Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Oregon Travel & Food Adventures…

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

We had the opportunity to recently visit Oregon again, one of our favorite state’s in the Union, with delicious culinary destinations throughout and fantastic wineries, combined with the sheer natural beauty throughout of the landscape.

 

First stop was into Portland returning to an old standby, which is a true institution in the city, Higgins Restaurant.  Higgins’ was founded by Chef Greg Higgins, who is a James Beard Award Winning Chef and The Godfather of food in the city.  We have always enjoyed sitting in their Bar Room, which reminds one of an East Coast neighborhood bar, with its setup and feeling.  Lunch was an Open faced pastrami sandwich with Local Greens and Hazelnuts, paired with a glass of Pinot Gris from Pike Road Winery (Elk Cove’s second label).

 

After walking the local Farmer’s Market in Portland’s Park Blocks (which happens all Spring and Summer), we traveled down to the Willamette Valley and over to Wine Country.  Arriving there our first stop was in McMinnville to Woodward Wine Merchants, founded a few years back by Jeff Woodward.  They offer a great selection of not just valley wines, but those from around the world so we selected a Chenin Blanc from Domaine Ogereau, in the Loire Valley.  This was shared later in the evening at our friend’s home, where we were able to enjoy a stunningly beautiful evening outside.

 

Starting the next day in Newberg we headed over for a quick coffee, then making our way back down valley to McMinnville aka ‘Mac’ for a lunch over at Pura Vida.  This restaurant is a local favorite, offering a selection of Latin themed ingredients and dishes, while using local produce from the valley.  Here we were able to enjoy their Caesar Salad served with an Avocado Vinaigrette and Roasted Pepitas, then digging in to a Taco Selection (served on Homemade Tortillas) of Barbacoa, Camarones and Pork Belly.  Tasty and flavorful!

 

While still in ‘Mac’ we ventured over to their weekly Farmer’s Market, having a chance to walk the rows of fresh produce, flowers, crafts, etc.  Stops included Eola Crest Cattle for their Grass Fed Beef and Baird Family Orchards (for AMAZING fresh peaches), as well as a tasting with Townshend’s Distillery from Portland, who was offering their Amaro and Fernet.

 

Heading further into the valley, we ventured over to Elk Cove Vineyards, one of our favorite wineries in the entire valley.  Having a chance to walk the property while sipping on some of their fantastic Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, we were transported into the moment, thrilled of where we were and in awe of the beauty around us.

 

Dinner that evening was with friends and business associates, who shared with us the bounty of the valley with local greens and seared skirt steak, prior to having us walk their property which was ringed with Blackberry Vines.  These Himalayan Blackberries are actually an invasive species, but in the Summer then produce the most amazing and delicious berries.  We went into the thicket and started picking, taking care not to get stung by the bushes thorns.  Bringing them back into the kitchen, we blended them with Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Whole Milk, to create the most refreshing and tasty milkshakes we’ve had in a long time!

 

Friday morning started at our favorite restaurant in the valley for Breakfast and Lunch, Community Plate which is owned by our great friend Scott Cunningham.  Scotty has endeared his restaurant to the community (pun intended) in many ways, including sourcing each and every one of their products from 100 miles or less of the restaurant.  This morning started with a Scramble of Sausage, Farmer’s Market Peppers & Cheddar, paired with Fresh Local Greens, Homemade Gluten Free Toast (for the win!) and a Freshly Brewed Cup of Stumptown Coffee.  Perfect for the day ahead!

 

Next stop was a visit to Anam Cara Cellars, run by Nick and Sheila Nicholas, who are good friends with an excellent talent for making tasty wines.  They’re located right off of Downtown Newberg, a perfect location at the confluence of two highways; a great place to pop in for a tasting.  We were able to enjoy their 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir and 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay, both from their Nicholas Vineyard.

 

Then on the Valley Tour was bouncing over the hills and through the woods to Libra Wines Vineyard, owned by Bill and Linda Hanson, who we’ve known personally and professionally for years.  Here we were able to walk the South and West Blocks that Bill had planted, and is farming according to Biodynamic methods.  The vines were looking to be in great shape with Veraison recently occurring, and harvest being planned for mid-September at this point.

