Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa

Located exactly one hour north of Palm Beach is Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa, a stunning, tranquil beach-side resort on Hutchinson Island in the town Jensen Beach. As guest step inside, they are greeted by a warm and friendly color spectrum of blues, greens and pearl that reflect the beauty of the ocean’s coastline. The resort, which is perfect for both couples and families of all ages, boasts a signature spa, two pools and cabanas, three resort dining options including Drift Kitchen + Bar, endless beach-side activities, a gym, and so much more that is waiting to be discovered. Continue reading

An Interview with Tara Lazar, Founder of F10 Creative

The F10 Creative is a small empire of iconic restaurants in the ever-growing travel destination of Palm Springs, California, less than two hours away from Los Angeles. The restaurant family includes the famous brunch hotspot Cheeky’s, the gorgeous modern steakhouse Mr. Lyons and their classic cocktail hideaway Seymour’s, a lively and al fresco Italian eatery Birba, the sleek and seree hotel Alcazar, and F10 Catering, the go-to service for all top-tier brand and celebrity events in the desert area.

Tara Lazar, a Palm Springs native, who after spending time traveling and sampling flavors around the world, she returned home to build Cheeky’s as the first establishment in the F10 line. Tara has been hands on in every step of the way for each property, from creating the menu and cooking on the line, to designing the atmosphere and touching tables nightly. She now employs almost 200 residents of Palm Springs, and has been an influential voice across staffing, sourcing and serving in the hospitality industry.

Below, Tara discusses the background of Mr. Lyons while highlighting local farms the restaurant group works closely with in addition to which will be the new arrivals to the menu come late summer and early fall.

Tell us your background and how you have brought your expertise to Mr. Lyons.

My background is ten + years in the restaurant business with a lifetime in Palm Springs. I felt there was a need for a glamorous farm forward elegant restaurant in Palm Springs. Certainly a place to see and be seen but with really solid food.

Which dishes on the menu have stood out for you this summer? For guests?

I’m loving the raw zucchini salad with squash blossoms and the Carolina Gold fried rice. It’s nice to have the mix of really good veggie options at the steakhouse.

I noticed you work closely with a number of local farms and markets. Which ingredients are your favorites to utilize and describe your partnership with these farms and businesses.

Everything is local right now since we’re at the peak of summer. I’m always a sucker for our local corn that comes so fresh and sweet you can eat it raw – as the starch hasn’t even started to form. Milliken farms for corn. Munak farms for the heirloom tomatoes. Weiser farms for squash flowers, etc.

Which are your favorite cocktail and dish pairings?

Rittenhouse rye whiskey sour and our roasted bone marrow with oxtail tellicherry pepper gastric.  A great Amarone and our Beef Wellington checks a lot of boxes too.

Which are your favorite dishes? 

We have incredible steak but our sides are [also] the stand outs. Onion rings are exceptional. Crispy brussel sprout leaves with balsamic, and our wedge is dipped in a red wine vinegar so it has this acidic element that helps it stand up to all the rich blue cheese and bacon components that gives it the perfect balance.

What are your plans for transitioning into the fall as far as the menu?

We’re excited to start revamping more classic dishes that seem to have fallen to a bygone time. Everything from onion dips, to green goddess dressings, to an epic chopped salad, or even a perfect lobster bisque. That’s what is piquing my palate right now.

How was the restaurant [Mr. Lyons] concept created and what will be new this coming late summer/early fall?

I am very nostalgic in general – and food and restaurants are my link to my best nostalgic moments. I’ve lived and dined at Mr. Lyons for over 40 years, so I wanted to restore the magic of Palm Springs through this concept. Less and less restauranteurs want huge restaurants with fine dining because it’s a big feat to pull off, but we were ready. We wanted something glamorous and classic and “that” place where if you went to Palm Springs and didn’t visit Mr. Lyons, you didn’t do Palm Springs properly.

New things: Our steak is so good it should be left alone but I want to really play with more interesting bar snacks. Bring back old classics but with great ingredients and fun presentations. That’s what we’re focusing our efforts on in the kitchen lab right now.

My Flight with JetBlue from New York to Los Angeles

For my first visit to Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim in early March, I had the pleasure of flying with JetBlue from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) round-trip, nonstop. During this trip, I not only became more acquainted with their economy amenities and perks for long haul flights, I also was introduced to JetBlue Mint, a premium service offered by the airline on some flights between the west and east coasts of the contiguous United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.

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Celebrate the Holidays with Chick-fil-A Catering

This post was sponsored by Babbleboxx on behalf of Chick-fil-A. All opinions and content are my own.

Chick-fil-A is a top notch option for holiday gatherings, including holiday office parties, family gatherings, girls’ night in, welcome home parties for college students, casual weekends at home, and many more. Chick-fil-A catering offers something for every taste, making hosting your family and friends this holiday season easier.

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Saybrook Point Inn and Spa

One of the most charming and down-to-earth seaside resorts I have ever stayed at. Located just twenty minutes away by car from New London, Saybrook Point Inn and Spa offers beautiful, scenic views of of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. A perfect getaway for the weekend away from Boston or New York City as well as a prime location for a wedding or family reunion, the resort and spa is also less than thirty minutes away from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, offering an exceptional alternative to relax the weekend away with the close proximity of the arenas and casinos. Old Saybrook itself is a quaint, historic town rich in history. Did you know, for example, that Yale’s original college campus was in what is now Old Saybrook, and the town was the former home of one of Hollywood’s greatest, Katharine Hepburn? There is a cultural arts center affectionately named ‘The Kate’ in her honor less than two miles from the Inn.

The details and amenities throughout are exquisite. The Inn includes several different types of accommodations including the Main Inn, two guesthouses, the Lighthouse Suite located on the marina, and vacation and long term rentals. Their villas are available for you to enjoy year-round on a weekly and monthly basis or even longer. The two historic guesthouses, Tall Tales and Three Stories, located just steps away and opposite from the Main Inn, allowing for ample privacy. The houses feature living spaces such as common room areas, game rooms, and roof-top fire pits that are perfect for mingling with fellow guests, enjoying a late night snack or early breakfast.

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TerraSole in Ridgefield CT

TerraSole in Ridgefield CT is an Italian restaurant tucked away in one of southern Connecticut’s most charming towns, Ridgefield, which is just fifteen minutes away from Danbury and the New York state border. This is one of those rare restaurants you would go out of your way to dine at, and one you could sit in for hours just so you had the opportunity to study their impressive and substantial dinner menu. What they offer their guests is more than impressive: it is down-to-earth fare with local ingredients and true flavors of Northern Italy.

I visited TerraSole in Ridgefield CT on an early Monday evening with my grandma, an avid cook who is extraordinarily knowledgeable when it comes to Italian cooking (think if Lidia Bastianich and Giada De Laurentiis were to join forces). Upon arrival, we were greeted by the ever-present owner, Pietro Polini who hails from Puglia, Italy. In fact, just two weeks prior, he was back in his home country. He told us that he is always out to discover and hone in on culinary influences from Italy, spanning from Sicily up to the French and Swiss alps. His family still operates restaurants in Puglia & Rimini! At TerraSole, he creates top-notch dishes that are each a world of flavors and textures. I bet you have never experienced anything quite like this.
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