Meb Byrne

Posts Tagged ‘photo op’

Sterling Renaissance Festival

In fashion, geek, historical, photo op, recommended, renaissance, smile-inducing, syracuse, theater on July 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

When I was eight years old, my mother took me to the Sterling Renaissance Festival (or Faire) for the first time. The Faire recreates the town of Warwick in the county of Warwickshire, England, in 1585, celebrating a visit from Queen Elizabeth I. The food, the shops, and especially the performers captured my young imagination, and have drawn me back year after year. This summer, I traveled upstate to celebrate the Pirate Invasion, one of Sterling’s theme weekends. Many things have changed since that first visit, but at its core, the Faire still retains its wonderfully magical appeal.

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The Sterling Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays in Sterling, New York, rain or shine, until August 15.




In food, photo op, portuguese, recommended, restaurant on February 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

The stage is set.

The meal:

The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Aldea

The stats:

“The cooking is precious, lusty, ultramodern, rustic and a host of other adjectives that don’t normally squeeze together but find themselves in a tight, mostly happy clutch here. Although Aldea has a clean, sleek and relatively spare look, it has a much more complex taste. One minute you’re nibbling on crisp pig’s ears. The next you’re carefully maneuvering your spoon under a translucent, quivering orb of concentrated mushroom broth — one of those liquid ravioli that the Spanish alchemist Ferran Adrià made famous — in an avant-garde consommé.” –Frank Bruni

2 stars, NY Times

Critics’ Pick, New York Magazine

Recommended by Doc John Sconzo, physician & foodie

Staging restaurant of Rochelle Bilow, culinary student

The food:

Fingerling Potato Soup

chanterelles, artichokes, sepia and sassafras

Foie Gras Terrine

caramelized bartlett pear, vanilla-pear puree, Blis maple syrup

Sea Urchin Toast

cauliflower cream, sea lettuce, lime

Shrimp Alhinho

garlic, coriander, pimenton, pressed jus


crispy Brussels sprouts, green mango, lemongrass-ginger broth

Arroz de Pato

duck confit, chorizo, olive, duck cracklings

Pre-dessert surprise!

lemon curd, citrus ice, toasted pine nuts, milk foam


gianduja crisp, passion fruit sponge, praline ice cream, hazelnut

Post-dessert surprise!

shortbread, chocolate & hazelnut, apricot jelly

The verdict:

I’ve had richer meals, and longer, but never better paced, more artfully prepared or more attentively served than at Aldea.

I left the restaurant not weighted down by my gorged stomach, but on an ethereal foodie high.


Gingerbread Gallery

In art, candy, exhibit, holiday, museum, photo op, syracuse on December 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Every autumn, the Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse holds a gingerbread house contest. All ages are invited to submit a confectionary creation, with winners chosen for each of four categories: Confectioners Competition, Youth, Family/Group, and Canal Themed. This year’s houses are very imaginative, drawing their inspiration from a construction crew, a backyard shed, a beaver dam, a Central New York aquaduct, and even the Wizard of Oz. Fondant icing is rampant, as are any number of types of yummy shingling. (Chocolate discs, anyone?) The exhibit closes on January 3, so make sure to pay a visit before these sweets are gone!