 

Wrapping up, we had a recap session at The Horse Radish in Carlton over local Pinot Noir.  They’re really known for their sandwiches, but it’s really come up as a Dinner destination in recent years.

 

On Saturday, we were able to stop at a true staple in wine country, over in Dundee – Red Hills Market.  They were slammed, as always, but we still managed to secure a table and enjoy a Breakfast Bowl w/Local Eggs, Local Kale & Zucchini and Thick Cut Bacon, with a side of Seasonal Padron Peppers.  It’s definitely worth a visit as you find yourself driving through the wineries, for a filing breakfast, tasty lunch or just a glass of wine on the patio.

 

Heading back into Portland, we visited another favorite, Olympia Provisions; stopping in for their ‘Happy Hour’ Experience which is offered every day from 3pm to 5pm.  This is so much better than your neighborhood bar, as they make their own Charcuterie and are all about local.  This visit included a Chef’s Selection of 3 types of Charcuterie, Pacific Oysters with Mignonette paired with their Aperitivo Selection, done either on the rocks, with soda or Spritz-style.  We decided to enjoy the Cocchi Americano Blanco, Spritz style – perfectly refreshing!

 

And, with that, our PDX travels came to a close.  It was, yet again, another amazing trip back to the Beaver State, with so much more to enjoy and discover on our next visit!

 

 

 

60 Hours – On Location in San Francisco

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

 

2 1/2 days in a city that has no boundaries and to fully enjoy all that the 7×7 has to offer and much better than just 48 hours!  My most recent edition of ’60 Hours’ took me to the city by the Bay, San Francisco, for a true series of adventures and discoveries.

 

After arriving into SFO, I headed straight to North Beach (the Italian neighborhood) for my caffeine fix at

Hole in the Wall, a 27 Square Foot (yes, really) coffee bar that brews pour overs right in front of you with one of four different Signature roasts.  This street-side spot at 524 Union Street is great for coffee and conversation!

 

Feeling the need to fuel the furnace, next stop was Original Joe’s right across from Washington Park on Union Street.  This is a true San Francisco classic, Italian American & Classic American Cuisine in style – so I enjoyed their Wedge Salad with Bacon, Shaved Egg, Blue Cheese Dressing and Poached Baby Bay Shrimp.  Tasty, historical and a good first dish to enjoy.

 

Walking down Columbus Avenue, enjoying some early Spring weather and sunshine, I traveled from Italian Culture to the edge of Chinatown for a visit to China Live, pretty much a Chinese Eataly with their shops, various restaurants, tea counter and more.  Still feeling a touch hungry, I was able to enjoy their Gluten-Free (yes indeed!) Chicken Lettuce Wraps, served with mushrooms and Chinese sausage – filling, fresh and very delicious.

 

Next on the agenda was a visit to a longstanding favorite of mine, The Hidden Vine, a cool little wine bar on Merchant Street on the edge of the Financial District (the FiDi) which just so happens to have a Bocce Court!  They carry quite the selection of wines by the glass from all around the world, enabling guests to enjoy a taste of many different wine regions.  Feeling hungry again at this point, I was joined by a few locals to the city who wanted me to experience a legendary restaurant in the city but also California, the Tadich Grill.  The Tadich has been in constant operation since 1849, making it the oldest operating restaurant in San Francisco which is an accomplishment unto itself!

 

Dinner there was a classic experience with Dungeness Crab Cakes, Hamburger Steak, Local Sole and other delights which made the evening feel like a true throwback to a prior time.  If you’d like to step back and have your ‘Back to the Future’ moment in San Francisco, this is a must visit!

 

For the final stop of the evening, I was escorted to The Occidental Cigar Club where I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying before.  ‘The Ox’ is a cigar bar in California.  Yes, it is legal and yes, it is ALWAYS busy!  Here I partook in a Connecticut Shade Davidoff paired with a glass of local Sonoma Red Wine, which was a great way to finish the evening.

