salt, pepper and olive oil are all he needs for such good meat, and they use the freshest meat possible.
“Our steaks are where it’s at,” Smith said.
Through the chamber of commerce over there, I met Dennis Bevers of Cutting Edge Advertising, and he does business in Port Arthur. He shared some great memories he had of our city, and he gave me a letter opener that looks like a gator. He says it is perfect to remove the veins from shrimp.

Silver shoes
I can’t be the only one who thinks of casinos when I see “lucky” silver and gold shoes. Now I’ll ask you to think of who said “When my feet hurt I can’t think.”  The answer is Abraham Lincoln, according to a box of Flat Out shoes. These comfy ballerina-style flats roll out of a little box and conform to your aching feet. Some airports sell them out of vending machines, l learned after I literally spent a night in an airport. But the obvious best time to have these shoes is after a night of lookin’ good in high heels, then feeling like you need to dance a little longer. Hit to get your style.

“Pure” is how I’d describe an organic vodka that can make Americans proud.
American Harvest Organic Spirit goes back to the roots of old-country spirit and new ideas.  Handcrafted in small batches from organic winter wheat grown on a family owned and sustainably managed American farm, it is distilled and bottled in Rigby, Idaho using water from aquifers deep beneath the Snake River plain. One Nation, One Spirit is how creators want to be known.
You can see yourself in a Polo ad while sipping this, or you can gather round your Southeast Texas family for a smooth spirit and lively conversation. Of course, I sampled this on the rocks so that I could share my experience with readers. It’s a nuance thing and very good. Here are some ideas from mixologist Todd Richman that can combine produce from your All-American garden:

2 ½ parts American Harvest
½ part dry vermouth
Pour over ice, stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with an olive or lemon twist

Local Harvest
2oz American Harvest
3 cucumber slices
3 fresh lime slices (Sliced thin)
4 basil leaves
1/4oz Agave Nectar
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice.
Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with 1 cucumber slice, 1 basil leaf and 1 lime wedge
Grand blend
Grand Marnier has recipes for their blends, and I have some ideas of my own. A little drizzle goes a long way into making everything from yogurt to sliced fruit a lot more elegant. This fall, look forward to House of Marnier Lapostolle – producers of the iconic Grand Marnier liqueur – launching the second limited edition release blend in their Signature Collection Series, Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach, and a tribute to the creation of Grand Marnier liqueur in 1880, Grand Marnier Cuvée 1880.
I tried the delicate raspberry peach blend in a small glass. Remember there’s also an orange essence in this sip of goodness. Once you get a bottle home, make it last into the holidays, and consider picking up an extra for hostess gifts. Try adding it to your favorite bubbly or play with something like this:

GM Raspberry Peach Cosmo
Created by mixologist George Carney
2 ounces Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach
1 ounce cranberry juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twist.

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