Around and around we go; today is the start to yet another lovely workweek. Hopefully, you have a bit of a spring in your step from some indulgent weekend activities. If not, don't fret; there are still plenty of events to keep you busy through your working days.
Whether you're planning on going to the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, have a hankering for beer pairing dinner, or want to get free Chick-fil-A for an entire year, there's something to do in Broward and Palm Beach counties this week.
Fort Lauderdale's popular restaurant, Hot & Soul, is teaming up with Cigar City Brewing for its first beer pairing dinner. On Monday, December 8, get ready for a special, holiday-themed menu, a four-course meal paired with various specialty brews. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased via EventBrite here.
A new waterfront eatery and bar -- one of only a few overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown Delray Beach -- will be opening on Monday, December 8. Located across from Deck 84, Hudson at Waterway East will take the space formerly occupied by the historic Old Calypso restaurant, a longtime seafood establishment that closed in 2013. Owner Sam Bonasso and partners Joe McCullough and Rita Wilson describe the new 7,000-square-foot venue as the perfect outdoor waterfront space for dining and socializing. Hudson's menu will serve urban comfort food by executive chef George Cocilova, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who has cooked for Bouley in New York City, the French Laundry in Napa Valley, and Aqua in San Francisco. Visit hudsondelray.com, or call 561-303-1343.
For the month of December only, The Blind Monk in West Palm Beach will be offering a special pop-up breakfast café dubbed simply "the AM Shift." Each weekday in December the city's wine, tapas, and craft beer bar transforms into a casual morning eatery. From 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., the new breakfast spot features a short menu of elevated breakfast items, says Lubin, dishes made with specially sourced ingredients that are both healthy and filling. Go here for more information.
It's coming back: Broward and Palm Beach Counties' premier food-lovers event is returning in December. And this year brings with it a whole new slew of celebrity chefs (think Anita Lo, Gabrielle Hamilton, Ken Oringer, Virginia Willis, Elizabeth Karmel, Aaron Brooks, Jamie DeRosa, and Eden Grinshpan) and events. From sustainable seafood dinners to a mano a mano street food battle royale to shirtless (hopefully) chefs slapping some balls around the volleyball court, check out this year's. From Thursday, December 11 through Sunday, December 14, the who's who of the culinary world will be descending upon Palm Beach for the eighth annual Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival. Held at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and several other venues throughout the county, this year's festival offers a chance to get up close and personal with the culinary personalities and industry leaders though a series of dinners, after-parties, tasting, and seminars. Visit pbfoodwinefest.com, or call 561-389-1222.
On Thursday, December 11, the Lake Worth restaurant Havana Hideout will be offering a low-country dinner paired with specialty five-ounce pours of brews from Delray Beach's Saltwater Brewery. The four-course meal will include fried grouper and grits, alligator, chicken stew, and a stout chocolate bread pudding.
They say "It Takes a Village..." and that time-honored phrase is the inspiration for John and Elizabeth's 13th Annual Toy Drive and Fundraiser Cocktail Reception to benefit Big Mama's Team of Life scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 11, at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The event will benefit Essie Reed's "Big Mama" Team of Life Inc., a non-profit, grass-roots organization from the Women's International Holistic Council (WIHC). The cocktail reception will feature dancing and live music by well-known South Florida musicians Leo Casino and singer Melissa "Moonchild" Stokes, along with an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and silent auction. Donations are being accepted through December 11th. Contributions of toys and money (make checks out to the Women's International Holistic Council) can be dropped off at the International Holistic Center, 4640 N. Federal Highway, Suite F, Fort Lauderdale. To purchase a ticket for the event, volunteer, or donate silent auction items visit WIHCwow.org, or call 954-903-9426.
Free Food For One Year at Chick-fil-A Grand Opening
Fort Lauderdale will be getting its first Chick-fil-A restaurant on Thursday, December 11, and the grand opening is really something special. The first 100 adult patrons to get in line will be entered for a chance to win free Chick-fil-A meals for an entire year (while also being able to donate books for new children's books for the Boys and Girls Club at the Harold Reitman). After 11 years and more than $21.5 million in free food given away, Chick-fil-A's "First 100" celebration continues to be the chain's signature grand opening event, transforming the restaurant parking lot into a 24-hour community party as the crowd awaits the grand opening. The new Fort Lauderdale restaurant at 2650 N. Federal Highway will host its own First 100 event, awarding patrons a digital offer card loaded with a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals good at any location. People can start lining up as early as Wednesday, December 10, at 6 a.m. If there are more than 100 people in line on opening day, the restaurant will draw out 100 people in a raffle, with 10 people as alternates if there are more than 100 people on-site. The first 100 people to be awarded the special offer will be guaranteed a year supply as long as they stay onsite until the official opening on Thursday, December 11. Alternates will move up if by chance anyone leaves from that first 100 crowd, but they won't know that until the next morning when they give out official numbers. Only those ages 18 and older are eligible. Not interested in the free giveaway? Doors open at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.