 

 

Starting Day Two off slightly foggy, but damn happy I decided to venture from Fisherman’s Wharf, where I was staying with a leisurely walk to the Marina District for one of my favorite hamburger’s in the entire world, located at Balboa Café.  Balboa is owned by the Plumpjack Group, a local San Francisco Company that owns wineries, restaurants, wine shops, bars, and much more.  It is a throwback for sure, with a classic long bar, dark wood finishes and a menu with touches of the past and flavors of today.  I knew I needed a filling plate of deliciousness, so I had to get their burger.  The Balboa Café burger is a long patty, traditionally served on an open face baguette cooked to your desired temperature, along with pickled red onions and pickle chips, hot & salty thin cut fries and any toppings you’d like to add on for extra.  I went with the burger cooked rare (yes, a great call knowing their meat is quality in style) topped with Jack Cheese, Sautéed Mushrooms and Sautéed Onions, Fresh Mixed Greens Salad rather than the fries, accompanied by a chilled glass of Italian Pinot Grigio, perfect for a San Francisco afternoon.

 

That right there was a slice of heaven!  And, the bartender recognized me (which was damn cool) so he poured me a second glass of wine, on him – a true San Francisco Treat!

 

Continuing the city adventure, I stopped over to Union Square to people watch the locals and tourists mingle together and the beautiful weather before having a quick stop by Bun Mee, a modern Vietnamese Sandwich & Snack Shop.  The smells coming out the door were too delicious not to stop!  Deciding to walk up Market Street, I passed by the Bill Graham Auditorium and the San Francisco Capital Building on my way to see a buddy at Jardinière, Traci Desjardins iconic restaurant.  This is a true Michelin starred restaurant, with French accents mixed with San Francisco flavor, a perfect pairing.  Enjoying watching the pre-theatre crowd and sipping on a tasty glass of chilled Italian wine, I realized I was in the right place at the right time.

 

Next on the Tour de SF was a quick stop into Popson’s on Market Street for a side by side burger tasting with some business contacts who were doing menu research.  It’s an upscale, quick-serve burger concept – far from my favorite, but they’re basically doing a take on an In-N-Out style.  Popping next door, we enjoyed a glass of wine and some great hospitality at Waystone, a cool Wine & Beer Café with a citified environment perfect for a date or small group gathering.

 

Feeling the need for an actual dinner, we headed over to the Mission for a taste of New Orleans at Alba Ray’s which was vibrant, fun, plenty festive and damn delicious!  From the Char-Grilled Oysters to the Mixed Jambalaya to the Black-Eyed Peas with Kale to the Red Beans and Rice, we let the Good Times Roll!

 

Day Three – Waking up on my final day in San Francisco, I knew that I was in store for another one filled with plenty of stops and deliciousness, so I started with another stop to Hole in the Wall Coffee for a freshly brewed North Beach Roast.  With coffee in hand, our entourage started walking down the hill, down Broadway on our way to the Embarcadero enjoying the city’s surroundings, prior to arriving at the Ferry Building; a working ferry terminal filled with food stalls, restaurants and shops which has truly become the hub of San Francisco.  We were lucky enough that it was a CUESA Farmer’s Market day, so there were various farms displaying their bounty and the Roli Roti truck for the most amazing Porchetta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  This combination of flavors is something I can taste as I’m writing this post; salty, sweet, savory and damn tasty!

 

Walking into the Ferry, we ventured to the Mariposa Baking Co. stall, a tremendous Gluten-Free Bakery that started in Oakland and has found a very loyal following here in San Francisco.  I wanted to eat just about everything but limited it to having their Black Forest Ham & Gruyere Cheese Pocket, which was decadent and savory at the same time.  Wow, so good!

 

The final cherry on top for the Ferry Building visit was over to Hog Island Oyster Company to a table overlooking the bay, enjoying two different Pacific Ocean Oysters and a crisp glass of Picpoul from France.  In that moment, I was tremendously happy; enjoying the day in the place I was supposed to be at the exact moment.  Perfect.

 

We turned to head up Market Street on yet another stunningly beautiful Spring day, walking amongst the hustle and bustle of workers, tourists and others, and made our way to Credo Restaurant for a beverage during the lunchtime rush.  I had the pleasure of dining there a few years ago and was pleased to see they were still going strong.  We only stopped by for a quick glass of wine but were fortunate to receive great hospitality and a friendly welcome.

 

What lay ahead was the Tre Bicchieri North American Tour & Tasting, held by the Gambero Rosso at Fort Mason.  Tre Bicchieri is the highest rating that Italian Wines can receive, and the Gambero Rosso Guide has events around the world to showcase these wines and bring them to market, for distributors, wine professionals and restaurateurs.  There were hundreds and hundreds of producers there, sharing their top wines which made for an outstanding afternoon of tasting and learning.

 

Turning the corner on my final hours in the city, we headed to Park Tavern back in North Beach to enjoy the friendly confines of this delightful restaurant.  Park Tavern has only been in business since 2012, however it has become a San Francisco fixture with it’s high-end bistro fare.  With its open kitchen, spacious bar and sweeping dining room, it was the perfect destination for a glass of rose and some snacks.

 

Last stop on the adventure was The Salzburg, only open since October 2017, which was created by the founders of Union Larder and Little Vine.  It is North Beach’s answer to the Alps for Austrian inspired cuisine and a large selection of wine by the glass.  We enjoyed a collection of house-made sausages (Rabbit, Pork and Lamb) along with a signature Rosti, topped with Smoked Arctic Char.  I immediately felt transported to the Alps, quite the fete knowing we were in San Francisco and the Italian neighborhood.

 

Hoping into an Uber to the Airport and my flight home I quickly realized that I had a tremendously full 60 hours in San Francisco and realized I couldn’t wait to return!

 

 

The Nyman Group discuss Downtown Las Vegas on the No Vacancy Podcast

Monday, January 15th, 2018

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New year, new start. We’re just over two weeks into 2018 and already experiencing exciting times in Las Vegas and around the globe. While we are still all moving and grooving and getting into high gear, Las Vegas is already there as the city welcomes in the biggest and best attended conventions in January and as such The Nyman Group received a pleasant visit to the city by Glenn Haussman of Rouse Media and the No Vacancy Podcast. Corey T. Nyman and Craig Asher Nyman along with Justin Kingsley Hall of Atomic Kitchen joined Glenn for a Downtown roundtable chat to talk the latest and greatest happening in Las Vegas and what to look forward to with the year ahead.

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NO VACANCY PODCAST

 

Download the podcast HERE.

And if your travels, business or pleasure, bring you to Las Vegas, give us a call.

Cheers to a great year ahead!

 

NEWH Conference

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Recently, our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman was invited to participate in a panel on Culinary Trends: Food and restaurant trends to watch in 2017 and beyond at the biennial NEWH Leadership Conference which was just held in Denver, Colorado – February 9th through 11th. NEWH is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities.

 

Corey was able to share his perspective from an operational side, along with the panel moderator David Corsun, Ph.D., Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, Tom Ricca of Ricca Design Studios who spoke on the Kitchen Design perspective and Brooke Taylor of Arcsine who shared from an Interior Design aspect.

 

The panel was the wrap up for the 3-day conference, sharing fresh perspectives from industry members tailored for designers, operators and those looking to be on the cutting edge of Hospitality in 2017 and beyond.

 

Life is Beautiful Wins 2016 Music Festival of the Year

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

A fun start to 2017 for Craig Asher Nyman who spearheads efforts for CAN Media & Entertainment (a subsidiary of The Nyman Group) as the Life is Beautiful Festival was awarded Music Festival of the Year at the 2017 Pollstar Awards in Downtown Los Angeles on February 2. A truly incredible honor for all the hard work the team has put in to building the festival to be recognized by the music industry as a leader in the new wave of festivals. The 2016 festival featured acclaimed artists including Mumford & Sons, J. Cole, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, Jane’s Addiction, Flume, Empire The Son and more. Other artists to perform at the festival in years past include Stevie Wonder, The Killers, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie, Kanye West, OutKast, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Duran Duran and hundreds more.

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Craig and CAN Media & Entertainment have worked with the festival since it’s inception where he has served at Head of Music & Live Performances. The music, art, culinary and learning festival returns to Downtown Las Vegas in September for its fifth installment where Craig is busy at work with the team to make the 2017 festival the best yet.